In this Bluehost website builder review, I’ll cover everything you need to know about launching your website using this new platform.
Bluehost is best known as an affordable and beginner-friendly web hosting platform used by over two million domains. It achieved success by offering low-costs and an impressive suite of tools for WordPress users.
In turn, WordPress recommends Bluehost as the top platform for hosting a website made with their platform.
And now, the time has finally come, as Bluehost’s own web page building platform was released – Bluehost Builder!
Right off the bat, we can see that the new Bluehost Builder offers one free website, 50+ themes, and pre-built layouts.
For quite some time Bluehost was making its name known only by being a great provider of website hosting services. It simplifies the interface and adds additional features to other web building platforms, streamlining the whole process of controlling your content and working with the back-end. That’s what made it so attractive to choose as a hosting platform.
Although, you can do a lot more than just host a WordPress site. As a full-fledged platform, you can use Bluehost to buy a domain or host a website built with any other CMS (Content Management System) of your choosing.
If you already have a website made with another provider, Bluehost makes it easy to migrate from your old host.
Now, let’s see if after this Bluehost Builder review it will seem worthy enough to buy a plan.
Bluehost is extremely affordable whether you want to build your website with WordPress or another CMS.
Once you visit the Bluehost website, you see that you have plenty of hosting plans – which can be really confusing at first. But it’s pretty simple, actually. You choose based on what exactly you need – eCommerce, WordPress oriented hosting, or a dedicated server.
First and foremost are the Shared Hosting plans. They range from $2.95/month to $13.95/month. The main difference between them is the number of pages you can host as well as additional services.
All of the numerous payment plans on offer come with the in-house Bluehost Builder, so you can try it out and use it at your leisure with every hosting plan.
With the Basic payment plan, you can create only one website, but when upgrading to any of the other higher-tier plans, this number drastically increases. In fact, so much so, that the number of websites you can host becomes unlimited.
All of the plans get a free SSL certificate, which gives your website the secured status marked by a little lock right by the address.
On top of that, you get unmetered bandwidth no matter the plan you choose. This way your website can be loaded by a very high amount of users at the same time.
The biggest difference between the cheapest ($2.95) – Starter and the most expensive ($13.95) – Pro, plan is that you get access to high-performance servers and a dedicated IP. It ensures a smooth experience for your website visitors by making the page fast to load.
It is clear to see, that for any bigger project you should choose the Plus plan or any of the other higher tier ones. As the limitations that are set in place with the Basic plan are completely lifted if you spend just a little more.
These shared hosting plans can be used either with WordPress or Bluehost Website Builder, however, if you decide to go for a popular CMS as your website’s base – there are dedicated WordPress hosting plans offered in Bluehost.
It comes with the CMS software installed and includes all of the integrations you need to build your site. However, you wouldn’t miss out on using Bluehost Builder even if you picked a WordPress dedicated plan.
That’s because every hosting plan in Bluehost offers a possibility to use either its new builder or another site-building platform.
WordPress hosting plans through Bluehost start at $2.95 per month for a single website and 50 GB of content storage.
For the majority of website owners, this inexpensive hosting plan is enough. If you have multiple WordPress websites, you can upgrade to a Plus plan for $5.45 per month and get unlimited storage as well.
For those looking to get the full use of online shop functions the WordPress eCommerce plans through Bluehost start at $6.95 per month for a single online store website and 100 GB of storage.
Advanced plans from $8.95 to $12.95 per month allow you to create an unlimited number of online stores with just as much storage. Although, the Bluehost Builder does not put a cap on the number of products you can have in your online store.
So, for only a small sum, you get to create your website using Bluehost Builder and on top of that, get access to numerous hosting features, for the smooth launch of your web page.
Overall, Bluehost's website pricing can be extremely confusing. Until you find out it comes with any hosting plan. At the end of the day, the platform remains one of the most budget-friendly options for building a website as the builder is integrated with the cheapest hosting subscription.
While writing this Bluehost Website Builder review I found out firsthand that this platform makes it really easy to make your own website.
