Choosing a good hosting provider is important - after all, the quality of the servers defines the speed of the website, your visitor experience, and even your search engine rankings.
Furthermore, the most obvious threat of poor hosting service is that your website may go down for quite a lot - and no one wants that, right?
And while looking for the best hosting option, SiteGround vs HostGator is a very common question. After all, they're two giant hosting companies, working with millions of websites all around the world.
But which one is better? In this article, I'm going to compare SiteGround vs HostGator and see which one should you use for your websites.
What Is SiteGround?
SiteGround is a hosting platform, focusing on superior customer support, and easy website management experience.
With dedicated hosting solutions for some of the world's most popular platforms, SiteGround also offers cheap or free options for students and educational organizations.
What Is HostGator?
HostGator is one of the biggest hosting companies in the world. With nearly two decades of experience, HostGator offers a wide variety of services for business looking to build their online presence - stretching far beyond regular web hosting.
This provider offers several types of hosting services: shared hosting, VPS, WordPress, and dedicated hosting plans. There's also a website builder and domain name registrar.
Performance And Reliability: SiteGround Is A Step Forward
The most advanced features and tools are completely useless if your webpage is down or painfully slow - so a primary element upon which to focus when considering a host is the uptime.
Both companies claim to have 99.99% uptime, and while that's great, let's have a look at the real-life results. To test that, both hosting providers had WordPress websites set up on the servers and have been tracked once every minute.
SiteGround managed to keep up with its 99.99% guarantee, holding a stable weekly uptime rate of around 99.99%.
The response times were pretty fast, too. Despite sometimes peaking to over 2 seconds, it held an average of around 300 ms.
The worldwide connection tests also reveal SiteGround to be pretty good with visitors coming all across the world. Consistent results in 4 continents make this a good host to use for websites with worldwide visitors.
SiteGround allows the choice of server location as it has data centers in the US, Netherlands, Singapore, and the UK.
HostGator keeps the promise of its 99.99% guarantee as well. Well, nearly. The uptime is actually just around 99.99% in most weeks. So, it's very similar to SiteGround.
What's worse, however, is the response time. Hovering at around 500 ms, it's a little bit slower than SiteGround's.
There are a couple of other issues, too. During the worldwide performance test, HostGator scored significantly lower marks than SiteGround. While the USA speed was actually better than SiteGround's, all around the world they were actually much, much lower.
Of course, that's simply because HostGator has only one server location - in the US.
So overall, while both hosts are reliable, SiteGround servers are better than the ones of HostGator. If you're looking for a great worldwide performance, SiteGround is simply a better option to choose.
SiteGround Offers Better Packages
The performance is not all you're expecting from a hosting provider. The features you get along with the package also play a big part in choosing the best hosting.
Hostgator offers unmetered disk space and bandwidth. Also, the plans have SSL included, although the anti-malware has to be installed separately. The domain name is also not included and HostGator resells those from Snappy. Another thing missing is the back-ups: you can purchase those starting from $2/mo.
On the positive note, HostGator offers a drag-and-drop website builder included with all plans. It is not the best one in the market but nonetheless, is easy to use and allows a quick set-up of a website.
Also, for those thinking to migrate your existing websites - with HostGator, you get a free website transfer.
How about SiteGround?
SiteGround offers unlimited bandwidth, but the plans have disk space limits: StartUp gives you 10GB, GrowBig - 20GB, and GoGeek 30 GB.
But although having a disk space limitation can seem like a deal-breaker, the amount of GBs given are really reasonable - a website with all the functionalities and cramped with media files rarely reaches the 10GB space.
Also, the website security is taken care for: SSL included, as well as anti-DDOS and Anti-Malware. To build the website itself, you get a Weebly website builder which is one of the leading platforms in the market.
What's even better, free automated backups are included.
As for the website transfer, with plans GrowBig and GoGeek you get it for free. Ony with the Startup plan, the website migration costs $30.
So overall, both providers offer some good features, but SiteGround is much more inclusive on the website security part.
