When choosing a web host for your website, there are plenty of options to choose from. In this article, we’ll be comparing two of the big names in web hosting, SiteGround vs Bluehost.
Before we begin, I’d like to clarify that these are both shared web hosting providers (although they both have dedicated hosting plans as well). Shared web hosting is generally the most affordable type of hosting.
Most people use shared hosting, my website is on shared hosting as well and I’ve gotten page load times under 500ms on GTMetrix with near perfect scores.
Best Web Hosting: SiteGround vs Bluehost
In terms of best web hosting, when comparing SiteGround vs Bluehost I’ll be blunt. SiteGround is a better quality web host than Bluehost. In terms of performance, SiteGround is actually one of the best options for shared web hosting.
SiteGround recently started using Nginx technology and that has made website speeds improve even more.
It’s worth noting however that SiteGround is more expensive. You should buy the full two year plan as well because it gets even more expensive after your first purchase of a SiteGround plan.
History Of SiteGround
SiteGround has had a history of providing exceptional web hosting services. As a hosting provider, SiteGround has always had lots of different hosting options to suit anyone.
Whether your running a personal website, a site for a small business, or even a large traffic website for big company, Siteground is one of the best hosting companies for you.
SiteGround currently has data centers in the following locations:
In terms of reliability, the SiteGround uptime is around 99.99%! This makes for an extremely reliable hosting service. Also, SiteGround has been officially recommended by WordPress as a top hosting provider for your WordPress site.
History Of Bluehost
Similar to SiteGround, the Bluehost uptime is around 99.9%. Needless to say, a 99.9% uptime is very impressive.
In 2013, Bluehost was bought out by EIG. Unfortunately, ever since being owned by EIG the quality has diminished from excellent to just average over the years.
EIG is a big company that cares more about their stock holders than the user. One common complaint about shared hosting with Bluehost is that they overcrowd their servers which can result in slow loading times for sites.
The affiliate program will not matter for most of you, however I just want you to know that Bluehost does have a better affiliate program.
Bluehost payouts start at $65 USD for each person you refer that pays for a plan.
SiteGround payouts start at $50 USD for each person you refer that pays for a plan.
For SiteGround vs Bluehost, both affiliate programs have increased payouts as you refer more people.
Bluehost is much easier to promote because not only is the payout higher, but the plans are cheaper.
This means that regardless of which web host is actually better, you’re typically going to see a lot more people promoting Bluehost.
Rest assured that this article is not biased and completely based on my personal experience using both web hosts.
I started with Bluehost because of all the great reviews not knowing that these reviews were coming from people who probably have never even used Bluehost and just want affiliate commissions. After some research I refunded my Bluehost plan and switched to SiteGround.
[Last Updated April 19th 2020]: Have the affiliate programs changed much between Siteground vs Bluehost in 2020? Well, for a brief moment yes. Bluehost recently had a promotion where they were paying $100 per referral! This promotion lasted a few months and just ended in April.
SiteGround, Bluehost, HostGator and really all shared web hosting providers have pretty affordable prices. Bluehost has some of the cheapest prices available out of all hosting providers. When purchasing any plan you get a 30 days money-back guarantee with Bluehost. SiteGround also offers 30 days for their money-back guarantee too.
SiteGround Hosting Prices
SiteGround shared hosting ranges from $3.95/month – $34.95/month.
SiteGround cloud hosting ranges from $80/month – $240/month.
SiteGround dedicated hosting ranges from $269/month – $729/month.
For SiteGround enterprise hosting you’ll need to request a quote.
SiteGround Shared WordPress Hosting Plans
SiteGround offers unmetered traffic on all plans so you don’t need to worry about getting too much traffic to your WordPress site! They also provide free WordPress installation for all plans as well.
In addition to this, all shared WordPress hosting plans include a free SSL certificate, let’s encrypt and php 7, free cloudflare integration for free CDN (content delivery network) and free unlimited email.
One feature in particular I really like is something that usually requires significant support. SiteGround provides this feature too. It is a free WordPress (or any site) website transfer, which is very expensive with most other companies. This is a great feature to support because without support transferring a WordPress site can be very technically difficult.
