Shopping around for good WordPress hosting can be tiring. These days, weeding out the bad hosts is relatively easy. You end up with a very long list of hosts with similar features and offerings. Where do you even begin to create a much shorter list that makes it easier to choose?
For this article, we’ve significantly narrowed down the list for you, leaving two of the top-rated WordPress hosts for comparison – WP Engine and Bluehost – both of which we’ve personally used and tested over the years.
We compared these two hosts based on:
- Ease of use
While it wasn’t easy — both provide top-notch products and services — we’ve managed to spell out the best features of each to help you decide which works best for your needs.
Let’s get into the details!
Bluehost WordPress Hosting
Bluehost is one of the top-recommended WordPress providers by WordPress.org. Founded in 2003 and based in Utah, Bluehost counts over 2 million sites hosted on their servers.
Bluehost has provided WordPress support for over ten years. They also have a dedicated team of software engineers who regularly contribute to WordPress Core and other open-source projects. It’s safe to say that they understand WordPress.
Let’s go over some of the features that stand out with Bluehost.
Among their vault of products and services, Bluehost offers:
- Drag-and-Drop WordPress Builder
- Professional marketing and design services
- Free Domain for 1st Year
- Google apps integration
- Free SSL certificate
Full Service Website
In addition to hosting your self-built WordPress website, Bluehost also offers a “Full-Service Website.” They’ll consult with you to design and build your website for you.
Suppose high search engine visibility is crucial to you. In that case, Bluehost provides SEO services to fine-tune your site for better ranking.
With a consultation, the team at Bluehost will help you find keywords tailored to your specific business and industry. Then they’ll create ad campaigns and help decide where and when they should be displayed for maximum traffic performance.
Website Migration Service
If the mere thought of site migrations makes your palms all sweaty, Bluehost will handle the migration for you. They offer free migration of a single site or paid migration of up to five websites.
Google Email and Apps
A quickly growing number of website owners are using Google Workspace. It’s easy to use, and it’s hard to find someone who isn’t using Google Docs to collaborate these days. And rather than have an unprofessional gmail.com address, Bluehost will help you set up an email that reflects your unique domain name.
Bluehost Ease of Use
While installing WordPress manually is an easy process for the technically oriented, some beginner users may be intimidated going solo. Bluehost provides an automatic installation of WordPress to your domain. It’s as easy as clicking a button — they handle everything for you.
WordPress Website Builder
In addition to making the WordPress setup as painless as possible, Bluehost also has a built-in website builder. The builder features drag and drop functionality and smart templates to help you get started quickly. They employ a Smart AI component that ensures your site looks good on mobile devices and the desktop.
Of course, every host will make claims for high-speed websites. An important thing to understand is what makes your site perform better on one host over another. One way to get the fastest load times is to employ a CDN (Content Delivery Network).
Using a CDN means that your website’s content will respond quickly from anywhere in the world. Bluehost includes the well-known Cloudflare CDN with every one of its plans.
If everything is working all the time smoothly, you’ll never even wonder about your host’s support. However, we all know that in the world of websites, WordPress, servers, and email, it doesn’t always go smoothly. And it usually goes south late on a Saturday night.
Bluehost provides 24/7 support with online chat. So when you make a change to your site at 1:00 AM, and something goes wonky, you’ll be able to reach someone for help. They have over 750 support team members worldwide, so your wait times are likely to be short.
We’ve covered Bluehost pricing before, but let’s review the basic plans.
Bluehost plans start as low as $2.95 per month and go up to $13.95 per month for their Pro plan.
You can also get up to $15 off per month on Bluehost’s shared hosting by clicking on this link. We’ve teamed up with Bluehost to get you this special offer throughout the year.
All plans include:
- 1 website
- 10GB SSD storage
- 24/7 support, CDN
- 1 free domain
- 1 free SSL certificate for one year.
Add-on services such as Blue Sky Support or Google Workspace will bump up the cost a bit more, depending on your plan.
WP Engine WordPress Hosting
The list of offerings from WP Engine is extensive, but we’ll try to cover as much as possible here. Their services seem to be geared toward businesses, agencies, and developers. However, there is still plenty to access for individuals, freelancers, and small shops. Based in Austin, Texas, they have offices all over the world.
