Are you having trouble choosing between SiteGround and Bluehost because you haven’t found any unbiased reviews that you can actually understand?
Choosing the right hosting service is a nerve-wracking experience because hosting can make or break your website. You have to spend hours upon hours doing research, trying to understand what sounds like gibberish and then comparing all these companies.
I’ve done all the legwork for you and you’ll find a comprehensive SiteGround vs Bluehost hosting comparison below, along with many other hosting reviews and comparisons, including HostGator vs Bluehost and HostGator vs SiteGround.
Bluehost was founded in 2003, whereas SiteGround made its entry into hosting in 2004.
If you are too busy to read this entire review, here's an infographic that covers the main points.
Here’s a graph which describes the popularity of SiteGround and Bluehost over the years.
As you can see from the graph, Bluehost was growing rapidly until 2013, when they were finally acquired by EIG. After the acquisition, like any other EIG company, Bluehost started receiving so many bad reviews, finally resulting in a low popularity and less growth. They grew only 10% in the last 3 years, compared to 100% growth from SiteGround.
SiteGround was hosting only 500,000 websites by 2015, now they host over 1.8 million websites, that’s a 3* increase in the last 3 years.
Web hosting companies associated with EIG has a very bad reputation for support and reliability as you can see from the below image.
Bluehost vs SiteGround – Performance, Reliability, Speed test and Security
SiteGround web hosting developed some highly innovative approaches and ideas such as their own SuperCacher, latest PHP releases and SSD Drives(Bluehost recently started using SSD drives).
SSD drives are more expensive but have proven to be faster and more reliable than HDD drives. SiteGround and Bluehost uses Apache + NGINX web server technology, running NGINX for static files and Apache for dynamic ones. This is a popular formula used by top web hosting companies. They use NGINX reverse proxy caching solution in front of Apache to give your visitors a fast website.
SiteGround has already released PHP 7.3 RC. The latest PHP version is 2 x faster and requires less server resource to deliver your website to the same number of visitors. Conversely, Bluehost has not yet provided their customers with access to PHP 7.2 and are still running PHP 7.0. And support for #PHP 5.6 and PHP 7 will end after December.
Over the last 2 years, most sites are moving rapidly towards HTTPS due to free certificate By Lets Encrypt and Google openly promoting HTTPS site.
However, one main issue with people moving towards HTTPS site has been the slight increase in load time as a result. This was addressed by SiteGround using the latest TCP 1.3 and OCSP stapling method.
Bluehost is much slower across the board in terms of updates and new features, which sets them pretty far behind SiteGround on the cutting-edge technology front.
The new bot prevention system has delivered amazing results as it blocks as many as 2 million attacks across their servers. Not only does the AI system protect customer websites, but it also frees up server resources that can now be used by customers.
The AI system monitors all SiteGround’s servers simultaneously and analyzes the data. Based on the results, it takes automatic action to stop malicious bots. Some of the flags the AI watches include:
How many simultaneous connects are present to different URLs
DDoS weaknesses that are already known in different apps
A constantly updating list of blacklisted user agents
When the AI determines that an IP is malicious, it blocks it and issues a challenge via a Captcha page. If the “puzzle” is solved, meaning that it’s actually a human and not a malicious bot, the address is whitelisted. And the AI learns from these situations so that it can reduce the level of false positives that occur.
Thus, SiteGround’s new security system is much more efficient at protecting customer websites.
Bluehost relies on Cloudflare to protect its customers from DDoS attacks. They also offer other security features, such as spam protection, password-protected directories, and an option to blacklist certain IPs.
2. Bluehost Vs SiteGround Uptime Test – Which Hosting Offers Better Uptime?
Uptime is the amount of time your website is up and running to your visitors. There are many chances that your website might be not available to your visitors as a result of hardware failure, server maintenance, power shutdown, etc., by your web hosting company. That’s why this test is very important as less uptime can bring a lot of loss to your business through loss of credibility, lost sales, Google rank loss, etc,.
Both Bluehost and SiteGround promises 99.99% uptime guarantees. However, practice shows that Bluehost has significant and consistent issues with downtime, leading to an average uptime of less than 98% per month.
SiteGround, on the other hand, does not exhibit any major problems with downtime. In fact, over the past year, their average uptime exceeded 99.99%. This proves that their servers are highly reliable and some of the best in the industry.
We used Host Tracker to monitor approximately 150 Bluehost and SiteGround websites to determine a more accurate figure for their uptime.
As webmasters, choosing a highly reliable web hosting company that fits into all our requirements has been the most difficult task. There are so many web hosting companies on the market that finding the right one can sometimes be overwhelming.
I have already compared Bluehost Vs HostGator and HostGator vs SiteGround in another post, but this specific post adds in DreamHost and compares it to the previous two. HostGator and Bluehost are two of the most highly-rated web hosting companies on the web and are often featured in top review posts across the Internet.
All three are great choices to go with, but each one provides something different from the other, and this review of HostGator vs Bluehost vs DreamHost will help make your selection process much easier.
