I love comparing web hosting companies and it is my full-time job. I test them on the basis of performance, uptime, speed, pricing, and features and share my results in a blog post like this. Siteground & Bluehost are two of my favorite hosts and today I am going to compare them with each other. If you’re considering buying web hosting services from any of these two web hosting companies, I would suggest you to must read this article i.e Siteground vs Bluehost.
Siteground is one of the most appreciated web hosting companies due to the stability and excellent customer support provided by the company. However, Bluehost also ranks among the top web hosting companies that offer some of the best suites of plans ideal for all kinds of web hosting requirements. Although both of them have nearly the same percentage of market share, their increasing customer base is a testament to their excellent treatment of their customers and have therefore grown steadily to support nearly all kinds of web hosting clients over the years. Although finding the best among the two is quite a challenge, comparing them on various parameters would definitely yield a clearer picture of the services they provide.
Both the hosting companies target quite different market segments and thus their web hosting plans are suited to cater to those market segments. Bluehost focuses on small businesses and clients with increasing resource consumption for their web applications but Siteground focusses on startups and developers who require stable and high resource availability for all their application dependencies. Apart from the traditional support for content management systems, Siteground innately supports and provides plans for WordPress, Joomla, and Magento users. Thus specially configured web hosting servers to run these popular content management systems allows users to build any kind of website on top of them with maximum resource flexibility.
Bluehost on the other hand only provides WordPress plans that are configured for maximum resource availability and thus the plans are ideal for all kinds of users. You can build any kind of WordPress website on top of the servers and then grow as per requirements. Along with instant resource scalability and high-performance hardware, the servers can easily handle any kind of web application on top of their servers. This allows users to build websites ranging from simple portfolio websites to high-end e-commerce websites that take up resources equivalent to dedicated servers. Let’s dive deeper into each of the plans provided by the companies to better understand their ideal use for your organization.
Plans and Pricing
Due to cut-throat competition among the web hosting companies, it is impossible to increase prices in an already overcrowded market. Thus organizations offer web hosting plans in numerous scales ranging from mere $3 a month to VPS and dedicated plans that cost up to thousands of dollars a month depending on the resources consumed by the customers. However, with the recent shift towards cloud-based solutions, organizations have moved on to highly scalable architectures that allow them to provide much higher resource oriented plans at relatively cheaper prices. However, they also provide traditional shared hosting plans that are ideal for small websites. The plans offered by the companies are:
As Bluehost targets the general audience along with the business users, it provides plans that are ideal for all kinds of customers. The beginner plans are ideal for small websites like portfolio website and small corporate website that may or may not incur a lot of traffic while the business plans are ideal for organizations that build their business around their websites. Along with high security and unlimited resources, the plans also come with advanced core level control ideal for developers. Let’s get into the details.
- Starter: Ideal for small businesses and blogs, this plan is ideal for individuals who want a cheap enough plan to start their online presence. It is ideal for most types of websites and comes with enough resources to handle a small time website. Priced at $3.49 per month, the plan comes with 50GB hard disk space along with unmetered bandwidth and standard performance. With a yearly plan, you get a free domain name along with 5 parked domains and 25 sub domains. You also get 5 email accounts with 100MB storage per account.
- Plus: The next higher plan is priced at $5.25 per month and comes with 150GB space and unmetered bandwidth. You can easily build up to 10 websites on top of the server. The plan includes 1 free domain name with a yearly plan and comes with 20 parked domains and 50 sub domains. It also comes with 100 email accounts each with 500MB storage space. It includes a global CDN along with 1 Spam expert that could greatly help in avoiding unnecessary spam to your website. Moreover, the plan includes $150 in marketing offers.