When starting off, I got to write down what my website will be about, and based on that, got one of the pre-made templates applied to my page.
Then followed some simple steps of naming the site, selecting a cover photo, a logo, desired colors, and a font. The last step is the selection of navigation style and then you are all ready to fill up the page with content!
Yet throughout all the initial setup processes I missed the ability to browse the templates and choose freely from a provided library. Sure, getting one based on my keyword entry was fast and easy, but it took away some of the creative freedom.
After that was done, I had the option to go through a short tutorial, which helpfully explained all the basic Bluehost Builder’s functions in an easy to understand way.
Finally, it was time to try my hand at the website editing.
Each individual block that you add when building your website is further customized by using switches on the right-hand side of the editor. It’s an easy way of understanding, that lets you keep track of the elements that you are working on.
The whole time while building my website and filling it with content I experienced no lag whatsoever. All of the changes I made were immediately applied and reflected as the Bluehost Builder is very well optimized, making my work a breeze.
That is the overall experience when using the Bluehost Builder itself. But it is not all, as you get to use the hosting panel too.
The homepage of the Dashboard is designed to help you get your website up and running as quickly as possible. The to-do checklist covers all the basics you need to do to customize your page and improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
In fact, this checklist was one of my favorite features that made it easy to use Bluehost hosting platform.
One more thing you’ll notice immediately that your hosting dashboard doesn’t look like the typical cPanel dashboard — instead, the cPanel controller is hidden underneath the “Advanced” portion of the dashboard menu.
With Bluehost’s cPanel, you get a lot of power to manage and customize your website. For starters, you can actually view and edit your website’s files and databases. This also enables you to manually backup your website to your computer if you ever wish, so you have your data even in the event of a hack.
Not only does Bluehost give you a great hosting experience and a standalone website builder, but when used with other website builders it enhances the experience of working with them. And one of the best web page building platforms to use together with Bluehost is WordPress.
When you sign up for a WordPress hosting plan through Bluehost, the CMS software is already installed by the time you get to your dashboard.
The website hosting services for WordPress integrates your hosting dashboard with the Bluehost dashboard. That gives you simple access to control and monitor both interfaces at the same time.
These additional panels, however, do not grant you any new functions, just streamline the ones that were already there. So all this might not be too tempting for experienced WordPress users.
Overall the Bluehost Builder is very streamlined yet it still lacks some features that provide flexibility in customization. As for the cPanel, it was also beginner-friendly although it kept all the necessary features in one place.
All of the templates you get with Bluehost are specifically tailored to the answers you provide when filling out the questionnaire. All you need to do is provide the algorithm with information on what your site will be about.
I was impressed by such a feature because the template you get to use should be different each time, don’t you agree?
Well, to prove that I made several websites to see if the templates were really that different. Sadly they all looked like the same template with slightly different graphic elements. Let’s compare a service website, like, let’s say mobile home repair and…
…an online clothes store.
As you can clearly see, the templates are not that different, so in order to stand out, you will need to put in a lot of manual work by adding elements and content.
In the end, the templates are well made and responsive, but their diversity is virtually non-existent. I honestly expected a wider range of selection from Bluehost, being such a well-known platform. It is great for beginners to work with though.
While reviewing Bluehost Builder’s business capabilities I used the basic shared hosting plan. That is because I wanted to know what could be done with the most basic functions you get.
One of the most important things for businesses is the ability to sell their products or services. Well, with Bluehost Builder you can list an unlimited amount of items in your online store, no matter which plans you chose.
Yet you have to remember one thing – while the number of products you can upload is endless, the website storage isn’t. So if you use up all the storage space that you have, you can wave fast loading speeds goodbye.
This is a great addition because even with the most basic and cheapest plan you get to set up your store. Furthermore, there are no limitations on what kind of products you can sell – be it physical, digital, or a service, all of them get a green light.
After you have your shop all ready, you need to attract the customer’s attention, that’s where SEO comes in.
Bluehost Builder provides you with all the basic SEO tools to edit all the metadata. And if you’re looking for a purely WordPress based online store, then you need to buy the eCommerce plan.