In this post, I’ll compare performance (which includes uptime and speed), pricing plans and features, customer support, and control panels.
Choosing a web hosting company has polarised into few US-based companies like HostGator, Bluehost, and SiteGround. More specifically, its either HostGator Vs Bluehost or SiteGround Vs Bluehost or SiteGround Vs HostGator at the top for the most used and trusted web hosting companies.
In this article, we’ll be conducting an extensive Bluehost Vs HostGator comparison, which should help you choose the better hosting company for your particular needs.
While both these hosts offer great performance, we will be looking at the differences between them and which one is better for your needs.
SiteGround is one of the largest independent web hosting companies in the world. Founded in 2004 by some university friends, the company has now grown to the point where they have 400 employees and host 1.8 million domains.
In this SiteGround Startup vs Grow Big vs Go Geek review, we’re going to be looking at the company’s three shared hosting plans. We’ll review each one and conduct a comparison so that you have all the information you need to make the best possible decision for your particular circumstances.
Below you will find the details showing that we actually bought the hosting plans to test them out ourselves.
Prices and Features of SiteGround’s Shared Hosting Plans
For this SiteGround Startup review, we took a close look at what the three plans offer. Thus, all three offer cPanel, free Cloudflare CDN that can be activated with a single click, and Super Cacher.
The other two plans offer all three levels of Super Cache. Level 2 is Dynamic Cache that creates copies of a site’s dynamic content, while level 3 is Memcached that speeds up API calls, database calls and page rendering by keeping objects and data in the server’s memory.
Free backups on demand are only available on the Go Geek plan, as is the staging feature that allows you to test new code and designs in a controlled environment without affecting the site itself. In terms of database and email features, the more expensive the plan, the more space and features you get.
Here’s the breakdown of price and features of these 3 plans.
Performance – Which plan offers the best performance?
For this SiteGround Grow Big review, we also checked if performance would be affected by the plan you decide on. Thus, with the Startup plan, you get a database size of 500 MB and DB queries can use up to 10% of server resources, while your mailbox size will be 2000 MB and you can send 400 emails per hour with a maximum 40 recipients per email and a maximum attachment size of 50 MB. The only difference with the Grow Big plan is that you get a database of 750 MB and a mailbox of 4000 MB.
Conversely, the GoGeek plan offers a database of 1000 MB and queries can use 30% of server resources, while the mailbox is 6000 MB and you can send 800 emails per hour with a max of 80 recipients per email and 50 MB per attachment.In other words, the more you pay, the better the server resources you get.
PHP, Security and Technological Advances
SiteGround has always promised their customers to bring them the latest technological advances as quickly as feasibly possible, which they constantly deliver on. Thus, SiteGround has already released PHP 7.3, which is why their performance, speed, and security continues to be leagues ahead of their competition.
For this SiteGround Go Geek review, we delved into the nitty gritty to see if uptime would be affected by the type of plan you choose. We also tested SiteGround against a competitor, namely Bluehost, to see if there were any differences.
As you can see, there are some differences between the three plans. The SiteGround Startup plan has an uptime of 99.99%, with a downtime of 4 minutes, and a response time of 896 ms. The SiteGround Grow Big plan offers the same uptime, but with a response of 610 ms, while the SiteGround Go Geek plan offers a similar uptime but with a slightly shorter downtime of 3 minutes, and an impressive response time of 573 ms.
In other words, uptime is pretty much the same across the board, but the more you pay, the better the response time, which is certainly very important for any website. So, in terms of our SiteGround Startup vs Grow Big vs Go Geek review, we definitely have to recommend the Go Geek plan for the far better response time.
This level of uptime is achieved through their multiple power failure option including enterprise-level UPS technology and their own power generators, 24/7 server monitoring, etc,.
When we compared against a shared hosting plan from Bluehost, though, we discovered that even the cheapest plan from SiteGround delivered far better results. Thus, Bluehost had an uptime of 99.96% with a downtime of 6 minutes, and a response time of 1789 ms, which is pretty ridiculous in this day and age when speed is essential.
SiteGround Startup Plan uptime and response time details show it to be the weakest of the three SiteGround plans.
The SiteGround Grow Big plan outperforms the Startup plan in terms of response time but delivers the same uptime results.
The SiteGround Go Geek plan offers the best results with a slightly lower downtime and a better response time.
Bluehost’s shared hosting plans underperforms compared to all three SiteGround plans as they have a lower uptime and a far higher response time.
Speed Test – Which plan is the fastest?
At SiteGround, the more you pay for the plan, the more resources you get because fewer sites are hosted on the same server. When you get more resources, your site is faster.
Speed is essential because most users don’t have a lot of patience and will leave your site if it takes too long to load. While many factors impact speed, including on-site ones, your web hosts server is one of the very important variables that will determine how fast your site loads. So, the more resources your site has access to and the better the quality of the server, the quicker your site will be.
