SiteGround or Bluehost? Which web host is better and why?

Bluehost vs SiteGround; two leaders and fierce competitors in the web hosting industry. Here we will compare 5 of the most important features when it comes to choosing a web hosting company.

Continue reading to learn the ins and outs of SiteGround and Bluehost and find out which web host is the best, and why.

  1. Beginner Friendliness

If you are new to web hosting then you probably have questions about just how user-friendly these web hosts are for beginners. Here is a breakdown of how “beginner friendly” SiteGround and Bluehost are in regards to refund policy, domain name registration, website migration/transfer and website building tools.

SiteGround logo

  • Pricing

SiteGround’s lowest-cost plan — StartUp — starts at $3.99/mo and increases to $14.99 when your initial term expires. The next level plan — GrowBig — allows you to host an unlimited number of websites starting at $6.69/mo and increasing to $24.99/mo after your initial term.

  • Money-back guarantee

SiteGround’s money-back guarantee is 30 days. It only applies to shared web hosting (i.e. not for domain names, whois privacy, cloud and dedicated hosting, paid support or 3rd party services). You can have a credit applied to your account or it can be refunded back to your credit card.

  • Domain name registration

Unlike Bluehost, SiteGround does not offer domain names for free for a year. SiteGround offers domain name services including country domain names, domain registration, privacy protection, domain hosting and transfer.

  • Website transfer / migration

SiteGround offers free website migration with its GoGeek and GrowBig plans. Free migration is not available on its entry-level StartUp plan.

  • Website building tools

SiteGround works seamlessly with various CMSs like WordPress (more here below). However, they also have a free “drag and drop” site building tool. Since 2015, Weebly has been the application the SiteGround uses for its site builder.

Visit SiteGround.com

Bluehost logo

  • Pricing

Bluehost’s lowest-cost plan — Basic — starts at $2.95/mo and increases to $7.99 when your initial term expires. The next level plan — Plus — allows you to host unlimited websites for $5.95/mo, a price which increases to $10.99 after your initial term.

  • Money-back guarantee

Bluehost’s money-back guarantee is also 30 days. As with SiteGround it does not apply to add-on products, such as domain names. If you cancel within 30 days you receive a full refund. If you cancel after 30 days you receive a prorated refund for the remainder of your hosting term.

  • Domain name registration

You get a free domain name for a year when you signup with Bluehost. If you can’t decide on a domain name when you signup for hosting, you get the option of choosing later and you receive a free domain credit.

  • Website transfer / migration

Bluehost offers a paid site migration service. For $149.99 you can migrate up to five sites from your former hosting company

  • Website building tools

With Bluehost you decide how to build your site. You can choose to utilize the built-in website builder that is powered by Weebly. You can also easily install WordPress (more here below). There are other options available in the Mojo Marketplace, as well.

Visit Bluehost.com

  1. WordPress

WordPress is the most popular software right now for building websites and blogs. Any web host that you consider including Bluehost and SiteGround should offer affordable, hassle-free and secure hosting options for WordPress hosting, plus the host should make it easy to install and get started with WordPress.

SiteGround logo

Powerful and feature rich managed WordPress hosting with 24/7 support and plans starting at just $3.99/month.

  • Officially recommended by WordPress

SiteGround is officially recommended by WordPress.org.

  • WordPress installation

1-click WordPress installation on all plans, meaning you can launch your website in just a click. Staging environments are available for free on the GrowBig plan and higher.

  • WordPress security

Automatic WordPress core updates. Free SSL certificate. Free daily backups and restores on all plans. Security experts constantly monitor for WordPress related vulnerabilities and proactively impose hundreds of WAF rules yearly on the same day an issue is announced. Expert WordPress support staff.

  • WordPress speed

Fast speed, in-house crafted plugin SuperCacher available with GrowBig and GoGeek plans. SuperCacher uses NGINX technology to increase site loading speed. PHP7 is installed on all servers. All SiteGround servers are HTTP/2-enabled. Comes with the Cloudflare CDN (free) that further speeds site loading.

Visit SiteGround.com

Bluehost logo

Beginner friendly entry-level WordPress hosting from just $2.95/mo, as well as premium (VPS-powered) managed WordPress plans starting at $19.99/mo.

  • Officially recommended by WordPress

Bluehost is also recommended by WordPress.org.

  • WordPress installation

You can install WordPress with just a click and manage all your installations from one place, so you can start building your website immediately.

  • WordPress security

Automatic WordPress core updates. Free SSL certificate. Backups available on the top shared plan (Choice Plus) via third-party CodeGuard Basic service. Or available on any plan via SiteBackUp Pro add-on. WordPress custom designed control panel. Premium managed WP hosting comes with pre-installation of ManageWP, advanced security features such as daily scans for malware and vulnerabilities. SiteLock Security, Advanced CDN & SiteLock WAF.

  • WordPress speed

Premium WP plans are built on a VPS powered platform, using Nginx server for leaner and resource efficient server setup, and instant provisioning and dynamic upgrade of more CPU, RAM and SAN storage. PHP 7 is the default for all WordPress customers. As with SiteGround, the CloudFlare CDN is included for free.

Visit Bluehost.com

  1. Speed & Uptime

Speed and uptime are the cornerstones of any web host as your website must load fast and always be up/online. If you want to know what infrastructure is used for SiteGround’s and Bluehost’s hosting services and what features they provide, continue reading.

SiteGround logo

  • Solid state drives (SSD)

SiteGround uses SSDs exclusively on all plans. [Solid State Drive technology operates at significantly faster speeds than HDDs (hard disk drives).]

  • Data centers

SiteGround has five data centers located on three continents. You get to choose the closest data center to where you are located for the best loading times. SiteGround guarantees that each customer’s data center will be the one located closest to them.

  • Infrastructure and technology

SiteGround boasts a 99.99% uptime. Their platform is built on top of the resource efficient, LXC — Linux container technology. This provides resilience and stability especially when site experience unexpected traffic spikes. Also, their developers have created proprietary Linux-based code to stabilize the system further.

SiteGround offers CloudFlare to its customers. This includes the free CloudFlare content delivery network in addition to all the other speed and security features that CloudFlare provides. Manage the CloudFlare settings, easily from the hosting panel.

  • HTTP/2-enabled servers

[HTTP/2 is the newest network protocol, which significantly speeds up loading of websites.] All of SiteGround’s servers are HTTP/2-enabled.

Visit SiteGround.com

Bluehost logo

  • Solid state drives (SSD)

Bluehost WordPress plans and VPS plans come with SSD.

  • Data centers

Bluehost doesn’t disclose specific data center locations. However, research indicates that the company has 23 data centers, currently. These are located throughout the US, China, India, and Europe.

  • Infrastructure and technology

All servers operate at Tier 3 (Tier 4 is the highest) certification. This means that you can expect superior uptime and redundancy capabilities. Uptime is projected to be around 99.98% with an average downtime of 1.6 hours per year. The infrastructure boasts:

  • Quad-processor servers
  • Uninterruptible power supply
  • Diesel backup generator
  • Mirrored storage backup
  • Content delivery network (CDN)

Like SiteGround, Bluehost offers the content delivery network powered by CloudFlare. This means your site’s traffic is routed through a global network that is optimized for the fast content delivery.

  • HTTP/2-enabled servers

Bluehost provides HTTP/2 on all WordPress hosting accounts and on VPS hosting plans.

Visit Bluehost.com

  1. Security

Whether you have a personal blog, small business website or you run an ecommerce site, security should be a major concern. You should only choose a web host that takes security seriously and has the right security measures in place.

SiteGround logo
winner

  • Site backups

SiteGround provides free daily backups and restores on all plans.

On-Demand Backups (which can be scheduled for a specific time) are available for free on the GrowBig plan or higher. The on-demand option costs $29.95 per backup on the StartUp plan.

  • SSL certificates

SSL certificates are like a digital “passport,” allowing data to be transmitted via a secure network. SSL certificates help authenticate and encrypt any data that is transferred through your site to the server and across your networks. SiteGround offers three levels of SSL certification:

  • Let’s Encrypt! SSL – Free with every account
  • Let’s Encrypt! Wildcard SSL – Free with every account
  • EV SSL – from $499.00/yr
  • Malware scans

SiteGround’s proprietary malware detection is called HackAlert. According to the site, it is one of the best early warning systems available. It is powered by GlobalSign, a well-established SSL certification authority.

  • DDoS protection

SiteGround offers various DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) protections. Some of the key features include:

  • Hardware firewall filtering
  • Local software firewall
  • Limits the number of connections a remote host can establish at one time
  • Checks for increased number of failed logins from the hosts

SiteGround also has sophisticated IDS / IPS systems in place which block malicious bots and attackers.

Visit SiteGround.com

Bluehost

  • Site backups

Bluehost creates daily backups with limitations spelled out in their Terms of Service. The host recommends that all customers create their own backup via an add-on called Site Backup Pro.

Customers can also use that tool to restore their website to a backed up version with one click. There is a monthly fee for using this tool.

  • SSL certificates

Bluehost provides a free “shared” SSL that is available to accounts which reside on a shared IP. For Standard and Pro accounts, there is only one Dedicated IP and so only one SSL Certificate. For VPS, dedicated, managed, or reseller accounts, you can purchase multiple Dedicated IP and SSL Certificates.

You can purchase additional SSLs as needed, including Positive Wildcard SSL ($12.42) and Comodo Wildcard SSL ($24.92).

  • Malware scans

For $1.99 a month you can use Bluehost’s “SiteLock”, it provides standard website protection, such as:

  • Basic Spam Monitoring: Checks daily to make sure your site is free of spam
  • Basic Business Verification: Establishes trust in your business site
  • Site Verification Certificate: Develops customer trust
  • Blacklist Monitoring: Avoids quarantining by Google
  • Basic Malware Monitoring: Daily scans for malware

For $249.99 per year, Bluehost offers Site Doctor. Site Doctor can quickly diagnose and stop any issues that arise from malware.

  • DDoS protection

As mentioned above Bluehost’s SiteLock addon offers protection from DDoS attacks

Visit Bluehost.com

  1. Customer Service & Support

One thing is certain when it comes to web hosting; at some point you will need to get help from support. You want to be able to get the help you need, and pay for, when you need it the most. It is essential choose a hosting company with a strong customer-centric focus.

SiteGround logo
winner

SiteGround deliberately rosters more staff on per shift than would normally be needed. This is because they want all calls, live chats and emails to be answered as fast as possible. “Advanced Priority Support” is provided on GoGeek plans and higher. Individuals on those plans receive priority support and their service requests are routed to the most experienced team members. SiteGround also has tutorials and webinars, as well as a vast knowledgebase of useful information on just about every topic you want.

  • Ways to get in touch

There are three ways to reach SiteGround’s 24/7/365 customer service: support tickets, chat, and phone.

  • Response times
  • Tickets – within 10 minutes
  • Chat – instant
  • Phone – instant
  • Areas of expertise

SiteGround staff are known for their expertise. They provide 24/7/365 onboarding assistance, ongoing help and boast a 100% customer satisfaction rate.

Visit SiteGround.com

Bluehost

Bluehost offers free consultation with web experts across a range of subjects like personal websites and blogs, website speed and performance, traffic generation, web security – and of course general and pre-sales questions. They also offer marketing services focused on web design, content creation, and SEO (including local SEO). They also have a comprehensive knowledgebase relevant articles and tutorials and an active members’ forum.

  • Ways to get in touch

You can reach Bluehost via support tickets, chat, and phone. Bluehost offers dedicated phone lines for hosting, sales, traffic generation, and more.

  • Response times
  • Tickets – no time given
  • Chat – instant
  • Phone – instant
  • Areas of expertise

Bluehost also boasts of staff with WordPress expertise. They provide 24/7/365 support for account management, sales and tech support.

Visit Bluehost.com

Summary (and the “winner” is?)

When you are looking at hosting companies for the first time, it can be overwhelming. We created this head-to-head comparison of the top two hosting companies in the world right now to help you choose between SiteGround (our review here) and Bluehost (our review here).

SiteGround vs Bluehost in October 2021? Who is the winner? We think SiteGround is the winner because:

  • SiteGround’s strong security includes proprietary AI (artificial intelligence), virus scanning, SSL and HTTP/2 – all standard.
  • SiteGround has received higher praises for being beginner-friendly from its customers.
  • SiteGround’s support is simply outstanding, possibly the best and the fastest you will ever find at any web host.

Visit SiteGround.com

On a tighter budget and want to host multiple websites? BlueHost might be a better option for you:

Visit BlueHost.com