Drawing straws or tossing a coin may work when deciding trivial matters like which team gets to have the ball first. However, when it comes to choosing a web host for your website, a little more careful consideration is required. This is especially so when you’re choosing between SiteGround and HostGator.
HostGator is a popular web host provider that has won the hearts of many through cost-effective plans, easy to use cPanel servers, consistent uptime reliability, award winning customer support service, a series of freebies (free site templates, $100 free Google Adwords credits, etc.), plus many other amazing services.
SiteGround, on the other hand, has one of the best security measures in place, offers custom-made hosting solutions, fast speeds, 99.9% uptime, quick customer support response times plus a range of other great extra features.
So, which should you go with among the two? Hopefully, the following comparison review of SiteGround vs. HostGator will help you make that difficult choice.
Here below is a tl;dr summary version of our of SiteGround and HostGator head to head comparison.
The following web hosting features have been compared and scored (click on the link to scroll to each feature section): 1. reliability, 2. security, 3. scalability, 4. cancellation, 5. support and 6. extras.
| Unlimited disk space|
45-day money back guarantee
More features at hostgator.com
|From 4.86 /mo||67% score|| Visit website
| Choose server location|
Free backups, transfer & SSL
30-day money back guarantee
Endorsed by WordPress
More features at siteground.com
|From 3.95 /mo||79% score|| Visit website
Reliability and uptime guarantees. What happens if the host goes down?
» SiteGround. 5/5
SiteGround offers all customers a 99.99% monthly uptime guarantee and a 99.9% yearly uptime guarantee. They have created special software to monitor servers to help them with these goals. The software solves 90% of all server issues with no human interactions.
This company tracks all servers in real time which is more efficient than many competitors who track within 1-5 minutes. Problems get fixed much faster and there’s less downtime overall.
» HostGator. 4/5
As with most hosting companies, HostGator offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee. The word “guarantee” is questionable because if they don’t meet this level, they’re not obliged to give you a credit for the next month of hosting.
You must contact the billing department and provide a reason for them to do so.
What security measures and backup protocols are in place? Is your site scanned regularly for malware?
» SiteGround. 5/5
SiteGround carries out daily backups at no cost to you.
There are no virus or malware scans.
You can choose your server based on the location of your main visitors so it increases site loading speed. Server locations are in Singapore, London, Chicago, and Amsterdam.
This company was the first to use a unique isolation system that ensures each account on a server is isolated from all others. If somebody else’s site becomes compromised, yours is still safe. Sites are secured against hackers because each time you log into cPanel, you’re guided into SiteGround’s encrypted server.
SiteGround believes in prevention where possible. Software must always be the latest versions. They write their own patches to fix problems instead of waiting for others to do so. They spend resources on what is necessary to look after their customers.
As with most hosting companies, they have the latest in physical security systems, bulletproof lobbies, uninterrupted power supplies, multiple redundancies when it comes to (hardware/software and skilled personnel. Naturally, no host will list all security features or they wouldn’t be secure.
SiteGround keeps replacement parts for every piece of all server models being used in case a piece fails. In very rare cases where this isn’t enough, they have a replacement server ready, already installed and plugged in so it will only take minutes to transfer all data and worry about the old server later.
» HostGator. 4/5
As with all hosting companies, HostGator use plenty of security precautions to protect all sites. They have the best cooling systems, fire suppressors, smoke detectors, diesel generators and an uninterrupted power supply in case power is lost even for a single minute.
Technicians and admin personnel work in the centers 24/7/365 to solve problems, often before the public are even aware anything is wrong. Entrances are secured with biometric locks and security guards patrol the center as well as having CCTV monitoring around the clock.
Malware scans and backups are carried out weekly. You should also do your own scans and backups more frequently so your data isn’t affected in any way. It will cost money to restore your site from a HostGator backup.
Do they both offer SSL certificates? Is one better than the other? How much do they cost?
SSL (Socket Security Layer) certificates are important for any business to ensure that your data remains secure and encrypted while traveling across the internet.
SiteGround SSL Certificates 4/5
SiteGround offers three types of SSL certificates, WildCard, EV SSL, and Let’s Encrypt certificates. The former two are paid options available through the control panel. Meanwhile, Let’s Encrypt offers SSL functionality free of charge.
HostGator SSL Certificates 4/5
HostGator also offers SSL certificates. They allow you to choose between Domain Validated Certificates, Company Validated Certificates, Extended Validation Certificates, Wildcard Certificates, and Multi-Domain Certificates. SSL Certificates are available on all plans except the Hatchling plan. They can be ordered through the HostGator Billing Portal, the HostGator SSL Order Form, and the company’s Live Support service.
What happens if you want to upgrade to a better plan mid-contract? For example, move from a shared plan to a cloud plan?
» SiteGround. 5/5
It’s easy to upgrade to a better plan and the only cost you’ll incur is the pro-rata rate of the new plan.
This information had to be obtained from a live chat person as it didn’t appear on the site.
» HostGator. 5/5
Because you have the choice of having a month by month plan or a yearly plan, you can upgrade easily, with only the difference in cost between your current site’s plan and the one to which you want to upgrade.
What types of hosting plans are available for each host? Do they offer shared hosting or specific WordPress plans?
