They are two of the most popular hosting companies in the world and while they look pretty similar from the surface…
…there are some significant differences.
In this article, I’ll take you for a deeper look at comparing SiteGround vs Bluehost and help you make a good decision about which one to choose for your website.
What Will I Learn?
- SiteGround vs Bluehost: Quick Introduction
- SiteGround vs Bluehost – Top Features
- SiteGround vs Bluehost – WordPress Features
- SiteGround vs Bluehost – Speed & Uptime
- SiteGround vs Bluehost – Security
- SiteGround vs Bluehost – Custom Service & Support
- SiteGround vs Bluehost – Prices & Plans
- SiteGround or Bluehost: The Winner Is…
SiteGround vs Bluehost: Quick Introduction
SiteGround and Bluehost offer great functionality and good performance as website hosting companies – especially for WordPress hosting.
These have both acquired millions of customers from all over and are now recognised brands in the web hosting world.
Here’s what you need to know about each company.
SiteGround has been around since 2004 and currently hosts over 2 million domains.
They have more than 500 employees serving their customers all over the world. SiteGround has its head office in Bulgaria.
In recent years they have soared to the top becoming one of the world’s best website hosting companies.
They also have a great reputation when it comes to WordPress hosting.
If you have ever looked for web hosting services – you’ve probably heard of Bluehost.
That’s how big and popular they are in the hosting world.
They host more than 2 million websites and have a global staff of over 750 employees. Bluehost is one of the most recognised names in the business.
Bluehost is based in Utah, US and is owned by EIG, who also own Hostgator. Bluehost has a reputation for offering good hosting plans for excellent prices.
SiteGround vs Bluehost – Top Features
Both SiteGround and Bluehost offer great functionality as web hosting companies.
But what separates them is the small differences within the features themselves. Here’s what you need to know.
What is website migration? It’s simply the act of transferring your site from one hosting company to another.
Without good migration features, it is a long, difficult and strenuous process.
SiteGround offers free website migration for WordPress users.
They have a dedicated plugin that makes the process easy and painless. All you need to do is install the plugin and generate an access token to start the migration process.
If you don’t have a WordPress site or would prefer a professional to do it, the SiteGround team will do a custom migration for only $30.
Bluehost also offers free website migration but theirs does come with some interesting T&Cs to consider.
You must have:
- Purchased a new hosting in the last 30 days
- Host your website on WordPress
- Meet the right website qualifications
Don’t qualify for site migration?
You will pay $149.99. This does include up to 5 websites and 20 email accounts.
2. Storage Space
Storage is always an essential feature to consider. Especially if you have a larger site with lots of pages.
You need a hosting plan that gives you enough storage for your site now and gives you the ability to increase storage as your site grows.
SiteGround vs Bluehost Storage
This is how their 3 main WordPress hosting plans stack up against each other in terms of storage:
|Entry Plan||10GB Storage
($3.99 per month)
($2.95 per month)
|Middle Plan||20GB Storage
($6.59 per month)
($5.45 per month)
|Large Plan||40GB Storage
($10.69 per month)
($13.95 per month)
It’s worth noting – 10GB of storage will be enough for most sites unless you plan to upload HD images and heavy 4k videos.
Websites need to handle the traffic they get if they ever want to get big.
Bandwidth refers to the amount of traffic that your website can have at one time. If you have an affiliate site or blog, you must have enough bandwidth to handle all of the traffic that you are getting.
If you don’t? Your website page load speeds will suffer and your website could crash.
Bluehost vs SiteGround Bandwidth
Ready for some good news?
Both Bluehost and SiteGround offer unlimited bandwidth on all of their plans – so go get as much traffic to your site as you can.
But there’s something you need to know about bandwidth.
There is something called load impact which measures how your hosting performs under stress. In my individual website load testing SiteGround performed very well while Bluehost couldn’t get through the test.
This is a critical win for SiteGround.
4. Domains & Subdomains
Need to create different subdomains for different aspects of your site?
A subdomain is a different part of your main domain. For example – cart.yourdomain.com is a subdomain of the main domain specifically used to host the shopping cart.
