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There is a lot of information on shared hosting online. Shared hosting is the most budget-friendly way to start a website or blog. Doing this, you shared the resources of a server with other networks, but as such you save money rather than getting a dedicated server. The questions “Is Bluehost or SiteGround better?” and “What is the best shared hosting service?” are asked a lot by a number of people who are unfamiliar or new with how to creating a website or blog.
When searching for which shared hosting provider is best, it is easy to get your mind lost with all the information if you are not tech-savvy. It’s that reason I wanted to provide a simple comparison between Bluehost and SiteGround; two highly popular hosting services.
To do so, I have compared the features both services offer, the cost that comes with these, and also the performance from my experience using both of these.
If you want a brief summary of the differences between SiteGround and Bluehost without getting into too much detail, have a quick look at the table below:
|Performance / Speed||Good||Better|
|First Time Bloggers||Great||Good|
|Verdict||Bluehost is the more popular hosting service and a more cost-effective way to get up and running.||SiteGround’s performance is better resulting in the smoother experience, but this comes at a higher cost.|
Below is an overview of the features both sites offer. As you will see, there are only subtle differences between these shared hosting services. If you are just starting out, you may want to opt for Bluehost as you will not have to splash out any extra cash to register your domain. This means you can set up your new site and get your website name/address for free.
However, depending on how quick you want to grow may also impact this as shown in the performance section.
There is not much difference in the cost between these two.
Bluehost offers free domain registration but has a fee to transfer an existing domain across to them, so may be the better option for beginners.
SiteGround has 3 different packages; and StartUp, GoBig and GoGeek. With SiteGround, there is no free domain registration during sign up. However, they allow you to transfer your existing domain for free, making this more appealing if you are looking at switching provider.
Bluehost’s Basic and SiteGround’s StartUp package both allow a user one website, with the Plus, Plus Choice, GoBig, and GoGeek allowing for more.
Overall, cost-wise, it really depends on if you are starting fresh or have an existing site which is better for you. If you are starting a brand new website or blog, you might want to take advantage of Bluehost’s free domain registration to get started.
At the moment SiteGround is offering the StartUp package (1 website) for £0.33 a month for the first 3 months.
Performance Test Comparison
As all you read online is that SEO is the way to a successful blog (other than the content of course). One key indicator suggested of how Google, Bing and other search engines optimise their results is the site’s performance and load speed. For this reason, I have done a simple Bluehost vs. SightGround comparison using the same site but hosted on each hosting service, and I then evaluated the performance difference.
So, to get an accurate benchmark of what was the bottleneck of my website, I decided to do a bit of tidy up. I removed pretty much all of the unnecessary plugins I had enabled. This was to eliminate the potential for any of these to be slowing my site down and affecting the test result.
The test was carried out during a move from a shared hosting plan on Bluehost to a shared hosting plan of similar price on SiteGround. PageSpeed was used to give a benchmark of the difference between these two hosting platforms.
FYI, a quick check over on PageSpeed will give you an initial indication of how well optimised your site’s pages. The higher the number, the better. This will also give you some tips on what is causing your page to run slower than it’s potential.
When using Bluehost, the Time To First Byte (responsiveness of a webserver) was killing my performance. The TTFB was always in the realm of up to 5 seconds, but rarely below 2 seconds. However, this will vary depending on the other services and websites you are sharing a server with. This meant my page load speed was really slow. If it annoyed me, it will no doubt annoy the readers I am trying to reach.
As you can see below, the performance I was getting even with an optimised site, was still not great when using Bluehost; with a Desktop score of 72 and a mobile score of 22.
Once moving the site over to SiteGround, I saw a dramatic improvement in both desktop and mobile improvement. The thing that was annoying me the most, TTFB, had dropped substantially. The mobile performance had significantly increased from 22 to 48, which means there’s still room for improvement but I put this down to my theme not being optimised for mobile. The Desktop test was nearly perfect after switching, with a score of 95.
Both of these hosting services are well established and it is no surprise many customers use these services. They are both cost-effective solutions and both are more than capable for anyone looking to start a new website or blog.
The price point is low for both, but Bluehost costs slightly less. If you are starting out with your first website and looking to save some money then Bluehost will be perfect, and you can take advantage of the free domain registration.
If you are looking to improve the performance of your existing site, or if performance is a key thing you are looking for, I would definitely recommend SiteGround.
Personal Preference: SiteGround (Performance increase outweighs the cost increase.)
If you want to know more about getting started with blogging or creating a website, head over to How To Start A Blog for all the information you need.