Both SiteGround and HostGator offer shared hosting plans for your business. Shared hosting is usually the most cost-effective option for businesses that don’t require a huge amount of resources. Both hosts are capable of hosting for WordPress, but neither has a WordPress-specific plan.
»HostGator Shared Hosting Plans 4/5
HostGator offers a range of shared hosting plans including Hatching, Baby, and Business plans. Which one you choose will come down to the resources required by your business. The plans all offer unmetered bandwidth, unlimited disk space, and unlimited email accounts. Each plan comes with a range of additional features.
»SiteGround Shared Hosting Plans 5/5
SiteGround offers a number of shared hosting plans entitled StartUp, Growbig, and GoGeek. These plans offer up to 30GB disk space and the high-end plan is suitable for up to 100,000 visits per month. The company’s mid-range and high-end plan also support multiple websites.
»HostGator WordPress Plans 4/5
HostGator doesn’t offer WordPress-specific hosting plans and instead recommends users install the Content Management System on its Hatchling, Baby, and Business Plans. They come complete with one-click install functionality, unmetered bandwidth, and email marketing included.
»WordPress Plans 5/5
WordPress hosting is where Siteground shines above the rest. While the company does not offer WordPress-specific packages, they are one of the few hosts on the planet directly recommended by WordPress. Their packages include a 1-Click Installer, command-line management options, and auto updates on all plans with additional functionality included with their ‘GrowBig’ and ‘GoGeek’ plans.
How long is the free trial and money back guarantee?
» SiteGround. 3/5
30-day money-back guarantee. This only applies to the hosting plan. You can have it as a credit on your account or it can be refunded back to the credit card you used to make the initial purchase.
You don’t get a rebate on the domain name or any other add-ons.
» HostGator. 4/5
HostGator offers a 45-day money-back guarantee only to people with new contracts. However, this isn’t as clear cut as it seems. The guarantee only applies to the actual cost of the hosting plan, not to admin fees, domain name costs and other add-ons you choose to use.
A refund will only apply if you paid initially by credit card. Otherwise they will give you a credit on your account.
What support options are available and what hours? What are the hours for phone support and live chat?
» SiteGround. 5/5
The first impressive fact is that SiteGround deliberately overstaffs every shift. This is so you don’t have to wait on the phone, in live chat or for email messages to receive replies. Staff work around the clock to ensure top class support and every employee’s performance and speed is assessed regularly.
Whenever you make contact with a support member, you’ll also see his/her photo and resume with the company so you know how much experience they have. The other reason is to put a face to a company, not just a faceless corporation that doesn’t care.
You also have access to tutorials and webinars to help you learn about different aspects of your site. There’s also a set-up wizard that can guide you through the set-up of your account.
» HostGator. 5/5
HostGator offers you just about all the support scenarios you could ever need. Everything is available 24/7/365 so it doesn’t matter what country you’re in.
Your options include: live chat, emails, phone calls, access to more than 500 tutorials and 700+ articles on different aspects of the site and how to get yours going, a mammoth knowledgebase of useful information and, finally, lots of active forums (some are open to everyone and others are members’ only).
Any extra features? Does the company offer free advertising, a free domain name, free migration of sites from other hosts or a free website builder?
» SiteGround. 4/5
You get a free domain name for the first term when you sign up for one of the plans on offer. After the initial 12 months, you’ll need to pay a fee to continue.
You can bring your site from a different host to this one at zero cost to you. However, this is a maximum of 1 GB.
You have a free website builder to assist you in creating your new website.
No advertising credits, unlike most companies. However, it’s usually easy enough to Google and find credits you can grab.
» HostGator. 4/5
You get your domain name for free whenever you create a new account and site. This is only free for the initial contract term.
$100 in credits for Google AdWords and a further $100 in credits for Yahoo/Bing advertising.
You can have your site migrated from a different hosting company to HostGator at no cost to you.
You have access to a site builder for a small cost.
Where are the data centers for each host located? Why are these important?
The location of a hosting provider’s data centers is extremely important for your business as the speed at which your customers can access your website depends on how near they are to the data center you choose. Data center security and backup facilities are also important to ensure that your website remains online as much as possible.
»SiteGround Data Centers 4/5
Siteground has data centers based across three continents with locations in the U.S., Singapore, The Netherlands and the U.K. Their physical data centers are highly secure and also rely on multiple connectivity and power sources to make sure that your website stays online.
»HostGator Data Centers 3/5
HostGator has two U.S. – based data centers in Houston, Texas and Provo, Utah. Their servers are highly-secured and are monitored by system administrators around the clock.
Which control panel does each host use? Are they user-friendly, or is there a learning curve?
The type of control panel used by your hosting provider is one of the key features you should look out for when choosing a web hosting provider.
»SiteGround Control Panel 5/5
Many providers on the market use the super-popular cPanel control panel. Both SiteGround and HostGator, along with competitor Bluehost all use the cPanel interface. cPanel is known for user-friendliness, an icon-based layout and it has had a reputation for stability since it launched in 1996.
»Host Gator Control Panel 4/5
One thing to note is that HostGator only uses cPanel with Hatchling, Baby, and Business plans. Whereas for VPS with Plesk, Windows Shared, and Windows Dedicated hosting plans, Plesk control panel is in use. Both Plesk and cPanel offer many similar features, although Plesk is regarded as having a cleaner interface by some in the industry.