WordPress is a popular and flexible content management system that powers millions of websites, and Bluehost makes it the backbone of their website builder. If you need additional help building a website, Bluehost Website Builder gives you the tools to create reliable and attractive pages, with eCommerce options. Editors’ Choice picks Gator and Wix as standalone free and paid website builders, respectively, but Bluehost Website Builder is an affordable, alternative option if you’re willing to embrace Bluehost’s welcoming WordPress approach.
Prices, plans and options
Although it lacks a free plan, unlike Wix, Bluehost Website Builder is reasonably priced. You just need to find out exactly what you pay on each WordPress hosting plan. You can subscribe for a month or a year, which determines the introductory price and the renewal price.
The basic plan starts at $9.95 for your first month of service, but the price renews at $19.99 per month after the introductory period ends. Similarly, the Basic annual plan starts at $72, but the price goes up to $132 per year. The Pro plan starts at $14.95 for the first month, but its cost increases to $24.99 per month. Their annual plan costs $168 for your first year of service, but the price increases to $180 per year after that.
The basic shared hosting package includes unlimited monthly data transfers, 50GB of storage, and five email addresses. The Pro plan builds on Basic and includes unlimited GB storage per file (with a soft limit of 300,000 files) and unlimited email. With the Pro plan, you get access to WooCommerce online checkout and storefront tools, additional premium templates, and domain privacy. The eCommerce functionality is the main draw, and WooCommerce is one of the best WordPress plugins out there.
The Basic and Pro tiers provide unlimited websites, 300+ templates, access to an image library, blog post management, email marketing, and free Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). A free SSL is a nice added security benefit, which you’ll also find with Gator (HostGator’s website builder). With hosting included, you get one month of Microsoft 365 Email Essentials free for your domain. If you want more powerful hosting, consider Bluehost’s VPS or dedicated hosting plans.
Bluehost gives you two options for creating a WordPress-powered website: the traditional WordPress interface or the Bluehost Website Builder. When you use the website builder, you get an easier way to create professional-looking sites. Like Web.com, Bluehost Website Builder allows you to simply type keywords into a generator to allow the builder to create a starting point. For our test, we created a podcast website that features a great pair of headphones on the home page.
Bluehost Website Builder features just one WordPress theme, but the wide variety of templates and drag-and-drop layouts allow you to customize that theme endlessly. Although you can’t change your theme once you’ve chosen it (a common limitation of website builders), you can modify numerous visual components within a selected template, such as fonts and background colors. Plus, you can switch between desktop and mobile previews to see how your site looks on different screens.
Unfortunately, this stylistic freedom does not apply to image editing. You can import your own photos, including a logo, and browse Bluehost’s stock photo library. However, you can’t really edit those photos, as well as resizing or adding a link and alt text metadata information. Gator also has virtually nonexistent photo editing tools, but Wix gives you more robust options.
However, when it comes to designing your website, Bluehost doesn’t skimp on tools. Under Sections, you can browse many different items to add to your site. Each element presents you with a few examples to choose from before you drag it onto your page. Standard options include text forms, video embeds, and image galleries. More custom elements include a countdown timer, a map, and an exception for custom HTML/CSS.
Here you also access e-commerce features such as product listings, reviews, promotions, and price lists. With WooCommerce, you can sell tens of thousands of different products, physical or digital, as well as subscription memberships.
Bluehost’s website builder isn’t confusing to use, but downloading all of these items under the same Sections banner makes it take longer to find what you’re looking for. Once an element was on the page, I spent a few more seconds than I wanted adjusting the values to get what I wanted. However, finding your workflow won’t take long as this is still an accessible website builder.
In addition to Sections, you can also access other important editing menus. View all the pages of your site. Modify global appearance settings and enable transition animations. Enter business and shipping information, as well as social media account credentials if you want your site to sync with Facebook or Twitter. Track the progress of your site traffic through Google Analytics.
Since you must use WordPress with Bluehost, the website builder includes WordPress-specific features that make your site shine. Start writing a WordPress.com blog that lives on your site. Switch back and forth between the streamlined website builder and the full-featured WordPress admin interface at any time. In that way, Bluehost’s website builder serves as helpful training wheels as you learn to ride the WordPress bike. For more information, see How to Get Started with WordPress.
Excellent uptime and customer support
A pretty website won’t do you much good if no one can access it. That’s why we also test how well traditional web hosts and website builders stay online. Every 15 minutes, our website monitoring tool pings our website and sends an alert if it can’t reach a site for at least one minute. Bluehost has historically been very stable, and that is still the case. Over a 14-day period, we didn’t see a single outage. Otherwise expect excellent and reliable uptime.
With Bluehost Website Builder, you can take advantage of Bluehost’s proven customer support team. Through its Blue Sky service, Bluehost provides 24/7 phone support, online web chat, a ticket-based system, and a knowledge base for Bluehost and WordPress in general. As with uptime, Bluehost’s fast and reliable customer support continues to impress us in testing. If you’re not satisfied, receive a full refund if you cancel within 30 days. For more details, check out our full Bluehost web hosting review.
Bluehost Website Builder’s approach to WordPress is not a limitation. In fact, WordPress powers so many websites that choosing a website builder built for the CMS gives you more flexibility than you initially expected. For existing Bluehost owners, it only makes sense to stay within the ecosystem, and Bluehost website builder won’t let you down. That said, if you’re starting from scratch with website builders and want one that doesn’t feel so complementary, we recommend Wix and Gator, our free and paid Editors’ Choice picks, respectively.
To learn more about website building, check out 10 Easy Yet Powerful SEO Tips To Increase Traffic To Your Website and How to Create a Website.
The bottom line
Bluehost’s already excellent web hosting service sweetens the deal with an affordable, WordPress-focused website builder.