GreenGeeks vs. Bluehost
Bluehost and GreenGeeks go head-to-head in this in-depth comparison where we take a look at pricing, features, performance, and everything else users need to know about these two hosting providers. It was a very close match but we think one of these services is ultimately better than the other.
Bluehost is one of the most popular web hosting providers around while GreenGeeks is one of the most underrated ones. This is a bit strange since the two companies seem to offer similar services at first glance and that should, in theory at least, make them equally popular. So why the discrepancy? That’s exactly what we were wondering when we set out to put together this Bluehost vs GreenGeeks comparison.
If you’ve read some of our other comparisons, you already know that we like to thoroughly test a service before we decide to recommend it over its competitors. That’s exactly what we did here as well.
Our testing revealed some pretty interesting results, including the fact that GreenGeeks offers more features than your average hosting provider, but falls behind in a couple of key areas. Meanwhile, Bluehost is a well-rounded provider that does a lot of things right, however, some of its services have a few shortcomings of their own.
Needless to say, no company is perfect but by reading this Bluehost vs GreenGeeks comparison you can find out which of them is better for your particular needs.
You can learn plenty about a hosting provider by simply visiting its website, but don’t expect to find a lot of information regarding the performance. That’s because there are many factors that can impact the performance of a website, some of which are out of the provider’s control. Sure, companies brag about the performance of their servers in vague terms all the time but they avoid listing specific figures because they know that their figures might not match with what the user is seeing.
Keeping in line with our simple yet effective process of reviewing hosting providers, we signed up with each of the two companies in order to test their services for ourselves. By doing so we can get a better idea of what the average user can expect in terms of performance. Novice webmasters, in particular, will find our results useful since we used very simple websites during our testing; the type of websites an average user would start off with.
With that in mind, let’s not waste any time and jump into the nitty-gritty of this section so we can take a better look at how Bluehost and GreenGeeks stack up against each other.
Bluehost vs. GreenGeeks: Server Infrastructure
GreenGeeks isn’t shy about listing detailed information related to its data centers. In fact, the company has a dedicated page that tells you everything you need to know about its network infrastructure, server specifications, and more. A lot of this information probably won’t be very relevant to you unless you’re a tech wizard. If you’re an average user, on the other hand, all you really need to keep in mind here is that GreenGeeks has four data centers (three in NA and one in EU) and includes SSD storage with all hosting plans.
As mentioned in our extensive Bluehost review, gathering information about the company’s infrastructure is a bit tricky. We know that Bluehost shares a data center in Utah with sister companies HostGator and HostMonster, but we don’t have any reliable information when it comes to other possible data centers. Given that Bluehost powers over 2 million websites, however, it seems safe to assume that the company’s infrastructure extends beyond that.
What we do know for certain is that, just like GreenGeeks, Bluehost has been working almost exclusively with SSD storage for a number of years now. The company’s dedicated hosting service is the only one still using HDDs, albeit the servers do use mirrored storage for enhanced security.
Another thing both Bluehost and GreenGeeks have in common is good CDN integration. Bluehost gives you access to Cloudflare right off the bat while GreenGeeks provides you with a 1-click installer that you can use to set up a content delivery network. It takes a little bit more work to get things up and running with GreenGeeks but it’s not a huge hassle since you can do it in just a few minutes.
Ultimately, the biggest difference here is that GreenGeeks has four data centers while Bluehost only has one that we know of. Being able to choose the location of your server is quite important and you can have that option at GreenGeeks. At Bluehost you don’t, but the company does make up for it to a certain extent by having good CDN integration.
While it’s not the same as having multiple data centers spread across the globe, a CDN does help improve loading speeds by serving you the content from a location that’s relatively close to you. But how does this impact performance in practical terms? Let’s analyze the results of our performance tests to find out.
Full Page Load Time
Our first order of business was to test how well each provider does in terms of page loading speeds. To that end, we set up two simple WordPress websites – one hosted at Bluehost and one hosted at GreenGeeks – to see how fast they would load. Our websites consisted of a single landing page and very little content, so it was not surprising to see both of them performing very well. Here are the results side by side:
Bluehost surprised us yet again with its consistency as the results were pretty much identical to the ones we got while testing for our Bluehost vs. Dreamhost comparison. There’s always room for improvement, of course, but it’s hard to complain about an overall performance score of 98% and a page loading time of 1 second. The website hosted at GreenGeeks also performed great, even surpassing the Bluehost one by a little bit. It’s not very often you see a website that takes less than 1 second to load.
