SiteGround vs Bluehost: Which Should You Choose?

Last updated on August 8, 2018

siteground vs bluehost reviewSo, you’re picking a hosting provider for your site and can’t decide between SiteGround and Bluehost? You’re not alone.

We’ve done our own research to compare the leading providers and help you make the right decision. So take a deep breath, put your feet up, and let’s dive into our in-depth comparison of SiteGround and Bluehost.

If you’re in a rush, here’s a simple summary breakdown to help you on your way.

 

 

Bluehost

4.6 out of 5

Hosting

5 out of 5 stars

Features

5 out of 5 stars

Support

3.5 out of 5 stars

Up Time

4 out of 5 stars

Value

4.5 out of 5 stars

SiteGround

4 out of 5

Hosting

4 out of 5 stars

Features

3 out of 5 stars

Help & Support

5 out of 5 stars

Up Time

4 out of 5 stars

Value

2 out of 5 stars

First off, no messing around: overall Bluehost scored higher in our research rankings than SiteGround. They both have extremely strong qualities – otherwise they wouldn’t be leading providers! SiteGround scored impressively in its help and support, but we found that Bluehost had more to offer in terms of types of hosting as well as value for money.

Still not sure? Read on to find out which is best for you.

Pros and Cons of SiteGround and Bluehost

One of the easiest and best ways to compare anything is to do a pros and cons list. They seem to solve every problem, and choosing a hosting provider is no different! It’s good to see the strengths and weaknesses of both laid out. This way you can see which one has better options for you and your site.

SiteGround Pros
#1 Free auto daily backups
#2 Fast uptime: 99.98%
#3 Recommended third by WordPress
#4 Excellent customer support
#5 Upfront pricing
SiteGround Cons
#1 Less value for money than competitors (less perks for lower tier customers)
#2 No free domain
#3 Limited disk space
Bluehost Pros
#1 Affordable plans, good value for money
#2 Fast uptime: 99.98%
#3 Recommended top host provider by WordPress
#4 Free domain
#5 Beginner friendly, very easy to use
Bluehost Cons
#1 Less customer support than some competitors
#2 Add-on options at checkout can increase initial price

 

Bluehost is a more established provider, meaning that they have built up a very strong and comprehensive service. But what does this mean for you? The answer… Perks! User benefits such as the free domain, WordPress integration and extremely good value for money are all part of Bluehost’s reliable reputation.

SiteGround has grown quickly since its start in 2004 to become a leading hosting provider. This shows in their focus on speed, service and customer support. As you can see from the table, it holds its own against Bluehost and also has a lot to offer.

Both are solid choices. So it’s worth thinking about what is important for your site. Would a free domain be better than free backups? Do you use, or plan on using, WordPress at all? What is your budget like, and how much do you want to get for your money?

Depending on the answers to these questions, you’ll find yourself leaning much more towards one provider than the other.

Verdict: Those questions aside, our overall winner here is Bluehost. It had more numerous and higher quality pros, such as its value for money, top WordPress recommendation, and ease of use for beginners.

 

If this has sparked your interest and you want more information, click the links below to read our individual reviews of each.

Features, Performance, & Ease of Use

Both providers pride themselves on their ease of use and wide customer base. They are beginner friendly as well as scalable for the more experienced users. This means that no matter what level you or your site are at, you should be at home either way.

It’s the other features available that will really influence your decision.

Bluehost SiteGround
Free Domain Yes No
Control Panel cPanel cPanel
Free Backups No Yes
Unmetered Transfer Yes Yes
Disk Space Unlimited 10GB – 30GB
Uptime 99.98% 99.98%

 

One of the ways Bluehost really stands out from its competitors is its offer of a free domain name, which is an attractive draw for a lot of users. It’s a great perk that is worth making the most of!

It’s worth knowing the domain is not included in the money-back guarantee – Bluehost takes a registration fee of $15.99 from your refund. This just means the domain name is definitely yours, no matter the status of your hosting service.

This means you own your domain, even if you cancel your plan with Bluehost. You can do what you want with it until renewal comes around, at which point you can either cancel it or pay for it in full.

SiteGround doesn’t offer a free domain, but it does provide free auto daily backups on all their price plans. So what does this mean? Your data is backed up daily for 30 days, so that in a crisis you can easily restore your website, email, or files.

