Hostwinds vs. Bluehost (2022)

Written by: Ryan Frankel

Ryan Frankel

Ryan began developing websites in the late '90s and has personally tested just about every web host and cloud platform worth trying on the market today. He leverages his extensive knowledge of hardware, software, and their engineering relationship to inform HostingAdvice readers of the technical implications of their hosting choices. Ryan's subject matter expertise includes, but is not limited to, WordPress, cloud infrastructure management, product UI/UX design, and popular web development languages such as JavaScript and PHP.

See full bio »

Edited by: Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian brings more than 30 years of editing and journalism experience. She has written and edited for major news organizations, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times, and she previously served as an adjunct instructor at the University of Florida. Today, she edits HostingAdvice content for clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

Updated: September 3, 2020
Laura Bernheim Ryan Frankel Hosting Expert
“We tested Bluehost & Hostwinds — The winner is Bluehost!”

When watching a professional basketball game, who are you more likely to root for — the aging, past-his-prime superstar or the plucky young rookie? Bluehost is a highly regarded industry veteran known for affordable, user-friendly shared hosting. Particularly popular with WordPress enthusiasts, Bluehost is a solid option for beginners. Hostwinds, however, hit the scene some seven years after Bluehost. What the company lacks in name recognition, however, it makes up for in sophisticated, flexible infrastructure. Let’s dive into the details to see why we chose our winner.

Overall Rating
4.9/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit Bluehost »
Overall Rating
4.8/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit Hostwinds »
Advertiser Disclosure

Overall Hosting Comparison

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

Bluehost has long been a favorite of mine in the shared and WordPress hosting spaces. The company adheres to modern standards for hardware, and its customer service resources are now backed by hosting industry titan Endurance International Group (EIG). Bluehost’s shared hosting options will accommodate the vast majority of customers' needs. Independent proprietors, small business owners, and non-developers needn't look beyond the host's shared server (read: cheap hosting) plans. Once your website outgrows the traffic allowances of a shared hosting plan, however, Bluehost excels in the VPS hosting and dedicated server niches, too.

Bluehost has revamped its user experience — beefing up the user-friendliness factor significantly in recent years. Users will find the web host dashboard and overall customer experience to be welcoming. Easily navigate installing popular apps, such as WordPress, Joomla, or Zen Cart, with the familiar cPanel control panel. The domain management panel makes it easy to add on domain services, should you choose to opt for an upgraded plan, where domain privacy and support for unlimited domain names come standard.

If you’re looking for WordPress hosting specifically, whether on a shared, virtual, or dedicated server, you’ve come to the right host. Bluehost is one of the few providers endorsed by the WordPress Core team, ranked among SiteGround and DreamHost. Install the popular blogging platform in a single click via the web hosting control panel, or have the Bluehost pros take care of it for you by leveraging a managed WordPress hosting service.

As previously mentioned, Bluehost also tops the charts in VPS and dedicated server hosting — offering fantastic performance at competitive prices. With two to four cores and guaranteed resources, your virtual or dedicated server will be performant, powerful, and online virtually 24/7. The Bluehost team leverages industry-leading open-source technologies, such as KVM and OpenStack, to eke out as much performance as possible, leaving you with the utmost flexibility and reliability. And in case you're not quite yet sold: Both the VPS and dedicated hosting plan options include instant provisioning because waiting for your server is so 2000s. Read on for more Bluehost reviews as we rate the web hosting company for affordability, reliability, ease of use, as well as the features offered in each hosting product category.

  • Up to unlimited website domain and email hosting
  • 1-click WordPress installs and software updates
  • Support for popular shopping carts with FREE SSL certificate
  • Up to $200 in Microsoft and Google Ad credit available
  • Industry-leading hardware and uptime rates
  • Get started on Bluehost now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
50 GB SSD - unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

Promising enterprise-grade hosting solutions for prices that appeal to small and medium businesses, Hostwinds delivers the full range of operating systems and server configurations to help customers build and grow an online presence. With hosting plans covering niches like vBulletin and Minecraft, Hostwinds attracts a customer base as mixed as the server configurations.

