Trying to decide between HostGator and SiteGround?
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SiteGround and HostGator are two of my favorite businesses of all time, and with each of them I have a lot of experience. HostGator was the first professional web hosting I ever received, and SiteGround is one of my go – to hosts when I want to host on a budget a big WordPress site. I like both companies very much, so it’s a fun comparison.
Before I go any further, I would just like to note that if you purchase hosting from one or more of the different companies or businesses on this list, I can receive a small affiliate fee. It doesn’t cost you much money to shop from my links and helps me “keep the lights burning” with this page and continue to provide free content and feedback. I would definitely appreciate it if you ordered through this forum, but I also wanted to make sure you understood that my reviews are not influenced by commissions in any way.
I created a page called Hosts I Don’t Recommend to prove that and to help keep the site honest. Some of these hosts offer high affiliate commissions (such as iPage) and I still don’t recommend them. At the end of the day, I want readers to know this is an objective place to learn about web hosts.
Let’s jump right into SiteGround vs HostGator with some of the introduction covered and see which company wins!
HostGator vs SiteGround: Competition Categories
It is important to look at certain technological attributes and other facets of the host when evaluating any web host that help to paint a complete picture of their overall competence and reliability. I tend to stick to a few types when reviewing each web host. These are the following categories:
- Overall Performance & Speed
- Reliability (Uptime Compared to Downtime)
- How Good is the Support & Customer Service?
- How Easy is the System to Use?
- Capabilities, Packages & Pricing
Such definitions serve as a good basis for analyzing both HostGator and SiteGround objective and subjective results. In terms of objective data, a variety of performance test results are available in each section on this page, as well as some more subjective opinions that come from my web hosts expertise.
To keep things fair, I’ve hosted one HostGator WordPress website and another SiteGround WordPress website. Although these are separate websites, they have the same duration of posts, the same extensions, identical WordPress themes, and they are very similar for testing purposes. Bluehost also make your account suspended if your hosting as malware in it, bluehost malware removal as to be done asap to un suspend it.
To gather a wide range of objective data, I used the monitoring services of Dotcom-Monitor and their one-off speed tests accessible at Dotcom-Tools.com to check the domains for 12 months. Having said that, let’s step forward and evaluate all hosts to see how they fit in each division.
SiteGround vs HostGator: Overall Performance and Speed
I’ll only say this — SiteGround and HostGator are two of the best traditional hosts I’ve ever interacted with, and I’ve never really been too frustrated either. However, in this area, my opinion alone doesn’t say anything, so I put each of the test websites through a full speed check using the free software platform of Dotcom-Monitor (Dotcom-Tools.com). The fun thing about Dotcom-Tools is that you’re not limited to one or two data centers— you can check your website practically from around the world for free.
I limited the speed test to the American network (which includes 11 data centers) to keep things concise and simple. If you’ve ever used that, the way the check functions is identical to WebPageTest.org (except that they provide more data). Dotcom-Monitor’s servers basically go out and take a full-page snapshot of each test site’s home page (one on SiteGround and one on HostGator). Each page element, as well as the overall page speed, is timed and calculated.
We’re going to focus on the overall page speed for this section as it’s the simplest metric to test — although sometimes DNS or another issue is at fault with a slow-loading web page (which wasn’t the case for either of these tests). You will display the findings of the speed test outlined for both test sites by gazing at the following screenshots.
Using Dotcom-Monitor, you will see a screenshot of the SiteGround speed test, and below you will see the HostGator speed test performance using Dotcom-Monitor. While the findings for some places are somewhat identical, for others, they vary quite a bit.
As I said earlier, both of these hosts are pretty fast, and this is evident in the test results. HostGator’s best time on the platform was 2.1 seconds, with an average of 3.3 seconds total. SiteGround’s best time on the board was 1.7 seconds (in various datacenters) with an overall average of 3.1 seconds, only edging out HostGator in the speed field. Some websites have the aim of loading all pages in less than 3 seconds, and both hosts are right on the mark here. Sometime, they might suspend your account if you fails to verify your details. Also, you will get hostgator verification suspended alert through email.
In my view, in terms of speed, HostGator is an outstanding host, and they are very good for a lower-priced host, but here SiteGround was just a little better.
