SiteGround vs HostGator: In-depth Comparison with Real Tests
In this SiteGround vs HostGator review, I will be sharing my personal experience with both hosts, speed and uptime tests, hosting features, and prices comparison. When we talk about well reputed and giant names in the web hosting industry, HostGator and SiteGround can’t be ignored as both hosts offer affordable online storage and already earned massive respect by users.
Before diving deep, recently I shared BlueHost vs HostGator and SiteGround vs BlueHost for WordPress CMS to help users decide which is the best hosting company for their website. There you can find everything that you should know before making a decision.
Let’s back to the real post and sorry for going off-topic 🙂
Both companies have more than a decade experience in web hosting business and handling thousands of thousands websites all around the globe. I have been using HostGator for the last couple of years to host MyTipsHub and quite satisfied with them. That’s why I extended my hosting plan instead of migrating to other hosting providers.
On the other hand, I am also a user of SiteGround and hosting few sites on their servers. After using SG hosting, all I can say that they are one of the best WordPress web hosting provider and also highly affordable. Their servers built with highly efficient LXC technology and NGINX to provider 99.99% uptime and blazingly fast web storage.
Quick Summary SiteGround vs HostGator
For quickies who don’t want to read this in-depth comparison, here is the short review about both hosts.
[Note: I have compared the basic plans of both companies.]
Website Load Speed
Time to First Byte
Free Domain Name
Servers built with
NGINX (most efficient)
Introduction of Both Companies
Brent Oxley founded HostGator in 2002 with the aim to provide quality web hosting at reasonable prices. HostGator is older than SiteGround in term of industry experience as well as customer base.
Now they are handling more than 8 million domain names and websites. It was acquired by Endurance International Group in 2012 at the whopping price of $225 million.
HostGator is the cheapest WordPress host to get web storage for entirely like 2 to 3 year. They offer shared, vps, dedicated, reseller, and cloud hosting as well as domain name registration.
The company has won many awards by some of the giant Internet names such as PCMag, HostingFacts, and WPBeginner (great hub for WordPress tutorials).
Let’s find which is better and why.
SiteGround vs HostGator: Which One is the Best
Web Hosting Prices and Plans
Before comparing hosting features, let’s first discuss hosting prices of both companies. Why prices first? Because it matters, no one wants to pay more money when he/she can get the same stuff at the lower price. For a quick summary, SiteGround is cheaper than HostGator, let me explain why?
SiteGround offers free SSL certificates for all plans, exclusive SuperCacher, NGINX powered servers, Pro-active websites monitoring as well data backups. On the other side, HostGator also provide fast web hosting but they don’t have any in-house built tools such as any exclusive cache system, free SSL for the basic plans.
HostGator do allow free SSL certificate for shared web hosting packages, but you’ll have to purchase “Baby” or “Business” plans. It means you don’t get free certificates in the very basic package “Hatchling” whereas SiteGround provides SSL certificates for all plans, no matter basic or higher plan.
So, it looks that SiteGround has more features and also ‘s recommended pricesarebut there are few restrictions as well. All of their shared hosting plans restricted to specific numbers of visitors per month and web Storage limitation. They offer 10 GB, 20 GB, and 30 GB space for StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek plans respectively. But for small or new websites, it is still a lot of space. So, don’t worry about this fact.
SG Hosting Plans and Prices
HG Hosting Plans and Prices
Winner: SiteGround (When we compare the prices of basic plans)
Are They Offer Free SSL Certificates?
Google already described that their search algorithm would pass a minor ranking signal to sites having SSL certificate installed. So, as a blogger or online business, who depends mostly on search engines traffic, it is highly recommended to enable SSL on your websites.
Installing and activating the HTTPS protocol is a complicated and time taking procedure. Without a proper and step-by-step guide, you cannot install it correctly. So, to make things easier, many companies have integrated SSL enabling feature within their control panel.
SiteGround allows one-click SSL certificate installation button, and it takes few moments to install the certificate by Let’s Encrypt on any website hosted on SG servers. HostGator also provide free SSL but only for higher plans and with the very basic plan you will have to buy separately. On the other side, SiteGround includes it for all plans no matter basic or higher.
Web storage is a space where all the data of your website store and can be accessible anytime all around the world. Web storage is the essential thing to create a self-hosted site. There you can save images, videos, audios, site structural files, and all the necessary content to design a beautiful looking website.