After frustrating web hosting experiences of his own, CEO Peter Holden set out to prove that providers didn't need to choose among powerful infrastructure, responsive support, and cost-effective prices. As a 20-year-old, he launched Hostwinds in 2010 to accomplish all three objectives. Now, the fast-growing company offers the full range of services while guaranteeing complete satisfaction.

We'll put the magnifying glass to the company's shared, cloud, VPS, and dedicated server options later, but we wanted to give a quick shoutout to Hostwinds for its top-notch reseller and white label plans. The traditional reseller route operates as you'd expect, with the added perks of being able to set your own prices and capitalizing on Hostwinds's robust product line.

For the less tech-savvy reseller or those wanting to offer multiple hosting options to clients, Hostwinds makes its full spectrum of services available under your branding. The company streamlines deployment and sets up WHMCS for billing management and payment processing. We already appreciate the company's high-powered hardware, so we're naturally supportive of easy-to-configure plans that help customers spread the love.

  • 500% faster speeds via SSDs
  • LiteSpeed web server performance
  • FREE dedicated IP address
  • 99.999% uptime guarantee
  • Datacenters in Dallas and Seattle
  • Get started on Hostwinds now.
Money Back Guarantee
60 days
Disk Space
Unlimited SSD
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Cheap Hosting Comparison

Cheap Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

#2 out of 10 in Cheap Hosting reviews

Bluehost pricing is about as competitive as the industry offers. Sign up for a shared hosting plan for as little as $2.95 per month, and WordPress hosting packages are consistently priced; a VPS plan starts at around $18.99 per month; and the dedicated hosting rates are as little as $79.99 per month. The only way to feasibly sweeten this deal would be a free trial, which, unfortunately, the hosting company does not offer. However, the 30-day money-back guarantee is marketed heavily. The Bluehost customer support team promises complete service satisfaction or a full refund.

Bluehost hosting has reputation for affordability and usability, which both web novices and veterans can appreciate. Unlimited website hosting — from domains and email to disk space — is available with almost all plans. Even the most basic Bluehost plan sets users up for success with ample hard disk storage, unmetered bandwidth, and both a free SSL certificate and free domain registration for the first year of hosting service. Optional add-on services, such as automated backups, and complimentary marketing credits for select plan holders sweeten an already attractive hosting bargain. Some common freebies we love seeing include:

  • Free domain name registration (for the first year of service)
  • Free Let's Encrypt SSL certificate (also for the first year)
  • Free website builder (Weebly, an industry favorite)

Due in part to its affordability but mostly the quality of service, most Bluehost reviews will rank the hosting company atop (or near the top of) lists of the best shared, VPS, and/or WordPress hosting services. You'll see similar results from our Bluehost review. We regularly recommend Bluehost hosting products that are geared toward beginners, including shared, WordPress, and WooCommerce hosting customers, where cost and ease of use are top priorities.

Bluehost is a solid, reputable choice of hosting provider with competitive pricing, industry-standard hardware performance, and all the premium add-ons imaginable. The web host's low costs, coupled with its supremacy in the shared hosting arena, make this web host a bang-for-the-buck favorite throughout the hosting community.

  • Cheap shared hosting from a highly reputable provider
  • Ideal for hosting a WordPress website
  • FREE Weebly website builder and Cloudflare CDN
  • Unlimited traffic and 24/7 live chat support
  • Get 63% off today with our Bluehost coupon
  • Get started on Bluehost now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
50 GB SSD - unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Cheap Rating

★★★★ 4.4/5.0

A recurring theme in the Hostwinds product lineup, the company offers multiple configurations to ensure every customer's needs are perfectly met. Between the SSDs and LiteSpeed web servers, Hostwinds ekes out 500% faster performance compared with typical shared hosting plans. Combined with the bevy of unlimited features (bandwidth, disk space, subdomains, email accounts, databases, and FTP accounts), we love how Hostwinds matches superior services with affordability. For hosting customers looking to take a small step up without committing to the management requirements and time investment of a virtual private server, Hostwinds offers business hosting plans with an even more souped-up approach to performance. Virus and malware scans are upped to once per week, instead of monthly for regular shared hosting. We appreciate that Hostwinds began including a free domain registration with its shared hosting plans, and recognize that the company's 60-day money-back guarantee is twice as long as most others in the space. Add in the Weebly site builder and instant setup, and the full spectrum of site owners will be well served with Hostwinds.