SiteGround’s Startup plan starts at $3.95 USD per month as well but this plan goes up to $11.95 for future plan renewals. This is why you should invest in the 2 year plan if you choose SiteGround. It is way cheaper to do it this way. SiteGround offers 10 GB of web space which they estimate should handle around 10,000 monthly visitors.
The SiteGround GrowBig plan starts at $5.95 USD per month and then goes up to $19.95 USD per month for plan renewals. This is SiteGround’s most popular plan and it allows WordPress hosting for unlimited WordPress websites. This plan includes 20 GB of data storage and should support around 25,000 visits every month. This plan also has dynamic caching and you can get a free professional site transfer if transferring your website from another hosting service to this plan.
The SiteGround GoGeek plan is the most expensive and best plan for managed WordPress hosting. This plan starts at $11.95 then $34.95 USD per month for plan renewals. SiteGround offers 30 GB of disk space and suggests that this plan can support around 100,000 monthly visits. This plan offers everything that all lower plans offer and some additional features. My favorite bonus feature of this plan is that you get the highest tier of resources. This means Siteground gives you the highest priority for server resources like CPU for better execution times.
In my opinion, the GrowBig plan has good value but I personally think the GoGeek plan is the best overall though. You can get on-demand daily backups of your website, you can have a whole team access the site, unlimited email accounts, ssh access. It just has tons of great hosting features.
Bluehost Hosting Prices
Bluehost shared hosting ranges from $2.95/month – $13.95/month.
Bluehost VPS hosting ranges from $18.99/month – $59.99/month.
Bluehost dedicated hosting ranges from $79.99/month – $119.99/month.
Bluehost WP Pro managed WordPress hosting ranges $19.95/month – $49.95/month.
Bluehost ecommerce hosting powered by Woocommerce ranges from $6.95/month – $12.95/month.
Bluehost Shared WordPress Hosting Plans
Bluehost has one of the cheapest plans on the web hosting market, with the Basic plan starting at just $2.95 USD per month and going up to $7.99 for future plan renewals there are few (if any) competitors offering a cheaper price.
All plans come with a free SSL certificate and one of the key pros of Bluehost is that you get your domain name free of charge!
Similar to SiteGround, Bluehost also has discounted prices for your first plan purchase. For this reason, I recommend purchasing 2 years worth of which plan you pick to get the best value. Also Bluehost plans come with SSD (solid state drive) storage which is type of data storage that is faster loading than HD (hard drive) storage.
The Bluehost Basic plan for shared WordPress hosting starts at $2.95/month then $7.99 for plan renewals. This plan only includes 1 website. Bluehost offers 50 GB SSD storage with this plan which is very impressive! You also get unlimited bandwidth.
The Bluehost Plus plan for shared WordPress hosting starts at $5.45/month and $10.99/month for plan renewals. Bluehost offers unlimited websites, unlimited storage (SSD) and unlimited domains! Bluehost also offers one Office 365 mailbox free for 30 days.
The Bluehost Choice Plus plan for shared WordPress hosting also starts at $5.45/month and then goes up to $14.99/month when you renew the plan. This plan offers everything of the lesser options plus site backup and codeguard basic.
The Bluehost Pro plan for WordPress starts at $13.95/month and goes up to $23.99/month after renewing. Bluehost offers a dedicated IP with this one which is huge!
The Bluehost Pro plan is the best value in my opinion. A dedicated IP is quite expensive elsewhere so this is a really good deal from Bluehost. Siteground and all other providers charge way more for a dedicated IP address.
Also, the free domain name is a really nice bonus for people starting a new website with Bluehost. SiteGround unfortunately doesn’t offer a free domain name.
Also it’s worth noticing that you get free unlimited email accounts with SiteGround. Bluehost only provides 30 days free email which is not as good.
Performance & Speed
SiteGround has some great performance features. Their speed is definitely one of the fastest for shared web-hosting providers. SiteGround also has been noted as having a really fast load time even on a shared server WordPress site. This is likely because they are careful not to overcrowd their servers.
I’ll be assuming that you aren’t running a dedicated server and instead went with a shared WordPress plan. The dedicated and VPS solutions are excessive for the vast majority of people unless you get a lot of site traffic
Some notable features include an integrated CloudFlare CDN which can be enabled or disabled, and the Nginx caching technology allows you to enable memcaching. The fact that Siteground is able to support these advanced performance features is very impressive.