HostGator allow unlimited web space for all plans, so you can upload a lot of files without worrying about storage limits. Here keep in mind, they do have some limits, and also 100,000 files can be stored easily.
SiteGround have storage restriction for all plans, they allow 10 GB for StartUp, 20 GB for GrowBig, and 30 GB for GoGeek package. StartUp plan is enough to run small and new websites as well. It is also cheaper than HostGator’s “Hatchling” and “Baby” plan which is best for money conscious bloggers.
Keep in mind, SG offer SSD based storage which means better performance than HG. So, I would like to go for solid state drives rather than unlimited traditional storage. Because most of time, when you're a starter or intermediate blogger/user having small data, you don't need unlimited space.
Data Transfer / Bandwidth
Bandwidth is also known as Data Transfer, it’s the amount of data which transferred to user’s computer when he/she visits your website. For example, you want to browse Wikipedia then its servers will send site content like images, HTML, Java scripts, etc. to your computer to structure the Wikipedia website. That transferred content or data called Bandwidth or Data Transfer.
No matter SiteGround or HostGator, you get unlimited bandwidth from both web hosts. They even allow it for the basic plans. However, HostGator don’t have any limitation for monthly visitors like SiteGround.
Winner: HostGator (No monthly visitors restriction and allow unlimited bandwidth)
Website Loading Speed Test
You might know that site loading speed is one of the ranking factors as Google mentioned years ago. Two websites with having the same content but one load quickly than other, in that scenario, Google algorithm would rank fast loading site over the slow website. So, as a content marketer or online business, you should optimize your site for fast speed.
For HostGator and SiteGround servers speed test, I installed a fresh copy of WordPress on both web hosts. I also installed W3 Total Cache plugin to boost loading speed. It’s the best cache plugin for WordPress websites. You might say why not SG Optimizer by SiteGround?
Well, as HostGator don’t offer any exclusive cache tool or plugin, So it will be unfair to use SG Optimizer for the website hosted on SiteGround and W3 Total Cache for HostGator. That is why I installed the same WordPress plugin on both test sites. Let’s check which one is faster using Pingdom.
HG Hosted Website Loading Speed
SG Hosted Site Loading Speed
As you can see, test website which is hosted on HostGator hosting load twice faster than the SiteGround. I checked each host more than three times to get most accurate results and every time HG hosted website performed better than SiteGround.
Besides Pingdom, I also tested each site using the well known speed tester tool “GTMetrix”. After performing various tests, I found that HostGator hosting is slightly faster than SiteGround in GTMetrix as well. So, if you’re obsessed with fast loading speed than without any doubt select “HostGator”.
Currently, MyTipsHub hosted on HostGator, and the site has an incredible 100% uptime. Yes, you read it right. I have two separate accounts with them, and the uptime is surprising. Barely, I face one outage in the whole month according to Pingdom uptime checker. However, I also monitor all of my sites via UptimeRobot.
Furthermore, for maximum uptime, you can also consider using SiteGround because their servers empowered by LXC technology to deliver max. server stability. They also monitor your websites with the pro-active monitoring system. So, in this section which is better than other is entirely up to you.
SiteGround Uptime Report
HostGator Uptime Report
Personally, I would like to pick SiteGround between these two web hosting providers when it comes to stable and maximum uptime.
Time to First Byte Test (TTFB)
So, far we analyzed speed test and server uptime. Are you thinking about why this TTFB test when I already shared website loading speed test? Well, your question is valid, but loading speed and TTFB both are different things. However loading speed and time to first byte has a direct connection. But, how?
When your hosting server responds as soon as it gets data receiving request, chances are your website will load faster than the server that takes too much time to websites. Am I right? Here also consider, your hosting server should be optimized for optimal speed and built with latest hardwares.
Time to First Byte or TTFB is the time that a hosting server takes before sending the requested data. Pretty simple 🙂
Like in loading speed test, HostGator also performed very well (0.252 seconds) when I test TTFB time. However, SiteGround also managed to deliver the first byte under 0.264 seconds which is not a significant difference.
For more details, check below images.
HostGator Time to First Byte Test
SiteGround Time to First Byte Test
A well managed and easy to navigate control panel plays a vital role to utilize your web hosting account. “cPanel” control panel is one of the best softwares for shared hosting users. It’s very handy to create email accounts, FTP accounts, edit DNS records, check traffic statistics, install SSL certificates, and much more.