So how significant is the difference between 1 second and 0.7 seconds in practical terms? It can be noticeable if you find yourself opening or refreshing pages constantly, however, most users don’t generally browse websites like that. While it can make a difference in very specific situations, it won’t matter too much in the grand scheme of things, at least not when it comes to simple websites like the ones we tested.
What is clear, however, is that GreenGeeks’ multiple data centers do give it a slight edge over providers that only have one. The CDN used by Bluehost is efficient enough to offset the difference, albeit not completely. At the end of the day, though, you can expect simple websites to load quickly regardless of which of these companies you decide to go with.
Time to First Byte (TTFB)
Time to First Byte or TTFB is a metric primarily used by search engines like Google to determine the responsiveness of a web server. TTFB can impact your rankings with search engines, but it is only one of many factors they use to judge the performance of a website. There’s no need to worry if your TTFB score isn’t perfect but you do want it to stay in the green whenever possible.
Luckily, that wasn’t a problem for either of our two websites. The Bluehost website did a bit better during this particular test, but again, the difference between it and GreenGeeks was not very significant. While it may seem at this point that any basic website should perform well during this test, but by comparing Bluehost with WordPress that this isn’t always the case. The fact that GreenGeeks was able to keep up with Bluehost in terms of TTFB was pretty impressive.
Having said all that, the tests we conducted so far are primarily relevant to individual users, but what if you have a bunch of people flocking to your website all at once?
Load Impact Test
A load impact test is a pretty good metric for measuring how well websites perform under pressure. Websites hosted on a shared plan usually don’t perform amazingly during these tests, but we wanted to push the envelope and send 200 virtual users to each of our websites just to see how well they could handle the traffic spike. As you can see below, the results are quite surprising.
Bluehost did pretty well all things considered, with an average response time of a little over 1 second and an average full page load time of around 4.7 seconds. GreenGeeks, on the other hand, performed a lot better, with an average response time of just 51ms and a full page load time of 1.3 seconds.
What’s impressive about this is that Bluehost’s results are actually not too bad when you take into consideration the fact that we’re talking about sending 200 users to a website hosted on a shared plan. There are plenty of other companies whose servers would simply crash in a situation like that. But there’s no denying that GreenGeeks knocked it out of the park on this one, as its servers were able to handle the traffic surge like it was nothing.
So why the discrepancy? While it’s difficult to say for certain, we assume that’s GreenGeeks’ servers are shared by fewer people than those of Bluehost, or most other providers for that matter. Either that or our website happened to be hosted on a new server that didn’t have many other users just yet. That might explain why the loading time didn’t change at all during the first few minutes of our test, only to spike out significantly towards the end. Meanwhile, with Bluehost we’re seeing fluctuations throughout our testing, likely indicating a lot of activity coming from other websites hosted on the shared server.
GreenGeeks’ performance under load is certainly very impressive but I would take these results with a grain of salt for now. Further testing would be needed on different servers to confirm that this wasn’t a one-time occurrence. Bluehost’s results are more in-line with the industry average, as can be seen in our Bluehost vs. InMotion Hosting comparison.
Uptime is a crucial factor to consider before signing up with a hosting provider. While user error can sometimes lead to a website becoming inaccessible, it’s usually the job of the provider to ensure as little downtime as possible. These days, downtime is fairly uncommon but it still happens on occasion. The question is, how often? In the case of Bluehost and GreenGeeks, very rarely from what we can tell.
Both companies have an uptime of around 99.99% during most months, with slight dips below that every once in a while. During the past year or so, Bluehost had four months with no downtime while GreenGeeks only had three. Bluehost’s worst month was October when the uptime dipped to 99.67% while GreenGeeks experienced the most downtime during June when the average uptime clocked in at 99.78%.
All in all, we’re talking about a few minutes of downtime per month, if any, which isn’t really a major concern. Sure, certain websites can lose users or even money during periods of downtime but that won’t be an issue for the vast majority of webmasters.
As far as uptime guarantees are concerned, GreenGeeks promises 99.9% network uptime while Bluehost doesn’t technically have a guarantee. The company’s network server uptime agreement simply states that occasional network issues are usually resolved within 15 minutes, though it may take more than that in certain situations.
