Bluehost Managed WordPress vs “Regular” WordPress

The ordinary Bluehost WordPress plan is just regular shared hosting with a few WordPress specific features like automatic installation and updates. No big deal. By contrast, the Bluehost managed WordPress package is a lot more powerful and provides a more advanced experience for WordPress users. Here’s a screenshot of the two plans on the Bluehost website:

Bluehost WP Pro
Bluehost WP Pro and the Regular WordPress Hosting Plan

Table of Contents

Unlike the regular one, the Bluehost Managed WordPress plan is actually substantively different – and more expensive!

Here are the main differences between the two WordPress hosting.

Biggest Bluehost Managed WordPress Discount

Looking to get the biggest Bluehost discount for Managed WordPress? Here’s the best Bluehost offer right now:

You can get a complete list of discounts on the Bluehost coupon list, along with those for the current year.

Bluehost Managed WordPress Has Less Crowded Servers

This is the #1 difference between the managed WordPress plan and Bluehost’s ordinary WordPress package. Really when it comes down to it, this is the fundamental advantage. All the other features below take second place.

As you know, all shared hosting plans are oversold. And almost without exception, they hide that fact from their customers (NameHero is the big exception). This allows them to have extremely low prices, while they bet on the fact that their customers will not use all available resources. And it works most of the time.

However, when this model fails, it crashes catastrophically. If some other account on your server misbehaves and starts to use more than its fair share of resources, all sites on the server will suffer – including yours. This is the primary difference between shared hosting and a VPS. The VPS plan has dedicated resources, and the shared hosting plan, well…shares them!

The Bluehost Managed WordPress plan however, specifically makes use of low-density servers to ensure that customers have as much space as they need. Not physical disk space, but CPU seconds, script executions, and more. With managed WordPress, you won’t hit a wall in performance.

Better Customer Support

Customer support isn’t cheap. And for good reason. Trained staff are expensive. With Bluehost Managed WordPress, you get a higher level of care compared to shared hosting. Even if you feel that you don’t need this extra level of customer care, trust me – a time will come when your site is down, and you will need to contact customer care.

In situations like that, it’s absolutely imperative for issues to be resolved quickly. On a managed WordPress plan, you’ll be treated like royalty.

Free Daily Backups

The regular Bluehost WordPress plan doesn’t have free backups. This means you either need to subscribe to a 3rd party solution or make your own backups on a regular basis. Of course, this also means that restoring a backup is that much more difficult.

With a Bluehost Managed WordPress plan, your site is backed up daily without placing an additional strain on your server. At the “Scale” level, you even get unlimited backups and restores on demand. Meaning that you can take a snapshot of your site before embarking on a major change, and then restore it if something goes wrong.

Personally, while this backup option is good to have, it’s best to use a 3rd party backup solution like DropMySite. This way, you can ensure that your backups are always stored offsite. So if your host suffers a catastrophic network failure, all your data is still secure.

Global CDN

Bluehost Managed WordPress comes with a free CDN for your static files like images, CSS, and JavaScript. This is a real money saver, considering that a retail provider like KeyCDN charges a minimum of $50 per year. However, I’ve recently realized that ordinary websites can do just fine with the free Cloudflare CDN. In fact, I think Cloudflare is better than any other CDN, despite it being free!

So the value you get from a free CDN might vary, depending on how you see things 🙂

100 Free Premium Themes with Bluehost WP Pro

Premium themes can be expensive. I purchased the one I use on WP-Tweaks for $60. With Bluehost WP Pro, you get access to 100 paid themes for free! This means that if you have a lot of websites on a single account, you save tons of money with each premium theme you use. That by itself can make up for the additional cost of WP Pro!

Higher Tiers Provide Jetpack for Free

The “Grow” and “Scale” plans allow you to use the paid versions of the Jetpack plugin – specifically, the “Premium” and “Professional” plans. You can get a full list of the features on the Jetpack website. As you can see, the Professional package is $29/m – which by itself makes up a huge chunk of the costs of Bluehost Managed WordPress. So it’s totally worth it if you were planning to subscribe to Jetpack anyway.

