Siteground vs Hostgator (2017)

For those who just want the winners, here are the results.

WordPress Hosting Company
Speed Index
Time to First Byte
Load Time
Status
SiteGround 1430.30 0.17s 4.38s lists_page_icon_1
Hostgator 2371.53 0.83s 5.54s lists_page_icon_6
Ask any experienced business owner, and they’ll probably tell you that a reliable website is the key to building a strong and successful company. Whether it’s an incredibly simple website that tells visitors how to reach you and what you do or a full-fledged e-commerce platform, your website is often the first contact point that many customers will have with your company. This means that it’s critical for your website to operate the way it’s supposed to and that it’s available when your customers want to visit it.

That experienced business owner might also tell you about WordPress. They’ll tell you about how easy it is to build a website with WordPress, even if you’ve never built one before. This gets you started off on the right track, but you still need to find a web host.Why Do You Need a Web Host?

Your web host provides you with the storage and memory that you need for housing your website. Depending upon the quality of their servers and a number of other factors, your web host can ensure that your website is up and running the vast majority of the time. What’s more, a good host delivers sound security measures and reliable speed that allows your website visitors to enjoy a safe and predictable experience.

If you choose the wrong web host, then you could end up with a website that suffers from too much down time and slow load times. This can be extraordinarily frustrating for your visitors, who might be tempted to turn to your competition when your website isn’t available or isn’t functioning properly. You don’t want that to happen, so you have to choose a web host carefully.

Popular WordPress Web Hosts

SiteGround and HostGator are both popular web hosts that provide services that are specifically tailored to meet the needs of WordPress websites. The compatibility between WordPress and the web host of your choice is crucial to ensure that your website functions optimally. As such, either SiteGround or HostGator would be potential good choices.

However, these two competitors do not offer identical features and services. When you understand more about each one, you’ll be able to decide whether SiteGround or HostGator is right for you.

Introducing SiteGround

SiteGround had its start in a dorm room in Bulgaria. That was 2004, and the company boasted no more than five or six employees. Thanks to their ability to deliver reliable hosting services at highly competitive rates, SiteGround grew quickly. Now, more than 500,000 domains are hosted in one of the companies data centers, which are located all over the world. More than 400 people, living and working in a dozen different countries, now make SiteGround’s outstanding services possible.

Introducing HostGator

Like SiteGround, HostGator also has its roots in a college dorm room. However, this dorm was located at Florida Atlantic University. Now, the company’s headquarters are found in Austin and Houston, Texas with other locations stationed around the world. Growth was slow after HostGator’s founding in 2002, but the company attracted more customers and began opening international offices in just a few years. Acquisition by Endurance International Group, owner of other web hosting ventures like BlueHost, helped the business to grow in 2010. Approximately nine million domains are currently hosted by this company.

Features

Just glancing through the offerings from SiteGround and HostGator quickly reveals that both of these companies offer some pretty impressive services. There’s plenty of bang for the buck, so even if you want a really low-cost option, you should be able to find something through either one of these providers.

SiteGround boasts plenty of attractive features, including solid-state drives, or SSDs, for all of their hosting plans. SSDs don’t have mechanical, moving parts like conventional hard drives do. This makes them faster and more reliable, so your website will be faster and more reliable too. SiteGround’s technology uses NGINX, PHP7 and HTTP/2 to ensure the quickest response times. Each account gets a free SSL certificate for enhanced security, and SiteGround’s team works hard to keep up with all WordPress updates. The company has written hundreds of firewall rules to keep your data intact and safe. Customers can choose the data center that is closest to their home base to ensure the best responsiveness. Data centers in Chicago, London, Amsterdam and Singapore are currently available.

HostGator boasts an easy-to-use control panel that makes everything crystal-clear, even if you’ve never designed and managed a website before. Faster load times are ensured by the use of low-density servers, multiple caching layers and CDN. CDN is short for “content delivery network,” which is a network dedicated to delivering webpages to users based on their geographic location. This can mean that visitors get quicker response times. Customers also enjoy automatic malware removal and shared SSL certificates. HostGator’s data centers are located in Provo, Utah and Houston, Texas. Customers cannot choose which data center will host their website.

SiteGround Vs Hostgator Data Results

SiteGround Is Our Winner

After 5 different tests SiteGround was our top performing WordPress hosting company with our ‘will it scale’ test securing the win. 

Time to First Byte

Now that we have a better understanding of the features that are offered by both SiteGround and HostGator, it makes sense to examine their performance in a head-to-head test. Impartial data testing conducted in July of 2016 revealed that SiteGround tested at a lightning-fast time to first byte, or TTFB, of just 0.17 seconds. HostGator finished with a respectable, but much slower, 0.83 seconds. This metric matters because it relates directly to how quickly a website loads for customers. Testing was conducted out of Dallas, Texas. Despite SiteGround having its nearest data center in Chicago and HostGator having a data center in the same state in which testing was conducted, SiteGround still managed to bury the competition. Studies have suggested that a better TTFB rating can help websites to figure higher in Google search results, so a SiteGround website may be a better option.

