Maybe you’re a Bluehost customer who’s had just about enough of being let down. Maybe you’re not a customer yet, but you’re having some serious doubts about signing up for a long-term plan with the company. Either way, it’s easy to understand why.
We’ve read reviews from users all over the world, and it’s clear that Bluehost has some seriously dissatisfied customers. Here are the top reasons for this:
- Poor customer support for WordPress users
- Unreliable uptime
- Recurring problems with websites
- Vague advice on how to resolve issues
- Inadequate malware scanning and removal
- Big issues with page loading speeds
You’ve probably noticed that Bluehost still seems to come out at the top of hosting recommendation blogs – which is confusing.
Bluehost Alternatives – Our Top Picks:
- Hostinger – Reliable, affordable hosting with top-notch technical support
- Flywheel – User-friendly managed WordPress hosting for businesses and freelancers
- WP Engine – The experts on everything WordPress
- SiteGround – Secure, reliable, and fast hosting at affordable prices
- 1&1 IONOS – Reliable and offers dedicated WordPress support
The truth is that it has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of Bluehost’s service. In fact, the reason Bluehost comes so highly recommended is that it has one of the best affiliate programs in the industry.
Bloggers who are incentivized to recommend Bluehost are misleading their readers, which leads to a variety of problems when people discover the truth about Bluehost’s shortcomings. At Website Planet, we care about our readers and want to give you honest reviews — so Bluehost is not one of our top five recommended hosting companies. Click here to read why.
What We Look for in Bluehost Alternatives
Our tried and tested list outlines the companies that deliver in the key areas where Bluehost disappoints. This is what we looked for:
- Customer Support: Knowledgeable experts available around the clock, who are able to resolve WordPress-specific issues and help you get your website back online quickly
- Reliability: Uptime guarantees and a proven track record of exceptional uptime
- Performance: Fast page loading speeds and the ability to handle traffic spikes
- Security: Protection against malicious attacks and malware
- Affordability: Cost-effective hosting that delivers value for money
1. Hostinger – Next-Generation Reliable Hosting and Exceptional Technical Support
Budget-friendly Hostinger provides reliable web hosting for over 29 million people around the world, and it gets very positive reviews. It’s earned a reputation for lightning-fast speeds and exceptional support, putting it way ahead of Bluehost.
Hostinger’s Key Features
Hostinger gives you the option of live chat, email, or ticket support. Plus, it offers a comprehensive range of tutorials so you can resolve minor issues yourself. Compared to Bluehost, Hostinger’s instantly-accessible 24/7 support stands out with technical support gurus who know WordPress well.
Hostinger consistently offers excellent server performance, too. On a regular shared hosting plan, an average Hostinger-hosted website will load in about 380ms to 513ms – in other words, exceptionally fast. Although Bluehost’s speeds have gotten better over the last two years, it can’t compete with Hostinger.
With a guaranteed uptime of at least 99.9%, Hostinger scores well against other hosting companies. Although on the surface Bluehost’s uptime seems comparable to that of Hostinger, Bluehost doesn’t offer an uptime guarantee.
- Simplified cPanel that makes it exceptionally easy to manage your web hosting account. For example, when you add a new email account, the details you need to configure your email client are displayed immediately; most cPanel set-ups don’t make it this simple
- A cache manager comes bundled with every hosting plan, allowing you to configure caching to achieve the highest performance
- Uses the CloudLinux OS to guarantee high levels of efficiency and stability
- Promotional rates among the cheapest out of all the companies on this list
- BitNinja server protection included with all plans; Bluehost’s security equivalent comes only with its highest-tier plans
- Hostinger doesn’t offer phone support, although other support options are excellent
- Lowest advertised prices require a four-year commitment
Choose Hostinger If…
- You need to host many websites and want the freedom offered by plans with unlimited storage and bandwidth
- You have a limited budget and you’re looking for pocket-friendly prices for your hosting plan
Flywheel stands out as a top-class Bluehost alternative if you’re looking specifically to build a WordPress website. Flywheel only offers WordPress hosting, meaning it can offer all the experience and expertise you’ll need.
Flywheel’s Key Features
If you’ve already got a WordPress website up, Flywheel will migrate your website for free. With many other providers, you’ll have to pay extra for the service or handle the move yourself.
