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Rackspace vs Bluehost: Popular Doesn’t Mean Better [2020]

Vlad Melnic

Bluehost may rank high in search engine results, but this doesn’t make it a good web host, especially if you’re looking for advanced solutions like cloud and dedicated hosting.

Rackspace, on the other hand, is a far more comprehensive service and the clear winner in this comparison. Its fully managed cloud offer allows you to customize your plan down to the last detail. The catch is that you have to pay extra for literally everything – no freebies here.

To settle the Rackspace vs Bluehost debate, I’ve researched both hosts and tested their performance. Since Rackspace doesn’t have any shared hosting options, I’ve focused on VPS (virtual private server), cloud, and dedicated hosting.

Keep in mind that these solutions are geared toward large businesses. If you’re looking to host a personal site or you represent a small business, you’re better off with one of Hostinger’s feature-packed shared hosting plans.

1. Plans and Pricing

Bluehost Is Cheaper, but Rackspace Offers Better Value

When it comes to web hosting solutions for enterprises, Bluehost and Rackspace work on entirely different levels, which is clearly reflected in their pricing.

For instance, while Bluehost’s three VPS options are significantly cheaper, you can only get a maximum of 4 CPU cores and 8 GB RAM on your account. Bluehost’s dedicated server plans all have 4 CPU cores and up to 16 GB RAM. Meanwhile, Rackspace gives you the freedom to add as many virtual machines as you need.

A Free Domain is included when purchasing any hosting service from Bluehost

Rackspace doesn’t have traditional hosting plans – instead, it fully customizes the specifications of your cloud hosting plan to your needs, for a cost. In addition, Rackspace offers fully managed services, which means it takes care of absolutely everything – from server maintenance to operations – for you.

Bluehost offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you choose Rackspace, there are no refunds if you’re not satisfied.

Bluehost payment options are monthly, every three months, every six months, or every one, two, or three years. With Rackspace, you pay monthly based on usage.

If you’re looking for a more affordable, straightforward hosting solution without having to compromise on quality, you should check out Hostinger’s VPS plans.

2. Features

Rackspace Goes the Extra Mile, Bluehost Keeps It Basic

Bluehost claims to provide “unprecedented features” for its VPS and dedicated server plans. However, when you take a look at the included features, like SSL certificates, root access, and 24/7 support, there’s really nothing that makes Bluehost stand out.

The Rackspace cloud, on the other hand, puts powerful features at your disposal, but the issue here is that everything will cost you extra. From SSL support to CDNs (content delivery networks), backups, migration, managed support, and more resources, Rackspace is a fully customizable service that puts everything you might need at your disposal.

If and when you decide to add a new feature to your plan, Rackspace does all the integration work for you.

Compare this to Bluehost’s idea of scalability, which only includes adding more storage space to your VPS plans.

FeatureRackspaceBluehost
Hosting TypeManaged cloud hosting, managed dedicated serversShared hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated servers
Free DomainNoYes, for one year
Disk Space100 GB to 50,000 GB on cloud30 GB to 120 GB on VPS, up to 5 TB add-on
BandwidthUp to 50,000 GB on cloud1 TB to 3 TB on VPS
Automatic BackupsAvailable for an additional fee Yes
Control PanelProprietary cloud control panelcPanel
Free CDNNoNo
Free Site MigrationNoNo

3. Performance

Rackspace Has the Infrastructure, Bluehost Makes No Promises

Bluehost has a single data center but chooses to keep its location a secret, which means you won’t even know where your website is hosted.

Rackspace, on the other hand, lets you choose where your site is hosted. Its own infrastructure includes 14 data centers distributed across the US, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

For additional server location options, you can integrate Rackspace with other infrastructures, such as AWS (Amazon Web Services), GCP (Google Cloud Platform), Microsoft Azure, and others. Rackspace will take care of the integration and manage any of these services for you.

Rackspace has a 100% uptime guarantee, while Bluehost makes no promises regarding the reliability of its servers.

Bluehost scored poorly in our performance tests. To find out how this might affect your website, read our expert Bluehost review.

Rackspace’s performance depends entirely on the custom plan you build. You can read more about our experience with this provider in our in-depth Rackspace review.