Of course, for this SiteGround Startup vs Grow Big vs Go Geek review, we conducted a load impact test to really see what their servers are capable of. And this time, we didn’t stop at 100 visitors. We wanted to see how the servers would perform when placed under serious strain, so we took it all the way up to 500 concurrent visitors. The results are below.
Note that in the charts, the green line represents the number of concurrent users, the purple line is the request rate, while the blue line represents the response time.
SiteGround Startup Review: Speed Test Results
At 100 concurrent visitors and with an average request rate of 604 per second, the average response time was 81 ms. The response time was a little choppy, with a few impressive spikes, but then it settled down.
At 175 visitors with a request rate of 613 per second, the average response time was 37 ms. Interestingly enough, despite the response time improving, once we threw more than 175 visitors at the site, the server just stopped responding.
As you can see, at 300 visitors, the server simply isn’t responding.
SiteGround Grow Big Review: Speed Test Results
At 100 concurrent visitors, with a request rate of 1,360 per second, the server had a response time of 14 ms, and it was far more stable than with the Startup plan.
At 300 visitors, the response time is 13 ms, at 400 visitors, it’s 18 ms, and at 500 visitors, the response time is 156 ms.
Thus, the more visitors we sent, the slower the server became, with an impressive decline when we hit 500. From 300 visitors onwards, the response time also became choppier and less stable.
SiteGround Go Geek Review: Speed Test Results
At 100 visitors, the Go Geek Plan generated an excellent response time of 11 ms, despite the 1,200 requests per second.
When we increased it to 200 visitors, the response time remained quite good at 16 ms, just like with 300 visitors and a response time of 22 ms
. At 400 visitors, the response time was 22 ms, and once we got to 500 visitors, the response time increased to 64 ms, which is still highly impressive.
SiteGround Startup vs Grow Big vs Go Geek Review: Speed Test Comparison
As you can see, the Grow Big and Go Geek plans generated the best results. With both plans, the response times were decent, even when we threw 500 concurrent visitors at them.
Now, to be fair, if you have a site big enough and so popular that it’s frequently getting 500 visitors at the same time, you aren’t likely to be on a shared hosting plan. Even so, the two plans did deliver, and the response times were impressive.
Conversely, the Startup plan just couldn’t take more than 175 visitors at a time, and though you might not think you’ll ever get that many concurrent visitors, you are still better off going with a higher plan to be safe.
SiteGround shared vs Blue Host shared: Speed Test Comparison
We decided to check SiteGround against Bluehost to see how the competition performs. And, well, there really isn’t much of a comparison.
At 100 visitors, Bluehost had a response time of 139 ms, which is far poorer than the SiteGround Startup plan at 175 visitors.
At 200 visitors, Bluehost’s response time was 76 ms, while at 300 visitors, the response time was 83 ms. At 400 visitors, the response time was 82 ms, and at 500, it was 76 ms.
Thus, the Bluehost plan only outperformed SiteGround’s Startup plan once we went over 175 visitors, and the Grow Big plan when we hit 500 visitors. Compared to the Go Geek plan, though, Bluehost doesn’t stand a chance.
Support – Priority and normal support compared.
SiteGround promises priority support for the Grow Big and Go Geek plans and we wanted to see if there really was a difference between their standard support and priority. We discovered that live chat has the same response time, regardless of the plan. So, we decided to test the ticketing system.
With the Grow Big and Go Geek plans, we asked the ticketing team for some FTP details for the account, making it a pretty simple request. The initial reply took 5 minutes and then it took another 25 minutes to get the response. Compared to other web hosting plans, the response time of the ticketing team was practically at light speed.
Conversely, with the Startup plan, it took them 17 minutes to reply the first time and then approximately an hour the second time. Take into account that, in this case, we only asked how we could activate Super Cacher and Cloudflare, which shouldn’t have taken more than 2 minutes to answer.
So, priority support is twice as fast as the standard support SiteGround provides.
Final Verdict – Which is the right plan for you?
SiteGround’s three shared hosting plans outperform the competition by far. In fact, the Go Geek plan is the most powerful shared hosting plan available on the market at the moment. However, you have to consider your particular circumstances and needs because even though the initial prices are attractive, the renewals can get expensive, especially since they are shared plans.
If you have on a website, for example, with only a few thousand visitors per month, then the Startup plan is more than sufficient for your needs.If you need outstanding performance and excellent speed on a budget, then Grow Big is definitely the best option.
The only real differences between the Grow Big and Go Geek plans is the staging feature, which simply allows you to test code and design without affecting your site, and a lower number of accounts on the same server, as well as backups on demand. However, you have to ask yourself if you really need those features, because they will cost you an extra $100 per year.
Nowadays, choosing a good web hosting company for their websites has become quite a challenge for webmasters. A poor choice will hurt your website and company reputation.
Since I use HostGator to host my website and iPage for my client’s websites, I have a clear view of all the pros and cons of these web hosting companies. This HostGator vs. iPage review will compare hosting on both HostGator and iPage, and help you choose the best web hosting company for your business.