WPX vs. Bluehost 2022: Why WPX Wins With Everything But Price + Data Centers

Wpx vs bluehost

Are you really deciding between WPX vs. Bluehost?

WPX is the better choice if you can afford it. They use LiteSpeed servers which means you can use the LiteSpeed Cache plugin + QUIC.cloud CDN. These are faster than WP Rocket because of server-level caching, HTTP/3, guest mode feature, and image optimization. There’s no need to buy a premium cache plugin like you would on Bluehost to get better core web vitals. Their support is significantly better than Bluehost as reflected in their TrustPilot reviews. The main con is WPX only has 3 data centers (in Chicago, London, Sydney). Otherwise, WPX clearly wins.

Bluehost is owned by EIG who is infamous for slow servers, resulting in a slow TTFB which is part of Google’s core web vitals. While they’re cheap at first, their renewal prices are about 2.5 times what the intro prices are (while WPX is monthly/yearly). Bluehost’s support is awful (and slow) which is reflected in their TrustPilot reviews. A quick search of “Bluehost” in Facebook Groups will bring up a lot of complaints about their slow hosting and support. They have an aggressive affiliate program which is why they’re mainly promoted by affiliates, but aren’t good.

WPX Bluehost
Facebook Feedback Great Poor
Server LiteSpeed Apache
Caching LiteSpeed Cache Page Caching
CDN QUIC.cloud or Cloudflare Cloudflare
Server Locations 3 6
Support Excellent Poor
Dashboard Custom cPanel
Uptimes Average Poor
Security Great Average
Migrations Free + Site Speed Optimization Free (If Qualified)
Price Expensive (Monthly) Cheap (But High Renewals)
TrustPilot Rating 4.8/5 3.1/5
Winner Yes No

Affiliate Disclaimer: I use aff links to WPX (not Bluehost) since they’re clearly better.

 

1. Facebook Feedback – What People Say About WPX vs. Bluehost

What people say about Bluehost:

Bluehost-managed-wordpress-hosting

What people say about WPX:

Wpx reviews

 

2. Server – LiteSpeed On WPX Is Faster Than Apache On Bluehost

WPX uses LiteSpeed servers which are much faster than Bluehost (who uses Apache). There are a range of benefits of using LiteSpeed including the obvious “faster speeds” but you’re also less likely to run into CPU overages and 503 errors since they’re more efficient and can handle 2x the amount of websites as Apache. LiteSpeed is also becoming popular in Facebook Groups.

Litespeed vs nginx vs apache
LiteSpeed (what WPX uses) vs. Apache (what Bluehost uses)

Kevin Ohashi from Review Signal ran an independent test which doesn’t use affiliate links. He found WPX had one of the fastest average response times when comparing several hosting plans in the <$25 range with an average response time of 82ms. Bluehost and EIG brands don’t participate in Kevin’s tests (probably because it will make them look bad with slow load times).

Wordpress hosting performance benchmarks review signal

 

3. Caching – LiteSpeed Cache Plugin On WPX Is Faster Than Bluehost

The only caching Bluehost offers is page caching through their control panel or using the Bluehost plugin. Otherwise, you will need to invest in a solid cache plugin like WP Rocket or FlyingPress (most free cache plugins haven’t been updated to fully address core web vitals).

Bluehost caching

WPX recommends W3 Total Cache but you should really be using LiteSpeed Cache instead. WPX uses LiteSpeed servers so there’s absolutely no reason to use W3 Total Cache over LiteSpeed Cache. It’s free, has better reviews, addresses core web vitals, uses server-level caching, and was built specifically to work on top of LiteSpeed. See my recommended settings.

Best cache plugin with oxygen

 

4. CDN – Should You Use XDN, QUIC.cloud, Or Cloudflare?

WPX gives you a few CDN options: their custom built XDN, QUIC.cloud CDN (built to work on top of LiteSpeed), or Cloudflare. Since Bluehost doesn’t have a custom CDN or LiteSpeed, you’ll need to use Cloudflare. Bluehost is partnered with Cloudflare and activates it on all websites by default, but this only gives you basic settings. You’ll want to disable Cloudflare in Bluehost and set it up manually (by changing nameservers) so you have full access to Cloudflare’s dashboard.

You can check our cdnperf.com to see many CDN’s performance and reliability. Cloudflare and BunnyCDN are usually both solid options, but XDN and QUIC.cloud aren’t listed here. If using Cloudflare, make sure you take advantage of the “new” features they added in their dashboard.

Quic. Cloud cdn

 

5. Server Locations – WPX Only Has 3, Bluehost Has 6

One of the biggest cons of WPX is they only have 3 data centers.

Choosing a data center close to your visitors has a big impact on time to first byte (part of core web vitals). So if either host doesn’t have a location close to your visitors, you may want to look elsewhere (yes, it’s that important). Other hosts like Cloudways have 44 data center locations.

WPX Data Centers Bluehost Data Centers
Chicago, IL (USA) Provo, Utah (US)
London (England) Orem, Utah (US)
Sydney (Australia) Mumbai (IND)
London, UK (EU)
Hong Kong (CN)
Shanghai, Mainland (CN)
View WPX’s Data Centers Data Centers Not Listed On Website

 

6. Support – WPX’s Support Is Better Than Bluehost

Support is significantly better at WPX than Bluehost.

