Hosting a website is a difficult task and finding a dependable hosting service is perhaps harder. Whether you own an eCommerce website or a personal blog, choosing the right web hosting company is very important, because a web host is a medium that connects your website to the internet servers. If you have a small or medium-sized WordPress blog, you can easily find many great options available in the market.
While you’ll get bombarded with hundreds of options to choose from if you search the internet for options, comparing which one is better for your website is another thing that you’ll find hard to figure out. You should be sensible enough to understand that different websites require different hosting services. Not all web hosts are meant for every website!
So, if you are looking for some powerful and dependable hosting service for your small or mid-sized WordPress website, then we are here with a comparison of two of the most popularly used services in this category. WP Engine and Bluehost!
WP Engine vs BlueHost 2021 | Which Is One Is The Best ( In-Depth Comparison)
About WP Engine
WP Engine equips you with a suite of agility, efficiency, knowledge and collaboration solutions, so you can create and deploy a range of online experiences from campaign sites to content hubs to e-commerce extensions.
Powerful technology, award-winning support, and an ecosystem of partners and developers unify their network to extend the value you derive from all solutions.
Bluehost is a leading company in Web hosting solutions. Bluehost has continually been innovating new ways of delivering on its goal of empowering people to completely leverage the internet since its inception in 2003.
The company provides millions of users around the world with robust resources so everyone, beginner or experienced, can get on the web and succeed on their web hosting packages.
WP Engine vs Bluehost
WP Engine vs Bluehost is one hosting service battle that has been talked about for quite some time now because these two are currently amongst the most popularly used web hosts in the market. Both have qualities that are hard to ignore! While WP Engine is one of the best-known controlled WordPress web hosting around, while through more accessible plans Bluehost has built a name for itself. It’s fair to assume that when it comes to WordPress hosting all companies provide somewhat different approaches.
If you’re trying to decide between managed hosting and standard shared hosting, you’ll need to know what each provider is providing. A higher cost does not automatically translate into efficiency, so it’s important to consider what you are getting from each price point. We will be contrasting WP Engine vs Bluehost in this article when it comes to their starting plans. We’ll compare:
- Ease of use
- Customer support
By the end, you’ll get to know which hosting platform should you choose for your WordPress website. Let’s dive in!
Features: Who can do more?
Managed WordPress hosting is an area that WP Engine specializes in. But while comparing, Bluehost comes out on top, offering a broader range of services including shared and dedicated hosting, as well as private virtual servers (VPSs). They also provide daily hosting plans for WordPress, which they operate themselves.
In this article, we’ll concentrate on the daily WordPress hosting plans for Bluehost, so we can help you determine if controlled hosting is worth the extra cost.
- Basic plan supports one website
- Staging and production environments
- Nightly automated backups
- 24/7 support via chat (more options available for higher plans)
- Integrated content delivery network (CDN)
- Secure your site with free automatic SSL certificates
- Green padlock
- Includes free Genesis Framework, including over 35 Genesis child themes
- Multiple add-ons available for all plans
- Basic plan supports one website with its Basic plan
- Unlimited plans support multiple websites
- Free domain for one year
- 50 GB SSD storage
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth for higher tiers
- Automatic WordPress installation and updates
- All plans come with staging functionality
- Free SSL certificate
- 24/7 support via chat
It should not surprise you that the shared hosting offered by Bluehost does not deliver as much by default as the WP Engine, considering the price difference. Bluehost does offer staging features though, which is something you almost never see among WordPress hosts on a budget. Plus, as part of the contract, it throws free domain registration which might seal the deal for you compared to WP Engine.
Ease of use: Which one’s easier to use?
Bluehost provides one of the most user-friendly solutions available, as far as hosting panels go. Your Bluehost panel is amazingly easy to navigate, and with a single click, you can easily access your WordPress websites. It’s also worth noting that while Bluehost does install WordPress for you, it doesn’t allow you to move your site. This means that if you have a website that you want to switch to a joint plan for Bluehost, you are on your own unless you opt for the $149.99 Site Transfer package.
WP Engine does not offer human migrations either, but it does give you a dedicated plugin that automates most of the process. Even, it’s a small drawback, given that many other WordPress controlled hosts are generally happy to handle migrations for you.
The WP Engine interface, going forward, isn’t as smooth as its equivalent to Bluehost. That’s to be expected given that you have access to more advanced apps. You couldn’t even make it challenging to manage though.
Ultimately, WP Engine offers many more options out of the box to micromanage the website via its hosting panel. Of course, it’s a positive thing, but it does mean that there is a higher learning curve. Overall, once you sign up for a contract, WP Engine has an advantage when it comes to features and if you have experience in managing it is a better match
Performance: Which web host performs better?
