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Comparing Squarespace and Bluehost is not an easy task because they are completely different types of companies. Squarespace is a website builder that comes with hosting included. Bluehost is just a hosting provider. Although it is hard to tell which one is better, this makes the choice between the two easier.
Bluehost offers a variety of hosting plans. You can get shared, WordPress, dedicated, VPS, and cloud hosting. With Squarespace, you can only get shared hosting, but you also get an amazing website builder.
I reviewed both of the companies in several categories (shared hosting plans, pricing, features, SEO, reliability, etc.) and rated them according to their performance. You can check out any of the specific categories or read the whole article. No matter which approach you take, you will find all the important information about these two companies. By the end of this review, you should know much more about each of the companies and have an easier time deciding between the two.
Both companies have services that are easy to use and they offer excellent uptime and decent speed. Bluehost is better for having more CMS options and offering a variety of hosting types. However, Squarespace is better overall because Squarespace’s plans come with more and better features, so you will get more value for your money with them.
Squarespace vs Bluehost comparison
It is time to compare Bluehost and Squarespace; just don’t forget to use the switch to toggle between the two:
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Bluehost or Squarespace ease of use
Bluehost makes it easy for users to set up and manage their accounts and websites. All management is done from Bluehost’s cPanel. The thing that greatly contributes to user experience is the layout customizability of Bluehost’s cPanel. This feature lets you access features you frequently use more easily.
If you are already experienced with some CMSs, you will be happy to know that with Bluehost you can install most of them with just one click. This way, you can easily start using Bluehost with the CMS you are already familiar with. While we are on the topic of one-click installs, there are also a bunch of apps you can install that way directly from Bluehost’s cPanel.
Bluehost is really easy to use, but as you will see, Squarespace isn’t lagging behind Bluehost in that aspect. Both companies pass ease of use tests with flying colors.
The whole point of Squarespace is to let their users create websites easily. Squarespace is a drag and drop website builder, and it is hard to make a website builder that is easier to use.
All options in Squarespace are element bound. This way, you won’t have to search for the options you can apply to an element on your website. You just click on the element, and the builder will show you all the options available for that element.
There are some website builders out there that are more beginner-friendly, but that is not the only factor that determines how easy it is to use a service. It might take some time, but Squarespace truly shines when you get used to it. Once you are familiar with Squarespace, it becomes easier to use it than most website builders with gentler learning curves.
Compare Bluehost vs Squarespace features
The best thing about Bluehost is the support for a variety of CMSs. You can choose from among WordPress, Joomla, Magento, Fantastico and PrestaShop.
All plans come with a free SSL certificate and built-in CloudFlare CDN. Other than that, there are some additional features you can get if you pay extra. You can get a dedicated IP for $5.99/month. Premium SSL certificates start at $49.99/year and SiteLock for $23.88 per domain per year.
Bluehost doesn’t have many features even if you pay extra. Squarespace, on the other hand, has a bunch of cool features. This makes Squarespace the clear winner in this category.
Squarespace plans are packed with features. You can easily manage an online store with a bunch of powerful eCommerce features. Attract new customers with built-in SEO tools, and track your progress with website analytics.
In addition to these general-purpose features, some great features target specific groups.
Squarespace’s audio block with a beautiful audio player is great for podcasters. The audio block will make submitting your podcasts and music to iTunes simple and efficient.
The audio block is not the only feature that ensures your website will look excellent. Squarespace will automatically scale any images you upload to your website and save more versions of those images. Whenever someone visits your website, optimal images for their device will load on a website. In addition to visual appeal, this will also reduce the load time of your website.
Squarespace pays special attention to restaurant owners. Every restaurant owner will love the feature for formatting menus. You can create a restaurant menu in a simple markup language that will be automatically formatted to fit the template of your website. After you are done, you can customize borders, fonts, and colors on the menu.
Squarespace vs Bluehost shared hosting
When comparing Bluehost vs Squarespace for shared hosting, you should be aware of their key difference. Squarespace is a website builder that comes with hosting, and Bluehost is a hosting provider that lets you use a website builder. Because of that, you will see more hosting-related differences in Bluehost’s plans.
With Bluehost’s Basic plan, you get a free domain and SSL certificate. The Basic plan lets you create one website and 5 email accounts. You also get $100 marketing credits for Google Ads and $100 for Microsoft advertising.
