Updated: October 1, 2018
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.
SiteGround Vs Bluehost tests
- BlueHost Vs SiteGround – Security Test
- BlueHost Vs SiteGround – Uptime Test
- SiteGround vs Bluehost Server Response Time
- Bluehost vs SiteGround – Website Speed Test
- Bluehost vs SiteGround – WordPress and Cloud
- SiteGround Vs Bluehost: Customer Support
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 7.2 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.
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 most recent survey Sitground conducted among its customers shows a satisfaction score of 97% in 2017.
This score has steadily increased over the past three years, proving that SiteGround constantly strives to improve the quality of the services they offer.
Look at this video to understand how SiteGround is able to secure our websites from all hackers and other security threats.
1. SiteGround vs Bluehost Security – SiteGround is safer against multiple web threats and malware.
SiteGround has recently developed an anti-bot AI that protects their customers from brute-force attacks.
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:
- Failed Logins
- How many simultaneous connects are present to different URLs
- DDoS weaknesses that are already known in different apps
- Various request types associated DDoS attacks
- 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.★ Winner
SiteGround wins by a long-shot because they’ve developed their own AI to thwart brute-force attacks and aren’t relying on a third party to protect their customers.
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.
To see different estimates for uptime percentage, you can change the date variables for the following interactive graph using this Live hosting uptime tracking tool from Inlinehostblogger.
The above graph provides you with a snapshot of how much better SiteGround performs in terms of uptime compared to Bluehost.
Bluehost Vs SiteGround – Uptime of test website
We also paid for separate accounts with SiteGround and Bluehost to collect even more independent data on uptimes. Below, you can see the results of our two test websites.
SiteGround. SiteGround is the clear winner, beating Bluehost by a significant margin in terms of uptime.
3. Bluehost Vs SiteGround Speed Test – Which Is The Fastest Hosting?
Thanks to their highly efficient servers, and static caching, speed is one feature that works great at SiteGround. The combination of features from Varnish caching, Memcache, SuperCacher and CloudFare Railgun, help improve the speed of your website significantly.
TTFB or Time to First Byte refers to how quickly the host’s server sends the first byte of data when responding to a request. This is an important metric because it allows us to test the speed and quality of the servers independent of front-end issues.
The speed with which the server delivers the first byte of data won’t be affected by the type of the website, it’s size or other similar factors. So, it’s an excellent way to figure out the quality of the hosting company’s servers.
SiteGround had a TTFB of 308 ms, while Bluehost’s was 401 ms.
Based on these figures, it’s clear that SiteGround is the winner. They have great servers but the fact that they have 5 major data centers across the world also helps. The physical distance the data has to travel also affects TTFB.
SiteGround’s servers are located in Chicago, London, Amsterdam, Milan, and Singapore.
Bluehost doesn’t reveal the location of all their data centers, though some believe they have one in Mumbai, another in Shanghai, and, of course, their US locations in Provo and Orem, Utah.
Clearly, SiteGround is the winner by a significant margin in terms of TTFB. Their excellent servers are the main reason, but it might also have something to do with the number of data centers they have and their locations.
Here are the results of a speed test from different location around the world.
Speed of sites hosted on SiteGround
SiteGround showed great performance in Europe and the US, whereas it loaded a bit slower in Melbourne.
|Testing Location||Test 1||Test 2||Test 3|
Speed of sites hosted on Bluehost
Bluehost performed exceptionally well in the US and Melbourne, but failed to put its mark on Europe.
|Testing Location||Test 1||Test 2||Test 3|
#SiteGround lets you change the server location of your website
One of the most effective ways to speed up your website is to place your website’s files in a server that is located near your target audience.
For example, if you have most of your traffic coming from Chicago, try to buy a hosting who have their servers on Chicago. This is highly recommended unless you could afford setting up CDN for your website.
CDN stores your website files across multiple servers located at different parts of the world, serving your traffic using the nearest server from their location.
SiteGround makes it very easy to change server location anytime you want. So, don’t worry if you still don’t know the location of your audience.
This feature is not available with Bluehost. Moreover, they don’t let us choose server location even during the initial purchase process.
Here’s one of the reasons why location is not disclosed…
…they are obviously a big company, which has and does use different data centers to utilize optimized infrastructure. So the situation is not so obvious. Especially after being acquired by Endurance International Group (EIG) — they have broadened their collaboration with other hosting companies and data centers to continue to look for optimal business solutions and to grow their operations.
SiteGround. Based on these tests, SiteGround offers an outstanding average uptime of 99.99%, as well as a fast and reliable service for all their users.
4. Bluehost Vs SiteGround Server Quality Test
To test how the servers of each host react to a large number of concurrent visitors, we used the Load Impact App. This test will determine the performance of each host server when there are 100’s of visitors coming to your site at the same time.
Here are some of the steps taken to ensure that all tests were as fair as possible.
- Each site has a WordPress 4 installation running on it, and features the same theme, the same number of images, page size, content and requests.
- All the plugins and catching systems were disabled
- The test was conducted several times and the best results are displayed here.
- The host servers we tested are located in Chicago, IL, and Provo, UT, while the servers we used were located in Dallas, TX, and Ashburn, VA, respectively.
The green Line indicates the number of visitors and the blue line represents the adjacent response time as the traffic increases.
SiteGround Server Response Time
My Server Location: Dallas, TX
Hosting Server Location: Chicago, IL
Max Response Time: 1.6 seconds
Minimum Response Time: 669.9 milliseconds
SiteGround’s performance was rock solid, especially considering the $3.95 price tag for their most basic hosting plans. Their average response time was 650ms all the way to 50 concurrent users with no real hiccups.
Bluehost Server Response Time
My Server Location: Ashburn, VA
Hosting Server Location: Provo, UT
Max Response Time: 10.61 seconds
Minimum Response Time: 915.53 milliseconds
Bluehost’s performance was lackluster. Response time increased as the traffic increased. Even at lower levels of traffic (10 users), the response time varied between 1,000ms and 3,500ms.
As concurrent traffic increased to 20, the response time touched a high of 10.61s. Their performance was highly inconsistent with a significant variance from one second to another.
We conducted another test for a week on a smaller website with little traffic and in a different location. As expected, the result was similar.
Based on the results of these tests, the conclusion is that SiteGround’s servers are twice as fast in terms of response time as Bluehost’s.
Bluehost Vs SiteGround- Which Is Better For WordPress?
Choosing a web hosting with managed WordPress plans have a lot of benefits such as pre-configured WordPress technologies, which allows you to use SSL and CDNs with little hassle and better overall performance.
Moreover, Security is also better as the host can set the server up to protect against WordPress-specific threats.
SiteGround’s WordPress hosting(same as regular shared hosting plans) is available at very attractive rates. It features a number of great WordPress tools, including auto-updates and free WordPress migrations using their proprietary plugin.
Their servers use SSD hardware, to which they’ve added their proprietary SuperCacher that relies on NGINX tech to significantly boost speed. They also offer a free CDN and the servers support HTTP/2 and PHP7.
Bluehost WordPress packages start at $20 per month. Their servers are equipped with SSDs and offer similar performance like their shared hosting plans.
They also provide access to the MOJO Marketplace, where you can easily find and install plugins and scripts with a single click. Finally, they also over advanced CDN access, customized cPanel suited for WordPress, and SiteLock Professional along with SiteLock WAF for maximum security.
So, which WordPress hosting is better: SiteGround or Bluehost? In terms of performance and what’s included in the offer, SiteGround and Bluehost offer practically the same thing. However, Bluehost does tend to overpromise and their performance is rarely on par with their marketing.
BlueHost Vs SiteGround – Cloud Hosting
Cloud hosting is based on innovative technology that makes use of multiple servers to accommodate your website files and software. It means that your website will be up and running even if one or more servers experience unexpected problems.
Read more: What Cloud Hosting really is?
Skip this part if you run a small business or if your website isn’t meant to earn a profit.
Continue reading more on SiteGround Vs Bluehost Cloud Hosting.
1. Why cloud hosting is better than shared hosting or VPS hosting?
Unlike the old VPS solution, the Cloud doesn’t need server restarts when more power is added to them or when a single major patch is applied.
So there is no downtime during such events which guarantees better uptime and a lot more power at one’s disposal.
2. Do you really need cloud hosting?
This is difficult to answer as it depends on a wide range of variables like the volume of traffic, the scripts on the site, and its optimization.
