Bluehost vs. SiteGround
Last updated on: March 2019
Are you looking for the best hosting company for your business?
If you weren’t, then you wouldn’t be here!
My name is Mike if you didn’t know it already, and I’m your go-to guy when it comes to web hosting reviews, and in this opportunity, I’m going to compare Bluehost vs. SiteGround, two of the best companies nowadays.
They both have strengths and weaknesses that I will share with you, so you can make an informed decision.
Let’s cut the fluff and let’s go straight to the good stuff!
Why Bluehost vs. SiteGround?
Why are they special? Why have I picked them? Here you have the reasons:
- Long time in the market (Bluehost since 2002 and SiteGround since 2004)
- They service hundreds of thousands of domains (therefore a very large client base)
- They have plans for every kind of business
- They have excellent technology
- They are beginner-friendly.
Not long ago, I did a comparison between Bluehost and Hostgator, and the reasons are practically the same: they both are great companies and can deliver a good service.
In a similar fashion, let’s explore the different plans:
- Shared Hosting (Basic, Plus, Prime)
- Cloud Hosting (Starter, Performance, Business Pro)
- WordPress Hosting (WP Standard, WP Enhanced, WP Premium, WP Ultimate)
- WooCommerce Hosting (E-commerce specialized solution that starts at $6.95/month, I liked it)
- VPS Hosting (Standard, Enhanced, Ultimate)
- Dedicated Hosting (Standard, Enhanced, Premium).
- Shared Hosting (StartUp, GrowBig, GoGeek)
- Cloud Hosting (Entry, Business, Business Plus, Super Power)
- Dedicated Servers (Entry Server, Power Server, Super Power Server)
- Enterprise Hosting (Custom)
- WordPress Hosting (StartUp, GrowBig, GoGeek)
- Reseller Hosting.
As they only have 4 plans in common, those are the ones I will compare. However, worry not, because I’ll also talk about their other plans (Reseller, Enterprise and WooCommerce).
Shared Hosting Versus:
The most affordable plans, perfect for people who are just getting started or want to keep costs as low as possible.
Here you have the comparison:
|N° of Domains||1||Unlimited||Unlimited||1||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Website Space||50 GB||Unmetered||Unmetered||10 GB||20 GB||30 GB|
The “unlimited” web space feature can be a bit misleading, because no hosting can offer you such thing. In the case of HostGator, they will bring you as much space as needed, as long as you don’t consume more resources than permitted. The moment you do, you will be alerted to stop.
If you will run a small website or personal blog, then chances are you won’t surpass their limits, but I like that SiteGround is more honest about how much web space they really offer, and in all their plans, the offering is very generous for the price.
There is another HUGE benefit by SiteGround: they offer SSD storage. It is hard to find a company that offers it for a shared hosting plan, but here you have it. This gives it an edge over the rest of competition, because it will make your website much faster!
They both offer unmetered bandwidth, but as always, it is subjective, because restrictions will still apply.
Finally, there is another advantage of SiteGround over Bluehost, and it is the pricing. Sure, they are very close, but Bluehost will make you pay 36 months upfront to get access to that special price. On the other hand, SG only requires a 12 months in advance. That’s a huge difference.
However, remember that your subscription will remember at the original price.
Cloud Hosting Versus:
|Plan||Starter||Performance||Business Pro||Entry||Business||Business Plus||Super Power|
|N° of Domains||1||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Website Space||100 GB||Unmetered||Unmetered||40 GB SSD||60 GB SSD||80 GB SSD||120 GB SSD|
|RAM||2 GB||4 GB||6GB||4 GB||6 GB||8 GB||10 GB|
First, the difference in price is notorious.
If you don’t have such a big budget, and still want to get the benefits of cloud hosting, then you should stick with Bluehost, because it is perfect for small businesses, personal blogs and any other similar-sized project.
On the other hand, if you need serious power and far more resources, then you should go for SiteGround.
One of the key advantages is that you get SSD storage, something that by default will make your websites faster, especially if you are going to receive plenty of traffic per month.
However, there is a fair point here: you can get a dedicated server for the same price.
Nonetheless, if you are not technical at all, then taking care of your own dedi can be a problem. Therefore, if you want a solution that is already served for you, then these cloud hosting plans will do the trick!
WordPress Hosting Versus:
This is one of the most popular verticals in hosting services, because it is one of the most popular and easiest-to-use CMSs in the world.
