SiteGround has the reputed brand, pricing, and mind-share in the website industry. HostGator is one of the oldest and most reputable shared hosting companies on the Internet. Here’s my comparison of SiteGround vs HostGator for the best choice in web hosting – with a specific focus on WordPress hosting.
A few quick notes before diving in – first,
Before we move ahead, let’s quickly mention some of the similar features offered by both Siteground and HostGator shared and managed WordPress hosting:-
- Free SSL Certificate.
- Unlimited bandwidth
- PHP 7 ready.
- Priority Support.
- One-click WordPress installation.
- cPanel Access.
But apart from these basic things, there are a lot of differences between HostGator and Siteground.
I use HostGator & SiteGround for many of my small projects mainly because of how they structure their pricing & features. You’ll want to check out HostGator with a 60% off discount & SiteGround 70% discount here as well.
I have clients who love HostGator for their email and domain services as well. I’ve found that they frequently asked HostGator hosting is better than SiteGround?
Most of the time, I answered there is no overall “best” – there is only the best for you based on your Hosting goals & preferences. For example, this site specifically uses SiteGround Hosting – which has a big emphasis on customer service, Hosting security & hosting performance.
Note: I’ve also had some questions about whether I recommend Bluehost hosting overall. especially because I recommend their sister brand HostGator elsewhere on the site. So, point of clarification: HostGator and BlueHost are different brands of the same holding company called EIG.
But for now, we’ll compare SiteGround vs HostGator specifically on price, usability, support, hosting features, and extra features based on my experience and their own guides.
So let’s dive in and compare HostGator vs SiteGround for the best web hosting company for anyone just starting out or running their own website.
Table of Contents
Hosting price comparison
Comparing Hostgator and SiteGround on price is quite difficult for 2 reasons. First, they both run frequent specials (see SiteGround’s current deal here & HostGator’s here), so their pricing is never going to exactly align in the short-term.
Second, HostGator down their tiers of service differently from Bluehost, who reworked their tiers in 2016. The new SiteGround tiers consist of a super cheap, but limited Startup plan, and a Pro tier with a couple of domain upsells.
The tiers on SiteGround and Hostgator are apples to oranges – with a different tiering focus for each. Here’s an approximate cheat sheet for now –
1:) SiteGround Startup plan = HostGator Hatchling Plan
2:) SiteGround GrowBig plan ~ HostGator Baby Plan (HostGator has no hard caps but SiteGround does)
3:) SiteGround GoGeek plan (Semi-Geek) ~ HostGator Business Plan (SiteGround provides a few extra features, like git integration, geeky server, etc)
I’ve set up my websites on SiteGround and HostGator. I currently have 1 website hosted by HostGator. Until Hostgator’s recent pricing changes, I found the pricing trend that HostGator is cheaper long-term than SiteGround (ie, after a year), and it was always cheaper for what you get in features.
If you are looking for super dirt cheap hosting solution for 1 small website (with storage limitations) – HostGator is generally cheaper with specials, but SiteGround’s StartUp plan is comparable and usually just a dollar more expensive after promo.
Siteground’s GrowBig plan pricing is $5.95/mo for unlimited everything – unlimited, website databases (important because that’s how many WordPress sites you’ll be able to install), and 20GB SSD storage, and free site migration. You will get a 65% discount on Siteground hosting. (here are their current plans with promotional pricing).
HostGator has a couple of comparable shared hosting plans. The Baby plan is very similar to the SiteGround GrowBig plan, except it comes with unlimited HDD storage. It is slightly cheaper with yearly at $3.95/mo and discounts often down to $8.95/mo.
The Business package is standard pricing $5.95/mo with discounts down to $8.95/mo. It has unlimited databases, but also adds on an SSL & premium DNS – which are not especially needed by most websites – but if you have several projects going, then you have no real caps. On the other hand, SiteGround’s GoGeek plan comes with Geeky integration & this plan 4x faster than any shared hosting plan.
So if you are really in a pinch for cash and want something super-cheap no matter how limited – SiteGround & HostGator tie on the lowest tier pricing. On the middle tier, where you want a versatile account with no caps but without the bonuses – then SiteRGound offers better value for money.
On their top tier plans – Siteground offers more features though I’m not sold on whether they make up for the price.
Conclusion? SiteGround hosting is not cheaper. But remember premium features comes with a price tag. If you are looking for hosting with premium features with tons of security option then go with SiteGround.
Note: SiteGround recommends hosting by WordPress & Joomla’s officials.
But pricing isn’t the end all be all – let’s take a look at the hosting usability.
Hosting companies are selling something that is inherently technical by nature – and daunting for many users. Good hosting companies strike a balance between convenience and control. Their “backends” and account dashboards should be clean and straightforward.
As mentioned, both SiteGround & Hostgator use the industry-standard cPanel for their server backends. They have both customized them for their own customer simplicity. If you ask me which one beginner-friendly then I recommend you go with SiteGround. They offer a straightforward Hosting dashboard & cPanel.