Therefore, SiteGround is the winner in the overall performance and pace division.
And again — keep in mind that HostGator is still a fast host and a very good choice if you’re mindful of pace, it’s just that SiteGround does a slightly better job, and I believe this is attributable to some of their caching technologies as well as the fact that they’re incredibly well handling their servers.
Reliability (Uptime Relative to Downtime)–HostGator and SiteGround
While searching for a web host, most people understand that reliability is one of the most important features, with speed and performance hand-in-hand. Simply put, if your website is not available, you or your guests will not profit from it. Getting a website that goes down at an inappropriate time can be incredibly embarrassing for both businesses and individuals, especially if a ton has been done recently to advertise the platform and the news that it is down spreads like wild fire via social media; this is not a position in which anyone wishes to be.
Fortunately, most popular web hosting offer pretty good promises of uptime, but that doesn’t imply they’re all made in the same manner. All HostGator and SiteGround have had excellent personal and professional uptime for me in my experience. That said, to get some objective data and numbers, I still wanted to put them to the test.
To do this, I used the framework of Dotcom-Monitor to ping every website straight for 12 months at 3 hour intervals. Each site was pinged and checked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for any uptime / downtime issues. Because this check has been operating for 12 months, it provides a really good picture of each web host’s efficiency. Let’s take a look at the numbers with that mentioned.
SiteGround had an uptime rate of 99.48 percent for 12 months, which meant the site was down just 0.52 percent over the whole year. While that may not sound like much (and it’s not really), let’s put it in perspective. Throughout a year, there are about 525,600 minutes, and 0.52 percent of 525,600= 2733 minutes, so around 45 hours a year, or around 2 days. So for about 2 days out of 365 days, the SiteGround test site was down— not terrible. Then, of course, the most possible downtime wasn’t all at once.
The site of HostGator had a rating of uptime of 100 percent over 12 months, which is quite remarkable. This doesn’t suggest there was no interruption, it just means it wasn’t noticed because it didn’t happen at times every 3 hours. There are no figures regarding failures of 100 percent uptime. The minimum industry standard for SLA uptime output is 99.9 percent so there was a tiny bit shy of that while SiteGround had a decent rating — but not much. HostGator had a perfect score and even exceeded the industry standard.
Having said that, HostGator is the obvious winner in the reliability category.
However, I really like SiteGround and would never by any means classify them as an “unreliable” host, so while in this category HostGator was really perfect, SiteGround is still very good. In reality, when I don’t use a premium host like WP Engine, they’re actually my favorite host to use with WordPress. They’ve been super reliable for me, and while I’m not actually tracking uptime on sites I’ve been hosting with them, I haven’t seen any downtime or traffic drops, and some of the sites I’m hosting with them are receiving quite a lot of traffic. So, just because they’ve had a little downtime over 12 months doesn’t make them anyway an unreliable host, they’re really great.
Help and Customer Service — SiteGround Compared to HostGator
Support is something that can make or break a host— it can be fast, efficient, inexpensive, and anything else, but it’s a real reason to consider a different host if your help sucks. The reality is that if your website or web server has a question, you really need answers quickly and with some of the worse hosts you can’t wait hours or even days. Luckily, both SiteGround and HostGator have good support, so let’s look at how they compare.
Clearly, this definition is quite arbitrary based on my experience and my colleagues ‘ experience, but together it’s a lot of information. Each host has 24/7/365 help for talk, email, seat, and phone — and that’s how it should be. Support should always be accessible from a good host and in many different ways (chat, email, phone, etc.) due to the on-demand nature of the internet and websites.
My interaction with help from SiteGround was fantastic. They are based overseas (it seems to be somewhere in Eastern Europe) but it has no effect on the quality of their support— it’s amazing in every way. Their first-level techs know a ton, and if you have an issue needing a more in-depth look, they usually open a ticket and get someone to start working on your question, which usually happens very fast. Really, in my view, SiteGround now has some of the best support from any host out there.
The help of HostGator isn’t poor, but it doesn’t really compete all that well with the support of SiteGround at the moment. As I described on other sites, I think the support of HostGator used to be great, but in my experience it really took a dive in the last year or so. The biggest problem HostGator has faced in the past year or so was the increase in waiting times. At one point it was so bad that they took over a week to respond to a ticket that I had opened and then, due to the delay, issued me a one month credit. Although I enjoyed the praise, in the hosting environment this sort of delay is unreasonable, particularly for a good host such as HostGator.
