WordPress.com vs Bluehost – Which is Better?

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The main difference is WordPress.com is a fully hosted platform while Bluehost is self-hosted. WordPress.com is ideal for small or personal blogs, but it has a lot of limitations. Besides, Bluehost offers more features and control over everything, making it a versatile option for professional websites.

WordPress.com and Bluehost are two of the most popular web hosting providers out there today. Both services offer a number of great features that would be useful for any individual or business looking for a new hosting provider, but which one is better?

Let’s explore WordPress.com vs Bluehost in more detail!

WordPress.com vs Bluehost

WordPress.com is a popular content management system (CMS) that enables you to create a website or blog from scratch without any coding knowledge. The platform is owned by Automattic, the same company behind WordPress.org (the self-hosted version of WordPress).

WordPress.com is more like a service that allows you to create a WordPress-powered website without worrying about hosting, security, or maintenance. The tradeoff is that you’ll have less control over your website and be subject to certain limitations.

On the other hand, Bluehost is a popular web hosting provider that offers a range of services, including shared hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated servers. With Bluehost, you cannot directly create a WordPress website. However, you can easily install WordPress on Bluehost with just a few clicks.

Unlike WordPress.com, Bluehost gives you full control over your website and doesn’t put any limitations on what you can do with it. Of course, this means that you’ll be responsible for things like security and maintenance, but it also gives you the freedom to do whatever you want with your website.

WordPress.com vs Bluehost: What are the Main Differences?

Now that we’ve given you a brief introduction to WordPress.com and Bluehost. Let’s compare them side-by-side!

Plans

WordPress.com offers four different plans: Free, Personal, Premium, Business, and E-commerce. The main difference between the plans is the amount of storage space and features you get.

For example, the Free plan only gives you access to WordPress.com’s basic features and limits you to small storage. On the other hand, the Business plan gives you access to WordPress.com’s features and provides bigger storage space.

On the other hand, Bluehost offers different plans, including Shared Hosting, VPS Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, and WordPress Hosting. Shared Hosting is the most popular and cheapest option with limited storage and addons, while Dedicated Hosting is the most expensive with more extensive storage and additional features.

Features

Both WordPress.com and Bluehost offer a range of features that would be useful for any individual or business looking to create a new website. 

Some of the features offered by WordPress.com include: 

  • A custom domain name (with the Premium and Business plans).
  • SSL certificate (with the Premium and Business plans).
  • Mobile and desktop apps for flexibility.
  • Integrated Google apps, including Google Analytics.
  • Limited customer support.
  • Include dozens of free and paid themes.
  • Built-in social sharing, stats, and SEO optimizations.

Some of the features offered by Bluehost include: 

  • A custom domain name (free with selected plans).
  • Free SSL certificate (included with all plans).
  • 24/seven customer and technical support.
  • Unlimited bandwidth and storage (with most plans).
  • Advanced security features to keep intruders away.
  • Several easy-to-install applications, including WordPress.
  • User-friendly and customized c-panel.
  • Free Cloudflare integration, free site builder.
  • Multiple add-on tools for your site.
  • Easy to upgrade from one plan to another.

Customization

WordPress.com allows you to customize your website to a certain extent. For example, with the Business and e-commerce plan, you can upload your own themes and plugins. However, you will still be limited by WordPress.com’s terms of service.

Bluehost gives you full control over your website to customize it however you want. You can install any themes or plugins you want, as long as they don’t violate Bluehost’s terms of service.

Moreover, Bluehost offers a drag and drop page builder tool that makes it easy to customize your website’s design, even if you don’t have any coding experience.

Ease of Use

WordPress.com is a bit easier to use than Bluehost because it doesn’t require any technical knowledge or experience. You can create a WordPress website in minutes, without having to worry about things like hosting integration, security, or maintenance.

Bluehost is also easy to use, but it might be a bit overwhelming for beginners because there are so many options and features. However, Bluehost offers a wide range of tutorials and customer support to help you get started.

Themes and Plugins

WordPress.com has a limited selection of themes and plugins in its library. You cannot add third-party themes or plugins from outside unless you upgrade to the Business or eCommerce plans.

Bluehost gives you access to thousands of free and paid themes and plugins available in the WordPress.org library. You can also upload and install third-party themes and plugins from outside. However, they are not included in their plans and you need to purchase them separately.

Customer Support

WordPress.com does offer customer support, but it is very limited and not easily obtainable. Their support is tiered where high-paying customers get better care. Their free plans don’t even offer basic email or live chat support.

You can access live and email support on premium and personal plans, but these are also limited to working days. You will need to wait longer than average for a reply. You will need to buy either an e-commerce or business plan for unlimited support.