Those are screenshots of the backend of HostGator & SiteGround. Those are the screens that you get when you log in to your hosting cPanel.
When you sign up for hosting you don’t get a website, you get a place to “put your website”. So Both hosting provider offer dashboard to operate your hosting account. With cPanel you can add domains, install files, install SSL, CDN, manage databases, install WordPress, etc with a few clicks.
Since it is the backend of a server, it’s not going to be super-user friendly, but it’s also nice to be able to install and manage your account without having to learn to code. And both Hosting provider WordPress specialist customer support is there if you need any type of help.
They’ve organized cPanel & control panel with different tabs to reduce the appearance of clutter. They have also added several educational options, in addition, to Install WordPress with a single click.
After both the using both hosting cPanel & hosting dashboard. I like SiteGround’s small educational touches and one-click WordPress installs. But HostGator’s integration with their other heavily used products (like domains & email) is a big plus point as well.
For usability, I’d say they are a tie. It’s really personal preference depending on what company you use. If you are starting from scratch, then Siteground has an edge with a cleaner design, better education and more thoughtful upsells. If you already have Hostgator for domain/email – then you’ll find the HostGator hosting setup straightforward.
However, no matter what you get as far as usability goes. When you run into trouble with your site, or in the unlikely event of the server going down, that’s where customer support comes in.
Hosting customer support
Now, judging customer support is always going to be a bit anecdotal, especially if you don’t need to utilize it much. Both hosting providers claim they offer a 24/7/365 support system where you can talk to their customer support representatives using the live chat or phone or Tickets.
Based on my personal experience with both companies – and talking with people who use both as well – I’ve found HostGator’s support to be adequate. I always have to wait several minutes on the phone. I always have to explain a couple of times what my issue is, then they solve my hosting problems. But overall, they get the job done, and my problem fixed.
SiteGround, on the other hand, has always provided me fast, solid support. I’ve spoken with them via phone and email and had great experiences with them both times. Over 300 people all over the globe at SiteGround are engaged with customer support only to make sure clients are taken good care of, and they’re processing over 1,700+ tickets, 750+ phone calls and 2,500+ chat requests every Single day.
I’m using Siteground Hosting for years now, and I still couldn’t find many negative responses about their support.
Along with customer support, Both Hostgator and SiteGround both have large knowledgebases & how-to guides on their server. HostGator seems to skew towards its own products rather than hosting customer help. Both have support across a range of channels including phone and chat. And SiteGround also supports three different languages – English, Spanish and Italian.
I’ve found SiteGround’s approach to be much more preferable. If you are calling about a WordPress issue (they have dedicated customer support team for WordPress users). And if you choose the GoGeek plan to host your site then you get professional Geeky WordPress developers to solve your hosting problems.
Conclusion? So in reviewing SiteGround and HostGator – SiteGround comes out on top with customer support due to their approach. Let’s check basic hosting features.
As mentioned in the pricing section, both Hostgator (“Hatchling” and “Baby” and “Business”) and SiteGround (“StartUp” and “GrowBig” and “GoGeek”) offer tiers that don’t quite line up. which throws direct comparisons off a little bit.
The absolute core features of any hosting plan are – the number of websites you can hosts (number of domain names that can be assigned to your hosting account), databases number (the number of unique website installations on the hosting account), and disk space & disk types (how much stuff you can put on your server & how fast load your server disk).
If you know that you only want 1 super-cheap place to host 1 small website – then you should consider SiteGround’s StartUp plan or Hostgator’s Hatchling plan. They both limit your websites, storage, and databases – but equally. It’s actually a pretty solid head to head comparison & if you ask me which plan should I choose, then I recommend you to go with the StartUp plan.
Aside – here’s one case where HostGator’s sister brand, Bluehost, has a better lowest tier plan of them all. Check out Bluehost‘s “Basic” here. With this plan, you can still host 1 website, but no caps bandwidth, 50 GB storage, and 25 subdomains.
When you look at the other mid-tier hosting plans, things get slightly more complicated. But the key feature to call out is databases. SiteGround doesn’t limit them on the GrowBig plan. HostGator caps them at 25 on the baby (which otherwise is comparable to the GrowBig plan).
On the flip side, Hostgator’s business plan does do unlimited storage, databases, and domains – but also adds positive SSL certificates and Premium DNS, & dedicated IP to the plan. Both of these are not really necessary for a non-eCommerce website and are usually cheaper and better if you buy them separately anyway.
Another important feature of hosting is the Hosting memory types – especially if you are setting up WordPress hosting. Memory types are how many resources you’re shared hosting account is allocated to produce your website every time a visitor loads your site (ie, SSD memory = faster load time, and more visitors allowed before crashing).