  • Cheap VPS plans, managed or unmanaged
  • Cloud hosting with hourly or monthly billing
  • Instant upgrades without downtime
  • FREE around-the-clock monitoring
  • Automatic nightly backups available
  • Get started on Hostwinds now.
Money Back Guarantee
60 days
Disk Space
30GB -750GB SSD
Domain Name
New or Transfer

Dedicated Hosting Comparison

Dedicated Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

#4 out of 10 in Dedicated Hosting reviews

Built on modern technology, with a minimum of four CPU cores per dedicated server, Bluehost offers reliable and flexible dedicated hosting options at an extremely reasonable price. We continually praise the company's shared hosting options for having fantastic hardware and a great management console, and the brand's dedicated server offerings are no different.

Designed and maintained in house, Bluehost servers rely on only the latest technologies. The hosting company leverages open-source platforms, such as OpenStack and KVM, to boost flexibility and performance. All dedicated machines boast at least four CPU cores, 1TB of RAID-1 storage, and at least 4GB of available RAM. Each dedicated server is provisioned instantly and can be upgraded at any time with essentially just a few clicks.

Bluehost prides itself on the always-available customer support staff. The experienced support agents work directly with engineers who have their hands on your machine, so to speak. As a former Bluehost customer, I've always found the support technicians to be incredibly responsive and helpful.

  • Instant provisioning for all Bluehost server plans
  • Minimum 3 dedicated IP addresses
  • Modern hardware, built and maintained in house
  • 24/7 expedited support from a dedicated team
  • Sign up to save 33% on your first term
  • Get started on Bluehost now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
500 GB - 1 TB (Mirrored)
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Dedicated Rating

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

#5 out of 10 in Dedicated Hosting reviews

At the highest end of the hosting spectrum, it can sometimes be challenging to discern which servers reign supreme. Providers naturally put their finest hardware and most luxurious features at the forefront when it comes to attracting customers for high-price dedicated hosting. Hostwinds, however, somehow manages to eke out ahead of the rest on the strength of the company's incredible range of configurations. For starters, customers can choose from among 15 Windows or Linux operating system and equip servers with up to 3TB of hard-disk drive storage per bay (the maximum number of drives is four). Alternatively, servers can be equipped with up to 1TB of solid-state drives per hard drive bay. RAM scales from 8GB to 128GB, outpacing even the most luxury hosts at seemingly every turn. From there, users can select to use up to 128 IP addresses. Although inbound bandwidth is free and unlimited, outbound transfers can scale between 10TB to 200TB and more. Depending how many hard drives you opt to deploy, you can configure five different RAID backup options for free. All told, customers can easily configure servers that cost upward of $1,000 per month — but the performance will undoubtedly be worthwhile. Hostwinds servers somehow always seem to ring up a few dollars per month cheaper than competitors and come with a superb 99.999% uptime guarantee. Our only tentative reservation is trusting a smaller, newer company with such a business-critical task at such a large scale. We have absolutely zero evidence to support our fears, just feel the need to mention the company doesn't have the tried-and-true legacy of some other well-known brands. If the premium hardware and slight savings are worth the tiny gamble, however, we expect large companies will enjoy the payoff.

