Comparing Siteground vs. Hostgator is a difficult task; these hosting companies are both great and awesome.
However, if you’re looking for fantastic web hosting (that will satisfy your very soul) for your next big project, this is not the time for settling for any second best 🙂
It is thus in the spirit of excellence that this Hostgator vs Siteground comparison is based.
If you are thus in the mood to select the best web hosting company money can afford today, you just landed in the right place, relax and read on.
But, before I proceed, it is important that I remind you how really important it is to choose an awesome host.
Siteground vs Hostgator: Why you really need To Get the Best Hosting Possible
However, before you chose, kindly understand that, choosing a bad host can cause the following undesirable consequences that are both bad for business and the continued existence of your site online:
1. Headaches – and Heartaches Transferring Over your Site or Registering a New One
Headaches – and heartaches in the registration process of hosting companies isn’t funny at all.
This is because, not all hosting companies are newbie friendly – or are particularly interested in helping newbies – or those who may need their help occasionally.
A great and super awesome hosting company makes this process a breeze and an experience to remember.
2. Downtime. Bad Downtime
Downtime – the unavoidable moments when your hosted site is offline – is not something any site owner EVER looks up to 🙂
Unfortunately, it happens once in a while (even with really awesome hosts).
However, with horrible hosting companies, this is a norm/habit – rather than an exception; some sites, (it has been joked), go off as soon as the hosting company shuts down for the night 🙂
Or the webmaster retires to bed…whichever comes first!
This is certainly not what you – or any other webmaster should experience. As a matter of fact, the up-time guarantee should be a warm 99.9% or more.
Anything less is COMPLETELY unacceptable (as it annoys Google and other search engines) and is going to harm your site’s profits/purpose in the long term.
3. Serious Security Breaches
Hackers are damn serious these days…unfortunately, most hosting companies do not appreciate the damage caused daily by their laxity and ineptitude.
Sadly, when a site is hacked, it is the webmaster that loses – especially when there is no backup.
It is annoying (on a whole new level) when it is understood that most of the security breaches occur as a direct result of the negligence of hosting companies.
Can you imagine?
4. Data Loss – And no Backups
Online, backups are compulsory.
This is because, anything can go wrong; which usually is no fault of the webmaster (and sometimes, neither the fault of the hosting company).
When such a challenge occurs, it is best to be ready and accordingly, prepared with a backup to enable you get right back on your feet immediately.
Sadly, many hosts imagine that backing up your site (on a daily basis too) is your business – and non of theirs!
5. Sluggish Loading of Site and Loss of Important Traffic
A bad host can comfortably be used as a synonym for a snail…both are slow (and) are pathetically awful.
Unfortunately, the laziness and supreme lack of speed of the snail harms no one.
Online however, the poor speed of your website largely determines if the traffic you’ve worked so hard to acquire will stay on your page – even for a second more or, sadly bounce off.
This is certainly what you will not appreciate happening to you.
The truth is that, with the comparison between Siteground and Hostgator, speed will not be an issue for your site again.
So will the remaining 4 points raised.
Shall we delve into the match between Hostgator vs Siteground proper?
Comparing SiteGround vs HostGator Speed Wise
SiteGround Speed Test Results
Speed is serious business in the web hosting industry…play with it at your own peril.
The screenshot below indicate the server speeds of SiteGround as at test time.
The test location is ‘USA’.
HostGator Speed Test Results
The screenshot immediately below implicates the server speeds of HostGator as at test time.
The test location is ‘USA’.
The joy of a fast website is simply out of this world:
- Free (organic) traffic from Google (Google loves fast sites);
- Lower bounce rates – which will also mean more time on your site and the opportunity to opt in, click an ad or use your affiliate links;
- Awesome user experience (which will lead to repeat visitors) &
- More page views per visitor which will both lower your Alexa rank and improve your overall traffic.
In this test to determine the individual speed of the two hosting companies in comparison here, SiteGround performs at 71ms.
HostGator’s output is quite lower and better than that at an impressive 43ms.
Using speed as a metric here thus, HostGator wins SiteGround hands down.
The winner for this SPEED test is thus: HostGator!