By upgrading to the Plus plan, you will be able to create an unlimited number of websites and email accounts. You will also get access to Spam Experts for 1 domain.
The Choice Plus plan comes with free domain privacy and protection in addition to all the features from previous plans. The most important perk of the Choice Plus plan is access to automated backups.
Bluehost’s most expensive shared hosting plan is the Pro plan. It comes with a dedicated IP and premium SSL certificate, and it lets you use Spam Experts on two domains.
Same as with Bluehost, all plans come with a free domain and SSL security. The Personal plan will let you add up to two contributors to your account and give you access to basic website metrics.
With the Business plan, you will be able to add an unlimited number of contributors. More important than the number of contributors is access to fully integrated eCommerce. With Squarespace, you can sell an unlimited number of products, accept donations and create gift cards.
The Basic Commerce and the Advanced Commerce plans remove the transaction fee (3% with the Business plan) and expand eCommerce features you can add to your website.
Squarespace shared hosting isn’t bad, but if you are looking specifically for hosting, you should stick with Bluehost; after all, that is what Bluehost specializes in.
Bluehost and Squarespace storage space and bandwidth limits
If you read any of my previous reviews, you probably already know that I hate when hosting providers market unlimited bandwidth and storage. In short, something like that doesn’t exist, and that is exactly what Bluehost is promising in all their plans besides the Basic plan.
What that really means is that there is an unspecified amount of storage and bandwidth you get to use. With the Plus and above plans, you get to use as much storage and bandwidth as you want, as long as you are not using it excessively. Excessive usage will be determined by Bluehost, and you will be asked to either reduce the usage or upgrade to an appropriate plan.
The only plan with specified limits is the Basic plan. It lets you use 50 GB of website storage and 100 MB of email storage per email account. The good thing is that Bluehost uses storage SSD storage in all plans, so you can expect your website to load fast.
Squarespace also promises you unlimited storage and bandwidth as long as it is not imposing an unreasonable load on their infrastructure. They are reserving the right to determine what is reasonable.
The only difference is that Bluehost’s Basic plan comes with a specified limit, while Squarespace promises unlimited resources in all their plans.
Squarespace or Bluehost website builder
Bluehost doesn’t have a website builder, but you can easily add Weebly drag-and-drop builder to your Bluehost account. The other option is to use WordPress for building your website.
Weebly has a free plan, but that plan isn’t feature-rich. To add any other version of Weebly to your Bluehost account, you will have to pay a separate subscription.
The end results of building a website with Weebly and Squarespace are similar, but how you get to the end result is where these two differ. Weebly has an easier learning curve, but when you learn how to use both of the builders, creating a website becomes simpler with Squarespace.
The best thing about Bluehost is that you get to choose if you want to use a website builder or WordPress to create a website.
Squarespace is a website builder with a strong focus on visual slickness of your future websites. This is clear right off the bat when you take a look at Squarespace’s selection of templates. Squarespace doesn’t have as many templates as most of the other website builders out there, but the quality of the design is what sets them apart.
You can choose multiple templates, install all of them at the same time, and switch between them whenever you want without losing the content on your website.
Don’t expect to get much out of addons and apps because Squarespace mostly relies on features that are integrated into the builder.
In short, Squarespace initially isn’t as intuitive as some other website builders, but once you get to know it, you will be able to create mesmerizing websites with ease.
Since Squarespace is a website builder, it doesn't come as a surprise that they win this Bluehost Squarespace duel.
Bluehost vs Squarespace SEO
To access Bluehost’s SEO tools, you will have to pay $71.40/year. The SEO tools will calculate your overall SEO score, let you submit your site to Google, Bing, and Yahoo, keep track of your visitors and give you access to a few other analytical features.
All in all, the tools you get are quite basic and aren’t worth the price. The best solution to get good SEO with Bluehost is to choose WordPress hosting and install some of the free plugins that let you handle your SEO better than with Bluehost’s paid SEO tools.
With Squarespace, you also get the basic SEO features. The good thing about Squarespace is that, at least, they are included in all Squarespace plans at no additional cost.
Squarespace is the bit more SEO-friendly option, but it can’t compare to WordPress’s SEO capabilities.
