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OK, let’s be honest…
Sometimes we tend to take too much time trying to make simple decisions; these might include choosing an outfit to wear, a gym to go to, the breakfast we eat, just to name but a few.
And when it comes to making major decisions such as a web hosting platform to go for, most people take it even a notch further – recently, a friend confessed how she used to spend a couple of hours each day comparing various server locations, prices, features, storage capacities, uptimes, and more, only to end up with almost no informed choice days later.
The truth is, all this information can be overwhelming, and in most cases biased. For this reason, we decided to conduct a review of two hosting heavyweights – Siteground vs Bluehost – to help you make an informed decision between the two.
Would you like to know who the winner is?
Follow my lead…
Siteground vs Bluehost top features
To settle on our best choice of a hosting platform between the two, we analyzed some of the key features of these platforms and gave our unbiased ratings in each category. And in case you ever wish to compare any other hosting platforms other than these two, feel free to watch the video below for some useful tips when selecting a hosting platform:
That said, let’s begin with the first thing that most people look at when shopping for a hosting platform: the price. But remember that price as a metric is to a large extent personal; some consider it something fundamental while others have it at the bottom of the things they worry about.
A piece of advice? Don’t be fast to go too cheap when it comes to hosting; you’ll realize that most of the time it really isn’t that cheap after all.
Essentially, if compared to Bluehost, Siteground is pricier; but the good thing is that they have more to offer on each of their plans as shown below:
Notice from the image of the first plan (StartUp) , one is restricted to hosting only one blog or site while the other plans offer multiple hosting functionalities.
Also, the higher you go on the level of hosting plan, the higher your web space and the web traffic capacity. There are a ton of other features that come with each plan; you can easily view them on Siteground’s official website.
Just like Siteground, as you go up the ladder of the hosting plans, you get to enjoy more premium features. One of the most striking ones is the marketing offers is not included in the basic plan but contained in other two plans.
Essential tip: The above-listed prices for each hosting platform only reflect the initial offer price upon signing up; thereafter, you’ll realize that the prices will move higher. I thought you should know this since a lot of people sign up on these platforms thinking the prices will remain the same after the initial 1-year period is over.
To further compare Siteground vs Bluehost more objectively, we needed to include a table showing their normal prices.
Below is a table showing you the normal prices of the respective hosting platforms:
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SiteGround versus Bluehost pricing comparison chart
To be quite honest, it’s a hard call. Siteground offers more for more money, while Bluehost offers less for less money.
At this point, your choice will all depend on what your needs are; if Bluehost offers exactly what you need with less, then go for it. But if you need more features, then you might consider parting with more money and opt for Siteground.
Bluehost or SiteGround for ease of use
SiteGround ease of use
This is especially useful to new website users; it is paramount for you to sign up on a hosting platform with a user-friendly interface.
So, how user-friendly is Siteground?
The platform seamlessly works with various content management tools such as WordPress, Weebly (see our review of Weebly), and more to allow you to create your website within the shortest time possible. However, since 2015, Siteground works with Weebly as its official web creating tool, granting you the drag-and-drop functionality when creating your site.
With Siteground, users can also transfer a domain from one host to another more easily; all you’ll need to do is to post a support ticket on the website’s transfer area, and indicate it as “Website Transfer”.
Also, Siteground has a money-back policy of 30 days for all new signups with shared web hosting; the refund is normally credited to your respective account depending on the payment mode you used.
Bluehost ease of use
Siteground takes it with its refund policy being without a deduction of the plugins costs as compared to Bluehost. Also, the platform offers an absolutely free website transfer option to its web hosting service while Bluehost will only grant you a free transfer ticket when making a manual transfer, which can be quite tedious.
SiteGround or Bluehost WordPress hosting
This review wouldn’t be solid if we didn't compare SiteGround and Bluehost WordPress hosting. Let’s look a few interesting comparisons in this regard.
SiteGround WordPress hosting review
WordPress officially recommends using Siteground for WordPress. As one of the hosting platforms of choice; the two platforms work seamlessly to improve your web hosting and building experience, ensuring your website is up and running within minutes.
Users signing up on SiteGround get a one-click installation of the WordPress extension on their browsers. Whichever plan you choose, you get started on WordPress in seconds.
Website owners who have used SiteGround on WordPress confess to having experienced higher processing speeds as compared to most other hosting platforms. SiteGround relies on its built-in speed boosting plugin called SuperCacher that works with WordPress to immensely improve a site’s processing capacity.
Bluehost WordPress hosting review
Bluehost is another web hosting platform recommended by WordPress and it comes with a beginner-friendly WordPress hosting fee starting from $2.95 per month. WordPress has worked with Bluehost for over a decade now with millions of websites today running on both platforms.
If you want to use Bluehost for WordPress, after selecting your preferred plan and paying the hosting fee, you’ll be able to install WordPress in one click and you can commence developing your website instantly.