Bluehost doesn’t offer any compensation for downtime while GreenGeeks does, but you would only be able to take advantage of it should the uptime dip below 99.9%, which it never does.
GreenGeeks vs. Bluehost: Which Has Better Performance?
Bluehost can go head-to-head with any of its rivals in terms of performance, including GreenGeeks. The two had very similar results during our first two tests but GreenGeeks ended up winning by a significant amount during the load impact test. As mentioned, though, that particular test should be taken with a grain of salt since GreenGeeks’ result seems a little too good for a basic shared hosting plan.
Regardless, both Bluehost and GreenGeeks are either on par or perform better when compared to other major hosting providers. Your website will run smoothly when hosted at either of these companies, though it might end up being a bit slower at Bluehost during huge traffic spikes. At least if you’re using a shared hosting plan. If you’re using a more expensive plan, which you should if you have a lot of traffic, the performance of both hosts should be more or less identical.
Pricing and Value
At first glance, there’s very little difference between Bluehost and GreenGeeks when it comes to the price. At least as far as the shared hosting plans are concerned. Generally speaking, the average user tends to gravitate towards shared hosting because of its affordability, which is why pretty much all of the top providers support this type of hosting, even though some of them might not focus on it exclusively.
When it comes to Bluehost vs GreenGeeks, it’s clear that both companies put a huge emphasis on shared hosting. Bluehost and GreenGeeks are often trying to outprice each other, as well as many of their other main rivals, but at the moment the two have identical entry points. This can make things difficult for those who tend to choose a service based on the price alone. That’s why we recommend taking a good look at what each company offers before making a decision. And, as it happens, we have a full breakdown of the most important hosting packages ready for you down below.
Bluehost Basic vs. GreenGeeks Lite
Bluehost’s starter shared hosting plan will only set you back $2.95 per month with our special discount code, a fair price considering how much you’re getting in return. You can expect unlimited bandwidth and 50GB worth of SSD storage along with an SSL certificate, CDN integration, domain emails, a free domain name for the first year, and the ability to park additional domains and subdomains.
The only downside of the plan is that it only supports a single website. Then again, the same can be said about the basic shared plans offered by most other providers, so this shouldn’t be a deal breaker in our opinion.
Now, the 50GB of included storage may seem low compared to companies that offer unlimited storage, however, you don’t really need more than that for a simple website, which is what you’re most likely to use with a basic shared hosting plan. Besides, compared to SiteGround and other big providers that only include as little as 10GB, Bluehost isn’t stingy at all with the storage, especially since the company only uses SSD to power its shared servers.
Having said all that, GreenGeeks’ inclusion of unlimited SSD storage with all plans, including shared Lite, does look more impressive on paper. However, you won’t be able to build more than one website with the Lite package either so, realistically speaking, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever going to need a ton of storage anyway. It is nice that the option is there, though.
Aside from that, you can expect very similar features to those offered by Bluehost. Namely, a free SSL certificate, a free domain name for the first year, CDN integration, domain emails, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Even though Bluehost doesn’t mention it as being a feature when you visit the page that lists all the shared hosting plans, the company does have an identical refund policy. The same goes for unlimited databases and nightly backups.
Since both companies use a standard cPanel, you can expect to be able to enjoy a number of other features that come by default with the popular control panel. It’s just that some companies try to make a big deal about them while others don’t.
Bluehost Plus vs. GreenGeeks Pro
With the basic plans being identical in most departments, you’re better off looking at the next tier before making a decision. Especially if you’re thinking long-term and are planning to eventually upgrade anyway. At Bluehost, you’ve got the Plus plan while GreenGeeks’ second tier is known as Pro.
Bluehost Plus costs $5.45 per month and removes both the storage limit and the limit to the number of websites you can host on it. In addition, the company also throws in SpamExperts, an advanced email filtering tool along with a Microsoft 365 mailbox that you can use for free for up to 30 days. Pretty good value all things considered and certainly worth the price tag if you ask me.
GreenGeeks Pro is a tougher sell, as the package is a bit more expensive at $5.95 per month and doesn’t bring much to the table except for removing the limit on the number of websites supported. The company does claim that you can expect two times more performance with Pro when compared to Lite, but that’s a bit of a vague claim that’s very difficult to verify given all the variables that can impact the performance of a website. Pound for pound, Bluehost’s second tier is objectively a bit better.
Bluehost Choice Plus
GreenGeeks doesn’t have a direct equivalent to this one but we wanted to mention Bluehost Choice Plus separately because it’s arguably the best hosting package offered by the company. Choice Plus will only set you back $4.95 so it’s actually cheaper than Plus while also giving you a couple more features to work with. The caveat is that the renewal costs are significantly higher. However, you can always downgrade back to Plus past the first term in order to avoid that.
The extra features come in the form of domain privacy + protection and a site backup tool that you can use for free during your first year. As mentioned, Bluehost does perform courtesy backups for clients using the first two plans, but having a dedicated tool for that is a lot more reliable. It’s worth noting that you can also get both domain privacy + protection and the backup tool with the other plans as optional add-ons, but you would need to purchase them separately. With Choice Plus, you get them for free.
Bluehost Pro vs. GreenGeeks Premium
Last but not least we have the most expensive shared hosting plans that come in the form of Bluehost Pro at $13.95 per month and GreenGeeks Premium at $11.95 per month. Honestly, both of these plans are a bit difficult to recommend.
Bluehost Pro comes with everything found in the Plus Choice package along with an extra spam expert, site backups that last for the entire hosting term instead of just 1 year, a dedicated IP, and high-performance servers.
Meanwhile, GreenGeeks Premium gives you a premium SSL instead of a basic one, a dedicated IP, and promises four times better performance compared to the base plan. Again, these types of claims related to the performance are very vague and don’t tell you anything specific.
Given the price tags of both plans, you’re probably better off with switching to a VPS instead. There aren’t enough features to justify the huge price hike in either scenario.
Bluehost vs. GreenGeeks – VPS Hosting
Once you outgrow shared hosting it’s time to take things to the next level and upgrade to VPS hosting. Unlike with shared hosting, there’s no need to worry about sharing resources with other users here. You don’t get an entire server all to yourself like you do with dedicated hosting, but you do get exclusive access to a set amount of resources.
There’s an important distinction to be made between our two competitors in that Bluehost offers unmanaged VPS plans while GreenGeeks offers managed ones. In other words, at Bluehost you’ll have to manage things mostly by yourself while GreenGeeks does some of the heavy lifting for you. This makes GreenGeeks a better choice for beginners, however, you would need to pay a lot more for the service.
Bluehost VPS plans start at $18.99 per month and can reach as high as $59.99 per month. A basic VPS package gives you exclusive access to 2GB of RAM, 30GB of SSD storage, and a dual-core CPU. GreenGeeks’ equivalent package includes a few more resources (2GB RAM/50GB CPU, quad-core CPU), but will set you back $39.95 per month. Meanwhile, the third tier costs a whopping $109.95 per month.
Needless to say, the price difference here is quite significant. Managing a VPS isn’t as difficult as it may seem, so we have to recommend Bluehost in this case. Yes, the plans do come with fewer resources at first, but you can always add more of them straight from the cPanel with very little effort. At both companies you also get standard features like free domain name, SSL certificate, and more, but Bluehost is the only one that gives you full root access, which is a must have for advanced users.
Which is Cheaper, Bluehost or GreenGeeks?
This question isn’t as straightforward as it may seem because it all depends on what you’re going for. Both companies have the same entry price of $2.95/mo so there’s no difference there. After that, Bluehost will charge you less for the second tier while GreenGeeks is the cheaper one if you opt for the final tier. The final tiers don’t offer great value for money, though, and Bluehost has an extra tier that offers an excellent bang for the buck during the first term.
Another thing that's worth noting is that Bluehost doesn’t support monthly billing. GreenGeeks is one of the hosts that let you pay on a monthly basis, but the prices are significantly higher and you’ll have to pay a one-time setup fee when you sign up should you choose that option. In addition, GreenGeeks’ renewal costs are slightly higher compared to those of Bluehost.
Bluehost is definitely the better option if you’re thinking long-term, in no small part thanks to the Choice Plus plan. GreenGeeks would have been a good option for users looking to pay month-to-month, but the setup fee makes it harder to recommend over other providers that support monthly billing like Dreamhost or Hostwinds.
As far as other types of hosting are concerned, Bluehost has cheaper virtual private servers and is the only provider here that also offers dedicated hosting and managed WordPress hosting. GreenGeeks doesn’t support those types of hosting but they do have some of the best reseller hosting around, which is something that you won’t find at Bluehost. GreenGeeks’s other major claim to fame is its focus on being environmentally-friend, with the company putting back into the grid renewable energy equal to 300% of its annual consumption.
Overall, there are several good reasons for why some users may want to sign up with GreenGeeks. However, Bluehost does offer a slightly better bang for your buck and is easier to recommend to novice webmasters who are looking for a long-term hosting solution.
Ease of Use
Building a website used to require a fair amount of technical know-how back in the day and was quite a difficult feat for a beginner. While building a complex, high-quality website is still not exactly a walk in the park, now you can definitely create a good looking site with relatively little effort.
Probably the easiest way of going about it would be to choose a service that puts a lot of emphasis on its website builders, such as Wix or one of its many alternatives. However, you can get the job done almost as easily with Bluehost or GreenGeeks thanks to their user-friendly control panels.
Everything You Need Right at Your Fingertips
There’s little difference between Bluehost and GreenGeeks in terms of overall user-friendliness thanks to the fact that both providers use the popular cPanel. The cPanel lets you manage every aspect of your hosting account and website via a single easy to use interface. New users may feel a bit overwhelmed at first by the control panel because it comes with a wide variety of features and options, but it only takes a couple of days to get used to it. Besides, there are built-in filters and a search function to help you find whatever you’re looking for even faster.
Bluehost is Superior for WordPress
Although both companies allow you to easily build and manage a WordPress website, Bluehost definitely has better support for the CMS. Bluehost is widely known as being one of only three providers officially endorsed by the WordPress foundation and is superior for working with the CMS than even the WordPress.com hosting service.
GreenGeeks does have equivalents to the regular WordPress-optimized shared hosting packages offered by Bluehost, but it doesn’t have anything resembling the company’s managed WordPress plans. These plans start at $9.95 per month and come with many useful features like WordPress staging environments, pre-installed JetPack plugin, daily scheduled backups, domain privacy, malware removal, free access to premium themes, and more.
You are also able to transfer a WordPress website for free from another provider and can rely on Bluehost to take care of updates and security-related issues for you. A couple of other big selling points include PayPal integration, the ability to sell unlimited products or services, and access to top shipping carriers. All of these will be invaluable for anyone looking to build an online store with Bluehost.
Bluehost vs. GreenGeeks: Which is More User-Friendly?
For a lot of users there won’t be any discernable difference between the two companies as they are both very welcoming to novice webmasters. However, you will have a lot more tools to work with at Bluehost should you decide to build a professional WordPress website. The company’s managed WordPress plan are indeed a bit more expensive compared to the shared packages but you get great value in return. Bluehost’s custom marketing center by itself is worth the asking price in our opinion.
Things like pricing, performance and ease of use are all very important factors to take into consideration before choosing a hosting provider, but equally important are the features you can expect to be able to rely on. Thankfully, both Bluehost and GreenGeeks are quite generous in this department. You’ll get your money’s worth regardless of which company you choose, but there are certain differences that may sway you towards one camp or the other.
If you decide to sign up with Bluehost, here are some of the most important features you’ll be able to take advantage of:
- Unlimited SSD storage with all plans except shared Basic
- Free domain name during your first year
- Free SSL certificates
- CDN (Cloudflare) integration
- $100 worth of Google Ads credit
- Managed WordPress hosting
- Cheap but unmanaged VPS plans
- Dedicated hosting plans
- Access to professional services like Blue Sky
- 30-day money-back guarantee
If you’re planning to choose GreenGeeks over Bluehost as your provider, on the other hand, you can expect the following key features:
- Unlimited SSD storage with all plans
- Free domain name during your first year
- Free SSL certificates
- Nightly backups
- Multiple data centers
- Expensive but managed VPS plans
- Reseller hosting plans
- Free site migration
- 30-day money-back guarantee
Most of the features found at Bluehost can also be found at GreenGeeks, however, the company has more types of hosting to choose from and, therefore, has better scalability. Meanwhile, GreenGeeks has a couple of noteworthy features like free site migrations, which Bluehost only offers as part of its WP Pro packages, and the fact that the provider lets you choose the data center is a nice bonus as well.
All in all, it’s hard to recommend one of these companies over the other based solely on the features. Bluehost would the better choice for growing websites because of its excellent scalability while GreenGeeks’ multiple data centers can be helpful if most of your audience is located outside the US.
There are a million things that can potentially go wrong with a website and most webmasters will have to deal with at least some of them at one point or another. Experienced webmasters can usually fix most problems by themselves, but even they will need to reach out to their hosting provider’s customer support team at times. And, of course, that goes double for novices. So, can you expect quality customer support from Bluehost and GreenGeeks? Let’s find out.
Award-Winning Customer Support
Bluehost has a very experienced customer support team at its disposal that you can take advantage of 24/7 either via live chat, phone or ticketing system. The company’s agents are experienced and knowledgeable based on our personal experience and they tend to be quick to reply to any questions you may have.
One of the things we like the most about Bluehost’s customer support is the fact that there are two separate phone number you can reach them at – a toll-free one for US-based customers and an international one for clients living aboard. Unfortunately, many of the big hosting providers tend to focus exclusively on their US audience, so it’s nice to see that Bluehost pays attention to its international customer base as well.
If you have a minor issue that doesn’t necessarily require direct assistance, you can check Bluehost’s knowledgebase for helpful articles. While you can find some useful resources there, the knowledgebase is a bit lackluster compared to some of the Bluehost alternatives we’ve looked at in the past.
GreenGeeks is a significantly smaller company than Bluehost so we weren’t too surprised to learn that its customer service is a bit less impressive as well. Not in terms of quality, mind you, but in terms of speed and availability. GreenGeeks gives you access to the same support channels you can also find at Bluehost. Namely, live chat, phone, and tickets. But, at least in our case, GreenGeeks took a bit longer to reply than Bluehost, though the agents were very helpful once we managed to get in touch with them.
Just like Bluehost, GreenGeeks also has international and local phone numbers you can reach them at. However, customer service isn’t available 24/7 in this case. You’ll need to call sometime between 9 AM and 12 AM EST during weekdays or 9 AM and 8 PM EST during the weekend if you’re looking for help. If you run into issues outside that timeframe, you’ll have to rely on the knowledgebase instead.
Luckily, GreenGeeks’ knowledgebase is easy to navigate and nicely put together. All the most important topics are sorted by category and most of the topics have step-by-step instructions and tooltips to make things just a little bit easier. Aside from that, there’s also a help page filled to the brim with useful tutorials and guides of all shapes and sizes.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is a technique used by webmasters to optimize their content for search engines. Good SEO practices take a while to learn, which is why some hosting providers offer specialized tools designed to make life easier for beginners. Generally speaking, you won’t be able to rely on those types of tools exclusively but they can come in handy for learning how to properly optimize your content.
Bluehost has a pretty good suite of custom-built SEO tools that it includes for free with some of its WP Pro packages. You can get the tools with any of the shared hosting plans as well, but it would cost you $1.99 per month (billed annually at $23.88/yr). If you don’t want to spend any more on add-ons, you can instead install a free plugin like Yoast SEO if you’re running a WordPress-based website.
GreenGeeks doesn’t offer SEO tools with any of its plans so, in this case, your only option would be to rely on WordPress plugins. That said, the company does have a handy guide on its website that will teach the basics of SEO along with some tips and tricks that you can use to boost your rankings. It’s not quite the same as having a powerful set of tools at your disposal but it’s a start.
Companies that focus primarily on shared hosting tend to have security features that are less impressive than those found at cloud hosting providers, for example. Still, both Bluehost and GreenGeeks do their best to enhance the security of their own servers while also providing certain helpful tools and features for their customers.
One of the simplest and most effective ways of securing your website is by installing a free SSL certificate. SSL is a protocol that provides end-to-end encryption between a website and the browsers of users accessing it. These days, an SSL certificate is virtually mandatory as search engines penalize pretty harshly websites that don’t have one.
Luckily, neither Bluehost nor GreenGeeks are stingy when it comes to SSL certificates since both companies include them for free with all hosting plans. At GreenGeeks you can even get a premium SSL certificate but only if you sign up for the third tier shared hosting plan.
SSL aside, there’s not much to write home about when it comes to security. At least not when talking about the basic shared hosting plans. Both companies offer basic malware monitoring and nightly backups, but pretty much everything else is only available with the more expensive plans or via separate add-ons. This includes domain privacy and reliable backup tools.
