If you’re here, that means you want to build your own website and you’re in the process of choosing a hosting platform. Selecting the right web hosting platform for your website can be a time-intensive and intimidating process as it can make or break your website.
You might just end up spending hours and days looking at hosting features, storage limits, server locations, prices, and lots more. To save you from that trouble, we’ve created this comprehensive SiteGround vs Bluehost guide.
SiteGround and Bluehost are two of the most popular web hosting platforms in 2020 that are widely used and trusted by creators, entrepreneurs, as well as business owners.
The more you research and dig in, you’ll realize that SiteGround and Bluehost are the two of the leading web hosting platforms.
So which one is better – SiteGround or Bluehost?
Honestly, it wasn’t easy picking a web hosting platform as both of them have their own perks. However, there are some differences between the two web hosting platforms that could be a gamechanger for you.
In this article, we’ll review the features of both SiteGround and Bluehost including their hosting capabilities, ease of use, performance, uptime, speed, server locations, migration, etc.
We’ll also share our experience of using the platforms and what we like and what we don’t like so much.
Who is this SiteGround vs Bluehost guide for?
There are a lot of web hosting platforms out there, and when you set out on your journey to find the best web hosting platform for your website, you’ll come across a boatload of technical jargon which can become really complex really quickly.
This SiteGround vs Bluehost review guide is intended to ease the process of selecting the right web hosting platform for creators. So if you’re someone who is confused or simply wants a quick answer to choose the best web hosting platform for your website, then this guide is for you.
Let’s get started.
SiteGround and Bluehost are both leaders and fierce competitors in the web hosting industry. They’re widely popular with over 2 million + customers each and have a strong share in the web hosting market.
Founded in 2003 in Utah, Bluehost powers more than 2M websites. It used to be one of the most popular hosting platforms back in the day, but things changed significantly when the company was acquired by EIG in 2013.
After the acquisition, Bluehost soon experienced a drop in its popularity as well as growth. Since then, its competitors like SiteGround have had a major boost in their audience.
SiteGround was founded in 2004, and it also hosts more than 2M domain names today. It wasn’t as popular as Bluehost until it started growing exponentially in 2015 and soon gained a four-fold increase in size within 5 years, hosting over 2 million websites in 2020.
Now, popularity and hosting capabilities don’t mix well. This means that while one platform might be extremely popular in the industry, it certainly doesn’t guarantee that it’s the best platform for you.
Having said that, let’s keep popularity aside and talk about what each of the platforms has to offer and what really impacts you as a customer.
Both SiteGround and Bluehost are easy to use and beginner-friendly. Another feature they share is offering unmetered data transfer which means you are not billed on how much you use and you can grow freely. This is really helpful, especially for small businesses and community websites.
Now there are a few things that set both the platforms apart from one another.
For instance, SiteGround offers a custom panel that has a clean and intuitive interface which makes it easier for beginners to use the platform. So, there’s no learning curve and you can get started with your hosting platform within just a few minutes.
Meanwhile, Bluehost also offers a cPanel-based solution with a lot of similar features such as a file manager, email accounts, PHPMyAdmin, etc. However, Bluehost feels salesy with its constant promotions of paid tools and upsells that you most likely won’t need. This makes the interface look cluttered and just a bit annoying to work with.
In a nutshell, both platforms are beginner-friendly, so no matter which platform you choose, you should be able to navigate and use it without much hassle. However, we prefer Siteground over Bluehost as it is much cleaner and distraction-free.
When you’re choosing a web hosting platform, one of the most important factors to consider is the platform’s hosting capabilities and more importantly if they align with your business goals.
For instance, if you are an individual creator, you might not need as much storage as a small business team that wants to run a full-fledged website with advanced capabilities.
Or if your business goal is to scale your website and grow it to a bigger audience, you would want to consider a web hosting platform that gives you a good bandwidth so that it scales perfectly with your website.
Note: We recommend 10GB as the ideal storage capacity for most websites unless you are planning to host lots of videos and HD quality images.
