Before you go ahead and sign up for either SiteGround vs Bluehost, let’s put these two web hosting heavyweights to the test and see how they match up against each other. Find out which one is better, Bluehost or SiteGround? (or you can jump straight to the SiteGround vs Bluehost summary).
Summary: SiteGround is better than Bluehost. Choosing between SiteGround and Bluehost is going to come down to two things: Performance and price. SiteGround is well-known for delivering industry-leading performance and speed (Google Cloud Platform servers, SSD, NGINX, built-in caching, CDN, HTTP/2, PHP7) and with plans starting at $3.95 / month. Bluehost, on the other hand, is cheaper. Their plans start at $2.95 / month and include a free domain name, but Bluehost lags behind SiteGround when it comes to speed and performance.
|SiteGround’s performance is really impressive, comes with plenty of hosting features and great customer support. But, they are a bit more expensive. Bluehost offers unlimited storage and bandwidth, and lower prices. But their performance and support aren't that great.|
|Price||StartUp plan is $3.95 per month||Basic plan is $2.95 per month|
|Ease of Use||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 🥇|
Custom control panel, 1 click WordPress installation, easy creation of backups, emails
cPanel, automatic WordPress installation, easy creation of emails, backups
|Free Domain Name||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
Free domain for one year
|Hosting Features||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 🥇|
Free daily backups, free Cloudflare CDN, high-performance SSD storage, unlimited email accounts, and free SSL
Unlimited disk space and transfer, free CDN, high-performance SSD storage, daily backups, unlimited emails, and free SSL
Google Cloud Platform (GCP). NGINX, PHP 7, SuperCacher caching, HTTP/2
NGINX+, PHP 7, built-in caching, HTTP/2
Good uptime history
Good uptime history
|Site Migration||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 🥇|
Free WordPress migration plugin. Custom site migration from $30
Complete website transfer service is $149.99
|Customer Support||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 🥇||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Visit SiteGround.com||Visit Bluehost.com|
SiteGround is a better alternative than Bluehost as their shared hosting comes with better support, performance, and more advanced hosting features. Bluehost can’t match SiteGround’s WordPress expertise and features either.
If this was a (Google) popularity contest then this Bluehost vs SiteGround comparison would be over very quickly; because Bluehost is way more
popular searched for on Google than SiteGround.
Also, keyword research tools, such as KWFinder, reveal that Bluehost has over 300k monthly searches on Google, almost double compared to SiteGround.
But search demand is, of course, far from everything when it comes to finding the best web host.
Let’s start this SiteGround vs Bluehost comparison by looking at the most popular type of web hosting, Shared hosting, as well as the first thing people look at when shopping around for a web host, the cheapest Price.
SiteGround vs Bluehost – Pricing
$3.95 per month vs $2.95 per month.
The one dollar difference in price between the two isn't that great. While Bluehost’s price doesn’t increase as much in the second year compared to SiteGround, and you get a domain for free. However, SiteGround's higher price is justified because you'll get better and faster hosting compared to Bluehost.
So which one has the cheapest prices?
SiteGround’s cheapest Shared Hosting Plan, called StartUp, starts at $3.95/month. Bluehost’s cheapest Shared Hosting Plan, called Basic, starts at $2.95/month (however, and a bit shady, you have to pay 36 months upfront to get that price).
If the price was the only deciding factor, then Bluehost is the obvious choice. But no way, by the end of this head to head challenge, you’ll see that price may actually be the least important factor when choosing your new web host.
What do real users think of SiteGround and Bluehost?
facebook.com/groups/wphosting is an invite-only Facebook group with almost 7,000 members solely dedicated to WordPress web hosting.
Every year members are asked to vote for their favorite web host. Can you guess which web host got the most votes?
That’s right. SiteGround has been voted the #1 web host for two years in a row now (#1 in 2017’s poll and #1 in 2016’s poll)
To dig further down into this Bluehost vs SiteGround comparison, I decided to start with their Customer Support.
Support Staff is crucial and usually the front line of any web host, so they should be fully knowledgeable in helping me get the facts I need to put this Head to Head Challenge together, right?
I use Bluehost and have overall been happy with them. I had one poor experience with a chat rep, but when I called they were helpful. I’ve heard good things about Siteground as well. I think you’d be ok with either option. Good luck with whatever you decide!
