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Before I even created my blog, I did a lot of research on the various hosting providers. The top hosting platforms that made it to the final round included BlueHost and SiteGround (WP Engine is another popular platform, but I excluded it due to the price). From there, I put my investigator hat on to see which was truly the best hosting platform for my blog.
SiteGround is one of the largest independently owned hosting companies. With more than 400 employees, they are able to answers your calls relatively quickly which is great for you. SiteGround hosts more than 2 million domains and that number continues to grow every day. I have noticed how customers usually do not have negative reviews when it comes to SiteGround which could be due to a few factors.
BlueHost was founded by Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth in 2003 and since then, this hosting platform has increased exponentially in popularity and demand. Over 2 million websites are powered by BlueHost and their team consists of 750 employees who always get back to you as soon as possible. They have been partnered with WordPress for about 10 years now
When deciding which to hosting provider to choose, I factored in speed, uptime, price, customer ratings, customer support satisfaction, ease of use and security.
To test which hosting platform had the best speed, I went to Pingdom, a tool that monitors your website performance and availability. I used the homepage url of each platform and found the pagespeeds for every location.
San Francisco, U.S.
São Paulo, Brazil
As you can see, the results are in SiteGround’s favor as 5 out of the 7 locations had significantly quicker load times compared to Bluehost. Furthermore, if most of your traffic is based in Japan and Australia, you may want to consider SiteGround. However, if most traffic comes from the U.S. or Europe, either hosting provider will work well.
WINNER = SiteGround
SiteGround and BlueHost both guarantee 99.99% uptime, so you can rest assured that your blog/website will almost always be up and running.
WINNER = SiteGround & Bluehost
Ease of Use
BlueHost makes setting up your website quick and easy. The simplistic cPanel interface is incredibly easy to use and does not require a learning curve. All you do is find the icon you’re searching for, click on it and voila, you’re there. BlueHost also automatically installs the latest and most secure versions of WordPress which means you don’t need to worry about installing it yourself. No dirty work for you!
SiteGround’s interface is also incredibly easy to navigate although it may feel more techy when looking at it compared to BlueHost. It is very easy to setup WordPress with their automated WordPress installation and you should have no trouble setting everything else up as they offer guidance throughout the process.
Another positive about Siteground are the tutorials, webinars and setup wizard. They offer a multitude of tutorials that can help you through numerous situations/problems which is great for anyone who would rather not talk with an agent. The webinars are perfect for hands-on people who would like to gather more insights on trending topics.
The setup wizard is another cool feature that provides guidance through the first steps of the hosting account setup. This is a lifesaver if you’re unsure of how to proceed after setting up your account. Plus, it makes the process move much quicker and smoother which makes everything less stressful.
WINNER = Both are easy to use, but if I had to choose, I would probably end up going with SiteGround simply because I feel it is more straightforward.
The price for BlueHost starts at a discounted price of $2.95 a month. You can start out with that and easily upgrade your plan to the plus if you need more storage or want to add more websites. A free SSL Certificate comes with all plans which is great since you will need to set that up once you start creating your website. Overall, the price of BlueHost is at a much lower rate compared to its competitors which is great for anyone who wants to budget themselves.
SiteGround is slightly more expensive than BlueHost with a starting price of $3.95/month for their StartUp Plan. You can start out with their first plan and if you grow out of those limits, you can always upgrade to the GrowBig Plan. If you decide to go with GrowBig, the premium features include a SuperCacher which increases your website’s speed, advanced on-demand backup of your site and WordPress/Joomla staging. Along with that, if you have a site with a different hosting provider, they will allow a free site transfer (which can save a lot of money).
Overall, BlueHost has the better price if you’re tight on money, but SiteGround does have an edge when it comes to their SuperCacher. It really depends on what you’re willing to spend.
