*This post contains affiliate links.
Are you shopping for a good hosting company? Are you weighing the pros and cons or thinking about switching to a different hosting company?
I’ve seen a lot of new bloggers asking advice for which hosting companies they should be signing up with in Facebook groups lately. I’ve also seen a lot of threads from veteran bloggers asking for advice as they consider switching web hosts. So today, I want to talk about a couple of big options you have when you’re either considering starting a blog, or if you’re considering switching to a different host.
Let me start by saying this: I’ve used both Bluehost and SiteGround.
I’ve used them on two different blogs – and with both of them, I have never had any problems. Actually, I currently have a hosting package with both companies. And guess what? Both have great customer service in my experience so far. My sites are never down – granted, I’m not getting millions of page views per month.
So what’s the big fuss?
A lot of people say, “I hate Bluehost, never using them again!”
And, a lot of people say, “I have never had a problem with Bluehost, I’m loving it!”
I started my first blog with Bluehost because I started my blog after falling in love with Dale Partridge’s blogs and was very inspired by him (still am, check him out). I trusted his advice (still do!), so I went with Bluehost. It was fine, in fact, it was great! But I decided to take a different direction with blogging and my hosting package is going to expire soon anyway, so I decided to try something else for this blog because I’d heard a lot about SiteGround. They are a much smaller hosting company, and so far I’m loving them just about as much as I love Bluehost. Yes, I love them both. 🙂
The thing is that unless you are having a huge number of transactions, page views, and visitors each day, I wouldn’t worry too much about your hosting company as a small blogger.
You can always upgrade your services as you grow, and you can always change hosts. As your blog grows, your hosting package will need to grow too, but let’s cross that bridge when we get to it, eh? Granted, there are a few hosting companies that I have used and hated (ahem, HostGator).
So, what are the major differences between Bluehost and SiteGround?
- Bluehost is part of a huge conglomerate called the Endurance International Group, which owns several other web-hosting companies, basically dominating the market. It was founded in 1996.
- Siteground is a much smaller, independent hosting company that is much newer. (2004)
In reality, that’s the bulk of it!
I don’t want to sound like I know it all, because I definitely don’t. In my experience, both companies work great. If you want to support a smaller company, go for SiteGround. You might think that they would have better customer service as a smaller company, but like I mentioned before, I have experienced great customer service from Bluehost, too. Your experience will be unique to you (let’s hope it’s a good one!) and your blog. Don’t let all of those outside voices keep you from doing you.
Update: BlueHost is now considered subpar compared to Siteground’s 99% downtime-free stat.
Both companies have great affiliate programs, so if you’re planning on making money from your blog by making referrals, you can use either one. Pricing is about the same, too.
According to their website, Bluehost currently pays $65 per approved referral.
SiteGround, on the other hand, has a structured commission schedule that allows you to earn up to $125 per referral. It depends on how many sales you are making per month. (Yes, dang, that’s a lot of money!)
Here’s the schedule, per my own affiliate page with SiteGround (in USD):
1-5 monthly sales: $50/sale
6-10 monthly sales: $75/sale
11-20 monthly sales: $100/sale
21+ monthly sales: $125/sale.
So to me, that’s a huge difference.
I know that there are a lot of big bloggers out there making a KILLING on Bluehost, but man, if they were using SiteGround, that could make a huge difference!
So why didn’t they choose SiteGround? My guess would be that because SiteGround is newer, it just wasn’t as popular when they started blogging, so they simply went with Bluehost because they didn’t know about Siteground.
Okay, this is starting to sound like I’m pulling for SiteGround now. Maybe I am, but if I’m being honest, there’s no real reason.
But if you were going to choose now, and you were like me and you weren’t too worried about the popularity of a brand, what would you choose? I currently feature a SiteGround tutorial on the blog out of happenstance (I made it before I realized how much the potential pay is compared to Bluehost). But on my last blog, I had a Bluehost tutorial. But if you’re not going to be implementing an affiliate sales strategy for web hosting/blogging, I wouldn’t worry about any of that. There are a lot of other ways to make money blogging.
Since I’m mostly blogging about my experiences as a mom blogger, I do think that considering the affiliate commission is a good idea for me.
BUT THE MORAL OF THE STORY IS – YES, DO YOUR RESEARCH. BUT DON’T READ TOO FAR INTO WHAT OTHER PEOPLE HAVE EXPERIENCED. HAVE YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES! CHOOSE WHICH HOSTING COMPANY IS BEST FOR YOU.
Both hosting companies have worked great for a lot of people.
When you’re getting ready to start your first blog, let me tell you, there is a lot more that you should be worrying about than your commission structure. There’s so much more to be working on! You probably shouldn’t be making referrals to web hosting companies if you are brand spankin’ new, anyway.
If you haven’t started blogging yet, by all means, do a little research. If you already have a hosting package, great! Right now you should be focused on creating great content, honing in on your niche, creating a social media following, and just figuring it all out. Selling stuff and making money on your blog will come, trust me. 🙂
I really want to hear about your experiences with different hosts, but you have to remember that everyone has different expectations, needs, and experiences. Please be kind if you plan to leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!
If you’re ready to get started blogging, I have a SiteGround tutorial that will take you through each step. Check it out!
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