Plus, Flywheel’s got a ton of workflow and collaboration tools to make the lives of business owners, agency personnel, and freelancers easier. It assumes you aren’t just creating and maintaining a website on your own, and will most likely have others on your team (or perhaps clients) who need varying levels of access to the backend of the website.
Flywheel also offers a 99.95% uptime guarantee with its Enterprise WordPress plans – far better than the vague promise of “striving” to avoid downtime that Bluehost makes in its Server Uptime Agreement.
Live chat and ticket support are available 24/7. Customers speak highly of the Flywheel team for their speed and expertise at resolving virtually any WordPress issue, whether it be slow loading speeds or a plugin recommendation.
- Intuitive and beautiful control panel with none of the clunkiness of cPanel
- Free and seamless WordPress migration – with many other hosts, you’ll have to do it manually, and your website will likely be down in the meantime
- Automatic daily backups included free with all plans
- Dedicated resources – meaning fast loading speeds even if many users access your website simultaneously
- Free expert performance assessments on your website’s code and plugins
- Flywheel prohibits the use of certain caching plugins, which you may find inconvenient
- Entry-level price points are relatively high
Choose Flywheel If…
- You’re creating multiple WordPress websites for your company or for your clients and you want one of the most intuitive and efficient platforms for that purpose
- You’ve got a media-heavy or high-traffic WordPress website and need the best performance possible
WP Engine has won multiple Stevie awards for its customer service, making it the perfect choice if you’re looking for WordPress hosting with high-quality 24/7 technical support. WP Engine also far outshines Bluehost in terms of speed and security, and users and reviewers appreciate it.
WP Engine’s Key Features
Like Flywheel, WP Engine is a managed WordPress hosting provider that has its servers configured to make performance and security a priority.
The platform uses aggressive caching to deliver lightning-fast page loading speeds, even if you’re getting millions of visitors per day. The team will also periodically work to reduce the bloated database sizes that WordPress sites tend to have.
You’ll get access to an integrated Content Delivery Network (CDN) that can further increase the performance of your website. Additionally, WP Engine offers a tool that allows you to keep a close check on the performance of your website and resolve any issues before they affect your visitors.
With WP Engine, you’ll also have the popular Genesis Framework and over 35 specially-designed themes that have been optimized for speed, responsiveness, and user experience (UX). With built-in SEO and security features, the Genesis Framework makes building your website a much simpler process.
- An uptime Service Level Agreement (SLA) of 99.95% on all services
- 60-day money-back guarantee – double what many hosts offer
- Exceptional server speeds and performance features that put WP Engine way ahead of other hosts
- Offers a staging area and dedicated developer environments so you can test out your changes without the risk of “breaking” your live website
- Security features to meet every need – including free malware scans and fixes if your website is hacked
- More expensive than other hosts – managed WordPress plans come at a premium and there are limits on storage, bandwidth, and the number of websites you can host
- The user interface has a steep learning curve
Choose WP Engine If…
- You need cutting-edge WordPress features and an intuitive, UX-focused framework on which to build your website
- You’re frequently testing out different configurations for your website and need to ensure that your live website doesn’t experience issues that can negatively impact your business
SiteGround stands out as a low-cost web host that gives you performance-boosting tools, top-class security features, and superb customer service. Plus, unlike Bluehost, its low prices don’t depend on you paying up front for three years.
SiteGround’s Key Features
SiteGround’s customer support is hard to beat, with 24/7 support available via live chat, a ticketing system, and phone. SiteGround has the fastest response time in the industry for ticket support. You can expect a response in around ten minutes – and that’s a reply from an actual customer support agent, not a bot. The average response time for other hosts – including Bluehost – is eight hours.
For fast page loading speeds, SiteGround uses NGINX technology on its servers, provides SSD storage, uses gzip compression, and has its own SuperCacher tool that ensures your web pages load quickly. When your website is hosted with SiteGround, you can be sure that it will remain fast even when you have hundreds of visitors browsing your pages at the same time.
SiteGround uses cPanel with a bespoke layout that makes managing your webspace incredibly easy. There are wizards for installing and setting up WordPress, allowing you to have recommended plugins automatically installed for you. If you already have a website hosted elsewhere, you can access SiteGround’s free expert website migration service right from your control panel – though this is only available on the GrowBig plan and above.