SiteGround's Customer Support Is More Efficient
Even if you aren't a beginner user of hosting services, sooner or later you'll need to get some help. Therefore, having proper customer support is a very important quality of a hosting provider.
HostGator and SiteGround both offer multiple support channels available 24/7.
First, let's see what HostGator has. You can contact HostGator support via live chat, support tickets, and phone.
Live chat works 24/7 /365. But in reality, the connection is not so consistent - the agents may answer in 2 minutes or 4 hours.
However, the bigger problem is that when you get connected, they are not the most informative or knowledgeable. Although it's functioning, some improvement would be very welcome.
SiteGround also offers several ways of reaching out. There is a ticket system, live chat, and phone. All provided 24/7.
We tested it out in our SiteGround review, and it turned out to be really good. The wait times are minimal and the agents were really fast and helpful.
So although both providers offer similar opportunities to get support, they're far from the same results.
SiteGround vs HostGator: Account Security
Data security is incredibly important - especially when it comes to the account, including all of your website information.
So, to make sure whether these providers are safe, we've conducted some tests.
In the first part, we've attempted to replicate a brute force attack - someone trying to guess the password of an account by attempting several combinations one after another.
The second test involved trying to seduce customer service into giving up the information by playing the victim.
So, how did SiteGround vs HostGator fare?
SiteGround didn't lock us out after attempting many wrong password combinations in the row - and that's a bit concerning.
However, it refused to furnish credentials through customer service unless the requesting party had either access to the email address attached to the account, the phone number provided at registration, or could send over a copy of their identification and the credit card on the account.
So, slow brute force attacks may be possible - but people will need some serious proof before accessing your account.
HostGator, just like SiteGround, didn't lock us out after several login attempts. However, the company shone spectacularly when it came to account security.
If someone wanted to gain access to your account without a password, they'd have to send it your ID and a bank account statement to confirm the identity.
So overall, HostGator is a bit more secure than SiteGround. But in truth, both are pretty good.
HostGator Plans Are Cheaper
Now, let's have a look at how much will both of these providers and their services cost you.
First up, it's SiteGround. SiteGround offers 3 shared hosting plans, their prices ranging from $3.95 to $11.95 a month.
There's an important thing to note though - the prices of hosting will increase once the initial period ends. They will shoot up to $9.95, $14.95, and $29.95 a month respectively.
SiteGround draws in customers with reduced starting rates and then charges renewal rates each month that vary depending on the package that you have opted to go with. Their three pricing strata post-renewal are labeled “StartUp,” “GrowBig,” and “GoGeek,” with their costs ranging from $3.95 a month to $11.95 a month.
Now, let's see how HostGator does it. HostGator also offers 3 plans, and their prices range from $2.75 to $5.95 a month.
HostGator, just like SiteGround, also employs a renewal price structure. After your contract ends you will pay $6.95-10.95/month for the Hatchling plan, $9.95-11.95/month for the Baby plan, and $14.95-16.95/month for the Business plan.
What is this confusing structure all about?
Your HostGator renewal prices will differ, depending on how long your purchased period was. The lengthier the plan - the smaller the renewal fees.
All in all, HostGator is better in terms of pricing than SiteGround. The initial prices are quite similar, but considering the huge renewal prices, SiteGround is simply too expensive to compare.
On the other hand, knowing that with HostGator plans you'll have to purchase some features separately, the final price changes.
- Fast performance
- Multiple server locations
- Backups and malware protection included
- Unlimited disk space
- Low prices
- Limited disk space
- Inconsistent performance
- Lacking features
- Weak customer support
SiteGround vs HostGator: Which One's Better?
Overall, SiteGround is faster all around the world - but HostGator is cheaper. SiteGround offers a better product in terms of included features. At the end of the day, HostGator's low prices add up with the anti-malware and backups that you need to purchase additionally.
But more importantly, SiteGround offers better performance. Especially if you have an international audience.
So in the battle of SiteGround vs HostGator the winner is SiteGround. However, if you haven't made up your mind yet, check out our list of the best hosting providers to get more ideas!