The SiteGround performance system has definitely passed my tests and many other people have reported it to pass their performance test as well.
In simple terms, these are high end caching features that will increase your website loading speeds a lot and are actually quite rare among web hosting services.
Although the uptime and support of Bluehost vs SiteGround is a fair match, the performance siteground offers is superior for WordPress and any site.
Bluehost also provides easy enabling of CloudFlare CDN for your website however I was not able to enable my free SSL certificate with the Cloudflare CDN enabled at the same time.
I researched online about this issue and found out that just about everyone has had the same experience.
When I called Bluehost about this issue, they told me that I’d have to buy dedicated hosting ($119.99/month) to enable CDN and SSL certification at the same time on my website.
In terms of performance, I found Bluehost to be subpar and my website loading speeds were quite slow sometimes. On GTMetrix, sometimes it was up to 10 seconds. However most of the time my WordPress site was fast enough
The slow loading speeds for your website also can be caused by a slow response time from the web hosting server. Bluehost is notorious for overloading their servers causing slow loading times for everyone on their shared hosting plans.
It is important to support a very high uptime for maximum performance of a WordPress site and visitor support. SiteGround and Bluehost both have great uptime for any WordPress site or site in general.
Both SiteGround and Bluehost offer free SSL certificates for your websites. They both have premium malware protection and a great security rating.
As mentioned in the performance section, you need dedicated hosting with Bluehost in order to have an SSL certificate and CDN for your website. This was a deal breaker for me since I needed all the performance I could get out of my website.
SiteGround’s web hosting easily allows you to enable your SSL certificate and CDN for your website and both of these features will improve your google ranking, security and performance of your website.
Overall, Bluehost is fairly secure and if your website is built with WordPress then you may want to download the Wordfence plugin.
SiteGround is still more secure if you want a CDN (content delivery network) for your website because they use CloudFlare CDN.
CloudFlare has lots of security features that also ensure that your website content is kept safe on their network.
As you can see, for security of Siteground vs Bluehost, it is a fairly close match.
Customer Service & Support
I contacted customer support from SiteGround and Bluehost a lot while using each one so I can tell you a lot about their service.
Both SiteGround and Bluehost customer support have a mediocre message/email support team.
They both encourage you to look through previous issues or raise a support ticket which may take a few hours to hear back from.
I was with both SiteGround and Bluehost before they even had live chat 24/7 support. Now that they both have live chat 24/7 support the support has of course improved. I do think however that SIteGround’s support has more technical knowledge. SiteGround’s support also seemed to have slightly better response times as well.
I recommend calling their support lines for help because it’s quicker and the people are way more helpful. Submitting a support ticket was completely useless for both Bluehost and SiteGround in my experience.
Beware that Bluehost’s support line is in Utah, US and you may get charged for long distance calling depending on your phone plan. Learn from my mistake on that one, I got charged $40 from my cell phone provider for a 20 minute phone call with Bluehost.
Phone support of Siteground vs Bluehost is pretty much the same. They both usually have hold times of a few minutes. Once you’re actually talking to a support agent they are quite helpful.
SiteGround offers free website migration the first time you purchase a plan with them. This is convenient if you’re switching over from a different web host.
Bluehost offers a free domain name for with the purchase of a new plan. After a year, you’ll have to pay about $10-$20 to renew it for another year.
Bluehost also offers marketing credits. You receive $100 for Microsoft Advertising and $100 for Google Ads. To get these credits, you have to first spend at least $25 on a Microsoft Advertising and Google Ads account.
Bonuses of SiteGround vs Bluehost are fairly different as I’ve just shown. Overall I think Bluehost actually provides better bonuses that would appeal to more people. That being said, the free migration for SiteGround is excellent. Bluehost charges $149.99 for a site migration that is worth noting for sure.
Is Bluehost the best?
Bluehost is not the best web-hosting provider. They do have some of the best prices and some remarkable features however. They also have really great uptime but SiteGround also has amazing uptime. It’s obvious that uptime is not an issue for either of these companies.
