Bluehost vs SiteGround Hosting – Which Is Best For WordPress?
Bluehost Vs SiteGround. If you’re watching out for an affordable web host, Bluehost and SiteGround are two names that are certain to have caught your eye.
Although both businesses offer all varieties of hosting services, they’re well recognized for their entry-level shared hosting plans.
At initial glance, it may seem as though there’s not much to classify them, but by the time you’ve completed reading this comparison, you’ll comprehend precisely where each host transcends and what their drawbacks are.
To assist you to make a choice between the two, this comparison involves performance tests that show how quickly websites hosted by both companies load, how many visitors can they handle at one time, and what sort of uptime levels you can anticipate.
Whether you require a host for a new website or you’re contemplating moving your current site elsewhere, this comparison will assist you in deciding who to sign up with.
Shared Hosting Plan Details
Price isn’t everything when choosing a web host — but it’s a safe place to commence.
So, before we move over to the site speed and load handling test results, here’s a quick summary of the costs of Bluehost and SiteGround shared hosting plans — and what you get for your money:
Bluehost Shared Hosting Plan Details
At the moment of writing, Bluehost had some amazing lowest-priced shared hosting plans going around, with ample storage provisions and unmetered bandwidth to support unlimited website visitors and traffic:
Basic: From $3.95/mo for one website with 50 GB of storage.
Plus: From $5.95/mo for limitless websites with limitless storage.
Choice Plus: From $6.95/mo for limitless websites with limitless storage, plus a CodeGuard Basic subscription.
Pro: From $13.95/mo for unrestricted websites with unrestricted storage plus a CodeGuard Basic subscription and a dedicated IP.
While there is limitless storage and unmetered bandwidth, you still have to sojourn within the usage policies, or Bluehost will take ‘restorative action’. But, for most small websites, complying shouldn’t be a difficulty.
Siteground Shared Hosting Plan Details
When it gets to SiteGround’s shared hosting plans, at initial glance, the high-prices and lower storage limits make the more affordable Bluehost plans look like a better option.
Nevertheless, don’t make a choice just yet — by the conclusion of this review, you’ll know if it’s worth paying extra or not.
Similar to Bluehost, the SiteGround shared plans below incorporate unmetered traffic. Nevertheless, according to SiteGround, every plan is suitable for a fixed number of visitors each month:
StartUp: From $6.99/mo for one website, 10 GB of storage, and suitable for ~10k monthly visits.
GrowBig: From $9.99/mo for unlimited websites, 20 GB of storage, and suitable for ~20k monthly visits.
GoGeek: From $14.99/mo for limitless websites, 40 GB of storage, and becoming for ~100k monthly visits.
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If you’d like to comprehend more, our guide to the SiteGround hosting plans can assist you to determine which one is best for your site.
While SiteGround does extend unmetered traffic, the suggested monthly visitor’s figure should provide you an idea of which plan may be most fitting for your current or anticipated audience size.
Because of how resources are designated to these plans, if you host your website on the StartUp plan, for instance, and it receives more than 10,000 monthly visits, it may start encountering performance issues such as slow site speed or page load errors.
Nevertheless, the monthly visit guidelines aren’t harsh limits, so it depends on the resources your website utilizes rather than how many people visit it. Once you’ve signed up and confirmed SiteGround, you can control your usage levels via your account area.
With both hosts, you get a huge discount on your first invoice, which can give you up to 36 months of low cost hosting. Once that period is over, you’ll pay the full price in the future.
So, ere you choose a plan, don’t just glance at the promotional rates — be sure to review all the prices listed on the Bluehost and SiteGround plan pages to see how much it’ll cost you once your first billing cycle is over.
Based on just the numbers, Bluehost seems like the better alternative, both in terms of cost and storage for your website(s).
However, the other differences betwixt these hosts” shared services, including features, performance, and user experience, will be examined in the rest of this comparison.
It’s time to look at the features included on the Bluehost, and SiteGround shared hosting plans with costing out of the way.
Although you could glance at the feature lists on their websites, in some instances, these two hosts implement the same features in several ways.
One instance is website backups — with one of the hosts providing you the ability to create backups on-demand versus the other host that doesn’t (depending on which plan you determine).
