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If you’re comparing SiteGround vs Bluehost, there are many factors to consider with both of these incredibly popular online hosting companies.
With shared hosting services, WordPress hosting, and cloud development, either SiteGround or Bluehost will be able to support the needs of most individuals and businesses.
But there are differences between the two services, and depending on your needs, one service may end up being better than the other.
Here’s a point-by-point comparison between the two hosting providers.
Table of Contents
Ease of Use
Bluehost and SiteGround both have easy, one click installs for services such as WordPress, and they also have their own internal editors.
Bluehost’s WYSIWYG editor is driven by Weebly, while SiteGround’s is an internal, proprietary tool.
But while Bluehost and SiteGround have similar functionality, most users find SiteGround a little more intuitive to use.
Bluehost still has a slightly antiquated platform, and it can be difficult to find all the options that a webmaster needs. SiteGround’s more streamlined design is better for beginners, depending on what the beginners need to do.
Those who are just installing WordPress or another content management system might find that both solutions are comparable.
SiteGround is slightly less popular than Bluehost, though that doesn’t tell the whole story.
In 2017, SiteGround had half the users of Bluehost. By 2018, it had almost as many users as Bluehost. It’s been able to grow incredibly fast.
Bluehost has gone from being one of the more popular hosts to being just one of many. And SiteGround is one of its major competitors.
Why has this happened?
Largely, Bluehost’s services appear to have stagnated. Once known as a high performance budget host, the service has leaned into “budget” and away from high performance.
Many people have moved off of Bluehost seeking better performance, especially WordPress users — because while WordPress is easy to launch on Bluehost, it tends to be very demanding of high performance.
None of that means that Bluehost isn’t an excellent hosting service, but it does show that SiteGround is growing steadily in popularity, while Bluehost has remained relatively static.
Like many hosting providers, Bluehost uses the common cPanel. cPanel is familiar to most webmasters, but its become a little aged with time, and can be difficult to use.
The advantage to cPanel is that it’s exceptionally robust. It’s been developed for over a decade, and as a third-party open source solution, it’s had quite a lot added to it over the years.
SiteGround, on the other hand, uses its own SiteTool. This is a streamlined, clean interface that looks a lot like WordPress and other CMS solutions.
But, it may not have all the features and the customization that cPanel users have become accustomed to.
In addition to the general platform, each host has different features.
Here are some of the major features of SiteGround:
- Unlimited emails and databases
- Free automatic website backup and restore
- Fully managed WordPress hosting
- 99.9% uptime with a 30 day money back guarantee
- Free website migration and setup
Here are some of the major features of Bluehost:
- Free domain names for one year
- Unlimited disk space and bandwidth
- Free SSL certificate
- WordPress staging sites
- Access to shell (SSH)
Both Bluehost and SiteGround provide unlimited bandwidth and network transfer to their hosting accounts. But that doesn’t mean that you might not get throttled if you use over a certain amount of performance.
When it comes to hosting services, speed and reliability are likely to be more important than raw bandwidth, because that is usually what bottlenecks performance.
One of the major advantages to Bluehost is that you can get a free domain for a year free, with a hosting account. You can’t get this through SiteGround.
For actual domain management, both Bluehost and SiteGround are similar. You’ll find that anywhere you choose to get a domain is going to have the same general features.
But if you want to setup a lot of sites at once, Bluehost’s free domain for a year is going to really shine.
You can setup multiple sites without any initial cost, and you can test out these sites and work on them for a year without having to pay costly domain charges.
Both Bluehost and SiteGround support one-click installs for WordPress, and both of them are WordPress approved hosts.
So which is the best?
In fact, they’re pretty similar. Both of them come with the Cloudflare CDN, with speed and performance boosting services, and with the ability to upgrade to WordPress premium.
But there’s one major advantage that makes all the difference. With SiteGround, all your WordPress sites are automatically managed. With Bluehost, you need to pay quite a bit extra for managed WordPress.
That means you get additional support for your WordPress site right out of the box with SiteGround, even if SiteGround is about $1 more for the lowest priced tier.
The basic Bluehost account comes with 5 emails, while SiteGround offers unlimited emails.
Depending on what you want to do, SiteGround’s unlimited email accounts could become very important.
The Prime Plan on Bluehost is a little more expensive than their most basic plan, but does allow for unlimited email. So you can get it, just not with the most basic package.
Through cPanel, Bluehost emails can be accessed through a few of the most popular web-based email platforms. SiteGround has its own proprietary system through which you can access and manage your emails.
Either way, you can also use your emails and email address domain through third-party solutions like Google.
When it comes to speed, being larger should give Bluehost an advantage. Bluehost has a total of 23 data centers, compared to SiteGround’s five. This usually matters.
The closer the data center is to your audience, the faster their speeds.
Both of them have 99% uptime guarantees, and they use the CloudFlare CDN to further boost performance. Both of them also use solid state drives, which can access data at much faster speeds than traditional drives.
But in actual speed tests, SiteGround somehow outperforms Bluehost despite the additional data centers. SiteGround is often twice as fast as Bluehost.
Part of this could be that Bluehost doesn’t actually state where their data centers are, and SiteGround’s data centers are large. You can choose which data center you use, too, to make sure that you’re serving your audience as quickly as possible.
Speed is important in the world of the web. Most people won’t wait for more than a few seconds for a website to load.
