Choosing the best hosting platform for WordPress, particularly if you’re setting up your first website, could be daunting. Your choice of hosting platform could be the difference between a successful enterprise and a white elephant. And it gets even more difficult when you have to choose between two fierce competitors and the leaders in the web hosting niche, SiteGround and Bluehost. For this post, we will put these rivals in several head-to-head rounds which will help us get the clear winner.
Pros and Cons of SiteGround and Bluehost
If you don’t have the time, the easiest and quickest way to compare these two platforms is to create a pros and cons list. You will see the strengths and weaknesses of each platform laid out and determine which one has better options for your needs.
Pros of SiteGround
Excellent customer support
Free auto daily backups
Fast uptime (about 99.98%)
Cons of SiteGround
Limited disk space
No free domain
Pros of Bluehost
Affordable plans that offer good value for money
Fast uptime of about 99.98%
Add-on options when checking out could make it more expensive
Poor customer support compared to some of its competitors
SiteGround vs. Bluehost
Here we will compare these two hosting platforms based on four features:
1. SiteGround vs. Bluehost: Support & Customer Service
In our opinion, support is arguably the most important aspect when choosing a hosting platform for WordPress. This is mainly the case if you’re not tech savvy and don’t want to wait long on the phone should something go wrong. Or send in your support ticket and not get a response almost instantly. You want to be in a position to reach support personnel as fast as possible so that you can resolve your issue and get your website back up and running.
Here’s our quick comparison table.
24/7 Live Chat
Support Ticket System
SiteGround offers 24/7 phone support, live chat, and support tickets. Better yet, the response time for the support ticket is less than 10 minutes (the fastest in the web hosting space). Their phone and live chat support are almost instantaneous since there is always someone to pick up the phone or respond to your chat when you need help. They also highlight their best-performing support personnel on their blog, something we have not seen with other hosting companies. To us, SiteGround is putting more focus on having support always available and ensuring customers are satisfied.
Bluehost also provides 24/7 technical support via email, chat, and phone. Besides, they have a vast knowledge base where you could type in the problem you’re experiencing into a search box and receive results with steps to troubleshoot and resolve your problem. One downside with Bluehost is that they lack a support ticket system, and this is worth questioning considering that this is a big company. Besides, it would be good to have an intuitive way for people to interact with support personnel.
SiteGround is our clear winner for customer service and support. They have a comprehensive customer support system that includes 24/7 live chat, an instant response in less than ten minutes, and an array of help features.
Regarding pricing, it is quite difficult to answer who’s the clear winner because the hosting price depends on the provider and plan you select. However, you should go for a web hosting provider that gives great value for your money in addition to giving the best service for your site.
Here, we will try to compare the minimum cost required to host a website on these two hosting service providers; that is a STARTUP PLAN for SiteGround and a BASIC PLAN for Bluehost.
SiteGround offers an introductory price of $3.95 per month, and after that introductory rate is over, the price moves to $11.95 per month. On Bluehost, the introductory price is also $3.95 per month and then moves to $7.99 per month, which is clearly four dollars cheaper than its competitor. However, the catch is that this advertised pricing only comes with a 36-month plan.
With SiteGround, however, it does not matter whether you buy 12 months or 36 months of hosting, their introductory price still remains at $3.95 per month. So while SiteGround might be four dollars costlier per month, you’re talking about less than $48 over the course of 12 months between both. Although Bluehost gives a free domain name for 12 months, SiteGround pricing starts at $9.95 if you want to buy a domain. Besides, setting up a hosting account with SiteGround will cost you $14.95.
Even though the introductory price is similar for the cheapest plan, we still think Bluehost offers a great value for your money.
Here are the pricing plans for each.
3. Speed and Uptime
Speed and uptime are the core of any web hosting service since your website should have fast load speeds and always be online. What we are looking at here tells us on which server we will host our website and the kind of hardware and software designed to make our site load faster.
SiteGround clearly shows how they use a combination of software and hardware to offer the fastest hosting using the best in speed tech. They have:
Solid State Drives. SSDs are used exclusively on all SiteGround plans and operate at faster speeds than Hard Disk Drives (HDDs).
Data Centers. SiteGround has 5 data centers in three continents. For the best loading times, you can choose the data center closest to your location.
Infrastructure and Technology. With an uptime of 99.99%, SiteGround boasts a platform design based on the resource efficient Linux container technology. This technology offers stability and resilience mainly when websites like techiespad.com experience traffic spikes.
HTTP/2-enabled servers. This is the most recent protocol and it dramatically increases loading speeds of websites and all SiteGround servers support this protocol.
Free CDN. SiteGround’s free CloudFlare content delivery network provides fast website load speeds in any part of the globe since it caches its content and distributes it over several data centers. And when a foreign visitor accesses your website, their CDN delivers content faster from the data center that’s closest to them.
Bluehost, on the other hand, has very little to share in terms of speed and uptime. However, here is what we found out:
Solid State Drives. SSDs in Bluehost are exclusive to the WordPress and VPS plans alone.
Data Centers. Bluehost doesn’t reveal the location of its data centers, but research shows that they have about 23 data centers at the moment.
Infrastructure. All Bluehost servers operate at the Tier 3 certification which offers great uptime and redundancy capabilities. They have a projected uptime of 99.98% with only 1.6 hours of downtime per year.
HTTP/2-enabled servers. Bluehost has HTTP/2 on VPS hosting plans and all WordPress hosting accounts.
Content Delivery Network. Similar to SiteGround, Bluehost has a CloudFlare-powered CDN. This implies that traffic is routed via a global network that’s optimized for fast content delivery.
SiteGround and Bluehost both meet the industrial standards regarding uptime. However, SiteGround is the clear winner here because it relies on the latest, high-speed technology installed on their servers.
Whether you run an e-commerce website, personal blog, or an affiliate website like Consumers base security is a big concern and you should always choose a hosting service with superior security features. Here is what these two competitors have to offer.
Concerning security, here’s what to expect from SiteGround:
Site Backups. SiteGround conducts free, daily backups of your website. However, restores are only free for the GoGeek and GrowBig plans. They also have an instant backup tool that lets you customize and schedule your backups. This is free on the GoGeek plan but costs $29.95 per backup of GrowBig and StartUp plans.
SSL Certificates. These allow your data to be transmitted through a secure network. With SiteGround you get three levels of certification: SSL, Wildcard SSL, and EV SSL.
Malware Scans. SiteGround has a proprietary malware detection tool called HackAlert which is among the best warning systems on the market.
DDoS Protection. SiteGround provides several Distributed Denial of Service protections and they include: local software firewall, hardware firewall filtering, checking for a higher number of failed logins from hosts, and limiting the number of connections any remote host can establish at a go.
Here’s what Bluehost has to offer in terms of security:
Site Backups. Although Bluehost has daily backups, they have limitations spelled out in the Terms of Service. They recommend that customers create their own backup through Site Backup Pro.
SSL Certificates. Bluehost offers a free shared SSL available to accounts residing on a shared IP. For Pro and Standard accounts, there’s just a single Dedicated IP therefore only one SSL certificate. For managed, dedicated, or reseller accounts and VPS, you can buy multiple SSL Certificates and Dedicated IP.
Malware Scans. For as little as $1.99 per month, you can use Bluehost’s “SiteLock” which offers standard website protection like malware monitoring, spam monitoring, blacklist monitoring, and site verification certificate. Bluehost also offers Site Doctor which diagnoses and stops issues arising from malware at $249.99 per annum.
DDoS Protection. The SiteLock add-on provides protection against DDoS attacks.
Although both providers make great efforts to keep their hosting platform safe, SiteGround clearly has more to offer and is on the forefront of technology. They are already incorporating AI to reduce spam as well.
And the Winner Is?
SiteGround and Bluehost are awesome hosting platforms, both with top-tier tech and are officially recommended by WordPress. But, after the four head-to-head rounds, we have to pick SiteGround as the winner and here are some reasons why:
They have strong security which includes proprietary artificial intelligence, SSL, virus scanning, and HTTP/2.
It is beginner-friendly
Their support is just outstanding, probably the fastest you will get on any web host.
Do you have any personal experience using either one or both of these hosting platforms? Please share your opinion with us. We also welcome any suggestions or queries.
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