The Ordinary Bluehost WordPress Plan is Just Shared Hosting

Until sometime in early 2018, the Bluehost WordPress plan was special. It stood out from regular shared hosting by being far more capable and could handle a huge number of visitors without stuttering. It also had a price to match. For marketing reasons, they were forced to add “ordinary” WordPress plans that are virtually indistinguishable from their regular shared hosting.

So why call it “WordPress hosting” in the first place?

“Normal” Bluehost WordPress vs Shared Hosting Plans

On the Bluehost website, there are three different types of hosting plans associated with WordPress:

  1. Regular WordPress Hosting
  2. WP Pro
  3. E-Commerce hosting

Here’s a screenshot:

Bluehost WordPress Plan list
Bluehost WordPress Plans

For a long time, only option (2) – Bluehost Managed WordPress (formerly WP Pro) – was available as a full-fledged WordPress plan. The recent addition of ordinary WordPress hosting means that Bluehost can’t lay claim to specializing in a higher tier of WordPress services.

For comparison, here are the features and specifications of the WordPress and Shared hosting plans side by side. You can see that they’re virtually the same thing:

Comparing Bluehost WordPress and shared hosting
Bluehost Shared vs WordPress

So what does this mean for ordinary WordPress hosting? What differentiates it from shared plans?

Automatic Bluehost WordPress Installation

The first thing you get with WordPress hosting is automatic installation. Without this, you’d have to invoke the manual WordPress installation process – which however, is quite easy to use by itself. Even before Bluehost changed its cPanel to a more custom look, you could always use the Softaculous icon to install WordPress.

I’m not sure what the target audience is, but I don’t think this is a huge value addition. If a server doesn’t already have WordPress installed on it, it’s easy to change that. But still – this is one difference between Bluehost’s shared and WordPress plans.

Automatic WordPress Updates

This is a little more useful. Most security vulnerabilities and hacks are caused by people not updating their WordPress themes and plugins. As a result, making sure that your WordPress installation is up to date is one of the most effective things you can do to keep your site safe.

Bluehost doing this automatically for you is a real benefit. Many people don’t log into their WordPress sites for long periods of time once the development work is done, and this can lead to updates piling up one after the other. It’s good to know that this will happen on its own.

Basic WordPress Login Credential Updates

A common vector for hackers to attack WordPress sites, is to use the traditional “admin” as a username and then try and guess the password. Since half the work is already done for them, this makes their job that much easier.

Bluehost WordPress plans try and aver this by changing the default “admin” username, to something more secure. Is it enough? Not by a long shot! There are a huge number of attack vectors that hackers can use to compromise WordPress – and some of them involve getting access to those who already have log in credentials. But at least it’s something, right?

Should you Get Bluehost WordPress?

Honestly, it’s not that amazing. You’re pretty much getting regular shared hosting with a cherry on top. If you want special features, then you should choose the more expensive Bluehost Managed WordPress plan. If you’d like to keep the lower prices, the Hostgator WordPress plan is surprisingly good. It’s not as fully featured as the Bluehost managed WordPress hosting but it’s not that expensive either!

In terms of value for money, I would choose the Hostgator WordPress plan over Bluehost’s standard one any day.

Bottom Line

The Bluehost Managed WordPress plan builds on the existing WordPress package by incorporating low-density servers, high priority customer service, and a bunch of additional benefits. Though it’s a lot more expensive than ordinary shared hosting, you can make it practically pay for itself if you take the value of all the extras into consideration – especially the premium themes, and Jetpack!

About Bhagwad Park

I've been writing about web hosting and WordPress tutorials since 2008. I also create tutorials on Linux server administration, and have a ton of experience with web hosting products. Contact me via e-mail!

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