However, the Cloud option is generally better because the machines are incredibly powerful and scalable
For example, if more CPU power is ever needed as a result of a sudden jump in traffic, more CPU cores can be added right away. Cloud Hosting is ideal for very popular sites with high levels of traffic.
3. Which Hosting Company Offers Better Cloud Hosting? SiteGround or Bluehost?
SiteGround’s Cloud hosting plan starts at a high price of $80/mo. They use next generation LXC technology built on bare metal, meaning that you get your own machines with resources dedicated tosolely to your project and on the most reliable technology.
SiteGround servers can be scaled up to 16 CPU cores and 16 GB of RAM, which is quite a lot of power and is on par with dedicated plans. Moreover, Cloud comes with the HHVM, a revolutionary tool from the Facebook team for faster PHP execution.
Meanwhile, Bluehost Cloud Hosting starts at a price of $8.95, as the price tag clearly shows ( they have the same prices for shared accounts). However, it barely differs from a shared solution as it uses a shared network of VPS resources. So, it’s not really the same dedicated power.
Therefore, SiteGround’s cloud hosting is more suitable for highly popular sites because they offer much more power.
1. SiteGround vs Bluehost Cloud – Speed
- The Same website used in the above test was used for this test as well.
- We used the Load Impact app to send upto 100 concurrent visitors to a website hosted on both companies’ cloud hosting plans.
- This test can be used to estimate how much time a user would have to wait for your web page to load when your site is accessed by a certain number of concurrent users. It can, therefore, determine how many visitors your website can be handle at the same time when it’s hosted on these servers.
- In most situations, a flat or falling graph indicates that your hosting can handle the load comfortably.
- If the site’s response time slowed down significantly, then it will show steadily increasing values as the load level increased.
SiteGround Cloud speed test result
- There were just a few initial spikes, but then the graph was flat until it reached 100 concurrent users, with an average response time of 515ms.
- SiteGround servers were able to handle this traffic without too many hiccups or slowdowns.
Bluehost Cloud speed test result
- As you can see from the above results, once the concurrent traffic exceeded 40, the response time started jumping higher and higher. The highest response time was recorded at 16s and then the server stopped responding.
- Bluehost’s cloud servers were not able to handle concurrent traffic above 40 users.
SiteGround. While the differences in price are very high, if you need a lot of power, SiteGround cloud is definitely more reasonable because it actually works.
Prices, Plans and Features – SiteGround is more expensive than Bluehost.
SiteGround comes with a basic startup plan for beginners, which features a single domain and 10 GB disk space. The fee is $3.95 per month, even if your initial period is one year.
Bluehost’s entry plan allows unlimited domains and is advertised at $4.95 per month, but the price applies only if you start on a three-year cycle. If you choose one year as your initial sign-up period, the price will be $6.95 per month.
|Regular Price||$ 3.95 per month||$ 5.95 per month||$ 11.95 per month||$ 2.95 per month||$ 5.95 per month||$ 5.95 per month|
| Visitors Per Month|
Unmetered -Hosting companies will provide you with enough resources to run your small scale website, but if you start using excessive resources, they might warn you to use less.
| Web Space|
Web Space is the amount of website data that can be stored in hosting companies server.
| Website Hosted|
The maxmium number of domains or websites, that you can host or run on this web hosting plan.
| Data Transfer|
The amount of data that can be transferred in and out of your webserver.
| Free SSL|
The 's' in 'https' (which you see in the beginning of most website URL) is nothing but SSL, which provides a safe encryped connection between your browser and web server
| Sub Domains|
A subdomain allows you to create a seperate website under your domain name. For example, if your domain is inlinehostblogger.com, your sub domain will look like hosting.inlinehostblogger.com.
| Free Included Domains|
Some web hosting companies give away free domain while purchasing their web hosting packages.
| 30 Day Money Back Guarantee|
If you cancel within 30 days of purchasing, you are entitled for full money back with no questions asked.
| Email Accounts|
The number of email accounts that can be registered under your domain name. For example, you can setup an email with firstname.lastname@example.org .
| Control Panel|
A web hosting control panel is an interface provided by web hosting to manage their servers and backend of our website.
| Server Location|
Location of the server, where your website files are hosted.