To conclude, for basic SEO, Squarespace is a better option. However, if you are willing to put in more effort, you can get more out of SEO with Bluehost’s WordPress hosting.
Bluehost vs Squarespace domain costs
Registering a domain is cheaper with Bluehost if you don’t want any extras on a domain. With Bluehost, you just get a domain and you have to pay additionally for any extra features. For example, domain privacy will cost you an additional $14.88. Here are the prices of some of the most popular domains:
- .com: $11.99/year
- .net: $12.99/year
- .org: $8.99/year
- .site: $2.99/year
- .online: $4.99/year
- .tech: $11.99/year
Squarespace’s domain registration looks more expensive than Bluehost’s at first glance. However, all Squarespace domains come with SSL certificates, WHOIS privacy and a spam-free parking page. In the end, you will get better value for your money by registering a domain with Squarespace. Here is how much you will have to pay for some of the most popular domains with Squarespace
- .com: $20/year
- .net: $20/year
- .org: $20/year
- .site: $20/year
- .online: $20/year
- .tech: $20/year
Since all domains registered with Squarespace come with some nice extras, Squarespace is the winner of this Bluehost vs Squarespace battle.
Squarespace and BlueHost customer support
BlueHost has 24/7 live chat, phone and email customer support. Reviews by customers are mixed. There are lots of reviews by customers who managed to reach the support and were satisfied with the service. Some users reported they were unable to reach the support even after multiple calls. Some users claim customer support hasn’t been able to resolve their issues.
Since there are so many mixed reviews, we can conclude that at least some users didn't get the support they needed.
Squarespace has email, live chat and social media support via Twitter.
If you are a do-it-yourself type of person, you will be happy to know there is a help center with solutions to the most common problems and an extensive knowledge base with a bunch of video tutorials.
Even though Squarespace doesn’t have phone support, reviews by customers show that more people are happy with Squarespace’s customer support than with Bluehost’s.
Squarespace vs Bluehost speed, uptime and reliability
Bluehost has almost constant uptime and excellent speed. I checked how they performed over the past 12 months, and these are the results based on Pingdom:
Response time: 626 ms
Response time: 584 ms
Response time: 421 ms
Response time: 404 ms
Response time: 566 ms
Response time: 365 ms
Response time: 478 ms
Response time: 385 ms
Response time: 351 ms
Response time: 386 ms
Response time: 415 ms
Response time: 384 ms
Squarespace also has almost constant uptime, but Squarespace’s speed is a bit lower than Bluehost’s. Here is how Squarespace performed over the last 12 months:
Response time: 568 ms
Response time: 543 ms
Response time: 853 ms
Response time: 757 ms
Response time: 764 ms
Response time: 745 ms
Response time: 733 ms
Response time: 622 ms
Response time: 701 ms
Response time: 748 ms
Response time: 746 ms
Response time: 721 ms
Bluehost vs Squarespace pricing comparison
Bluehost has four plans for shared hosting. The Basic plan costs $7.99/month. For the Plus plan, you will have to pay $10.99/month and for the Choice Plus plan $14.99/month. Their most expensive shared hosting plan is the Pro plan and it comes at $23.99/month.
Bluehost is obviously the cheaper option, but you will have to pay for additional features if you want your plan to be on the same level as Squarespace’s plans. Despite the cheaper pricing, my verdict of this section goes in favor of Squarespace because they have better value for money.
Squarespace also has four plans. You can get the Personal plan $12/month, the Business plan for $18/month and the Basic Commerce plan for $26/month. The most expensive plan is the Advanced Commerce plan at $40/month.
Squarespace is more expensive, but don’t forget that with Squarespace you get both shared hosting and their website builder. With Bluehost, you have to pay extra for a website builder if you want one. For example, if you decided to add Weebly’s cheapest plan that isn’t free; you would have to pay $5/month. When we add that to the price of Bluehost's cheapest plan, it becomes more expensive than Squarespace’s Personal plan.
Bluehost vs Squarespace conclusion
The winner is Squarespace!
Bluehost is a good hosting provider for people who don’t want website builders. However, you wouldn’t be reading this review if you weren’t considering using a website builder. With Squarespace website builder, you can easily create mesmerizing websites with no technical knowledge. Squarespace also has excellent features and templates. Considering everything you get with Squarespace, it is well worth its price.
Bluehost versus Squarespace final score
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