Bluehost also features a Virtual Private Server (VPS) powered speed booster that integrates with your WordPress website to produce lightning processing speeds.
In our comparison of Bluehost vs SiteGround for WordPress, the winner is Bluehost.
This platform offers some of the best beginner packages for starters looking to operate websites on a budget. But like I mentioned before, if you require some more advanced features for a few extra bucks, then Siteground is definitely for you.
Let's compare SiteGround and Bluehost customer service
SiteGround customer service
Apparently, the platform maintains a relatively high number of customer service representatives to ensure that each query is responded to in a timely manner. They also maintain a database of useful resources in the form of videos, audio files, and documents. This way, users can obtain help regarding previously handled issues.
Users can either call the customer service number directly, obtain support tickets, or a live chat with a customer service representative. Waiting time for the tickets average to 10 minutes while live chats and phones are in real-time. Their customer support team is always on standby 24/7.
Bluehost customer service
Bluehost has a diverse customer service base ranging from experts in e-commerce websites, personal blogs, the site’s security team, and many more. This ensures that queries are tackled by the right people for speedy and more helpful responses.
One can obtain help from the platform using their official phone number as indicated on their website, a live chat, or via email. Just like Siteground, Bluehost’s team of experts responds to client queries received via chat and phone instantly, while those received via ticketing have no specified waiting time.
Truth be told, the two platforms performed almost similarly until the point where we got no information regarding the waiting time of the ticket communication channel on Bluehost. While it might be longer or shorter, it would be great to keep the general public informed of the average waiting time.
So, we went with Siteground on this one since all the information needed to analyze their customer support is provided, thus, making it easier for users to pick their preferred mode of communication and with proper knowledge of the average waiting time.
Uptime and speed
Anyone looking to set up a website always considers speed and uptime as key metrics for measuring the success of their online presence; but unfortunately, most people never know how to make this comparison. This review will show you what matters when it comes to the speed and uptime of a hosting platform to enable you to gauge what suits you.
Let’s look Siteground vs Bluehost uptime and speed:
SiteGround uptime and speed
Siteground servers use Solid State Disks (SSDs), which are 1000x faster compared to conventional storage disks. These fast loading disks are distributed across three continental servers belonging to Siteground and one can choose the closest server for faster loading speeds.
In addition to that, Siteground boasts the new HTTP/2, which immensely boosts a website’s loading speeds. Together with an SSL Certificate, HTTP/2 increases the load time of web pages and reduces downtimes. Both the HTTP/2 and an SSL Certificate come for free upon signing up on Siteground.
Bluehost uptime and speed
Unlike Siteground, Bluehost does not come with SSDs for its user websites but their databases are fully SSD powered, meaning the processing speed might not be that high as Siteground’s but it’s generally decent.
Our research revealed that Bluehost has 23 servers distributed in four different locations, namely China, Europe, India, and the US.
Bluehost is HTTPS enabled but currently doesn’t run on the newer HTTPS/2. However, every sign up comes with a free SSL certificate.
Security features and issues
SiteGround security features and issues
All websites hosted on Siteground are entitled to daily data backup that occurs at irregular intervals but in an automatic way. Of course, you’ll never notice when the process is taking place. Whenever there’s a need, the backed-up files can be restored to a user’s website with minimal effort.
Additionally, SiteGround contains SSL certificates that authenticate your website and provide security from malicious attacks. On top of that, users also get the free Distribution Denial Of Service (DDOS) tool, which ensures that your website has a hardware and software firewall, keeping failed logins in check, as well as minimizing the number of host logins at any given time.
Bluehost security features and issues
Similarly, Bluehost features website backup functionality to ensure that your data can be restored in case you lose it. Here, you have the option to schedule when the backup takes place; i.e., daily, weekly, or monthly.
As mentioned above, websites hosted on this platform also get free SSL certificates, and these boost a website’s security and authenticity. A website without a valid SSL certificate will indicate just before its web address the words “Not Secure”, which might cast doubts on the credibility of a website; and honestly speaking, there’s no way someone will (or should) open a website with a clear security warning on its address.
Here’s an example of a website without a valid SSL Certificate:
And it’s a tie. We found both of these platforms to have similar security controls that were sound with no negative reviews online. For this reason, we felt that both deserved a 5-star rating for that.
Bluehost vs SiteGround: our verdict
Ease of use
Uptime & speed
Security features & issues
From the table above and our ratings throughout the review, the winner is..
Clearly, both of these platforms are great web hosts, and they can only be chosen depending on personal user preferences.
If you need a website with extra features for a couple of extra bucks, then Siteground might be perfect for you. On the other hand, if you’re just starting out and are looking to build a website on a budget with lesser features, then Bluehost should work.
In the end, before you choose your preferred platform, ensure that you understand what you require out of a website; this will inform your decision on the one to choose between Siteground vs Bluehost.
For now, happy web hosting!
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