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Bluehost and SiteGround are the leading web hosts for blogs and websites.
Why is choosing the right web host important? Your web host keeps your blog up and running! So it’s good to put some thought into choosing the right one for you.
Here are pros & cons and a basic breakdown of why these differences matter for your blog. And of course, my recommendation. Feel free to tell me your personal experiences with these web hosts in the comments! I’d love to hear them!
- Known to be a great web host to start with
- Free Domain Name for one year (save $16)
- 50 GB storage with Basic plan
- Many complaints on blog/site slowing down as traffic increased
- Known to have bad customer service
- Need to pay for 36 months upfront in order to receive $3.95/month discount
- Known to load website pages faster and handle more traffic
- StartUp plan guarantees ~10,000 visits monthly
- Awesome customer service by phone and online chat
- $3.95/month discount applies to 12-months, 24-months, and 36-months options
- Domain Name costs $15.95
- 10 GB storage with StartUp plan
What does this mean for you?
Your Domain Name is typically the name and URL of your blog or website. It doesn’t need to be the same as your name or URL, but it makes it easier to create a consistent brand for your blog! You can also sign up with an existing domain on both Bluehost and SiteGround.
Choosing your Domain Name is not easy. It needs to be unique enough to not already be taken. But don’t worry–it’s not a be-all, end-all. Most people focus on the quality of the content rather than the name!
Site Loading and Traffic
If you plan to get serious about blogging and hope to monetize your blog, it’s important to think ahead. From a business perspective, site loading and traffic is the biggest factor in choosing your web host. No one expects to have a lot of traffic in the beginning. But you also gotta have faith in yourself and commit to a web host that accommodates growing traffic!
As a new blogger, it’s important to have a web host that has great support. Starting a blog is scary and can be frustrating. And it’s nice to have someone to figure out all this code nonsense with.
SiteGround wins again as they are known to be quick to respond and very helpful both by phone and online chat.
On the other hand, Bluehost is the complete opposite. Bluehost customers are unhappy with their customer support overall. They complain of slow responses and frustrating customer service. It doesn’t help that many are already frustrated with their slow site loading and traffic.
Storage is not something to worry about too much as a new blogger…unless you plan to upload tons of videos on your page. If so, then Bluehost‘s Basic plan wins at 50 GB. But there’s always the option to upgrade your SiteGround plan for more storage at $2 more/month. Options, options…
What do I recommend?
Viewing my blog as a business investment made me realize that SiteGround would be best for me in the long-term. I could receive help when I need it and quickly through online chat (which is lifesaving as an introvert–attempting to talk about codes through the phone is laughable).
With SiteGround, I was able to get 24 months for the same $3.95/month discount, which was within my budget.
Of course, everyone has different needs and life circumstances, and Bluehost is still a great option. Many popular bloggers started with them and still recommend them!
If you choose Bluehost, you don’t have to worry about getting stuck with them. You could start with Bluehost and later decide to transfer your site to SiteGround. SiteGround will transfer it themselves for free.
Extra Web Host Service Options
I thought I was almost done with setting up my new blog. Then they asked me to check off if I wanted any extra services. They all looked like things I needed to maintain my blog!!!
After my typical research binge, I realized I could go without most of the extra service options. And you could always add them on later if you change your mind.
Both web hosts offer extra security options through SiteGround‘s Site Scanner ($20/year) and Bluehost‘s SiteLock Security ($24/year) and Comodo PositiveSSL Bundle ($40/year). As long as you keep everything up to date, there should be enough security on WordPress.org without these extra services. Unless you plan on turning your site into a complete shopping site, you should be safe to go without them.
Bluehost also offers Site Backup Pro ($3/month) and Search Engine Jumpstart ($36/year), but I found there are free WordPress plugins for scheduled automatic backups and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) anyways.
What do I recommend?
It was important for me to have my personal information hidden (name, address, email address, etc.). If you plan to put this information on your site anyways, then you can opt out of this.
But since my blog’s “company address” is my personal address, I opted to pay a little extra for my privacy. It also helps to avoid email spam.