— Rambling Woman (@aramblinwoman) March 22, 2019
Blogging can be soo frustrating!!! Like I broke my website today trying to change my URL. ???♀️ Thank God for Bluehost Customer Support!!
Keep up the great work!?
— ResilientShe Coaching (@resilientsheco) March 28, 2019
I've said it before and i'll say it again – the better support at @SiteGround is the best I have ever experienced.
Keep it up chaps 🙂
— Andy Drinkwater (@iqseo) July 23, 2018
I wanted to test them out first hand by asking a few overall questions about their respective companies.
My experience with SiteGround’s Customer Support was quite good. Although personally I think they could probably use a little more training in being able to explain their Main Features and Unique Selling Points, they did do a pretty good job. In fact, they were actually telling me without trying to sell me.
Now, on to Bluehost.
Bluehost’s Support seemed to ask for the sale in every two or three sections of dialogue.
Hey, I get it.
If you don't ask for the sale then you shouldn’t expect one, but I made it clear that I was just gathering information for this article and that I was not interested in buying anything at that time. But, it seemed to go right over their Support person’s head.
Getting information from Bluehost Customer Support for something as easy as their Main Features was almost like pulling teeth. I mean, you would think that at a minimum they should be at least trained enough to be able to go through their services Main Features.
Learning about their Unique Selling Points should be Bluehost’s top priority in training, right?
However, my experience was anything but easy. In fact, the only information they gave over their online chat easy enough to read, was a direct copy and paste from their website sales page.
SiteGround vs Bluehost – Web hosting features & plans
SiteGround has a range of hosting solutions on offer, from shared hosting to VPS and cloud hosting, all the way up to dedicated servers and custom made enterprise hosting. Here I am only going to cover and compare SiteGround's shared hosting solutions, which are best suited for personal and small business websites, blogs and online stores.
All of SiteGround's plans come included with:
- Unlimited data transfer, emails and databases
- Free WordPress website migrations
- Solid-state drives (SSD) storage
- Fully managed WordPress hosting
- NGINX Servers & SuperCacher WordPress plugin
- Global data centers and infrastructure hosted on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) servers
- Free CDN and SSL certificate
- NGINX, PHP7 and HTTP/2 enabled servers
- DDoS protection and custom firewall security rules
- Anti-Bot AI
- 2 Firewalls (constantly updated)
- Free automatic website backup & restore service
- Free WordPress Migrator plugin
- 24/7 technical customer support via phone or live chat
- 99.9% uptime and 30-day money-back guarantee
- Independently owned and operated
SiteGround offers three different shared web plans; the StartUp plan, GrowBig plan and GoGeek plan.
Here is a quick recap of what the main features are of each SiteGround plan:
SiteGround StartUp plan
- Host one website
- 10GB of web space
- 10,000 monthly visits
- Free WordPress website transfers
- Free daily website backups
- NGINX, PHP7 and HTTP/2 enabled servers
- SuperCacher static caching
- Free Cloudflare CDN and SSL certificate
SiteGround GrowBig plan
- Host unlimited websites
- 25,000 monthly visits
- 20GB of web space
- All of the StartUp features + premium features:
- About 2x more server resources
- SuperCacher static, dynamic & memcache caching
- 30 daily website backups and restore service
- Priority support
- Wildcard SSL certificate
SiteGround GoGeek plan
- Host unlimited websites
- 100,000 monthly visits
- 30GB of web space
- All of the StartUp & GrowBig features + geeky features:
- About 4x more server resources
- 1 click WordPress staging
- Pre-Installed Git and SG-Git for repository creation
- Free PCI compliance
- Premium backup & restorate service
Bluehost offers a range of hosting solutions; from shared, VPS, and dedicated servers, to cloud hosting and WordPress hosting. But here I am going to cover and compare Bluehost shared web hosting plans, which is best suited for personal and small business websites, blogs and online stores.
All of Bluehost's plans include:
- Free domain name for one year
- Free CDN global data centers
- Free drag and drop website builder
- Unlimited disk space & network bandwidth
- Solid state drives (SSD) on all plans
- PHP7, HTTP/2 and NGINX+ server caching
- WordPress staging sites
- Easy WordPress 1-click installation
- Free SSL certificate
- 24/7 technical support via phone or live chat
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Access to shell (SSH), htaccess and php.ini files
Bluehost has plans to choose from. Basic, Plus, Prime and Pro.