SiteGround offers unlimited subdomains across all of its hosting plans. They don’t include a free domain when you purchase a plan.
Bluehost has a limitation of 25 subdomains on their Basic plan and offers unlimited subdomains on all of the others.
They do include a free domain name for the first year with the purchase of any new hosting plan.
5. Email Accounts
Hosting companies usually include some form of email hosting with your website hosting plan.
SiteGround and Bluehost both have great email hosting options with similar features.
SiteGround allows you to create unlimited professional emails from any domain you own and host with them.
You can also create email aliases, forwarders and set up autoresponders right from within the Cpanel. If you have a preferred email client like Gmail or Apple Mail, you can set up your email on them.
Bluehost also allows you to create professional emails with any of the hosting plans.
The Basic plan has a cap of 5 email addresses with 100MB of data per account. All other plans offer unlimited email accounts and email storage.
6. Server Locations
Server locations are where the race starts to change significantly. You want your hosting company to have as many server locations as possible.
The server is where your website files are stored. Once someone visits your website they request the files from the server.
The closer the server is to the person visiting your website, the faster it will load. The more servers your hosting company has the quicker your website loads worldwide.
This means your visitors will have a good experience on your site (which both Google and visitors care about).
SiteGround has 6 main server locations globally.
The servers are located in:
- Iowa, US
- London, UK
- Eemshaven, Netherlands
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Sydney, Australia
This means that a website hosted on SiteGround should have better load speeds worldwide.
Bluehost doesn’t seem to be very forthcoming with their server locations.
There isn’t much information online and they don’t post much on their website. But with a bit of digging, it is suspected that they have 5 servers located in:
- Hong Kong
Nothing has been confirmed from Bluehost about exactly where their servers are located.
As your website grows your hosting needs to grow with you.
There is nothing worse than having your website suddenly scale overnight to wake up and find that your hosting couldn’t handle the traffic growth.
If you need more than the classic shared hosting both companies have a couple of options.
SiteGround has two scalable hosting plans:
|SiteGround Cloud Hosting||Starts from – $100 per month||40GB of SSD storage & 5TB of bandwidth|
|SiteGround Enterprise Level Hosting||Custom Price||Customer Features|
SiteGround offers enterprise plans to clients that need better hosting services. You can just contact support for a custom plan tailored to your needs.
Bluehost also has two scalable hosting plans:
|VPS Hosting||Starts from – $29.99 per month||30GB of SSD storage & 1TB of bandwidth|
|Dedicated Hosting||Starts From – $149.99 per month||1TB of SSD storage and 5TB of bandwidth|
All scalable plans can be upgraded to improve storage and performance.
Winner: Who’s Got The Best Features?
|Migration Services||Free for WordPress Users or $30 Custom||Free for WordPress Users or 149.99 Custom|
|Storage Space||10GB – 40GB||50GB – Unlimited|
|Subdomains||Unlimited||Limit of 25 on Basic Plan. Unlimited for all Other Plans|
|Email Accounts||Unlimited||Limit of 5 on Basic Plan. Unlimited for all Other Plans|
|Server Locations||6||5 (unconfirmed)|
But SiteGround has more confirmed server locations, better migration service and handles load impact significantly better.
This gives them the edge over Bluehost in this round.
SiteGround vs Bluehost – WordPress Features
If you have a WordPress site, pay attention to this section.
1. Setup Process
Both hosts make it super easy to set up a WordPress website on your new hosting plan.
Rather than just offering a generic WordPress Installer – SiteGround and Bluehost have their own native wizard tool.
SiteGround’s WordPress installer takes you through a simple setup form. You name your site, select the domain and set up your user login details.
Do you use WooCommerce as well?
SiteGround will help you set up your WordPress site then configure WooCommerce. This makes it easy to migrate your site over to SiteGround or set up a new website altogether.
You’ll also get a list of pre-installed recommended plugins which you can choose to keep or delete.
Bluehost has a very similar setup for installing a new WordPress site.
You will go through a 3 step user-friendly process to configure your website just the way you want. All Bluehost websites come with a pre-installed Bluehost dashboard.