Because of this, it’s worth performing a bit of research to discover which host give their features in a way that would serve best for you.
So, with that in mind, let’s begin with an overview of how backups work with both Bluehost and SiteGround.
WordPress Website And Account Backups
While your website and account will automatically be backed up on all SiteGround shared hosting plans, with Bluehost, it’s only the top two plans (Choice Plus and Pro) on the shared hosting tier that incorporate backups. For these top two plans, the backups are added via a bundled CodeGuard support.
Nevertheless, with Bluehost, you can append the backup tool to the Basic and Plus plans if you spend extra for a CodeGuard subscription. With prices beginning at $2.99 a month, this makes the monthly payment of the cheaper plans quite expensive.
While all of the SiteGround plans incorporate automatic backups, the lowest valued StartUp plan doesn’t let you perform backups on demand. That feature is reserved for the more upscale GrowBig and GoGeek plans.
A backup system is an indispensable part of running a website, so SiteGround wins here thankfulness to daily automatic backups incorporated on every shared plan as rule.
However, you could always install your own free backup plugin and handle this yourself if your Bluehost plan doesn’t possess this feature.
Caching And Optimization
Speed and fast loading are vital for delivering a positive user experience to your visitors who visit your site and making your website an effective sales or lead generation tool.
With that in cognizance, it’s good to see that both Bluehost and SiteGround take this thoughtfully. Not only do both take pride in high-performance servers in their marketing corporealities, but they additionally render you with some extra tools and functionality to increase website execution.
Later in our comparison, you’ll obtain the results from our sites’ independent performance tests hosted by Bluehost and SiteGround.
Nonetheless, before we get to that, let’s explore what effort both hosts have chosen to deliver a fast hosting experience.
Besides in-house caching technology, you can also instantly approve the Cloudflare CDN service from your account areas on both hostings.
As Cloudflare holds free and paid plans, this can be a cost-effective method to optimize your WordPress website.
Both hosts attach an in-house plugin to your WordPress website that presents you with some tools for optimizing your site’s performance.
Nevertheless, with Bluehost, all you can do is decide from the three levels of caching.
With the SiteGround SG Optimizer plugin operating on your site, you can configure how your site is cached and execute other features, such as front-end, environment, and media optimization.
Models of the other optional features you get with SiteGround include:
- Optimizing all new and existing images.
- Enabling lazy loading.
- Taking advantage of the WebP support to convert your images to a new faster-loading format.
While fixing up the test sites for this comparison, SG Optimizer did reduce the file sizes of the images uploaded to WordPress Media Library without any detectable damage to their quality when it turned them to the WebP format. Because of this, it’s great to see this feature incorporated as standard on the SiteGround shared hosting plans.
SiteGround adds some useful accessories to your website for optimizing your images.
As compared to Bluehost, SiteGround unquestionably equips you with a lot more tools and options for optimizing your website and, conceivably, improving its performance.
These additional optimization tools from SiteGround indicate you’ll have to take a bit more of an active role in configuring your website. It could require a bit of trial and error, too.
However, all of the SiteGround tools’ purpose is to support you in making the right decisions.
Helpfully, there’s additionally a tab in the SG Optimizer area of your WordPress dashboard that allows you to instantly see what the Google PageSpeed Insights tool thinks of your efforts, with recommendations of things to implement if there’s room for development.
With Bluehost, your possibilities are more limited, as it’s just a case of determining a caching level and deciding whether to approve the CDN integration or not.
This approach is more straightforward but conceivably reduces your ability to optimize your site unless you connect third-party plugins.
Nevertheless, the loading time tests in this succeeding comparison will shed some light on whether the Bluehost or SiteGround optimization features and approach produces the best results.
Verdict: SiteGround wins here as they give you more techniques to optimize your website for quicker loading times.
WordPress Management Features
One potential downside of picking lower-priced shared hosting over more expensive managed WordPress hosting is you ought to take on more of the burdens of running a website.
Still, things have become much better for shared hosting consumers in this area now. Therefore, whether you decide on Bluehost or SiteGround, you’ll obtain automatic WordPress software and plugin updates.