Bluehost also has been coming out with new plans like the WP (WordPress) Pro managed WordPress hosting. Although slightly more expensive than shared, this plan offers better performance features for the more serious website owner.
The new ecommerce WordPress plan managed by Woocommerce is a awesome new addition to Bluehost. SiteGround also does support an option like this and running an ecommerce WordPress website with them is about the same price.
The bonuses are definitely some of the best however. The $200 in ad credits and free domain name are great.
I think the Bluehost support could work on improving their response times.
Why Is Bluehost so cheap?
The fact that they overcrowd their shared servers allows them to cut costs significantly. This is one of the main reasons why they are able to offer such a cheap price.
Sometimes cheap can mean bad quality. In this case, I wouldn’t necessarily say this company is bad quality. I just think they’ve skimped out on a few features that SiteGround has gone all out on.
Another reason for being so cheap is that they have been a very popular choice for a very long time. This could be partly due to their incredibly high paying affiliate program which they’ve probably driven most of their success from. Being a popular choice doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing either.
Many people like this company a lot so also most people only want the cheapest option and don’t need some of the advanced features that SiteGround has.
Also even though they’ve cut costs on some features, they have been a powerhouse in others. Like uptime for example. Although I’ve already noted that these options both have a great uptime, that is not something to be overlooked.
Some providers have very low uptime and this can hurt your website a lot. Another important aspect is the user-friendliness. The control panel is very user-friendly and any beginner will have no issues using it. Although the same can be said for the SiteGround control panel it is still worth acknowleding.
Is SiteGround any good?
SiteGround is really good. Especially in terms of value, they have one of the best services available for your WordPress site. The advanced technology that they’ve invested time and resources in to also shows that they care about the performance and speed of your site.
When you signup you can pick which data center you’d like to use which is handy if you know where your target traffic will be coming from.
It does kind of suck that the prices go up a lot after you renew your plan. That is why it is so important to buy the longest plan possible for your first purchase with SiteGround. It will save you tons of money in the long run.
I know it will be tempting to purchase just one year because you won’t want to spend so much up front. Please trust me and don’t do this. Invest in your site and have the expectation that it the dream of your ideal site will come to fruition. See it through long term.
When starting a new site you shouldn’t have the mindset that you’ll just see how it goes and possibly cancel. This is the wrong mindset. You should realize that developing a successful site takes time and effort. If Google doesn’t rank every site easily and quickly, it can take several months before any page on your site even indexes to the top 100 results for any keyword.
Special COVID-19 SiteGround Discount
For a limited time, SiteGround has a special offer due to the economic slowdown as a result of the corona virus.
You can now start a website for just $0.99 for 3 months! This is an amazing deal that will not last long!
You can only take advantage of this deal here by signing up through my special discounted links.
My Experience With SiteGround vs Bluehost
By now you probably know that I’m going to tell you my experience with SiteGround was a lot better than Bluehost.
Overall I rate SiteGround the winner in this comparison.
Other reviews online about these web hosts won’t tell you the details I’m giving you because they haven’t actually used each of these services.
What you won’t find elsewhere in your research is that Bluehost will NOT allow you to enable SSL and CDN for your website on the shared hosting plans.
This is a big deal because you really should have both of these for your website. SSL certificates make your website address start with https:// instead of http:// and it keeps your website more secure, more trustworthy to visitors and Google ranks your website much higher with it.
If you’re wondering what a CDN is, it is a network that delivers the content of your website throughout many servers around the world so that your visitors load your website from the nearest server to them, hence your website loads way faster. Again, this feature is going to help you rank in Google much more easily.
I realize that not everyone needs a high performing, highly secure website. If this is the case, Bluehost will be sufficient for your web hosting needs. After all, it is significantly cheaper than SiteGround.
For those who want max performance and security with their shared hosting plan, I’d recommend SiteGround.
I personally use the GoGeek plan on SiteGround for a lot of my websites and I think it’s one of the best options for shared hosting.
I think everyone should start their website with SiteGround for the first two years then possibly explore other options.
The reason I say this is because the discounted price for those first two years is an incredible deal but the price becomes so much higher afterwards. Hopefully this comparison of Siteground vs Bluehost gave you some useful insight.
Whichever you choose, you will have a 30 day money back guarantee.