SiteGround and HostGator are similar companies in terms of what plans they offer and their performance, but their control panels, how you install and manage WordPress, and technical support is handled differently.
1. Company Info
SiteGround and HostGator are different companies when it comes to how big they are, the location of their data centers, and what plans they offer customers.
SiteGround was founded in 2003, they have over 50 employees and are located in Sofia, Bulgaria. They have over 400,000 customers and host over 300,000 domains.
Their datacenters are spread throughout the world which gives you better server location options. Their locations are in USA, Singapore and Europe.
SiteGround offers what they call “web hosting crafted with care”. That means they will go above and beyond the call of duty to solve your issues. Especially when it comes to help with CMS’s like WordPress.
HostGator was founded in 2002, they have over 500 employees, and are located in Austin and Houston, Texas. They have over 400,000 customers and over 9 million registered domains.
Their datacenters are only in the U.S. and they are pretty close together. They are locate din Provo, Utah and Austin and Houston Texas.
HostGator has a great brand presence, and most customers love them. They don’t really focus on solving issues with CMS’s like SiteGround, but, personally, I haven’t had an issue that was not fixable with them.
2. Plans & Pricing
SiteGround and HostGator both offer competitively prices plans. The differences are HostGator shared servers get unlimited space, SiteGround offers Cloud Hosting instead of VPS Hosting, and entry prices for a dedicated server are cheaper at HostGator.
- Startup – $3.95/Mo. 1 website, 10GB storage, unlimited bandwidth, databases, ftp accounts, email accounts, free domain name.
- GrowBig – $7.95/Mo. Multiple websites, 20GB storage, priority support, SuperCacher, and 30 versions of backups stored. unlimited bandwidth, databases, ftp accounts, email, domain name. Priority support, SuperCacher, and 30 versions of backups stored.
- GoGeek – $14.95/Mo. 30GB storage, priority support, SuperCacher, and 30 versions of backups stored, less accounts on server, advanced hardware, Joomla and WordPress staging. Multiple websites, unlimited bandwidth, databases, ftp accounts, email, domain name.
- Entry plan Cloud 1 – $68.95/Mo. 2×2.0GHz CPU, 1GB RAM, 40GB space, 1TB bandwidth.
- Top plan Cloud 4 – $138.95/Mo. 4×2.0GHz CPU, 4GB RAM, 150GB space, 5TB bandwidth.
- Entry Server $229/Mo. – 4GB DDR3 RAM, Quad Core Processor, 500GB space, 5TB bandwidth.
- Top plan Enterprise Server – $429/Mo. – 16GB DDR3 RAM, Hexa Core Processor, 1GB space, 5TB bandwidth.
- Hatchling plan – $3.96/Mo. unlimited diskspace, bandwidth, emails, databases, and 1 domain
- Baby plan – $6.36/Mo. unlimited diskspace, bandwidth, emails, databases, and domains.
- Business Plan – $10.96/Mo. unlimited diskspace, bandwidth, emails, databases, and domains. Free SSL & IP and Toll Free Number.
- Entry plan – VPS Level 1 – $19.95/Mo. 10GB space, 250GB bandwidth, unlimited domains, email and databases.
- Top plan – VPS Level 9 – $219.95/Mo. 231GB space, 3150 bandwidth, unlimited domains, email and databases.
- Entry plan – Basic Dedicated Server – $174/Mo. 500GB RAID-1 space, 10TB bandwidth, unlimited domains, email, and databases, 5 free dedicated IP’s.
- Top plan – Pro Dedicated Server – $374/Mo. 1TB RAID-1 space, 10TB bandwidth, unlimited domains, email and databases, 5 free dedicated IP’s.
Discounts for paying upfront
- For shared hosting plans you can get a $1 removed from your monthly payment by signing up for two years or $2 removed by signing up for three years.
- For VPS plans, the first month is reduced which gives you a varying discount.
- For dedicated, the first month is reduced which gives you 20% off the original price.