Scalability is an area where there’s a clear difference between Bluehost and GreenGeeks. Bluehost has four shared hosting packages to choose from compared to GreenGeeks’ three and gives you access to a handful of other types of hosting to boot. Both companies have virtual private servers but dedicated hosting is something that you’ll only be able to find at Bluehost. Same goes for managed WordPress hosting.
Regular users won’t have to worry about scalability at GreenGeeks, but if your website ends up becoming very popular, you will need to start weighing your options because a VPS might not be enough. Big websites tend to run on dedicated servers and Bluehost is the only company here that gives you the option of buying one. With prices starting at $79.99 per month, dedicated servers are certainly expensive, but they’re the only ones that can handle very large amounts of traffic.
Bluehost and GreenGeeks are a lot more alike than they are different and we focused a lot on the similarities in this comparison. But before we wrap things up, let’s take a quick look at some of the most important differences because they matter a lot when trying to decide which of the two companies you should choose.
Location Coverage. With four data centers to choose from, GreenGeeks is doing significantly better than Bluehost in terms of location coverage. Although it’s not relevant to a good portion of users, location coverage can make a big difference in certain situations.
As far as we know, Bluehost only has a single data center, which it shares to some of its sister companies. The company manages to deliver good performance in spite of this, thanks in no small part to its excellent CDN integration, but it’s not quite the same as having multiple data centers.
More Choices. GreenGeeks' selection of hosting services is pretty average compared to most of its rivals. Having shared hosting and VPS plans is a good start and reseller hosting is a nice bonus, but it doesn’t really make up for the lack of managed WordPress and dedicated hosting.
Bluehost is one of the most versatile hosting providers on the market. The company offers almost every type of hosting you can think of, with the only notable exception being cloud hosting. Then again, cloud hosting isn’t something you’re going to find at GreenGeeks either.
Optional Add-ons. GreenGeeks doesn’t offer a lot in terms of add-ons. There are two of them – domain locking and total DNS control – that are free and enabled by default along with domain privacy, which costs $9.95/year.
In stark contrast, Bluehost may have too many paid add-ons. There are four add-ons you can buy here along with another one that you can get for free. Add-ons cost anywhere between $0.99 and $2.99 per month so the prices aren’t too egregious. Some of them are even included for free with higher tier plans.
GreenGeeks vs. Bluehost: Our Pick
We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Bluehost or GreenGeeks because they are both very solid services. But if you must choose between them, we believe Bluehost to have a slight edge over its competitor. Here are some of the most important factors to consider:
- Performance: The two companies are fairly evenly matched in terms of loading speeds and uptime but GreenGeeks did seem to be better at handling large amounts of traffic.
- Pricing and Value: Although the two have an identical entry point, Bluehost provides better value thanks to the Choice Plus plan and has cheaper renewal costs. GreenGeeks will let you pay on a month-by-month basis but only if you agree to pay a setup fee, which is quite expensive.
- Ease of Use: You won’t have any issues managing websites with either Bluehost or GreenGeeks. Ease of use features like cPanel are available at both companies but Bluehost will make your life easier if you’re thinking about building a WordPress-based website.
- Features: GreenGeeks has a lot going on for itself in terms of features, including free site migrations and multiple data centers to choose from. Bluehost isn’t doing too badly in this department either but it does fall a bit behind GreenGeeks.
- Customer Support: Although GreenGeeks does have marginally better self-help resources, Bluehost wins this category thanks to its 24/7 customer service.
- SEO: Bluehost is the only one that gives you SEO tools, provided you don’t mind buying them separately.
- Security: You’ll have to sign up with high tier plans in order to take advantage of the best security features. Neither company managed to impress us with the security features available to everyone.
- Scalability: Bluehost has a much larger selection of hosting services to choose from and manages to win this category by a landslide.
GreenGeeks is a fantastic hosting provider and very easy to recommend in many situations but it can’t quite hold a candle to Bluehost in certain areas that we consider to be essential. Bluehost is overall the better option for most users, especially those who care about versatility and scalability.
Check out our dedicated Bluehost hub if you want to learn more about the company and its wide array of services.
With affordable prices, solid performance and nearly unmatched flexibility, Bluehost is the perfect hosting provider for newcomers and a great pick for many veteran webmasters as well. While it does have a couple of downsides, Bluehost’s pros easily outweigh its cons.