SiteGround vs. HostGator
Choosing the Best Hosting for Your Business Made Easy
What’s uuuuup?! It’s Mike here again, and today I’m going to compare two giants in the web hosting industry, SiteGround versus HostGator!
Both companies are awesome, and you can see that in my previous comparisons against Bluehost. They won in more than one category, and that alone speaks very well about their services.
However, today I’m going to let you know all about them, compare them extensively and help you to pick the perfect plan for your business!
Ok, time to cut the fluff and start with the fun!
Why HostGator and SiteGround?
Let’s summarize why they are good picks:
- They have been in the market for a long time (SG since 2004 and HG since 2002)
- Suitable for both advanced and beginner users
- They are equipped with state of the art hosting technology
- I’ve tested them both and I’ve gotten good results.
Now that this is clear, let’s check the plans and start this hot comparison!
Let’s analyze the plans of each company, because if you have read my previous versus, you would have noticed that I always compare their plans against each other.
- Shared Hosting (StartUp, GrowBig, GoGeek)
- Cloud Hosting (Entry, Business, Business Plus, Super Power)
- Dedicated Servers (Entry Server, Power Server, Super Power Server)
- Enterprise Hosting
- WordPress Hosting (StartUp, GrowBig, GoGeek)
- Reseller Hosting.
- Web Hosting (Hatchling, Baby, Business)
- Cloud Hosting (Hatchling, Baby, Business)
- WordPress Hosting (Starter, Standard, Business)
- Dedicated Hosting (Value, Power, Enterprise)
- VPS Hosting (Snappy 2000, Snappy 4000, Snappy 8000).
Now that we have clear what plans each company has to offer, let’s start with the comparison!
Shared and Web Hosting Comparison: What is the Best Budget-friendly Option for You?
For starters, shared and web hosting are the same thing, because you are going to share resources with other clients in the same server.
They outstand due to their low price, and thereby, they are perfect for most small business owners and beginners, and those advanced users who want to use these plans for tests.
Here you have the complete comparison, enjoy!
|N° of Domains||1||Unlimited||Unlimited||1||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Website Space||10 GB||20 GB||30 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
Now, at first glance you can see that HG is the cheaper option when it comes to the top-tier plans of this category, but there is something you must know: you will have to pay 36 months in advance to get that price.
This is a point where SiteGround not only defeats HG but also many other companies like Bluehost, you only have to pay 12 months upfront to get access to their promotional prices.
Another thing to take into account is that, even if you pay 36 months upfront, it will renew at $14.95 per month once the period expires. Take that into account. That’s for the Business plan.
The same goes for SG, their GoGeek plan will renew at $29.95/month, which is a bit steep. However, I recommend you to stick with the GrowBig plan, because it is more than enough to suffice all of your needs.
A note about web space and bandwidth:
You may be prone to believe that because the bandwidth and web space are unlimited the plans by HG are directly better, but that’s not the case.
They don’t give you unlimited web space or bandwidth, sorry, but only until you hit and surpass the limits. Once that happens, they will alert you to seize and desist.
I like the fact that SG tells you straight off the bat how much space you can use, so you can control how much you assign for each site, in case you decide to get the GrowBig or GoGeek plan.
Another advantage of SG over HG is that they bring you SSD storage, and you should know that it will bring you a superior speed and performance than traditional HDD disks.
Now, can you see that unlimited space is not such a big deal? Furthermore, now you know that SG uses SSD technology, which will bring you an edge over your competition, and everything for a low price.
Am not shilling for SiteGround by the way, but in this comparison of shared web hosting, it is the clear winner, because it offers more value in the end.
In my humble opinion, SG is the better option here, because they offer you SSD storage and the technology for speed is optimal. My personal recommendation is to stick with the GrowBig plan, because it is more than enough for most small projects.
Furthermore, they even give you a free domain, so that’s a very nice plus, because you can host everything with them from the get go.
This is very nice for beginners, because you won’t have to deal with registering your domain somewhere else, because while it can be easy for more advanced users, for newcomers it can be a real challenge.
Now, by no mean, use these plans for very important projects, because they are not designed for that purpose.
As you will see in the next sections, there are plans that are better suited for bigger projects, and if you are looking for something amongst those lines, then just keep reading my friend! 😉
Cloud Hosting Versus:
I really like cloud hosting, because it will make your website noticeably faster and offer you excellent features like more security, more reliability and overall a better performance.
