No question getting a reliable web hosting for your blog is of utmost importance. This is one of the reasons why choosing the best web host for your blog is something that takes time.
You want to do proper research before making a decision.
Today we’re going to compare three web hosts: Siteground, Bluehost and Hostgator. Three of the most popular web hosts among bloggers and beginners.
To measure each web host, we’ll be looking at these factors:
- Features – this would include hosting speed, security, storage, and ease of use.
- Pricing – this can be a huge factor if you have a limited budget
- Ease of Use – a user dashboard that’s easy to use and navigate even for non-technical people
- WordPress installation – this is one of the first steps in building a site so it should be easy to do
- Support – there should always be someone to help you out when something goes wrong
- Customer Reviews – it’s vital that customers are happy with a web host
When it comes to technical aspects, these are the things you need to look out for in studying a web host’s list of features.
Note that some “features” are not unique to a web host and are in fact a regular feature of other platforms like WordPress or cPanel.
Storage and Bandwidth: This refers to how much files and data are allowed for your site. While some web hosts offer unlimited or unmetered bandwidth, users are still expected not to exceed the acceptable limit.
Security features: Getting an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) for your website is the first step to gaining trust from your visitors. SSLs enable an encrypted link between a web server and a browser that ensures all data are private.
SSLs are a must-have for eCommerce stores (if you’re using WooCommerce) where customers enter private information like an address and credit card.
Pricing: Some web hosts that market their hosting as only $2.75/month can be misleading.
They do not immediately disclose that this pricing only applies when you purchase a 3-year subscription. If you only want to pay for a year, the price goes up to 3-4 dollars more.
Renewal: It’s also crucial that you are aware of whether or not you’ll be paying the same prices when you renew your hosting.
Some web hosts offer discounted rates for the first year but will charge you with the regular rates upon renewal.
- Detailed Comparison
Bluehost was founded in 2003 by Matt Heaton.
It is an EIG owned hosting company based in Salt Lake City, Utah, the company hosts over 2 million domains along with its sister companies.
Bluehost is one of the officially recommended web hosts from WordPress.org.
Bluehost offers a wide range of hosting plans, but this article will focus mainly on its shared and managed hosting plans. The shared plan starts at the promotional price of $3.95/month (regular price at $7.99/month).
Note that you will only get this pricing when you purchase the three-year hosting plan.
For the lowest shared hosting plan, you get a free domain, SSL, 50 GB SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, and 25 subdomains. You can host one website only under the Basic shared hosting plan.
The higher-priced plans Choice Plus ($5.95/month) and Pro ($9.95/month) will give you spam protection, site backup, and a 30-day trial of Office 365 Mailbox.
Bluehost recently added WP Pro, a managed WordPress hosting service that includes marketing tools for SEO, email marketing, and social media. The plan starts at $19.95/month (regular price at $29.99/month) for the Build plan.
It includes essential Jetpack, a marketing dashboard, 100+ free WordPress themes, daily scheduled backups, unlimited websites, domains, and bandwidth.
You also get free WordPress website migration offered by BlueHost on all shared hosting plans.
- Free domain for the first year
- Free SSL
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Built-in Cloudflare CDN
- Affordable pricing
- 24/7 phone and chat support
- PayPal payment option
Ease of Use & WordPress Installation
Bluehost made an apparent effort of designing a user-friendly dashboard for their users. The screenshot above is an example of what you will see when you first open your admin area.
The simple and straightforward design will make any user feel welcome and guided as to the next steps.
After paying for your hosting plan, you will get step-by-step instructions to install WordPress or go to your user dashboard.
Whichever option you choose, the process is broken down in a series of easy-to-follow instructions. In this regard, Bluehost gets high points for user-friendliness.
Installing WordPress is also a breeze as you are guided through a setup wizard until your WordPress site is ready to launch. With just a few clicks, you’re ready to publish your first blog post.
Bluehost offers 24/7 phone and chat support.
Despite its stellar product features, Bluehost has a score of 1.2 in Trustpilot with negative reviews regarding customer support. Most complaints refer to slow response times, constant upsells, and site downtimes. A typical EIG hosting trait.
Get Started with Bluehost
Hostgator was founded in 2002 by then-student Brent Oxley. It quickly grew and expanded its headquarters to Canada and India. In 2012, the company was sold to Endurance International Group.
Hostgator is also an EIG owned hosting company just like Bluehost.
Hostgator offers basic shared hosting, managed WordPress hosting, as well as VPS and Dedicated hosting. Shared Web Hosting (Hatchling) plans start at $2.75/month and include one domain, unmetered bandwidth, free SSL, and CDN.
The Baby plan offers everything in Hatchling, but with unlimited domains.
Unlike Bluehost and Siteground, Hostgator allows recurring payments in 1, 3, and 6 months. This makes Hostgator great for users who can not afford to pay a full year of hosting just yet.
- Free SSL
- Free domain name
- Unmetered bandwidth and disk space
- 24/7 phone & chat support
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
- Offers monthly payments (including PayPal)
These features are pretty similar to what Bluehost and Siteground offer but are all accessible through a monthly payment option. Instead of paying $60+ for one year of hosting, you can build a website for just $10 (you get a free domain).
The bad news here is that you will save money in the short term, but will eventually end up spending more if you continue to pay monthly for the rest of the year.
