Bluehost, the #1 recommended web host by WordPress, now offers a quality website builder. In this Bluehost website builder review and tutorial we take a professional look into this surprisingly good website builder experience from Bluehost.
The way this website builder works is that it’s a structured page building experience where you choose between different layouts for your header and footer section. For the body, you have a multitude of different “sections” as they are called to add.
Websites made easy
Website builder sections like an FAQ, video with stylized text, photos, call to action buttons, calendars, contact forms and more. Each section you can add has multiple layout styles. Allowing you to quickly design and edit your website fast.
Last, the Bluehost website builder also comes with the ability to launch a blog and add an online store. The only downside we’ve seen is that sometimes the SSL is not activated. This can be fixed in a few minutes by contacting Bluehost support.
The #1 recommended web host by the team behind WordPress. Now with a great website builder.
To get started with their website builder you’ll need to purchase a shared hosting account, a domain name name and to setup name servers. This tutorial is a complete guide on how to create a website with Bluehost’s website builder.
- Register a domain name.
- Purchase a hosting package.
- Setup nameservers correctly.
- Launch the website builder
- Design your website
- Add a blog
- Add a Store
Namcheap – Register a Domain Name
To create a website, you first need to register a domain name. You can either get a free domain name through Bluehost for the first year or register your domain name at a domain name registrar.
We suggest using a registrar as long term the prices will be much cheaper. It’s also easier to switch web hosts and services if your domain is a a registrar.
Step 1: Search for your domain name using the search box on the Namecheap homepage. If the domain name you want is taken, you have to think of a different combination.
Step 2: Once you find a domain that is available, add it to your cart and proceed to checkout.
Step 3: Once you’ve finished creating an account, it’s time to confirm your order. Here you can choose how many years you want to register the domain name for:
We suggest getting a .com if possible. Good alternative extensions are .co, .net and .org. With Namecheap you get whois protection for free (which other charge for) forever. This protection keeps your contact information private.
Bluehost – Purchase a hosting package
Bluehost is the #1 recommended web host by WordPress. Easy to use for beginners, fast hosting a great introduction rate and low renewal rates. They also offer free domains for the first year (but we suggest using Namecheap).
To get started with their website builder you will first need a shared hosting account. Simply visit Bluehost.com:
- Basic: $2.95 a month. Not ideal as you can only have one website on this plan.
- Plus: $5.45 a month. Good plan that is ideal for building a website to around 800 visitors a day.
- Choice Plus: $5.45 a month. Their best plan. Feature rich and enough resources to grow a large website.
- Pro: $13.95 a month. For large established websites. Unnecessary if you don’t yet have a website.
*Please note that these are all introduction rates. After your hosting contract is up, they will renew at the standard rate. With Bluehost you can get a one, two or three year hosting plan at the intro rate.
One you purchase a plan, you’ll have to set a domain name to be the primary domain name on your account:
On the next page you’ll be presented with the checkout page. Simply fill out your information as required. You’ll also be given an on-boarding process. Please skip this step as we will be using Bluehost’s website builder.
One you skip the on-boarding process you’ll be looking at Bluehost’s dashboard:
Welcome to Bluehost. Now we need to connect our domain name and hosting account. To do that we need to setup the nameservers for our domain name correctly.
Setup nameservers correctly
Nameservers map your domain name to your hosting account. You will need the nameservers for your shared hosting account from Bluehost and you will need to copy and paste those nameservers into the DNS settings for your domain name. It’s a simply and easy process.
Find your nameservers
Check your email. Bluehost will send you a “welcome” email. In that email will be your nameservers. For Bluehost it looks like this:
For Bluehost, your nameservers are ns1.bluehost.com and ns2.bluehost.com. You’ll need to update your DNS settings for your domain name with these nameservers.
Update your nameservers
Log into your domain name registrar. In this tutorial we’re using Namcheap so log into your Namecheap account. In your domain name list click on “manage” for the domain name you want to edit.
Find where it says nameservers and change it to “custom DNS.” Input your web hosts name servers and click the green check mark to save.
Once you update the nameservers, it usually takes 10 minutes for the change to propagate.
Launch Bluehost Builder
Now it’s time to launch the website builder for Bluehost. Once your DNS setting propagate, you’ll be ready to install WordPress on your website with Bluehost. However, we don’t want to install WordPress. We want to use their website builder.