You can literally launch a website in 30 seconds with it, and it will have a much better performance if you use the right hosting for it. Therefore, let’s compare what each company has to offer you!
|N° of Domains||1||1||1||1||1||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Monthly avg. traffic||100 million||300 million||600 million||Unlimited||10K||25K||100K|
|Website Space||30GB||60GB||120GB||240GB||10 GB SSD||20 GB SSD||30 GB SSD|
|Backup Space||30GB||60GB||120GB||240GB||Not Specified||Not Specified||Not Specified|
|RAM||2GB||4GB||6GB||8GB||Not specified||Not specified||Not specified|
|SSL Certificate||YES||YES||Positive SSL||Positive Wildcard SSL||YES||YES||YES|
As you can see, both companies offer some serious value with each of their plans, but of course, your choice will depend on the kind of business you are running.
However, as you can easily tell, there is a big difference again: the price.
If you are running on a low budget, then your choice is evident: SiteGround has what you need, plus you will only have to pay 12 months upfront to get the special price.
Trust me, if you are running a small business website or any similar project, then SiteGround’s plans will suit you better, as they are far cheaper and will offer you an excellent performance.
However, WP hosting is all about the features each company can offer you, so let’s check what they bring to the table.
Bluehost: Why Should You Choose It?
This company has destined plenty of resources for offering some of the most solid WP hosting plans in the internet:
- Super beginner friendly. You will have your site up and running very quickly, plus you get automatic backups and a user-friendly interface
- Serious speed. They have built their plans on a VPS platform, plus you get an advanced NGINX architecture and a custom PHP-FPM configuration that will make your website super efficient
- Advanced security features. Thanks to the powerful Advanced CDN + SiteLock WAF + SiteLock Security, your site will be protected against hackers and other online threats
- Upgrade your site with one click. Thanks to the MOJO Marketplace, you can install any plugin or extension necessary to take your site to the next level with only one click!
- Everything is destined for your site. You will the total ownership of your resources thanks to the Thanks to KVM hypervisor
- Add more resources at your will. You can instantly add more SAN, RAM and CPU storage with just one click, so you can adapt as your business grows.
They are aware of the intense competition amongst hosting companies in this sector, and I have to say that they offer excellent features that will make your site run without problems.
If their low-tier plans were more affordable, then they would be able to fare better against SiteGround, because the difference in prices is notorious.
Before I continue, you also need to know that WordPress officially recommends Bluehost, so that’s a huge point in their favor. I had already mentioned this in my comparison between this company and Hostgator, by the way.
SiteGround: What’s The Fuzz About It?
SG’s plans are more than just affordable; they are also packed with excellent features:
- Perfect for newbies. If you have never built or owned a website feature, then SG will make things easy for you with their automatic updates, 1-click installer and WP Staging (only on GoGeek and higher) to quickly test and deploy changes on your site
- Blazing speed and excellent performance. They have 5 server locations (on three continents: USA, Europe and Asia-Pacific), SuperCacher (on GrowBig and GoGeek), SSD storage, cutting-edge CDN and HTTP/2-enabled servers that also support PHP7
- Great security. Although, they do not offer as many features as Bluehost. However, they have a team completely dedicated to finding vulnerabilities in WP, who also use custom WAF rules to protect your websites
- Quick and excellent customer support. They take this very seriously, so you will get a response to your ticket or phone call pretty much instantly.
As you can see, they also offer excellent features that will make your site run smoothly.
Now, you can take a better informed and much wiser decision on what company should host your WP site.
Finally, note that there is a HUGE advantage of SiteGround over Bluehost: they will transfer your site for free, whereas Bluehost will bill you nearly $150 USD.
Many persons just want to transfer their site to a better hosting, and by making it free, it is more than sure that SG will attract far more costumers.
My Verdict Here:
You are the one who should decide in the end, but I have to say that SiteGround is clearly the superior choice here, because they offer more affordable plans and they are packed with far more features than Bluehost.
Some will prefer BH, but in most cases that need WP hosting, SG is the better option. Period.
Dedicated Hosting Versus:
Now, it is time to compare the best solution for anyone with a big website and who wants to take things to the next level.
Unfortunately, SiteGround doesn’t offer VPS plans, so we cannot compare them. However, you must know that dedicated servers are the next step after that, and they offer you excellent advantages:
- Your resources are 100% yours. You will never share them with anyone, period. This is especially important if you are running a traffic-heavy website that needs the best performance and distribution of resources
- Fully customizable and flexible. The key for making your website a success once it reaches the big leagues, is to be capable of customizing your server and dedicated hosting is super flexible. You can totally adapt it to your needs
- Better and more robust security. If you want to have peace of mind, then you need to make sure that your website is not an easy target for online threats, and thanks to having an entire server for your sites, you can customize it in order to be super secure
- A better overall performance. You get all the resources you need, your sites will have an unparalleled performance and you can customize everything from A to Z as you please!