When it comes to storage, SiteGround offers only 10GB with its entry plan whereas you get 50GB with Bluehost.
Moreover, as you move to the higher pricing tiers, SiteGround continues to limit the storage capacity, but Bluehost really takes it up a notch and provides unlimited storage.
Bandwidth is the amount of traffic that your website will be allowed to receive. Most web hosting platforms put a cap limit on the bandwidth in an attempt to push their users to upgrade to their higher pricing plans.
Fortunately, that’s not the case with either SiteGround or Bluehost as both the platforms offer unlimited bandwidth which makes them even more ideal.
SiteGround allows you to create unlimited subdomains as well as park unlimited domain names with all of its plans. However, it doesn’t offer a free domain name so you’ll have to pay separately for it.
Now, Bluehost offers a free domain name with all of their plans. But it puts a limit on the number of subdomains and parked domain names you can have for your website with its basic plan. If you want to access unlimited subdomains and park domain names, you have to upgrade to their higher pricing plans.
Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced creator, there’s always a chance for something to go wrong. It might be a buggy code or a malicious extension or something too technical beyond your scope to even identify, let alone resolve!
Now, when you choose a web hosting platform, you need to ensure that it offers a good backup solution for your website. Having a reliable backup system that lets you restore your website quickly is a lifesaver!
When it comes to SiteGround, it offers free auto daily backups on all of their pricing plans, so the platform automatically takes a backup and stores it for 30 days. In case you run in a crisis, you can easily restore your files, email, website, etc
What’s more interesting is that SiteGround also offers On-demand Backup on its GrowBig and GoGeek plans which means you can quickly backup your entire system and restore it with a few simple clicks.
Contrarily, Bluehost doesn’t have very nice back-up features. Earlier you could create backups manually from the cPanel, however they have removed that option which ultimately pushes you to buy a backup add-on at $3/month on its lower plans. This add-on is free with the higher plans.
SiteGround strikes the right balance between all of its hosting features – whether you consider storage (which is pretty decent), bandwidth, domain, or the backup feature. Overall, SiteGround offers better hosting capabilities as compared to Bluehost and is more value for money.
If you’re looking to build a website or already have one set up, it’s most likely you’ve heard about WordPress. It is the most popular CMS and website building tool that powers nearly 31% of the entire web.
Now, WordPress officially recommends only three web hosting platforms and both SiteGround and Bluehost are among them.
Choosing a web hosting platform for your WordPress site that lacks great WordPress integration just doesn’t make sense. Regardless of the web hosting platform you choose – SiteGround or Bluehost – it should have managed WordPress plans that make it easy to install and get started with WordPress.
Moreover, you should look for a web hosting platform that allows you to use SSL and CDNs with minimal effort and offer reasonable and secure hosting options for WordPress hosting.
Both SiteGround and Bluehost offer strong WordPress capabilities, offering 1-click installation, free and easy site migrations and transfers, 24/7 dedicated support, as well as automatic updates.
As far as WordPress security is concerned, SiteGround offers auto core updates for WordPress including free SSL certificate, free daily backups and restore on all plans.
Similar to SiteGround, Bluehost also offers auto updates and free SSL certificate. However, the backup option is only available on its top shared plan i.e Choice Plus through a third-party service. Alternatively, you can also buy the backup as an add-on (discussed above in the article).
Besides, premium managed WP hosting comes with pre-installation of ManageWP as well as advanced security features such as daily scans for vulnerabilities and malware.
Along with this, Bluehost also offers SiteLock Security, SiteLock WAF, and advanced CDN.
When it comes to WordPress speed, SiteGround provides an in-house plugin SuperCacher which is available with its GrowBig and GoGeek plan.
The web hosting platform uses various technologies to improve the overall speed of your site including PHP7, HTTP-2, and a free Cloudflare CDN that further increases the speed of site loading.