4. Security

Rackspace Minimizes Your Risk, Bluehost Doesn’t Get Involved

Like with all other features, Bluehost keeps things basic when it comes to security. You do get an SSL certificate for free, but unless you pay extra for its SiteLock malware scan, your website is essentially exposed.

Rackspace goes the opposite way and provides security experts who can work with you to establish whether your website is vulnerable. The provider then creates a plan to improve your security and, for an extra fee, does everything for you.

Overall, there is no doubt that Rackspace is far more likely to keep your website safe, but this premium service will cost you.

5. Support

Rackspace Caters to Its Customers – Bluehost’s Support Is Sketchy

Rackspace offers 24/7 phone, email, live chat, and ticket support, as well as a knowledge base with lots of tutorials and how-to articles.

I didn’t have the best experience with Rackspace’s live chat support, but since I wasn’t a paying customer yet, that’s not really surprising. Rackspace boasts about its “fanatical support,” and thoroughly caters to its customers, so your experience as a customer should be much better.

Rackspace customer support
If you’re not a paying customer, don’t expect much from Rackspace’s support

Bluehost offers 24/7 live chat, phone, and ticket support, as well as a solid knowledge base. Talking with a Bluehost support agent, however, can be frustrating. Communication is often slow, and you might even be asked to provide part of your password for verification.

Bluehost support
Bluehost’s support left me feeling very confused

When the Service Doesn’t Fit, Keep Looking

While it is true that Rackspace doesn’t have any shared hosting options and is for a very specific, high-end audience, it’s still better than Bluehost and its stunning lack of standout features. In just about every way, you’re much better off with an affordable and reliable service like Hostinger.

As you weigh your options, bear in mind that there are better alternatives to both Rackspace and Bluehost. Neither of these two hosts made it into our top 10, but you can read our list of the best hosting services to find out which ones did.

RackspaceBluehost
Plans and PricingMore expensive than Bluehost, many added feesAverage prices for VPS and dedicated hosting, very little value
FeaturesA wide range of performance and security features, but for a costSSL included on all plans
PerformanceChoose your own data center, 100% uptime guaranteeCannot choose your data center, no uptime guarantee
SecuritySecurity experts help you identify and fix vulnerabilities for a premium feeSiteLock security available for an extra fee
Support24/7 support via email, tickets, live chat, and phone; knowledge base24/7 support via live chat, ticket, and phone; knowledge base

FAQ

1. Which host is better, Rackspace or Bluehost?
While Bluehost is technically more affordable, its cloud and dedicated solutions cannot match the value that you get with Rackspace.

If you are looking for a simple, cost-effective way to get online, you should check out our list of the best shared web hosting services.

2. How good is Rackspace?
Rackspace can be an excellent service for companies that want their web architecture to scale easily and sustain a fast-paced growth. Although it comes at a premium price, Rackspace is a viable alternative to setting-up an in-house network infrastructure.

Before locking in your purchase, I advise you compare it to our top cloud hosting recommendations. There’s a good chance you’ll find a better deal there.

3. Is Rackspace reliable?
Rackspace is geared toward large companies, with a baseline 100% uptime guarantee.

Should you experience an outage, Rackspace’s SLA (service-level agreement) guarantees that you will be compensated for 5% of your monthly fees for each 30 minutes of downtime, up to no more than 100% of your subscription cost.

In addition, if Rackspace’s support team fails to meet contractual response times for urgent requests, you will be issued a credit of $100. This will increase in increments of $100 for each additional time unit when response times are not met, up to $1,000.

Before you make your final decision, you should check our list of the best web hosting services right now.

4. Does Rackspace offer dedicated server hosting?
Yes, it does. Although Rackspace focuses primarily on managed cloud hosting, you can customize your own bare-metal server to include up to 72 CPU cores, 3 TB RAM, and 12 TB SSD storage. Like with cloud hosting, you can opt for “intensive” support to take care of your server’s maintenance and operations for an added fee.

Inside this Article
1. Plans and Pricing
2. Features
3. Performance
4. Security
5. Support
When the Service Doesn’t Fit, Keep Looking
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