Today we are going to be comparing Bluehost vs Squarespace head to head. They are both great platforms, but they each have different features, as well as their own pros and cons, so which one is better?
If you’ve been searching for reliable hosting companies for your new website or blog, then you will no doubt have come across both Bluehost and Squarespace web hosting.
That’s what we’re going to find out.
Bottom Line Up Front: The bottom line is that these platforms are very different from each other, so at the end of the day it’s really down to personal preference. Eventually however, you will probably want to host your own WordPress website, so going with what Bluehost offers here is the more scalable option.
Table of Contents
- 1 Main Differences Between Bluehost vs Squarespace
- 2 Bluehost vs Squarespace Overview
- 3 Bluehost: Detailed Overview
- 4 Bluehost vs Squarespace: Squarespace Detailed Overview
- 5 Bluehost vs Squarespace Frequently Asked Questions:
- 6 Bluehost or Squarespace: Which platform should you build your website on?
Main Differences Between Bluehost vs Squarespace
The main differences between Bluehost vs Squarespace are:
- Bluehost doesn’t offer monthly payment plans, whereas Squarespace you have the option to either pay monthly or yearly for the service
- Bluehost is a very affordable option, whereas Squarespace is significantly more expensive
- Bluehost is a hosting provider, whereas Squarespace is an all in one hosting provider and website builder
- Bluehost with WordPress will have a small learning curve if you are a complete beginner, whereas Squarespace is designed for anyone to use
- Bluehost is completely customizable with WordPress, whereas Squarespace can have some limitations when it comes to designing a site
- Bluehost need to use a third-party email provider, whereas Squarespace has built-in email marketing software
The process of choosing a host for your website can be daunting, particularly since there are so many options to choose from.
Things you will want to consider when choosing a host are features to minimize any risks to your content and personal data, the pricing (which could be very important if you are getting started on a budget), flexibility, uptime, page loading speeds, and ease of use.
Things like uptime and page loading speeds might not seem too important at first, but when you consider that when your page loading speeds increase from 1 second to 3 seconds, the probability of your visitors simply leaving the page and going elsewhere increases to 32%, which can have a huge effect on your bottom line.
In this comparison we are going to be taking an in-depth look at Bluehost vs Squarespace side by side, so see how they perform in each of these areas, to help you decide which option is best for you and your business.
Let’s get stuck in…
Bluehost vs Squarespace Overview
Bluehost: Detailed Overview
Bluehost hosting company is one of the most well-known WordPress hosting providers around, known mostly for its affordable, and good quality hosting plans. It is one of the top hosting providers recommended by WordPress, so you can be sure that your site will be in safe hands. If WordPress isn’t for you then you can build your website with Joomla, Magento, or Drupal, depending on which one best suits your needs.
The company was founded in 2003, and since then they have served millions of customers with their comprehensive tools, hosting packages, and 24/7 support. Bluehost uses open source technology allowing you to upgrade and add resources as your business grows and giving developers full flexibility.
The Main Features of Bluehost Web
- Automatic WordPress installation
- Automatic WordPress updates
- The free domain name for one year
- Microsoft Office 365 available
- Secure configuration of login credentials
- WordPress staging environment
- Free SSL Certificates
- 24/7 support
- Hundreds of WordPress themes available
Bluehost: Ease of Use
It’s very easy to build a website on Bluehost by using WordPress. WordPress is one of the most popular CMS platforms around, and Bluehost offers automatic WordPress installation on all of their hosting plans, so you can have a basic site up and running in a matter of minutes if you want to.
Although using WordPress may seem a little scary at first for beginners, it’s actually incredibly easy to use, and the sky’s the limit when it comes to designing your site and adding all the elements you are looking for with even basic WordPress users proficiency.
There are free WordPress themes and WordPress plugins available for you to choose from within the WordPress user panel, and they can all be installed at the click of a button. Once you have installed your chosen WordPress theme you can customize it by adding your own images, logo, changing the colors, and more.
Bluehost also has its own marketplace where you can browse and purchase premium themes and plugins for your website.
Plugins can be used to add extra elements to your site, and there’s pretty much a plugin for everything you could ever need, from contact forms to e-commerce (such as WooCommerce) and even shipping management plugins for e-commerce store owners.
Bluehost plans also include a free domain name for the first year, but you also have the option to purchase additional domains if you wish to do so, which can be connected to your primary domain name, or parked and saved for future use.
Bluehost takes security very seriously, and they have taken several measures to ensure that your site and all its content is secure. Bluehost currently uses Spam Experts, Spam Hammer, and Apache Spam Assassin to protect your websites, but you also have the option to add additional free or paid security features to your websites, to further increase security.
All of your login credentials are secure, and you can easily change your username and password once your account is set up. Bluehost provides a free SSL certificate with all hosting plans which will add ‘https’ to your website, this is also an important feature for your site when it comes to SEO.
Web Hosting Customer Support and Reviews
If you need to get in touch with the customer support team at Bluehost, there are a range of options available for you 24/7. If you would like to speak to a person you can contact them by phone on either a US (toll-free) or an International phone number provided on their website. For smaller issues, you can use the chat feature on their website. The chat support is quick and helpful, and when we contacted them our issues were resolved quickly.
Although we had a good experience with Bluehost customer service, there are plenty of scathing reviews on third-party review sites from people saying they have had issues with their website or with customer service which is quite concerning, so overall Bluehost isn’t doing well in the reviews department.
The Benefits of Using Bluehost Web Host
- It’s a very affordable shared hosting solution (shared hosting plan), perfect for anyone who wants to start a blog or website on a budget.
- Bluehost provides a free SSL certificate with all its hosting plans.
- WordPress is automatically installed when you purchase a hosting plan so you can start using it straight away.
- A domain name is included free of charge for the first year.
- Bluehost allows you to build a site with WordPress, which gives you complete control and flexibility over your website.
- The Plus plans and Choice Plus plans to allow you to build unlimited websites for no additional cost.
- Good uptime rates, Bluehost has uptime rates of 99.9%.
- Bluehost has unmetered bandwidth, so there’s no limit to the amount of traffic your website can have.
- Generous storage allowances.
The Downsides to Using Bluehost
One of the biggest downsides to using Bluehost is their poor customer service track record. Look at any unbiased review site and you will see hundreds of reviews complaining about the poor support. Although Bluehost seems cheap at first, you need to keep in mind that after the discounted period (usually the first year) your plan will automatically renew at the full price.
A couple of other downsides you might want to know about are that Bluehost doesn’t offer free migration if you’re moving from another host, and they don’t provide automatic daily backups like some of their competitors do.
Bluehost offers three different pricing plans for WordPress hosting: Basic, Plus, and Choice Plus.
The Basic plan costs $3.95/month (which goes up to $7.99/month after renewal). This plan includes 1 website, free SSL certificate, 50GB SSD storage, free domain for 1 year, 5 parked domains, and 25 subdomains.
The Plus plan costs $5.95/month (which goes up to $10.99/month after renewal). This plan includes unlimited websites, free SSL certificate, unmetered SSD storage, free domain for 1 year, unlimited parked domains, and unlimited subdomains.
The Choice Plus plan costs $5.95/month (which goes up to $14.99/month after renewal). This plan includes everything from the Plus plan, as well as CodeGuard Basic backups.
If you would like to find out more about Bluehost WordPress hosting plans, you can visit their website here.
Bluehost vs Squarespace: Squarespace Detailed Overview
Squarespace is an all in one ‘software as a service’ platform that allows anyone to build their own blog, website, or e-commerce quickly and easily. It provides everything you need to run an online business in one place, and it’s a great option for beginners, as no prior website building is needed and no coding knowledge is required. The CMS (Content Management System) is very user-friendly.