There are several reasons to prefer a dedi hosting plan; however, if you are a total beginner, then you should look into the other options at your disposal, because this is better suited for advanced users.
Now, let’s compare what both companies have to offer!
|Plan||Standard||Enhanced||Premium||Entry Server||Power Server||Super Power Server|
|N° of Domains||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Speed ||4 Cores, |
|4 Cores, |
|4 Cores, |
|4 Cores, |
|4 Cores, |
|2x6 Cores, |
|CPU Tech||Not Specified||Not Specified||Not |
|Intel Xeon E3-1230||Intel Xeon E3-1270||2 x Intel Xeon E5-2620|
|Website Space||500 GB (Mirrored)||1 TB|
|500 GB SATA II HDD||1 TB SATA II HDD||4 x 500GB SATA III / RAID 10 HDD|
|RAM||4 GB||8 GB||16 GB||4GB DDR3 RAM||16GB DDR3 RAM||16GB DDR3 RAM|
|Bandwidth ||5 TB||10 TB||15 TB||10 TB||10 TB||10 TB|
|IP Addresses ||3||4||5||5||5||5|
Once again, we have this huge contrast in terms of prices!
However, in order to make help you to pick the perfect plan for your business, let’s take a more detailed look at the features each company puts at your disposal.
Bluehost: What Can Their Dedicated Servers Offer You?
Apart of the affordable prices, because their plans are some of the cheapest you will ever find, they also offer great features:
- Full and unrestricted root access for the total control of your server, customize it as you please
- Increase storage and resources at will as your site grows and gains momentum
- 100% mirrored RAID storage for total protection of your data
- Instant activation of your dedicated server, so you can run it from day one
- Excellent speed and performance thanks to OpenStack, as it is open-source, you also get total flexibility
- Customized and easy-to-use database manager
- A dedicated support team to assist you whenever you need it.
For the price, they offer plenty of excellent features, being the mirrored RAID storage one of the best; because it guarantees that they will protect your data.
Furthermore, as you will have full root access, you can totally customize it to your own needs as much as you want.
I’d say that, if you think these features are all you need, then you are better off with Bluehost than with SiteGround, especially if your budget is not very permissive.
On the other hand, if you think that the resources and features are not enough, feel free to check everything SG puts at your disposal.
SiteGround: Do The Features Justify the Price?
I know that their prices are very expensive – even for the entry-level plan – but they might offer exactly what you need to run your website.
I really like how they offer key features for different platforms and CMSs:
- WordPress: Staging for easy testing and deployment of changes, SSH & WP-CLI for total control of WP and excellent Git integration + automatic updates. Everything you need to control WP and mold it to your own needs
- Joomla: Automatic updates + staging + Git integration + jHackGuard for enhanced security against hackers
- Magento: Easy 1-click installation + Git integration + all the resources necessary to run a big and successful e-commerce shop.
That’s for these platforms, but let’s look into other excellent features:
- Unrestricted SSH access
- Apache/Nginx and CentOS
- Enhanced WHM & cPanel
- IP Tables Firewall for protecting your site against unwanted traffic that will waste your resources
- Private DNS Server Setup for total control and more security against attackers
- Priority 24/7 support by real experts on dedicated servers.
If you put all of their services together with what they already offer, it is easy to see that their plans are packed with immense value.
However, the prices can be a barrier too high for some people, but if at this stage, you think that they offer what you need, then try them.
Important Notes about the Price and other important aspects:
Like with the rest of plans, Bluehost requires a 36-month upfront payment to get access to their promotional prices. Therefore, these would be the prices if you decided to pay under other modalities
- Standard: $149.99 (1 month), $129.99 (6 months), $99.99 (12 months) and $89.99 (24 months)
- Enhanced: $199.99 (1 month), $179.99 (6 months), $119.99 (12 months) and $109.99 (24 months)
- Premium: $249.99 (1 month), $229.99 (6 months), $139.99 (12 months) and $129.99 (24 months).
Fortunately, there is no set-up fee. However, if you really want to keep prices low, then you will have to pay several months in advance.
What I like about SG is that their prices are monthly, and of course, they offer discounts if you pay in advance:
- Entry Server: $229 (1 month), $223 (3 months) and $217.50 (6 months)
- Super Server: $329 (1 month), $320.67 (3 months) and $312.50 (6 months)
- Super Power Server: $429 (1 month), $418.33 (3 months) and $407.50 (6 months)
However, be aware that there is a $99 set-up fee.