Both hosting providers give you a cPanel control panel to do all the above mentioned task as well as install the WordPress via one-click installer. You can also design your website with a third party app “Weebly” by drag and drop and there are hundreds of free templates which can be customized.
Are you tired of your current web host and thinking to migrate to other company? Site migration is a tricky job, and it demands hours of work when you have a big website and slow internet connection. So to make things easier both companies offer free website transfer.
However, SiteGround take few hours to migrate your site from old server to new one whereas HosGator team take the little bit longer and do it within few days. If we compare the time they take to complete the migration then SiteGround is better but as both provide it free, so it’s a tie.
Are you serious about your online business or blogging? If so, then this is something that you should consider checking before buying the web hosting from any company. A branded email address show more professionalism than using a third party email service such as Gmail or Hotmail.
If you’re going to sell products online or I can say online shopping store then must use branded email address to contact clients like I use firstname.lastname@example.org to send and receive emails. I hope you got the point.
HostGator as well SiteGround both companies presents load email account for all plans. So, you can create different email ID’s according to work like email@example.com for information, firstname.lastname@example.org for sales department, or email@example.com for hiring employee or authors for your blog.
Free Data Backups
It is highly recommended and crucial to take regular website backups. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing blogging as a passion, hobby, or selling products online but must create backups on the routine basis. You can automate the process or can do it manually. There are plenty of services such as CodeGuard, VaultPress, and BackUpBuddy to take automatic backups.
Web hosting companies also provide daily, weekly, and monthly backups to protect your website contents. It can be restored if in case your site got compromised or hacked. You can also restore your site to the previous version when things get messed up while deploying new codes.
Luckily both hosting providers, take regular backups of your entire hosting account which can be restored by contacting the support. Just contact the customer support of your web host, and they will do it happily. Here keep in mind, HostGator charge few dollars for restoration, and same goes with SiteGround.
Money Back Guarantee
Both hosting competitors in this SiteGround vs. HostGator review, offer enough refund time to check the quality of web hosting. You can try web hosting by SiteGround for 30 days to check if they worth your money. Whereas HostGator also offer money back guarantee for 45 days, it’s two more weeks than SG.
In above scenario, HostGator has the edge over SiteGround in this comparison. You can take all the hosting benefits in the trial period and if found them unsatisfied just ask for the refund. Both hosts refund your money without questioning anything, or you can say no question money back guarantee.
24/7 Customer Support
Always remember, when it comes to web hosting, customer support is the most important factor while choosing the web hosting. No ones know when an issue may occur, are you capable of fixing any problem? You may say yes; I can fix anything like me 🙂 but believe me sometimes we face weird issues. Issues which you cannot fix yourself. So, at that time, all you can do is just contact the hosting provider.
They hire experts to help you fix hosting issues as well as other technical problems. If a hosting company doesn’t offer instant support via phone or live chat, I will try to avoid that web host.
Before buying web hosting account, you must check if they provide customer/technical support via live chat, phone call, or ticket system. And are they reply instantly or how much time they take to respond?
Whenever you need help from HostGator or SiteGround, you can contact through multiple ways such as live chat, email, phone, and ticket system in the whole 365 days and 24/7. But when it comes to response time, SiteGround is one of the fastest web hosts to reply quickly. I contact them multiple times to check if they are fast or it’s just a claim, and yes SiteGround support barely takes 1 to 2 minutes to get in touch.
In term of customer support, HostGator has some bad ratings because they take 5 to 45 minutes to reply via live chat. In the past, I had to wait for more than 45 minutes to get help. Can you wait for that long? So, for quick, friendly and expert support, you should choose SiteGround. Their ticket system support barely takes 10 minutes to replied. Thumbs up for great support.
As you can see both hosting providers offer cPanel control panel, same uptime, quite similar server response time but there are few differences as well. Like HostGator allow unlimited storage, no monthly visitors restrictions at the cost of 2 to 3 dollar higher prices than SiteGround.
Instead of web space and monthly visits limitation, SiteGround offer cheap hosting plans than HostGator, free SSL certificates for all plans, 24/7 awesome technical support, and also recommended by the WordPress.org
Now, let me finish this SiteGround vs HostGator comparison. I hope you will find this review helpful and do me a favor, please share this article on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.