Bluehost has a few extra management-related settings, such as the capacity to disable comments on old posts, set the number of content revisions possible, and discharging the content trash at set intervals, all through your account portal.
Like Bluehost, SiteGround will automatically refresh and update your WordPress software for you. Yet, unlike with Bluehost, there’s no way to opt-out of this.
SiteGround just lets you hold WordPress software updates for up to 72 hours. This presents you little time to experiment if the latest version of WordPress is harmonious with your site configuration, including the plugins or any custom code you’ve installed on your site.
Unlike with Bluehost, you can’t permit automatic theme updates for your SiteGround-hosted site.
Depending on how it’s been configured, sometimes doing so may not be a good idea because updating a theme could inadvertently change the way your site looks.
Most updates are meriting testing before applying to your live site.
As Bluehost gives you the choice of disabling automatic WordPress software updates, they win here.
Website Staging Tool
If you require to safely test modifications to your sites, such as installing a new WordPress version or a plugin, a staging tool can help.
Once you’ve used the tool to create a staging site that only you or your team can access, you can try new software, code or anything else without your visitors being able to see it.
Once you’re ready, you can accelerate those changes to your live site.
Creating a staging site was once booked for the customers of managed WordPress hosting, but now Bluehost and SiteGround make it possible on their much more affordable shared hosting plans.
Still, there are some variations between the Bluehost and SiteGround staging features.
Both hosts have done a magnificent job of keeping everything simple, and it only takes one click to generate a staging version of your site.
Once you’ve devised a staging site, you can shift to it from inside your account area with SiteGround or your dashboard with Bluehost.
SiteGround makes it very easy to generate a staging site for checking the changes you desire to implement.
Then, when you’re willing, you can shift the test site’s contents to the live site, again in just a few clicks.
SiteGround lets you perform a custom deployment and transfer only what you want live in the site.
One of the main variations between the two tools is that with SiteGround, you can do a partial shift. This includes shifting only selected files and/or database tables.
With Bluehost, this alternative isn’t available, and it’s only possible to transfer the entire site.
The advantage of the SiteGround approach is that you can avoid overwriting any changes made to the live site while you are working on the staging site, such as adding a new post or user comments.
SiteGround additionally allows you to create multiple staging sites, while with Bluehost you can just have one at a time.
Creating multiple staging environments for each live site and the capacity to choose which files and/or database changes to transfer make the SiteGround staging feature the winner.
If anything untoward or awkward happens with your website, it’s essential that you can immediately get in touch with someone. Hence it’s magnificent to see that both SiteGround and Bluehost grant 24/7 access to their support staff.
Still, while both hosts have got live chat and telephone support channels, SiteGround additionally offers support and assistance via email tickets. Customers’ issues on the top-level SiteGround GoGeek plan are also prioritized and handled by the most skilled support agents for an extra quick resolution.
Both hosts offer active 24/7 support, but SiteGround wins here because they offer an email ticketing channel adjacent to the chat and phone support.
That includes the main features of the Bluehost and SiteGround shared hosting plans. As you can recognize, both hosts present you with the greatest, if not all, of the essentials required to run a steady WordPress website.
Later in this comparison, you’ll encounter a checklist of the two services’ principal technical details, which should satisfy any other enigmas you may have.
However, ere we get to that, let’s first examine our tests’ results to see whether SiteGround or Bluehost present the best performance.
For our performance analyses, we first observed our sites’ loading times; then, we used a load testing service to see how they managed multiple virtual users accessing them simultaneously.
Here are the results…
Load Time Testing
Our WordPress websites were observed by the paid Pingdom service for the loading time tests over a seven-day period. Their speed was registered by Pingdom at 30-minute intervals to ascertain an average loading time.
Lightweight Theme Speed Test Results
We created two identical WordPress websites for our first site speed test sites using the lightweight Twenty Twenty theme. Pingdom watched an identical page, which contained an image and some text, from each site.
Bluehost Lightweight Theme Speed Test Results
As recorded in the graph below, after seven days of monitoring, the average loading time for the site hosted by Bluehost was 1.17 seconds, as per Pingdom.