Like Bluehost, Squarespace was founded in 2003, and since then millions of websites have been created and launched on the platform. Squarespace is a global company with a head office in New York City, and offices in Portland, Oregon, and Dublin, Ireland.
In contrast to Bluehost, Squarespace is a pure website builder WITH hosting included.
The Main Features of Squarespace
- Modern Templates
- Free Google and Typekit fonts
- Template Switching
- Mobile responsive
- Custom CSS
- Video Backgrounds
- Drag and Drop page builder
- Galleries and Display effects
- Audio Collections
- Extensions available
- Multiple contributors
- Commenting system
- Email campaigns
- SEO Friendly
- Logo builder
- Free domain for the first year with all annual accounts
- G Suite Integration
- Custom Site Search engine
- Chat support
- 24/7 email support
- Developer platform with full code control
Squarespace: Ease of Use
Building a website with Squarespace is incredibly easy. No prior experience is required, and you have all the tools you need available to you in one place. There is an extensive template library to choose from, with templates available for all industries.
Each template can be customized using the drag and drop page builder, so you can easily change the colors, fonts, and add your logo and images until your site is exactly the way you want it to be. All of the templates are fully responsive, so they will look great on any screen size.
Squarespace websites include powerful blogging tools so that you can share your latest news, make announcements, or publish anything else you want to share with your audience. Your blog posts can be categorized, and you can even schedule them to be published at a future time and date.
If you would like to build an online store, Squarespace has everything you need to list your products, and take payments. You can include videos of your products, and there are no limits to the number of products you can sell on your website.
As well as giving you the ability to sell products, Squarespace is also a great solution for anyone who wants to sell subscriptions or services, as it has inbuilt booking and scheduling features, with flexible payment and checkout features too.
Squarespace has powerful built-in email marketing software that allows you to build beautiful email campaigns to send to your subscribers. There are lots of email templates for you to choose from, they are all fully responsive and you can customize them to blend seamlessly with your website to keep your message and branding consistent.
Squarespace also has a logo maker feature that you can use to create your own logo. This feature is completely free for anyone on one of Squarespace’s plans. You simply enter your company name and tagline, and then you can select an icon to go with it and download it to use for anything you want.
Squarespace has a dedicated security team that are responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining Squarespace’s information security program. They have an extensive and formally documented disaster recovery plan which is tested at least once each year, with results being documented and maintained.
As far as application-level security goes, Squarespace takes the following security measures:
- Hashing passwords for user accounts
- Providing SSL certificates
- WAF (Web Application Firewall) Technology
- Regular pen testing on the Squarespace platform
Customer Support and Reviews
There is lots of support available on the Squarespace platform, with a dedicated ‘help’ area on the website where you can type in your query and search for a quick answer. There are in-depth guides for everything you need to know about Squarespace, as well as video workshops to walk you through different elements of building a website with Squarespace.
There is also a community forum where you can ask questions about advanced customizations, and an area where you can sign up to take part in interactive webinars where a Squarespace expert will walk you through everything you need to know when building your Squarespace website.
If you can’t find answers to your questions in the help area, you can contact the support team by email 24/7, or live chat from Monday-Friday 4 am to 8 pm Eastern Time.
When it comes to customer opinions, Squarespace has very mixed reviews. There are a lot of reviews complaining that it’s difficult to get in touch with the customer support team, but on the other hand, there are some people who seem to love it, so it’s probably best if you make up your own mind by taking advantage of the free 14-day trial available on all plans.
The Benefits of Using Squarespace Website Builder & Hosting
- The platform is very easy to use, and no experience is required- anyone can build a website straight away.
- There are lots of beautiful templates available, so you can have a great looking site right from the start.
- It allows you to have background videos to create a big impact on your pages.
- The page builder uses a drag and drop interface, so no coding skills are required to make customizations to themes.
- All the tools you need to build a blog, website, or online store are available, so you won’t need to spend time trying to connect third-party tools.
