Comparison updated: July 2018
If you’re not very familiar with Bluehost, you may have first encountered the name in a story about it being hacked in 2015 by the Syrian Electronic Army.
If you’ve only encountered Siteground by looking into web hosting options, that makes sense—outside of the web hosting world, Siteground’s stayed out of the news (which is probably a good thing).
But let’s not start off this comparison review on a sour note!
For all the problems of today, we live in a good time.
Let’s go basic for a second. The internet is full of websites. You can visit countless sites of all kind. Naturally, this is due to the fact that nowadays, almost anyone can create website.
And this means there is no shortage of companies vying for the position of being the service you choose to host your site.
They’ve a decent amount in common, but of course some stuff will be different—so what’s the deal breaker? Why choose one over the other? Why even choose one of them?
You can skip rest of details and see conclusion here.
Let’s take a look at how they compare at a few different levels.
*Fair warning: Bluehost and Siteground offer many variations of hosting services, but I will be mostly focusing on shared web hosting. Don’t worry though, I won’t leave everything else out.
Speed and Performance Comparison
Let’s see how fast both hosting are.
Test Website on SiteGround
Test Website on BlueHost
Bluehost server speed:
BlueHost server speed test – A+. Credit: Bitcatcha
Siteground server speed test – B+. Credit: Bitcatcha
I know what’s running in your mind after seen both server speed. But I can’t make Bluehost a winner right now based on server speed. There are another features that I have compared for you.
SiteGround vs. Bluehost (Facebook Poll)
I have conducted a poll on Facebook where SiteGround got 76 Votes, while BlueHost got 23 Votes.
Of course, pricing is probably the first thing most of us will wonder about. Now because there’s a lot of information here, I’ll just put it as clearly and simply as I can.
SiteGround vs Bluehost Price Comparison Table:
|Website Space||10 GB||50 GB|
|Bandwidth||Suitable for ~ 10,000 Visits||Unmetered|
|Email Storage||200 MB||100 MB|
|No. of Email Accounts||Free||5|
|Spam Free Protection||Yes||Yes|
|Site Backups||Yes||Free Basic Backup|
|Money Back Guarantee||30 days||30 days|
|Price / mo.||$3.95 / mo.||$2.95 / mo.|
|Visit SiteGround||Visit BlueHost|
Bluehost Hosting Package:
Bluehost has a different tiered pricing structure for each of its hosting packages: for shared hosting, cloud hosting, WordPress hosting, WooCommerce hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, and domains.
Shared hosting is pretty well-priced–$2.95 a month for Basic, $4.45 for Pro, and $6.95 for Prime (no, not a typo—it’s usually more expensive, but it’s currently discounted I guess).
For Cloud Hosting, there are three plans at $6.95 (Starter), $8.95 (Performance), and $15.95 (Business Pro) a month.
WordPress hosting has four tiers: Standard, Enhanced, Premium, and Ultimate. These come in at $19.99, $29.99, $39.99, and $49.99 a month respectively.
WooCommerce service is supposed to be combined with your WordPress, and has Starter, Plus, and Pro tiers at $6.95, $8.95, and $12.95 a month respectively.
For Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting, there are also three tiers: Standard for $19.99 a month, Enhanced for $29.99, and Ultimate for $59.99.
Dedicated hosting goes at $79.99 a month for Standard, $99.99 for Enhanced, and $119.99 for Premium.
Siteground Hosting Package:
Siteground isn’t too different when it comes to this, but hey, no worries—you want to make sure you have enough options anyway. Siteground offers a lot of hosting options, from services like email hosting, to app hosting (WordPress, Joomla, etc), to normal web hosting.
The main price variation is in the main web hosting services: cloud hosting, for example, starts at $80.00 a month in a four-tiered system that reaches to $240.00 a month, whereas dedicated hosting starts at $229.00 a month for the first tier and ends at $429 a month for the third tier…um, wow.
Siteground Dedicated Hosting Plan:
The good news is there’s a particular three-tiered pricing structure that holds for most of the products: shared web hosting, the service hosting options (email hosting, PHP hosting, etc), and app hosting (WordPress, Joomla, Magento, etc).
Siteground Shared Hosting Plan: The first is StartUp at $3.95 a month, GrowBig is second at $5.95 a month, and GoGeek comes last at $11.95 a month.
StartUp offers 1 website, 10GB of web space, is suitable for around 10,000 monthly visits, and contains the “essential” (meaning basic) features.
GrowBig offers multiple websites, 20GB of space, should be good for around 25,000 monthly visits, and awards you premium features in addition to essential features.
GoGeek also allows multiple websites, but gives 30GB of space, allows for roughly 100,000 monthly visitors, and gives “Geekly Advanced Features” in addition to premium and essential features.
Okay, so Siteground is generally consistent when it comes to its products pricing. But that doesn’t mean it’s automatically better.
Let’s not forget that Bluehost also has a starting plan for full web hosting at $2.95 a month, its extras aside, and that you can (currently) get the Prime (3rd tier) shared hosting plan for $5.95, cheaper than GoGeek’s $11.95.
The thing is, while both offer a lot of services, Siteground’s non-shared web hosting services are pretty expensive, especially compared to Bluehost. As shared hosting and app or service hosting goes, I think Siteground has more streamlined and maybe more competitive prices (not lower, but more feature filled…you’ll see in a sec).
I’ll just be honest and tell you right now that there are a lot of features offered by both Bluehost and Siteground, and I can’t cover them all so you should check them out for yourself.
Here’s the overview.
Bluehost is confident enough in its features to give an online demo site as one of the first things you see on their official features page, and that in itself is a neat feature for those who are unsure.
