Have you seen the hosting wars going on in Facebook groups? “Bluehost is the the best!” “No, SiteGround is the best!” And on it goes with everyone throwing in their affiliate links to further confuse the situation.
The fact of the matter is that you need good, reliable hosting for your website. That’s what you’re paying for, right? There are a bunch of hosting companies to choose from, but these are two of the most popular. In this Bluehost and SiteGround comparison, they’ll go head to head, and I’ll share my experience with each.
This post is NOT for you if you are looking to compare all the technical details of each provider. It IS for you if you want an honest comparison, free of technical mumbo jumbo, and a real user experience with each host.
Bottom line– you need to pick a great host, so pick the one that’s right for you!
(This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small compensation at no cost to you.)
WHAT YOU GET
As you can see, they are very comparable. If you are just starting out, the main difference to note here is that Bluehost offers a free domain registration. The cost of domain registration with SiteGround is about $15 depending on the domain name. And transfer of a domain is also $15.
The main reason I switched from Bluehost to SiteGround is that I experienced some downtime on my site for about 24 hours… and I found it distressing! I have heard from other users that you get what you pay for. The occasional downtime didn’t upset them so much. They kind of expected there to be some glitches. I, however, was stressed out at the loss of traffic and sales!
Since I’ve been with SiteGround, I’ve experienced no downtime at all, no loss of service, no glitches, nothing.
This is also a big source of contention in the debate about which host is the best. Some say that SiteGround is the absolute bee’s knees when it comes to customer service. Some think Bluehost is just as good.
Here’s what happened to me… When I contacted SiteGround for the first time, I expected to be treated like royalty because of all the hype I’d heard about how awesome their customer service was.
The reality was that they were professional but curt and to the point. They repeatedly tried to end the conversation when I still was unsure about what I was doing to get the issue resolved. They were nothing but polite, but eager to “resolve” me. Ultimately, I do get my issues resolved and questions answered, but I don’t expect any warm fuzzies!
On the other hand, when I’ve had to contact Bluehost, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with not only the level of expertise of the representative but also the amount of time they’ve taken with me to make sure that I’m satisfied with the result of the convo.
I’ve been remarkably pleased and happy when I get off the phone with BH, whereas SG leaves me feeling flat. That’s totally a subjective statement, I know, but I want to fill you in on my user experience 🙂
I told you that this post was not going to be techy in any way, so let me just say that when I switched from Bluehost to SiteGround, I noticed instantly that my site was faster. It was noticeable right away. It used to take ages for me to go from one category in my dashboard to another, and now it’s considerably faster. And I really like that!
I’m sure that there are things I could’ve done with Bluehost to make my site faster, like compressing my images and such, but this was a quick fix and a perk of switching to Site Ground.
TRANSFERING TO ANOTHER HOST
I can only speak from my own experience in switching from Bluehost to SiteGround. The transfer was very, very easy and there was no downtime or loss of data. Also, Bluehost refunded me the difference of my term, which was great and bodes well for them too.
SiteGround took care of transferring my site and all I had to do was redirect my DNS server to SiteGround. It was totally simple.
Many bloggers immediately sign up for hosting affiliate programs because the commissions are generally higher than those of other companies and affiliate groups. But it’s so important to recommend the company/companies that you trust and believe in. You never want to promote a product that you don’t stand by.
That being said, Bluehost is known for treating its affiliates great. They have a steep and generous pay structure, paying upwards of $100 per referral in some cases! But can you recommend them knowing that the website owner may… most probably will experience some downtime on their site at one time or another? Maybe…
SiteGround also has a great affiliate program. Although not quite as generous as Bluehost, their pay structure starts at $50 per referral. Pretty good, right! Now their service is exceptional, no downtime, and fast too, but their fees with domain registration are just slightly higher than Bluehost. So do you recommend them?
WHY I SWITCHED FROM BLUEHOST TO SITEGROUND
Honestly, I gave in to the hype. I listened and read all the host wars on Facebook and felt pressure to jump ship. Everybody was doing it (said in a snobby teenage voice).
I really didn’t understand the importance of having great hosting service until my site was down for a day. Like I said before, I freaked the eff out. That was the deciding factor for me in making the switch to SiteGround.
In conclusion, both SiteGround and Bluehost offer affordable and great hosting service for a beginning blogger. I really want you to make your own decision on which to choose depending on what’s important to you. Consider the cost, reliability, customer service, speed, and affiliate program. I don’t think you’ll be dissatisfied with either as long as you go in knowing what to look for and what to expect.
What are your thoughts on the host wars? Let me know in the comments.
PS: I can always be found in the Life Unplanned Community, a free Facebook group for bloggers like you where we talk about all things blogging and then some. I’d love to see you in there!
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