Disclosure: I’m an affiliate for some of the web hosts mentioned in this post. Read my full disclosure policy here.
Some of you will remember that a few months ago, I thought of quitting this blog.
There were several factors that brought me to a point of quitting but everything started spinning out of control when I had to face some major, nerve-racking, blood-draining, overwhelmingly stressful technical issues.
My website pages were slow loading, it’s hard to tweak anything without a thousand system errors, there are 404s everywhere, and updating the blog has become such a chore.
Because of this, everything was placed on hold—my plans for this blog, my editorial calendar, even my excitement for blogging was affected in major ways.
The culprit? My web host.
So today I want to talk about web hosting.
Just how important choosing the right web host is?
Web hosting is one of those technical things that are SUPER important in launching and growing a blog but most of us don’t want to deal with. I bet you just want to set it up one time and then completely forget about it, right?
This is even truer if you’re a creative blogger, a lifestyle blogger, or a mommy blogger. Chances are, you just want to jump into creating content and uploading your beautifully styled photos.
You probably don’t bother with resizing your photos too, nor do you optimize them for the web—a common (and understandable) mistake creative bloggers make.
These little things affect the speed and performance of your website. More so, when your blog starts getting traction, your server has to be able to handle the amount of activity and traffic coming into your website or else it will crash.
Which is why it’s important that you choose the right web host from the beginning.
After years of research and actual experience as a paying customer, I can now confidently say, without a doubt, that the best web host for bloggers is Siteground.
The short story is, I tried a number of web hosts in the past 10 years and none has given me the same peace and satisfaction that I now enjoy with Siteground.
The long story, if you’d like to know, is quite intense.
But first, you might want to pin this for later. 😉
My Dreamhost Story
I started using Dreamhost in 2006. I didn’t have any major issues with them in my first few years blogging. I was happy with my websites’ performance. I even recommended them to friends and clients.
I was grateful for those early years, which is probably why even when they started consistently failing me, I kept trying to make it work.
Not to mention, the idea of migrating a decade+ worth of content and files was just too overwhelming. Sadly, the past few years with Dreamhost hampered the growth of my blog and caused me a great deal of stress.
Even their customer support has changed for the worst. I used to be able to chat with a CS agent 24/7 but suddenly no one was available anymore and customers had to resort to submitting tickets. And because of timezone difference, it usually takes a full day (sometimes longer) to get a response.
It appeared to me that the only solution to my Dreamhost problem was upgrading to an even more expensive hosting package. But I remember thinking, why would I pay these guys more money if I’m massively disappointed by their support system? If they can’t serve customers well at the entry-level, how can customers trust them at all?
Frustrated for so many months, I started aggressively trying out other options.
My InMotion Hosting Nightmare
Enter my InMotion horror story. I talked a handful about how frustrating my InMotion experience was in this post.
I signed up with them (despite having read some horrible reviews) because their customer support was great. Well, I was deceived. I realized later on that I must have been talking to friendly salespeople whose only goal was to get customers to sign up. They are not knowledgeable IT support who’ll be there for me post-sale.
After onboarding, they made tweaks that broke my website, didn’t complete my transfers, auto-debited my credit card for extra service fees that weren’t properly explained to me.
I then encountered InMotion customer support agents who were just ..the absolute worst! Some of them were rude and arrogant, which gave me the impression that they only cared about people signing up and swiping their cards. The moment your refund period expires, they just won’t bother about your concerns anymore.
Save yourself the trouble, guys. Run away from InMotion Hosting as fast as you could.
Joining the Squarespace Bandwagon
And then I tried out Squarespace because everyone’s talking about Squarespace.
Once again, I migrated all of my content over there. I started working on the design and getting used to the new environment. I liked the simplicity of it all at first so I went beyond the 14-day trial period and paid the full subscription too.
In all fairness to Squarespace, their customer support agents were kind and professional. There was a bit of a waiting time, however, for technical support. I’m not sure if a 24/7 chat support is available but at some point, I submitted a ticket and had to wait an entire day for a response. I then asked a follow-up question and had to wait for another full-day. Two days, wasted.
Unfortunately, even though some bloggers are raving about Squarespace, it just wasn’t for me. And to be honest, I wouldn’t recommend it for lifestyle and creative bloggers too. (A story for another post.)
The ultimate Bluehost vs Siteground battle
While all of these were happening, I continued my research and Siteground’s name just kept popping up everywhere. I created a shortlist and dug deeper.
I already wasted a lot of money in this search, I might as well make it count. I became borderline obsessed with finding the best web hosting provider for blogging purposes. In the end, I had to choose between Siteground and Bluehost, two web hosting providers that are highly recommended by bloggers.
Here’s the thing. Bluehost has played the affiliate marketing game early on, where they commission bloggers in their affiliate network a percentage for every referral that leads to a signup.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a Bluehost affiliate (and I am a Dreamhost affiliate too). But it doesn’t feel right recommending to my readers something that didn’t work for me.
My point is, this is why Bluehost has an army of bloggers (affiliates) recommending them. It’s a good enough entry-level web host, but mostly they pay really good commissions. However, from my experience, if you reallyyy take time to compare these two in terms of immediate and long-term value, Siteground wins by a mile, hands down.
A quick search on Google will show you unanimous results. Almost all of the comparison reviews between Bluehost and Siteground say the same thing. Siteground is the clear winner.
In comparison with Bluehost,
- Siteground has better uptime and speed.
- Siteground offers more value for your money.
- Siteground’s post-sale customer support is hands down, the best there is.
- Siteground’s 24/7 chat support is very generous in helping customers beyond the call of duty. And yes, they really are 24/7.
- Siteground has more room for growth.
For non-techie creative bloggers, these are the most important things to consider when choosing a web host.