Here is a quick overview of the main features you get with each Bluehost plan:
Bluehost Basic plan
- Free domain name for one year
- Host one website with 50GB of disk space
- Unmetered bandwidth
- 5 email accounts with 100MB per account
- Free SSL certificate and CDN
- Solid state drives (SSD), PHP7, HTTP/2 and NGINX+ caching
Bluehost Plus plan
- Free domain name for one year
- Host unlimited websites with unmetered space
- Unlimited email accounts with unlimited storage space
- Includes spam protection
- Free SSL certificate and CDN
- Solid state drives (SSD), PHP7, HTTP/2 and NGINX+ caching
Bluehost Prime plan
- Free domain name for one year
- Host unlimited websites with unmetered space. Unlimited email accounts and storage space
- Free Let's Encrypt SSL certificate
- Solid state drives (SSD), PHP7, HTTP/2 and NGINX+ caching
- Includes website backups, domain privacy, and spam protection
Bluehost Pro plan
- Free domain name for one year
- Host unlimited websites with unmetered space. Unlimited email accounts and unlimited storage space
- Cloudflare CDN, Solid state drives (SSD), PHP7, HTTP/2 and NGINX+ caching
- High performance servers with more resources
- Includes spam protection, wildcard SSL certificate, dedicated IP address, and domain privacy
SiteGround vs Bluehost – Speed and Uptime
Users want and expect fast loading websites. Sites that load slowly aren’t likely to rise to the top in any niche. A study from Google found that a one-second delay in mobile page load times can impact conversion rates by up to 20%.
SiteGround actually has a whole page dedicated to it: https://www.siteground.com/speed
- SSD Drives in all their plans. SSD provides a thousand times increase in input / output operations when compared to regular drives.
- NGINX servers speed up the loading of static content of all the websites SiteGround hosts. NGINX is included in all SiteGround’s shared and cloud plans. It is also included in their dedicated servers as part of their performance boosters.
- SuperCacher especially for WordPress, but is also included in their other applications. Additionally, SiteGround has built their own catching mechanism based on NGINX reverse proxy, which dramatically speeds up the serving of a website’s dynamic content. Their SuperCache also allows for website speed optimisation through memcached.
- Free CDN. Their free Cloudflare content delivery network makes websites load faster from any part of the world by caching its content and distributing it over multiple data points. The CDN delivers content to visitors from most countries much faster by using data centers that are closest to them.
- HTTP / 2 enabled servers significantly increases the loading speeds of websites in the browser. HTTP / 2 also requires an encrypted connection.
- PHP 7.2 SiteGround recently upgraded to PHP 7.2, which is the latest PHP version for WordPress. This newly updated version of PHP makes PHP executions faster than the previous version.
SiteGround’s Tech Support said that their Uptime is 99.99%. They even gave me a link with a whole page dedicated to it: https://www.siteground.com/uptime.
- Linux Containers (LXC)
- Pro-active Server Monitoring
- Automatic Backup System and Instant Backups On Demand
- Unique Anti-bot AI
- Secure Account Isolation
But the highlights and their link weren’t enough. So I performed my own test.
One of the most important factors in making a website user-friendly is speed. So, let’s see how they measure up.
SiteGround server speed
Once I made the move over to SiteGround, the first thing I noticed was how much faster my website loaded.
I used Byte Check, a tool that measures time to first byte (TTFB). It’s a measurement of how responsive a web server is.
My homepage time to first byte reduced drastically from 2.3 seconds down to 0.2 seconds after I made the switch.
When I used GTmetrix, my homepage loading time went down from 6.9 seconds to 1.6 seconds once I moved my site over to SiteGround. That’s a whole 5.3 seconds faster loading time! I couldn’t believe it!
My homepage loading speed using Pingdom went from 4.96 seconds down to 581 milliseconds after I moved across. That is pretty awesome if you ask me! What do you think?
Since Google now includes site loading time into their search engine algorithm, sites that load slowly aren’t likely to rise to the top of the search in any niche.
