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Bluehost WooCommerce hero banner
Source: Bluehost

Bluehost is an all-in-one website builder and hosting provider. That means it can create and host your website, help you run an e-commerce store, or start a blog. It offers an impressive set of features backed by developers with years of experience and expertise in web hosting. After all, it’s one of WordPress’s top three web hosting recommendations.

I love the amount of freedom Bluehost offers its users. The platform is also well supported with functional e-commerce attributes that make online selling a breeze. The pricing plans are amazing, too, especially if your business is on a tight budget.

But the one thing that blew my mind was Bluehosts’s tech support. It has one of the most experienced and comprehensive customer support teams in the industry. You can connect with the team easily, and they’re available around the clock.

However, Bluehost is not without its cons. It lacks the dedicated selling tools that a SaaS platform like Shopify or BigCommerce provides. While it’s true that you do not need coding experience to build your site, you do need a solid knowledge of online selling to make the store work for you. Given that Bluehost is targeted at small businesses, I feel this is a significant drawback that needs to be improved.

It may well be that Bluehost isn’t the perfect solution for your needs. Other web hosting companies in the market may fit better. If you are keen on finding out more about them, check out this list of the best web hosting providers.

Bluehost website builder standout features
Support
  • 24/7 phone
  • Live chat
  • Ticket
  • Tutorials
  • Knowledge base
  • Blueprint
Best for
  • Small businesses
  • Businesses with existing websites
Strengths
  • Fully customizable web stores
  • 24/7 tech support
  • Collection of responsive and mobile optimized themes
  • Free domain and SSL certificate
  • Affordable pricing plans
  • Extremely secure
  • One-click easy app integrations
  • Wide variety of plug-ins
  • Multi-layer cache for fast site loading time
Weaknesses
  • No free website migration
  • No guaranteed uptime
  • Hidden costs for basic functionalities
  • Limited storage and backup space, especially on low-priced plans
  • Lacks scalability
Promotion30-day free trial (requires payment details)

What are the Pros and Cons of Bluehost?

Bluehost site migration process page
Source: Bluehost

There’s no doubt that Bluehost has made quite a name for itself as far as affordable web hosting is concerned. But how does it perform when it comes to building and running an e-commerce store? Let’s understand what works and what needs improvement:

Pros of Bluehost

  1. Highly customizable: You can take your pick from a wide selection of professional themes that are responsive and mobile-optimized. You can customize every section of your online shopfront as you wish. The level of customization that Bluehost offers is incredible: choose whether you want to go for the plug-in (easy) or child theme (coding knowledge required).
  2. Blue Flash launch support: Bluehost takes customer support very seriously. You’ll find its dedicated Blue Flash launch support helpful if you’re a beginner. It involves a guided dashboard tour and a call with an expert. This free service resolves doubts and lets you get started pronto.
  3. Unmetered bandwidth: No matter which pricing plan you choose, you’ll always get unmetered bandwidth. This means you’ll not be charged a fee for the traffic your e-store receives. So, even if you experience a sudden spike in traffic on sale days, you will not have to pay extra.
  4. Marketing credits: If you opt for shared hosting, you’ll get free promotional marketing credits for Google and Bing ads. That’s a great incentive for any seller just starting. The only thing you should be aware of is the $25 minimum spend on Google ad campaigns.
  5. Excellent security: Your online shopfront has a dedicated IP (internet protocol) and SSL certificates. You get top-notch security with every site you build and host on Bluehost. All data is encrypted and ultra-secure, making Bluehost one of the safest platforms to build your online shop.
  6. Money-back guarantee: If you’re unhappy with Bluehost’s service, you can ask for your money back. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee. After that, you’ll only get a pro-rated refund (still quite a good deal if you ask me).