On the other hand, Bluehost offers 24/seven customer and technical support via live chat, email, and phone. You can also find a large number of video tutorials and guides on their website to help you with any problems you might have.

It doesn’t matter how much you are paying or which plan you are on; you will always have access to the same level of customer support. In addition, they have a WP Pro plan, which even gives you access to WordPress expert support for troubleshooting and solving technical aspects – a big plus.

Security

WordPress.com takes security seriously and offers a few different features to help protect your website from hackers, malware, and other online threats. For example, all websites on WordPress.com come with pre-installed security plugins to prevent malware and spam.

They also take regular backups of your website so you can quickly restore it if something goes wrong. WordPress.com also has a team of experts who monitor the platform for any security threats and take action accordingly. So overall, you don’t need to worry much about security on WordPress.com.

Bluehost also offers several security features to protect your website from online threats, but they are not as comprehensive as WordPress.com for the basic plans. To access more security features like the SiteLock, you’ll have to spend extra.

Although Bluehost does take backups of your site regularly, they don’t guarantee that you will be able to restore your site if something goes wrong. So, you will need to take your own backups and store them safely. You will need to be more aware of overall security with Bluehost compared to WordPress.com.

Page Loading Speed

The page loading speed is the time it takes for a web page to load when someone visits your site. WordPress.com is known for having fast loading times because they use high-quality servers and have a team of experts who optimize their network for speed.

Another reason behind this is most WordPress.com themes are lightweight. So, if you are looking for a fast-loading website, WordPress.com is a good option.

Bluehost also uses high-quality servers to host websites and equips several optimizations to ensure fast loading times. However, since they allow you to install any theme or plugin, customize the pages as you want, and add as much content as you wish, you can slow down your website if you are not careful.

To achieve fast loading times on Bluehost, you need to be picky with the themes and plugins. You may also require using speed plugins and other optimizations. However, this is something you require to do with any hosting for a better loading speed, not just Bluehost.

Server Uptime

Server uptime is the amount of time a server is online and running without any issues. While most web hosting providers out there promise 99.99%+ uptime, very few of them are actually able to deliver on this promise.

As per our research, WordPress.com tends to have a bit lower uptime compared to Bluehost. However, the difference is very little, and both providers can offer 99.90%+ uptime most of the time.

You don’t need to be worried about this as it is very unlikely that your website will ever go down with either WordPress.com or Bluehost.

Scalability

When it comes to scalability, WordPress.com might not be the best option for you if you are planning to grow your website or blog in the future. While they offer upgrades to bigger plans, they are still very limited and might not be enough if your site outgrows them.

Moreover, all the hosting plans on WordPress.com have shared plans. So, if you require a more powerful hosting plan, you will need to migrate your website to a different host entirely. This can be time-consuming and complicated for beginners.

Bluehost, on the other hand, is much more scalable as it gives you complete control over your website. They offer a wide range of hosting plans that can easily accommodate the needs of any website. Moreover, you can upgrade or downgrade your hosting plan with just a few clicks.

So, if you are planning to grow your website in the future, Bluehost is a much better option as it will be able to accommodate your needs without any issue.

Cost

Although Bluehost offers you a lot more features and control over your website, it is more affordable than WordPress.com. WordPress.com has a free plan, but it is ridiculously limited and not very useful unless you want an extremely simple website.

To get access to all the features, you will need to upgrade to one of their paid plans which can be pretty expensive. Moreover, if you want to use a custom domain name, you will need to pay an annual fee on top of the regular subscription cost. 

Bluehost has much more affordable plans. They also offer a free domain name with their hosting plans for one year. Moreover, they provide more disk space,  bandwidth, and email accounts even with their basic shared hosting plans.

So, Bluehost is a better option as it offers more value for your money.

Monetization

If you are planning to monetize your website, WordPress.com is not the best option as they have minimal opportunities. Although they do let you monetize on the paid plans, they are still unreasonable.

Bluehost gives you a lot more options when it comes to monetization. You can monetize your website the way you like using any advertising network you want, selling products directly from your website, and even using affiliate links.

So, if you are planning to monetize your website, Bluehost would be a better option.

Conclusion

Both WordPress.com and Bluehost are well-known web hosting providers with their own set of pros and cons. If you are looking for an affordable and scalable option with more control over your website, Bluehost would be a better choice.

If you are looking for an easy-to-use platform with less control but with the assurance of security, you may consider WordPress.com. But we will recommend Bluehost for any users as it offers more value for your money.

We hope this blog post was helpful in making your decision. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask us in the comments section below.