- Cloudflare CDN (content delivery network) included for free, ensuring that your website visitors experience the best page loading speeds possible
- Security patches are done in-house, so vulnerabilities are addressed rapidly to keep your website secure
- A staging area for WordPress and Joomla so you can make changes without affecting the live website until you’re ready to publish – although you need to be on the GrowBig plan to take advantage of this feature
- Wildcard SSL certificates included free on all plans, provided by Let’s Encrypt
- Daily automatic backups kept for up to 30 days, plus on-demand backups on all but the StartUp plan
- Renewal costs are high – around three times higher than the introductory price
- Storage space is relatively small (10 GB to 30 GB, depending on your plan)
Choose SiteGround If…
- You’re concerned about security and want the peace of mind of knowing that any vulnerabilities will be patched rapidly
- You’re new to web hosting and website building and you need fast, expert support 24/7, ensuring that any issues are resolved quickly
Born out of the merger of 1&1 and ProfitBricks in 2018, 1&1 IONOS offers a variety of services for individuals and small businesses. With superior security, reliability and performance, plus knowledgeable technical support staff, 1&1 IONOS has a clear edge over Bluehost.
1&1 IONOS Key Features
1&1 IONOS offers 24/7 support, including dedicated WordPress support teams and a personal consultant for the first year. With Bluehost, you’re on your own.
Its pricing is more transparent and flexible than Bluehost’s, offering monthly or annual plans – although you’ll be paying significantly more with a monthly plan. With a 99.98% average uptime, it also offers a higher level of reliability even though it has no uptime guarantee.
- Features the lowest promotional prices out of all the companies on this list, plus, its clear pricing means you know exactly what you’re going to be paying without getting a nasty surprise at checkout
- Flexible monthly plans mean you don’t have to pay a huge chunk of money up front (though you’ll have to go for a longer contract if you want the promotional rates)
- Reliability is exceptional, with most users experiencing zero downtime
- Servers run on the HTTP/2 network protocol with header compression for SSL-protected traffic, which speeds up web page load times
- Good security with SiteLock included free in most shared hosting plans
- Customer support isn’t as efficient as other providers, meaning this is one area where 1&1 IONOS is on the same level as Bluehost
- cPanel is not available, and the backend that 1&1 IONOS uses can be difficult to navigate and find the settings you’re looking for
Choose 1&1 IONOS If…
- Paying up front for two or three years of hosting is out of your budget and you’d prefer to pay monthly for your hosting
- Speed and security are your main concerns, but you’re looking for a lower-cost option
Attractive Alternatives If Bluehost Isn’t for You
Let’s face it: there are dozens of web hosting companies all trying to tempt customers to sign up with them. All of them make bold promises, but, sadly, don’t always deliver. Bluehost’s glory days are behind it, even though it’s still one of the most talked-about hosts on the internet because of its thriving affiliate program.
Each of these alternatives has its own pros and cons. Which one you choose really depends on what matters most to you – whether that’s reliability, performance, WordPress specialization, or security.
Here’s an overview of what each of the different providers is good and bad for. It’s unlikely that you’re going to get everything you want from a hosting provider, so it’s a good idea to prioritize the features on your wishlist.
|Hosting Provider||Good If…||Bad If…||Beats Bluehost For|
|Hostinger||You want above-average performance and exceptional customer service at pocket-friendly prices||You want to pay monthly rather than being tied into a longer-term billing cycle||World-class customer support with WordPress-specific knowledge|
|Flywheel||You’re creating multiple WordPress websites and are looking for one of the most intuitive and efficient platforms dedicated to WordPress||You’re looking for the cheapest option for your web hosting||Fast page loading speeds due to dedicated resources|
|WP Engine||You want an extremely secure WordPress website without having to hire dedicated personnel for the task||You’re on a tight budget – WP Engine’s prices are relatively high||High levels of security and first-rate WordPress technical experts|
|SiteGround||You’re new to web hosting and building and want super reliable hosting that comes with unbeatable customer support||You’re looking for a plan with a lot of storage space||High levels of security and expert support 24/7|
|1&1 IONOS||You’re an individual or small business needing WordPress and technical support||You want an easy-to-navigate dashboard and cPanel||Low-cost option for the best security and speed. Plus pay monthly option.|