Bluehost and Siteground are two extremely popular hosting providers for new bloggers, each hosting around 2 MILLION blogs each – but is one better than the other? Let me provide an overview and comparison between Bluehost vs. Siteground to help you understand which hosting service you should choose to start a blog when you’re a beginner.
Before I get into this, I’ll give fair warning that I’m not going to make this review super technical, because I’m writing this aimed at complete beginners.
It can be easy to get really bogged down with too much information when you’re trying to make a decision about where to host, especially if you aren’t technically inclined and it all just sounds like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo to you. So I’m just going to run through the basic elements you probably are going to be looking for in a web host.
Most beginners looking for basic web hosting for a new blog are going to care about:
- Beginner Friendliness – will you be able to easily use their services as a complete beginner?
- Website load time and uptime – is your website loading fast, can it handle traffic, is it reliable?
- Support/Customer Service – are they good about helping you and fixing your problems? Can you get in touch with something immediately?
- Price/value – is it affordable? is it worth it?
So for this overview and comparison, I’m going to focus on those 4 aspects of web hosting and walk through the differences between Bluehost and Siteground.
The fact is, both hosting companies are extremely popular for website owners and they’re both officially recommended by WordPress.org. Read on to see a full comparison of how these companies stack up.
Not all web hosts are created equal when it comes to ease of use for those with no prior web hosting experience, but both Bluehost and Siteground offer beginner-friendly features.
Both of them offer one-click WordPress installation for your website, so you can get up and running easily. They also both support building your website with the Weebly drag and drop editor if you want to build your website with that instead of a CMS like WordPress (or others).
Website Speed and Uptime
How fast your website loads is a pretty important factor to consider when deciding on a web host. Page load time is actually one of the factors search engines take into account when ranking your website, so if your website loads too slow, it’ll be harder to rank in search engines like Google.
Let’s take a look at testing ran from Pingdom.com over the last 7-days for both Bluehost and Siteground test sites.
Both of these tests show that Siteground and Bluehost have extremely minimal downtime and fast load times.
With those stats shown, there are many reports from customers saying Siteground websites load way faster than Bluehost.
However keep in mind there are actually a lot of factors that affect your page load time, not just your web host. Having too much bulk on your site can slow down your website considerably in either case.
Uptime is the percentage of time your website is up and running smoothly. When your website is down, the page won’t connect and people won’t be able to see your site!
In a perfect world, your uptime would be 100%! But there are going to be factors that will bring your website down, even if only for a few minutes.
Both Siteground and Bluehost boast strong uptime reports, current tests both show 100% but looking at longer-term trends shows they can go down to 99.99% (Still extremely good!)
Support and Customer Service
Both Siteground and Bluehost both offer 24/7 support through live chat, phone, and support tickets. While Siteground offers amazingly fast support and can solve any issue thrown their way, Bluehost has slow response times and doesn’t seem to be able to solve complicated issues effectively.
It’s difficult to find a bad review on Siteground’s support (or about their hosting service in general). They are incredibly fast, efficient, and can solve even the most complicated problems.
Bluehost also carries many positive reviews overall.
However, unlike Siteground, there are also many pretty bad reviews about Bluehost’s site support. They may be extremely popular, but if support is important to you, then you might want to opt for Siteground instead.
It seems to be the general consensus that Siteground has amazing support, and while Bluehost is OK – they can’t handle complicated issues.
Keep in mind that Bluehost is quite a bit cheaper than Siteground, so it’s part of the whole “you get what you pay for” deal.
There’s a pretty big difference in the price between Bluehost and Siteground. In order to truly understand this, you need to look past the introductory special offers that each host provides.
Let’s take a look at the price of each company’s mid-level shared hosting plans that allow for unlimited websites.
Bluehost advertises that you can start their plus plan (with unlimited websites) at just $5.45 per month. That seems like a pretty sweet deal.
However, if you pay attention, you automatically are getting signed up for a 3-year plan. That’s a pretty long commitment if you aren’t ready to make it.
If you choose the 12-month plan instead, you’ll notice the monthly price jumps up to $7.45/month.
Bluehost also will automatically try to enroll you in extra features, so if you don’t want these make sure to uncheck the boxes because that will rack up your bill quite a bit.
Siteground also has very low introductory rates, starting at $5.95 for the GrowBig plan which features unlimited websites.
However, unlike Bluehost, you are offered the $5.95 price no matter which commitment plan you choose (1-3 years).
With Siteground, you also can choose to purchase a 1-month trial run if you don’t want to commit for a full year, but you have to pay a $25 set-up fee.
Pricing after special offers
Where the big price difference comes in is after your trial period.
Bluehost Plus plan: $10.99/month regular pricing
Siteground GrowBig plan: $19.95/month regular pricing
While they both start out very similarly priced, Siteground is nearly 2x as expensive once you get past the introductory rates.
However – keep in mind Bluehost does try to tack on some extra features in pricing (like security features) that can rack up your bill, and they also charge $150 for website migration, a service Siteground provides for free.
Siteground automatically includes security features in their plans so you don’t have to pay extra for it.
Bluehost includes a free domain and SSL certificate in their introductory offer, whereas Siteground doesn’t.
However, Siteground includes free website migration if you’re moving a site over to them, whereas Bluehost charges $150 for the service.
Siteground also features a lot of things that Bluehost does not in its mid-level plan like daily website back-ups and anti-hack and spam protection all included. Bluehost makes you pay extra for features like this.
One more note, Bluehost does not have website storage limits, whereas you do have limits with Siteground plans. Although, the limits are more than large enough to accommodate any start-up blogger.
Summary – Which one is better?
Overall, I feel that Siteground is a better web host. They have outstanding support and are overall more reliable than Bluehost. Another thing I prefer about Siteground is they’re a bit less “salesy”. They don’t try to upsell you on a lot of extra features as Bluehost does.
However, if you’re strapped for cash and are just looking for a cheap option to start up your blog, Bluehost does have prices that are hard to beat especially considering you get a domain and SSL certificate included.
Weebly Drag and Drop Editor Included
Unlimited SSD Storage
Wordpress Install included
Free SSL Certificate
Free domain for 1 year
30 day money-back guarantee
24/7 support - not the best
Daily website backups not included
less secure than siteground
($5.45/mo intro rate,
Grow Big Plan
Weebly Drag and Drop Editor Included
20 GB SSD Storage
wordpress install included
No free ssl certificate included
No free domains included
30 day money-back guarantee
24/7 support (offers Better support)
Daily Website backups
anti-hack and spam protection
($5.95/mo intro rate,