Now, Bluehost also comes with Premium WP plans that are built on a VPS powered platform. It uses Nginx server for a leaner and more efficient server setup with dynamic upgrade of more RAM, SAN, and CPU along with instant provisioning.
Like SiteGround, Bluehost also offers a free Cloudflare CDN to make your site much faster.
Overall, both SiteGround and Bluehost come with a range of WordPress centric features that make the user experience seamless.
After a lot of tests and trials, we’ve concluded that when it comes to WordPress integration, both platforms stand head to head with one another. Depending on your requirements, you can choose either SiteGround or Bluehost.
Speed and uptime are the two key aspects of a web hosting platform. Why? First off, a fast website is more likely to engage your users and reduce your bounce rate.
Think of it this way. Would you rather stay on a website that loads in 0.2 seconds or 5 seconds? Quite simple, right?
In today’s era where everything is available with a tap of your finger, that too with a lightning speed, why would you settle for any less?
So, even if you have the best content on your website, you would want to offer something more to your visitors, or else no one is going to stick around. It is true that a website’s speed depends majorly on how well it is optimized but server or data center speed plays equally important role.
Upon testing the pings and loading times of similar websites, we found SiteGround website to be faster than Bluehost’s with a better response time.
When it comes to the uptime of your hosting provider, it simply means the amount of time your website is up and running for your visitors. Low uptime could negatively impact your website visitors and increase the loss of traffic, sales, and even SERPs.
Now, both SiteGround and Bluehost guarantee 99.9% uptime. So, to put this to test, we used a tool to monitor both hosting provider’s uptime over last six months. SiteGround faced outage in the month of June and August giving an average uptime of 99.995% while Bluehost’s outage numbers were double with the average uptime of 99.976%.
Without second guessing, SiteGround emerges as the clear winner. The faster server response time, better uptime added with SiteGround’s Ultrafast PHP makes this hosting provider an excellent option.
Migrating your website from one host to another can be difficult, especially if you’re doing it for the first time.
Now, SiteGround charges $30 per site migration. Additionally, they also offer an easy-to-use and free migration plugin for WordPress users.
Bluehost doesn’t offer any migration services, and the only way to migrate your site to Bluehost is to pay about $150. For this price, they migrate up to 5 web sites and 20 email accounts.
So, there’s no way you can migrate a single website to Bluehost – which is a bummer!
SiteGround provides an affordable and easy option for site migration as compared to Bluehost so we’d like to give them another point.
Having your own website is amazing, but it also comes with a lot of challenges, especially in web hosting.
You might be an experienced web designer or developer, but you’ve got to consider the probability that at some point you might need to get help from support.
Contrarily, if you’re a beginner or have little knowledge about the techy stuff, then you should definitely look for a web hosting platform that offers great customer support.
Because let’s face it. Sometimes you’re going to get some troubles along the way and when that happens, you should be rest assured that your hosting provider has got your back!
SiteGround offers 24-hour support via email (ticket), phone and a live chat option. We have had many interactions with their customer support team and they have always been friendly, and responsive.
We’ve explored different web hosting platforms and SiteGround has the best-in-class support so far.
Along with customer rep support, SiteGround also offers tutorials, webinars, as well as a rich knowledge base that covers every single topic you might seek help for. Also, they have a dedicated blog and a setup wizard to cover all your needs.
So, whether you want to seek answers by yourself through a knowledge base article or want video tutorials or want one-on-one interactions with an expert, SiteGround has got you covered!
The good part about SiteGround’s customer support is that you get valuable and potential answers to your queries. So, there’s no fluff or marketing tactics underway to push you to a higher payment plan.
One interesting feature with the SiteGround customer support is that they over-staff their shifts to reduce the response time and under each option it gives you an expected response time. Additionally, you can even see the customer rep’s data including their years of experience and area of expertise.
Overall, SiteGround offers a comprehensive customer support system – right from its knowledge guide to the extra 24/7 live chat feature.