Why? Because web users are notoriously impatient. In fact, studies show that if a page hasn’t loaded in three seconds, users are more likely to navigate away in search of something faster – and the longer the wait is, the more visitors you’ll lose.
SiteGround takes site speed seriously. They’re always working on new and innovative technology to help improve their websites’ loading times – and it shows.
In addition to all of the above, SiteGround also regularly updates its technology to ensure that the sites they host not only don’t lag behind but stay ahead of the competition. The result is the fastest loading times available today from any web host.
If you’ve spent any time at all shopping around for a web host, you’re familiar with the importance of uptime. A hosting company’s uptime percentage tells you how often, on average, you can expect your website to be “down” or unavailable.
No hosting service can claim 100% uptime since there are way too many factors in play to be sure that there will never be any downtime. However, SiteGround does guarantee a 99.99% uptime.
That’s impressive by anyone’s standard, and they live up to it. They use monitoring software that notifies them immediately when there is an outage and works to resolve it.
To put it in a little more perspective, 99.99% uptime means that your site might be down for a little over four hours in any six months.
SiteGround’s uptime percentages are quite impressive to say the least. Their overall uptime average is 99.99%, and a look at their website in April of 2017 revealed:
- A monthly average uptime for the past 30 days of 99.999%
- An annual average uptime for the past 365 days of 99.996%
In practical terms, SiteGround’s customers hardly ever have to worry about their websites being down.
SiteGround page load times
I’ve already talked about the speed technology that SiteGround uses to minimize loading times for WordPress sites, but what does it mean in practical terms for you?
Earlier, I mentioned that most Internet users will give a site three seconds to load before they consider navigating away. That’s not much time, so if you want to hold on to your site’s visitors, your load times need to be fast.
Sites hosted on SiteGround have an average load time of 1.3 seconds per page. That’s pretty quick and it speaks to the efficiency of the speed technology the company uses.
When I contacted Bluehost’s Support they didn’t seem as knowledgeable and couldn’t explain similar Speed features as well as other information. But, in all fairness they do provide:
- NGINX/Varnish Caching configuration.
- HTTP / 2 enabled servers
- Free CDN from Cloudflare
- SSD Drives
- Automated FailoverIf a hardware device falters, sites are rapidly switched over to another device providing maximum uptime.
Bluehost Support said in their live chat that they have an Uptime of 99%.
I’m monitoring the Bluehost uptime of 5 random websites that are hosted with Bluehost. 4 out of 5 websites have had zero outage, i.e. a 100% uptime, over the last month. 1 out of 5 has had a 99.6% uptime (this would equate to an approximate 4-hour outage during the month).
SiteGround vs Bluehost – Security and Support
SiteGround’s security is unparalleled when compared to other hosting providers. That’s a bold statement, but how can they back that up?
Let’s start at, not the technical, but the physical and human levels first. That's right, even the best technology in the world can’t protect against a sledgehammer or worse, the prying hands of a physical intruder.
That's why SiteGround protects its physical data centers with 24/7 human security, biometric entry points and even bulletproof lobbies.
In addition, SiteGround uses Enterprise class UPS’s to protect against power outages and power surges. This is especially useful in parts of the world where these occur more frequently than others.
Moving on to the more technical or rather software level. SiteGround provides free Let's Encrypt SSL certificates with each plan.
In fact, nowadays an SSL certificate is almost mandatory for any sites that take personal information, or else the visitor will now see those flashing warning signs that appear for non-secure sites.
SiteGround deploys 2 Firewalls and also writes their own firewall security rules.
In 2008 SiteGround developed CHROOT account isolation on its shared server platform. They were and still are the pioneers in web hosting security.
Additionally, they include HackAlert monitoring as an available add-on feature that alerts site owners of any site attacks.
Siteground provides a free Cloudflare CDN, which not only improves the speed of your site but more importantly, migrates DDoS attacks. The migration of DDoS attacks is vital to security since Denial of Service Attacks is one of today’s top website security threats.
Available in cPanel, SiteGround offers a website checker that will search your sites for any malware, then alerts you to it. They also include SiteLock for that added peace of mind.
Let's not forget, SiteGround is constantly updating their software and WordPress technology since nothing can derail a sight more than outdated software, which would leave it prone to attacks.