It is supposed to make managing your site easier by simplifying all of the settings.
This might help beginners, but it’s better to get used to the WordPress UI if you plan to use WordPress long-term.
2. Automatic System Updates
Automatic system updates ensure that you always have the latest version of WordPress installed. This has pros and cons and highly depends on you as the website owner. Ideally, you want the flexibility to choose whether updates are installed automatically or not.
SiteGround vs Bluehost System Updates
SiteGround and Bluehost both offer automatic updates for the WordPress core system. They can both also automatically update your website theme as a new version is released.
But SiteGround goes a step further.
You can choose to install only certain types of updates:
- Major releases
- Minor releases
How does this help?
You might not want to install the major WordPress updates because of the risk of potentially breaking your site. This is what most website owners are afraid of.
With SiteGround, you can configure to install only minor releases like bug fixes and security updates. This ensures that you get important updates while minimising the risk of your website breaking.
You can also set the time and date of when you want the core updates to be done with SiteGround.
Not bad features to have if you want more control over your site.
3. Automatic Plugin Updates?
Plugins are always a risk for security. That’s why it’s essential to keep them updated whenever possible.
SiteGround vs Bluehost Automatic Plugin Updates
Both WordPress hosting services provide an option to turn on automatic plugin updates.
4. In-house Caching System?
Website caching is the process of storing files in a visitor’s browser.
Every website should have a caching system in place. It helps your returning website visitors load your site even faster because they already have a “cached” version in their browser. They don’t need to load every single file from the server.
This provides a better user experience for your visitors.
SiteGround vs Bluehost Caching
Bluehost and SiteGround have an in-house caching system installed (but not turned on) when you install WordPress.
You can configure the caching settings you need to provide the best user experience to your visitors regardless of which hosting company you choose.
Winner: Who Works Best With WordPress?
This one was really close but…
|Easy Set-Up Process||Yes (Includes WooCommerce)||Yes|
|Automatic System Updates||Advanced||Basic|
|Automatic Plugin Updates||Yes||Yes|
|In-House Caching System||Yes||Yes|
They have a slightly better WordPress setup process that includes WooCommerce as well. You also have a bit more control over the automatic WordPress updates so you can keep your site secure with much less risk of updates breaking your website.
SiteGround vs Bluehost – Speed & Uptime
Now we are getting into the nitty-gritty of performance.
This is where the gloves come off. Speed should be at the top of your list when choosing a hosting company. Check out the results.
1. Solid State Drives (SSD)
Solid State Drives (SSD) perform much faster than a traditional Hard Drive (HDD).
The difference is that an SSD uses flash-based memory whereas an HDD uses a metal needle (like an old vinyl record). SSD’s are the standard for drives in web hosting today.
Bluehost vs SiteGround SSD
2. Data Centres
Data centres are the places where all of the web hosting infrastructure is stored.
The more data centres you have – the more servers you can have and usually the better infrastructure you can provide to your customers.
SiteGround has 6 major data centres located worldwide. This is where they store their 6 web hosting servers.
The data centres are all powered by multiple electricity feeds and they feature first-class UPS technology. This prevents them from ever going offline or down due to network or electricity failures.
SiteGround is also partnered with Google who is known for maintaining the fastest and most powerful networks globally.
This means SiteGround can provide super-fast hosting services and high-performance infrastructure.
Bluehost doesn’t publish much about their data centres.
From independent testing, it’s suspected that they have 5 data centres where their suspected 5 server locations are.
If it’s true, this would give them a pretty decent level of infrastructure to work with.
But the fact that they aren’t open about their data centres and the technology used to power them makes you feel a little more suspicious about the quality of their networks.
Why would you hide something amazing right?
3. Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A content delivery network is a big factor for website load times.
CDN’s are groups of servers that are spread out geographically. It lets you deliver your website files locally to people visiting your website so the files don’t have to travel very far.
SiteGround vs Bluehost CDN
Both Bluehost and SiteGround come with a free Cloudflare CDN.
Cloudflare is one of the best CDN providers in the world. This means you can leverage a CDN and increase website speed with both platforms.