SiteGround offer pure SSD storage even with their basic shared hosting packages. But Hostgator doesn’t offer SSD storage, even there top-tier plan comes with HDD storage (ie, SSD 20x faster than HDD storage).
For other features, SiteGround does better on its GrowBig & Gogeek plans with unlimited space, Geeky server, etc now that they did away with specific disk space and monthly traffic caps.
SiteGround wins on the top end & middle of plans, while it’s a tie on the cheap tier. However, I set aside a separate rubric of extra hosting features to consider (extra features like free SSL, CDN, Site migrations that aren’t technically part of the web hosting – but come with the hosting package).
Extra Hosting Features
While both SiteGround and HostGator come with 1-click WordPress installation features. SiteGround comes with the easiest one.
Free SSL: SSL allows sensitive information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and login credentials to be transmitted securely.
HostGator & SiteGround both hosting providers come with single click free SSL installation features. HostGator provides free SSL service with the Hatchling & baby plan but the Business plan comes with premium positive SSL. On the other side, SiteGround offers free Let’s Encrypt certificates with all types of Shared Hosting plans.
Free CDN: SiteGround offers builtin Cloudflare CDN option & you can manage CloudFlare from SiteGround cPanel, which amazing for beginners. On HostGator, you have to connect CDN manually, & they also offer SiteLock CDN for $2.00/mo.
Free Domain: Only HostGator Hosting offers a free domain for a year with web hosting. But remember HostGator domain renewal costs are higher than the top Domain name provider like GoDaddy or NameCheap.
Free Site Migration: Both hosting providers offer one free Site Migration for free. Remember free Site migration offer only comes with only SiteGround GrowBig, GoGeek plan & HostGator Baby, Business plan.
But what about hosting performance in the real world tests?
Real World Hosting Performace
A Good hosting server’s primary job isn’t just to hold your website – it’s to provide it how quickly to any browser that requests those website’s files. The easiest metric to measure here is Time To First Byte (TTFB) – that is, how quickly the server gets the request and sends the first byte of information back to your visitors.
Over the past years, my tests have always been in line with EIG data. But recently, Hostgator has been showing a bit better performance. In this most recent test – they are only slightly slower than Siteground.
Note: In our all tests SiteGround is the fastest & most reliable hosting in 2020.
Keep in mind that “Time to first byte” times are best analyzed as a trend. But as a general rule, I’ve found HostGator to be slower than Bluehost. Bluehost is slower than SiteGround. And HostGator seems to fluctuate but generally, be tied or slightly slower than independent competitors that I also use such as A2 Hosting or InMotion Hosting.
Hosting server uptime & response time
Uptime and server response time are two of the most important factors when choosing a web host. Both web hosting offers
SiteGround server performance:
SiteGround is our top-rated web hosting provider because their last 12 months uptime and server response time is best than the rest of other hosting providers – 99.99% and 369ms, respectively. Let’s check the last 12 months SiteGround hosting server score.
HostGator server performance:
HostGator’s last 12 months hosting server performance stats aren’t bad either, 4374ms load time and 99.98% uptime, respectively. Let’s check the last 12 months HostGator hosting server score.
SiteGround has one of the fastest hosts we’ve reviewed, their servers are perfect for WordPress websites. Conclusion? Siteground is the most reliable web hosting at a low price, according to Bitcha Research.
Hosting without coupons can be very expensive. Both hosting companies offer some discounts on Hosting. Let’s check some coupons.
SiteGround Coupon: Claim SiteGround Discount. (click to copy & open site)
SiteGround hosting doesn’t need coupon so ever. All you have to do open SiteGround with our link & you will get discounts.
This coupon works for both new and existing SiteGround customers. However, to avail of the discount, you must buy a new Hosting plan.
HostGator Coupon: Claim HostGator Discount. (click to copy & open site)
Our exclusive HostGator discount coupon only works if you use our discount coupon activation link. All you have to do, open HostGator with our link & then use our exclusive coupon to get the HostGator hosting discount.
Again both hosting companies are covered under the 30-day money-back guarantee. If you think that your choice wrong hosting service, then you can get money back.
Read more about Top 10 hosting coupons 2020.
So – who wins SiteGround vs HostGator? It depends on who you are and what you are looking for.
If you are looking for the best overall deal on web hosting and are limited to just SiteGround and HostGator, then HostGator is better at the cheaper end and SiteGround is better at the GrowBig tier with amazing hosting features & server quality.
If you’re looking for an independent (ie, not owned by a holding corporation like EIG) hosting company with an international bent, a focus on solid technical features, hosting security, & overall performance then SiteGround web hosting is the best option for you.
If you are looking for cheaper hosting with unlimited features & better performance, I’d go with HostGator’s sister brand Bluehost (see plans here).
Also – if this is your first website – I have a WordPress Website Setup Guide here. If you have questions related to HostGator & SiteGround hosting then let me know in the comment section or you can contact me.
Thank you. Have a Lovely Day.