Siteground has all of these non-negotiables checked—
1. Reliable uptime and speed, check.
You need a web host that provides you reliable uptime, speed, and properly managed bandwidth and memory limits.
I’m geeking out right now as I type this, but I don’t want to bore you with all the technical things about why Siteground is superior in these areas. What you need to know is, your website will experience very little to no downtimes with Siteground.
2. Clearly defined memory and bandwidth limits, check.
Don’t be deceived by the way website packages and pricing are presented online. If you would compare Siteground with other web hosting providers based on marketing copy and list of inclusions, you’d likely think that other providers are better.
You’ll notice that some web hosts offer “Unlimited Memory” and “Unlimited Bandwidth” whereas Siteground clearly indicates their allocated web space and bandwidth limits. Ex: Their Startup Plan covers 10 GB space and 10,000 monthly visits. Others would say “unlimited” or “unmetered”.
The thing is, even when web hosting providers say these features are unlimited, they still put a cap on memory and bandwidth limits in such a way that when you hit those limits in a day, your website will start to slow down if not completely crash.
This is what happened to me when I was with Dreamhost. As my content and photos accumulated over time and I started tripping memory limits, I also started losing control of my website’s bandwidth and activity.
This sucks for us lifestyle/creative bloggers because, well, we do upload a lot of photos and content. Annndd we don’t want to be bothered with tripping memory limits. 😉
Siteground does not sugarcoat its marketing copy. They offer a clearly defined memory and bandwidth allocations. You pay for what you only need, which is a big plus for beginner bloggers. (Yes, you don’t need to pay for “unlimited” things on your first year blogging.) And when your blog starts growing, then you can easily upgrade to a higher plan that fits your requirements.
Your money’s worth, check.
Siteground starts at $3.95/month on the first year, whereas Bluehost starts at $2.95/month with a 3-year lock-in period. Sometimes, you don’t want to spend that much on a service you don’t need just yet.
For beginner bloggers, you might want to try out blogging one year first before you start really scaling and investing on your blog. Siteground understands these things and therefore thoughtfully crafted their website packages to meet different levels of growth.
For bloggers who’ve been around for a while (like myself), you’d find plenty of features in Siteground’s more advanced packages for price points that are still very competitive. They give over 60% discount on your first year with them too, which gives you a lot of time to get yourself familiar and to grow your blog without paying a premium.
Free website transfer, check.
I mentioned how I struggled with migrating a decade worth of content, which is one of the things that held me back from getting out of my old web host.
Bluehost charges $149.99 to transfer websites. Insane!
Siteground offers free website migration when you choose their Grow Big package ($5.95/month for the first year) or higher plans. Alternately, if you want to sign up for their most basic package, you just have to pay $30 to transfer your website. Still a lot less than Bluehost’s migration fees!
This is the ultimate deal breaker for me with Bluehost. Why do they make it so painful (to the pocket) to transfer websites over? In addition, even Bluehost customers would say that Bluehost is a good beginner-level web host but at some point you’d consider transferring too.
In contrast, migrating your website to Siteground is a breeze! Best of all, their 24/7 chat support is literally 24/7 (again, no sugar coating, someone really chats with you 24/7). Which means you can be chatting with a Siteground crew while your website transfer is ongoing. Pretty cool.
The best chat support, pre-sale AND post-sale, check, check.
I don’t think I’ll ever stop raving about how AMAZING Siteground’s customer support is. At any point in the process, you can hit the Live Chat button on their website and someone will answer almost instantly, regardless of timezone.
Customer support is EVERYTHING, you guys. Personally, I’d pay extra for reliable customer support.
So the fact that this amazing customer support comes inclusive with any Siteground plan blows my mind.
I couldn’t recommend these guys more. And not only because I’m an affiliate but because in my humble opinion, they really are the best.
Again, I don’t take these things lightly, and neither should you if you’re serious about starting a blog for the purpose of passion or profit. Web hosting is serious biz, you guys!
That said, Siteground is the best web host for bloggers, especially if you’re…
- ..a newbie blogger and you don’t want to spend so much time dealing with the technical details and just want to start creating content already.
- ..serious about turning your blog into a business or profession.
- ..a DIY blogger who likes tinkering with plugins and themes and would like a reliable 24/7 customer support just in case you need assistance.
If any of the above applies to you, I highly recommend you start your blog with Siteground; or if you’re having issues with your current web host, migrating to Siteground could be the solution to your problem too, just as it was to mine.
Start blogging with Siteground
Follow my step-by-step guide on how to start a WordPress blog with Siteground. Or simply follow these steps:
Up to 67% off on your first year—
STEP 1: Choose your Plan
If you don’t have an existing blog to transfer, the Startup Package is great for starters—
STEP 2: Choose your domain
If you’re transfering a website, choose “I already have a domain”. If not, choose “Register a new domain”.
STEP 3: Complete the registration.
If you need more help, here’s my handy-dandy guide on how to start a blog.
Migrate your blog to Siteground
If you’re like me who’s been blogging for years and you’re frustrated about the current state of your blog (i.e. it’s been slowing down, you’ve been encountering more and more errors, it badly needs an upgrade), or you simply want a fresh start, migrating your website to Siteground is easy with their GrowBig Package.
Just sign up with Siteground (following the steps above). And once you’ve logged in to your account, you’ll see a setup wizard that will guide you through transferring a website.
Choose what applies to you: Start a New Website or Transfer a Website.
All you have to do now is to provide the login credentials to your old web host, and voila, the Siteground team will do all the heavy lifting for you. They’re very friendly and easy to work with. Hope this helps!
Which web host are you using for your blog? Are you fully satisfied with it? Is it meeting your blog requirements? Share in the comments below and add to the discussion.