Bluehost is a veteran web hosting provider with a focus on WordPress. They're famously beginner-friendly and affordable, making them a suitable choice for budding entrepreneurs looking to start an online store.
When it comes to eCommerce web hosting, security, performance, and storage are all significant considerations. But you also need a solution that seamlessly integrates with powerful eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce and offers the support you need to keep everything running smoothly.
Bluehost does precisely that – this web hosting provider makes building WooCommerce stores easy. In light of that, we're reviewing Bluehost’s web hosting packages to help you get a better feel for whether they're the right choice for your WooCommerce store.
Bluehost WooCommerce Review: About Bluehost
Bluehost has been around since 2003 and is a well-known and widely trusted web hosting solution. The organization empowers individuals to establish a web presence while keeping hosting simple and easy to manage.
At the time of writing, over two million websites rely on Bluehost hosting. The provider has been committed to WordPress for more than a decade. Now, it offers WooCommerce-specific hosting explicitly designed for entrepreneurs looking to start selling using WordPress and WooCommerce.
What makes Bluehost popular is its 24/7 support and affordable prices. They also offer a range of hosting types, including shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting services – rest assured, there's something to meet everyone's web hosting needs!
Prices start from just $3.95 a month, making Bluehost an excellent solution for those launching their venture on a shoe-string budget.
Bluehost WooCommerce Review: About WooCommerce
WooCommerce is an ecommerce integration explicitly created for WordPress. It can transform regular WordPress websites into fully-fledged online stores.
WooCommerce comes with everything you need to scale a successful online store. You can upload and sell both digital and physical products. Easily design your storefront, add product information and variations, and process payments through WooCommerce's integrated shopping cart. You can also track your inventory, automatically calculate sales tax, and create coupons and discounts to entice customers to purchase.
WooCommerce comes with a centralized dashboard from where you can monitor your store’s performance. As an extension of WordPress, you can integrate your WooCommerce store with a wide range of third-party apps. This works wonders for expanding its functionality should you need to.
With Bluehost’s WooCommerce hosting plans, you can use an existing domain and benefit from a free WooCommerce SSL certificate. Best of all, WooCommerce comes already installed, so you can start building your e-store straight away.
Let’s look at these features in more detail:
Features and Pricing
Here’s a quick overview of the pricing.
The Standard package is available for:
- $29.95 per month
- $15.95 per month (with a one-year commitment)
- $12.95 per month (with a three-year commitment)
The premium package is available for:
- $49.95 per month
- $32.95 per month (with a one-year commitment)
- $24.95 per month (with a three-year commitment)
It’s worth noting, these savings only apply to the first billing period. The lowest price for the standard package is $24.95 a month and $39.95 a month for the Premium package when you renew.
If you're working with a low budget, these prices may sound daunting; however, both pricing plans come packed with features. Each package comes with:
- 24/7 support
- Site monitoring and statistics
- Multiple caching layers for speed optimization
- A free SSL certificate
Standard Plan Features ($29.95 per month)
The Standard plan comes with WooCommerce and a storefront theme already installed. This template is optimized for online selling and fast performance. You’ll also benefit from website traffic analytics, including data about your orders, consumer trends, and site traffic. Additionally, Bluehost enables you to collect and publish customer reviews on your store to help you build a strong reputation.
You can also set up payment processing with a one-click install and create discount codes. If you're selling offline, you'll be pleased to hear you can process manual orders. This conveniently enables you to manage your inventory and sales stats from one centralized place.
It also comes with the free version of Jetpack pre-installed. Jetpack is a WordPress toolkit that helps you build faster pages and safer sites. It also enables you to increase traffic through features like its activity log, automated social media posting, downtime monitoring, and access to a CDN.
On top of all that, you also get access to email marketing features powered by Creativ.eMail, an easy-to-use marketing solution for WooCommerce store owners.
Premium Plan Features ($49.95)
As you've probably guessed, the Premium plan expands on what's included in the Standard package. On top of these features, you can also manage online bookings and schedule appointments. Plus, you can start selling and managing products and services with recurring payments, like subscriptions.
With this package, Bluehost WooCommerce automatically calculates your sales tax by city, state, or country. Plus, you can create custom options for the products or services you've listed for sale. For example, you could offer more sizes, colors, offer a gift wrapping option, and more.
The Premium plan also comes with premium Jetpack features, including ads, Google Analytics, and more. Your store also gets free domain privacy and protection as well. This means Bluehost masks the personal information assigned to your website and replaces it with general contact information. As a result, your email and home mailbox will stay clear of spam.
The Premium plan also comes with CodeGuard Basic included. (The Standard package only offers this free for one year.) CodeGuard automatically backs up your website and keeps a record of your content, including pictures, text, video, and more. This adds an extra layer of security and some much-needed peace of mind in the event your website ever crashes.