Here you have what each company has to bring to the table in this category:
|Plan||Entry||Business||Business Plus||Super Power||Hatchling||Baby||Business|
|N° of Domains||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||1||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Website Space||40 GB SSD||60 GB SSD||80 GB SSD||120 GB SSD||Unmetered||Unmetered||Unmetered|
|RAM||4 GB||6 GB||8 GB||10 GB||2 GB||4 GB||6GB|
Now, here you can tell the difference: if you are looking for a budget-friendly cloud hosting solution, then answer is more than clear: go for HostGator. This company and SG cannot compete in this category for obvious reasons.
One of the main concerns regarding SiteGround’s cloud hosting plans is that you can get a dedicated server for pretty much the same price, and a dedi is much better in several aspects, especially if you want to customize it to your own needs.
However, I have to tell you from now that SiteGround does an excellent job at helping its customers with any sort of problem or technical difficulty you may have. Therefore, if you value fast and reliable customer support over the rest, then SG might be the perfect choice for you.
WordPress Hosting Versus: The Best Plan for the Most Popular CMS
WP hosting is very popular because the CMS is the most used in the entire world, because it is very easy to use and can be adapted as much as you like.
That is why many hosting companies design specific plans for users who wish to run this software in their sites, and here you have what SiteGround and HostGator bring to the table:
|N° of Domains||1||Unlimited||Unlimited||1||2||3|
|Monthly avg. traffic||10K||25K||100K||100K||200K||500K|
|Website Space||10 GB SSD||20 GB SSD||30 GB SSD||Unmetered||Unmetered||Unmetered|
|Backup Space||Not Specified||Not Specified||Not Specified||1GB||2GB||3GB|
|RAM||Not specified||Not specified||Not specified||Not specified||Not specified||Not specified|
Now, here you have their plans in a nice side-to-side comparison, but let’s see what companies offers more value for your money!
Once again, I have to say that I prefer SG, because it offers more value, but I’m going to detail why.
First off, the fact that you get SSD storage is a good advantage, because as you know, it will make your websites faster. Furthermore, you can host unlimited sites in the GrowBig and GoGeek plans, whereas you get severely restricted with HostGator (max 3 sites with the Business plan).
But now, let’s analyze the main features that make me favor it over HG:
- You get SuperCacher for more speed. However, if you want to take full advantage of it, then you will have to get the GrowBig or GoGeek plan. It will offer you database queries results cache, static content cache and dynamic data cache
- Every plan is optimized for optimal speed. You get CDN set up with every plan plus customized server set up and HTTP/2 enabled servers, which in combination with SSD storage, will make your websites load much faster
- Great protection against problems. They bring you hardware and power redundancy to protect your websites against any sort of technical problems that escape your control. Furthermore, it includes LXC for great stability and ease of scalability and a very fast server monitoring system.
These are the technical reasons that make me prefer the plans by SG, especially the GoGeek, because for a low price you get a lot, exactly what you need to run any kind of website.
Of course, if you want to run a very big media outlet, a traffic-heavy e-com store or any site that needs lots of resources and receives a lot of traffic, then you will need a VPS hosting plan, or even better, a dedicated server.
Overall, that’s why I can vouch for SiteGround’s plans, and furthermore, everything is easy to install and use, so you can run your website despite being a total beginner!
But what about HostGator? Is it really that bad? First, I didn’t say that they were bad, only that my preference leans towards SG for the reasons I’ve exposed, but HG still does a good job:
- Convenient caching features
- Good CDN
- You can easily allocate resources
- Very easy to use and beginner friendly
I wish they were more specific with what they offer just like SiteGround that does an excellent job at explaining what they really offer.
VPS Hosting by HostGator: Do I Recommend It? – A Detailed Analysis
Unfortunately, SiteGround doesn’t offer VPS hosting, but HostGator does and I’m going to let you know if it is good or not with this detailed analysis!
|Plan||Snappy 2000||Snappy 4000||Snappy 8000|
|N° of Domains||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Website Space||120 GB||165 GB||240 GB|
|RAM||2 GB||4 GB||8 GB|
|Bandwidth||1.5 TB||2 TB||3 TB|
As you can see, they include different types of hardware for each plan. There is the Snappy 500 and Snappy 1000 plan as well, but in my opinion, they are not enough, that is why I’ve just reviewed the Snappy 2000, 4000 and 8000.
You get full root access, which means that you can customize the VPS as much as you want and need. Furthermore, the servers support a rich variety of programming languages and software:
- Ruby On Rails
- And more.
You have full control of your server to use it as you like, because you can easily allocate resources as you need and do all the adjustments you have to.
You can host an unlimited number of websites, which makes it perfect for those offering web hosting services to clients. If you are one of them, then you can use a VPS to do, in case you don’t want to bother with reseller hosting and want to keep your costs down.
A VPS is excellent if your websites receive tons of traffic, because you will have the resources necessary to withstand it.
However, I also need to point out the flaws: they don’t have SSD storage. That’s a turn off, because they would bring you more value if they offered it.
Another thing that I don’t like is that they don’t disclose the tech of their hardware. It’d be awesome if they did, because it would allow the more-technical users to know if they will get what they are looking for.
That’s what they bring to the table, so take note of that.
The customer service is good, but it could be better, at least that’s what I feel. There is always room for improvement, but in general HostGator offers solid VPS plans that will get your websites running in no time, so you should go for them!
In fact, in a previous comparison against GoDaddy, I picked it as the winner, because I had a better experience with them.
Now it is time to level up the game and compare the dedicated servers they both offer, because after VPS, that’s the next step!
Dedicated Server Versus: What Company Is The Best Choice?
As the name clearly tells, it is a server completely dedicated to your projects. All the resources in it are 100% destined to your needs.
Dedicated hosting is the next step after VPS because:
- The resources are only for you and the entire server is dedicated to your websites, whereas with a Virtual Private Server you have to share them with other hosting accounts
- The customization is taking to a completely new level, because you can adapt the hosting to meet exactly what you need. With VPS you can do so, but only to an extent, so if you want to have the joy of total customization, then a dedicated server is the answer
- Perfect for high-end websites, because if you are receiving over 500K visits per month, then you will need a dedicated solution, and that is why it is the better option for you.
Therefore, if your project is big (or is expected to be) and you have the budget, then don’t chase the lowest price and instead go for something that will meet the requirements of what you need: a dedicated server.
Now, let’s go and analyze the features offered by each company:
|Plan||Entry Server||Power Server||Super Power Server||Value||Power||Enterprise|
|N° of Domains||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Monthly avg. traffic||Unmetered||Unmetered||Unmetered||Unmetered||Unmetered||Unmetered|
|Website Space||480GB SSD||20 GB SSD||30 GB SSD||1 TB HDD||2 TB HDD or|
512 GB SSD
|1 TB SSD|
|Backup Space||Not Specified||Not Specified||Not Specified||Not Specified||Not Specified||Not Specified|
|CPU Tech||Intel Xeon E3-1230||Intel Xeon E3-1270||2 x Intel Xeon E5-2630||Intel Xeon D-1541||Intel Xeon D-1541||Intel Xeon D-1541|
|RAM||16 GB||32 GB||64 GB||8 GB||16 GB||30 GB|
|Dedicated IP||5 Free Dedicated IPs||5 Free Dedicated IPs||5 Free Dedicated IPs||3-5 Dedicated IPv4 IPs||3-5 Dedicated IPv4 IPs||3-5 Dedicated IPv4 IPs|
Now that you know the principal differences between them, it is time to go deeper in the analysis. However, from here you can easily tell which is the better options in terms of budget, but as I said at the beginning, the price isn’t the most important factor here.
A CPU Tech War: What Company Brings You The Best?
Both use Intel, but as you can easily see, they use different versions… so which one is the best? Let’s discover it!
Whereas HostGator uses the same CPU in all of its plans – the Intel Xeon D-1541 – SiteGround brings different ones for each plan:
- Intel Xeon E3-1230
- Intel Xeon E3-1270
- Intel Xeon E5-2630
The Xeon E3 series are older than the Xeon D, and that’s a point in favor of HostGator, because a newer technology will, in most cases, provide a better performance.
The Intel Xeon D-1541 is an excellent CPU and HG has done an amazing job at equipping their servers with it. Here you have the reasons that support what I claim:
- It has the power to support high-end applications like big text search engine or similar projects that require a superior performance
- It offers plenty of bandwidth, perfect for traffic-heavy websites
- It can handle up to 800 requests per second, which is outstanding!
- Outstanding response per second, making it perfect for web server applications. The servers respond within 100 ms., which is pretty awesome and you will see it reflected in the performance of your site.
All in all, in this battle, I have to give the Xeon D-1541 a preference over the rest, because its solid performance has been proven over and over again.
What Do They Offer?