If you just set everything up, you will first have to delete your website. That’s because Bluehost makes it so easy to install WordPress, your website is already setup with WordPress installed. To delete your site go to “my sites” and then delete.
Now go back to the “my sites” tab and click on “add site.” You’ll be looking at a page with two options. To install WordPress or to use the Bluehost builder.
Launch the Bluehost builder. It will take a few minutes to install. You will have a very helpful on boarding process where you can choose your topic. This is important because the builder will choose relevant stock images based on your chosen topic.
Design your website with ease
Bluehost’s website builder is easy and intuitive to use. But for a complete beginner there are a few things to be aware of. First, let’s explain the dashboard:
On the left you have your main menu. Here you can choose different sections to add to the page you’re editing and choose different pages to edit. Once you add a blog or a store to your website, you can also easily access those areas of your website from here.
Last, the “theme” option allows you to change the color scheme of your website and the “stats” function is your analytics.
On the right is a sub menu for the specific section you’re editing. Your website is broken up into three parts. The header, body and footer. You can choose different layouts for the header and footer. The body is where you add in “sections.”
Bluehost builder sections
“Sections” as they are called with the Bluehost builder, are what other website builders would refer to as blocks. You have over 20 different sections you can add to the body of whatever page you’re editing.
Each section has it’s own sub menu (which you will see on the left of the page) and different layouts to choose from. Simply add in whatever sections you want, choose a style you like, edit specific details of each section using their specific sub menu and move sections around by simply dragging the section up or down.
Bluehost builder settings
One last thing to cover is the settings tab. Under the settings tab is where you can easily edit the name of your website, upload a logo and a favicon and access the required on-page SEO meta description for your website.
The Bluehost builder also comes with a helpful feature to enable “accessibility” on your website for visually impaired readers.
Add a blog with Bluehost Builder
Adding a blog to your website could not be any easier with Bluehost’s website builder. Under the “sections” tab you will see “blog” as one of the recommended choices. Simply click to add this section to your website.
You’ll now have “blog” added to your menu and you now how have enabled the blogging function with Bluehost’s builder. In the left hand sidebar you’ll see an option to navigate to your blog.
Within the blogging dashboard, you’ll have a blue button that you can click on to add new posts or to publish the post you’re currently editing.
With the blogging dashboard you can edit the title, meta description, feature image as well as easily add multi-media like pictures and video. The only thing missing from our testing is the lack of header tags. Header tags (H2, H3 etc) help break up a blog post to make it more readable and help search engine better understand what a page is about.
Add a simple store with Bluehost Builder
Adding a store works in exactly the same way as adding a blog. Under your section option, store and blog will be “recommended” sections. Simply click “store” and the installation of the online store for your website will begin.
The store function is pretty basic with Bluehost, but it’s enough if you’re someone who create custom, unique products. Simply follow the step by step on screen instructions. You’ll have to set a payment method, shipping fee, add various products you want to sell and then create your store front.
For payment, Bluehost pushes you towards using Paypal. Paypal is great for low volume operations but long term you’ll want to move to Stripe.
Sell digital or physical products
Once you complete the initial steps of setting up your online store, including payment and your address. You can then upload products to sell which can be digital products. The limit for uploads is 1 GB so you plan on selling video based material, you’re better off using a service like Gumroad.
Altogether the store function built into Bluehost builder is simple and easy to navigate. If you sell physical products you’ll need to be manually shipping products yourself. For digital downloads, buyers can get access immediately.
All in all, the combination of a store that can sell digital products along with a blog make it a unique choice for bloggers.
Bluehost website builder conclusion
Bluehost’s website builder is surprisingly good. Better than a lot of other website builders on the market. With it’s easy to use, structured interface and various section you can add with ease in addition to the ability to add a blog or a store, it’s a complete and comprehensive experience.
The only glaring downsides of the website builder are the following:
- No header tags for the blog post editor.
- The SSL was not working, we had to contact support for them to enable it.
- The store is quite simple and more ideal for digital products.
So if you’ve been looking at website builders like Wix or Squarespace you should also consider Bluehost. They now offer a unique, easy to use builder that can create professional looking websites with ease.