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Have you been bitten by the blogging bug, and now you’re keen on starting a blog? Are you at a loss as to which hosting service to use for your blog? You are not alone.
In fact, many people find themselves grappling with this very question when starting out. Picking a web hosting service for your site can be an uphill task because of the plethora of providers on the market, all claiming to be the best.
Arguably, the two top providers on the market today are Bluehost and Squarespace. Bluehost is one of the most recognized hosting providers today, has hosted over five million sites, and is also recommended by WordPress management.
Squarespace is another popular option because of its website builder that makes it ideal for you to create professional sites, even without a background in computing. In light of this, how do you pick the better option for blogging between the two?
In this Bluehost vs Squarespace review, I have done the legwork for you and dug into the two providers to evaluate their ease of use, features, design, and support. I have also compared their plans and pricing to help you pick the ideal option.
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Ease of Use
For your blog to be successful, you need a hosting provider that offers many features and an easy-to-use dashboard for interacting with visitors.
Bluehost boasts of an intuitive cPanel that makes it easy to use. The operational instruments, such as domain management tools, WordPress (WP) marketplace, and advanced settings are all available on the same user interface.
If you want to use WordPress, the control panel allows you to simply switch to WP control panel with a single click. Then, you can start creating a new site or update it with images, blocks, new layout, widgets, and shortcodes, which provide better control over the website functionality.
Squarespace has greatly improved usability over the years. Although the primary goal of Squarespace was helping non-technical people create sites from scratch, I found it pretty complicated to use. However, it becomes easier with time.
One of the features that makes Squarespace easy to use is a Simple Editor that allows you to add content with the what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) tool. I was particularly impressed by the fact that it autosaves every change you make when creating new features.
The drag-and-drop feature allows you to simply add the content you want to include in the blog or site to give it the anticipated look. Whether it is an image, videos, or widgets, simply drag it to where you want it to be without worrying about coding.
Although Squarespace was specifically designed to help newbies easily create their own sites, you will need some time learning how to use it. Indeed, Bluehost is simpler to use than Squarespace.
As a blogger, your eyes should be trained on picking a hosting provider with ample features that make site management easy and flexible.
Bluehost management has put a lot of effort into enhancing its services and operational flexibility. The hosting provider’s open-source WP-based content management system (CMS) allows you to customize your site with no limitations. However, you will need some basic coding skills. Other features include:
The following video demonstrates how to install a new WordPress theme to your website on Bluehost:
Squarespace has been improving its features, such as the simple editor and the drag-and-drop tool, to enhance user experience and flexibility.
One of the most notable is the blogging feature. It allows you to create a new blog with helpful features, such as trackbacks (which helps blogs to notify each other when linked to a post), comments, and a Rich Site Summary (RSS) feed. RSS is a web feed that allow users and applications to get updates to online content in a computer-readable format.
Another important Squarespace feature is e-commerce, which can help you set up a small online shop. This feature allows you to easily integrate key store components such as a shopping cart, payment options, and loyalty programs.
Like Bluehost, Squarespace also provides multiple apps and add-ons that make it easy to customize your blog. For example, you can easily design new widgets, adjust social buttons, integrate analytics, or add statistics monitoring tools.
The SEO feature on Squarespace allows you to edit your titles and descriptions to enhance your site ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs). However, this SEO tool is not as robust as that provided by WordPress on Bluehost.
On features, I found that Bluehost carries the day because of enhanced flexibility. For example, it has thousands of WordPress themes and add-ons that easily integrate with your site.
Before you can commit to any hosting provider for your blog, it is important to thoroughly analyze the effectiveness of their customer support. Highly responsive customer support implies that you can easily get help when stuck trying to build a blog or add new features.
Bluehost offers multiple channels for reaching customer support. You can use the live chat, phone, or ticketing to get professional assistance. I was impressed by the fast response of the Bluehost live chat and the professionalism they showed. Within seconds of initiating a live chat, expert support staff will respond and start answering your queries.
Note that you will also have access to the WordPress support team for further assistance. However, WordPress support will only address issues related to WordPress.
You can also get additional support on Bluehost’s knowledge base in the form of guides, tutorials, and articles. The knowledge base provides additional info about hosting so that you can become knowledgeable about building blogs and different blogging features.
Squarespace has also invested in multiple support channels that make it easy to reach them for help. You can opt to use the live chat, support email, or a ticketing system to get professional help.
In addition to the above support channels, Squarespace also maintains a comprehensive knowledge base with diverse video tutorials, articles, and a local community forum.
In this Bluehost vs Squarespace review, I was impressed by the Squarespace video tutorials that make it easy to learn about hosting and associated features. The support is very responsive, and you can expect a professional to respond to your inquiries in seconds.
Although Bluehost provides more support channels and also incorporates WordPress assistance, the Squarespace support was equally impressive. Here, both hosting services are on par.
Pricing and Plans
Once you have evaluated the features and support of a hosting provider, the last item to look at is pricing. Here, the main question should be: “Is the price commensurate to what you will get in a specific plan?”
Bluehost provides a wide range of plans to cater to different clients. Therefore, the price of the plan will depend on the nature of the preferred plan.
Bluehost Hosting Plans
Free secure sockets layer (SSL),
unlimited bandwidth, 50GB of website storage, and WordPress updates
Unlimited domains, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited storage
Unlimited domain, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, domain privacy, and anti-spam expert
Note that Bluehost plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee that allows you to test most features of your selected plan. Indeed, even if you go past the 30-day trial period and do not like the service, you will still be able to get a prorated refund.
Squarespace offers its services using diverse plans. However, the plans are more expensive compared to Bluehost and come with a shorter trial period of 14 days.
Squarespace Hosting Plans
Personal plan (for websites)
Free domain, unlimited bandwidth and storage, website metrics, and 20 web pages, ideal for small to medium blogs
Starting from $12/month
Business plan (for websites)
AdWord Credit, unlimited bandwidth and storage, mobile optimized website, announcement bar, and unlimited pages, a good option for small digital e-commerce projects
Starting from $18/month
Basic plan (for online stores)
Mobile-optimized website and checkout, unlimited contributors, label printing through ShipStation, customer accounts, SSL security included, and ability to sell unlimited products, good for a fast growing e-commerce store
Starting from $26/month
Advanced Online Store plan (for online stores)
All features offered in the Business plan, plus others such as integrated accounting through Vero, subscriptions, label printing, advanced shipping, and flexible discounts
Starting from $40/month
On this front, I found that, though both hosting providers have diversified their services, Bluehost is a cheaper option.
And the Challenge Winner is …Bluehost!
From this Squarespace vs Bluehost for blogging review, I arrived at the conclusion that Bluehost stands taller than Squarespace in most respects. The only area where Squarespace ties with Bluehost is customer support. But even with the support, Bluehost had more support channels.
I found that Bluehost has everything you might require for building a site at an affordable rate. It also delivers a wide range of widgets, add-ons, and thousands of WordPress themes for your site.
For its part, Squarespace’s focus is on website building, which makes it less flexible when it comes to hosting and customization. It is not very easy to use, especially for beginners, and the cost of its plans is relatively high.
If you are shopping for a reliable hosting provider for your blog, I would recommend Bluehost. It is easy to use, offers great support, and comes with impressive features.
Bluehost has all that you need for a great blog!
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