Cons of Bluehost

  1. No uptime guarantee: Although Bluehost is always fast, it does not offer guaranteed uptime, unlike some leading market players. Your site’s uptime will suffer if its servers experience glitches or technical issues. For any e-commerce business, the lack of an uptime guarantee is a big disappointment.
  2. Chargeable site migration: Since Bluehost is a hosting provider, you might want to migrate an existing site to or from it. Both are chargeable, and that’s a big letdown. You can get free migration only if your existing site is built on WordPress. But even then, you’ll have the extra hassle of installing the Bluehost migrator plugin.
  3. Questionable checkout: This is one of the strangest drawbacks of Bluehost. When creating an account to build your e-store, you’ll be confronted with a host of pop-ups advertising additional features. You might accidentally end up clicking on one of these boxes and incur extra charges. This is something I really wish Bluehost would clean up for its customers.
  4. Lacks scalability: If you have plans of growing your small business, adding more products to your inventory, and going global, Bluehost isn’t the hosting provider for you. It lacks the infrastructural capabilities and support you’d get from a platform like BigCommerce. Do not opt for Bluehost if you want to expand your business on a large scale. It’s simply not built for the job.

Bluehost may be the best e-commerce hosting provider for: Small businesses that are just starting or small-scale operations on a strict budget.

Bluehost wooCommerce pricing
Source: Bluehost
Online store Online store plus marketplace
Price$29.95 per month (for monthly payments)$9.95 per month (for a 12- to 36-month package but auto-renews at $24.95)$49.95 per month (for monthly payments)$9.95 per month (for a 12- to 36-month package but auto-renews at $24.95)
Best for Selling physical and digital products, bookings, assignments, and reservations.Everything in the online store plan plus selling on popular e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and others
Basic features
  • Online store and website
  • Free domain first year
  • Free SSL
  • Yoast SEO
  • Jetpack daily backups
  • Automated WordPress updates
  • Unlimited products
  • 100 GB SSD storage
  • Customer account creation
Everything in the online store plan
plus 200 GB SSD storage
Customer service
  • 24/7 phone
  • Live chat
  • Ticket
  • Tutorials
  • Knowledge base
  • Blueprint
  • 24/7 phone
  • Live chat
  • Ticket
  • Tutorials
  • Knowledge base
  • Blueprint
Scalability NANA
Sales support Gift cardsGift cards
Order Management NAMultichannel inventory
ReportingWebsite analyticsWebsite analytics
Marketing $150 in free credits for Google Ads$150 in free credits for Google Ads
ShippingShippo, FedEx, USPS, UPSShippo, FedEx, USPS, UPS
Security Dedicated IP and free SSL certificatesDedicated IP and free SSL certificates
Point of sale (POS) Web-based WooCommerce POS plus third-party providerWeb-based WooCommerce POS plus third-party providers
Transaction fee2.9% plus 30 cents USD per transaction on credit/debit cardsNo fee for Apple Pay, Stripe2.9% plus 30 cents USD per transaction on credit/debit cardsNo fee for Apple Pay, Stripe
Tax calculationsAutomatic calculations at checkout (needs to be enabled)Automatic calculations at checkout (needs to be enabled)

Online store builder

Bluehost - online store builder
Source: Bluehost

While online store building is not its core function, Bluehost does offer a versatile drag-and-drop store builder. It’s easy to use and relatively intuitive. To access it, simply click on My Sites (left sidebar)->Add Site->Create New Site.

And you’re done.

You’ll come across a stepwise website builder with built-in attributes that include:

  • Abandoned cart recovery (via OptinMonster)
  • WPForms
  • MonsterInsights (for web analytics)

Adding these features to your storefront is up to you. If you want to skip all three or a few, you can simply deselect them.

Bluehost offers 191 premium e-commerce themes, ranging from $39 to $59, in addition to its free themes. Each of these themes is customizable with no coding knowledge required. In case you want a bespoke design, you can edit/insert code and make necessary changes to your theme without much hassle.

You can also integrate plug-ins and third-party apps with a few clicks. The whole process of setting up your website is quick and easy. I could take my dummy shop live in a few hours, and I added a lot of customizations.

Bluehost’s website builder is efficient, effortless, and straightforward. The only thing that could be better is its response time. The editor sometimes lags a little.

However, you will only need the website editor if you don’t have a pre-existing site.

