SiteGround Vs HostGator: Which is better? (2021)
Find out whether SiteGround is better than HostGator or not Below!
Table Of Contents
SiteGround and HostGator are companies that offer web hosting solutions. Both provide a variety of hosting plans, such as shared hosting, dedicated hosting, and WordPress hosting, but with differences in the features, they offer. HostGator is slightly more popular than SiteGround when it comes to web hosting solutions, and one of the reasons for this could be its attractive and affordable price rates. Here, we shall see if each of these platforms offers the necessary services for the price they charge and whether it is worth paying that amount.
In this extensive comparison, we shall also look into the platforms’ features, performance, functionality, and how they rank up to each other. This will be done by considering the various services included in their suite, such as customer support, security features, speed, and uptime guarantees.
Services and Plans – SiteGround
SiteGround offers three types of hosting, such as WordPress hosting, Web hosting, and WooCommerce hosting under the shared hosting plans. They also provide dedicated hosting, enterprise hosting, cloud hosting, and dedicated servers. With enterprise hosting, you get the option of customized infrastructure; however, the review is based on shared hosting plans offered by both these web hosting solutions.
Hosting plans come in three tiers: the StartUp plan, GoBig plan, and GoGeek plan. The features vary and get better as you move to higher plans. For instance, the StartUp plan lets you host one domain with less storage space than the other plans. With the GoBig and GoGeek plans, you can have an unlimited number of domains and other additional benefits.
Services and Plans – HostGator
HostGator offers many services, with a few variations from those provided by SiteGround. They have Web hosting, WordPress hosting, and dedicated hosting. They also work with domain name registration and offer Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting. Unlike SiteGround, they do not provide WooCommerce hosting.
The plans offered differs based on the kind of hosting you opt for. WordPress hosting comes in three plans; the Starter plan, Standard plan, and Business plan. All of these plans come with an SSL certificate and domain free of cost.
The regular shared hosting/ web hosting comes with three plans; the Hatchling plan, Baby plan, and Business plan. The Baby plan and Business plan come with the option of unlimited domains. All three plans also do not place any restrictions on storage or bandwidth, which is a winning situation.
HostGator also offers a website builder based on a drag and drop tool. This comes with three other hosting plans, namely the Starter plan, Premium plan, and the eCommerce plan. Their cost falls a bit higher than that of shared hosting plans.
The price you pay for service needs to be justified and worth the benefits you get. So, it is necessary to look into the different costs and plans offered by SiteGround and HostGator and keep this in mind as we skim through the features provided by them later on, and the limitations imposed based on the plan you choose. The plans can be categorized into three general sections, namely entry-level, mid-level, and upper level.
The entry-level plan of SiteGround is priced at $3.95 per month, the mid-level plan comes for $5.95 per month, and the upper-level plan costs $11.95 per month. These are the discounted rates; the regular monthly rates are $11.95, $19.95. and $34.95 for the entry-level, mid-level, and upper-level plans, respectively.
HostGator offers its services at meager rates compared to SiteGround. The entry-level plan is priced at $2.75, mid-level plan at $3.95, and the upper-level plan at $5.95, all monthly rates. With no discount, the monthly rates come up to $6.95, $9.95, and $14.95 for the entry-level, mid-level, and upper-level plans, respectively.
As we observe the features, we shall see that the higher prices of SiteGround are reasonable and that the cheaper rates offered by HostGator take a toll on their performance, quality of service, and consistency.
The features offered by a web hosting solution are the key determining factors that affect your decision whether to choose them or not, combined with your needs and expectations from the website. This comparative study of the major features offered by SiteGround and HostGator will give you an insight into the areas in which each of them shines, and the areas where they face setbacks. The comparison will provide you with an idea about which web host has a better performance in each area, and help you reach a conclusive decision.
The pricing plans of both these hosting solutions have already been looked into, and an overview of the features they offer will make or break the deal, as we see whether the price to be paid is worth the functionalities provided. Based on the pricing plans and the different functions that come under it, we can decide according to our website’s needs.
Storage is an essential factor as it determines the amount of content you can provide your visitors and audience.
SiteGround has limitations on the space offered, with a limit of 10GB in the StartUp plan, 20GB in the GrowBig plan, and 30GB in the GoGeek plan. The limitation might seem to be a setback, but it is not as easy as it sounds to exhaust 10GB of disk space unless you require lots of high-resolution photos and videos.
HostGator gains the lead in this aspect, with zero restrictions on usage of space. However, they expect you to utilize a storage space that fits your website and its audience without going overboard on this benefit.
For most website owners, things do not stop at a single website; you will want to expand your site to fit the growing audience. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that the web hosting solution you choose gives you the option of setting up multiple websites.
