In the market for web hosting, two companies seem to consistently compete end of on people’s shortlists: Bluehost vs Siteground.
These web hosting companies are among the leaders in affordable shared hosting for blogs, online stores, and business websites. However, they couldn’t be more different when it comes to factors like reliability, speed, security, and customer service.
I have used both Bluehost and Siteground and experienced the pros and cons of each. I’ve also done a ton of research on consumer review sites, Facebook groups, and web hosting forums to gather more information. In this Bluehost vs Siteground comparison, I’ll give you a rundown of how both web hosting services fare in key areas. That way, you can make an informed decision about which web hosting service would be best for your business.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links as explained in my disclosure policy.
Bluehost vs Siteground: what we’re comparing
For this comparison of Bluehost and Siteground, we’ll be comparing these web hosting services in seven important areas. These are among the most important factors to consider when choosing a web hosting service for your website:
- Server quality
- Customer service
- User experience
People are impatient. If your site doesn’t load quickly, visitors will just exit and go find what they’re looking for elsewhere. In fact, a 2018 Google study found that 53% of mobile visitors leave a site if it takes more than three seconds to load.
Furthermore, Google has indicated that site speed is one of the ranking factors it considers. That means your site speed impacts your search engine rankings. As you can see, site speed is extremely important. Let’s take a look at how Bluehost and Siteground compare when it comes to loading times.
Uptime refers to the percentage of time within a given period (month or year) that the server hosting your website is up and running. The closer to 100% this number is, the better. All web hosting companies aim for 100% uptime, but having a perfect uptime is highly unlikely. Technical glitches and server problems are bound to happen. The best that web hosting companies can do is to keep those issues at a minimum.
Why is uptime important? You want your site to be up and running whenever visitors land on it. Otherwise, all the time and effort you put into producing content, curating products, or optimizing for lead generation will be in vain. If your web hosting service is constantly down, so will your website. This is terrible for business because consumers won’t return to your website if they have a negative experience. This results in lost leads, lost affiliate sales, lost ad revenue, and other missed opportunities. In a nutshell, you won’t be in business for long if your web host’s uptime is low. That’s why you should most definitely pay attention to the uptime of any web hosting service you choose.
Hackers and malware constantly lurk on the internet. That’s why it’s important to choose a web hosting service that will protect your site from security threats. Both Bluehost and Siteground have security features to protect your site. But which web hosting service actually does a better job of keeping your website secure?
Siteground has in-built software to protect websites from spam. These include a free SSL certificate, weekly security scans, a spam filtering system, and an anti-bot AI. Bluehost also provides a free SSL certificate and a feature called SiteLock.
4. Server quality
A server is the digital storage space where all your website files are kept. Signing up for shared hosting means your website will be sharing a single server with multiple websites. That’s fine as long as your web hosting service doesn’t pack too many websites on the same server. Doing that can lead to slow loading times, more downtime, and other technical problems.
Server quality to the performance of the servers that your web hosting companies use to store your website. A high-quality server can handle a large number of visitors at the same time without problems. On the other hand, a low-quality server may crash when it receives the number of visitors. When it comes to server performance, Siteground wins. Bluehost is known to have frequent crashes and problems because of the way it manages its servers.
The root of Bluehost’s server problems is EIG, the company that manages Bluehost, along with HostGator and 80 other hosting companies. To reduce their costs, EIG programmers pack tons of websites into one server. Sometimes the server just can’t handle so many websites so it crashes. The programmers get it back up, but the underlying problem, too many websites, is still there. Of course, the server crashes again somewhere down the road, and the cycle continues.
5. Customer service
As you navigate the process of creating and running your site, issues will come up. You will have questions. Technical glitches may arise. That’s why it’s super important to choose a web hosting company with a well-trained, responsive, and personal customer support team. This will make a tremendous difference in your experience. I can tell you that from first-hand experience.
I switched to Siteground partly because of my horrible experience with Bluehost’s customer service team. Frankly, it’s the worst customer service I’ve had the misfortune of dealing with anywhere on the internet. It took sometimes as much as 45 minutes to get in touch with a customer support representative via chat. When I finally did get in touch with someone, they were often disinterested, impersonal, or just downright rude.
The final straw was when my site was hacked. I contacted Bluehost support and waited 30+ minutes as usual. When I finally got in contact with a representative and explained what was happening he blamed me for the problem. With a couldn’t-be-bothered manner, he told me that My SSL certificate had expired. My site was hacked because I had failed to renew my SSL certificate. There was no empathy and no desire to help. At that point, I had had enough.
After switching to Siteground, I was amazed by how different the customer service was. When I reach out to the support team, it typically takes 30-45 seconds to get in touch with someone on chat. I’ve also used Siteground’s phone support a few times. I got through to a person in less than a minute. I love that Siteground’s support team actually treats you like a person and takes great care in resolving any issues you have. It’s a joy to contact Siteground support because the representatives are so personable and helpful.
Based on my own experiences with Siteground and Bluehost, I would say that Siteground wins in the customer service department. But don’t just take my word for it. Let’s see what other users have to say.
6. User experience
How do users rates their experience with Bluehost and Siteground? Let’s hear direvctlt from those users, Webhostinggeeks.com collects verified customer reviews and rates web hosting services on five criteria: user-friendliness, price, reliability, tech support, and software. Out of 748 reviewers, 57% gave Bluehost 1 or 2 stars. On the flip side, only 22% gave it 4 or 5 stars. Let that process for a minute. Almost 60% of customers were dissatisfied with Bluehost!
On the flipside, 788 customers rated Siteground on the same five categories as Bluehost. Here are the results: 92% gave Siteground 4 or 5 stars while only 4.5% gave it 1 or 2 stars. More than 90% of customers are satisfied with Siteground!
Here’s a side by side comparison of Bluehost and Siteground. The numbers don’t lie: Siteground is light years ahead of Bluehost in every single category.
Let’s take a look at the shared hosting pricing plans that Bluehost and Siteground offer.
When it comes to pricing, Bluehost clearly wins. Its basic package starts at $3.95/month compared to $6.99/month for Siteground. Bluehost is clearly the more affordable option between the two web hosting services. Its prices make it particularly attractive to new bloggers and online store owners, which explains its popularity.
The verdict (Bluehost vs Siteground)
Let’s tally the results. Here are the seven categories we’ve compared and the winner in each category.
- Speed – Siteground
- Uptime – Siteground
- Security – Siteground
- Server quality – Siteground
- Customer service – Siteground
- User experience – Siteground
- Pricing – Bluehost
Siteground beat Bluehost six out of the seven categories. That makes Siteground the clear winner of this comparison. Siteground is a superior web hosting service to Bluehost. With its top-notch security, attentive customer service, and fast speed, Siteground makes website management easy. From personal experience, I can attest that Siteground is more reliable and overall a better web hosting company to work with. Given the rave reviews that Siteground receives, it’s safe to say that thousands of other users agree.
I hope you found this Bluehost vs Siteground helpful. Are you weighing between Bluehost and Siteground? If you have any questions, feel free to drop them in the comments.