As far as Bluehost is concerned, it isn’t that cool. While it does provide live chat, email (tickets), and phone support to its customers, they are relatively slower as compared to SiteGround.
Moreover, we also feel like Bluehost constantly tries to push for upsells, which can be outright annoying, especially when you are facing issues with the platform already.
Besides, Bluehost also has a vast knowledge center with different categories such as domain, WordPress, email, etc. One can also access different articles and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to get instant help.
Having said that, we think that waiting to get help or just to talk to a Bluehost customer support executive just doesn’t cut it for us.
We have created dozens of websites and interacted with tons of customer support. Speaking from experience, you should choose a provider that is more responsive and gives valuable information.
For a moment, you might think that “I’ll wait for 10 mins. It doesn’t bother me.” , but it might impact your overall business in the long run, if anything goes wrong!
There’s no surprise here so we’re just going to say it out loud – SiteGround has the best customer support. Not only does it offer multiple touchpoints with the customer support team, but it also has a faster, more responsive, and more experienced team as compared to Bluehost.
Whether you’re just starting out building your own website, or are an experienced creator, you should always look for a platform that is value for money.
Be it the flexibility of using the platform or convenience of getting premium support, one should take into account different factors when choosing a pricing plan.
SiteGround may seem on the higher pricing curve here, but it really throws more value at you. They have a clear and transparent pricing plan, so there are no hidden charges and you pay exactly for what you want.
So, if you’re a beginner or have a small business, then you should consider SiteGround’s Startup Plan which costs $6.99/month. It’s a feature-packed plan which should be good for most individual creators.
However, if you want advanced features such as on-demand backup, priority support, etc then you should upgrade to their GrowBig plan which costs $9.99/month.
If you want a full-blown web hosting platform to run your online business, then I’d suggest you go for their highest pricing tier GoGeek plan which costs $14.99/month.
When it comes to Bluehost pricing plans, they are more competitive than SiteGround. But there’s a catch. Apart from the prices you see here, you might have to pay additional charges for some features such as back-up option, site migration, etc.
Having said that, if you’re on a stringent budget, then you can go for Bluehost’s Basic plan which costs only $2.95/month. It comes with a handful of features that can easily support a small website.
As your website grows, you’d want to switch to the higher pricing plans. Now the Plus plan which costs $5.45/month offers additional features like unlimited subdomains, parked domains, unmetered SSD storage, etc.
The most recommended plan by Bluehost is their Choice Plus plan which costs $5.45/month and offers features like backup, in addition to those in the Plus plan.
SiteGround’s pricing plan is much better value for money than Bluehost. This is simply because SiteGround gives you more flexibility with your website in terms of domains, speed, uptime, backup as well as support. It will also save you money in the long run as you don’t need to pay additionally for many plugins and features that Bluehost charges for.
Both SiteGround and Bluehost are leading web hosting platforms who have garnered the trust of millions of creators, entrepreneurs, and business leaders around the world.
While Bluehost is known for its established position in the web hosting industry, SiteGround is popular for its fast-growing and customer-centric approach which focuses more on offering outstanding security, great speed, and excellent customer support.
So, do we have a clear winner in SiteGround vs Bluehost?
The short answer is yes. Overall SiteGround is our winner, given the control and flexibility it offers to the creator. Right from the ease of migrating your website to getting customer support, SiteGround doesn’t leave you unattended for a minute!
We have multiple websites hosted with SiteGround and we don’t mind paying extra for better performance and support.
On the other hand, Bluehost comes with impressive capabilities and great features. Moreover, it is often a reliable choice for beginners and pros alike which makes it a strong SiteGround competitor.
However, choosing a web hosting platform is really up to your requirements and your business goals.
That being said, we hope you liked our SiteGround vs Bluehost review and more importantly, you can choose the right web hosting platform that meets your requirement. If you have any feedback or questions, please drop a comment below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!
PS: We’re launching a range of insightful guides and review articles to help online creators, freelancers, entrepreneurs, and SaaS business owners choose better platforms and tools for their businesses.