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SiteGround vs HostGator aren’t always pitted against each other but these two web hosting companies have something in common: managed WordPress hosting plans on a shared server.
Even though HostGator is the bigger and more established hosting service provider, it’s interesting to how SiteGround stacks up and if its distinction as one of WordPress recommended hosting service provider really have merit.
One of the few in the industry based outside of the US, this Bulgarian company expanded to more than 4 locations in three continents, hosting more than 1,800,000 domains from around the world. The company is still growing but over the years, it received recognition as a fast and reliable WordPress host.
SiteGround has 3 managed WordPress hosting plans: StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek.
The StartUp plan hosts only one website, excellent for new or small websites with no more than 10,000 monthly visitors. The plan has all the essential hosting and WordPress features including 10gb of SSD storage, CMS installation, and free email accounts. The GrowBig plan offers premium hosting services for an unlimited number of websites with at least 25,000 monthly visitors. It is an excellent upgrade for growing businesses with all the features of the StartUp plan and premium features like all 3 levels of SuperCacher, free backup restores, free site transfer, and support priority. Lastly, the GoGeek plan has the features of the other plans with the addition of geeky features like free backups on demand, PCI compliant servers, and free staging environment (WordPress and Joomla). With a monthly visitor limit of at least 100,000, the GoGeek plan is best suited for eCommerce sites.
Siteground’s plans offer comprehensive features and tools. Each plan is designed for websites in different stages of growth. There are core hosting features, core and advanced WordPress features (including developer tools, WordPress security tools, collaboration tools, etc.). SiteGround also offers site optimization features (instant Cloudflare CDN setup and free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate), advance security, and support options.
These features are applicable to almost all types of WordPress sites. The addition of developer tools provides more flexibility and further enriches existing functionality.
- Lightning-fast speed. SiteGround is one of the few hosting companies that actually deliver on their promised server speed and uptime. This is possible through the utilization of the latest technology including cutting-edge hardware, custom software, and innovative speed optimization solutions.
- Multiple server locations. SiteGround has 6 data centers strategically positioned on 3 continents (North America, Europe, and Asia)
- Servers are optimized for WordPress hosting. WordPress hosting plans come with in-house performance optimization tools to further enhance the performance of the shared servers.
- Advanced security. When SiteGround says security, they don’t just mean server or website security. SiteGround offers an all-inclusive security approach that includes user accounts, applications, and hardware security.
- Advanced tools including development and collaboration tools for developers and their clients.
- Industry-best customer support. Almost all hosting services offer 24/7 support via phone, live chat, and tickets but SiteGround is one of the few that built a positive reputation for its fast customer service waiting times and support staff efficiency. Its team of expert support reps also provide fast support that goes beyond hosting issues. Aside from this, SiteGround also offers comprehensive knowledge base resources in the form of how-to guides and video tutorials.
- The price point is higher than most competitors.
- No free domain registration for new accounts
- The minimum subscription period for shared plans is 1 year.
Founded in 2002, HostGator established itself as one of the industry’s best, hosting over 8 million websites. It is a part of the Endurance International Group, a global family of digital brands that also include Bluehost. With a stable infrastructure, HostGator built a reputation for itself as an excellent hosting provider for small and growing business, in general.
HostGator offers 3 managed WordPress hosting plans: Starter Plan, Standard Plan, and Business Plan. These plans are on shared hosting servers.
Shared hosting plans, in general, are excellent for smaller websites and for those that are new in WordPress. The incremental increase in website traffic in the three plans are advantageous of growing websites especially with the added computing power and the incremental increase in storage allocation for automated daily database backups and file-level restore.
- Customer-friendly. It’s important to know that you can rely on your hosting provider whenever your face issues that are beyond your understanding.
- Uptime guarantee. HostGator has a unique offer for their clients. If by chance you experience an uptime lower than their guaranteed 99.99%, they will award your account with a month worth of credit.
- Super-charged cloud architecture
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- You can select between a monthly and annual billing period
- WordPress hosting plans are on the pricy side. Feature-wise, HostGator plans are sparse in comparison to competitor plans and renewal fees are quite high at up to 57% more than the signup price.
- The maximum number of WordPress sites is only 3.
- No free domain registration
- HostGator can also engage in aggressive upselling, further increasing the cost of their plans. Make sure to pay attention to any add-ons and plugins that are included in your package during the sign-up process. Most of these add-ons require subscriptions of their own and are auto-renewing.
SiteGround Vs HostGator Comparison:
HostGator’s free migration service is available for all new accounts within 30 days of signing up. Siteground created their migrator plugin to provide a more convenient and cheaper website migration option. Though professional migration services are complimentary your first account on either the GrowBig or GoGeek plans, it is only for one website. Migrating another website can become costly, not to mention the issue of the migration experts’ availability.
The SiteGround Migrator plugin can migrate multiple websites without the added cost. Clients can always request for manual migration with the Professional Transfer Service that is available as a complimentary feature for GrowBig and GoGeek plans. Either option will enable clients to transfer and manage their own website transfers with little to no technical skills.