Now you know that HG offers the better CPU tech, but now it is time to explore other features, so you can pick the plan that better suits your needs. I will provide you everything you need to know in a list, and so far now, you can see that I’m a fan of listing everything!
What I like about SiteGround:
- The fact that they offer SSD storage in all their plans
- The amazing RAM for all their plans, especially the Super Power Server (64 GB), making it excellent if you need tons of it
- They pre-install and maintain all the software in your server, making the set-up as easy as it can get. This is especially good for users who are venturing for the first time with a dedicated server
- The prices are higher than HostGator’s, yet you can get access to the promotional price by just paying 6 months in advance + the set-up ($99 USD one-off-time)
- As it is fully managed, it is better for users who are not very technical and just want the power of a dedicated server
- Supports a large variety of software, apps and programming languages for total customization
- The customer support is excellent, because they are easy to reach and the team is very technical and experience, which means that you will always get a precise answer for your problem.
What I like about HostGator:
- As I said, their CPU tech is by far the best in this comparison for the reasons I’ve previously shared with you
- Their prices are pretty reasonable- However, take note that you will have to pay 36 months upfront, making the lowest-tier plan cost you $4,283.80. A lot of money, but if you have the budget, then it will make sense.
- You can choose between managed or semi-managed, depending on what you are trying to achieve
- You can use virtually every programming language, app or software you need.
Now you know enough to pick the plan that better suits your needs, so choose wisely!
A dedicated server is perfect for serious and ambitious projects, but even then, there are some that will be ok with one TB of HDD storage + 8 GB RAM + 4 Cores and 8 Threads, where as some will need far more RAM, SSD storage and more speed.
However, if you need extra help, don’t bother to message me or write a comment, because am here to assist you! 😉
Now that we have finished comparing all the common plans between both companies, it is time to review the two other hosting solutions offered by SiteGround: Reseller and Enterprise hosting.
Enterprise Hosting by SiteGround: Who Does Need It?
If even a dedicated server is not enough for your project, then enterprise hosting is the next step, because you will have a team of specialists working on the PERFECT solution for your business
I’ve talked about it in my previous comparison of SiteGround versus Bluehost, but in a nutshell, here is what you get with this special service:
- A fully customized architecture, engineered to meet your needs and deliver the results you are after. With this set up, you can expect an outstanding reliability and ease of scalability
- They take care of the management, so you don’t have to hire anyone else to run the server for you. They take care of the technical aspect, so you can run your business without worries
- All the resources your business needs, as it is a bespoke solution, you will get as much resources as necessary, even during spikes.
Of course, the price is going to vary from project to project, and it is significantly higher than the rest of plans, but it is worth it.
If your business needs it, then this is the biggest expression of customization and efficiency you will ever get, so you should contact them and discuss your project further!
Reseller Hosting by SiteGround: A Good Idea for Your Business Model?
Reselling hosting is profitable, but is SG’s solution what you need? Let’s see!
Here are the reasons on why I think it is great and perfect for your business model:
- Very easy to use, only one click to set up a hosting account and that’s it
- You can monitor everything from a single dashboard, so it makes control fairly easy and practical
- You can get volume discount deals to increase your profit margin. The more credits you buy the better your discount will be!
- The hosting accounts get everything you need to bring your clients an excellent performance: 10 GB SSD storage, level-1 SuperCacher, free daily automatic backups, free SSL certificate and all the technology to bring your clients’ website unparalleled speed.
You get pretty much the same performance offered by a StartUp plan from the shared hosting, but for an even lower price, so you can resell it for more.
You could also resell hosting using your own dedicated server, or even a VPS, but it is more technical and you will have to take care of control and monitoring on your own. If you want more freedom, then the reselling hosting plans are perfect for you.
We’ve finished reviewing all the plans offered by both companies, so now it is time to review the “macro” aspects of each company, so you can get an overview on how much value they really offer.
Speed, Performance and Reliability: An Analysis of SiteGround and HostGator
From the comparisons I’ve already done, you should have seen that both companies are fairly efficient, reliable and fast.
However, let’s do a side-by-side comparison to overview all their features:
SSD storage in all plans.
SSD storages only with some plans (dedicated servers for example).
Datacenters in five different locations: Singapore, London, Amsterdam, Milan and USA (Chicago).
Datacenters in Europe, China, India and USA.
Power redundancy + hardware redundancy for optimal speed and reliability.
The plans run on a fully redundant network for optimal performance.
All hosting accounts are separated from each other, even in shared hosting. This brings a better performance and more security.
There is no mention of account isolation.
CDN + SuperCacher + Linux container tech for great reliability and amazing speed.
CDN + multi-layer caching + Linux container technology for excellent speed and reliability.
HTTP/2 enabled servers for a faster content delivery and better user experience.
No mention of HTTP/2.
Support for PHP 7.1 and 7.0
No support for PHP 7.
Now you can see what they offer in both departments, but if you want a more specific answer, then you can always check the comparisons above.
However, I have to favor SiteGround here, because especially when it comes to shared and WP hosting, they are your best choice. The same goes for dedicated hosting, depending on what you need.
HostGator would score more points if they supported PHP 7 and had HTTP/2 enabled servers, so it is a pity they don’t, because in such a competitive environment, even just two features can take clients away from them…
Security: How Protected Will Your Websites Be?
Speed without security is meaningless, because if your site is exposed to attacks and online threats, then you are putting your investment in serious risk, and that’s not a wise business move.
Instead of doing a side-by-side comparison, I will make it simpler for you by listing the key features that offer each company in this department.
- Protection against outages thanks to UPS technology, several power feeds and privately-owned power generators, because the threats are not only digital but also physical
- Total data protection thanks to their spare servers. I have to say that SG is one of the very few companies that offer such feature
- On-site replacements to solve any hardware-related problem right off the bat
- 24/7 human monitoring to ensure that everything is running smoothly
- Fast and efficient Guardian system for monitoring the servers and fixing outages problems as soon as they arise
- Privately-owned WAF (Web Application Firewall)
- Quick fixes to any vulnerability in several CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.)
- Spam Experts for protecting your websites against spam, and the best part is that it is free
- Free daily automatic backups.
- Malware, hacking and viruses protection thanks to SiteLock, however, it is not a free add-on
- Automatic data backups thanks to CodeGuard, however, just like SL, it is not free
- Protection against DDoS attacks
- Custom firewall rules for protecting your website and servers against a large variety of online threats and attacks.
I wish they were more transparent in this department, because they don’t tell much about how they protect server, stating that it is confidential info, but it’d be cool if they shared more with us.
Security is ESSENTIAL for your business, and therefore, it’d be better if they were more transparent, to see how they are really protecting your data, because after all, you are running a BUSINESS, and being the target of attacks will make you lose money.
Once again, I have to favor SiteGround, because they are transparent and really show that they are capable of protecting your website from attacks and offline and online threats.
User Experience and Customer Support: Why I Prefer SiteGround Alongside Several Clients
First off, SiteGround is one of the best-rated companies in this department, because they really take care of their clients, and in retribution, they leave excellent reviews.
On the other hand, even though I can vouch for HG’s customer support, they are losing this battle against SiteGround, because many users are not entirely satisfied with their service. I believe this is largely due to their aggressive upselling, and as they end up selling things people don’t really need, they end up feeling disappointed.
Furthermore, the response time from SiteGround is very fast, and I have to say, quicker than HG’s. This is VERY important, because people are more impatient than ever before, and in all honesty, we deserve a fast response, because we are clients and our time is precious.
This fact alone can gravitate many persons towards SiteGround, and if you are one of them, then you would be taking a good decision. HostGator is good if they have the plan that offers what you need for the budget you have at the moment, but honestly, SiteGround is much better when it comes to support service.
Therefore, as you can easily guess, clients at SiteGround have a better experience than at HostGator. I really believe that HG could score better here, but they should put more effort into assisting their clients promptly, and more importantly, delivering the solutions they are after instead of making them walk in circles.
I know I’m being very direct, but as I said, I like to point out the good and the bad, and it is one of these cases.
HostGator has excellent plans and their prices are very low, but they must improve in the user experience and customer service department, because it is not all about selling but also about retaining clients.
Therefore, the winner here is SiteGround. If you are a total beginner and want to start as smoothly as possible, then I recommend you to check their shared and WP hosting plans. They are more than enough to get you started the right way!
I know it sounds like shilling, but I’ve tested their services and alongside many other clients, we can vouch for their outstanding customer support.
We’ve arrived to the end of this extensive and detailed comparison and review!
Now you can take your own conclusions, because I’ve shared EVERYTHING with you, and I hope this helps you to take the right decision.
However, if you still need further assistance, don’t be shy and contact me. I will do my best to help you to pick the right plan for you, so you can run your business in no time!