You have to pay extra to restore if you’re on the StartUp plan, but it becomes free when you upgrade to their GrowBig and higher tier price plans.

siteground features
SiteGround has a range of impressive features and is dedicated to excellent service. They have a strong focus on speed, security and performance.

Both use cPanel for their interfaces, which is a well-known and reliable control panel used by hosting providers. Another feature they share is providing unmetered data transfer. Unmetered just means you’re not billed on how much you use (like having a phone contract rather than pay as you go). This is most helpful to those of you with either personal, small business or community sites.

Unmetered data transfer allows your site to grow freely, rather than being capped or “metered” once a data limit is reached. There are still limits in place (like in that phone contract), but for small sites it’s really rare to get close to hitting that level.

Uptime is excellent for both. This is really important because during downtime your visitors won’t be able to access your site. Some downtime is unavoidable, but with both these providers you can be sure that your site will be working hard 24/7.

An important thing to note: SiteGround state their uptime as being 99.99%. We’re definitely not saying that this isn’t the case! Just that at the time we tested their uptime ourselves we recorded 99.98%, which is on the same level as Bluehost and still very impressive!

Verdict: Believe it or not, it’s a draw. Bluehost is likely better for most of you, but this one really depends on your needs. If you want a free domain and unlimited disk space, Bluehost is definitely your go to. If free backups are more important to you then SiteGround will be the better option.

Which has Better WordPress Integration?

WordPress is a major presence online – in fact, it powers 31% of the internet! It’s no surprise that many of you are either looking to build your site or are already set up with WordPress.

WordPress themselves have created a list of the hosting providers they consider to be “the best and brightest of the hosting world”. Top of the list is Bluehost, so they win hands down. Bluehost and WordPress are the power couple of the hosting world.

Interestingly, SiteGround is the third provider on the list, making it a pretty strong rival. With only three providers listed, Bluehost usually blows this section out the water, but SiteGround is certainly up there with them.

Choosing a provider for your WordPress site that doesn’t have great WordPress integration just wouldn’t make sense. It would be like taking your bicycle wheels and attaching them to your car. It won’t be a great fit, it won’t give you an easy journey, and more importantly it just won’t work!

Both SiteGround and Bluehost have a strong WordPress focus, offering one-click installation, 24/7 specialist support, auto updates, and free and easy site transfers and migrations. They pretty much attach and maintain your tyres for you – and make sure they’re top quality to give you the best experience possible!

With extra benefits for each (such as SiteGround’s tailored security and Bluehost’s free extras), either is sure to put a smile on WordPress users’ faces.

Verdict: WordPress recommends both, which is impressive! But with WordPress describing Bluehost as offering “the ultimate WordPress platform” the winner is obvious. Bluehost is top of the list.

Customer Support

Running a site is fun, but sometimes challenging. The last thing you want to be doing is spending precious hours trying to fix problems and put out fires. It’s frustrating! That’s why it’s important to choose a great provider so that these problems don’t happen.

Sometimes there are hitches though, and if these do pop up it’s always best to know that your provider has got your back. Customer support is your safety net and you don’t want big holes in it! If you look at the table below, you’ll see that both SiteGround and Bluehost are there to catch you if you fall.

Bluehost SiteGround
Knowledge Center Yes Yes
Live Chat Yes Yes
24/7 Live Chat No Yes
Phone Yes Yes
24/7 Phone Yes Yes
Tickets Yes Yes

 

You can always be sure that leading competitors like Bluehost and SiteGround will have excellent customer support in place. They rely on happy users like you for their reputation after all. The main difference is really how accessible and useful their customer support features are.

While Bluehost may not have as strong customer support as some of its competitors, it is definitely comprehensive in what it offers. Live chat, telephone support, and tickets means that there is something for everyone.

For those of you wondering, tickets are for problems not covered by general information online. You send a ticket request with your problem for the help team to look at and they send you a tailored solution. Bluehost’s ticket option no longer applies to tech support, but it is a really valuable personalised help feature to have in place.

The Bluehost knowledge center has different categories, such as email, WordPress, domain etc., relevant links to helpful articles, as well as access to the old favorite Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. There is also a search bar, meaning you can tailor your results to your own needs.

bluehost support
Bluehost’s knowledge base is easy to use and offers a range of support options, from tailored search to articles and FAQ pages.

SiteGround boast an even more comprehensive customer support system than Bluehost, with their extra feature of a 24/7 live chat. In addition to this, they have impressive systems in place to ensure you get the best – and fastest – possible service.

