Blogs and e-commerce stores alike need a high-performance and good quality web hosting service in order to be truly successful. With so many hosting options out there, it can be hard to find the one that is best for you, which is why it is important to figure out exactly what your needs are, and do your research. SiteGround and Bluehost are both quite popular, but which one is really better?
Bluehost hosts a very impressive 2 million websites. They are without a doubt among the most popular web hosting services out there. Why is that though? If you do some digging, you’ll find that Bluehost offers a very lucrative affiliate program. They will pay out $65 per referral. That is a lot of money, so it’s no surprise that users will work hard to rack up a high number of successful referrals. The unfortunate result of this, is a large amount of very biased reviews and recommendations. Here we are going to look at Bluehost objectively.
Their uptime is reported to average out around 99.94%. While nothing to worry about necessarily, it is not superb either. It is reliable, but average. They do offer a decent array of security options however, with many spam fighting tools and hotlink protection. They also offer a lot of free add-ons, such as Google Apps and CloudFare. They also provide automatic daily backups of your website.
Along with being one of the most popular services, they are also among the cheapest, if you choose to go with certain plans. You can get the service for as low as $3.49/month, but this is only if you purchase three years at a time. Choosing a 12-month plan will bring it up to $4.95/month, which doesn’t seem all that bad… until it comes time to renew your plan, at which point you jump to $8.99/month. Despite this though, they do come recommended by WordPress themselves.
One major issue that Bluehost seems to have, is their slow page loading times. A website that loads slowly can really hurt the user experience, as well as negatively affect profit margins as well as create a high bounce rate. If a page is taking too long to load, users will just leave.
They also seem to have a sub-par customer service. Long wait times have been reported, and when responses do come they can be curt and unhelpful. A final drawback to Bluehost, is their domain transfer fee. Most hosting services offer this for free, however Bluehost charges $149.99. Completely unreasonable.
While not as widely used as Bluehost, SiteGround still boasts a good 450,000 websites worldwide. SiteGround also has the unique benefit of allowing users to pay for their membership monthly, while still retaining their very low price of $3.95/month! Opting for this plan will set you back another $14.95 for a setup fee, however many people might just find this to be worth it as paying monthly can be very convenient. It also allows people who cannot afford an entire year up front to use the service as well. However, for those who cannot afford to pay for a year upfront, SiteGround offers incredible value for your money.
SiteGround also has a very strong customer support system. There are three ways you can receive help – via phone, chat, and a ticket service. They will respond very quickly through their ticket system, but promise instant responses if you opt for their phone or chat services. You will find many glowing reviews when it comes to Site Ground’s customer service. Users have reported having their problem fixed quickly by a very knowledgeable representative.
WordPress users will be happy to know that they will offer you a few extra benefits as well. They offer auto-updating of your site, along with automatic daily backups and server level maintenance. They do offer a free backup service for those not using WordPress as well, however their data limits for these backups seem to be rather limited, which is something to think about if you plan to have a very large, full website.
A huge benefit to choosing SiteGround is the amount of freebies they offer their members. Protection from spam, leeches, and hotlinks are all available as free add-ons. They provide e-commerce tools for those looking to set up an e-store for their website, as well as free domain names. They also provide free transfers of your existing sites, if you wish. Users seem to generally be very happy with their uptimes, which SiteGround promises 99.99%.
So Which is Better?
Overall, SiteGround is a better choice by far. While cheap and popular, Bluehost seems to have more issues than their many affiliates would like you to believe. A good choice perhaps if you are looking to run a simple, low key personal website or blog. For anyone looking to run a robust and successful website and/or e-store however, SiteGround is the way to go. They are a much higher quality service, at a very similar price