If you already have a WordPress site, you can migrate it to Bluehost in a few clicks using the Bluehost migrator plug-in; it’s free. Apart from WordPress, all other site migrations are chargeable. That’s a letdown.

Content delivery network

Every pricing package gives you free access to Bluehost’s CDN. It has data centers worldwide. What this means for your e-commerce website is that its content loads fast, irrespective of bandwidth, traffic, or the user’s location.

So your customers enjoy a smooth experience each time they visit your website.

And for e-sellers, having a fast-loading site is always a boon, and I love Bluehost for this.

SEO

This was a bit of a mixed bag for me. Bluehost offers SEO support that lets you add meta descriptions, page titles, and alt text for images. But URLs are auto-generated and cannot be edited.

However, the platform offers an undisputed uptime of 99.7% and comes with SSL certificates. These factors alone contribute to improved search engine results page (SERP) rankings.

If you’re using a WordPress site and hosting it on Bluehost, you can also use Yoast SEO.

So, while Bluehost SEO is good, it could be better. However, if you’re a small business just starting, you may not require outside SEO help.

Marketing and PPC

Bluehost - Marketing and PPC landing page
Source: Bluehost

Every business, especially a new one, needs good marketing. Bluehost understands that and gives you $150 promotional credits to start advertising on Google Ads — including its trial plans.

That’s a great incentive, although you do have a minimum spend requirement of $25.

You also get free marketing credits for running Bing ads.

In addition to ad credits, Bluehost gives you access to third-party apps, including:

  • Creativ.eMail
  • JetPack
  • WooCommerce booking, and subscriptions

So your marketing needs are covered. You can create mailing lists, newsletters, ad campaigns, subscriptions, schedule appointments, and do just about anything with Bluehost’s marketing tools.

Bluehost can also create, manage, and run pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns for your business. You simply need to allot a budget to it while the web host does the job for you. I personally loved this feature because PPC campaigns always garner great results.

So even though it does not quite match the marketing capabilities of Shopify and BigCommerce, you still get an excellent deal for the price you pay.

Product add-ons

What exactly is a product add-on? It’s a plug-in that, when installed, helps your customers to continue adding products to their cart without going back to your site.

Product add-ons make your online storefront easy to use for customers and help you sell related products. It’s a fantastic way to increase your sales and attract returning customers.

Shipping

Bluehost offers shipping via its Shippo integration. You can also add a carrier of your choice, including popular ones like FedEx, USPS, and UPS.

It also offers table rate shippingthat uses WooCommerce’s shipping capabilities. You can generate shipping charges based on the type of the product, its location, weight, and such parameters.

You can add the ShipStation plug-in to your e-commerce store to fortify your shipping and fulfillment efforts.

Bluehost’s shipping options are not as expansive as other e-commerce service providers. But what you get for the money is pretty good.

Payment processing

The web host comes with its own payment processing capabilities, but you can also integrate PayPal Pro, Stripe, and Amazon Pay. These additional plug-ins help make your online payment processing versatile, flexible, and straightforward.

While Bluehost does not offer you any extra benefits in terms of payment processing, it gives you enough to run your business smoothly.

The only drawback I’d like to mention here is that if you want to scale your business, you will find yourself restricted by Bluehost’s limited payment processing options. Small-scale business operations can run smoothly using the existing options.

Currency converter widget

Most e-commerce businesses sell globally. Bluehost knows that. So, it gives you a currency converter widget that updates your product prices with a real-time exchange rate.

It’s a very useful widget for both you and your customers and I highly recommend you install it on your Bluehost e-store. Unlike many other major e-commerce players, Bluehost handles currency conversations with ease.

Xero

Xero is a popular cloud-based accounting software that takes care of your ledgers, expenses, and financial reports. And Bluehost has a Xero plug-in to make everything from accounts to inventory management easy for you. It’s also a great choice because Xero is cheaper than similar software while giving you the same functionalities.

It’s a win-win deal if you ask me.

Abandoned cart recovery

Every site using Bluehost’s website builder has a pre-built OptinMonster integration. It helps you send abandoned cart recovery emails to your clients, and capture quality leads via pop-ups.