People on mobile devices may wait slightly longer (as they’re accustomed to delays due to slower cellular service), but they can still be impatient.
Both SiteGround and Bluehost boast a 99% uptime guarantee, but SiteGround still has more uptime.
Over the course of six months, SiteGround was able to achieve 100% uptime, while Bluehost only had 99.97%.
That additional 0.03% might not matter to you at all, or it might be very important. It all depends on whether you’re running something like a blog or something like a major eCommerce portal.
Both these services are going to provide sufficient uptime for just about any application. But without question, SiteGround does provide more uptime than Bluehost, which is worth considering if reliability is one of your major deciding factors.
Bluehost doesn’t let you choose your server location, while SiteGround does.
It’s likely that Bluehost load balances and places your site where is best. Especially with the number of data centers it has.
But being able to choose your server location with SiteGround is an advantage, even if it is a minor one.
That being said, Bluehost does have more data centers, so if being as close as possible matters, you may be able to achieve that better through Bluehost.
SiteGround offers free site migration for your first site, which can be very beneficial to those who want to move an already hosted account.
Bluehost offers site migration as well, but it’s going to cost $149.99.
With both migration services themselves being fairly equal, the affordable nature of SiteGround makes it the clear winner.
SiteGround has the edge again, when it comes to performance.
While you can upgrade your accounts under both providers, SiteGround simply provides a faster and more reliable service, which means that sites that are growing rapidly are going to see better results with SiteGround.
On the other hand, Bluehost is still cheaper, so if the goal is to acquire a service that’s going to be cheaper as the website scales, Bluehost may still be a good option.
SiteGround and Bluehost’s protection packages are quite similar, but a few notable inclusions make SiteGround safer.
SiteGround includes malware detection packages, while Bluehost offers it for an additional (low) monthly fee.
Both of them have SSL certificates available, DDoS protection, and site backups that can be restored as needed. But SiteGround’s backups are daily, and Bluehost’s are weekly.
This is important.
Malware and cyber attacks are becoming more common, and those who aren’t able to protect their sites aren’t going to have their sites for long.
SiteGround has been able to create extremely secure networks, but Bluehost has started to fall behind in that regard.
This could be a concern for websites that need to be more secure, such as eCommerce portals, but all websites should be secured — especially those that collect user information.
SiteGround guarantees that their support is going to be good, with an average 10 minute response time on tickets.
Bluehost, by all reports, tends to be a little more difficult to get ahold of, though they’re still good.
Both SiteGround and Bluehost have email tickets, instant messenger chat, and phone, and both of them also have detailed knowledge bases.
When trying to connect through “instant” customer service portals (such as chat and phone), SiteGround tends to take a matter of seconds for customer support. Bluehost averages two to three minutes.
Again, this is something that could be very important to you, or almost negligible.
It depends on your own customer support needs, how frequently you often need customer support, and whether you’re going to be doing anything challenging with your hosting account.
With Bluehost, you get unlimited storage for your account. With SiteGround, you get 10 Gb of space.
This is a victory for Bluehost, but a potentially narrow one. Most people aren’t going to be archiving more than 10 Gbs of information.
If you’re looking to host an exceptional amount of content, you can consider Bluehost.
Bluehost is one of the cheapest hosting services in the business.
As of 2020, their lowest priced plan is a low, $2.95 a month, while SiteGround’s lowest plan is $3.95.
Bear in mind these are introductory levels. You’ll see them increase to $7.99 and $11.95 respectively after an initial term. You won’t break the bank on either web service, but the costs can add up if you’re running multiple domains.
Of course, the lowest tier is for sites that are low to moderate in traffic. That includes personal websites, many blogs, and smaller commercial websites.
If you find that your website is growing or needs additional traffic allowances, you may need to scale up to something like a Virtual Private Server.
You can do this on either Bluehost or SiteGround, but it will increase the amount that you need to pay.
Winner : Bluehost
Bottom Line: SiteGround vs Bluehost
Compared to Bluehost, SiteGround is a relative up-and-comer.
Though it has been around for equally as long, it only started picking up steam and getting a large number of users in recent years.
But it’s done that through a stable, reliable platform and innovation.
Comparatively, Bluehost is definitely the heavy hitter. It’s been a popular hosting solution for the better part of the last decade. But because it’s aged and hasn’t significantly changed, it’s becoming less and less of a viable option for those who need a truly stable and reliable system.
Still, that doesn’t mean that SiteGround is necessarily better than Bluehost for your needs. As with many hosting services, it depends on what you’re doing.
SiteGround provides greater levels of performance and reliability, whereas Bluehost provides affordable, easy to use, and easy to launch services.
For a small site, Bluehost might be easier to deploy. For something more extensive, SiteGround will provide greater levels of flexibility and scalability. And since Bluehost provides free domain names, it’s really a solid choice for those who want to launch multiple domains.
Both SiteGround and Bluehost have some excellent introductory deals, so those looking for the perfect webhost can try them out. It’s always possible to switch from host to host, but it’s a challenge — so do your research before making a decision.
Having said that, SiteGround has clear advantages over Bluehost when it comes to speed and performance, customer support, security, managed wordpress solutions, and uptime. These are the areas that matter most to webmasters. For these reasons SiteGround is our clear winner and the web host we use.