If you prefer WordPress hosting, Hostgator can deliver this starting at $5.95/month. The Starter Plan allows one domain, 100k visits per month, free SSL, 1 GB backup space, free website migration, daily backups, and automatic malware removal.
If you need to host multiple sites, you can choose the Standard or Business plan, which allows for 2 – 3 websites.
Ease of Use & WordPress Installation
Hostgator recently updated its customer portal, and it now looks more modern and similar to Bluehost’s. Logging in to the portal, you’ll get an organized view of your hosting accounts as well as any domains you have purchased.
The cPanel can now be accessed by first selecting the hosting plan under Hosting.
While Hostgator has updated its portal, the steps to install WordPress remains the old way of going to cPanel and using QuickInstall or One-click Install. This involves a few steps that Hostgator provides a guide for.
If you’re stuck, Hostgator has 24/7/365 phone and chat support. All the contact details can be found under Support in the customer portal.
Hostgator has poor customer reviews on Trustpilot and has a score of 0.8 out of 400+ customer reviews. Complaints vary from sites being taken down without notice to security issues and other causes of site downtime.
Get Started with Hostgator
We also have a Hostgator coupon that’ll help you save up to 60% on all plans.
Siteground was founded in 2004 by four college friends.
Its head office is located in Bulgaria and has 500+ employees. To date, Siteground hosts 1.8 million domains worldwide. Siteground has four data centers located in the US, the UK, the Netherlands, and Singapore.
Siteground offers Shared, managed WordPress, managed WooCommerce, and cloud hosting.
Its price points are higher than that of Bluehost and Hostgator.
The lowest shared hosting plans and managed WordPress plans start at $6.99/month (renews at $14.99/month) and goes up to $14.99/month (renews at $39.99/month).
Cloud hosting begins at $80/month and goes up to $240/month.
Another thing to note is that Siteground does not provide unlimited or unmetered storage and in any of its hosting plans.
The shared and WordPress hosting plans allow from 10 – 30 GB of webspace, which is significantly lower than Bluehost and Hostgator.
While this might seem like a disadvantage, it is actually beneficial for users as it will limit others from overusing an “unmetered” allocation.
By restricting users from overusing server resources, Siteground makes sure that every site has sufficient server space and bandwidth to run smoothly without facing much downtime or insufficient server space.
- Free SSL and CDN
- 4 data centers in 3 continents
- Fast web servers running on SSDs
- 24/7 phone, chat, ticket support
- A free drag-and-drop site builder
- PayPal payment option (you’ll have to request their support team)
What Siteground lacks in web space, it makes up for in other more significant features like free CDN, free SSLs, daily backups, free site migrations, and 24/7 fast and efficient customer support.
Siteground is also the only web host on this list that lets you select a data center upon signing up.
This is an excellent option because you can choose a data center that is nearest to where your target audience is, making your site load faster for them.
Ease of Use & WordPress installation
Siteground also revamped their client dashboard, making it look modern and user-friendly. This new client area will be available to new users and will be rolled out to existing users by September of this year (2019).
The interface is mobile responsive and built with the REACT platform.
As for installing WordPress, it’s now more comfortable with a setup process that gets done in a few clicks.
Users now have the option to migrate a site right inside the dashboard – something that is not presently offered by Hostgator.
Siteground is known for its top-notch customer support, which is available 24/7 by phone, chat, and ticket. Customers report that support staff is polite, helpful, and able to resolve issues promptly.
Siteground has garnered positive customer reviews. Its Trustpilot score is 9.4, which makes it the highest rating of the three web hosts mentioned in this article. Most reviews praise the company’s superior customer support and quality hosting.
Get Started with Siteground
Now that we have seen how these three web hosts compare with each other, you can make a more informed decision on which web host to choose.
|Hosting types||Shared, Managed WordPress, WP Pro, VPS, Dedicated||Shared, Managed WordPress, Cloud, VPS, Dedicated||Shared, Managed WordPress, Managed WooCommerce, Cloud|
|Lowest hosting plan||$3.95/month||$2.75/month||$3.95/month|
|Disk space||50 GB SSD – Unlimited||Unmetered||10 – 30 GB SSD|
|Payment plans||Annual||Monthly, Quarterly, Semi-Annual, Annual||Annual|
|Link to Buy||Go to BlueHost||Go to Hostgator||Go to Siteground|
Remember that there is no one perfect web host for everyone. In fact, what’s perfect for you might not be perfect for others.
Go with Bluehost if:
- You want the most decent host for the lowest price
- You want a free domain
- You like a simple and organized admin area
Go with Hostgator if:
- You want to pay monthly
- You know your way around building sites
- You want an affordable way to host your sites
Go with Siteground if:
- You don’t mind spending extra for better hosting
- You expect medium to massive traffic for your website in the future
- You make websites for clients
Choosing the best web host can get confusing, especially if you start looking at too many technical specs and features. However, what’s important is to know what you would need to build a blog in the most efficient way possible.
Not everyone has the same skill and knowledge in web design and development, so the right hosting will differ for every person. If you’re an absolute beginner, BlueHost would be an affordable and optimum choice.
If you want the best shared hosting, you can go with Siteground. It may cost you a little more, but it will probably save you time and frustration in the long run.
If you’ve questions, let us know by leaving a comment below.