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Choosing the appropriate web host for your website can be a nerve-wracking ordeal.
The process of creating your very own web domain, from building it from the ground up right up to making it a profitable online venture.
The whole process can often depend solely on designating the best web host provider for the job.
The battle for the top web host has been waging on ever since the concept’s inception back in 1994, with the founding of Beverly Hills Internet (BHI) by David Bohnett and John Rezner.
The two pioneers of web hosting were among the first to recognize the importance of creating a fast, cheap, and reliable platform for letting people publish their very own websites and customize them to their liking.
Siteground vs Bluehost – Comparison 2021 🇬🇧
Let Us Begin, Shall We 🏁
Much has changed since then. BHI’s example spawned a number of web hosting enthusiasts looking for their place in the cyberspace sun. BHI, later known as Yahoo!
At first glance, it seems as if choosing between any of the two would yield similar benefits: equally impressive user stats, overwhelmingly positive reviews, and their unshakeable presence in the web hosting business instill confidence in their potential customers.
On the other hand, this apparent lack of distinction aggravates the choice-making process and causes further confusion.
That’s where we come in. Through a series of comparisons based on various categories, we’ll put the two web hosting kingpins to the test, and see who comes out on top as the ultimate web hosting platform. Let the games begin!
Comparing The Web Host Providers 📡
Since we have to start somewhere, let’s kick things off with the most important test of reliability. A stable website equals more than just a constant flow of web traffic.
Your visitors’ patience should be among your top priorities, and it tends to run out mighty fast should they run into any errors on your webpage.
The Sofia-based giant aces this category with a whopping 99.99% uptime according to results for 2019, thereby blowing the equivalent percentage of their competition out of the water. The lowest margin drops to around 99.95% - a stat worthy of praise!
Similar to Siteground, their American rivals reach equally astonishing percentages of uptime, delivering 99.9% throughout 2019. Their servers have seen some significant improvements over the course of two years - a move that solidified their uptime and drew a far larger user base than ever before.
All in all, it’s hard to differentiate between the two when it comes to website stability, so both providers pass this category with flying colors.
Extra points, however, have to be given to Siteground, due to their ability to maintain great uptime percentages for a large number of high-traffic websites, which is a segment in which Bluehost has yet to prove itself. Still, kudos to both parties!
Comparing Hosting Speed
Loading a Website Should Take Less Than 2 Seconds ⏱️
Stability and speed go hand-in-hand. Website visitors will only tolerate so much loading time before they inevitably return to the search results page in search of a faster-loading website, which equates to losing valuable site traffic in the long run. A huge red flag!
To avoid such unpleasantries, Siteground offers top-notch server response times that are hardly matched by its competition, clocking in an average response time of 130ms.
Thanks to their widespread data center locations that cover most of Europe, North America, and Australia, these results remain constant regardless of location, which is a true testament to Siteground’s quality of service.
Loading a website takes less than 2 seconds - 1.76 to be specific. Truth be told, website load speeds vary based on a plethora of factors, but you can rest assured knowing that Siteground has honored its part of the deal.
The final parameter upon which we’ll measure speed is load testing. A well-crafted website must be capable of handling a large influx of visits at once, and with minimal slowdown. In this regard, Siteground remains stable and maintains a 10ms average response time, while handling 300 simultaneous requests (around 25 users).
Another huge win for Siteground in our book. With the score standing at 2:1, let’s see whether Bluehost can even the score once again.
Bluehost has been eyeing their competition from across the pond for quite some time. It’s evident that they’ve started taking their rivals very seriously, as major strides were made in the past few years on their side.
The efforts have proven to be fruitful when it comes to Bluehost’s website and server speeds. Their average load time of around 400ms puts them well beyond reach for most of their competitors, cementing their place among the top 5 fastest web hosting providers.
Siteground still has a slight edge when it comes to sheer numbers, though the 200ms advantage is about as minimal as it gets. What’s more important is the fact that Bluehost maintains that load speed even under heavy traffic.
Handling 25 simultaneous users was a breeze, and a significant improvement compared to results from around two years ago. Well done!
To sum up our speed evaluation: both providers boast impressive load speeds and manage to maintain them under moderate-to-heavy web traffic. Siteground has a slight edge thus far, but who knows what future Bluehost updates might bring!
