If you are looking to start your own website to sell products, share your voice, or anything else, you will want to opt for a web hosting service so you can have full control of the experience you share with the world. When building a website, you need a place to store all your site files so people can access them on the World Wide Web.
Web hosting services make it easy to build websites. For one click content management systems, like WordPress, you can be up and running with a few clicks on your mouse and keyboard.
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Introduction to Siteground and Bluehost
Siteground is a web hosting company headquartered in Sofia, Bulgaria, that started in 2004, and now services up to 1.8 million domains worldwide. Their services include shared hosting, cloud hosting, dedicated servers, email hosting, and domain registration. Over the last three years Siteground’s popularity has quadrupled, with 80% of their domains built on WordPress.
Bluehost is a web hosting company founded in 2003 with their headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. They host over 2 million domains with services like shared hosting, dedicated hosting, cloud hosting, VPS hosting, and more. In 2010 EIG, a larger web hosting company, bought Bluehost. After the acquisition, Bluehost’s growth and popularity decreased significantly.
Types of Website Hosting Services
With the many different website hosting services out there, it can be difficult to know which solution is the best fit for you. Below are some of the most important internet hosting services on the market.
One of the most popular hosting types, and one of the most affordable, is shared hosting. Shared hosting is when multiple websites are using a single server. You won’t know who you are sharing the server’s resources with, but each website sharing a server usually has a limit of the amount of resources that can be used.
Dedicated hosting is a service that allocates you an entire server for your website, or all your projects. This is a great option for anyone who expects a high amount of traffic and CPU usage.
VPS hosting, or Virtual Private Server hosting, is a service in which you use a portioned part of a server that has its own disc space, bandwidth, and operating system. Essentially, it is a hybrid version of shared hosting and dedicated hosting.
WordPress hosting, usually on a shared hosting service, is simply optimized for better WordPress performance and security needs. If you are tech-savvy and can find your way around plugins and cPanel, the higher price tag of specific WordPress Hosting isn’t needed.
Why We Chose Siteground and Bluehost
Siteground and Bluehost are two of the most popular web hosting services on the market with competitive pricing and a vast offering of services. We chose both after reading through countless blog posts, reviews, testimonials, as well as through our own experience with using different web hosting companies. According to Google Trends, Bluehost is more popular than Siteground. However, popularity does not directly correlate with quality. For this reason, we have conducted a series of tests to determine which is the best choice for you.
How We Tested
For ease of testing and because most users will opt for this option, some of our comparisons will focus on the shared hosting plans only.
Ease of Use
When it comes to usage, Bluehost and Siteground are equally straightforward and intuitive. Both offer cPanel based solutions and enabling Cloudflare is a breeze. However, Bluehost’s cPanel version can get a little confusing due to the crowding of upsell pitches and promotion of paid tools. Bluehost also pushes for longer registry and is not totally clear with their pricing.
We chose Siteground as our winner because their layout is clear cut and we don’t feel pressured or deceived by upselling and confusing pricing.
An important factor to consider is how much space you need for your projects. Typically, 10GB is more than enough for most projects, but those of you with heavier videos and images may need more.
|Siteground Shared Hosting Plans|
|StartUp (Entry Level Plan)||10 GB Web Space|
|GrowBig (Medium Sized Plan)||20 GB Web Space|
|GoGeek (Highest Sized Plan)||30 GB Web Space|
|Bluehost Shared Hosting Plans|
|Basic (Entry Level Plan)||50 GB Web Space|
|Plus (Medium Sized Plan)||Unlimited Web Space|
|Pro (Highest Sized Plan)||Unlimited Web Space|
Bluehost wins this category since they provide larger storage space in their basic entry level plan than Siteground’s higher plan. Bluehouse is the better alternative for those of you who need the extra space. Additionally, Bluehost now offers SSD storage on all plans, meaning more storage and even faster read and write times.
Uptime is the amount of time your website is operating for your users. This is a critical factor because low uptime leads to loss of customers and sales, lowered credibility, and drops in google rankings.
Siteground and Bluehost guarantee 99.99% uptime. Within the past year both have actually averaged above 99.99%.
Although both web hosting services have similar guarantees, Siteground surpasses Bluehost by promising free hosting for a month for every 1% of lost uptime below 99.9%.
Winner : Siteground
Siteground has servers in 4 global locations. Their locations are: the US (Chicago), the UK (London), Singapore, and The Netherlands (Amsterdam). They claim to work with the best facilities and choose the most innovative and most powerful hardware.
Bluehost has one server located in Utah. Their website has little to no information about their data servers.
Speed and stability is important when it comes to your website. Higher quality servers and multiple locations are key in making that happen. Therefore, Siteground is the clear winner.
To many of you, the most important factor when choosing the best hosting company is the support. How reliable and how fast can a customer support team solve any issues you might have?
In terms of reply time, from our experience and from many users, Siteground’s response time was much faster. Their support is available 24/7 via email, live chat, or phone. Siteground also offers tools and instruments such as setup wizards, tutorials, and webinars. They pride themselves on their extensive support team training and choose to over-staff so there is always someone available to help you.
Bluehost’s support is more basic. They also offer 24/7 support through phone and chat. However, multiple reviews have been made regarding Bluehost’s slower reply time. Since they are a bigger hosting provider they often try to upsell, which can be annoying when you are looking for answers.
Siteground’s servers uses the latest PHP 7 version and update their security rules frequently protecting you from common attacks. They also have developed an anti-bot AI that prevents brute force attacks. Additionally, Siteground has Secure Account Isolation that protects your website from security threats from other sites on the same server.
Bluehost depends on Cloudflare to protect you from DDoS attacks. They also offer Hotlink protection that blacklists individuals that might be causing issues. They have tools like SpamAssasin and SpamHammer for spam protection and offer password-protected directories. As an added feature they also offer Sitelock for about 25$ a year.
Both providers make the effort to keep your website safe. However, there is a lot of talk online about Bluehost getting hacked. From our experience, we haven’t noticed any security holes using Bluehost, but due to the various opinions surrounding that, the winner for security is Siteground.
Below are Siteground and Bluehost’s pricing pages for their shared hosting services. Note that these prices are for the first year, or couple of years signed up, then they default to higher prices afterwards.
Something to remember is pricing is personal! Siteground’s pricing is higher, but they have less developer fees so you might save more money further down the road. Depending on your needs, Bluehost is the cheaper alternative. They also have more perks than Siteground, which include $100 Bing credit, $100 Google Ad credit, and a free domain for a year.
The Best Web Hosting Service
After comparing ease of use, storage, performance, service location, customer service, security, and price, Siteground proves to be the better choice when choosing the best web hosting service.
Siteground has better performance when it comes to uptime and speed, quick, friendly, and responsive support, and advanced security features. They also do not upsell and are overall easier to use.
Another topic to touch on is that Bluehost is owned by EIG. EIG is a large corporation that has a history of buying well-performing hosting brands and pushing them through the same business plan as their other entities, which results in declining support, overloaded servers, and strained support teams. Because they own a large number of hosting companies, moving from one EIG owned service to another will yield the same results, which a majority of buyers are unaware of.
Having a reliable and secure web hosting provider is important when building your website. While Bluehost is a little cheaper and provides more storage space, choosing Siteground will allow your projects to operate at their full potential.