It’s a no-brainer why Google and Bing want websites to load quickly. The right hosting plan is the cornerstone of a successful website, you need to make this choice with utmost care and caution. More so, if your business is entirely dependent on organic traffic for sales, conversions, ad revenue or other monetization models.
To help you make the right choice, let us now compare Bluehost and Siteground – two very popular web hosting providers and skim through their features to figure out which one is the best for your business.
Bluehost is a US-based web hosting company and is owned by Endurance International Group (EIG), a conglomerate which remains invested in over 60 web hosting companies. On the other hand, SiteGround, its close competitor is a privately owned company headquartered in Sofia, Bulgaria and was started by a bunch of determined University grads. Both these web hosting service providers are equally popular but follow completely different approaches, and if you’ve been struggling to decide between the two, then you’re not alone.
You probably started your decision-making journey based on the pricing alone, without really focusing on the value that you derive from it. Now that’s the biggest blunder you can make because a mere look at the prices of these two web hosting service providers can seem quite close, but it gets clearer when you look beyond the price tag. So, we’ve sorted it out for you by making a thorough comparison between Bluehost and Siteground.
Uptime, Speed, And Performance – Bluehost Vs Siteground
Bluehost sure comes up with some attractive offers, but to get the most out of it you need to opt for their long-term web hosting plans, which may not be feasible to many. Pricing isn’t the only thing that Bluehost isn’t transparent about — In fact, Bluehost also keeps its server locations under wraps and that’s quite understandable from the fact that it is part of a larger network, the EIG. Now, this isn’t something that we approve of, because unless you opt for a cloud hosting, the location of a server is crucial for your website’s speed and overall performance.
On the other hand, Siteground is pretty clear about its server locations and has its data centers in Chicago, Iowa, London, Eemshaven, Amsterdam, and Singapore. Also, Siteground works towards allocating the nearest one for its customers, depending on their location and makes the necessary recommendations on its official website. This works great for businesses that can’t afford cloud hosting, and in fact, this is the closest you can get to a cloud hosting, while on a small budget.
It takes Bluehost 2.22 seconds to load it’s own website. The performance grade is not quite upto the mark and the page size is 2.0 MB, not very different from what we are about to check out on the page speed test results of Siteground
Siteground is much, much faster than Bluehost. To be doubly sure of the results, we’ve tested both the websites from the same location — Washington D.C. So it’s not hard to conclude which one wins the bout.
Usability – Bluehost Vs Siteground
Well, at first it may seem like there isn’t much of a difference between the two as both Bluehost and Siteground, both offer a cPanel-based set-up. However, in our opinion, Bluehost is too full of promotional notifications while Siteground offers a clean and easy to use cPanel.
It’s easier to use, to find different services within the cPanel in Siteground, compared to Bluehost.
WordPress Hosting – Bluehost Vs Siteground
Both Bluehost and Siteground are recommended by WordPress, the most popular content management system that runs over 70 percent of the total websites on the world wide web. So if your website is in WordPress, then either Bluehost or Siteground are equally capable to help you with WordPress hosting.
While there’s no big difference between the starter and premium WordPress hosting plans offered by Bluehost and Siteground, the Deluxe plan has a massive difference.
Bluehost without a doubt wins this one, and for two main reasons.
Firstly, Bluehost offers a steep discount on its deluxe plan called ‘Choice Plus’. It’s cheaper and cost-effective to someone on a budget and wants all the features of WordPress hosting without breaking the bank. The $200 marketing credits definitely appear lucrative, especially if you are on a small budget and wish to get the most out of every buck you shell out.
Customer Support and Service – Bluehost Vs Siteground
Most users find Siteground’s support team and customer service to be far better than that of Bluehost.
The response time for tickets, chat, and the phone is faster in case of Siteground, as compared to Bluehost because the company invests in more resources than it requires. This ensures that all queries are dealt with in less than ten minutes, which is amazing. End of the day, it doesn’t matter how popular you are, but what keeps customers coming back is ongoing support and quality services.
Pricing – Bluehost Vs Siteground
You get what you pay for and that’s true when it comes to Bluehost vs Siteground. Although Siteground’s web hosting plans may seem a wee bit more expensive than those offered by Bluehost, we still like it because of the company’s straightforward approach.
The plans clearly mention the number of users you can cater to and how many websites you can host and how many total monthly visitors each plan can cater to. So, if you build affiliate websites as a side-hustle and have absolutely no technical background, even then you get a clear picture about which web hosting plan is right for you to choose.
Free Trial and Money Back Guarantee – Bluehost Vs Siteground
Bluehost offers 30-Day money-back guarantee on its web hosting plans, which ensures that you still have the option to say goodbye to them, just in case they fail to match up to your expectations. That’s fair enough and coming to Siteground, they also offer a 30-day money back, but only on its shared hosting plans. Check Siteground’s refund policy here for more details
For cloud hosting, you must claim the refund within 15 days and that’s agreeable considering the expense involved in the upkeep of a cloud network. However, the money-back guarantee is limited to the web hosting plans only and doesn’t apply to value-added services, except for a few exceptions.
Value-Added Services – Bluehost Vs Siteground
Both Bluehost and Siteground offer free SSL certificate with every web hosting plan, however, when it comes to site migration, Siteground wins the battle as it provides free migration on its GrowBig and GoGeek plans. Also, Siteground uses the latest versions of PHP. Now, this isn’t something that you can expect from Bluehost, which is criticized for making use of outdated PHP versions which may lead to security concerns.
|Uptime, Speed, And Performance||6 Points||9 Points||Siteground|
|Usability||8 Points||9 Points||Siteground|
|WordPress Hosting||9 Points||7 Points||Bluehost|
|Customer Support and Service||7 Points||10 Points||Siteground|
|Pricing||8 Points||8 Points||Draw|
|Free Trial||8 Points||8 Points||Draw|
|Money-Back Guarantee||8 Points||8 Points||Draw|
|Value-Added Services||8 Points||8 Points||Draw|
Our Verdict and Suggestion
In our opinion, the final decision rests on three factors
- The type of business, whether an established business with steady traffic and revenue or whether a new website with very less traffic and negligible revenue
- How much you are willing to spend on web hosting on a monthly or a yearly basis? Is budget a major issue with you?
- What are your preferences and priorities? Is it speed or is it having a complete feature set?
If speed and performance is your first priority and you don’t mind paying an extra amount every month, then Siteground is your best bet. However, if you are on a budget with multiple websites and do not mind the 1 or 2 seconds extra time it takes your website to load, and want a whole range of features and services with your web hosting account, then Bluehost is your call.
Which one would you prefer for shared web hosting? Bluehost or Siteground? Let us know in the comments section below.