Differences in Customer Support
Help Is Always Near! 🆘
Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
Murphy’s law, although quite pessimistic, should never be taken lightly.
And in that spirit, a reliable backup plan is always welcome.
You never know what might go awry!
Should things take a turn for the worst, Siteground’s customer support service has you covered.
There are three support levels/methods to choose from:
Ticket, phone, live chat, or phone call.
No matter which one you choose (though live chat usually gets things done) expect rapid responses and a trained professional support team at your service 24/7.
In fact, Siteground owes a huge chunk of its user base to its brilliant customer support, serving as a prime example of how effective word of mouth can be. WordPress users will be redirected to a special division of customer support that deals exclusively with WordPress websites, ensuring the best service possible.
Experiences have been overwhelmingly positive thus far, and it’s safe to say that Siteground will remain the undisputed king of customer support in the foreseeable future!
So far, Bluehost has managed to go toe-to-toe with their Bulgarian archnemesis, therefore it saddens us to report that we’ve found their first (and arguably biggest) weakest link. According to Trustpilot, a whopping 73% of Bluehost’s users found their customer service experience rather disappointing, and that’s putting it lightly.
On paper, there’s next to no difference in the types of support service provided when compared to Siteground. Live chat, email tickets, and phone support are complemented by a nifty search menu, allowing users to try and mend the issue on their own.
Seems like they’ll have no choice in the matter, being that many users reported waiting for over an hour to get in touch with human support agents via live chat. Inexcusable!
You may try contacting them via phone call, though expect next to no follow-up on your issues should their initial assistance yield no results. Such practices suggest that Bluehost simply doesn’t care enough about its users to make significant changes to their support system. Here’s to Bluehost realizing the importance of customer satisfaction.
How It All Works? 🤔
A good hosting provider should provide its users (*ba dum tss*) with enough tools and options to shape and create their website to their liking. Siteground went out of their way to pack plenty of useful software and gadgets that let you go to town without much to limit your creative freedoms.
Depending on your price plan of choice, Siteground provides you with up to 40GB of extra top cloud storage - plenty of room for experimentation. Speaking of which, in case any of your experiments end up catastrophically, Siteground stores backup copies of your website for 30 days, letting you go backward in time and avoid the aforementioned calamity.
Their Backup on Demand feature allows you to create multiple restore points and go back to previous settings on a whim for any one of your subdomains, which you’re able to create in large quantities.
Speaking of storage, Siteground offers top email hosting with an unlimited number of email accounts, though you’ll be limited to up to 6GB per account, depending on the price plan. Not too shabby!
Bluehost may have lost the previous round by a significant margin, but things are looking up in terms of the features that come packed with this provider.
To start things off, Bluehost’s entry plan offers 50GB of storage, outmatching Siteground by 10 GB. While more expensive plans put no limitations on storage space what so ever.
Like Siteground, Bluehost puts no bandwidth limitations, allowing free-flowing traffic at any price point. What differs depending on the price, however, is the availability of the backup option.
Apart from the most expensive plan, cheaper ones give you the option of purchasing a backup extension for 3$/month, even going as far as taking away the option of creating manual restore points via cPanel. A somewhat incorrect way of incentivizing low-paying users, wouldn’t you say?
Unlike Siteground, Bluehost offers a free name for your domain, which is a feature that costs around 12$/year around in the opposite camp. This expense would leave next to no dent in your budget, but it’s still nice to see Bluehost trying to reduce costs where possible. It doesn’t make up for the backup extension, but it’s a step in the right direction.
The final set of features relating to emails maintains the status quo: the base plan’s 5 email accounts with a 100MB email storage limit per account are dwarfed by unlimited storage and accounts offered in other higher-priced plans. Overall, a pretty even battle in this department.
Comparing Security Features
No Security Concerns! 🛡️
Keeping your web domain intruder-free is imperative to the survival of your business.
Once again, Siteground went above and beyond to ensure maximum protection for its user base, thereby establishing itself as the top dog among hosting providers.