3. Control Panel and User Experience
Both SiteGround and HostGator use cPanel, but the SiteGround control panel is much better designed. cPanel is the most widely used control panel on the market. You get the same apps and they all work the same way, but some companies add their own.
cPanel has a basic look and feel out of the box, but SiteGround went to greater lengths to make the design more user friendly. It’s got a better look and less advertisements than the HostGator cPanel.
They also add their own app section called 1H. This is server monitoring software custom built by SiteGround. You can also access a feature called “Super Cache” if you purchase it.
Their version of cPanel looks very boring and outdated. There aren’t nearly as focused on design in their cPanel. The main flaw associated with their cPanel is the ads for software and their ‘Partners’.
HostGator has it’s own proprietary one-click installation application called QuickInstall. It works seamless with installing applications like WordPress. I cover it more in the next section.
4. Installing and Managing WordPress
Both SiteGround and HostGator make installation and management very easy with WordPress. SiteGround has a one-click install method called Softaculous and you can also install WordPress manually. HostGator offers two, one-click install methods (Fantastico and QuickInstall) and the manual install method.
To install WordPress at SiteGround, you can use Softaculous or the manual method. Softaculous is easy and straightforward but you don’t get as much control over the install process. I prefer manual installation because you can set up the database names and table prefixes. Lastly, you won’t run into any server compatibility issues with SiteGround, their server environment works great with WordPress.
There are three ways you can install WordPress at HostGator. You can use Fantastico, QuickInstall or the manual method. Fantastico is a classic, but is frequently out of date. It’s better to use QuickInstall because HostGator keeps the WordPress versions up to date. I prefer to install WordPress manually, that way you can make sure everything is kept up to date, plus you get more control over the database configuration.
SiteGround and HostGator both perform very well in terms of speed and reliability. We tested each of our websites for over six months. SiteGround has a better backend response time when you submit an update with pages or are navigating through the backend.
The website I tested has been monitored for the past six months. It has an average response time of around 842ms which is very fast and an average uptime of around 99.77% which is very reliable. I like using SiteGround with WordPress because it loads faster on the backend and is more responsive while I develop the site.
I have data for a website that we have hosted with HostGator for the past four years. The site has an average response time of around 963ms which is very fast and an average uptime of around 99.23% which is very reliable. HostGator is a has slightly more lag on the backend of WordPress, which I find to be annoying sometimes. It’s certainly bearable and better than some other hosts, but SiteGround is quicker.
6. Technical Support
SiteGround and HostGator have great technical support but SiteGround has an edge because they add a personal touch to their support tickets and live chat.
You get three easy ways to reach SiteGround Technical Support: Live Chat, Phone, and Ticket System.
Live chat is great and my favorite method of reaching technical support. When you start a chat you can see a picture and a name of the person your chatting with, this personalizes your experience.
Phone support is pretty good. They only down side to calling SiteGround is that some of their technicians don’t speak English that well. It hasn’t been a show-stopper, but it can hard to understand them.
Ticket system is the best in the industry because they will write you back within 10 minutes of your submission.
You have the same three options at HostGator for support. They aren’t as personalized, but issue resolution is very effective.
Live chat is good. You don’t get a picture with the name and you have to wait a bit longer than SiteGround, but you will get the problem fixed.
Phone support is great. All technicians are based in America, so you are less likely to have trouble understand them like you may at SiteGround.
Ticket system is good. It’s not as fast as SiteGround, but, on average you will get a response within 20-30 minutes. Other companies like GoDaddy can take up to 24 hrs to respond.
Both of these companies are pretty good, but my choice is SiteGround. You get more features, better designed cPanel, faster, more reliable performance, personalized technical support all for a competitive price.
David writes for a couple different websites that work with hosting and consumer reviews. He brings real-world application to harder to understand concepts in order to help people learn about specific subject matter. He also knows HTML, CSS and PHP to help out with building and configuring sites.