- Business Pro: One the most powerful plans in the shared hosting segment, the plan comes with unlimited everything resources. It is priced at $13.25 per month and comes with all kinds of resources you would ever need to build a small business oriented website. It also comes with additional security and high-performance features absent in previous plans. The plan includes one free domain name and allows unlimited parked and subdomains. Along with unlimited email accounts, it also allows you to store unmetered storage per email account. It comes with a GlobalCDN, 2 SpamExperts, 1 SSL, 1 dedicated IP address along with 1 domain privacy and site backup pro ideal for all kinds of business requirements. You can host nearly all kinds of business and e-commerce websites on top of the plan without ever running out of resources. Moreover, it includes more than $300 in marketing offers.
Related Article: Bluehost Alternatives
Unlike most web hosting companies, Siteground focusses primarily on various types of businesses ranging from startups to large-scale organizations. Most of its customers have high resource consumption and thus the plans are designed to suit even the toughest resource-oriented websites. To support businesses of all kinds, Siteground offers powerful hosting plans specialized for WordPress, Joomla, and Magento. The servers are highly optimized for the content management systems and are thus perfectly suited for running even large scale WordPress or Magento based eCommerce stores.
Related Article: Siteground vs Hostgator
The shared plans are divided into 3 categories namely:
- Startup: Ideal for portfolio websites and organizations or individuals that are just starting up their online businesses, this plan is among the cheapest of all others provided by Siteground. It is priced at $3.95 per month and comes with numerous features generally absent from most web hosting companies. You can host one website and consume up to 10GB space. It can handle up to 10,000 visitors a month and comes with all essential features.
- Grow Big: ideal for growing websites that are consuming higher resources and have to handle more traffic, this plan comes with numerous premium features that are absent from the previous plan. It includes priority technical support, SuperCacher for speed improvement, free SSL certificate for 1 year along with 30 backup copies of your website. It is priced at $5.95 per month and can easily handle up to 25K visitors every month.
- Go Geek: is ideal for powerful websites that need to handle up to 100,000 visitors a month. It includes all the features provided by the Grow Big plan along with some advanced features like Advanced hardware, PCI compliance, pre-installed GIT and staging along with 30GB server space. You can host multiple websites on top of it and still develop core features of your website. Priced at $11.95 per month, this is among the best web hosting plans for any powerful website including high resource consuming e-commerce and transaction-oriented websites.
Siteground vs Bluehost: Performance and Reliability
Comparing high-performance web hosting companies is quite tough. When both the companies provide excellent services, users have to test the servers rigorously for any discrepancies in hosting configurations or service availabilities. When it comes to performance, Siteground definitely scores better than Bluehost as it has a relatively better server architecture that allows users to build any kind of web application on top of it. As the servers are designed by keeping businesses in mind, any website that requires only the simple features runs excellently on top of it.
Although Bluehost is also high performance oriented, you cannot build custom applications on top of their servers. You will only be able to install the provided set of content management systems through their CPanel. Due to the robust architecture and better scalability, Siteground is more reliable than Bluehost. Bluehost allows cloud hosting but its cloud servers are just renamed shared hosting servers that are allocated more resources as per user requirement.
Siteground vs Bluehost: Page Speed
Page speed is the most crucial factor for any website. Thus both the companies provide all possible optimizations on the server side to allow excellent page speeds to be delivered from any kind of web application. Each of the companies utilizes extra server side optimization applications to cache the web pages and serve them as per requests.
Pagespeed Test – Siteground
Pagespeed Test – Bluehost
However, the SuperCacher application is way better than the application used by Bluehost to cache its customer’s web pages. Along with the SuperCacher, Siteground also allows CDNs to deliver the web pages in nearly all corners of the world. This makes Siteground websites way faster than Bluehost. In our benchmarks, Siteground performed at 2.05s while Bluehost stood at 3.35s to deliver the same web page. Although you can use a CDN along with Siteground, the caching application is enough to handle all your page speed requirements. A CDN would further improve your content delivery across various geographical locations.
Siteground vs Bluehost: Server Uptime and Downtime
Both the companies provide excellent server uptime as scalability is inbuilt into their server architectures. However, the server uptime is affected by a number of reasons apart from server side resource availability.