A newly-introduced bot prevention system prevents server attacks, and the PHP 7 serves as a force field for any brute force break-ins, updating the security rules on a weekly basis. SSL, SSH, and SFTP certificates further solidify the thick layer of protection - hats off to Siteground for taking security as seriously as possible.
The Utah-based provider is no slouch either in terms of security measures taken to protect their users. Their protocols share little in common, aside from the expected SSH, SSL, and SFTP trifecta, but they are equally effective nonetheless! Cloudflare is Bluehost’s ultimate weapon against any potential denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
These measures are reinforced by a second layer of minor, yet potent security features. Anti-malware protection is provided by SiteLock, while CodeGuard and Postini take care of site backups and spam attacks respectively. For such a smaller host provider in comparison to its counterpart, Bluehost packs quite a punch with its security measures.
Points go to Utah as well!
This Is Where the Real Clash Is! ⚔️
Siteground WordPress Hosting
With over 17 years of being at the top of their game, WordPress remains a reliable website builder for both bloggers and eCommerce enthusiasts, thanks to their branching out in accordance with the market’s requirements.
Siteground honors its online presence by being among the top 3 WordPress-friendly platforms and offering web hosts lots of flexibility to put their websites to proper tests.
Siteground’s already impressive security measures complement WordPress’ layer of defense, along with premium support and special WordPress Cache to speed up the process significantly.
There’s little that we can say besides repeating the fact that WordPress themselves endorse Siteground, which is the only reason you need to make your choice…
Bluehost WordPress Hosting
… or is it? Siteground isn’t the only amazing WordPress hosting service around! Bluehost also wears the endorsement badge with pride. Their beginner-friendly interface complements the WordPress integration, and you’ll find yourself comfortably switching between the two interfaces back and forth without any hassle.
Giving access to collaborators can speed up the webpage building process, and the collab tools further embellish the experience significantly. Using WordPress via Bluehost is highly recommended for those of you dipping your toes into web hosting waters, though that’s not to say that the experienced website hosts have no reason to give it a shot.
Small online business owners and bloggers will benefit greatly from Bluehost’s WordPress compatibility, ease of access, and great overall performance.
The Price of Hosting
How Much Will It Cost Is on Everyone’s Mind 💭
We’ve saved the best for last. No matter how well-built or how efficient a web host provider is, its true value may fall short compared to its price tag. Top free web hosting is always an option, but then again, if you aren’t willing to invest in high-quality building tools, there’s no room for grandiose expectations from your online venture.
Siteground offers three main hosting plans. Starting from the cheapest one, the StartUp plan starts at 12$/month (6.99$ on sale).
The mid-range GrowBig plan goes for 24.99$/month (9.99$ on sale), and the most expensive one, the GoGeek plan, will cost you 39.99$/month (14.99$ on sale). These prices may vary, and the full list of features for each pricing plan can be found here.
Regardless of which plan you opt for, all three offer plenty of leeway and premium site-building/hosting tools. Your best bet, however, would be the mid-range GrowBig plan, as it offers the most compared to its price tag.
Sure, Siteground’s pricing may be a bit above the average web hosting rate, but then again, this provider is more than worth every cent!
If low to mid-range is more your style, Bluehost is by far the more wallet-friendly option. You won’t get the same top-range experience, but this is the next best thing!
Their Basic, Plus and Pro plans start at 2.20£/month, 4.20£/month, and 10.70£/month respectively, with the recent inclusion of the Choice Plus variant that stacks up right behind Pro with 5£/month.
Choice Plus offers the most bang for your buck if it were up to us to decide, but you can check out the full features list here and make your own choice. After all, you’re the entrepreneur/blogger here!
Bringing factual information down to numbers and metrics is an ungrateful task. That doesn’t mean that we won’t give it a try! If we were to break it down into simple and easily digestible ratings, it would probably look like this:
Despite some heavy resistance from Bluehost, Siteground remains the undisputed champion! Simply put, the price range puts Siteground well above their competitors’ range, and corroborates it with equally valuable features and performance.
Though the battle is over, the war has just begun! Bluehost has started to take themselves (and their competition) seriously, and something tells us this isn’t the last time these two will be butting heads. Rest assured, whenever such a rematch takes place, Hosting Data will have courtside seats reserved just for you!