WP Engine boasts 1.5 million websites hosted and over 185,000 customers in 150 countries.
Let’s start with the features!
WP Engine Features
WP Engine categorizes its products as follows: Foundation, Premier, eCommerce, Flywheel, and Atlas. In all categories they include:
- Managed WordPress
- WooCommerce Hosting
- Client management and billing tools
- 24/7 Support
- Free website migrations
We’ll go over each of their solutions to better understand where you might fit.
This could be considered WP Engine’s basic tier for their hosting services. It includes everything you need to start a WordPress website, including a one-click staging site, daily backups, free migration to WP Engine, CDN, security, and ten premium themes.
The Premier solution seems best for large businesses and brands looking to scale. Premier offers advanced security, scalable infrastructure, and white-glove customer service. It also seems like a good choice for developers, with its dedicated developer environments and custom blocks.
Their eCommerce solution offers a CDN service, which is particularly good for stores with many products and images. One feature that stands out with WP Engine is its Instant Search. It provides a much richer, Google-like search that includes autocomplete, which can help significantly increase your conversion rates.
This is an excellent option for an agency. With WP Engine’s Flywheel, you get agency and client management tools like client reports, billing and invoicing, and multiple site management under one dashboard. You also can set up a unique client portal where they can submit payments and more — all within your website and under your branding. Check out our deep-dive on their hosting for agencies called Growth Suite.
This one is for the developers. You can create headless WordPress sites using WP Engine’s built-in tools, including:
- Atlas Sandbox
- Atlas Content Modeler
- WPGraphQL Plugin
- Atlas Search
WP Engine Ease of Use
If you get a little mesmerized by all the themes and plugins available in WordPress, WP Engine makes the choice easier. Through StudioPress, they include premium themes with every plan they offer.
WP Engine also offers Managed WordPress, which helps you manage your sites with behind-the-scenes support. They will monitor your site’s speed and security and provide daily backups — one less thing to remember!
WP Engine Speed
Like Bluehost, WP Engine offers a free CDN to speed up your site’s load times on a global level. They also have a proprietary technology called EverCache, designed to handle millions of hits per day with less of a strain on resources.
Compared with other top hosts, WP Engine sites have 31.8% of sites that load in under 200ms (based on third-party data).
As we mentioned before, websites that load faster perform better on search engines — and have better conversion rates for eCommerce sites.
WP Engine Support
Getting support from real humans relieves stress when you’re stuck or don’t know what’s happening with your sites. The WP Engine global support team — comprised of humans — is available 24/7 via chat or phone. You can also create a support ticket through your account dashboard.
They also provide custom onboarding and free consultative website migrations.
WP Engine Pricing
There are many dimensions to WP Engine’s products and services, and it would be too long an article to cover every use case. However, splitting things up into three main tiers makes it more accessible.
Save some money in your first year by using our exclusive WP Engine coupon code (WPMAYOR20) to get 20% off their annual Startup, Growth, & Scale plans (or 20% off your first month on monthly plans).
This option is the best starter for small to medium-sized businesses or individuals. It starts at $25 per month and includes:
- 1 Site
- 25,000 visits/mo.
- 10 GB storage
- 50 GB bandwidth/mo.
This is best if you already have plans to open an online store or if you already have one that you’re migrating. It’s a little more robust due to the nature of operating a WooCommerce store, and it includes:
- 3 Sites
- 75,000 visits/mo.
- 15 GB storage
- 125 GB bandwidth/mo.
Under this tier, which is the best choice for big businesses, agencies, and developers, you’ll need to get in touch with the WP Engine sales team to create custom pricing.
Which is the Best Host?
It’s challenging to compare these two hosts accurately apples-to-apples because their offerings and pricing plans are very different.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine what your WordPress hosting needs are now and what they may be in the future.
For example, if you are an individual starting a personal blog and you don’t plan to create an eCommerce store, then Bluehost’s lower-tier plan might be best for you. And remember that if you want to save up to $15 per month, use this special link.
Suppose you are a developer or an agency that expects to create multiple sites for high-level clients and needs tools to create headless WordPress. In that case, WP Engine’s Advanced Solution is one to consider. Again, don’t forget to use our WP Engine coupon code to get 20% off an annual plan.
Both Bluehost and WP Engine are top-notch hosting providers, and you would do well to choose either.