Not all of us are capable of paying 12+ months upfront, so that can be a barrier for many. However, if you are looking for a dedicated server, then it is because your website is already profitable and you just want to take things to the next level.
Maybe you are reselling hosting, and your company is already bringing good profits, so it is not a bad idea to invest in improving your current service.
If this makes sense for your business, then go for it. In the end, dedicated hosting is for advanced users and the big boys, and if you are one of them, then why not?
About CPUs and RAM: SiteGround Is Doing It Perfect!
I’d like to point out that I love SG’s transparency, because they even let you know the kind of CPUs they are using. Props for that, and I think that Bluehost should do the same, in order to please the geekiest customers.
Furthermore, even though Bluehost doesn’t specify the kind of RAM they use (again, more transparency wouldn’t hurt), I will assume they use DDR2 as most company. The difference here is that SG uses DDR3, and it offers important advantages:
- Better bandwidth performance (with a top of 1600 MHz)
- Enhanced performance while consuming less power
They are very expensive, but you don’t have to pay for them, because the company has already equipped their servers with all the necessary hardware!
WooCommerce Hosting by Bluehost:
If you want to join the revolution of e-commerce, yet want a simple and easy-to-use solution, then this plan might interest you.
This is what Bluehost has to offer you with their plans especially designed for WooCommerce:
|Website Space||100 GB||Unmetered||Unmetered|
|Free SSL ||Positive SSL||Positive SSL||Comodo SSL|
|Priority 24/7 Support||YES||YES||YES|
|Email Storage||100 MB/account||Unlimited||Unlimited|
If you want an easy and affordable way to get started in e-commerce, then these plans will be perfect for you.
They can handle tons of upcoming traffic, and thereby will offer your visitors a fast-loading experience, so you can boost your conversions.
However, as usual, you will have to pay 36 months in advance to get the promotional prices.
WordPress and WooCommerce come already installed, so all you have to do is to customize your store and start selling!
Enterprise Hosting by SiteGround:
If you are looking for a solution 100% tailored to your business and its needs, then this is the perfect choice for you.
They make everything from scratch:
- They take care of all the maintenance
- Cutting-edge customized infrastructures developed on Linux Containers technology
- 100% customized development workflow.
Overall, if you are looking for a plan totally customized for your project, then this is exactly what you need.
It is far more expensive, but they have done an incredible job with several clients that include GreenPeace for their campaign “Save the Heart of the Amazon”.
They have the team of professionals to handle this kind of projects, so feel free to try them, because they already deliver plenty of value with their normal plans.
There is nothing more to add here. If you want to know more about it, then contact them!
Reseller Hosting by SiteGround:
You can resell hosting services from your own VPS or dedicated server, but in case you want a solution 100% tailored for businesses like yours, then this will interest you!
The system works based on credits and here are their costs:
- 1-4 credits: $49 each
- 5-10 credits: $45 each
- 11+ credits: $42 each.
One credit equals to one year hosting, so you can get the service for as low as $3.5/ month and resell it to any price you want. A great opportunity for juicy profit margins.
With each credit, you get access to the following features:
- 10 GB SSD storage
- All the incredible SiteGround technology for speed and performance
- Free daily backups
- Unmetered data transfer
- Free email accounts
- Free SSL certificate
This solution will help you to keep your costs down and get rid of the technical aspect of reselling hosting, so you can solely focus on running your business.
As I said at the beginning, you can also use your VPS or dedi to resell hosting, but it is more technical and thereby much harder. You can do it with Bluehost as well, but it is bad that the company doesn’t offer a solution similar to SiteGround.
Now that we have finished comparing their plans, it is time to compare them in key departments, so you can finally choose the company that will host your website!
Speed and Performance: Which One Will Make Your Site As Fast As You Need?
If you want to compete in the leagues of the internet, then your site needs to be fast and reliable.
As you have already seen, SiteGround comes equipped with excellent features that set it apart from most companies in terms of speed:
- SSD drives proven to be much faster than regular HDD storage. They include it all their plans (except for dedicated servers)
- Cutting-edge SuperCacher for even better performance and speed
- NGINX technology
- 5 datacenters distributed on USA, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region
- They have their own Linux-based code to stabilize and boost the performance of the system
- LXC-Linux container technology to handle traffic spikes without problems
- Content Delivery Network by CloudFlare.
Furthermore, they publicly let you know the uptime average for the last 12 months and for the last month:
- Last 12 months: 99.996%
- Last month: 99.999%.
If you ever experienced more than 0.1% downtime on a yearly basis, then SG will compensate you.
It is one of the most transparent, customer-friendly companies in the market, and it makes them awesome.
