SiteGround vs. Bluehost

by | May 5, 2016 | Web Hosting

Choosing between SiteGround and Bluehost is an interesting comparison.

Bluehost is a cheap, mass market host that’s slowly added some better features, but still misses the mark on some quality standards.

SiteGround was built with care and customer service from the ground up, and has only offered better pricing and services over time.

Quick recommendation? SiteGround is definitely worth pay a few extra dollars a month to get their epic support and great features.

I’d even spring for their Go Geek plan, currently a whopping 60% off at just $11.95/mo (as of Jan 22, 2018).

With features like one-click staging and git repo, those are the things you’ll wish you had when your site gets big.

Pros and Cons of SiteGround Hosting

SiteGround was launched in Bulgaria in 2004 by friends and IT professionals. Who would think that a small group of friends in Bulgaria would start one of the most popular hosting companies in the world?

The company operates with what they call the handcrafted philosophy, which means that they create their own high-quality solutions. They believe in a fun environment with happy, passionate employees who operate with integrity and provide good service.

As a result, SiteGround has received customer service awards. They also offer users 10 GB of disk space to start, unlimited bandwidth, fast speeds and responsive support.

SiteGround Pros

  • Pricing: SiteGround’s plans are slightly more expensive than other hosting sites, but also include more features than others in their four hosting options.
    • Shared Hosting: Regularly priced at $9.95, coupon codes drop that down to $3.95.
    • Cloud Hosting: Starts at $60 monthly.
    • Reseller Hosting: A credit plan, which equals one year of hosting, is as low as $42 each credit when you purchase 11 or more credits.
    • Dedicated Hosting: Their U.S. dedicated server plans start at $229 per month.
  • Customer Support: Customer service representatives are available 24/7/365 to troubleshoot technical problems, complete customer requests promptly, and exceed expectations. Support is through instant chat, instant phone responses, and tickets, with about 10 minutes as the average first response.
  • Speed: SiteGround offers solid-state drives on all hosting plans. They provide enhanced performance with NGINX, HTTP/2, PHP7 and free CDN. The company also wrote more than 800 WAF rules to fix zero-day vulnerabilities. Siteground caches WordPress and Joomla sites for additional speed.
  • Value: SiteGround may cost a little more than other hosting options, but each package includes many additional features and the prompt, thorough customer service for any situation is worth it.
  • Features: SiteGround offers an enhanced, user-integrated cPanel with extra functionalities, fast Website creation and migration, and seamless setup. They offer tutorials and themes for WordPress and Joomla.
  • Downtime/Uptime: SiteGround has a 99.9965 percent yearly uptime rate and a 99.999 percent monthly uptime rate, and a speed test that lets you check your site’s loading times. Data centers in Amsterdam, Chicago, London, and Singapore, provide worldwide coverage. SiteGround states that more than 90 percent of server performance issues are resolved instantly due to software that provides automatic real-time detection and an automated instant reaction.

SiteGround Cons

  • Pricing can be slightly higher than budget hosts. But we believe it’s worth the extra cost
  • Would prefer a higher disk space on the plans, as a few sites and staging copies can eat it up quickly
  • There are some hidden things that aren’t apparent up front, such as inode usage. Inodes are small files that have to be cleared regularly for some sites. So while you may not be using much disk space, you can overload the inodes.
  • Your site may be shut down if hacked, without a strong warning

 

Pros and Cons of Bluehost Hosting

Started in 2003 beneath the Wasatch Mountains in Utah, Bluehost has been operating with one goal: to make a better hosting company. The cloud-based solution was built on open-source technology. BlueHost offers everyone unlimited domain hosting, GB hosting space, GB file transfers and email accounts, along with a money-back guarantee.

Bluehost does a ton of advertising, and they’re essentially the Starbucks (or McDonalds) of web hosting.

If you don’t know much about hosting, it’s likely you’ve heard of them.

Bluehost Pros

  • Pricing: BlueHost has a wide variety of options and is focused on providing direct customers the best hosting and service. They offer free hosting for nonprofits and reduced prices for students.
    • Shared Hosting: Starting at $3.49 monthly.
    • VPS Hosting: Starts at $29.99 per month, with the first month starting at $14.99.
    • WordPress Optimized Hosting: Starting at $24.99 per month, and $12.49 for the first month.
    • Reseller Hosting: BlueHost recommends ResellerClub, which starts at $12.99 per month, rather than offering a reseller option.
    • Dedicated Hosting: Their U.S. dedicated server plans start at $149.99 per month; the first month starts at $74.99.
  • Customer Support: BlueHost offers 24/7/365 customer service through a self-help knowledge base, instant chat, tickets, and phone calls that they claim are answered in mere minutes. Customer support and engagement specialists work to give clients a one-call resolution and exceed their expectations.
  • Speed: BlueHost uses CPU segregation technology. They offer support to help troubleshoot and increase each page’s speed.
  • Value: BlueHost provides complete in-house services – they have their own data centers, fiber connections, customized servers and Linux kernel. User accounts are regularly backed up, and offers round-the-clock server monitoring.
  • Features: The company offers instant setup scripts, one-click installs, standard cPanel, and vouchers for Google and Facebook advertising. Customers also get a free SEO report and a free Yellow Pages listing.
  • Downtime/Uptime: BlueHost guarantees a 99.9 percent uptime. As far as downtime, BlueHost has a custom-built in-house data center and all customers receive power backups via diesel generator and UPS.

Bluehost Cons

  • Pricing is confusing: you only get the really good deals if you host for a long time with them, often 36+ months, depending on the deal.
  • Customer service can be a toss up. With so many customers and a lot going on, there are some reports of great customer service agents, and some reports with not so great ones. Depends on who you get.
  • Website migrations are not free. If you’re not a developer, you’ll want help migrating your website. Unlike SiteGround, their migrations come at a $150+ fee.

What’s Best for You?

If you’re pinching pennies at the bottom of the barrel, honestly, still go with SiteGround. I was going to say Bluehost, but SiteGround has such a great 60% off deal as of this writing, that it’s hard to beat.

SiteGround’s customer support is going to be way better than any other “globo-host”, and if you’re just starting out or not a super skilled IT person, you’re going to want some help.

The only reason to go with Bluehost is if there are certain features they have that you just need. As always, read the fine print!

Find out how Bluehost compares to AWS in our Bluehost vs. AWS post. To see how other how other hosting heavyweights match up against each other check out our AWS vs. Siteground post.