SiteGround and HostGator both offer the option of having unlimited websites and subdomains. This feature is not available in the StartUp plan of SiteGround and Hatchling plan of HostGator.
3. Data Transfer
A limit on bandwidth or data transfer implies a limit on the traffic into your page, and that is not something you’re looking for. With SiteGround and HostGator, you do not have to worry about this, as they both offer unmetered bandwidth. A winning situation for you as you get to grow and build your audience.
Backups are an essential part of any site, as it is crucial to keep your options open in case an error occurs. With a backup, you won’t lose your data and can recover it when needed.
In the shared hosting plans, SiteGround offers backup storage of 30 days for your site, and in cloud hosting, you can have a backup of 7 days, both of which are easily recoverable. In their GrowBig and GoGeek plans, they also give you the option of having up to 5 premium on-demand backups. The on-demand backup is also offered on the StartUp plan for a nominal fee.
HostGator does not offer a backup service as good as that of SiteGround. The backup takes place once a week automatically. The setback here is that you can have a backup for a maximum of seven days, as each week, the backup is overwritten. It is recommended to use a third-party backup service, also suggested by HostGator themselves.
5. Email Accounts
SiteGround has certain limitations on the storage limits of email accounts, although they do let you have an unlimited number of email accounts. Storage for email accounts is limited to 2GB in the StartUp plan, 4GB in the GrowBig plan, and 6GB in the GoGeek plan. They also have three email clients- Roundcube, Horde, and SquirrelMail, which you can choose from.
In this aspect, HostGator is the better hosting solution as it lets you have an unlimited number of email accounts with no storage limitations. The accounts are POP3 email accounts, and they also offer aliases, mail forwarding options, and autoresponders.
WordPress is one of the most popularly used platforms, and therefore if your hosting solution offers WordPress hosting, it’d be a considerable gain. SiteGround and HostGator offer WordPress hosting, but with different restrictions.
In the entry-level plan, SiteGround lets you have only one website but offer unlimited WordPress sites in the other two plans. When considering the number of monthly visits, SiteGround accommodates 10,000 to 100,000 visitors per month.
The entry-level plan of HostGator also supports one website, but even as the plans progress, you can have only 2 to 3 sites, which is a let-down. In terms of monthly website visits, HostGator tops as it accommodates 100,000 to 500,000 visits.
Security issues are a constant worry for any site owner. With the increased instances of hacking, attacks, and malware, it is of utmost necessity to keep your website protected. When searching for a website hosting solution, the security features and options that they render must also be looked into. Here, we shall explore the security systems SiteGround and HostGator have in place, and which of these offers better protection to you.
SiteGround offers SSL certification free of cost, along with SFTP and SSH. They also have updated servers set to PHP 7 and detect and block attacks and malware from entering your website using their complex IDS/IPS systems. For protection from regular attacks, you have the services of ModSecurity at your disposal. There is also a Site Scanner tool that can be employed for just a little above $1. The benefit of this purchase is that the device performs daily scans, which helps detect any issues as soon as possible.
Like SiteGround, they also support SFTP and offer free SSL certification with all their hosting plans. HostGator also has a customized firewall that shields you from attacks, including DDoS attacks. They have a SiteLock tool that scans for malware and other possible issues. This tool comes with different plans and service periods; therefore, the cost ranges from $2 to $50 per month. Apart from this, you also have the option to enable network-level flood prevention.
A fast website is what everyone looks for, as it comes with multiple benefits. No waiting time means satisfied visitors, better experience, and better receptivity to search engines such as Google and Bing and thereby, better rankings.
SiteGround offers excellent speeds, far better than that of HostGator, which has average speed. This gives SiteGround the priority over HostGator.
Uptime is a factor that directly influences your traffic. Downtime could occur due to any hardware issues, maintenance repairs, or power failures. However, this simple issue might reduce the traffic into your site and affect your rankings in search engines.
SiteGround offers a consistent uptime above 99.99%, which is excellent for you as a customer. HostGator has a few downtime issues, and it falls in the range of 98.5% to 99.5%, which isn’t great when compared to SiteGround. Therefore, SiteGround is the better choice when it comes to uptime.
The technological capabilities and advancements influence the output you receive from a web host. SiteGround has detailed sections about the technologies they have put to use. Due to this, it is easy to assess the performance of SiteGround based on this data. HostGator has a few descriptions of their technological assembly, but they are not very upfront or transparent in this aspect. More information can be obtained by contacting customer support.
The following are the main technical features that determine the functioning and performance of your site.
Data centers play a significant role in the speed at which your website is made available to the visitors and stability. Therefore, it is ideal to have more data centers spread around the world, so that the host can serve customers from different regions and provide them with optimum quality. The performance of your website gets better when the data center is closer to your location. Multiple data centers ensure satisfied customers and more recommendations for the host.
