(This post probably contains affiliate links. Our full disclosure policy is really boring, but you can find it here.)
The big blog host debate these days: Bluehost vs Siteground… what’s the best hosting company for beginner bloggers?
There was no Bluehost vs Siteground debate when I started my blog on Bluehost. And for the last year I have recommended hosting with Bluehost to my readers. And I personally have never had any real issues with Bluehost. Their customer service has been fine and my site was only down three times over the past year. (I figured that’s bound to happen now and then.) Plus they seemed to be the cheapest option out there when I started my blog.
So why on earth would I switch hosting companies?
It started with page load speed. It seems like a pretty simple thing, but it was really getting to be a big deal for me. (With a faster load speed you will have a lower bounce rate and a higher ad income. I can not afford to allow my pages to take 13 seconds to load… and that’s where I was with my load speed.)
I contacted Bluehost and they said I would have to upgrade to a VPS service to gain any speed. I had been hearing a bunch of ant-Bluehost rumblings in blogging forums and decided to at least look into other hosts before I gave more money to Bluehost.
Siteground came very highly recommended by some bloggers I really respect, so I had them run a test on my page load speed…and they told me that my page load speed wasn’t just bad – it was unacceptable.13 seconds! It’s a wonder I had any traffic at all at that load time. I asked Siteground if they could guarantee me a faster load time if I moved my blog to them. And they said yes, absolutely. They showed me the following graph:
(The results above are based on tests with real accounts on 12 of the most popular web hosts on the affiliate market: Bluehost, HostGator, iPage, Fatcow, Justhost, AsmallOrange, InMotion, WebhostingHub, Arvixe, GoDaddy, GreenGeeks and A2Hosting.)
Not only that, but they have the fastest issue resolution time via chat:
I was pretty impressed… but…
I was afraid I’d be paying a lot more for this better service
Because isn’t it true that you get what you pay for?
I had started my blog for $3.95 / month – right? That’s the price I see advertised EVERYWHERE for Bluehost, and I figured that’s what I had paid. BUT, it turns out, I had paid $5.45/month… because to get the price of $3.95 you need to purchase 36 months of hosting off the bat.
And who wants to commit to three years of blogging before they even know if they LIKE blogging?!
With Siteground you’d actually pay LESS for a 12 month subscription than you would with Bluehost. $4.95/month. (Or $3.95 / month for 12 months if you use this link!)
So I was more or less sold…
But that’s not the only reason I chose Siteground over Bluehost
I believe that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. You’d be hard pressed these days to find a website developer who would recommend Bluehost anymore. I am a member of a few blogging Facebook groups and there is A LOT of chatter about the poor service, the poor load time and other issues that people are running into with Bluehost. Bluehost vs Siteground is a HUGE topic of conversation.
Recently we (in the blog groups) had a discussion about why SO many bloggers are still recommending Bluehost, if it’s true that things are getting rough with them. As far as I can tell? It comes down to the dollars to be made. Bluehost pays better commission than Siteground, and that’s too bad. (I think it’s especially too bad, now that I have re-written my how to start a blog tutorial to recommend hosting with Siteground, haha.)
But I could not, in good faith, recommend that anyone start their blog with a service that so many people are claiming to have trouble with – even if I hadn’t had trouble with it myself. (That said, my blog hasn’t been down once since I switched, and I’m loving the new page load time – and increased ad revenue that goes with it.)
I would feel terrible if people started their blogs on Bluehost based on my recommendation and then had to go through the headache of switching hosting companies in the future.