  • Highly configurable servers with a choice between Windows or Linux
  • Fully managed support and nightly backups
  • SAS Type II and Tier 4 datacenters
  • 99.999% uptime guarantee and DDoS protection
  • 1-hour hardware replacement
  • Get started on Hostwinds now.
Money Back Guarantee
N/A
Disk Space
120 GB SSD - 12 TB HDD
Domain Name
new or transfer

VPS Hosting Comparison

VPS Rating

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

#8 out of 10 in VPS Hosting reviews

We love recommending Bluehost for its lifetime customer growth potential, meaning you can start with shared hosting and seamlessly scale to VPS hosting plans and beyond. The price versus performance is pretty unbeatable in the virtual hosting space, and Bluehost's engineering team will kick off the customer relationship by instantly provisioning your server.

Bluehost’s VPS offerings boast several benefits compared to standard shared hosting and other VPS providers. The first is speed; Bluehost offers your choice of two or four cores and 4GB to 16GB of RAM with guaranteed resources, so you have the power you need when you need it. The second perk is security; Bluehost offers redundant storage and optional SiteLock protection to secure your data.

For those new to VPS hosting who may not know exactly what is needed, Bluehost makes it incredibly easy and seamless to switch between plans to find the perfect package for you. The company's enhanced cPanel interface enables users to instantly adjust computing resources. If you have questions or need some advice, Bluehost's wonderful support staff is standing by to assist 24/7.

  • Seamless migration from any Bluehost shared hosting plan
  • Robust VPS with 2-4 cores and 2-8GB of RAM
  • Ample RAID-1 storage and tons of bandwidth
  • Each plan gets at least 3 dedicated IP addresses
  • cPanel and WHM with root access
  • Get started on Bluehost now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
30 GB SSD - 120 GB SSD
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

VPS Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

#7 out of 10 in VPS Hosting reviews

Does any hosting provider have more virtual private server packages than Hostwinds? The company offers 10 configurations — and that's just for managed Linux server partitions. Hostwinds provides 10 additional plans each for managed Windows VPS and unmanaged varieties of both operating systems. Virtual servers range from 1 CPU core, 1GB of RAM, and 30GB of storage all the way to 16 cores, 96GB of RAM, and 750GB of storage. Customers can pay roughly $5 per month — or more than $250. Around-the-clock monitoring of the company's network and devices ensure reliability, but Hostwinds promises a five-minute response to incidents and hardware replacements within an hour. For those wanting even more flexibility and scalability, Hostwinds offers cloud hosting billed by the hour or month. Create an instance, select your operating system and infrastructure, and enjoy the company's fully managed support. Customers can deploy block or object storage volumes and rely on the company's strict firewall to protect it all. Add in the company's stellar 99.999% uptime guarantee, high-powered solid-state drives, and the guaranteed 1Gbps port, and customers will be hard-pressed to find a more flexible, performant, and affordable VPS or cloud service.

  • Managed or unmanaged, in Windows or Linux
  • Cloud hosting with hourly or monthly billing
  • Instant upgrades without downtime
  • FREE around-the-clock monitoring
  • Automatic nightly backups available
  • Get started on Hostwinds now.
Money Back Guarantee
N/A
Disk Space
30 GB - 750 GB SSD
Domain Name
New or Transfer

WordPress Hosting Comparison

WordPress Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

#1 out of 9 in WordPress Hosting reviews

Bluehost's WordPress hosting packages are aimed at first-time site owners and personal bloggers. These services come at a premium compared to the standard Bluehost web hosting (basic shared hosting) plans, but the WordPress optimization and platform-specific resources are arguably worth the cost.

The shared WordPress hosting plans are arguably the most popular. Equipped with the web's famous MOJO Marketplace, enjoy single-click installations of popular apps and tools, including WordPress. Bluehost is on a short list of providers officially endorsed by the experts at WordPress.org, so, when faced with WordPress-specific issues, you can reach out to the customer support team with confidence.

Bluehost's managed WordPress hosting service is based on the hosting company's VPS offering. Though not as customizable as others, this managed hosting service focuses on simplicity and speed. The account management interface is easy to navigate, and the instant provisioning allows for speedy setup. Integrated features, such as the MOJO Marketplace and ManageWP, are nice touches as well.

