In this article, I’m going to show you the differences between SiteGround and Bluehost. In fact, I’ll test the performance, ease of use, support, advantages, disadvantages, and stuff like that. Pushing both providers to their limits. By the end of this article you should definitely know which provider is right for your website so let’s start. One thing is clear for sure Bluehost and SiteGround have quite a drastically different pricing model. Bluehost is a cheap web hosting provider starting at $2.95 a month. So, for a 3-year plan, you would only have to pay around $106. Definitely not bad.
On the other hand, we have SiteGround, a more premium web hosting provider, and their cheapest plans reflect this. They start at $6.99 and the 3-year plan would cost you a substantial $393. On average, it doesn’t matter which plan you choose Bluehost will be around 65% cheaper than SiteGround. That’s more than twice as cheap. But the question is, does more money equal better? And should you go for the more expensive option instead because it provides better overall value? Oh, and by the way, I am comparing these prices using coupon codes you can get the same discounts by using the links in the description down below.
But keep in mind, that these are affiliate links so if you buy anything through them I’ll make a commission. This allows me to work for you the viewer not the company and keep my reviews honest. So, thank you for the support get your discounts in the links down below and now let’s continue this comparison. So, let’s take a look under the hood of both SiteGround and Bluehost to see exactly what they’re offering with their plans. And is the higher price for SiteGround justified? And this is what you can expect when you buy a plan from SiteGround a nice clean control panel where you can create and manage your websites fast.
For example, by clicking on “Add New Site” and typing in my website name I can automatically create a new-commerce website using WordPress and WooCommerce. The menus are easy to navigate, easy to understand, and look quite clean. Definitely has that premium product feel and here in like 1 minute, I have added a new website to my SiteGround plan that appears in the websites tab. For a more detailed look at your website, you have the “WordPress Kit” and the “SiteTools” here you can take care of various security features like automatically installing an SSL certificate, you can also create custom email addresses using your website name and finally you can get detailed information about your website visitors: where they’re from, what devices they’re using.
This is an extremely important feature if you want to run an e-commerce business. Knowing your client will help you sell more. And here’s what you can expect from Bluehost, at first glance, it’s quite similar to SiteGround you can click on my sites and create a new WordPress site completely automatically within minutes. Then you can access a more detailed control panel by clicking here and you can also get a free SSL certificate together with some automatic update options. But a lot of extra features are hidden yet another menu under advanced, here you can access the standard cPanel and manage emails, databases, and files.
While it doesn’t look the prettiest it gets the job done. Okay, but if both products seem so similar why is there such a huge difference in their pricing models? Well, they’re only similar on the outside but as you might know, it’s the inside that counts, and when it comes to the insides boy oh boy are these two providers not even close to being on the same level. SiteGround basically completely eclipses Bluehost when it comes to the technology that they’re using. Because SiteGround takes advantage of the NGINX delivery network they also have support for PHP 7.4 and HTTP/2 and have a part of their infrastructure on the google cloud platform instead of bare metal servers.
In simple terms, they’re using newer, more expensive, and faster technology to get your website online. Think of it like this, SiteGround is like a brand new computer released in 2020 packing all of the newest hardware. While Bluehost is a model that has been released 4 or 5 years ago. And yeah it still works and if you’re only going to use it to browse the internet there might be no difference between the2. But for resource-intensive tasks, you want the newer stuff.
Actually, the last performance-focused up at Bluehost had was back in 2017 August, straight up almost 3 years ago. Bluehost moved to PHP 7, NGINX, and SSD storage which was super for the time but it’s3 years later now. In comparison, SiteGround had its last significant performance update in May of 2020. Okay but enough of me just talking about it. Let me show you how much of a difference different configurations and different technologies used makes when it comes to performance. But first, some ground rules to make the test fair SiteGround has developed a custom WordPress plugin called the SG Optimizer. This plugin comes pre-installed with all of your WordPress SiteGround websites. And it offers various website speed optimizations that can be turned on or off. There’s just a slight little problem.
The SG Optimizer plugin is actually a little bit too good at what it does. It’s really effective at minimizing images, reducing your website size, and making your website load faster using some clever techniques. Sadly, Bluehost doesn’t have anything like that. So, I’ll try to recreate the effect using third-party plugins, just to give Bluehost a fair fighting chance. After some tinkering around here’s what I’ve come up with, I’ve used the Smush and Hummingbird on Bluehost to enable caching and optimize my images.
Basically, I’ve tried to recreate the SiteGround tool using 3 plugins and at the moment, I have 2 identical websites that were created using the same method. But here is the interesting bit, SiteGround was able to load this website in 2.1 seconds while Bluehost was way behind loading it in just 4.4seconds, almost twice as slow. And, even though I did my best to optimize the Bluehost site you can see it’s still way larger and makes more requests than the SiteGround website, this happens because SiteGroundis utilizing what is called server-side caching, and Bluehost sadly doesn’t use anything like that.
To explain server-side caching in the simplest way possible imagine it like this. Whenever you request on your website the server digs through the database, finds the files that you want, and presents them to you. The amount of time it takes for the server to dig through the database is the amount of time it takes to load your website. What if the server didn’t need to do this? Because that’s exactly what server-side caching is. The server only goes through the database. Once and the next time it just has the files ready. So, as soon as another user shows up it doesn’t need to dig through the database it just presents the file and it’s super fast. Even though you’re paying around 65% more with SiteGround you’re also getting around 60% faster websites. And while this seems great on paper not everyone needs the fastest website ever. If you’re just creating a personal site like a portfolio, photography site may be a blog, I actually recommend the cheaper, slower plans over the more expensive ones.
There is no point in over-invest in infrastructure, if you don’t have customers, that’s why I recommend spending your time and money on getting visitors and customers first and you can always scale up your hosting plan as your website increases. Countless times I’ve seen people just buy these really expensive web hosting plans and don’t even use like 1% of the resources that are available to them, effectively overpaying like crazy. At the time of making this Article SiteGrounds support is quite janky.
Because the live chat option is almost non-existent and to get any kind of support you need to click on this super small question mark and then click view help center. To their credit, you will find some quite well written and illustrated tutorials on the most asked questions section. However, what if you want to talk to somebody? Well, there is the contact us section where you will be able to reach out filling out tickets and waiting for the SiteGround team to respond. There is no option to live chat or it might seem that way at first glance.
Some categories will actually have the go-to live chat option after you’re done filling everything out. The problem is you won’t know before you make your request and hit that submit button. I’ve contacted SiteGrounds support around 5 times in total and every single time, to their credit. Their responses were very accurate and well written. They seem to sacrifice a response speed for response accuracy and want to solve everything in one go instead of going back and forth a bunch of times. On the other hand, Bluehost offers a bit more immediate assistance if you click on the question mark and then go to the contact us page you will have the option to start a live chat whenever you want or call Bluehost.
There are several different numbers for international customers and us citizens, from my experience Bluehost, offers faster, but less accurate support and it’s a bit of a hit and miss depending on which support agent you get since to keep up with the demand they usually hire less qualified people and just train them up as they go. SiteGround is the premium option with a high price tag.
It offers a lot of performance and ease of use tailored features. In my opinion, SiteGround is for someone who knows what they’re doing and knows what they want to achieve with their website. And on the other hand, ooh maybe I’ll edit something cool here. Oh, maybe I’ll edit something cool here. Oh, maybe I’ll edit something cool here. Bluehost is actually a super cheap and very beginner-friendly option. And sure you’re not getting like the best performance or the most powerful servers. But do you really need them if you’re just creating a simple website? However, there is no denying that SiteGround does pretty much everything that Bluehost does just better. And, for a higher price.
Okay, maybe not everything the support is a little bit debatable. But anyway, these 2 providers are actually suited best for beginners and advanced users. So, choose accordingly and get your discount links from the description down below if you want to get a better deal at the same time.