Is SiteGround better than Bluehost?
The comparison of SiteGround vs Bluehost is made quite often because they both have very strong affiliate programs and therefore are very frequently recommended on the internet, however, as someone who has used both hosting companies and has been an affiliate of both, I can say without any hesitate that SiteGround is a million times better than Bluehost (yes… a million!). In fact, I would go as far as to saying that Bluehost is a horrible web hosting company and that people should stay away. This is because it is sooooooooooo slow! As a developer, I have worked with many sites on Bluehost and every single one of them loads frustratingly slow! I have nothing against Bluehost, it’s just that they have horrible speeds which is a very important factor when selecting a hosting company and running a business. Besides speed, I really don’t like their cPanel as it is very clunky and not as user-friendly as other companies.
I’m not quite sure why these gurus and marketers chose to recommend Bluehost when there are much better hosting companies out there that they can promote. I first signed-up to Bluehost because of one of these recommendations and I immediately regretted it. Because of this I was very hesitant to try SiteGround which led me try various other hosting companies before finally switching to SiteGround which is where my websites are currently hosted. The other hosting companies (besides HostGator) were decent but they just did not offer the features and resources that SiteGround does for the same price. In case you were also considered HostGator, I would stay far far away! Any company that uses unethical tactics to squeeze money out of their customers cannot be trusted! On the other-hand, GoDaddy who pretend to be cheap, up-sells you on everything and ends up being more expensive than other hosting companies. For example, they will charge you over $60 (price depends on country) for a SSL certificate when others provide it for free.
Anyways… Let’s get back to why I think SiteGround is the best shared hosting option.
Rather than going into detail about features that are common among different hosting providers (including Bluehost) such as…
- Free SSL Certificates
- Free Emails
- One-Click WordPress Install
- Managed Security
- Daily Backups
- And so on…
I will instead focus on the unique features of SiteGround that I am yet to experience with any other shared hosting provider.
Why SiteGround Is Better Than Bluehost
& Other Hosts?
1. Super Caching System
SiteGround has a super caching system available with all their plans and consists of three different levels.
a. Static Cache
b. Dynamic Cache
This is an extremely effective solution for dynamic websites using WordPress, Joomla and Drupal 7. It caches the HTML output created by the PHP code of these platforms and serves it directly from the RAM, instead of generating it each time. This is available starting from the Grow Big plan.
This is a powerful caching system that is used by many database-powered sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Wikipedia and many others. It caches the results from the database queries into the server’s RAM which speeds up the website tremendously. This is also available starting from the Grow Big plan.
2. Optimization Plugin
SiteGround has created their very own optimization plugin to help optimize your site for speed. While there are many plugins that do a similar job, the SiteGround optimization plugin does it all-in-one which saves you from installing multiple different plugins (similar to WP-Rocket).
The plugins includes common features such as…
- Enable HTTPS (SSL)
- GZIP Compression
- Browser Chacing
- Combine CSS Files
- Remove Query Strings From Static Resources
- Disable Emojis
However, unlike other plugins, it also allows you to manage your PHP version, lazy load + optimize your images (without losing quality) and utilize their Super Caching system. I used to use WP-Rocket for all my sites, however, ever since moving to SiteGround I have found their plugin to work better with their system. When a site is not hosted with SiteGround then I recommend using WP-Rocket as it is a fantastic plugin and does a very similar job.
SiteGround has the fastest shared-hosted speed I have come across. Bluehost doesn’t even come close to the speed you will get with SiteGround, it’s like comparing a snail with a cheetah.
SiteGround is very generous with their resources.
In fact, the reason why I moved to SiteGround is because I wasn’t able to run a store on my previous hosting.
Although they were almost just as fast as SiteGround, they had a limited on Disk I/O which constantly made my eCommerce store go down. I’m not too sure if Bluehost limits their Disk I/O as I moved away from them before I could setup a store seeing as they were way to slow but it’s something to keep in mind when selecting a web hosting plan. However, you won’t have this problem with SiteGround.
SiteGround’s support is actually really good!
They have chat support available 24/7 and their staff have never failed to fix any of my issues on the spot.
If you do by chance end up connecting with a support agent that is frustrating, you can simply close the chat and open a new one and you will be connected to a new support agent.
5. Free Cloudflare CDN
Although a lot of hosting companies offer free Cloudflare CDN, I have found that not all of them integrate smoothly with their web server. I have experienced this multiple times but with SiteGround I was using Cloudflare with Railgun with a few simple clicks. In addition, their optimization plugin “just works” with CloudFlare so you don’t need to worry about configuring anything.
6. Free Migration
Moving to SiteGround is extremely easy!
All you need to do is provide them with cPanel access and they will move everything for you, including all your sites, FTP’s accounts, emails and anything else you have already configured. They did this for me within 24 hours and kept my updated with the process. I was so glad I didn’t have to do anything!
How To Get Started & What Plan To Choose?
Getting started is very easy!
All you need to do is go to SiteGround and sign-up. Whether you select Web Hosting, WordPress Hosting or WooCommerce Hosting doesn’t matter as they are all the same. The only difference is that Web Hosting has no applications pre-installed, WordPress hosting has WordPress pre-installed and WooCommerce Hosting has WordPress and WooCommerce pre-installed. If you are moving from another host none of this matters as you will be transferred your existing site(s) which will overwrite anything on the cPanel.
On the next page you will need to select a plan.
I’m personally on the GrowBig plan but if you only have a single small website then the StartUp plan will be just fine for you. You can always upgrade later on if you need more resources.
click here for a detailed comparison of the three different plans.
It’s important to note that the first time you sign-up to SiteGround you automatically receive a huge discount so it’s more cost-effective to sign-up for 2 or 3 years.
Everything from here forward is pretty straight forward but you may be confused when you are asked to select a data-center. This is where your website will be physically stored and you should select the data center closest to your ideal visitors because the less distance data needs to travel, the faster your website will load.
SiteGround has a page to help you with this and recommends the below.
– Chicago for North America, South America and Africa
– Singapore for Australia, New Zealand, Asia and South Pacific
– London and Amsterdam for Europe and Russia.
Keep in mind that if you are planning to use SiteGround’s free CloudFlare integration then this doesn’t really matter because CloudFlare will hold your website to various different countries.
To learn more about data centers and CloudFlare click here.
Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below once you have signed-up with SiteGround.