There is so much debate about which web host to use for your website. There are many hosting companies out there, but the biggest battle I’ve been hearing is Bluehost vs SiteGround.
My research shows that both options are viable… both companies have a lot in common and offer many of the same features. However, with all the noise going on about which one to choose, it’s a little overwhelming!
Some people say SiteGround is better because the site speed it faster.
Some people say Bluehost is better because they are easier to use.
So which is it? Which one should you choose?
Join me as I break it all down and explain (in layman’s terms) the pros and cons for Bluehost and SiteGround.
How the Numbers Stack Up
Obviously, one of the first things to look at when choosing a web host is their features. Below is a table comparison of Bluehost vs SiteGround.
There are a lot of components to a hosting account, but here are a few of the most important and basic features that you’ll get with each company.
Suitable for ~ 10,000 Visits
24/7 phone & chat
24/7 phone & chat
With both companies you get your first term for $3.95.
A term is the length of time you choose to purchase your hosting for. The cheapest route for both is to purchase your hosting for a 3-year term. This is going to cost you $142.20 (paid upfront).
Once your term is up, you will pay the regular rate. The “regular” rate would be the amount crossed-out above; $7.99/mo. for Bluehost and $9.95/mo. for SiteGround.
First 3/year term: $142.20
Second 3-year term: $287.64
First 3/year term: $142.20
Second 3-year term: $359.64
Number of Websites
SiteGround and Bluehost both allow you to have one website on your basic/hosting account.
If you want more than one website, you’ll need to upgrade or choose the next level up hosting account.
Included Domain Names
When you sign-up for a hosting account on Bluehost, you are given one domain name that is free for the first year. Regular renewal rate of $15.99 will apply on the second year.
SiteGround does not offer a free year of domain registration. Domain names cost $15.99 from SiteGround as well.
Web space is simply the space used to store web pages and other content that your visitors can access on your website. It’s the same thing as the size of your computer hard drive.
With Bluehost, you are given 50 GB of website space vs only 10 GB from SiteGround.
Is this important? Well, how important is your content and are you willing to take the chance of running out of space?
I’ll let you decide.
Bluehost Data Center – Photo Credit
This is where things start getting a little complicated, but it’s important to understand what Bandwidth represents.
In the simplest terms, bandwidth is the level of traffic and amount of data that can transfer between your site, users, and the Internet.
That probably still sounds a little confusing? Let’s break this down a little more…
The higher your bandwidth, the more people can visit your site at the same time and fully enjoy the content you are providing.
If you’ve ever watched Shark Tank, you’ll remember hearing about a company’s website crashing on the night their pitch appeared on the show. This happened because they maxed out their bandwidth and the whole site went down.
Bluehost offers unmetered bandwidth whereas SiteGround gives enough bandwidth for up to 10,000 monthly visitors.
Ten thousand monthly visitors might seem like a lot, but it really isn’t. I run one niche site that gets 27,000 monthly visits and it’s not even a large topic!
But you might be wondering, what does Bluehost mean by “unmetered” bandwidth?
Here is what they have to say about it…
These resources are “unmetered”, meaning you are not billed according to the amount of bandwidth used. While of course these resources are not infinite, we believe our customers should have all the resources necessary to build an online presence and 99.95% of customers will have more than enough bandwidth to meet their needs.
Included Email Addresses
SiteGround definitely wins on this one with unlimited email addresses. Bluehost gives you 5 email addresses on the Basic account. You’ll have to upgrade to the Plus hosting to get unlimited email addresses with Bluehost.
I have the Bluehost Plus level hosting with unlimited email addresses, and I only use 2 email addresses per website at most. If you’re only planning on running a blog, niche site, or directory, unlimited email addresses really isn’t a huge selling point in my opinion.
Both companies offer free SSL Certificate, which is a huge plus. Having a secure website is becoming extremely important for SEO purposes. So being able to get one for free is definitely important!
The SSL certificate on both Bluehost and SiteGround are free for as long as you have a website hosted with them. They do not require paying additional annual fees for the SSL certificate.
Bluehost and SiteGround both offer 24/7 phone and online chat support. This has been a lifesaver for me… especially in those early days when I kept doing things that completely crashed my website!
I’ve been on the online chat with Bluehost at 7:00 in the morning and 10:00 at night and always been able to solve my problems.
Since I’ve never used SiteGround, I can’t speak of the customer support.
If you’re a SiteGround user, please comment with your experience. Thanks!
What About Site Speed?
One of the main reasons I hear people raving about SiteGround is because they claim to have the best site speed.
I want to clear up a little confusion about site speed. We have to understand that no matter what hosting company you go with, there is potential for site speed issues. There are so many variables to site speed that are beyond the hosting provider.
Here are some reasons that your site may be slow:
The type of internet connection you have will directly affect the speed at which any website loads.
We all remember the dial-up days of waiting and waiting and waiting… it’s the same now. DSL offers a faster connection than dialup, but it’s not quite as fast as a cable connection. Cable internet is pretty fast, but it still can’t beat a fiber optic connection. And just because you have fast loading time does NOT mean your visitors have the same experience!
I love plugins! They make life so much easier BUT, they can also slow down your site. That’s one of the reasons I love Thrive Themes and their power house of plugins. What used to take me 3 or 4 plugins to accomplish now takes only one with Thrive.
Be sure to deactivate and delete any plugins that you don’t really need or aren’t using. Clean up the clutter!
File Types and Sizes
The larger your file sizes are and the more files you have on a page, the longer it will take to load in the browser. This is especially true for images on your web pages. While improvements in connection speed have made it possible to load larger files in less time, it’s still important to take time to optimize your files as much as possible.
I recommend installing Smush Image Compression and Optimization to help compress large files.You can also try Hummingbird Page Speed and Optimization for compressing the back-end files and caching your web pages.
Be careful with the settings on the Hummingbird Page Speed plugin. You can break some of the elements of your site if not careful. If that happens, just deactivate the plugin to reset the settings.
Older browsers struggle to load some things on your site because they are not compatible. Therefore, make sure you are always using the most up to date version of your browser.
Web Host Server
Yes, your hosting company does play a factor on your site speed. If there is not enough resources on the server where your site is hosted, it will slow things down for everyone on that server.
Both Bluehost and SiteGround boast uptime ratings of over 99.5%. The only time you should ever have issues when they are updating the server your website is hosted on.
If you have traffic coming from all over the country or world, you may want to consider investing in a content delivery network, or CDN. This is a network of servers, all of which host your site content and will deliver your content from the server closest to the visitor. This reduces load time because the data doesn’t have to travel as far.
Bluehost and SiteGround both offer a Free CloudFlare CDN.
The Whole Conclusion of the Matter
People who say SiteGround is better than Bluehost or Bluehost is better than SiteGround really aren’t looking at everything in the equation.
From my research, both programs are great options for hosting your WordPress website. It’s up to you to choose which one will meet your needs based on the difference in cost and features that each provide.
I personally find Bluehost to be more than sufficient for my needs as I think most bloggers would as well.
I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions regarding hosting! Leave me a comment below!