Siteground 30 days Uptime Report
As Siteground allows its users to run their web applications at specific resource constraints, there is hardly any interference among resources due to overuse.
However, Bluehost allows unlimited usage and thus suffers from occasional downtime as some users tend to use more resources than allocated to them. Siteground thus offers 99.99% uptime while Bluehost stands at 100%.
Bluehost 30 Days Uptime Report
However rarely would you face such devastating situations if you are hosting a small website But if you are hosting a large eCommerce or web application, it is highly likely that you may run out of allocated resources or even suffer some unavoidable downtime.
Siteground vs Bluehost: User Experience and Customer Service Reviews
No company can make all of their customers happy and Siteground and Bluehost are not an exception. We searched reviews all over the internet and got some negative and some positive reviews about both the companies.
Here are some reviews by real customers
Siteground Negative Reviews
Well, I will never recommend SiteGround for WordPress hosting. Famous 5 minute install has taken over an hour because of database issues.
— Travis Ballard (@ansimation) March 15, 2011
— Amanda Nagy (Ingle) (@AmandaCNagy) December 23, 2015
Siteground Positive Reviews
@SiteGround Svetoslav made a great 1st impression on chat. Great customer service like that sealed the deal on moving my site to u!
— EnClave LA (@EnClave_LA) December 28, 2015
I don’t care what anybody says @SiteGround is THE best Web Hosting Company and I do hope everyone uses it.
— Jacqueline Terry (@lehautestyle) December 22, 2015
Siteground has had an excellent customer service record over the years. A number of stories are floating around on the web describing numerous instances when the customer service teams went a step ahead in helping their customers. They have some of the best teams comprising their excellent customer service. However, I wasn’t that much impressed by their UI. The CPanel has all the necessary stuff in it but they could have been arranged in a better way. It is sometimes confusing for the beginners and the startup plans at least should have an easy to navigate CPanel. You can build any type of application on top of the servers and the customer service teams would try their best to solve your problems
Bluehost Negative Reviews
I don’t like to rant but @bluehost hosting has been painful. daily site crashes for weeks. my inbox is filled with alerts. 🙁
— Kenneth Lamug (@rabbleboy) December 29, 2015
I’m having issues. I’ve been on hold for 17 minutes…Instead of the hold time decreasing it’s increasing. What’s going on? @bluehost
— La’Janee’ Cosby (@naeicanrepeatit) December 28, 2015
— Her Power Hustle (@HerPowerHustle) December 28, 2015
Bluehost Positive Reviews
— Jean-Paul Casaubon (@jpcasaubon) December 29, 2015
On the other hand, Bluehost has an awesome UI with custom designed panels to help users easily navigate through the panel. All the features are neatly aligned and easy to access. Even for beginners, the panel is easily navigable and self-explanatory. Bluehost also has a good enough customer service but sometimes they fail in solving the issues at hand. But rarely would you face such difficult scenario’s where the customer service team cannot solve your problems. In managed hosting accounts, they tend to monitor each of the log files to help you diagnose any kind of problems associated with your hosting account.
When we searched real customer reviews on Internet about Siteground & Bluehost, we found more positive reviews about Siteground, on the other hand, Bluehost has most of the negative reviews. Most of the people complain about Bluehost’s downtime & long wait on phone/chat support.
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Bluehost has competed against most of the top web hosting companies and has still managed to occupy a significant number of customers under its hosting plans. Although Siteground has a powerful server architecture, it has had limited competition with industry giants. Both Siteground and Bluehost provide cloud hosting plans that allows their users to scale as much as they require and then upgrade to higher plans if their resource consumption remains constant for a period. But in the end, the advanced server architecture of Siteground helps it attain better performance benchmarks than Bluehost. Thus if you are a business organization, you should go with Siteground otherwise, Bluehost would be ideal for your requirements.