One of the worst things about having a problem is the stress of actually trying to get it sorted. Whether that’s being on hold for hours or getting frustrated with automated responses from a supposed live chat, we’ve all been there. But never again!

siteground support
SiteGround’s excellent customer support base includes a range of helpful features. Fast response time, 24/7 service, and personal contact help SiteGround stand out.

SiteGround over-staff their shifts so that they don’t keep you waiting – under each option it gives an expected response time. There are also profiles online so that you can actually see the person who’s helping you, along with their years of experience and areas of expertise.

As well as their live chat, telephone support and ticket system they also have a knowledge base. This is broken down into sections with categories, articles and FAQ pages there for you to browse.

Is that all? Well, not quite! They also have tutorials, webinars, a blog, and a setup wizard to cover all your needs. Whether that’s guiding you through your first hosting steps or giving deeper insight into the web hosting world, one thing’s for sure. SiteGround have got an answer for just about everything.

Both Bluehost’s and SiteGround’s support systems are clean, responsive and easy to use. They not only look professional, but provide a professional service to go with it.

Verdict: SiteGround is our winner for customer help and support. Its all-round service includes the 24/7 live chat, and its wide range of help features will make even the most nervous of beginners feel supported.

Pricing & Value for Money

Whether you’re just starting out building your own site, own a small business or are an experienced entrepreneur, working to a budget and getting the most of our money is always important. You want good value, not to be throwing cash away on services you don’t need.

Bluehost SiteGround
Shared Hosting $2.95 – $14.99 $3.95 – $11.95
Cloud Hosting $6.95 – $25.99 $80- $240
WordPress Hosting $19.99 – $49.99 $3.95 – $11.95
VPS Hosting $19.99 – $59.99
Dedicated Hosting $79.99 – $209.99 $269 – $729

 

As you can see from this table, Bluehost has much more competitive prices than SiteGround. Add this to the amount of hosting and features options available, and you get really great value for money.

Bluehost is such an established provider that it can afford to offer these perks at these low rates. This is great news for those of you on a budget, as lower tier customers still really benefit without suffering from high costs. (Just be aware of any add-ons that might nudge the price up at checkout)! Overall, Bluehost is your piggybank’s friend!

bluehost shared web hosting price plans
Bluehost offers competitive price plans, and always has great deals for new customers. Each plan offers perks and great value for money.

SiteGround still deserves a mention here though. What stands out with SiteGround is how much more transparent than other web hosting providers it is when it comes to additional costs. It’s really common in this industry to offer low rates, and then have a load of extra add-ons which can hike the price up at check-out.

SiteGround are less cheeky when it comes to this. For example, on the checkout page for StartUp package customers there are two add-ons: a free website transfer and a SiteScanner which adds on $20 if you don’t deselect it.

This upfront pricing is refreshing, however it has its downside. If you are a lower tier customer with SiteGround you will have less advantages than you would with a bigger provider such as Bluehost.

Both SiteGround and Bluehost offer a 30-day money back guarantee which is a great way of offering peace of mind to new customers – if you don’t love them, leave them! Just remember that extra purchases and add-ons such as domain names are not included in the refund.

Verdict: Bluehost has much better value for money. It’s the clear winner, and is worth really thinking about if money is an important factor (which it is for most of us)!

Conclusion

Both Bluehost and SiteGround are leading providers who have earned their places in the front of the pack. They are very different providers. Bluehost is known for its established and reliable reputation as well as its appeal to beginners. SiteGround is the fast-growing up and comer who deserves its place next to its competitors with its excellent speed, security and outstanding customer support.

Overall Bluehost is our winner, coming second place in our total rankings with a 91% score, giving it a whopping 4.5 stars. With its impressive WordPress recommendation, ease of use and great value for money, Bluehost is a reliable choice for beginners and pros alike.

It was by no means a one-sided battle. SiteGround scored 80% in our rankings, giving it 4 stars just behind Bluehost. Its extensive resources for customer help and support, WordPress focus, and high uptime scores make it a strong contender.

So which one is better for you? As with anything, which provider you choose will really depend on your needs and what you value most. If you’re not on a tight budget and think that you’ll rely heavily on customer support, go with SiteGround. If you’re unsure, are watching the pennies, or if you’re a beginner, then Bluehost is the better option for you. With its wide range of benefits, it’s got something for everyone.

Lucy Carney

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