Bluehost also offers excellent features in regards to speed and performance:
- CDN by CloudFlare
- Quad-processor servers
- Diesel-backup generators
- Uptime of 99.99%
That is what it offers in general terms, but they bring you more features and resources with their higher-tier plans.
However, I have to say that Bluehost is staying behind SG in innovation and transparency, because if they took the next step and equipped all their plans with SSD storage, publicly shared the latest average uptime and the technology of their CPUs and servers, they would attract even more customers.
I have to give more points to SG than BH in this department, because even with their low-tier shared hosting plan, you are likely to get a better performance because of the SSD storage, better distribution and transparency regarding their datacenters and great technology.
Security: What Company Has What’s Needed?
This is as important as speed and performance, because if a company cannot protect your website against online threats, then you will be putting your business in risk.
Let’s see the performance of each company in this department. This time, let’s do a side-by-side comparison:
Malware and spam scanning thanks to SiteLock
Malware scanning thanks to HackAlert, which is powered by GlobalSign.
Their servers are equipped with anti-DDOS technology. Furthermore, their team is ready to assist you with this problem whenever it appears. All thanks to SiteLock.
Even though they don’t have a SiteLock partnership like Bluehost, they can handle DDOS attacks very well thanks to many of their features.
Automatic backups, so your website data can be safe all the time.
Daily backups through their own backup software solution.
They don’t have a team dedicated to this task.
A team entirely dedicated to finding vulnerabilities in WordPress, so they can patch them and protect your sites.
As you can see, both offer excellent security features engineered to keep your websites live and safe.
One of the key advantages here is that SG has a team dedicated to finding vulnerabilities in WP. The CMS is great, but from time to time, hackers find some “loopholes” they can exploit and it is important to be protected against them, and it is excellent that SiteGround makes it easy for everyone.
Ease of Use: What’s the Best Option for Beginners?
If you are total newbie, then you need to work with a company that will make things as easy as possible for you.
To save time and cut the fluff, as they offer very similar features in this department, let’s compare them side by side:
Free domain with your plan.
No free domain, sorry. However, you can register it with them for $15.95 (.com).
It will cost you $149.99 to transfer your website and you can only migrate up to 5 websites and 20 email accounts. They can definitively improve in this sense, because SG kills them here and the same goes for HG.
Free website migrations with all their plans. Only contact them and their team will take care of the rest. However, take into account that it applies for only one website.
You can install WP easily from the cPanel interface.
One-click WP installation.
However, you should stick with WordPress, because it is better in all sense.
Easy-to-use and practical drag-n-drop website builder, so you can design and launch your business in no time. Nonetheless, your go-to option should be WordPress, because it surpasses this website builder and any other CMS by a large margin.
A very fair battle between both options. Both are very friendly for beginners, but I believe that SG defeats BH once again, because they do free website migrations, something that will cost you $149.99 with Bluehost.
WP Hosting: You Already Know My Recommendation
SiteGround for the win!
I’ve already given my verdict in the WP hosting comparison and explained all my reasons for it, so there is no reason to compare them again, because there is nothing more to add.
If you believe me, Mike the Web Hosting Maniac, then go for it, because I’m sure you won’t regret your decision!
However, if you are looking to get started with e-com, then you should check out their WooCommerce plans. They come with many of the features of WP hosting plus some specialized for this e-com platform, and the prices are very affordable.
Customer Support: What Hosting Will Assist You Better?
A fundamental department, because when you get in troubles you will need a fast and knowledgeable team to assist you. This is especially true if you are a beginner, because chances are you will need some help here and there.
Three ways to get customer support: tickets, phone and chat.
Three ways to get in contact: tickets, chat and phone.
Instant help through their chat.
They will help you very quickly through the chat.
The phone support is excellent: fast and reliable. This is even better for VPS and dedicated servers plans.
Instant support through their phone line.
No specified response time for tickets.
They reply to tickets within 10 minutes.
Priority 24/7 support for high end plans.
Priority 24/7 support for high end plans.
If Bluehost was faster replying to tickets – or at least if they stated the response time – they would rank better here. Once again, transparency doesn’t hurt, to the contrary, it would make them more reputable and allow prospective customers (like you and me) to see what they really have to offer us.
SiteGround has the slight advantage that they reply to tickets within 10 minutes, which is awesome, because it means they will sort out your problem very quickly.
We have compared pretty much everything about each company, and by now, you should know which plan would suit your needs the best.
I have already let you know what I think about each company, their strengths and weaknesses, so now you should be capable of taking an informed and solid decision.
However, if you still have questions and want my help, then feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible!