Selected Winner: SiteGround
If you want to host multiple websites and have a tight budget, then Bluehost is a better option. It also provides more storage than SiteGround.
But, while Bluehost and SiteGround both offer strong security, SiteGround takes it up a level with its proprietary HackAlert malware detection service.
SiteGround also has better uptime and speed rates, more backup options, and the fastest and most responsive customer support, making it the clear winner in this comparison.
Key Comparison: Bluehost vs. SiteGround
Both Bluehost and SiteGround provide better web hosting options than GoDaddy — by far. Yet, you must consider multiple factors when narrowing down your choice between Bluehost and SiteGround.
To help you more easily assess the suitability of each provider for your business, our research focused on the factors that matter most:
- How do their hosting plans compare in terms of features and pricing?
- How does their uptime and speed compare?
- How do they compare for WordPress site hosting?
- How seriously do they take security?
- Do they have efficient customer support?
How Do Their Hosting Plans Compare in Terms of Features and Pricing?
Like all other web hosting services, SiteGround and Bluehost offer very low introductory prices. Before you sign up with any web hosting provider, find out what price you must pay at the time of renewal and try to lock in your introductory rate for as long as possible. Remember, most services have a money-back guarantee for the first month or so.
Pricing and Plans
Bluehost’s Basic shared hosting plan costs $2.95 per month, but jumps to $7.99 per month at renewal.
If you want a more advanced plan, which will support an unlimited number of websites, then you might opt for Bluehost’s Plus shared hosting plan. It starts at $5.45 per month, but will increase to $10.99 after the introductory period.
Important Hosting Features
Bluehost’s entry-level plan comes with 50 GB of storage, but its mid-range and higher-end plans include unlimited storage space.
Bluehost has no bandwidth limitations, so you don’t need to worry about increased site traffic.
Unfortunately, Bluehost only includes free site backup with its higher-end plans. If you choose one of its two lower-end plans, you must pay an extra $2.99 per month to add site backup services by CodeGuard Basic.
Money-Back Guarantee and Site Migration
Bluehost offers customers a full refund within 30 days of purchasing a plan if they’re unhappy, but that refund excludes the cost of all domain names and other add-ons.
Bluehost allows you to conduct your site migration yourself or you can opt to use its professional switching service for $149.99. At this price, Bluehost will migrate up to five websites and 20 email accounts.
Website-Building Tools and Ease of Use
All Bluehost plans include a free domain name. If you’re still forming your business and have yet to choose a domain name, you have a year in which to take advantage of this free offer.
Bluehost also provides a built-in website builder powered by Weebly, but you can decide if you want to use that or another tool to build your website. Its standard cPanel offers common features like file managers, email accounts, file transfer protocol (FTP) accounts for uploading and managing files, and PHPMyAdmin administrative software.
If you need to expand your website and shared hosting will no longer cover your needs, Bluehost’s virtual private server (VPS) hosting plans start at $18.99 per month, with an increase to $29.99 upon renewal. It also offers dedicated hosting if you anticipate heavy site traffic.
Pricing and Plans
SiteGround’s basic hosting plan — called StartUp — costs $6.99 per month. After the initial term expires, the monthly fee increases to $14.99.
If you want to host an unlimited number of websites, then you should consider SiteGround’s GrowBig plan. It costs $9.99 per month for the introductory period, but rises to $24.99 per month at renewal.
Important Hosting Features
SiteGround offers 10 GB of storage with its StartUp plan and 20 GB of storage with its GrowBig plan. It’s higher-end plan — called GoGeek — offers 40 GB of storage. While 10 GB of storage may suffice for some websites, you’ll need more if you plan to upload lots of high-definition (HD) images and videos.
Like Bluehost, SiteGround has no bandwidth limitations.
SiteGround also safeguards your website with daily backups, which it stores for 30 days in case you ever need to restore your site. In addition, you can download security copies of your site from the SiteGround cPanel.
Money-Back Guarantee and Site Migration
Like Bluehost, SiteGround has a 30-day, money-back guarantee that applies to web hosting only. You can receive the refund on your credit card or as a credit on your SiteGround account.
If you migrate a website from another web hosting provider to SiteGround, SiteGround will provide a free site migration if you purchase either its GoGeek or GrowBig hosting plan.
Website-Building Tools and Ease of Use
Unlike Bluehost, SiteGround doesn’t offer customers a free domain name. Its domain name prices start at $15.95 per year for .com.
SiteGround also has a free, easy-to-use, website-building tool powered by Weebly along with an intuitive, powerful, custom cPanel. This makes SiteGround a bit easier to use than Bluehost.
SiteGround’s GoGeek plan provides a good option for most small businesses, but it also offers cloud hosting plans that start at $80 per month. In addition, you can add more resources to your plan, as needed, with just one click.
SiteGround also offers custom solutions for customers who need a dedicated server.
How Does Their Uptime and Speed Compare?
Bluehost uses solid-state drive (SSD) storage — a faster alternative to hard disk drives — for all of its WordPress and VPS hosting plans. While Bluehost doesn’t reveal the location of its data centers, online research indicates it operates 23 locations worldwide.
Bluehost’s servers have an uptime of 99.98 percent. That means its servers have an average annual downtime of just 1.6 hours.
Bluehost’s WordPress and VPS hosting plans also feature Cloudflare’s fast content delivery network (CDN) and the HTTP/2 network protocol.
SiteGround operates five data centers on three continents so customers can choose the one closest to them for the best loading times. It also provides SSD storage with all of its hosting plans.
SiteGround built its hosting infrastructure on Linux container technology (LXC) and Linux-based code. As a result, it has a stable, resource-efficient system that provides resilience during web traffic spikes and an excellent uptime of 99.99 percent.
SiteGround also offers the Cloudflare CDN. Its customers can easily manage their site’s CDN settings from the hosting panel and Bluehost’s HTTP/2-enabled servers for fast loading times.
How Do They Compare for WordPress Site Hosting?
Officially recommended by WordPress, Bluehost offers one-click installation. You also can manage all of your installations from one place and then immediately start building your website.
Bluehost offers entry-level WordPress hosting plans that start at $2.95 per month with an increase to $7.99 per month upon renewal, as well as a VPS-powered plan that starts at $18.99 per month with an increase to $29.99 per month upon renewal.
In terms of security, Bluehost’s WordPress hosting plans include a free secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate and automatic WordPress updates. They also provide site backups via the Site Backup Pro tool. Bluehost’s top-tier WordPress hosting plan — Choice Plus — offers site backups via the CodeGuard basic backup service.
Bluehost also comes with a custom-designed control panel for WordPress sites. If you choose a fully managed WordPress hosting plan, it comes with ManageWP pre-installed and advanced features like daily security scans. For security purposes, these plans feature SiteLock security, SiteLock’s web application firewall (WAF), and an advanced CDN for your WordPress site, albeit at a cost.
All Bluehost WordPress hosting plans include support for the PHP 7 programming language as well as the Cloudflare CDN.
Bluehost built its premium WordPress hosting offerings on a VPS-powered platform. This includes resource-efficient NGINX servers, which enable instant CPU, RAM, and storage area network (SAN) upgrades when needed.
Also officially recommended by WordPress, SiteGround provides one-click installation with all of its WordPress hosting plans.
Those plans start at $6.99 per month, but the GrowBig and GoGeek plans include a free staging environment.
All of SiteGround’s WordPress hosting plans include automatic WordPress updates, a free SSL certificate, and free daily backups and site restores. SiteGround security experts also monitor for WordPress-related vulnerabilities and take proactive measures as soon as they find issues. SiteGround also provides an expert team to staff its WordPress customer support.
SiteGround’s GrowBig and GoGeek WordPress hosting plans offer fast speeds along with the SuperCacher plug-in, which uses NGINX technology for extra-fast site loading.
SiteGround also supports the HTTP/2 network protocol and PHP 7 programming language all of its new shared, cloud, and dedicated accounts. In addition, SiteGround offers the Cloudflare CDN to users for free to enable even faster site-loading speeds.
How Seriously Do They Take Security?
Bluehost plans offer an SSL certificate, the SFTP file transfer protocol, and access to the secure shell (SSH) network protocol. Bluehost also offers external security options from SiteLock, which start at about $14.99 per site/month.
Online research indicates that some Bluehost users have experienced hacking problems, but this could be due to the huge number of websites the company hosts. In addition, beginners may not always understand the security dangers and how to protect their websites.
Like Bluehost, SiteGround hosting plans come with an SSL certificate, the SFTP file transfer protocol, and access to the SSH network protocol. But, they also use a more secure version of the PHP programming language by default. This enables weekly security updates and blocks suspicious traffic.
SiteGround also sells an add-on security option — SG Site Scanner — for an extra $1.65 per month, which performs extra scanning for malware on user websites.
Do They Have Efficient Customer Support?
Users can reach Bluehost customer support through support tickets, instant chat, and instant phone calls — 24/7 all year round. Its support services include technical support, sales, and account management.
Bluehost also has dedicated lines for various support issues, including one staffed by WordPress experts. Beyond Bluehost’s free consultations for a wide range of issues, you can contact its support team with any pre-sales questions.
The company also has an active members forum, helpful tutorials and articles, as well as marketing services like search engine optimization (SEO), website design, and content creation.
Users also can reach SiteGround 24/7 all year round with support tickets that the company responds to within 10 minutes. That fast response time to support tickets is a crucial part of SiteGround’s support policy. SiteGround also offers instant phone or chat support.
With SiteGround’s higher-end plans like GoGeek, users get access to the provider’s priority support team that includes its most-experienced support representatives.
In addition, SiteGround offers informative tutorials and webinars on a wide variety of topics. It also receives excellent reviews online for its fast, knowledgeable customer support.
Bluehost won’t charge you bogus fees like some hosting providers that claim a user’s website has too many crawler hits and then disable it and insist on an upsell before reinstating their hosting service. While the web is full of complaints like this, online customer reviews all point to Bluehost as a highly ethical host.
Both Bluehost and SiteGround offer strong security. While SiteGround claims superiority based on its proprietary HackAlert malware detection service, there’s no proof Bluehost users have more security problems than SiteGround users. Both providers make a better choice than GoDaddy in this area.
SiteGround also has better uptime and speeds, more backup options, and the fastest, most-responsive customer support. Yet, it’s on a par with Bluehost when it comes to fast WordPress hosting.