You rarely get good support with cheap hosting. WPX prides themselves in their 30 second support, meaning you can reach someone through live chat in 30 seconds (or you can submit a ticket). Bluehost also offers tickets and live chat, but it’s usually very slow and their support team is usually not nearly as competent/helpful as WPX. In this category, WPX definitely wins.

Wpx-vs-bluehost-trustpilot

Wpx vs bluehost trustpilot review

 

7. Dashboard – WPX’s Custom Dashboard vs. Bluehost’s cPanel

The dashboard is one of the only categories where Bluehost wins.

Bluehost uses cPanel which is straightforward. WPX uses a custom dashboard which lacks features and can be clunky. For basic functions like staging, WPX’s dashboard should be just fine. But for certain things, you may not find what you’re looking for in the dashboard. Since WPX is monthly pricing, you can always buy one month of hosting to check out the dashboard.

Wpx hosting dashboard
WPX dashboard
Bluehost control panel
Bluehost control panel

 

8. Uptimes – Both Had A Major Outage With No Uptime Status Page

Both WPX and Bluehost have had a major outage.

Bluehost’s was a while back in 2016, but WPX’s was just recently in 2021. That’s not to say these companies have perfect uptimes. Bluehost has constant problems which you can see on their Downdetector profile. While WPX doesn’t have a profile on Downdetector or similar sites, they seem to have high uptimes if you look at TrustPilot reviews and Facebook Group feedback.

Bluehost-downdetector

Also, don’t pay attention to host’s 99.95% or 99.99% uptime guarantee. If you take a look at their hosting agreement page, this does not included schedule maintenance. So as long as the maintenance is scheduled, they can really have as much downtime as they want. Unfortunately, neither WPX or Bluehost have an “uptime status page” which shows all scheduled maintenance.

 

9. Security – WPX Guarantees Malware Cleanup, Bluehost Doesn’t

WPX has a guaranteed malware cleanup in case anything goes wrong. Bluehost is quite the opposite. They partnered with SiteLock and in the past, there have been reports of shady practices where they would send out emails telling you that your website MIGHT be infected, and they can remove it for a few hundred dollars. But your website may not be infected at all.

To their credit, neither WPX or Bluehost have had a large data breach.

 

10. Migrations – WPX Does A Free Migration, Bluehost Is Free (If Qualified)

WPX offers free migrations and guarantees to do it in 24 hours.

Bluehost also offers a free migration but only if your website qualifies (based on WordPress + PHP version, website size, database size, use of WordPress multisite, current secure plugins, etc). WPX does a free migration regardless, with Bluehost there’s a catch, so WPX wins this one.

Wpx migration request

WPX also includes free site speed optimization where they optimize your site for core web vitals. I have never used this before but it’s a bonus if you’re struggling to pass core web vitals.

Wpx free site speed optimization

 

11. Price – WPX’s Expensive Monthly Prices vs. Bluehost’s High Renewals

WPX looks expensive at first glance, but their price is constant (with no higher renewals) and you get 2 months free if you sign up for a year. With Bluehost, you get the cheap initial price for 1 year, then it renews at a higher price (or you can buy up to 3 years at a somewhat discounted price). But once your Bluehost plan renews, you’re paying almost 3 times what you were before.

WPX Plan Websites Storage Bandwidth Monthly Yearly
Business Up to 5 10GB 100GB $24.99/mo $20.83/mo
Professional Up to 15 20GB 200GB $49.99/mo $41.58/mo
Elite Up to 35 40GB “Unlimited” $99.00/mo $83.25/mo
Bluehost Plan Intro Price Renewal Price
Basic $3.95/month $7.99/month
Plus $5.95/month $10.99/month
Choice Plus $6.95/month $14.99/month
WP Pro Build $19.95/month $29.99/month
WP Pro Grow $29.95/month $39.99/month
WP Pro Scale $49.95/month $59.99/month
eCommerce Starter $6.95/month $13.99/month
eCommerce Plus $8.95/month $17.99/month
eCommerce Pro $12.95/month $31.99/month
VPS Standard $19.99/month $29.99/month
VPS Enhanced $29.99/month $59.99/month
VPS Ultimate $59.99/month $119.99/month
Dedicated Standard $79.99/month $119.99/month
Dedicated Enhanced $99.99/month $159.99/month
Dedicated Premium $119.99/month $209.99/month

 

12. TrustPilot Rating – WPX Has Better Reviews

Instead of simply comparing WPX’s 4/8/5 star TrustPilot rating with Bluehost’s 3.2/5 star rating, I took screenshots of TrustPilot reviews comparing WPX vs Bluehost, so here they are.

Wpx vs bluehost trustpilot review

Wpx vs bluehost trustpilot review

 

13. Winner – WPX Is Better/Faster Than Bluehost If You Have The Money

WPX is better than Bluehost in nearly every major category including speed, support, free migrations, and the fact you can use the LiteSpeed Cache plugin + QUIC.cloud is a big bonus.

Even though most affiliates steer you to Bluehost because they’re popular, that doesn’t mean they’re the right choice. Do your own research in Facebook Groups and you’ll find the answers.

Is WPX better than Bluehost?

WPX is more expensive than Bluehost but you get what you pay for. They use faster LiteSpeed servers with better support and a free site speed optimization when you move.

Which is faster - WPX or Bluehost?

WPX uses LiteSpeed servers which are faster than Bluehost's Apache servers. The LiteSpeed Cache plugin is also faster than any cache plugin you would use with Bluehost with it's server-side caching.

Cheers,
Tom

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