SiteGround’s Security Features:
To find out more about SiteGround’s security features click on this link to How does SiteGround protect my site?.
SiteGround’s Customer Support
SiteGround offers 24/7 Support which emphasizes:
- Tickets first reply within 10 minutes.
- Live Online Chat.
- Phone 24/7.
Additional Support Features:
- Overstaff all shifts, so you don't have to wait more than a few seconds for the next available operator. They also evaluate each employee's speed, as well as their team performance on a regular basis.
- They invest a lot in technical and human priority support to make it efficient and fast. They have also implemented in-house systems for fast issue tracking and load balancing of the incoming requests for all their agents.
- SiteGround features their Support Staff frequently in their blog posts so you can put a human face to the name in the chatbox of the staff member who is helping you and learn more about them.
However, when all is said and done, what separates a good hosting provider from a great one is Customer Service. In fact, even in 2020 with increasing innovation and the encroachment of AI, nothing so far has been able to replace the human touch.
This is where SiteGround really shines.
SiteGround has 24/7 support with well trained real experts. Your support is available via live chat, phone or an email ticket. They claim their average response time for each support request is under 10 minutes.
SiteGround also has a knowledge base that helps customers answer more frequently asked questions.
They even have tutorials that allow customers to be informed of the latest developments and changes in the world of web hosting.
But SiteGround’s support goes well beyond this. In fact, those highlights only scratch the surface of how effective SiteGound’s Support Staff can be. I'll even go further to say that when you open an account with SiteGround, it's almost like having your own extended IT department at your beck and call.
Unlike most hosting companies, you're talking to a real person who takes pride not only in their work but in their company as well.
On SiteGround’s blog, they often profile their Support Staff individually so that not only can you put a face to a name, you can even get to know them, their likes, dislikes, interests and what they like about their job, etc.
Click on the image above for the full post.
When dealing with support SiteGround makes you really feel like you're talking to a real live human being, because, well, you are. As soon as your live chat is finished, you’re sent a transcribed version of the conversation via email for your records.
This really comes in handy because many times their online staff will give you helpful links and other detailed information for easy reference. This is something that some online hosting providers who once performed this service, have slowly dropped.
But the true test is what SiteGround’s customers have to say:
To be fair, I did find one unsatisfactory experience and you can click on the image for the full thread:
Fortunately, that was the exception, not the rule.
Now let's look at Bluehost.
Bluehost security Features:
- Two-Factor Authentication
- cPHulk Brute Force Protection for VPS and Dedicated Hosting.
For more information on Bluehost’s Security Features you can check out this link to their FAQ Section.
Bluehost includes free SSL certificates as well as a free CDN in their hosting packages. Additionally, Bluehost comes with Spam Experts and Domain Privacy for all their plans thus protecting your WhoIs information while maintaining your site, keeping it clean from malware.
Bluehost has even more tools that prevent spam such as SpamAssassin and Spamhammer. Like SiteGround, Bluehost also supports CDN for preventing those annoying DDoS attacks that can come from a variety of traffic sources all at once.
Bluehost offers Hotlink Protection. Hotlink prevents your content as well as your images from being stolen. In fact, it's IP address blacklists certain individuals that may potentially cause problems.
SSH access is also deployed for a more secure web environment, they include optional filters as well which site owners can use for specific users and email accounts.
Bluehost also allows you to password-protect certain directories, manage digital certificates as well as private keys right from Bluehost themselves.
Bluehost has a two-factor authentication available, which you can enable right from your Bluehost BlueRock cPanel. This provides the entire site with a token account validation system, which allows you to communicate with customer support as a way of verifying your identity before giving any passwords to a Support Agent.
It should be noted that in regards to security, Bluehost’s parent company, Endurance International Group made the news in 2015!
However, not in a good way according to this article in The Hacker News “5 Biggest Hosting Companies hacked by Syrian Electronic Army”.
Apparently, The Syrian Electronic Army isn’t a big fan of Bluehost in particular, according to this tweet about their attack:
Would you want your site to be caught in the fallout?
Bluehost’s Customer Support
Bluehost support not only offers 24/7 live chat, telephone support, and email support tickets. Bluehost even offers 3 separate telephone numbers depending on which technical support you need:
- General enquiries
- VPS and dedicated hosting
- WordPress assistance
Bluehost has a comprehensive Knowledge Base (FAQ) section, where you basically type in the question or issue you’re having and you can be almost sure it’s been answered before.
