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When you create a website or blog, one of the crucial components needed to take it live and start reaching clients is hosting. The hosting service you select determines the number of visitors your website can handle per month, its rendering speed, and the experience your clients get.
As more businesses realize the advantages of operating online, the number of firms entering the market to offer hosting services has progressively increased. This large number of hosting firms has made it difficult to pick the right provider.
Some of the top hosting brands in the market today are Wix and Bluehost. I have done the bulk of the legwork for you and dug deeper into Wix vs Bluehost to outline their history, performance, features, support, and pros and cons.
A Brief History of Wix and Bluehost Hosting Services
Wix was founded in 2006 by Giora Kaplan, Nadav Abrahami, and Avishai Abrahami. The trio were disturbed by the difficulty they faced trying to create their own website. It was frustrating and expensive.
To address the challenge, they created Wix hosting firm in 2006 with a drag-and-drop site builder enabled with HTML5 capabilities and over 100 ready-to-use templates. Today, the company has grown to reach over 120 million users in more than 190 countries.
Bluehost is a web hosting firm owned and run by Endurance International Group (EIG). The company was established in 1996 by Matt Heaton. He formed two hosting services, Ocatch.com and 50megs.com, before combining them to create Bluehost in 2003.
In 2010, Bluehost was acquired by Endurance International Group. This made it a sister firm to other companies that operate under the EIG umbrella including HostGator, JustHost, BlueDomino, Spry, and EasyCGI.
When you are looking for a hosting service provider, the first parameter to check on is performance. This can be captured through two key components: site speed and uptime.
Bluehost promises an uptime of 100% and delivers an impressive 99.99%. This implies you are assured that your sites and blogs will always be up and available every time clients browse content in them.
For its part, Wix promises 99.99% but does not offer any data to show their actual uptime. Though I found most users contented with the uptime, it is rather difficult to convince a new client to join Wix without offering tangible performance data. Wix should consider adding this data for easier comparison to help clients make the decision to join.
On speed, Bluehost loads in less than two seconds. This is impressive, because most of the search engines factor site loading speed as an important factor for their ranking algorithm.
If you host your website on Wix, expect slower loading speed compared to Bluehost. During the test period, Wix average loading speed was 2.7 seconds.
A website builder is one of the principal features that no web hosting service wants to overlook. The feature allows you to create professional websites without contracting a web designer.
Bluehost provides you with a drag-and-drop site builder powered by free Weebly and goMobile web development services. The free web builder allows you to launch new sites, stores, and other features to enrich your site.
If you are unsure of how to go about building a site, Bluehost has reliable support waiting to assist. Whether you are a newbie or experienced developer, the Bluehost builder is a tested tool that will not disappoint.
Wix hosting puts a lot of effort into making its builder more appealing than others offered by competitors like Bluehost and HostGator. The builder is a drag-and-drop feature that allows you to simply drag text, images, and icons to the target position to create a new website. No coding experience is needed!
Wix provides hundreds of templates categorized by industry niches. Then, you can modify the templates to use preferred layouts and include custom sliders, responsive displays, and dozens of navigation tricks.
When it comes to WordPress hosting, this is one area where Bluehost edges out Wix significantly. WordPress has become an important blogging software powering more than 25% of websites in the globe today. For example, it is the most preferred platform for running business blogs.
One of the primary drivers of Bluehost’s growth is its support for WordPress hosting that provides a good alternative to shared hosting.
The Bluehost WordPress hosting is built on top of the VPS hosting platform, but it is not as customizable as other plans. Its interface makes it easy to navigate, provides for speedy setup, and comes with advanced features such as the MOJO marketplace.
Since 2003, Bluehost is one of the few hosting providers that has won the official WordPress seal of approval. To put it differently, I found Bluehost to be the king when it comes to WordPress hosting.
The following video is a demonstration of how to launch a WordPress website with Bluehost:
Notably, Wix does not offer WordPress hosting services. This has been a major undoing on its part because you will not want to be associated with it if you fancy WordPress. Using Wix, you won’t have access to the unique benefits of WordPress, like its multiple themes and easy expansion with plugins.
Hosting Plans and Prices
Both Bluehost and Wix hosting services offer three main plans. The cheapest hosting option on Bluehost is the Basic plan that costs $2.95/month. This plan comes with unlimited bandwidth, 50GB of storage, and allows you to host only one website. Wix’s cheapest option is the Combo plan that costs $11 and is recommended for personal use. The Combo plan provides a bandwidth of 2GB, supports one website, and has storage of up to 3GB.
The second option at Bluehost is the Plus plan, sold at $5.45/month. This plan offers unlimited website storage and supports unlimited websites, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited parked domains. For Wix, the average option is the Unlimited plan that is sold for $14/month. The Unlimited plan provides unlimited bandwidth and 10GB of website storage. Note that the company is very sketchy on other details, such as the number of supported emails.
The most expensive hosting option on Bluehost is the Choice plan that provides virtually everything in unlimited proportions. This means that bandwidth, parked domains, website storage, and email accounts—among other parameters—are unlimited. This plan costs $5.45/month and is recommended for companies with a large following.
If you opt for Wix, the highest hosting option is the VIP hosting plan that costs $29/month. This plan comes with unlimited bandwidth, 20GB of website storage, and a free domain for one year.
Customer Support Services
Before you can buy hosting services from a provider, it is advisable to carefully evaluate the nature of support services offered. Bluehost has invested in multiple channels of support to ensure that you can easily get professional assistance. You can use Bluehost’s email, ticket, phone, or live chat to make inquiries. In addition, the company also maintains a knowledge base that can help you to learn about web hosting and related topics.
Wix, like Bluehost, has also diversified the support services for its clients. You can reach the support directly via phone and live chat. You can also get help by sending a ticket, making an email inquiry, or reading through hosting resources on its blog.
Major Pros and Cons
Should you go with Wix or Bluehost? To help you get the right answer to the question, I have done a comparison of the main pros and cons of each.
Bluehost Takes the Day
To be able to pick the right hosting provider, it is prudent to understand your personal or commercial hosting requirements. For example, how many visitors do you expect per month? What site speed is needed? Is your enterprise at startup or an advanced stage?
From this Wix vs Bluehost review, Bluehost stands taller. Though Wix has done a great job in providing its clients with an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop site builder, it lags behind Bluehost in other areas such as WordPress hosting and speed. I was especially disappointed by Wix’s failure to provide WordPress hosting services despite its proven efficiency in supporting blogs.
Bluehost also edged Wix out by a great margin on hosting plans by offering better features at lower rates. Whether you are looking forward to hosting a new site or maintaining a well-established business blog, do not be confused about the differences between Bluehost and Wix. I strongly recommend you go for Bluehost.