WINNER = BlueHost
Both hosting services offer 24/7 customer support. There is not necessarily a difference between the two except for maybe a minute or so which isn’t a big deal. SiteGround allows you to write tickets which are usually answered within 10 minutes and they are quick to talk to you over live chat or on the phone. Furthermore, if you’re ever in a bind and have no idea what you’re doing, you can easily head over to the SiteGround agents who will help you as soon as possible.
To ensure that you aren’t ignored, they overstaff all shifts so that there is always someone who can pick up the phone or chat.
However, although BlueHost has 24/7 service, there have been mixed reviews. Many clients say that the customer service agents are friendly, helpful and fix the problem relatively quickly. However, there are a good number of customers who report negative experiences where they did not receive sufficient help.
WINNER = SiteGround
SiteGround has a custom firewall that kills any vulnerabilities. They manage your security at a server and firewall level by staying on top of any WordPress-related vulnerabilities and taking measures to patch up those problems to ensure your site is not hacked. Every year, they add more rules that protect your site from attacks/harm which is exactly what you want with your hosting platform.
SiteGround offers free Let’s Encrypt SSL (https instead of http) which is essential if you want to keep your data safe and have daily backups (which can be absolute lifesaver if something ever happens to your site). The AI anti-bot system also effectively blocks millions of security threats against you site each day. Furthermore, you can’t go wrong with the security add-ons that SiteGround offers.
BlueHost has three layers of anti-spam protection with Spam Experts, Apache Spam Assassin and Spam Hammer. You can add passwords to all your directories as well to ensure no one gets in. They also offer free SSL which is an important aspect of a secure website.
Overall, both of these platforms offer great security measures. However, BlueHost does not have the daily backups which can be annoying for anyone who needs to revert back to an earlier update.
WINNER = SiteGround
All in all, SiteGround is the better hosting provider as it offers more features that will make sure your site loads much quicker and safer. Plus, with the automatic, daily updates, you can always fall back on the security blanket of your backups if anything ever goes wrong.
However, these are both great platforms and if you’re looking to spend less money, BlueHost will lessen the blow to your bank account.
I’m more than happy with my choice. When I first bought the hosting plan, I had no clue where to start, but SiteGround makes it incredibly easy with their setup wizard. If you want my in-depth guide on how to start a blog that makes money, check out the post below.
Now, if you’re curious about my website’s speed compared to SiteGround and BlueHost, I have my Pingdom results below.
Perhaps, Maybe Not
San Francisco, U.S.
São Paulo, Brazil
Average Load Time
As you can see, my site speed is a few milliseconds slower than BlueHost. I think the reason for that is the bloat from the theme and plugins. Of course, there are also other ways I could speed up my load time (which you can see if you test your site with Pingdom), but I have yet to remedy it.
To test my uptime, I created an account with Pingdom which tracks your uptime/page speed. Every hour, it will show your average speed and whether you have had any outages. This is a fun and helpful tool for that reason, but it’s also great for keeping track of your website’s health.
Here are my results from the past 24 hours.
As you can see, my website experienced no outages and had 100% uptime. The average load time Pingdom recorded for the Eastern US was 1.97 seconds. Overall, I’m satisfied with these results and I know I can trust SiteGround to keep my site up and running at optimal speed.
I recommend SiteGround. There have been no problems since I bought it 10 months ago (except for when I created a problem by trying to add some code…a mistake).
However, I see many successful bloggers who do use BlueHost, including Michelle from Making Sense of Cents who makes over $100,000/month online. If you want a more cost-friendly host, BlueHost is a great option. You can start your own blog with them now for $2.95 a month.
One recommendation I have for you if you’re truly serious about starting a successful blog is to start using Tailwind. It’s an amazing tool that allows you to schedule your pins to Pinterest at optimal times (i.e., when your audience is actually on). It also allows you to join Tailwind Tribes which are my personal favorite features of Tailwind. They allow you to reach a whole new audience when someone from the Tribe schedules it to their account. I can not recommend it enough!
If you want, you can sign up for the free trial which gives you your first 100 scheduled pins free and allows you to join 5 Tailwind Tribes. You do not need to put in any credit or debit card information to do this.