Users have the option to switch back and forth between Bluehost’s inbuilt website builder and a WordPress builder with a single click. Bluehost provides an easy to use, intuitive drag-and-drop builder that can help you assemble a website, as well as tweak it’s appearance and add different elements in almost no time at all. The company claims that its new website builder can cut down the time it takes to create a fully functioning website by 25%.
Large repository of templates and stock photos
Easy switch between Builder and WordPress builder
No email accounts included
No ecommerce store with base plan
No monthly billing
Why you can trust TechRadar
Bluehost is best known for website hosting, but also offers one of the best website builders on the market. Unlike its top competitors such as Wix and Squarespace, Bluehost provides a dedicated tool for building websites on WordPress. In fact, it currently tops our list of the best WordPress website builders.
The drag-and-drop website builder offers a simplified, intuitive, and streamlined interface. You have the freedom to switch to WordPress’ builder as well, which is an incredibly useful feature, and necessary. That’s because while the website builder will help novices, and new users, those familiar with WordPress’s malleability will find its offerings rather basic.
Thanks to the integration between the two, you can set up parts of your website using Bluehost’s website builder, and other elements using WordPress. But there’s a downside to this approach as well. WordPress is almost infinitely customizable thanks to the availability of myriad plugins. But if a function is added to a website using a plugin that’s not natively offered with the Bluehost website builder, such as an ecommerce store, you must use WordPress to customize this feature.
In this review, our experts get hands-on testing the tools, features, and ease of use of Bluehost's website builder - helping you understand if this might be the best website builder for you.
Bluehost website builder pricing and plans
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|Renewal rate /mo (paid every 3 years)
Apart from all the other hosting plans on offer, Bluehost offers four plans for its website builder. You must consider each plan carefully before settling on one as they have distinct capabilities.
By its own admission, the Basic plan is intended for personal websites and blogs, while the other plans are aimed at businesses and store owners. It includes a bevy of useful hosting essentials such as free SSL and domain name, albeit for the first year only. You also get 10GB of SSD storage and chat support.
The Choice Plus plan gives you everything from the Basic plan, along with the ability to build up to 3 websites, 40GB of SSD storage, chat/phone support, malware scanning, daily backups (for the first year only), and a permanently free SSL.
The Pro plan is the same as the Choice Plus plan, but bumps up the number of websites you can build to 5 and your SSD storage to 100GB.
If you want to sell via your website, you will need to go for the Online Store plan. This plan gives you everything from the Choice Plus plan along with advanced ecommerce tools such as exclusive store themes, unlimited products, secure online payments, and shipping labels.
Note: Although Bluehost offers some generous introductory rates, you will see big jumps in price when it comes to renewals (see table above). These sometimes reach over double the initial rate, so they are worth noting before deciding whether to buy.
Bluehost website builder alternatives
Wix also offers website builder services coupled with hosting. There are seven plans on offer, split into Website Plans and Business & ecommerce Plans. The cheapest plan starts at $4.50 per month but will add ads to your website. The other costlier plans let you remove Wix ads. You can try Wix for free for a 14 day period.
Squarespace too includes the domain in all the plans, which are expensive compared to the competition. The cheapest plan starts at $12 per month for a one-year term, and comes with unlimited bandwidth and storage, subject to acceptable usage policy. There are 4 plans in all with specialized ones for online stores.
While one might be attracted by the $1.95 per month introductory price, note that this is only for the first month. After that you get charged at the renewal rates, which is $10 per month. Web.com distinguishes itself from others by also providing you the option of having experts make the site for you, instead of mucking about with the builder yourself.
Bluehost website builder features
The four website builder plans on offer all come with ‘hosting included’.
The Bluehost website builder is built on top of WordPress, and serves to provide a more streamlined and straightforward interface for building websites using WordPress.
Novice users will appreciate the drag-and-drop website builder which lets you assemble robust websites with any technical know-how, coding skills, or even familiarity with WordPress.
The interface is minimalist in design and you can create pages and add different components to them by dragging the required elements from the sections menu.
Creating a website
Once you’ve completed the sign-up formalities and the domain registration, you’re ready to create your website with Bluehost. Click the Create website button to get started.
You’re presented with three options - ‘No Help needed’, ‘Little Help Needed’, and ‘Built for you’. The names are self-explanatory, and describe the level of skill and familiarity you have working with WordPress. Opt for ‘Little Help Needed’ if you’d like to use the Smart AI driven system to create your website.
You’ll be asked to answer a few basic questions, and then asked whether you wish to install WordPress or Bluehost website builder. Choosing the latter option will still automatically install WordPress, but additionally grants you access to the new website builder.
You’ll then be asked questions to help identify the nature of your business and type of website you wish to deploy. This is important because a website for a restaurant or coffee shop will look nothing like the website for a tech startup, which is altogether different from a photo gallery.
You’ll be sent to the website builder interface after you’ve answered these handful of questions.
This interface is divided into three panels. The panel at the top allows you to toggle between the desktop view and the mobile view of your website. The left panel gives you access to the overall website and the pages, whereas the right panel gives you flexibility to edit properties/elements of the selected page.
All the website builder plans include various features that are aimed at businesses, such as landing pages, social post buttons to help visitors share content on their favorite social media platforms, social review templates to help visitors see reviews from Yelp, Google, etc. You can conveniently use the website builder to add any or all of these disparate elements to your website without any hassle.
Headquartered in Utah, USA, Bluehost is one of the most popular web hosting providers, and hosts over two million websites.
Despite being a global behemoth, Bluehost.com stands apart from it’s peers as its data centers are located only in Utah, USA.
Started in 2003, the company began offering WordPress-focused solutions in 2005. It reached 500,000 domain registrations in August 2007 and by June 2008 was home to over a million domains.
Bluehost was acquired by Endurance International Group (EIG) in November 2010 and started offering VPS and dedicated hosting solutions in April 2013.
Early this year, investment firm Clearlake Capital Group completed a $3bn acquisition of the Endurance International Group, and in partnership with the Siris Captial Group spun a new company called Newfold Digital, a SMB-focused provider of web presence solutions. Newfold Digital is now home to some of the most popular hosting providers including Web.com, Bluehost, Domain.com, iPage, etc.
By its own admission, Bluehost has been recommended by WordPress because of their customer service and expertise. Since 2014, Bluehost has offered hosting plans optimized for WordPress.
While our experience with billing and the customer support was satisfactory, a quick look at Trustpilot reveals a different story. At present, Bluehost scores a rating of 3.2 out of 5. Most of the reviews are from dissatisfied customers expressing frustration at their interaction with the technical support and questions about billing.
Only 37% of users reported their experience with Bluehost as 'Excellent', while an even 50% voted it as 'Bad'. Thankfully, Bluehost has responded to each of the negative comments and even escalated the issue with respective teams to provide a meaningful solution to their customers.
Bluehost website builder support
The mere knowledge that expert advice is only a mouse-click or phone call away is quite a reassuring safety net.
Bluehost used to offer a ticket-based support system but that’s been discontinued. Your only options are phone support, live chat, or scavenging for a solution on the Knowledge Base.
The Knowledge Base is home to a vast collection of guides, tutorials, articles and more discussing all hosting. You’ll find a series of FAQ’s on billing, domain registration, configuring email accounts, and all other basic aspects of website setup and management.
The content on the Knowledge Base is split across eight broad categories, FAQ, WordPress, email, domains, account and control panel. You can also use the search bar at the top to quickly find relevant answers. All guides and how-tos provide detailed step-by-step instructions, supported by screenshots.
You can also call for support, which is available 24x7. Dial 888-401-4678 if you’re in the USA but international users must call +1 801-765-9400.
We also tried the live chat service, and a representative connected to the chat almost instantly. The support staff are all well versed with all aspects of Bluehost’s operations, and are determined to address your queries to your satisfaction. The only downside is that it’s not possible to access the chat history, or a previous chat session.
If you want to go over a previous chat session, maybe because of a solution that was discussed, your only option is to start a new chat session, and request the representative/advisor to share the previous chat session with you. This is a bizarre process, but thankfully there’s a quick remedy.
At the end of the chat session, request the representative/advisor to email you a transcript of the chat session. This way, you can easily refer to the discussion at a later date, if needed.
Bluehost website builder speed and experience
Our web host speed tests are generally based on the cheapest shared hosting plan available from a provider. If instead we use a free hosting plan, we’ll spell that out in the review.