In addition to their standard offering of support options, what many don’t know is that Bluehost has a YouTube Channel with an extensive array of videos dealing with most aspects of hosting and running a website, over 150 videos to be exact.
You can promise the world and have all the latest technology, but what good is it if you can't deliver.
Let's see what Bluehost’s clients have to say:
In all fairness I did find one good experience with Bluehost Support:
Unfortunately, this was more the exception, not the rule.
SiteGround vs Bluehost – WordPress plans
SiteGround offers their WordPress Hosting on their Shared Servers. However, they have included special WordPress features and rolled them into their Hosting Plans. These include:
In my opinion, the best WordPress SiteGround Host Plan to go with in regards to Server quality would be the GoGeeky Plan.
The reason being is that not only do they also offer free backups on Demand (something Bluehost doesn’t), but also they put Fewer Accounts on their Server.
I didn’t stop there though. I sought out SiteGround’s CTO Nikolay Todorov himself to ask him why SiteGround doesn’t offer the standard VPS that Bluehost offers and here was his response:
Actually we do offer something much better than that and it is called Cloud hosting in our portfolio. It is again virtual servers, but instead of using traditional virtualization, we run Linux containers, which makes it much more efficient and scalable.
By the way, I received that response within an hour of my email. How’s that for Customer Service!
You can find out more about why I switched over to SiteGround here: Why I switched my WordPress site to SiteGround.
WordPress hosting is where Bluehost really “appears” to come out ahead. In addition to Shared Hosting, Cloud Hosting, and Dedicated Hosting, Bluehost offers VPS hosting (Virtual Private Server).
Not only that but their Optimized WordPress Hosting is on their VPS platform.
On Bluehost's Optimized WordPress Hosting you are allocated space on a Virtual Private Server. The amount of space varies of course to the plan you choose. You can also upgrade your plan when necessary.
The main difference between Bluehost’s normal VPS Hosting and Optimized WordPress Hosting is that the Optimized WP Hosting on their VPS is managed whereas their normal VPS Hosting plans are unmanaged.
On their managed VPS hosting you do not get root access.
There are other features especially made for WordPress that are available through their Optimized WP Hosting, these include:
- Improved cPanel interface with Bluehost’s BlueRock.
- Dramatically more space and bandwidth depending on the plan.
- Stability and Reliability, according to Bluehost, VPS greatly reduces or even eliminates the threat of downtime.
- Scalability and Flexibility, expand your site over time. Scale up as your website grows, or scale down if things get slow.
- Control, use Bluehost’s BlueRock cPanel control panel to configure settings to your own specifications, if desired.
- Added Security, VPS hosting allows you to take more extreme security precautions, if needed.
Despite the obvious advantages, there are some downsides to using Bluehost's Optimized WP Hosting services. One of which is you’ll likely need someone with a fair degree of technical expertise to manage your server.
In some cases, you may even need a dedicated system administrator. Access to Bluehost’s 24/7 support might not be enough if your required operations are far beyond your level of expertise.
Additionally, their VPS is still a physical server. Despite the fact that you’re allocated your own space, the server itself is still shared. Maintenance is key and what happens if that physical server goes down?
Unlike the Cloud where your data can be mirrored instantaneously to another Cloud Server, on VPS your website’s data is dependent on how fast that server can be repaired.
You need to ask yourself “How can Bluehost also offer allocated space on a VPS at such low prices without sacrificing quality somewhere else?” The answer is, “They can’t.” So there are trade-offs.
Who's best for WordPress hosting provider?
SiteGround is. Because all of SiteGround’s plans come with WordPress managed hosting.
All plans come with automatic WordPress core updates and patching, 1-click automatic WordPress site installation or getting WP installed on account set up, SuperCacher caching plugin, 100% free WordPress website transfer service.
Bluehost isn’t that far behind. Bluehost’s new BlueRock platform is a WordPress focused control panel offering an integrated experience with WordPress websites.
1-click automatic WordPress site installation or getting WP installed on account set up and built in NGINX page caching.