Because of HostGator’s delayed response times recently, I think SiteGround is really taking this segment and it’s not just a small win… they’re winning big here.
Hopefully in the future this can be fixed by HostGator as their technical support has been as good as that of SiteGround, at least from my perspective.
What user-friendly host? Or HostGator or SiteGround?
Many hosts have incredibly complex back-end panels (DreamHost), while others are user-friendly and make a lot of sense. The most common back-end panel is cPanel, which I would call the industry standard, although some hosts are using Plesk and similar panels. CPanel is very simple to use and that’s what both HostGator and SiteGround are using.
There are really no surprises when it comes to cPanel, and even a web hosting beginner will work it out without too much difficulty (which is why so many hosts are using it). All HostGator and SiteGround place on top of cPanel their own custom setup and both do a good job with it. -host incorporates some of its own functionality (like the caching function of SiteGround), which is quite intuitive as well. There are really no bugs from either host in terms of the runtime, and both of them do a great job setting out the user interface.
Usually hosts have a dedicated billing / support system that is not part of the site infrastructure, and again — both HostGator and SiteGround do a good job of making it user-friendly, straightforward and simple to use.
We both do an equally great job in the UI / UX / ease-of-use region, so this field is a bridge between the two hosts.
Really, you can’t go wrong with either HostGator or SiteGround if you’re looking for a simple, clean, easy-to-use backend and support / billing portal.
Capabilities, Packages & Prices: HostGator & SiteGround
Compatibility and functionality are always weighed when picking a host, and when it comes to web hosting, it’s mostly accurate that you get what you’re paying for. As described on other sections of this blog, pricing is also one of the most challenging facets of choosing as a web host as providing a low introductory rate is a common practice among web hosts and then significantly raise prices upon renewal. Cable and satellite Television and a number of other subscription services are other companies that work this way.
Having said that, pricing and features are fairly straightforward for both HostGator and SiteGround. SiteGround offers three key plans—”StartUp,” “GrowBig, “and” GoGeek. “Each of them has additional features when you go up to the next level such as premium support, free ecommerce software, and more.
The rates are $3.95/month, $7.95/month, and $14.95/month if you’re a new customer. While SiteGround does not specifically measure traffic, they do set a “visit count” on the number of unique visitors that should be able to sustain each plan in a given month. This is close to how WordPress hosts tried to calculate their traffic, but in all fairness, SiteGround is more of a mixed server. Each plan includes 10GB/20GB/30 GB of space, and again, as you move from one level to the next, more premium features are added.
HostGator also has several different price packages with its “Hatchling” package being the lowest at $3.45/month. They package next up is $4.95/month, and $5.95/month is a top tier sharing rate. HostGator does not do that SiteGround is offering “unlimited” all so-to-speak. Bandwidth, storage, etc.— but most people know there’s really no “unlimited” thing, and if you abuse the services they can and will cap your use.
The plans of SiteGround seem to provide more premium features than those of HostGator, but pricing seems to do a bit more for HostGator. SiteGround does not allow you to pay on most of their plans on a monthly basis, and although HostGator does, you are going to pay much more for that service. The longer term you pay for the better deal you’re going to get with each host. To get the best rates from HostGator, you need to pay in advance for 3 years, which is a very long time.
Who takes the price of the cake? It’s a special match!
Although SiteGround provides more premium features, a higher premium price is also possible. HostGatoris a bit cheaper if you’re going for a longer time, but they don’t have all the functionality that SiteGround does, so it’s really a wash — with either kit or host you can’t go wrong.
And the winner of the fight between SiteGround so HostGator is, by a small margin, SiteGround.
SiteGround won in the category of pace and customer service, while HostGator won in the category of durability, with the other two categories a tie.
If I were to choose one of the two I’d actually select SiteGround to use forever— because they’re lightning quick and their service is amazing out of this universe. HostGator is also a great host, but I believe the testing shows that SiteGround has a slight edge here. HostGator would certainly be the cheapest option overall if you’re looking to save money, but if you’re searching for a much more expensive host, I’d recommend trying SiteGround.