***Please note that this post contains affiliate links, and I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through them. This is at no cost to you and will not affect your shopping experience. You are in no way obligated to click on any link or purchase any product. I only recommend products that I love and use myself. You can read more at my disclaimer here.***
As soon as I decided I was going to be serious about blogging and really try to start making some money, I knew that I was going to have to start a self-hosted blog. If you are planning on monetizing your blog, this is just something you’re going to have to do, since those “free” hosting platforms usually limit your advertising options. They also tend to look less professional, you give up more control, they usually have limited amounts of storage, and they usually tack on their name onto the end of your domain, like www.yourblog.blogspot.com, which just looks tacky.
But I digress, I’m sure you already know all this, which is why you’re now trying to decide between paid self-hosting services. Of course, as always, I advise you to do your own research and find what works best for you, but here is my experience and thoughts.
Bluehost Vs SiteGround
I feel like I am set up to give a pretty unique review of each, and the reason is actually because I am a moron. Let me explain.
So, a little while ago, I decide to start a blog and try and make a little money off it too. I obviously understood I needed to be self-hosting. Blog after blog after blog after blog recommended Bluehost, so without further ado, I signed up.
But, when I was signing up, I spelled my own website name wrong…….
Ok, no problem, so I just had to buy the new correct domain name, and then I figured I’d change that to my primary domain, and let the other one expire after the year.
I called customer service, like Bluehost suggests when you want to change the primary domain, the customer service rep was really nice and assured me that once everything got itself sorted out in 12 hours (since I’d just made the account), my primary domain request would be processed. In the meantime, I decided I’d wait until that got itself straightened out, and then I could get started blogging and not have to transfer anything between websites or back up anything, since neither website had been designed yet (as this was a brand new blog). And it was supposed to be all set in 12 hours anyways.
The next day, actually 24 hours later, the primary domain is still the misspelled one. I wait maybe another day or two and when it’s still wrong, I call customer service again. The second rep is also really nice, and assures me that something had gone wrong with the server or something, but that I should be all set to go in a day or so.
Flash forward: it’s now 7 or 8 days after I initially made the account and requested to have the domain changed. I open a chat with customer service. This rep assures me I just need to keep waiting and the request will be processed. At this point, I feel I’ve been pretty patient, and all these customer service reps have been giving me an actual number of 12 hours or one day or whatever, and I’ve waited long past that before I even contact them again. But, at this point, I’ve put down a lot of money and my problem hasn’t been resolved, and I haven’t been able to use my website at all because I keep being assured that the problem will be resolved soon.
So, with the third rep, I ask to just close the account and get a refund. So, the rep does and refunds me almost the full amount (you don’t get the full amount back but they do say that in their refund policy so this didn’t come as a surprise).
And I move on. After very thorough research this time, I go with SiteGround. All of the serious, professional blogs that weren’t recommending Bluehost were recommending SiteGround. I set up my account and new domain (now my third domain). And guess what? I decide I want to change my domain name AGAIN like four seconds after signing up.
At this point, I’m trying to see the bright side. I think, now I will be in a very unique position to review these two hosting services.
So, SiteGround really annihilated Bluehost if you’re the world’s most indecisive domain name person (or worst speller on like the one thing that matters….). After I create now my fourth domain (yes, I am embarrassed), I request that it be changed to my primary domain.
And SiteGround approves it, processes it, and I’m all ready to go literally in minutes. I didn’t have to contact customer service at all, I just hit a couple buttons in the admin panel. That’s it. I was truly so relieved.
SiteGround has been great ever since too. I think they’re fast, easy to use (and I knew NOTHING when I first started my blog, I didn’t even know what SEO stood for…), and safe.
Really, my only critique for SiteGround is their website is not the prettiest, I think Bluehost looks much sleeker and more modern than SiteGround’s website does. But, I barely spend any time on their actual website anyways once I was set up. And, in my experience, they are just as good, they just don’t look as good.
My experience with Bluehost was brief and limited, so I am in no way bashing them, their customer service was always friendly, and tried to be helpful, but they just never resolved my problem. And they shouldn’t have kept telling me “for sure it’ll be fixed by this date” if it wasn’t going to be fixed by that date. This didn’t seem like such a big deal, I just thought it was a challenge to change primary domains, until I switched to SiteGround and they processed my request in minutes, with two clicks in my admin panel, and without me even having to find my phone to call customer service.
SiteGround has never disappointed me, and I will be sticking with them for the future. I have been totally satisfied, and love how easy the site is to use. I will say that lots of people recommend Bluehost, so my situation of being unsatisfied must be unique, but I know I will never leave SiteGround.
You can check SiteGround out through my link here.