SiteGround vs Bluehost – Pros and cons
SiteGround comes in as one of the cheapest web hosts around (on par with Bluehost), however that’s about the only thing SiteGround has in common with Bluehost.
Because SiteGround really is the best (and I would argue, the only) shared web hosting provider on the market right now that you should consider using.
SiteGround is perfect for those who want and expect top-notch customer support and focus on security, but not sacrificing on impressive uptime response time, quality features or quick server speeds either.
Plus their WordPress plans (I think) are best in class.
They have three different shared hosting packages, with its lowest plan barely costing more than a coffee at Starbucks.
So besides the cheap pricing, why should you consider choosing SiteGround as your host of choice?
- Security is not just a marketing gimmick. SiteGround takes security seriously as they perform proactive security patching at a server level and update WordPress installations for you. Plans come with SpamAssassin and SpamExperts, IP address blacklists, Leech Protect, and hotlink protection. Non-entry level plans come with Let's Encrypt SSL and Cloudflare CDN for added security, and HackAlert Monitoring is an option. All in all, SiteGround brings the latest cutting edge technology to the table to make sure your site is safe from spam and malicious attacks.
- Incredible uptime levels. SiteGround offers a unique downtime prevention software that monitors server statuses in real-time, and 90% of performance issues are instantly detected and automatically resolved. Meaning downtime is not a problem with SiteGround. They boast an uptime rate of over 99%, which will allow you to keep your site up and running at all times without any problems.
- Your site will load fast (“Warp speed, Mr. Sulu”). You’ll get super-fast hosting thanks to SSD, PHP7 and HTTP/2 enabled servers, and thanks to SiteGround’s advanced website speed optimization caching system called “SuperCacher,” which is built to dramatically improve your site’s performance and speed.
- SiteGround is an official WordPress host (so is Bluehost) and is one of the best hosting providers for WordPress hosting right now. Free managed WordPress hosting comes with all plans, meaning SiteGround will take care of common security holes by auto-updating your WordPress site, they will perform server-level maintenance, and even provide backups for you. You also get access to their WordPress SuperCacher and free CDN that will speed up your WordPress site.
- SiteGround’s support is better than a lot of the other web hosts out there. They do not keep you waiting and their Support Staff is available 24/7 for phone, live chat or ticketing support. Unlike other hosting providers, SiteGround’s support team does not shy away from application-specific questions.
- Recently upgraded to PHP 7.2. Bluehost, as of this update, is still using PHP 7 according to their Customer Support in a recent chat session.
Like with any web hosting provider, there are a few downsides to SiteGround as well. Here are some of the reasons why you might want to stay away from SiteGround.
- The cheapest plan comes with limited CPU usage, meaning your website can be temporarily shut down due to CPU overuse. SiteGround does have limits (on daily CPU usage and script executions), and if you exceeded your plan’s resource limit your website can be temporarily shut down.
- Limited disk space. Compared to other web hosts, like Bluehost, SiteGround’s storage space is a bit on the low size. Their entry-level “Startup” plan allows for one website and 10GB of storage space. They recommend this plan if you get less than 10,000 visits monthly.
- If you choose to pay month to month then there is a “setup fee” associated with this payment option. This hidden setup cost isn’t expensive, it’s more annoying than anything else.
Bluehost isn't that far behind. Bluehost's new Bluerock platform is a WordPress focused control panel offering an integrated experience with WordPress websites. 1-click automatic WordPress installation or getting WP installed on account set up and built in NGINX page caching.
Apart from the cheap pricing, why should you consider signing up with Bluehost for your small business website or personal blog?
- Free domain. You get a domain name 100% for free for one year when you sign up for hosting services with Bluehost.
- Is WordPress friendly. Bluehost is good for web host beginners and WordPress beginners. They also offer easy WordPress 1-click installation that makes it easy for you to start your website or blog. Plus, Bluehost is officially recommended by WordPress.org
- The brand. Bluehost hosts over 2.000,000 websites worldwide so they are obviously doing something right.
- Excellent hosting features. Bluehost plans come with SSD drives, CDN from Cloudflare and free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates. Other solid performance features include PHP 7, NGINX + caching and HTTP/2
There are cons too. So what are the cons of using Bluehost to host your site?
- Site migrations aren’t free. If you’re looking to switch host and move to Bluehost then they do offer to help migrate your site to them, however for a fee. Bluehost will transfer up to 5 sites and 20 email accounts for the price of $149.99.
- Lots of upselling. Bluehost constantly tries to sell you (often unnecessary) upgrades and addons.
- Communication, although polite enough, I felt that dealing with Bluehost’s Support was laborious and time wasting.
- Owned by EIG. Bluehost is owned by Endurance International Group (EIG) that is well known in the hosting industry for aggressive cost cutting at the expense of support and performance.
- Slow load times at times. Bluehost’s load times aren’t always the fastest. Plus reports of server errors like bad gateways or internal server errors aren’t very comforting.
- No free daily backups. Site backups are a courtesy so you can’t depend on your data to be backed up daily. You must set up and run your own backup via the cPanel. Automatic backups is a paid upgrade called Site Backup Pro, it’s a paid addon that creates regular and automated backups of your site.
- Confusing pricing. Bluehost’s pricing borderline on being shady, because their $2.95 / month is an introductory price and it’s based on paying 3 years upfront.
- On The Syrian Electronic Army hit list (just kidding, but you never know).
- Still using PHP 7, hasn’t upgraded to the newly released PHP 7.2 (as of this update)
SiteGround vs Bluehost – Summary
Here is my Bluehost vs SiteGround review summary.
Okay so how does SiteGround and Bluehost compare? Let’s take a look at some of the core features of SiteGround vs Bluehost:
|Price:||From $3.95/mo||From $2.95/mo|
|Refund policy:||30-day money-back guarantee||30-day money-back guarantee|
|Disk space:||From 10GB||Unlimited|
|Solid state drives (SSD):||Yes||Yes|
|Free Let's Encrypt SSL & Cloudflare CDN:||Yes||Yes|
|Free site migration:||Free WordPress site transfers (professional transfer is $30 for 1 site)||$149.99 (5 sites & 20 email accounts)|
|Free automated backups:||Yes, one daily backup||Yes, one weekly backup|
|Domain name:||No||Free, for 1 year|
|Server & speed technologies:||Google Cloud, HTTP/2, PHP 7, NGINX, SuperCacher, CDN||cPanel, CDN, HTTP/2, PHP 7, NGINX|
|Money Back Guarantee||30 days money-back guarantee||30 days money-back guarantee|
|SiteGround vs Bluehost Pricing||From $3.95/mo||From $2.95/mo|
Overall, SiteGround is a pretty fantastic web host for people who’re creating their first website. SiteGround’s technical features and focus on speed, uptime, security, and better support make them the #1 web hosting choice right now.
SiteGround has been voted the #1 web host for two years in a row now (#1 in 2017’s poll and #1 in 2016’s poll)
SiteGround vs Bluehost YouTube review – last updated May 2020.
Is SiteGround better than Bluehost, or vice versa?
In a SiteGround vs Bluehost comparison, SiteGround is better than Bluehost. Choosing between SiteGround and Bluehost is going to come down to two things. Performance and price. SiteGround offers better performance but Bluehost offers cheaper pricing.
Are SiteGround and Bluehost good for WordPress?
Both SiteGround and Bluehost are officially recommended by WordPress.org. Both come with 1-click WordPress installation, automatic WordPress updates, and built-in caching and CDN to speed up your site.
How much do SiteGround and Bluehost cost?
SiteGround and Bluehost prices are similar. SiteGround plans start at $3.95 / month. Bluehost plans start at just $2.95 / month and include a domain name for free for the first year.
Do SiteGround and Bluehost offer a free trial?
Both SiteGround and Bluehost offer a no-questions-asked 30 days full money-back guarantee.
Is SiteGround or Bluehost faster?
Both Bluehost and SiteGround offer SSD drives, PHP 7, Cloudflare CDN, and built-in caching. However, SiteGround's server infrastructure is powered by Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and is therefore faster than Bluehost.
In this SiteGround vs Bluehost (2020 update) head to head comparison, SiteGround comes out as the clear winner. I have had a great experience with SiteGround and I recommend you use them if you want fast reliable web hosting provider.
SiteGround and Bluehost are the two web hosting heavyweights. To quickly recap this SiteGround vs Bluehost comparison. Is SiteGround better than Bluehost? Yes, by a Knockout!