SiteGround has 5 data centers located in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, USA, and Singapore. This indicates that SiteGround has an international base, making it more favorable among a bigger of customers.
On the other hand, HostGator has only two data centers, both located within the United States (one at Houston, Texas, and the other at Provo, Utah). This makes HostGator more localized, even though its data centers are up to date with the latest servers, network systems, and HVAC.
SSDS vs. HDDs
When given the option to choose between SSDS and HDDs, SSDS is favored. This is because they offer faster performance than standard hard drives, thereby significantly influencing the hosting and functionality.
SiteGround uses SDD on all of its shared hosting plans, whereas HostGator uses SSD only for the cloud hosting plans. This means other hosting plans utilize HDD, and that slows down the website and decreases reliability.
Faster Loading of Webpages
A website that takes a lot of time to load is a test of patience and a black mark against it for future visits. This means your website’s performance today will affect the trend of visitors tomorrow, and a fall out of visitors is not what we seek. Therefore it is necessary to develop and provide a site that offers high speed. Based on a few factors, we shall now assess the speed and ease of browsing when using SiteGround and HostGator.
To make this judgment, we consider the presence/ provision of NGINX, PHP 7, CDN, and HTTP/2.
NGINX influences the speed at which the static content in websites load, and the presence of NGINX setup ensures a quick loading. SiteGround uses NGINX on all of its plans (shared plans and cloud hosting plans). HostGator does not use NGINX in any of its plans, and it may be the case that NGINX setup is available only on the VPS and Dedicated plans.
For quick website loading from any part of the world, the major contributors are CDN, PHP 7, and HTTP/2. With SiteGround, you can avail of the benefits of all three on shared plans. SiteGround utilizes several technologies to improve their uptime, such as Linux containers (LXC) and an anti-bot AI (artificial intelligence), to prevent the entry of bots and failure in uptime rate. HostGator uses only PHP 7, and it does not offer any of the other factors mentioned above, such as NGINX or Linux containers.
Customer support is a vital feature for any platform or web hosting solution because customer satisfaction is the key to success. Providing excellent customer service is essential to clear up customer queries and deliver them the best.
SiteGround has a sound customer support system with fast service, phone support, 24/7 live chat, and a ticketing system. Once you get in contact with the customer support team, you can view the profile of the agent who is helping you out, ensuring a friendly and easy to approach service.
HostGator offers phone support, support via fax, and a 24/7 live chat feature. HostGator has an extensive knowledge base that contains information on all facets of its web hosting solution. The service is quick, and the problems are answered quickly, which is good enough but not exceptional.
If you are looking to transfer your website(s) or planning to do so shortly, this is an area you should delve deeper into. Both SiteGround and Hostgator offer website transfer, but with considerable differences.
For transferring your website, you can request a transfer from your hosting account. In the StartUp plan, you need to pay a fee of $30 for transferring your websites and email accounts. If you hold either the GrowBig or GoGeek plan, this transfer can be done for free. There are no limits on the number of email accounts or websites you can transfer, be it a single website or a cPanel containing numerous sites.
You can transfer your websites in HostGator by filling out a transfer form. This has to be done within 30 days of sign up, wherein you can move one site or an entire cPanel of websites for free. The cPanel will include any add-ons you have, email accounts, and settings. If you are looking to transfer your site after 30 days, you will have to apply for a transfer request at a fee. HostGator does not support the transfer of WordPress websites in its WordPress hosting plans.
Conclusion and Overview
After this extensive comparison, you might have been able to conclude your decision-making process. If not, you will be able to sort out your thoughts with this overview and analysis.
Considering the different features offered by both HostGator and SiteGround, they reach a tie as both have their benefits and limitations. In terms of disk space, email storage, and bandwidth, HostGator is the better choice, but with SiteGround, you can have unlimited email accounts from the entry-level plan itself and has better backup features.
In terms of speed, uptime, and customer service system, Hostgator falls below SiteGround considerably, and SiteGround is the better option. Considering the security features, SiteGround comes up as the superior contender. It is to be noted that while HostGator also offers all these functionalities, they are not as good as Siteground.
Price is another critical feature, and while HostGator is the cheaper and more affordable option, SiteGround does not fall short either. SiteGround makes up for its cost with excellent features and unsurpassed reliability.
It is also to be noted that HostGator comes under EIG, which owns around 60 or more hosting solutions, including Bluehost.
Therefore, if you are looking for high speed, and uptime of almost 100%, and a sound customer support system and are willing to pay a little extra for all these benefits, SiteGround would be perfect for you. If you are seeking a cheaper or more affordable option and are ready to compromise in the performance area, HostGator is a great choice, as it also comes with unlimited storage space.
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