Finally, the Premium package also unlocks unmetered bandwidth, vital for scaling your online business without your site slowing down.
The Bluehost Marketplace
It’s also worth noting that Bluehost comes with its own marketplace for WooCommerce plugins. So if you need more functionality than what's already included in these packages, you can browse and integrate with:
- Product add-ons to up and cross-sell to customers during the checkout process
- Product vendors
- FedEx, USPS, and UPS shipping
- WooSlider (transitions, directions, speeds, and pagination for your slideshows)
- Sensei (launch online courses on your site)
- Amazon Pay, Stripe, PayPal Pro integrations
- A currency converter widget
The Premium package comes with access to over $200 in top WooCommerce plugins. If that doesn't cover your needs, you can browse the marketplace for plugins and prices.
Bluehost WooCommerce Review: Customer Support
As we’ve discussed, Bluehost offers 24/7 support on both of its WooCommerce hosting plans. You can either call the team or contact them via live chat. Note that international calling fees might apply!
Bluehost also comes with an online resource center that posts helpful articles on website creation, improving sales, and marketing your brand. You can also access the extensive online Knowledge Base, where you'll find self-help materials on topics like:
- Web hosting
- Setting up email clients
- Managing your account
…to name a few.
Bluehost WooCommerce Review: Security
With both Bluehost's WooCommerce plans, you get a free SSL certificate. This ensures your site's recognized as secure by internet browsers and offers some protection over your customer's online transactions. You also get a dedicated IP address.
However, domain privacy and protection are only included in the Premium plan. You’ll also need to upgrade to the Premium plan to access CodeGuard without a time limit.
Bluehost WooCommerce Review: Pros and Cons
Bluehost comes recommended by WordPress and WooCommerce, so if you’re just starting out, we think it’s a pretty safe bet. But that doesn’t mean this provider will be suitable for everyone. In this section, we’ll address the stand-out pros and cons of using this service to give you a clearer idea of who this provider is best suited for:
The Pros 👍
- You can save a lot of money by committing longer-term, which initially makes Bluehost quite affordable to start out with
- Bluehost boasts solid uptime (99.98%)
- You benefit from a generous storage allowance.
- You get access to unmetered bandwidth with the Premium package.
- Useful plugins are pre-installed and ready to go, including Jetpack and CodeGuard.
- You get a free domain and SSL included with your plan.
- 24/7 support is available via phone and chat
- You can host multiple websites.
- Bluehost is officially endorsed by WordPress.com.
The Cons 👎
- You need to be careful of Bluehost's renewal terms – often, these are more expensive than their starter fees.
- Bluehost focuses its attention on US-hosted sites – so, your page load speeds might be much slower if you're accessing from other countries.
- Site backups aren’t automatically included with Bluehost themselves. This is achieved through CodeGuard, which is only free for one year on the Standard plan.
- There are web hosting alternatives on the market boasting a better overall performance. This makes Bluehost more suited to small to medium-sized projects and stores. If you expect lots of traffic, Bluehost might not be the best solution for you.
- If you host multiple sites, the Premium product add-ons are only included with your first site.
- It’s worth educating yourself carefully on the price-value comparison. WooCommerce is free to install. So are the storefront theme and the free Jetpack plan. If you’re willing to take a few of these steps yourself, you may find cheaper hosting and still benefit from these tools.
Bluehost WooCommerce Review: Our Final Verdict
Bluehost deserves its reputation as a robust hosting provider for anyone getting started with WordPress and WooCommerce. Their WooCommerce plans are a good option for those wanting to begin selling online but want to leave the set-up to someone else.
These packages ensure you have everything you need pre-installed and ready to go so that you can hit the ground running. This includes WooCommerce itself and a functional theme for your online store. You get all this for a price that's relatively affordable- especially if you opt-in for three years before you think about switching/canceling.
That said, more advanced users with established stores that are attracting vast volumes of traffic might benefit from looking elsewhere. Bluehost also doesn’t offer the best performance for high-traffic sites and doesn’t offer backups natively.
Many of Bluehost’s WooCommerce features make things easy but aren’t difficult to set up on your own with a bit of work. This means you may end up paying for assistance you might not need just to save a little time.
If you know what you’re doing, it likely makes more sense for you to splurge on more premium hosting with a managed hosting provider and handle a lot of the set-up yourself. That said, we recommend Bluehost's WooCommerce packages for new sellers. You could sign up for three years to grow your seat and then migrate over to another host that better facilitates higher volumes of traffic.
Bluehost also provides a 30-day money-back guarantee if you don’t find its services to your liking, so you have nothing to lose by giving them a try!
Have you hosted a WooCommerce store with Bluehost before? We’d love to read about your experience in the comments below!