|London, Chicago and Singapore||London, Chicago and Singapore||London, Chicago and Singapore||Not Disclosed||Not Disclosed||Not Disclosed|
| Changing Server Location|
If your websites are hosted currently at chicago and you wish to transfer it to a London server for speeding up your website for london visitors, you can do it in couple of clicks
| Free CDN|
It loads your website much faster by storing the cached version of your website across different locations. When a visitor access your website, CDN delivers the nearest server to them.
| HTTP 2 Severs|
HTTP 2 is the newest version of HTTP and helps in delivering the content faster than. HTTP 2 can send multiple requests in parallel, compared to a single request in HTTP.
| Free Site Backup|
Backup of your website is created automatically and stored for instant restore.
| Free Backup Restore|
Lets you restore any backup you want for free.
| Backup On Demand|
Ability to take backup on your demand. For example, if you are gonna make some important changes to your website and want an instant backup, this feature will help you to do that in just few clicks.
| Power Backups|
Hosting company provides multiple failover option including backup UPS, enterprise-class UPS technology, power generator to protect your website from unexpected downtime.
| Server Monitoring|
SiteGround monitors and react by using Guardian by 1H system to prevent overload and outage problem.
| SSD Storage|
SSD (Solid State Drive) equipped server will be faster in processing data and files compared to HDD(Traditional Hard Disk Drive)
| Free Site Transfer|
Free site transfer helps you to transfer your website from your old hosting to the current one, instantly and seamlessly without having to worry about any technical aspects.
|No||Yes||Yes||Pay $149||Pay $149||Pay $149|
Staging feature creates a copy of your live website with a single click. This way, you can design and develop your site on seperate environment. Just push it to live when you are done developing.
| 1 Click CMS Installer|
Popular CMS like Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, etc., can be created for your website with just few clicks.
| In Built Caching System|
In built caching system to boost your website speed
|Level Static Caching||Level 2 Dynamic Caching||Level 3 Database Query Caching||No||No||No|
| SFTP And SSH|
SSH encrpts and secure your connection to your acccount panel
| Support Channel|
Availability of Support different channels like Phone, Email and Chat.
| Priority Support|
Some hosting companies provide priority support, due to the fact some customer need round the clock high quality assistance to solve their issue.
|Buy Startup||Buy GrowBig||Buy GoGeek||Buy Basic||Buy Plus||Buy Choice Plus|
SiteGround offers all it’s customers a free Let’s Encrypt Wildcard SSL. This means that websites with subdomains can be encrypted using one certificate, making them easier to set up and maintain.
SSL certificates not only make browsing more secure, but they can improve your rankings too. Google is ranking HTTP sites lower than HTTPS ones, and they’ve also started putting up warnings that non-HTTPS sites aren’t safe.
A Wildcard SSL is even more important because it allows sites with subdomains to secure the whole packages. Sites with forums, online stores, chats and so on can now easily secure everything with a single certificate.
Bluehost only provides its customers with regular SSL certificates, making life a little more complicated for their clients.★ Winner
Bluehost and SiteGround prices and features are somewhat similar(SiteGround renewal price is higher), now its upto you to decide which is more affordable.( You decide) .
SiteGround and Bluehost – Live Reviews from Current Users
The best way to determine the quality of a company’s services is by reading what their existing customers are saying about them. Below you will find live comments from current users of SiteGround and Bluehost.
These tweets are via a live Twitter feed. This live Twitter feed updates every second. Based on the tweets, it’s obvious that SiteGround users are satisfied, while Bluehost customers aren’t nearly as happy.
SiteGround Vs Bluehost: Customer Support
Customer support is very important in dealing with day-to-day problems associated with websites including issues associated with downtime, server connectivity, or security.
A reliable and fast customer support team is what you should be looking for to solve these problems quickly, without affecting your website.
- SiteGround customer service offers a 24/7/365 day live chat, a ticketing system and a toll number for support. They have a wait time of less than 5 seconds for their live chat and less than 10 minutes for the ticketing system.
- In contrast, I have waited more than 5 minutes on some other leading hosting companies live chats. They have enabled a feature which allows users to study the bio of each support representative’s skills, work experience and user ratings. Moreover, they boast a wait time of less than 10 minute for their ticketing system.
- Bluehost offers the same features. They have friendly representatives and an attractive chat box. Their support team, however, isn’t quite as fast nor do they have the expertise to solve some high-end issues promptly. Moreover, they often transfer small issues from their live chat team to the ticketing system, which creates more wait time for users.