And the best part is that you get abandoned cart recovery even with the most basic plan. That’s a sign of a good hosting provider. Even dedicated e-commerce platforms often provide this functionality only with their premium or higher-priced plans.

Multilevel caching

One of the standout features of Bluehost is that it offers multilevel caching. For the uninitiated, it implies storing data based on hierarchies for superfast access. So, highly requested or used data is usually stored in high-speed access CPUs.

The purpose of multilayer caching is to offer a superfast, glitch-free, and dependable service to all your website visitors.

Since Bluehost offers multi-level caching, your customers enjoy a seamless website experience whenever they visit your store. It directly impacts your store’s performance and helps you deliver an exceptional user experience. And in my opinion, Bluehost’s multi-level caching makes it a formidable force in the e-commerce domain.

You can always trust your Bluehost online shopfront to deliver a great performance.

Bluehost Website Builder Security Page
Source: Bluehost

To further bolster security, Bluehost gives you a dedicated IP address. This helps keep unscrupulous site visitors at bay. Your data and that of your customers are also fully encrypted.

However, the code you upload on Bluehost’s servers could still be prone to phishing and malware attacks. So, if you choose to edit or update the back-end code for your online shopfront, ensure it’s secure. That way, your e-commerce business will always remain safe.

Bluehost - Support Page Banner
Source: Bluehost

You can take a tour of its knowledge base to learn the basics of building a store. But in case you need hands-on help, get in touch with their support team using any of the following:

  • Phone: You simply need to dial (888) 401-4678 to talk to Bluehost’s support team. However, long-distance charges will apply if you’re not based in North America.

Bluehost - Support Page Banner with Get Help PopUp

  • Chat: Although quick to respond, you do need to fill out a short form to start chatting with the team. You will need personal identification, which could either be your domain name, phone number, or email address. Then you need to state your query by selecting the desired option from the drop-down menu. Then you’re good to start chatting. Bluehost also tells you when you can expect a response.
  • Social media: You can also reach out to the team via its social media handles on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Bluehost also runs a YouTube channel with a lot of informative videos. Its team posts excellent blog articles on LinkedIn, too. So you’ll have ample resources at your disposal.

Bluehost spares no effort in ensuring your queries are answered on time. But, you might need to wait for their reply. Even then, considering the money you pay for using the service provider, its support team is excellent.

If you’re new to building your e-commerce store, you’ll find Bluehost’s support a lifesaver.

Guided user experience for enhanced ease of use

Usability ranks high on Bluehosts’s list of priorities, and its recent guided user experience has further reinforced this. With this feature, even first-time users can easily build and customize their e-store and quickly take it live.

The guided user experience is a helpful tool for non-technical users with no prior experience in building e-commerce stores.

Integration with razorpay

Razorpay is one of the leading payment processing service providers, offering reliable service at a great price. Bluehost’s partnership with Razorpay opens up many opportunities for its users, including simple and hassle-free payment options.

And, you don’t have to pay a hefty price for it, either.

WooCommerce Setup Wizard is live

By now, you already know Bluehost offers all its e-commerce capabilities through the WooCommerce plug-in. Here’s what the WooCommerce support wizard can do for you:

  • Manage subscriptions and recurring bills with its subscriptions add-on
  • Take online reservations and bookings for events you may host
  • Customize your product listings with the product add-ons

All these improvements have boosted Bluehost’s performance and play a crucial role in the platform’s overall success. It’s doing a good job of implementing changes that trigger efficiency gains and business growth.

Compare Bluehost Alternatives

Website builderPricing Multichannel sales Apps Basic plan Features Compare
Bluehost

Overall rating
(4.0)

$29.95 per monthYes4,228 (WooCommerce apps)
  • Online store and website
  • Free domain first year
  • Free SSL
  • Yoast SEO
  • Jetpack daily backups
  • Automated WordPress updates
  • Unlimited products
  • 100 GB SSD storage
  • Customer account creation
Shopify

Overall rating
(4.1)

Read our full Shopify review.