Speed Index

With a speed index test, the lowest score is the most desirable one. This test measures how quickly a website visitor is able to view the page after it is requested. Results are expressed in milliseconds and, once again, SiteGround comes out on top. Their time of 1430.30 easily bests HostGator’s 2371.53. If you want your visitors to perceive your website as fast and responsive, then SiteGround may be the way to go, though it’s clear that HostGator is no slouch either.

Load Time

The load time of a page measures how long it takes the entire website to be presented to the user after requesting it from the server. This metric is critical because many studies have demonstrated that a slow load time leads to conversion loss and fewer page views. This means that if your website doesn’t load quickly enough, your customers will simply head to the competition. In the head-to-head testing, SiteGround easily came out on top, testing at a load time of 4.38 seconds, while HostGator trailed with 5.54 seconds. Study results have shown that even a one-second delay can mean lost sales, so that slightly more than one second lag can make a huge difference.

Plans and Pricing

Both SiteGround and HostGator feature a number of different plans. Depending upon your company and its size, any of these might be right for you. The good news is that both of these companies provides WordPress-specific hosting capabilities. This means that people who use WordPress as their content management system and website builder should be able to enjoy a wonderful, fully functional experience regardless of which provider they choose.

SiteGround features three packages for WordPress websites: StartUp, GrowBig and GoGeek. None of these is available on a month-to-month basis, so customers should be prepared to commit to between one and three years of service. This can be rather expensive, even at these affordable prices, so it’s important to choose a package with caution.

siteground-pricing

 

The “StartUp” package is regularly priced at $9.95 per month and typically allows about 10,000 visits every month. Storage capacity on the server tops out at 10 GB. That’s not a lot of bandwidth or storage, but if you’re a blogger or just starting out with a small business, it may be all that you need. This package allows hosting for one website along with a free domain name. Free email accounts, unmetered data transfer and free WordPress install are included. Power and hardware redundancy ensure reliability while incredibly fast server monitoring ensures maximum website uptime. One copy of free daily backup is included in this package.

The more robust “GrowBig” package generally costs $14.95 per month. It shares many of the features that are found in the “StartUp” package, but has greater bandwidth to allow approximately 25,000 visits per month and larger storage capacity at 20 GB. Users can host an unlimited number of websites with this package, and they also receive all three levels of SuperCacher. Thirty copies of free daily backup are provided and so is basic backup and restore service. Customer support issues are resolved at a priority level with this package.

The “GoGeek” plan is SiteGround’s largest WordPress-specific package, and it typically costs $29.95 per month. In addition to boasting everything that the “GrowBig” plan covers, it has bandwidth for 100,000 monthly visits and 30 GB of memory space. Moreover, customers with this package get one-click WordPress staging and free PCI compliance. This means that your SiteGround website is well prepared to grow with you.

Similarly, HostGator features three levels of packages for WordPress websites. Unlike SiteGround, HostGator does make it possible to pay on a month-to-month basis. This can be a relief for a website owner who is just starting out. Anyone signing up with HostGator who wants to use this option should proceed with care as the sign-up process defaults to a three-year contract rather than month-to-month billing.

HostGator’s most basic plan is the “Starter.” Typically priced at less than $10 per month, this package includes one website and allows as many as 25,000 monthly visitors. Storage capacity is rated at 50 GB, and full migration of an existing website is included for free. Unlimited email addresses and a shared SSL certificate are a part of the deal as are global CDN and automatic malware removal.

The “Standard” package is priced at about $14.95 per month, and it features twice the power that is available with the “Starter” plan. Moreover, the increased bandwidth allows 200,000 visitors each month, and the storage capacity is increased to 150 GB. Two websites can be migrated for free.

HostGator’s “Business” plan is its largest WordPress package at approximately $21 per month. It’s three times as powerful as the “Starter” package, featuring unlimited storage and the capacity for 500,000 monthly visitors. Migration of three existing websites is also included.

Customer Service and Support

SiteGround boasts a fantastic reputation when it comes to customer support. Their website features WordPress tutorials that can help even a novice website owner figure out how to run a successful venture. If more help is needed, it’s available on a 24/7 basis. Response times via telephone and online chat are instant. Replies to support tickets generally take about 10 minutes. SiteGround’s technical experts are always willing to go above and beyond to satisfy the needs of their customers. This means that they offer support and answer questions that aren’t directly related to web hosting capabilities. For the novice website owner, this can be a huge bonus.

HostGator also supplies a robust mix of support services. Like SiteGround, their technical experts are available via telephone, online chat and a ticketing system. A number of user forums and video tutorials can also help people address various common problems. Customers can also browse FAQs to find even more answers.

Both SiteGround and HostGator have a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee, which means that customers are compensated if their uptime dips below that number during a given time period. This should give clients of both companies tremendous peace of mind.

Whether you’re a blogger or are looking to sell your products online, a great website is a necessity. The best websites require a fast, reliable web host to ensure that their visitors enjoy the experience. Both SiteGround and HostGator provide feature-filled packages, but testing revealed that SiteGround had the faster load times. This means that SiteGround, with its affordable WordPress hosting packages, edges out HostGator as a top pick.

SiteGround Is Our Winner

After 5 different tests SiteGround was our top performing WordPress hosting company with our ‘will it scale’ test securing the win.