Comparing SiteGround to HostGator in Terms of Basic Pricing
SiteGround Basic Hosting Plans
SiteGround has three (3) basic plans that cater for the needs of its teeming users and clients:
- The Startup Plan: This is the most basic plan in its arsenal. It starts at $3.95/mo, accommodates just a site and allows 10GB of webspace storage.
- The Grow Big Plan: The plan retails for $7.95/mo and can handle more than a site. It allows storage of up to 20GB and in addition to the essential features, has some premium features like daily backups and 1 year free SSL certificate.
- The GoGeek Plan: This plan is the most advanced of the basic plans. It sports all the benefits of the first two but also includes an extra 10 GB of storage – making it 30GB total and extra features as free PCI compliance and fewer accounts per server.
HostGator Basic Hosting Plans
HostGator also three (3) basic hosting plans. These plans are similar to the ones previously shared and explained above for SiteGround.
However, there is an amazing difference here: they are all a ton cheaper – and all carry the unmetered tag – a technical term for unlimited data allowance (subject to company policy though).
In detail, this is what HostGator offers:
- The Hatchling Plan: This is the most basic plan of HostGator’s. This plan supports a website, offers one click installs and presents bandwidth allowance in an unmetered fashion.
- The Baby Plan: This plan is essentially an upgrade of the Hatchling Plan – the only difference is that it supports more than one website directly.
- The Business Plan: This is an upgrade of the Baby Plan. However, as an ‘upgrade’, it includes an SSL certificate and private IP address as part of the plan. To clearly distinguish it however, a free VoIP phone service also comes standard with this plan.
These initial entry plans, it must be noted, are very similar in service offering.
However, when it comes to price, the difference is quite clear – and large enough to notice.
For instance, the GrowBig Plan of SiteGround starts at $7.95/mo while the equivalent Baby Plan of HostGator starts at a mere $3.98 /mo only.
Further, the the GoGeek plan of SiteGround is a whooping $14.95/mo while the corresponding plan of HostGator’s (Business Plan) is priced at an affordable $5.98/mo.
Certainly thus, HostGator is clearly more affordable, when it comes to the basic offering and hosting services both companies offer.
The Winner for this PRICE COMPARISON between HostGator and SiteGround is thus clearly: HostGator!
Comparing The Website Transfer Policy of SiteGround vs HostGator
It is not always that one registers a brand new domain name or builds a brand new site from scratch.
Often, when a new host is considered, it is for the migration from a bad, unprofessional, unethical or a supremely unserious (former) host.
This is where this metric of comparison comes to the fore…
Some web hosts charge a fortune for this service – and do so without any remorse…
For intending clients who are interested in the services of such a host but cannot pay the ‘transfer fees’, its usually the case of a huge disappointment…
Now, lets see how our two contestants fair in that segment:
SiteGround Website Transfer Policy
SiteGround understands that, because of its awesome services, many webmasters would certainly be leaving their hosting providers to them from time to time.
To cater for such a need and ensure that it is as light on the purse of the (future) client as possible, the company has made this service completely FREE.
This means that, if you are migrating from another hosting provider, you do not need to worry about migrating your site or messing up with code…the job is handled by a team of support staff in the most prudent and professional manner known to the hosting industry.
This is certainly awesome and highly commendable.
Now, let’s see how HostGator fares….
HostGator Website Transfer Policy
HostGator also brilliantly understands the challenge of migration and has taken into cognizance that many a client may wish to switch hosts and come to its domain.
Accordingly, it has also made the process very simple, professional and easy.
This mean, like SiteGround, if you wish to migrate to the Gator’s fold, you do not need to spend extra simply to transfer your files and overall website…this is done for you by professionals – and what is more? It is free of any cost!
Lets now see if we have a winner here…
Winner for this WEBSITE TRANSFER POLICY between HostGator and SiteGround is clearly: NO ONE – IT’S A TIE!
SiteGround vs HostGator: Support & Customer Friendliness
Support is the life-wire of the hosting industry…no hosting company ought to take it likely.
This is because, as I have already made it known in the opening paragraphs, anything could happen to your site…
Or, you could need help at the very beginning setting up your website or blog.
If the support of the hosting company is thus behind expectation, you are already in a sorry lot – and should begin looking elsewhere as soon as possible.