HostGator is definitely leagues away from SiteGround’s feature-rich plans. SiteGround offers different categories of features for every plan including core features, advanced WordPress features, speed and performance optimization features, security features, e-commerce solutions, collaboration tools, advanced developer tools, support features, and extras.
The only feature that SiteGround doesn’t offer is Google Adwords credit. HostGator also leverages proprietary services for added security features. There are mainly 4 of these services: CodeGuard, Sitelock, Domain Privacy Protection, and SSL certificates. SiteGround provides automatic daily backup and restores (and advanced on-demand backup) but not within a package with other services like CodeGuard. SiteGround also offers similar functionality as SiteLock’s daily malware scan, bot block, and vulnerability scan. SiteGround does not offer any Domain Privacy Protection which is actually odd with its wide and comprehensive array of security features and tools. SSL Certificates, specifically Let’s Encrypt SSL is available for free on all of SiteGround’s WordPress hosting plans.
Several tests prove that HostGator can achieve up to 100% uptime with lightning-fast speed for servers within the US and consistently fast response times for locations around the world. HostGator promises up to 2.5x faster load times. A one-click scalability feature enables HostGator’s cloud servers to handle sudden traffic spikes by increasing the servers’ capacity requirements.
Similar to SiteGround, HostGator’s shared hosting servers are optimized for WordPress but HostGator uses a highly efficient cloud architecture with low-density servers, multiple caching layers, and CDN.
SiteGround shows similar consistent fast speed and 100% uptime even with high spikes in traffic from different locations. This is even after a load test of more than 50 active users. Resource allocation, automated detection, and repair of overload issues (through 1H Guardian), and 24/7 human monitoring ensure that SiteGround can consistently achieve 100% uptime and optimum speed even during peak hours.
In terms of website management, HostGator utilizes a WordPress Cloud Interface that is usability-centered, enabling more efficient website content management and removing the complexity of traditional hosting interfaces. SiteGround aimed to address this very issue with “Friendly” Site Tools. These tools offer a powerful yet intuitive interface that can help users easily manage site files, emails, backups, and other essential site features.
Aside from the security features mentioned above, HostGator doesn’t offer other security features like anti-hack systems, server monitoring, spam prevention, and proactive updates and patches. HostGator also doesn’t offer developer toolkits. SiteGround offers multiple PHP versions, free SSH and SFTP access, MySQL and PostgreSQL databases, and unlimited FTP accounts for all of WordPress hosting plans. The staging feature is only available for GrowBig and GoGeek accounts while the geeky feature of pre-installed Git is only available for GoGeek accounts.
When it comes to customer support, Siteground vs HostGator are almost on par with each other. HostGator has a support portal within its hosting dashboard. This portal contains a knowledge base that comes in the form of articles and video tutorials. SiteGround also has a similar approach to knowledge bases and though SiteGround’s customer service is highly lauded in the industry, HostGator has a very unique way of guaranteeing the quality of their service. Account owners can actually request for the reassignment of a support ticket to the CEO himself, Adam Farrar. This is if ever regular support channels fail to address issues or if account owners aren’t satisfied with the services. As it turned out, Farrar did respond to the support tickets assigned to him.
HostGator has a unique vibe but as it has the same mother company like Bluehost, they have somewhat a similar approach to plan structure, number of features, and unfortunately, their upselling strategies.
This is not to say that HostGator does not provide a powerful, efficient, and fast hosting service. It’s actually the contrary. HostGator’s unique vibe is a part of their identity. The way they present their service is reflective of the type of clients they want to attract (tech savvy but not developer level) and the way they anticipate the growth direction of said clients.
It’s important to always assess your WordPress hosting needs before even asking if a hosting service provider will fit you. HostGator isn’t for everyone, especially not for an uninitiated beginner; in the same way, as not all of SiteGround’s comprehensive features will find use in your website.
Aside from their features, SiteGround Vs Hostgator also have different types of advantages. HostGator, for example, is a part of a family of digital brands, this enables them to easily integrate these brands’ services into their own platform. For example, clients can easily access WordPress’s most popular templates through the MOJO Marketplace.
One of SiteGround’s biggest advantage is its long-standing commitment to WordPress. Even though they offer other hosting services, WordPress would always be a part of SiteGround’s brand identity. SiteGround had been a WordCamp Europe sponsor since 2013 – it knows WordPress and WordPress knows SiteGround.
In conclusion, SiteGround provides a more rounded WordPress solution that fits the needs of WP site owners of all skill level with a deeper understanding of what different types of websites, entrepreneurs, marketers, and developer needs for a better WordPress experience.
Reasons to Love SiteGround:
There are several reasons why SiteGround may be the perfect fit for your WordPress hosting needs. These reasons include:
- An official recommendation from WordPress!
- Average load time of 1.3s – providing almost instantaneous speed boosts and 99.9 percent guaranteed uptime.
- Let’s Encrypt free SSL certificates
- Excellent customer service that is available 24/7 via chat, phone, and ticket. No-hold time on chat and phone while you can receive ticket answers less than 10 minutes.
- High customer satisfaction is evident with its low cancellation rate and consistently positive feedback from users.
- Each migration has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- See why people love Siteground:
People who migrated to Siteground: