SiteGround vs. Bluehost: A Web Hosting Decision Made Easy 
You’re on this page because you typed “SiteGround vs. Bluehost” into a Google Search.
Want to know more about how I reached this conclusion?
I used to be a professional reviewer of web hosting services. I got frustrated with the industry because a company called Endurance International Group (EIG) kept buying all the hosting companies.
In my blog posts, I advised readers to stay away from EIG hosts and offered some great alternatives.
I loved HostGator, but then they were acquired by EIG.
I loved A Small Orange, but they were acquired too.
Every couple of months, it was frustrating to see my latest “top-rated host” get acquired.
It was like clockwork.
HostGator, A Small Orange, and Bluehost used to be phenomenal companies until EIG bought them.
What happens under EIG’s watch?
- They sell more server space than they have.
- They outsource customer support.
- They stop hiring new people and have issues scaling as they acquire more customers.
- They give huge payouts ($100+) to affiliates, so that you’ll read nice things about these companies even when they’re failing.
I can’t guarantee that SiteGround won’t get acquired by EIG, but I like their chances because they’re not a U.S. based company.
Still don’t believe me about EIG? Check Twitter, hosting forums, or reviews to read what real customers (including me) are saying.
Bluehost (Grade: D-)
- Bluehost has 100% U.S. based customer service with short call waiting times. I’m not saying they’re fun to deal with, just that English is their first language.
- Bluehost’s price doesn’t increase as much in the second year compared to SiteGround. Bluehost costs $130 in year two compared to SiteGround’s $180.
- As I mentioned above, Bluehost was acquired by EIG. You should never consider hosting with an EIG company. As soon as any company is acquired by EIG, you need to bail.
- They use outdated script installers that don’t work well when you’re installing a CMS like WordPress.
- Billing and cPanel are not integrated well and are slow to navigate.
- Their customer support is the worst. Response times are slow; they don’t seem to care about you; and you’ll rarely get a competent response.
- Don’t bother using their online customer support chat. It normally takes a while to get connected to a representative, and once you do response times are slow. It feels like they’re talking to 10 people are once. Chat is supposed to be instant. That’s the point.
- Bluehost and other EIG companies oversell their server space. This results in slow servers and a bunch of downtime. If you make a living through your site, you can’t afford to have it down for any length of time.
- You’re going to be upsold like crazy! You can’t even install WordPress without being offered a special “$100 professional installation and optimization!” It’s annoying.
- EIG companies seem to get hacked on a regular basis. I’m not sure exactly why. It may be because of their large presence on the Internet. I’m not talking small outages, either. These are multiple-day affairs where a significant percentage of clients are affected.
SiteGround (Grade: A+)
- SiteGround doesn’t play the “unlimited bandwidth” gimmick. They give you estimates of how much traffic each package should be able to handle.
- The most important job of the host is making sure your site is online. This is where SiteGround shines. They don’t oversell their server space, so the servers remain fast. You’ll experience next to no downtime. I host my main site Power Moves on SiteGround and it has only been offline for a few minutes in two years.
- They have shared hosting, cloud hosting, and dedicated servers. This makes it easy to scale your site when traffic increases.
- They do a great job integrating cPanel and billing. You only have one login and it’s easy to navigate.
- Lots of companies have chat support just to say they have it. SiteGround is different. With many hosts, the chat support function basically just files a ticket for you and then you wait for an email. SiteGround can fix most problems through chat. If they can’t, it’ll be forwarded to a specialist and you’ll get a response within a couple of hours. There’s great cohesion between all the workers. They’re also friendly people!
- When you call customer support, you’ll only have to wait a couple of minutes at most.
- You can pick from three different server locations.
- SiteGround offers student hosting for anyone with an .edu email. It’s great that they’re giving back to kids in school, but it’s also a great business model to get young people hooked on their service so they’ll become regular users after graduation.
- SiteGround can migrate your sites from your previous host for free. Bluehost wants a laughable $150 for the same service.
- SiteGround’s first-year price is $50 for one domain or $70 for unlimited domains. That beats Bluehost. While SiteGround’s price is a little more than the bottom feeder hosts (i.e. iPage and FatCow), you’re getting an exponentially better experience.
- SiteGround gets pricey in the second year of hosting. For a multiple-domain hosting package, it’ll be least $180 per year. However, this is still a great price considering the premium service you get.
- Startup fees are dumb in any business. Do you want me to be a member or not? SiteGround charges a $99 startup fee if you want a dedicated server. Fortunately, this is only for their dedicated packages. You probably don’t need one of these. At the very least, it’d be smart to waive the upgrade fee for existing customers who are looking to upgrade.
Which host is for you?
The answer is simple. If you’re someone who’s looking to host a website (i.e. everyone who owns a domain), SiteGround is the best value on the market and beats Bluehost in a landslide.
Disclosure: I’m an affiliate of all of these companies, but the only affiliate link included is the one to SiteGround. I decided it’s probably not cool to bash a company, then link to them for a commission.
Want to talk hosting? Hit me up on Twitter!