We then upload a basic static site to our web space and configure Uptime.com to check the availability and server response time of our site at five-minute intervals. One week later, we note the site uptime (the percentage of checks where the server returned HTTP code 200, meaning 'OK') and average, minimum and maximum response time. We save the seven-day response time chart, too, as it's a useful indicator of consistency.
These results are handy as a way of spotting hosts with significant reliability or performance issues, but note that this testing also has significant limits.
We only test the cheapest shared hosting plans so these results can’t be used to measure the response for the VPS or dedicated plans, or any other plan with more resources.
The tests also take no account of page load time, and give us little or no indication of available CPU time, database setup, PHP configuration and more.
We’re happy to report that our Bluehost website reported no outages during the test duration. This is to be expected for such a short period but it’s still good to know.
Response times averaged 1.95ms, which is incredibly fast, as most providers average between 200-400ms on their shared hosting plans.
Apart from Uptime.com, you can also utilise the Dotcom-Tools website speed test to benchmark the performance of a website.
Bluehost website builder review: Summary
If you are using or want to use WordPress it is clear that Bluehost could be a smart option that is well worth considering. Its simple to use interface and powerful AI tools make creating a site with the platform a breeze.
It also offers you great flexibility, allowing you to switch between the dedicated Bluehost website builder and the tools offered by WordPress. This can help turn your website dreams into reality.
Looking for an alternative AI powered website builder? Check out our best AI website builders.
Bluehost website builder review: FAQs
Who owns Bluehost?
Investment firm Clearlake Capital Group completed a $3 billion all-cash takeover of the Endurance International Group, and spun a web hosting company called Newfold Digital in partnership with Siris Capital Group.
The new organization serves around 6.7 million customers around the world and owns some of the most popular hosting providers such as Bluehost, Web.com, Domain.com and others.
How is Bluehost different from WordPress?
When it comes to the difference between WordPress and Bluehost, the answer is pretty simple. Bluehost is a web hosting provider that offers website builder capabilities, while WordPress is a fully hosted content management system (CMS).
Is Bluehost website builder any good?
We found Bluehost to be a very useful website builder for those looking to create a WordPress website and have no clue where to begin or how to do it. You can create any type of website with Bluehost, from a portfolio site to an ecommerce store.
Is Bluehost good for beginners?
The short answer is yes. Bluehost is a popular choice for beginnings starting out their online journey. The tool includes 24/7 customer support, promises 99.9% uptime and has 1-click WordPress install, which will enable beginners to build their website with ease.
Is Bluehost billed monthly or annually?
Unfortunately, Bluehost doesn't offer monthly payment options for its cheap shared hosting or managed WordPress hosting. However, you can choose month-to-month billing with Bluehost's VPS or dedicated hosting plans.
For Bluehost's website builder plans, you have the option to commit to 12 months or 36 months.
What email does Bluehost use?
Bluehost offers the same three individual webmail clients you will see on most mainstream web hosting providers: Roundcube, Horde, and SquirrelMail.
Is Bluehost good for blogging?
Bluehost is great for bloggers because of its simplicity, great support and excellent interface. You can quite literally have your blog up and running in minutes. Bluehost is also the recommended web hosting provider by WordPress, a top quality blogging platform.
Does Bluehost offer refunds?
You can cancel your hosting plan within the first 30 days for a full refund, and if you cancel within 30 days, you receive a full refund on your hosting service only. The money-back guarantee does not apply to most add-on products, such as domains, given the unique nature of their costs.
Do I own my domain name with Bluehost?
You can register new domain names and transfer domains you already own right inside your Bluehost account. Please note that once you have registered a domain name with Bluehost, it cannot be cancelled for a refund.
Which one is better: Bluehost or Hostinger?
Both Bluehost and Hostinger have plenty to offer, and are top quality hosting providers. It mostly boils down to your individual needs. Luckily, we've written a deep analysis of both providers, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses.
While both Hostinger and Bluehost are particularly popular choices, the latter has been around for almost two decades, establishing itself as one of the biggest names in the web hosting industry and home to more than two million domain names.
Check out the latest Bluehost coupon codes.
Shashank Sharma is a trial lawyer in Delhi, India. Long before his foray into the world of litigation, he started his career by writing about Linux and open source software. Over the years, Shashank has also written various articles and reviews for TechRadar Pro, covering web hosting providers and website builder tools.
- Owain WilliamsB2B Editor, Website Builders
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