4. HTTP/2-Enabled Servers
HTTP/2-enabled servers improve the security of your website while enhancing site load speed. It’s been around since 2015 and is now considered a must-have feature for all website owners.
SiteGround vs Bluehost HTTP/2-Enabled Servers
This means you will get the benefits of HTTP/2 with both providers.
Winner: Which Hosting Is Faster?
|Solid State Drives (SSD)||Yes||Yes|
|Data Centres||6||5 (unconfirmed)|
|Content Delivery Network (CDN)||Yes – Cloudflare||Yes – Cloudflare|
SiteGround uses Google cloud services which powers the likes of Google search, YouTube and Gmail. Their cloud services have the fastest network speeds in the world.
My own independent fastest WordPress hosting research also showed that SiteGround performed much better than Bluehost, especially when you have a lot of site visitors.
SiteGround has the superior infrastructure and network technology to deliver significantly better server speeds. This is a significant win.
SiteGround vs Bluehost – Security
There are tons of website hackers out there.
Your website hosting should provide you with the highest level of security to make sure that your website is secure and your site visitors are safe.
“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” – Murphy’s Law
If you have owned a website for any length of time you know the importance of backups. Especially with WordPress.
When your website goes down, a recently saved backup is a lifesaver.
SiteGround has a great backup system. They keep an automatic daily backup of your website over the last 30 days on all of their hosting plans.
On the SiteGround GrowBig and GoGeek plans, you get even better backup options.
They provide you with advanced on-demand backups.
That means you can choose to backup your website anytime you want. If something goes wrong, it is just a couple of clicks to restore the original backup version.
Bluehost only offers free automated backups on their ChoicePlus and Pro plan.
Otherwise, you will need to pay an extra $1.99 to get automated backups. Bluehost doesn’t offer manual backups at all.
2. SSL Certificates
SSL certificates enable you to move from HTTP to HTTPS, which adds a level of encryption to your domain.
HTTPS is a confirmed Google ranking factor which is reason enough to have one. It also makes your website more secure, particularly if you are receiving payment from customers.
SiteGround vs Bluehost SSL Certificates
3. DDoS Protection
DDoS Protection uses advanced algorithms and AI software to monitor all traffic on the website. It prevents a wide range of attacks on the server. Pretty important.
SiteGround offers a few different DDoS Protection methods included in all of their plans.
- Hardware firewall for filtering lots of traffic
- Local software firewall for traffic monitoring
- Limits on the number of connections a host can establish
- Monitoring for failed login attempts
You also get additional DDoS protection while using the Cloudflare CDN offered in each plan.
Bluehost offers basic DDoS protection in their plans.
But if you want the advanced protection, you will need to pay an additional $1.99 per month as an add-on.
It’s not included in any of the shared hosting plans for free.
4. Malware Scans
Website malware is software that has specifically been designed to maliciously gain access to your website or server.
Good malware protection should do three things:
- Detect malware on your site
- Stop malware from gaining access
- Remove any malware that gets through
Here are the malware protection options that SiteGround and Bluehost have.
SiteGround offers free malware scanning. This doesn’t include defence against malware or malware removal.
For that, you will need their SG Site Scanner.
This tool has been developed in partnership with Sucuri – one of the best companies in the website security industry. SG Site Scanner only costs an extra $1.50 per month.
Bluehost includes SiteLock Lite in each of their hosting plans. This provides you with free malware scans for your website.
SiteLock premium offers you complete protection and removal against malware. The price starts at $5.99 per month as an add on for Bluehost customers.
Winner: Who Offers The Best Security?
|Advanced Backups||Free||$1.99 per month|
|Malware Scans||$1.50 per month||$5.99 per month|
SiteGround has free backup options and complete DDoS protection included in each of their plans. And the SG Site Scanner for better protection against malware is only $1.50 per month.
You ultimately get a higher level of security for significantly less cost than Bluehost making it an easy win for SiteGround.
SiteGround vs Bluehost – Custom Service & Support
Support plays a significant role in website hosting. You want the hosting support team to be easy to reach and provide timely responses.