In this sphere however, both HostGator and SiteGround are awesome as the comparison below shows.
Aside being awesome, both hosting companies are also passionate about helping their clients in the event that help is needed.
It is standing to their credit that they both attended to me in an awesome, professional and timely fashion when I made the test contact to see how they fare directly in the area of service to customers/clients.
Now, lets go compare the support of SiteGround vis a vis HostGator and name a winner!
SiteGround Support Systems
SiteGround offers customer support in the three (3) major channels that are standard in to the industry today:
- Live chat &
However, the hosting company goes to extra lengths to make its own offering super useful and interesting.
First, the ticketing system offers customers the opportunity to log their problems and get a response via mail or a dedicated platform for this.
The challenge with this support option however is that, for many hosting companies, the reply may take a whole week or more in coming!
However, SiteGround promises an impressive 10 minutes for the first response – and this service is available round the clock, 24/7.
This is completely novel and commendable!
Second, the option of live chat is also an interesting and hugely popular means of contacting hosting companies today.
Here too, SiteGround has made it awesome and again, distinguished itself: instead of the customary 10 or more minutes it usually takes a representative to answer a chat request, this clearly awesome hosting company promises instant attention and reply.
And, round the clock too.
Again, this is clearly impressive.
Finally, this hosting company always makes certain that there is someone to answer the phone, round the clock, all week long.
This is achieved by over-staffing all shifts and the introduction of an in-house issue tracking and load balancing so that there is always someone to pick up the phone and answer you.
This again is completely novel and a clearly awesome improvement in the service relations of the web hosting industry.
Lets now look at how HostGator fares 🙂
HostGator Support Systems
HostGator (like SiteGround above) covers the three basic options for support popular in the hosting world today:
- Live chat &
However, these contact services are all generic and there is neither no time frame (of a solution) allotted to them or an assurance that one will be answered within a given (reasonable) time.
While my independent test with the support went well and I was attended to in record time, it is important to note that, in the clear absence of a time frame (as provided for by SiteGround), there is no commitment and the company cannot be held against anything – even if they fail to answer your queries completely!
While this may appear scary, there is an impressive part of the company’s phone support system though: phone calls within the US to their dedicated customer care line is completely FREE or TOLL FREE.
This means that, if you are tight on a budget, you can still call the HostGator support directly, talk like a Lord and get your problem solved as soon as it is practicable!
This is certainly not very common in the hosting world today.
Now, lets get you a winner!
The winner for this SUPPORT & CUSTOMER FRIENDLINESS COMPARISON between SiteGround and HostGator is clearly: SiteGround!
Uptime Guarantee of SiteGround & HostGator Compared
Uptime is something that no webmaster plays with.
This is because, once a site is down, there is an instant loss of so many things – on many different levels: traffic, revenue, leads, optins etc.
This comparison will thus not be complete without a look at this super important variable/metric:
SiteGround Uptime Guarantee
Like the rest of the hosting world, SiteGround spots a standard 99.9% uptime guarantee.
While this is exceedingly pleasing and good to know, this number has become a little bit over abused and is no longer taken seriously anymore.
As a matter of fact, it is standard on ALL the homepages of the various web hosting websites doing business today – even when they are not yet sure themselves or have not managed to even keep up their own sites up for a few hours 🙂
However, SiteGround takes this guarantee a little further – and that has made a ton of difference and distinction: there is a figure for the last twelve months (that is, the immediate past year) and the last month under consideration.
And guess what? both figures are well into the 99.9% range with a slight (and expected downtime) reducing the overall total for the immediately past year to 99.996%.
However, the immediately past month maintains an awesome 99.999%!
This certainly shows some level of sincerity and the ability to live up to its promises of ensuring maximum uptime for its client base.
However, that is not all…
SiteGround goes right ahead to utter a statement that instantly distinguishes the company from all the other hosting companies in terms of uptime guarantee:
We have unique approach to achieving the highest possible uptime leading to actual numbers of more than 99.99%. We also guarantee that if you ever experience more than 0.1% downtime on a yearly basis you will be compensated.
This is not a promise any hosting company who is not sure of itself in terms of its preparedness in ensuring maximum uptime would utter, especially the refund bit.