Yet one thing is shared throughout all the plans and that is all the cPanel functions.
Bluehost’s email capabilities, that you can control through cPanel, cover everything you need for basic marketing and customer management. The email client offers autoresponders and email filters, as well as develop mailing lists.
However, Bluehost stops short of including a full-blown email designer. So, you’ll likely need an external service if you want to develop a newsletter for your website.
Having a centralized email panel is great, but it lacks some features still and is not very beginner-oriented.
All in all, Bluehost Builder gives you all the tools to do a decent job with SEO, email, and eCommerce. They could be more fleshed out and provided to you in one place. However, creating a newsletter might require a third-party service - such as Mailchimp.
Since Bluehost is first and foremost a hosting service provider, it should have stable servers and the technical side of their products should be spotless. Lets put my theory to practice.
I tested a page made with Bluehost Builder using GTMetrix. The result was a 96% PageSpeed score and an 83% YSlow score, which together indicate excellent site loading speeds.
The YSlow score was impacted most notably by less than optimal browser caching. However, you can change the caching settings in the Bluehost cPanel if you want even faster website speeds.
After these great results from the builder’s platform itself, next up were the servers and their performance.
A LoadImpact test on the same website demonstrated that Bluehost Builder websites are highly responsive as the number of user requests increases. The servers never showed any signs of stress.
Websites built with Bluehost Builder perform extremely well in tests for page loading and server response time. Sites loaded quickly, even when the number of requests to Bluehost’s servers was scaled up. The only flaw was subpar browser caching, but this had only a minor effect on website loading.
As a comparison I still wanted to check if a website made using WordPress would stand up to one made with Bluehost Builder.
We can see that the WordPress website passed the test with nearly flying colors, just like the one made with Bluehost Builder.
Both server stability and website optimization are stable and fast with Bluehost Builder, which promises a bright future for the platform.
Overall, Bluehost’s test results are admirable. I should note that the builder’s performance may change depending on whether you build your site with Bluehost Builder, WordPress, or another CMS. However, I would expect the stability and responsiveness of Bluehost’s servers to remain consistent across the board.
While writing this Bluehost Website Builder review I found that it is a versatile platform that allows you to create a basic website suited for a beginner or a small business. The builder itself could use some upgrades for deeper web page front end customization.
The Bluehost Website Builder is also really affordable because it can be integrated with any hosting plan that Bluehost offers.
For the WordPress integration, the ability to interact with it right from your Bluehost dashboard can simplify this CMS. However, the website builder doesn’t offer any features that aren’t available in a standard WordPress.
So beginners might appreciate the option of creating a website using Bluehost Builder, while more advanced users can opt for WordPress anytime.
out of 10
All in all, Bluehost Builder has solid basics but lacks further integration with the hosting services that Bluehost originally started out with. For a more deeply customized web page you would be better off using WordPress with one of the Bluehost hosting plans.
Bluehost is an extremely popular hosting service with integrated website builder capabilities. However, GoDaddy and HostGator offer similar platforms that integrate hosting and website building.
Meanwhile, Wix is a powerful alternative website builder to WordPress and other platforms available within Bluehost.
GoDaddy’s integrated website builder for sites hosted on that service. While GoDaddy doesn’t have the name recognition of WordPress, it’s worth taking a closer look at what you can build with this platform. GoDaddy offers thousands of templates, a straightforward editing interface, and support for eCommerce.
Pricing is much more straightforward for GoDaddy than for Bluehost since there is only one website builder option.
HostGator is an extremely inexpensive competitor to Bluehost. For under $4 per month, you get access to HostGator’s custom website builder as well as a hosting package. The drag-and-drop builder is perfect for making basic websites or small eCommerce stores.
Wix is the ultimate drag-and-drop website builder, offering one of the best editing platforms I’ve seen. Customization is virtually unlimited. For business owners, Wix offers excellent eCommerce features, built-in SEO tools, and integrated analytics.
Just like with Bluehost, when you build a website using Wix it is automatically hosted by the platform.