You also need them to be knowledgeable so they can help provide solutions efficiently.
1. Getting In Touch
Both SiteGround provides a number of ways to contact their support staff.
This is how they compare.
SiteGround offers 24/7 support by:
- Live chat
They also have a huge knowledge base of tutorials and documentation. The customer service agents are always friendly and genuinely interested in solving your problem.
Bluehost also offers 24/7 support by:
- Live chat
They have a massive amount of blog posts, tutorials and even videos to help you diagnose and solve problems quickly. Their team is also friendly but the level of support can sometimes be ordinary.
2. Response Time
Ever sat on the phone for ages waiting for a customer service representative?
For web hosting that’s not an option.
Fast and responsive support can sometimes mean the difference between a major website issue and a minor one.
SiteGrounds support is really responsive. You are usually connected with a customer service agent in less than 30 seconds on live chat.
That is really fast for any online customer service.
Customer service agents reply to each message promptly which means you don’t spend forever on chat waiting for them to give you an answer.
Bluehost support is also pretty responsive.
You can expect to wait about 2-4 minutes on average before connecting with a customer service agent.
When on live chat the Bluehost support agents take a fair bit of time to reply to each message. This means you often spend longer when trying to get an issue solved.
Bluehost support isn’t bad but certainly has some room for improvement.
Winner: Who’s Got The Best Support?
|Support Options||Live Chat, Phone & Email||Live Chat, Phone & Email|
|Avg. Wait Times||30 Seconds||2-4 Minutes|
|Quality of Service||Good||Ok|
Their customer service team also has better knowledge which means more often than not they can solve your problem then and there.
This is a massive bonus for SiteGround customers.
SiteGround vs Bluehost – Prices & Plans
Pricing is more of a personal preference. Some people want the cheapest plan while others are happy to pay a bit more for better service.
These are the plans with the promotional prices that Bluehost and SiteGround offer for all new customers. The longer amount of time you lock these in these rates for – the better the deal you get.
SiteGround has 3 plans available with different inclusions.
|Price||$3.99 / month||$6.69 / month||$10.69 / month|
|Backups||Automatic & Manual||Automatic & Manual||Automatic & Manual|
|Customer Service||24/7 Customer Support||24/7 Customer Support||24/7 Customer Support|
Bluehost has 4 different pricing plans to suit different customers needs.
Here’s how much they cost and what you get with each one:
|Price||$2.95 / month||$5.45 / month||$5.45 / month||13.95 / month|
|Backups||$1.99 / month||$1.99 / month||Automatic||Automatic|
|Customer Service||24/7 Customer Support||24/7 Customer Support||24/7 Customer Support||24/7 Customer Support|
Winner: Who’s The Cheapest Hosting Provider?
You also tend to get more storage space and bandwidth included in each plan.
But… If you include the addons like site migration, backups and DDoS protection, it’s SiteGround that comes out on top.
All these services are included in the SiteGround plans and are paid extras on Bluehost.
SiteGround or Bluehost: The Winner Is…
They won in every major category.
You will pay a bit more for SiteGround than Bluehost but the extra few bucks are more than worth it.
Wrapping It Up
So there you have it.
An in-depth comparison of SiteGround vs Bluehost.
As a website owner it’s important to carefully select the right hosting platform. With everything in mind, SiteGround is an easy choice over Bluehost.
While Bluehost is a well-known company that offers good features at good prices, service quality is more important.
Web hosting has a huge effect on website performance because it forms the foundation of your website.
If you are serious about building your website over time, it just isn’t worth compromising on quality to save a few bucks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is SiteGround better than Bluehost?
Yes. SiteGround is much better than Bluehost. They offer higher quality services and their hosting performance is significantly better. Bluehost also can’t match their WordPress expertise and features.
Is SiteGround a good hosting company?
SiteGround is a very good hosting company. They offer very competitively priced plans with an excellent range of features. All of their plans provide good protection and they have extremely knowledgeable support staff that solve issues quickly.
Why is SiteGround so expensive?
In the web hosting world, you get what you pay for. While SiteGround is more expensive than competitors, their plan features and customer support are worth the small extra expense.