Typically the biggest differences in functionality and output between managed and shared WordPress hosts lie. We have already compared the former to WP Engine vs Bluehost, so let’s think about the latter.
WP Engine offers out of the box an integrated CDN and boasts fast loading times as one of its key selling points. Having that in mind, we went to the exam having high hopes.
We set up two identical websites, one at each web host, to begin with. We installed the Twenty Nineteen theme, loaded it with Test Data for the WordPress Theme Device, and enabled an identical set of common plugins (Yoast, Wordfence, Jetpack, and Communication Type 7).
We tried to simulate a real-world website to verify the results. We used Pingdom Software for the tests and averaged three tests at five server locations. The results we obtained were as follows:
- Washington, D.C.: 5.11 seconds
- San Francisco: 2.24 seconds
- London: 3.13 seconds
- Sydney: 3.63 seconds
- Tokyo: 2.70 seconds
- Washington, D.C.: 648 ms
- San Francisco: 430 ms
- London: 989 ms
- Sydney: 1.17 seconds
- Tokyo: 763 ms
The results speak for themselves when it comes to efficiency, WP Engine takes a commanding lead. On the other hand, Bluehost drops the ball significantly, particularly though you take the price difference between the two hosts into consideration.
As a rule, you don’t want websites to take longer than two seconds to load, no matter how complicated they might be. The test websites we set up were amazingly straightforward and under no circumstances could they take up to five seconds to load.
Apart from loading times, you do want to ensure that the uptime of your web host is as near as possible to perfection. Bluehost and WP Engine rated 100 percent in this field
For every website, performance and efficiency are critical, and because both web hosts get perfect scores when it comes to uptime, it all depends on loading times. As such, WP Engine does manage to get the upper hand over Bluehost!
Customer Support: Who serves you better?
Bluehost and WP Engine also have knowledge bases that anyone can access to their platform for instant support. WP Engine is much more in-depth, however, and it contains hundreds of support papers for WordPress users.
For our WordPress hosting survey, we polled hundreds of users every year. We call on users to rate the support level for all the big WordPress hosts. Here’s what Bluehost and WP Engine had to say about them:
- WP Engine’s overall support rating: 4.69/5
- Bluehost’s overall support rating: 3.42/5
Generally, users find that workers at WP Engine are well prepared to deal with WordPress-specific problems. However, this may not surprising considering the entire business of WP Engine is based around WordPress, while Bluehost provides many other forms of hosting plans.
Price: Which web host is value for money?
When it comes to comparing managed vs shared hosting, the pricing is something that every website owner must think of. On paper, managed hosting is always a better performer but is also more costly of the two.
With a base plan that costs $30 a month, WP Engine is not what you’d call a budget hosting option. However, you get a two-month discount if you take an annual package. But you should also be sure of the fact that it only supports a single website.
On the other hand, Bluehost offers one of the most pocket-friendly hosting packages you can find. With the base plan starting at $5.45 a month. Further on. you get to host unlimited websites with the higher plans, something that anyone looking for a budget hosting service would go for. Bluehost is definitely the best in the ‘budget hosting’ category.
But there is one more thing you should know. It often happens that the services which offer such cheap plans, may not end up actually being that cheap unless you sign up for a long contract, which is exactly the case Bluehost. With them, you only get that cheap sticker price if you sign up for a three-year contract. With the Basic plan, this means spending $106.20 upfront!
One thing to also note with Bluehost hosting packages is that they do not offer monthly billing. The shortest period you can sign up for is 12 months, which means you’d be paying $59.40 for a year of the Basic plan! But, if you think that this amount is too much, then just remember it’s the equivalent of fewer than two months of WP Engine’s basic plan.
WP Engine vs BlueHost Testimonials
Which web host should you choose?
The decision between the controlled and shared WordPress hosting is down to price for most people. In most cases, you know controlled hosting is better across the board, but the question is whether you really need all the additional functionality and the WP Engine firepower offerings.
If you want to set up a personal website or a small project you don’t expect would get a lot of traffic, the decision is clear, it’s not cost-effective to pay $30 a month for hosting, and it’s probably overkilled for your project.
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Conclusion! WP Engine vs BlueHost 2021 | Which One To Choose?
Comparing WP Engine vs Bluehost is a difficult proposition. On one side you get better performance with WP Engine, and on the other side, you get the best budget hosting plans with Bluehost. It really does depend on what your requirement is for hosting a website.
Bluehost offers the best WordPress shared hosting plans, and the prices are such, you get exactly what you pay for. Bluehost is a budget hosting service and does offer some nice functionalities like staging functionality, however, it doesn’t really come to par with managed hosting plans of WP Engine.
Even though the packages of WP Engine come at a higher cost, you do get lots of advanced functionality along with blazing-fast performance. If you can afford that price and the features that come with it, you can definitely go for one of their controlled hosting plans.