Though simple by design, Bluehost doesn't skimp on WordPress fan favorites:

  • Automatic WordPress installation and updates
  • Customizable themes for WordPress in the Bluehost Marketplace
  • Global content delivery network (CDN) powered by Cloudflare

Formed in 2003, Bluehost has long been one of the foremost shared hosts on the planet, and the hosting company now powers more than 2 million websites. With an experienced team, competitive pricing, and always-there support, Bluehost is an industry veteran when it comes WordPress hosting.

  • Recommended by WordPress.org since 2005
  • Automatic WordPress updates and initial install
  • FREE WordPress themes in the Bluehost Marketplace
  • 24/7 support via live chat, phone, and email
  • Get exclusive discounts on WordPress plans
  • Get started on Bluehost now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
50 GB SSD - unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

WordPress Rating

N/A

Hostwinds does not currently offer this type of hosting. We would not recommend choosing this host for this hosting category.

Site Builder Hosting Comparison

Website Builder Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

#5 out of 10 in Website Builder Hosting reviews

With Bluehost, new site owners have the drag-and-drop simplicity of the Weebly website builder and goMobi mobile site builder at their fingertips. This makes launching a new online brand, store, or personal site from scratch relatively painless. Sure, site building has its headaches for newbies, but the Bluehost team is ready and willing to assist you every step of the way. To help prime your site launch for success, Bluehost offers a plethora of unlimited freebies:

  • Free domain hosting (unlimited domains on select plans)
  • Free email hosting (unlimited by default)
  • Unlimited storage on most plans
  • Unlimited bandwidth (i.e., site traffic)

These freebies, coupled with several options for site building services, is everything a new website owner needs to get started, and the cost is hard to beat. If WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) isn’t for you, perhaps a CMS (content management system) option sounds appealing.

Choose from the most popular content management and blogging software, including Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress, and download and install the application(s) with a single click. Some Bluehost hosting plan options have even been customized to cater to WordPress — and Bluehost is one of three hosts officially endorsed by the WordPress Core developers. For quick, cheap, and easy website building — backed by one of the web’s most reliable web hosts — you can’t go wrong in choosing Bluehost.

  • FREE Bluehost website builder (powered by Weebly)
  • Easy integration with WordPress and other CMS platforms
  • Expert support available 24/7 via live chat, phone, and email
  • Get exposure with up to $200 in advertising credits
  • Optional professional services to help design, build, and market your site
  • Get started on Bluehost now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
10 GB SSD - unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Website Builder Rating

N/A

Hostwinds does not currently offer this type of hosting. We would not recommend choosing this host for this hosting category.

Advertiser Disclosure

HostingAdvice.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free for users, we receive advertising compensation from the hosts listed on this page. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where hosts appear on the page (including, for example, the order in which they appear). HostingAdvice.com does not include listings for all web hosts.

Our Editorial Review Policy

Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the content’s accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our site’s advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our site’s About page.

Bluehost vs. Hostwinds - Our Conclusion

Laura Bernheim Ryan Frankel Hosting Expert
“We tested Bluehost & Hostwinds — The winner is Bluehost!”

Sentimental fandom aside, Bluehost is a steady, timeless option for site owners. The host has spent 15+ years perfecting its proven platform, which comes with unlimited storage and bandwidth resources and easy domain and email management tools. Hostwinds, however, uses more powerful solid-state drives and LiteSpeed web servers to sprint down the floor. Now that the shot clock is starting to run low and the crowd is on its feet — in whose hands are you going to put the ball? Check out our full reviews of both host for all the details.

Overall Rating
4.9/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit Bluehost »
Overall Rating
4.8/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit Hostwinds »

About The Author

Ryan Frankel has been a professional in the tech industry for more than 20 years and has been developing websites for more than 25. With his background in integrated circuit design and digital signal processing, he has a fundamental understanding of hardware systems and the software that runs them. Ryan now sits as the CTO of Digital Brands Inc. and manages all of the server infrastructure of their websites, as well as their development team. In addition, Ryan has a passion for guitars, good coffee, and puppies.
Laura Bernheim