Choose Shopify if: You want to build a standalone store without the hassle of a hosted WordPress or WooCommerce solution.

$29 per monthYes7,070
  • Unlimited products
  • 24/7 support (email, chat)
  • Marketing tools
  • Shipping tools
  • 2% transaction fee
While Bluehost’s ease of use and affordability work in its favor, Shopify offers more e-commerce-centric features.
BigCommerce

Overall rating
(3.9)

Read our full BigCommerce review.

Choose BigCommerce if: You have a large and complex inventory. It’s also a great platform for scaling your business.

$29.95 per monthYes1,030
  • Unlimited products
  • 24/7 support (phone, email, chat)
  • Reporting tools
  • Marketing tools
  • 0% transaction fee
There’s no denying that Bluehost is the cheaper of the two if you count discounts. But BigCommerce is better suited to e-commerce businesses.
Wix

Overall rating
(3.0)
Read our full Wix review.

Choose Wix if: You want an easy-to-use e-commerce website builder with accessible and high-quality tech support.

$27 per monthYes250+
  • Unlimited products
  • Ticket, phone, and social media support
Although there aren’t many differences between Bluehost and Wix, the former wins thanks to its affordability.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bluehost

Is Bluehost free?

No, Bluehost is not free. It does charge a fee, but how much depends on which of its services you use. However, it offers a host of different pricing plans, all of which are affordable. You can also get up to a 60% discount if you pay upfront for 12 to 36 months.

What does Bluehost do?

Bluehost is a website builder and hosting provider. It can help you build a WordPress or WooCommerce website from scratch, create a blog, or run an online shop front for your e-commerce business.

It also provides shared, virtual private servers (VPS), dedicated, and other hosting solutions.

Is Bluehost good for beginners?

Yes. It’s fairly easy to use Bluehost to build your online store, even if you don’t know how to code. The platform also provides new users with a guided tour to help them get started. These two factors make it great for beginners.

Can you own your domain name with Bluehost?

Yes. The domain name you get when you create an e-store using Bluehost is exclusively yours. You can retain it with yearly payments after the first year, which is free.

Why is Bluehost so cheap?

Bluehost offers cheap pricing plans because it generates a whole lot of revenue from its wide user base. The volume of users contributes to its profit margins over heavily priced plans.

Does Bluehost charge you monthly?

That depends on you. You can pay monthly, yearly, or even for a 36-month period. The 12- to 36-month packages offer discounts over the monthly plans.

How many websites can I host on Bluehost?

As many as you want. Bluehost lets you host unlimited domains and comes with multiple web hosting capabilities that make the process a breeze.

Is email free with Bluehost?

Yes, you will get a free email domain with every account you create or host on Bluehost.

Is WordPress free with Bluehost?

Yes. Free WordPress installation is something every Bluehost hosting plan offers. Remember that you’ll still need Bluehost to house your WordPress site.

Can you cancel your Bluehost subscription at any time?

If you’re unhappy with Bluehost, you can stop using it anytime. You are eligible for a full money-back guarantee if you cancel your subscription within the first 30 days of using the platform. In case you want to cancel your subscription after the first month, you can still get some of your money back on a prorated basis.

How I Rated Bluehost

Bluehost - WooCommerce Banner
Source: Bluehost

The purpose behind all my e-commerce website builder reviews is to understand the usability and performance of these platforms and give you an impartial opinion. To do that, I took a deep dive into the backend of Bluehost and tried it out myself. After using every feature the platform has to offer, I compared it with the most popular alternatives available.

This review is the outcome of hours of research and stress testing. Undoubtedly, Bluehost is one of the most reliable platforms in existence and has cemented its position through years of dependable service. While its web-hosting capabilities are some of the best in the business, there’s a lot of room for improvement as far as e-commerce store building is concerned.

Even then, I cannot deny that Bluehost happens to be one of the most intuitive and robust e-commerce hosting providers out there. Years of experience in web hosting and consistent performance for more than a decade make it a dependable platform.

Does Bluehost leave a lot to be desired? That depends entirely on your immediate requirements. But if you want to start small while demanding good performance, it’s a great choice.