I tried reaching both SiteGround and Bluehost live chat teams for support one after the other and here are the results.
Bluehost took 2 minutes to connect whereas SiteGround managed to reply within a few seconds of connecting. This easily proves the superiority of SiteGround’s customer support.
Bluehost customer support team is pathetic most of the time..
SiteGround. Highly experienced, very fast and has some unique features that make them the best support team.
The User Interface is what we call the control panel. Both these hosting companies come with cPanel. cPanel is the easiest and most common control panel across the blogosphere.
Their cPanel comes with more than 52 one-click installers for popular scripts such as WordPress, Joomla, Weebly, etc. This is a great advantage for newbies who might be unfamiliar with the coding aspects of a website.
SiteGround cPanel: Try Demo
Bluehost cPanel: Try Demo
SiteGround Staging Tool
SiteGround offers an amazing tool to help customers test changes and new features without breaking their live website.
The tool creates a development copy of WordPress and Joomla sites, which customers can experiment on to their heart’s content.
Using the SiteGround Staging environment means that any changes won’t affect the live website, enabling customers to determine before hand if what they’re doing will help or hurt their site.
It’s an outstanding tool that will make life so much easier because you can get a developmental copy of your site set up with just a few mouse clicks. Then you can go wild without worrying about your site going down and angering your audience.
SiteGround’s staging is not nearly as perfect as staging on other wordpress hosts. There are still problems and bugs relating to SSL certificate, DNS and Multisite features.★ WinnerTie.
#Free migration for your website.
SiteGround offers free migration of your website to their servers. Their experts will transfer your website without a single minute of downtime within hours of a purchase.
I initiated a free transfer request with SiteGround for one of my test websites. They successfully transferred the site within 24 hours, even though it was a non-working day.
Bluehost charges $149.9 for the same service.
Bluehost Vs SiteGround User Review
One of our technicians posted a question on a popular WordPress forum regarding the best choice between HostGator and Bluehost web hosting.
Surprisingly 90% of people suggested we look at SiteGround even though we never mentioned SiteGround in the question. That’s how much people love SiteGround.
Here are some reactions from Twitter users regarding their experience using SiteGround and Bluehost.
SiteGround's Twitter user reviews and reactions... Bluehost's Twitter user reviews and reactions...
Bluehost's Twitter user reviews and reactions...
SiteGround Vs Bluehost Final Analysis – Which Is The Best Choice For Your Website?
Their performance, reliability and excellent support systems make SiteGround a perfect choice. Bluehost previously led in Performance.
However, that’s no longer the case as SiteGround has invested heavily in superior speed, security and customer service, which has helped them become our no.1 web hosting company. If you really want a great website, in the long run, I would suggest you use SiteGround.
Here’s what a new user with little knowledge of hosting a website had to say about Bluehost web hosting…
“I signed up with Bluehost one week back and 4 days of it I couldn’t access my account. So frustrating trying to get it resolved and they definitely don’t want to honour the money back guarantee. I’m new to the blogging world and I definitely wouldn’t recommend them to anyone starting new”
Which hosting is best for you ? SiteGround or Bluehost? Yes, it’s SiteGround and here’s why ..
- High uptime record of over 99.99% over the last five years.
- 30 day money back guarantee. You get your money back in full if you don’t like them.
- Their quality servers enable them to provide high-speed websites for our traffic.
- They conduct timely automated backups, and their security team is successful in protecting our site from attacks.
- They have an innovative and speedy customer support team.
- It comes with cPanel, the most accessible and used control panel in the world.
- Plans for all requirements at a decent rate.
- 60% discounted price for a limited time.
The EU recently passed a new law that helps to protect the privacy and personal information of people living in the European Union known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Thus, any website that receives visitors from the EU must comply with the new law.
Both SiteGround and Bluehost are in full compliance with the GDPR.Set up your web hosting with SiteGround now.
SiteGround Coupon Code
SiteGround provide a limited time 60% discount coupon code.
Disclosure: This site is run by a group of like-minded webmasters, whose mission it is to provide the public with honest web hosting reviews to ensure they meet our expert criteria. We do receive compensation for all the products that we review, which in turn helps us finance our work and provide users with honest reviews. All the products mentioned on our site are tested and evaluated before any reviews are written.