You’ll get 1 site for the Basic account, but unlimited for Plus and Prime. You get 50GB of space for Basic and unlimited for Plus and Prime, far better than Siteground’s 10-30GB, and at lower prices too.
Bandwidth is unmetered (nice that they don’t say unlimited) for all tiers, but you only get 5 parked domains and 25 sub domains for Basic, as well as only 100MB of storage per email account with a maximum of 5 accounts permitted (all of these are unlimited for the latter two tiers).
As for Siteground, for some the 10-20GB storage allowance is a disappointment, but you get a ton of features in exchange. For both second and third tier accounts, you can host unlimited websites, and all accounts get unlimited MySQL databases.
I would like to note that Siteground has unique, company-built security tools they employ that I would consider strong features of the service (you’ll read about them soon enough, just keep it in mind), and you get SSL certification for all accounts.
Additionally, even from a first tier shared hosting account, you get a free site transfer, a drag and drop website builder, and unlimited sub and parked domains, which I thought was handy—compare this to Bluehost’s limits.
In fact, you even get basic ecommerce software with a StartUp account, and a lot of features for developers. Oh, and you get unlimited email accounts for even a basic account, compared to Bluehost’s maximum of 5.
Ultimately, the list of features is too numerous to list, as it should be, but there are a lot of features to justify that storage limits, if they seem like a bad deal to you, with a good amount of additional features for each tier upgrade.
Then again, Bluehost has significantly better value in terms of storage space, and many will find Bluehost gives them more than their money’s worth for a relatively low amount of that money.
Customer Support Comparison
Ah, customer support, something we never want to need, but no company can do without.
Bluehost isn’t slouching here—for live contact with a representative, they have a set of different numbers that can be dialed for different problems—tech support, sales support, account management, coming to dozens of numbers you can call for a free consultation.
I was pretty impressed with this—yeah, many companies have specialized extensions, but Bluehost really outdoes itself. Additionally, there is of course a livechat, and a ticket system exists via a few different help categories (though they dropped it for tech support).
There is also a knowledge base that seems comprehensive enough for everything.
I think Siteground really does well with customer support. Forget the hosting industry—Siteground’s customer support is standout in general.
Why do I say that? Aside from normal customer service options like phone support, Siteground provides extensive resources and documentation, extensive even for a hosting company.
There’s a set-up wizard for account set up you’ll encounter, but there’s also a webinar series, step by step tutorials, and a “knowledge base”—basically hundreds of FAQs and help articles.
Meanwhile, it doesn’t slouch on the people it employs either: live chat and 24/7 phone service are available for instant replies, and sending in tickets will usually give you a response in a few minutes. When you’re in contact with a representative, you’ll see their information—name, experience, special strengths, etc.
Overall, both Bluehost and Siteground offer comprehensive support systems for their customers. This makes sense as they offer a variety of products and not everyone will be the most technologically literate.
The key difference I would say is that Bluehost has better phone support than Siteground, but Siteground has better on-site documentation and resources available than Bluehost. So one may support you more, but overall either should support you just fine.
Ease of Use
To be honest, I don’t have a lot to say here.
Bluehost is pretty straightforward, though there are some hiccups here and there that might throw some people off while navigating.
Their control panel, called the Account Management Panel, can take some getting useful but is comprehensive in what it allows you to do.
Additionally, they have an easy to use website builder. If you can drag and drop, you can make your website just fine.
Siteground? It’s plenty easy to use, but you’ll probably make the most use of its features if you have some experience.
Having said that, you’ll still be able to do some damage if you’re new to this whole thing. Everything is fairly intuitive and streamlined. I’ll reiterate here that Siteground has a very strong set of online resources to more inexperienced customers.
They also have an easy website builder function.
Frankly, I can’t say which company does better. Personally I favor Siteground for ease of use, and the layout of everything just appeals to me more, but I don’t feel that so strongly I would give them the definite win here.
Ultimately it comes down to what suits your taste better—you’ll know if you use both which clicks with you. I think Siteground is safer for those who are unsure, but both have very clean and intuitive user interfaces.
Security and Reliability
Bluehost, I’m sure, has some decent security measures put in place, otherwise it wouldn’t have lasted so long as a successful hosting service.
Having said that, even trying to find any information on their website about their security tools, certifications, etc, was unfruitful.
That grievance aside, Bluehost has a nice 99.99% uptime stat to put you at ease, three antispam tools, and hotlink protection.
As you can see, our test website on BlueHost Uptime score didn’t went down
See detailed data for BlueHost here
You can blacklist IP addresses, work with private keys and digital certificates, and make password protected directories.
Siteground also has a 99.99% uptime but takes special care to name its security tools.
See detailed data for SiteGround here
Siteground gets a plus for innovating secure account isolation for web hosting, so it seems reasonable to me that 10 years after they came up with it, they should still have some of the strongest isolation among hosting services.
Siteground uses Linux containers and makes a special note of the fact that patches they made to Linux Kernels were incorporated to the official Linux Kernel code—so it’s safe to say the tech is pretty up to date.
Their server monitoring is allegedly faster and more routine than typical server monitors, and though they’ve been criticized for back-up features many users found lacking, in 2015 they implemented their own backup system that seems to be a big improvement. They’ve also got an anti-bot AI for brute-force attacks.
Overall, I’ll award security to Siteground. It’s somewhat hard to tell, but Siteground seems to have a very competent team working on strong security defenses, something they’re proud to show off, whereas Bluehost barely provides clear information on what’s protecting its users.
SiteGround vs. BlueHost Conclusion
So Siteground vs. Bluehost? Well, they are both good hosting companies with some differences.
If you are looking for more features even on starter plans and are willing to pay more, then you should select Siteground. Siteground discounts are available here.
And if you are totally confused, you might find my WordPress Setup Guide useful.
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