Siteground Lightweight Theme Speed Test Results
For the identical test, except for the site hosted by SiteGround, the average loading time was much swift and very effective i.e. 289 milliseconds.
Lightweight Theme Speed Test Results Summary
As you can view, the website hosted by SiteGround was about four times quicker than the same site hosted by Bluehost.
Below is a comparison of Pingdom’s load times for the two sites hosted by Bluehost and SiteGround.
If you intend to use a lightweight theme, then our test results show that you’d encounter quicker loading times by hosting your site with SiteGround.
Based on our previous reviews’ outcomes, even more-expensively managed hosts could not subserve a lightweight theme much quicker than SiteGround, including Liquid Web (358 milliseconds) and WP Engine (246 milliseconds).
You may discern that Pingdom from Europe compared the site hosted by SiteGround, while Bluehost’s site was observed from the Western US. These analysing locations were selected because the SiteGround site was hosted in Europe. In contrast, the Bluehost site was hosted in the Western US, guaranteeing both sites were analyzed from the Pingdom location nearest to them.
Heavyweight Theme Speed Test Results
If you don’t desire to use a lightweight theme such as Twenty Twenty that doesn’t arrive with various inbuilt features, we additionally tested the loading times of two identical sites utilizing the feature-enriched multipurpose Avada theme.
We imported the Agency demo and observed the pre-built homepage layout, which comprises animations, videos, and multiple images for these tests.
BLUEHOST HEAVYWEIGHT THEME SPEED TEST RESULTS
The bigger size and more complicated design of the page being tested appeared in a slow average load time of 4.85 sec for Bluehost’s site.
SITEGROUND HEAVYWEIGHT THEME SPEED TEST RESULTS
Once again, SiteGround presented a much faster average load time than Bluehost, coming in at 1.69 sec for the site utilizing the heavyweight theme.
Pingdom SiteGround Avada Homepage Results
In Spite of the larger file size, the SiteGround-hosted site loaded in an acceptable 1.69 sec.
HEAVYWEIGHT THEME SPEED TEST RESULTS SUMMARY
As our tests reveal, neither SiteGround nor Bluehost could accept the Avada Agency homepage layout in less than one second.
However, if you plan to handle this type of theme and its prebuilt content, you’d be much better off picking SiteGround over Bluehost.
Pingdom Bluehost vs SiteGround Avada Results Summary
Our test results show SiteGround better host web pages with lots of elements and large file sizes.
Based on our earlier tests, you’d have to sign up with a premium managed hosting service, such as Kinsta or WP Engine, to get quicker loading times when employing a heavyweight theme.
Loading Times Summary
In all of our site speed tests, SiteGround delivered much better than Bluehost. So, whether you intend to use a lightweight theme or a heavyweight alternative, paying additional for SiteGround will guarantee a faster loading website.
Pingdom Bluehost vs SiteGround Results Summary
When examining sites using both types of WordPress themes, SiteGround was faster than Bluehost.
If you’re looking for affordable hosting that’s closer, that’ll be easy on your pocket then go the Bluehost way.
LOAD HANDLING TEST RESULTS
As the test sites don’t accept any traffic, the overhead tests don’t tell the full story.
We also require to know how well sites hosted by Bluehost and SiteGround handle multiple visitors that access them at once.
To determine this, we adopted the paid K6 (formerly Load Impact) service to reproduce an increasing number of visitors accessing them simultaneously.
We directed K6 to send multiple virtual users to a page on our test sites over five minutes for these load handling tests. K6 recorded the sites’ response times to see what impact the simultaneous virtual users had on their performance.
Suppose you intend to use a lightweight theme and publish content consisting essentially of text and a few optimized images, in that case, it shouldn’t matter whether you prefer Bluehost or SiteGround in terms of how many concurrent visitors your site can accommodate.
But, if you’d rather utilize a more resource-hungry theme and promulgate content that highlights videos and multiple images, then only SiteGround appears competent in delivering a competent user experience to your audience.
For our ultimate achievement test, we handled Pingdom to observe the uptime of our four test sites.
Pingdom didn’t identify any downtime for any of our four sites hosted by Bluehost and SiteGround during the seven monitoring days.