To crown up, SiteGround explains that, it can afford to state such a guarantee based on the fact that:
- It has perfected its secure account isolation system;
- It owns its backup systems directly;
- It deploys pro-active server monitoring &
- It also has deployed Linux Containers via the cutting edge LXC technology.
More details can be found here. This is thus an important commitment to uptime that is dangerously seductive and cannot be waived off or resisted so far as hosting is concerned.
HostGator Uptime Guarantee
HostGator is not left out with the 99.9% guarantee that is standard in the hosting industry today.
The company has this to say as regards uptime and its determination to keep more sites up than down:
The availability of your website is our top priority. We stand by that fact with our uptime guarantee!
While this is a step further from the normal – super generic ‘99.9% uptime guarantees’ common to all hosts today, it is quite inferior and does not show as much commitment as its main rival and contender here, SiteGround.
For instance, there are no figures of how well the company has fared in the past year (or at least, the last few months).
Further, there is no obligation to the company to actually keep to its 99.9% uptime guarantee promise.
With such an arrangement, the actual uptime a client may get may be far less than what is advertised – and nothing would be done about it apart from a mere apology (if it is offered).
It is on this note that I close this section and enter judgement…
The winner for this UPTIME GUARANTEE between HostGator and SiteGround is clearly: SiteGround!
SiteGround vs HostGator: Money Back Policies Compared
This is the final comparison point between SiteGround vs HostGator.
This point deals with the reality of money back guarantee – in case you are not satisfied with the services any of the host is offering.
Ideally, this is not a strong point (to hinge your choice of a host on).
However, experience has shown that, a great provider of service is generally more likely to offer a longer money back period than one who offers shoddy service – or products.
The reason is simple: if your service is great – as advertised, who would want to miss out?
It is on that basis that I present the final comparison….
SiteGround Money Back Policy
SiteGround has adequately provided for a money back guarantee – just in case you are not satisfied with its services.
This money back policy of SiteGround’s implicates 30 whole days – or a full month.
That is to say, within 30 days (if you are not satisfied with its services), simply cancel your account and get a full refund, no questions asked.
This is awesome – and an indication that the company is prepared to stand by its services/products.
A whole month, certainly, is quite enough to understand – and decide if a host is more hype than actual value.
Let’s now take a look at the refund policy of the main rival here, HostGator.
HostGator Money Back Policy
HostGator definitely takes the refund business much more serious…its a freaking 45 days!
One month and half…a month and 15 days!
This certainly means that, as a customer, you have the unique opportunity to opt out for 15 days longer (than the standard 30 days the former, SiteGround provides).
This means that, if HostGator messes up – or delivers less than what you expected, you’ll certainly be out on much more comfortable terms…
…and they’ll lose you, big time.
You, on the other hand, will stroll away with both your backed up site and your money right in your wallet.
This is certainly an irresistible deal!
Now, lets go, crown a winner 🙂
The winner for this MONEY BACK POLICY comparison between HostGator and SiteGround is clearly: HostGator!
SiteGround vs HostGator: The Verdict…
However, in such a comparison as ours here, there must be a winner…based on the metrics tested and discussed above.
Based on that, one hosting company wins the other – narrowly 🙂
- Speed: At server speeds of only 43ms, HostGator beats SiteGround which returns a mere 71ms.
- Basic Pricing: By placing the entry price point of its hosting at only $2.78/mo, HostGator beats SiteGround’s entry point of $3.95/mo.
- Transfer Policy: Both hosting companies welcome new entrants to their fold by helping them migrate for free. SiteGround and HostGator thus tie here.
- Customer Support/Friendliness: Both companies offer the 3 basic support channels – tickets, phone and the live system. However, SiteGround takes things further: it offers round the clock – almost instant service…for that, it wins this segment.
- Uptime Guarantee: Both promise the same thing (99.9%)…however, only SiteGround backs this with both previous performance and a promise/further guarantee. It thus wins this segment.
- Money Back Policy: Both companies have money back policies for dissatisfied customers…however, the 45 days of HostGator certainly beats the 30 days of SiteGround. HostGator thus wins this segment!
Essentially, it is:
- HostGator: 3 Points
- SiteGround: 2 Points
- Tie: 1
- Total points assessed: 6.
The winner is thus: HOSTGATOR!