SiteGround vs Bluehost: the battle for your next web host continues!
Are you bombarded with random info online trying to sway you one way or the other when it comes to choosing your next blog hosting site?
Or maybe you’re really frustrated with your current web hosting service and want to weigh your options between two of the most popular blog hosting sites.
Whatever it may be, I’ve had experience with both.
Here are five reasons why I left Bluehost for SiteGround — and why I’m never looking back!
1. It had terrible customer service
Once, a Bluehost customer service rep completely ditched me mid-conversation.
Here’s a snippet of that convo:
I realized three very important things in this interaction:
- Websites break, and when they break, they do so when you least expect it
- I can never trust someone named Vishmitha, ever, ever again
- I really shouldn’t try to fix bugs WordPress bugs by myself at 4 AM in the morning
In truth, this is an experience I laugh about now.
In fact, Vishmitha has become the anti-hero of many of my customer service horror stories in the last few years.
But in the heat of the moment, I was absolutely petrified.
I was a newbie blogger at the time, and I didn’t know what the heck I was doing.
So when my friend let me know she couldn’t access my travel blog online, my stomach dropped.
When you’re going through a web malfunction or WordPress hiccup, your customer service rep becomes your customer service Super(Wo)man.
You need to be able to rely on the people on the other end of the line or chatbox to get you through your issue and resolve it.
Coming from someone who used to scoff at the idea of customer service because of my upbringing, it was only when I started working for myself did I realize how important it really was.
The poor customer service from Bluehost — not just from Vishmitha — was one of the main reasons that drove me to switch my blog hosting service.
The customer experience plays such a big role that people would even pay 55 percent more just to have a better customer experience.
Until you really need customer service, the idea of it is just an afterthought.
It’s only when you’re deep in the trenches about some issue you desperately can resolve yourself that quality customer service becomes a necessity.
Thankfully, with SiteGround, I’ve always had efficient, friendly, and engaging staff to help me through all my issues.
And because I’m such a millennial and so not into this whole talking-on-the-phone-to-fix-issues-thing, their customer service chat is more than enough to help me resolve all my web-related issues.
Don’t look at customer service as an afterthought when it comes to your blog hosting provider and host your blog with some of the best customer service reps you’ll find.
2. It made me wonder how good (or bad) the more expensive plans were
If you’re anything like me, then you’re a stickler for the details.
This shows up a lot in the way I do my work and the way I run my businesses.
I don’t like to leave people feeling like they’re missing out on something when they’re working with me.
In fact, (over-)providing value is something I do my best to excel in.
Look at it this way:
If your “free” or low-priced content is mediocre, what will people think about your higher-tier services and programs?
They’ll naturally extrapolate, won’t they?
They’ll think your most expensive stuff will be just as mediocre, right?
That’s exactly how I felt about Bluehost as I got to know more and more the kind of service they provided.
Just take a look at their plans below, and how they compare with SiteGround’s:
|SiteGround||$3.95/month for 12 months||$47.40 (1 year)||$9.95/month for 10,000 visitors monthly
$14.95/month for 25,000 visitors monthly
$29.95/month for 100,000 visitors monthly
|Bluehost||$2.95/month for 36 months||$106.20 (3 years)||$7.99/month (basic plan)
$10.99/month (plus plan)
$14.99/month (prime plan)
All I could remember thinking was this:
If the basic plan is so bad, do I really want to shell out more money in the future as my blog grows, only to have similar — or worse — service from Bluehost?
Switching companies is a hassle because people are creatures of habit (and holy moly, did you know the average cost of switching because of poor service is estimated to be at 1.6 trillion USD?).
So getting myself to do the research, choose a new blog hosting site, and move my website over to the new host wasn’t a process I was looking forward to.
But I had to — most importantly, for the reasons I outline below.
3. It made my website painfully slow
I remember when I had my first blog up and running, I couldn’t figure out why it was so slow.
The page speed was pretty bad.
Just shy over 19 seconds. (!!!)
I was checking Google’s PageSpeed Insights daily and barely saw my site speed improve
I tried to rule out all the other reasons my site speed was slow.
I tried reducing image sizes above-the-fold on my home page.
I played around with code and tried to minify it (yes, that’s a word, and by the way, don’t ever do this by yourself if you don’t know code very well — I’m not a big coder so the outcome was horrific!).
I tried to read through more and more jargon-filled suggestions related to my site speed, but to no avail.
I knew this was negatively affecting my traffic, too.
Actually, two out of five people will abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
And 39 percent of people will stop engaging with a site if the images take forever to load, too.
It was statistics like those that made me realize how important it was to keep your page speed load time as low as can be.
And did you know that Google uses site speed to rank your website, too (it’s part of their ranking algorithm)? That means if your site is slow, not only will you be losing readers, you’ll also fail to play nice with Google.
I didn’t think page speed was a big deal when I started out blogging.
But that’s why it’s important for bloggers to look “beneath the hood” of their websites, so to speak, to see how they can keep improving the experience for their readers.
4. It made me lose out on a lot of subscribers
If you read the Unicorn Copy blog regularly, then you know I’m a conversion-optimization junkie.
I love tinkering, testing, and updating my copy until I see my offers converting the way I like.
That’s why I’m always on the lookout for different ways to boost conversions on my site and sales funnels — that way, even with little traffic, I can still see substantial gains in my email list and sales.
In fact, this is how you can get away with having low pageviews while still growing your email list and selling your products at an alarming rate — because your site is optimized for conversions!
How exactly does this all relate to blog hosting?
Well, back when I started my travel blog, I had been trying my best to make my site load faster.
When I headed over to Google Analytics to check my travel blog’s bounce rate, it was at an abysmal 85% (!!).
In other words, if 1,000 people visited my site in a day, 850 of them were clicking that back button or closing out the tab before the page could even load!
I knew that with such a high bounce rate, I was losing out on potential readers, fans, and subscribers every time.
The site speed was so bad that people were probably having a really poor experience on my website (88 percent of people are less likely to return to a website after having a bad experience with it).
It was really disheartening to think about.
Because it’s not like you can turn back the time and un-do how fast your site loaded.
Now, I’m not suggesting you look at your blog analytics and statistics in a vacuum.
These numbers — including bounce rate — don’t mean anything unless you look at them from a bigger context.
And my bigger context was this: Google’s PageSpeed Insights showed my site took 19 seconds to load. That, combined with my growing concern that I wasn’t retaining my readership because of site speed, my super-high bounce rate, and all the efforts I put in to improve the load time, lead me to the conclusion that I needed to switch my blog hosting site.
And I needed to switch fast.
Because I could be the best marketer and copywriter in the world, but if my website just wasn’t up to par with people’s expectations, no marketing tactic, strategy, or piece of web copy was going to get people to convert.
So, do yourself the favor and avoid making the blunder I made when I started blogging years ago.
Be super careful with the blog hosting you pick!
SiteGround vs Bluehost: what’s your pick?
At the end of the day, it’s entirely your choice to decide whether SiteGround or Bluehost is right for you.
As a blogger who loves keeping her website running well — and running fast — I’m so so happy with choosing SiteGround over Bluehost.
If you’re a new blogger and you want to pick a blog hosting service you’ll be happy with, I can’t recommend SiteGround enough. You can sign up for their blog hosting at 60 percent off here.