Neither the two sites hosted by Bluehost nor the two hosted by SiteGround encountered any downtime throughout the seven days of monitoring.
The overhead content includes the foremost features of the Bluehost and SiteGround shared hosting plans.
But, for those attempting more information before making a choice, here are some additional details you may find valuable, as well as an summary of some of the key points previously discussed:
Website caching: Bluehost utilize the in-house Endurance Cache service, which has three levels of caching. SiteGround has their SG Optimizer plugin that allows you to cache and optimize your site in several diverse ways.
Content Delivery Network (CDN): Bluehost and SiteGround, both support smooth integration with the free and paid Cloudflare plans and integration with other CDNs.
PHP: With both hosts, you can decide from a range of PHP versions within 7.0 and 7.4 via web interface, with SiteGround additionally allowing version 5.4.
SSL: You can demand a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate, import your certificate or buy a separate certificate through both hosts.
HTTP/2.0: HTTP/2.0 is already enabled on both the Bluehost and SiteGround shared hosting plans.
SFTP: Both hosts permit you to create multiple Secure FTP accounts to reach your webspace for editing and uploading files.
Server file manager: You can obtain your server space via a browser-based file manager located with Bluehost and SiteGround.
Database access: Both Bluehost and SiteGround give you access to the WordPress database via phpMyAdmin via a browser.
Email service: Bluehost and SiteGround have an email service on the shared hosting plans, including webmail, POP3 and SMTP.
WordPress website management: It enables Optional automatic WordPress software and plugin updates by Bluehost and mandatory WordPress software updates and optional plugin updates by SiteGround.
Plugin restrictions: No list of forbidden plugins with either Bluehost or SiteGround, unlike some other managed WordPress hosts.
Security measures: Bluehost has SiteLock, and SiteGround has SG Site Scanner paid add-ons that involve daily malware scans, automatic malware removal, and added security features.
Post-hack clean-up services: Bluehost doesn’t have a setting to fix sites that get hacked, although the voluntarily paid SiteLock add-on can assist with this. SiteGround won’t help to tidy up your site if it gets hacked, but I recommend Sucuri.
Data center locations: Bluehost just has one data center, which is in Utah, Western USA. SiteGround has six data centers on three continents and utilizes the Google Cloud platform as a component of its infrastructure.
Staging sites: Bluehost and SiteGround both the shared plans include access to a staging tool.
WordPress website migration: Bluehost will migrate one WordPress website for free, while SiteGround costs a fee and has a free-to-use migration plugin.
Uptime checks and guarantee: Both Bluehost and SiteGround monitor their servers for downtime, but not individual customer websites. SiteGround guarantees network uptime of 99.9% and will give free hosting in the case of downtime. Bluehost, unlike several other web hosts, do not have an uptime guarantee.
Support channels: Both Bluehost and SiteGround offer 24/7 assistance via telephone and live chat, with SiteGround also provides support via email ticketing.
For more information on these two services’ specifics, check out the plans pages on the Bluehost and SiteGround websites.
Bluehost and SiteGround, both make it very straightforward to sign up, begin a new website and build an online presence.
Nevertheless, as our tests show, you get better execution from SiteGround regarding how fast your website will load.
Additionally, if you plan to use a feature-rich multipurpose theme, such as Avada, and import one of its demos, hosting it with SiteGround averages will not only load relatively quickly, but it will additionally be able to handle more visitors accessing it at the same time.
On the contrary, the Bluehost plans are much more affordable and easy on your pocket. Looking at both hosts’ entry-level plans, you pay almost twice as much per month when you sign up with SiteGround.
However, as site speed is so crucial for keeping your visitors happy and driving conversions, if you can manage to sign up with SiteGround, it’s the suggested alternative from this comparison.
If you can’t reconcile to the more expensive prices of SiteGround, though, Bluehost could still operate for you. However, you’d have to make sure you prefer a fast WordPress theme, kept your content optimized, and perhaps install some third-party plugins to enhance site speed.
Based on this estimate and our other hosting reviews, SiteGround is the fastest shared host we’ve tested.
If you can support their prices, you’ll be getting entrance to a well-designed customer portal, a valuable set of features, and effective performance for shared hosting.