- As well as giving you the ability to sell products, you can also use your Squarespace website to sell services and subscriptions, with a variety of appointment scheduling tools and payment options available to your customers.
- If you need any help you can contact customer service by both phones and live chat.
- You can easily add SSL certificates to your websites.
The Downsides to Using Squarespace
The main downside to using Squarespace is the pricing.
Although there is an option to pay for your plan monthly so it’s not one big lump sum, over the year it works out to be quite a lot more expensive than other website options. You will also need to pay extra if you want to use some of the integrations such as email marketing features.
The other downside is that there is no autosave function, you need to click save after you make any changes to ensure that they go live.
Squarespace has four pricing plans available: Personal, Business, Basic Commerce, and Advanced Commerce.
All plans can be paid either monthly or annually, but you will save up to 30% on your plan if you pay for the year upfront.
The Personal plan costs $12 per month and includes a free custom domain, SSL security, unlimited bandwidth and storage, SEO features for site visibility, templates, mobile-optimized websites, 24/7 customer support, basic website metrics, Squarespace extensions, and up to 2 contributors.
The Basic Commerce plan costs $26/month and includes everything from the Business plan, as well as 0% transaction fees, POS, Customer accounts, checkout on your domain, powerful e-commerce analytics, and products on Instagram.
And finally, the Advanced Commerce plan costs $40/month and includes everything from the Basic Commerce plan, as well as abandoned cart recovery, gift cards, sell subscriptions, advanced shipping, advanced discounts, Commerce APIs and limited availability labels.
Bluehost vs Squarespace Frequently Asked Questions:
Moving from another platform to Squarespace is not just possible but it is also very easy. The process depends on if you have your own domain if you already have a website or even if you have an online store.
If you have a domain, you can transfer it and start using all the domain settings provided by Squarespace. If you have a website or an online store, you can move the content or your products to the new platform. just keep in mind that it is very possible that you will have to rebuild your site using the Squarespace tools and templates.
All the sites created in this platform will have a .squarespace.com. attached at the end of the domain. If you want to have a custom domain, you can ask for a registered one (view their domain registrar service), directly with Squarespace or, connecting with a third-party domain.
Bluehost is very serious about their customer’s security, so you won’t need a SiteLock Security.
Bluehost or Squarespace: Which platform should you build your website on?
So the big question is… Should you be building your new website on Bluehost with WordPress, or with Squarespace?
Well, firstly because if you go for Bluehost you can build your website on WordPress. There’s a very good reason why WordPress is the most popular CMS platform in the world, and that’s because it is open-source software, so the customization capabilities are endless, and you can build pretty much any type of website using WordPress.
The other reason we have chosen Bluehost over Squarespace is the huge difference in price, with Bluehost’s hosting plans costing significantly less than the Squarespace plans. This makes Bluehost a great option for anyone who wants to start an online business or a blog on a budget.
That’s not to say Squarespace isn’t a great tool as a site builder, it just depends what you need it for. Squarespace has lots of great features that are all built-in, so if the technology is not your friend then it could be a good option for you. It would be a great option for restaurant, or brick and mortar business owners, for example, or anyone who needs a good looking website up and running quickly and doesn’t mind paying the high prices.
Bottom Line: The bottom line is that these platforms are very different from each other, so at the end of the day it’s really down to personal preference. Eventually however, you will probably want to host your own WordPress website, so going with what Bluehost offers here is the more scalable option.
You can try out Squarespace for free with their 14-day free trial which is available on all plans, no credit card required.
Bluehost doesn’t have a free trial available, but they do offer a full refund if you cancel your plan within 30 days. If you would like to find out more about Bluehost WordPress hosting plans, you can visit their website here.
Still not sure who to host your website with? If you’re thinking of using WordPress to build your website, there are some other great alternative hosting companies you should consider.
We also looked at seven of the best Bluehost alternatives, which will give you a good overview of all the options available to you.
Further Reading on Web Hosting Services: