When it comes to the SiteGround vs Bluehost debate it’s hard to come up with a clear winner.
These two are some of the best web hosts out there and it really comes down to what your needs are for your website or blog regarding how you can choose a specific one.
To be upfront, if I knew back when I started blogging what I knew today, there’s only one choice I would ever make, but I still want to compare the two for you so that you can hopefully make up your own mind as well.
In this post I want to go over the features and other interesting aspects of both companies so let’s take a look at the two hosts to determine which one is best for you.
SiteGround vs BlueHost: Choosing the Right Web Host
Bluehost is one of the oldest web hosting companies still around and they’ve been in the game since 2003, with the idea of it floating around since 1996.
Over the years, millions of people have used their services for hosting their sites, blogs, and other online properties with very few issues and so far more than 2 million domains have had their sites hosted on Bluehost.
They’re currently owned and managed by Endurance International Group, another web hosting company that owns a few others hosts.
Siteground was started a little more than 13 years ago, in 2004, and they’re also one of the most popular hosting companies in the world.
They currently service more than 500,000 domains, a number that’s growing every day, and provide a wide range of hosting services for competitive pricing (share, cloud hosting, dedicated servers).
Winner: SiteGround (Cheaper short-term pricing)
When it comes to cheap web hosts, both SiteGround and Bluehost offer amazing rates.
The prices are quite reasonable, especially when you look at the amount that you end up paying monthly, and they are very affordable for beginners or anybody looking to upgrade to a self hosted website.
With both of these hosts you’ll only end up paying a few dollars per month, although you have to pay up front for the year so keep that in mind when you’re looking at the different pricing options.
I recently wrote a post that will give you some insight on why there isn’t a SiteGround monthly plan, but there isn’t one with Bluehost either, so regardless of which one you choose you’re going to have to pay for at least a year upfront.
At the cheapest plan, both hosts offer a yearly cost for their shared plans that only ends up being $3.95 per month, but it’s the application of these plans where the two companies differ.
In order to get the $3.95 per month price with Bluehost, you actually need to pay for three years of hosting in advance.
If you’re using SiteGround, then you only need to pay for a year in advance to get this low price.
The problem with paying so far in advance is that the upfront cost is quite high and it’s hard to tell if your web site or online property is still going to be around that far in the future, unless you’ve already planned to create an authority site or something long term.
For a lot of people, it’s easier and cheaper to just go with it the SiteGround plan, especially if you just want a plan for one year, because that way you don’t have to shell out so much from the start and it’s a better choice if you’re on a tight budget to start your business.
Otherwise, you don’t get as good of a deal if you go with a shorter term of monthly plans from BlueHost, and with anything less than three years you’ll end up spending more money compared to SiteGround.
Setting Up Your Domain
Winner: Tie (Easy to set up domain with both hosts)
Although I always buy my new domains from Namecheap, both SiteGround and Bluehost, offer a free domain when you sign up for a new hosting plan.
I’m not sure how common this actually is, because I really only used a few different hosts over the years, but for beginners or for people that aren’t so savvy at setting things up online this is a really helpful feature to have.
It makes it a lot easier to get your website up and running without having to point nameservers and go through some of the more technical aspects of managing your hosting account.
It also helps to save you money since you don’t have to buy a separate domain name unless you want to start a second website.
This is a great feature that these two companies offer and it’s just one of the many reasons why I recommend them for beginners and most other people.
I’ll be completely honest here, it’s my opinion that the SiteGround customer support is just simply amazing and I’ve never dealt with any other online company that provides such quality and helpful support for their customers.
There is a 24/7 live chat and I’ve never had to wait more than a few minutes to start chatting with somebody.
Back when I first signed up with SiteGround I probably used the live chat every single day and every time the customer service representative was extremely helpful and they never got annoyed with any of my nitpicking or repetitive questions.
I’ve also called into support before and emailed them as well, and with both of these others features the responses have continued to be very helpful and rather quick compared to the other hosts that I’ve used.
I find that BlueHost also offers great support, especially considering that it’s a much bigger company, and they also have phone support, email support, and a live chat feature.
The one thing that I noticed was different with BlueHost is that very email support does take a little while longer to get back to you compared to SiteGround, but it’s still super helpful and the other features mean that you don’t need to worry about emailing for help too often.
On both websites there is plenty of support documentation that you can Google and find if you have any broad questions about something to do with your website for hosting so you don’t always need to rely on the customer support either.
What I really hate is when hosting companies barely offer any support at all or don’t have live chat, so thankfully both of these are really great when it comes to getting help.
Winner: Tie (both offer great functionality for beginners and pros alike)
Both SiteGround and Bluehost are really easy to use once you sign in.
They’re both using cPanel, which is the industry standard when it comes to control panels in the back end of hosting sites, and this just means that it’s a lot easier for people to navigate through the back end of everything.
It also makes it easier to switch between the two hosts if you decide to use one or the other, and you can even use both at the same time without having to learn a completely new control panel set-up.
For a basic web user, having cPanel is great because you can easily set up your website, set up your website email, and browse through some of the more technical and advanced settings without needing anything more than basic knowledge of using the Internet.
Here’s a quick look at some more of the different features that each hosting company has to offer.
- UPS Power Backup (Diesel Generator Backup Power)
- 24/7 Network monitoring
- Dual quad core processor performance service
- One click script installs
- Simple e-commerce integration
- Blog support
- Free drag and drop website builder
- Unlimited domain hosting
- International domain name support
- SSD Drive included in all shared and cloud hosting plans
- NGINX Server speed for better performance
- Built-in caching mechanism
- Free CDN
- Data centres in North America, Europe, and Asia
- 99.99% uptime
- 24/7 server monitoring
- Free daily backup
- Expert spam prevention
Speed and Performance
One of the most important factors when it comes to deciding on a specific web host is it overall performance and the speeds that it can provide for your websites.
Having spent a lot of time using both of these hosts, one thing I noticed is that there was a period of time where it seems that my sites with Bluehost were down every other week.
I also noticed on Twitter that a lot of other people were having similar problems with their Bluehost sites, and that actually what caused me to switch over my main sites to SiteGround.
Using SiteGround for a while now, apart from once when my site was down for just a few hours, I have gotten amazing uptime and have nothing to complain about when it comes to my website being kept running and online.
Both of the companies have a great uptime, but I think that SiteGround comes out a little bit ahead with a total yearly uptime of 99.996%.
Any amount of downtime, even just a few hours, can result in lost sales, lost revenue, and unhappy visitors.
There was a few times with BlueHost where my site was down for more than 12 hours and this resulted in me losing hundreds of dollars and getting some unhappy emails from my clients and website visitors.
This is why I switched over, but other than those few problem occasions, I generally don’t experience any issues with other hosts when it comes to my site staying online.
As for speed, both hosts are relatively fast for shared hosting plans, although I did notice an increase in speed when I switched over to SiteGround.
However, I’ve never had any complaints with my site speed on either of these platforms so the performance is pretty good overall, but I would still recommend SiteGround if you’re looking for better performance, more uptime, and a slightly quicker loading speed.
Winner: SiteGround (easier to get WordPress set up and running)
Since both SiteGround and Bluehost set you up with a free domain when you sign up for hosting, it’s really easy to get your website up and running and it’s possible to get online in just 10 to 20 minutes depending on your experience and skills.
After the first few times, I’ve been able to do it in just a few minutes and even if you’re a total beginner it’s really straightforward setting up your domain and hosting.
All that you really need to do is follow through with the hosting sign up, select a domain name, and just continue with the prompts until your hosting is set up.
One of the things that actually makes SiteGround a lot easier in this regard is that they have a built-in automatic WordPress installation wizard and this means that you can just follow through all the way until you can log into your WordPress site.
This is different with Bluehost because with them you actually have to select the WordPress installation once you have signed into the cPanel and then follow through with it until you can access your site.
This really isn’t a problem because it’s really quick to get everything up and running regardless of which platform you use, but with SiteGround it’s definitely a little bit easier and faster to get online with.
Migrating a Domain
Winner: SiteGround (free domain transfers)
If you’re like me, and you want to switch web hosts at one point or another, you might be worried about it being a tricky process or costing you a lot of money to get it done.
With BlueHost, unfortunately, they do charge to transfer a current domain to their platform, and this might not be suitable for you if you’re on a budget or you just helping to save money.
On the other hand, SiteGround is awesome in this regard because when you sign up for a new account you actually get a free transfer for one of your WordPress domains onto their platform.
This is awesome because they do everything for you and you just have to provide the customer service reps with some basic information so that they can transfer your site over.
It’s been a few years since I went through the transfer, but from what I remember it was really straightforward and it only took a few hours before my site was up and running on SiteGround.
So, for anyone that already has a website and you want to go with the new host between these two, I would definitely recommend SiteGround in that regard.
In my opinion, after comparing all of the different features and taking a look back at the experience that I’ve had over the years, it’s obvious to me that SiteGround is the best choice between these two hosting companies.
I find that the performance is better overall, my websites stay online and available to my visitors basically all the time throughout the year, and the platform itself is the very intuitive and easy to use.
I’m also a huge fan of the customer support and it’s hard to go wrong with SiteGround if you’re a beginner because of how easy it is to use and how quickly you can get your websites up and running.
Finally, is also a good choice for those of you that just need hosting for a year and want to get a very competitive price without having to sign up for three years to take advantage of the best offer.
Don’t hesitate to visit SiteGround and get your website started with them right now.
After following through with the set up process, you can be online and working on your website or blog in less than 20 minutes – so why wait?