It’s a no brainer… SiteGround was #1 in this Facebook poll (and last year’s poll) which was taken by the official WordPress Hosting Facebook Group with 8,000 members. HostGator was nowhere on the map. That’s because they’re known for being one thing (cheap) while SiteGround is on their game when it comes to speed, uptimes, security, features, and support.
SiteGround‘s speed technology is clearly listed on their website because they use the fastest configuration (NGINX servers, PHP 7, SSDs, Cloudflare, HTTP/2). I’m on their semi-dedicated GoGeek plan and have 100% GTmetrix scores and 100% Pingdom scores with a <1s load time. Go ahead, click through my pages or see the load time difference when people migrated to SiteGround. I had 100% uptimes. last month (this is normal) and don’t get random errors like you would on cheap hosting plans (bad gateways, internal server errors, etc). They’re always updating their servers for WordPress plugin vulnerabilities – and support is fast and super knowledgable about WordPress. Their StartUp vs. GrowBig vs. GoGeek comparison chart has tons of features like daily backups, free Cloudflare activation in an easy-to-use cPanel (for faster load times), Let’s Encrypt SSL, and WordPress autoupdates. I’ve been with SiteGround for 4 years and blog about WordPress speed for a living – plus they’re the only host listed on all 3 WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal official hosting pages. They will also migrate you for free.
HostGator is owned by EIG who owns multiple hosting companies and is known for cutting costs at the expense of performance for their customer’s websites. They also fire top employees and “streamline” support which makes resolving issues long and frustrating. The only people who recommend HostGator are usually affiliates – one of my readers commented on how almost 50% of people they referred cancelled their plan. Just to give you an idea, in July 2017 I referred 60 people to SiteGround and not 1 person cancelled. They were literally rated the #38th host in a poll over 300 people voted on. HostGator’s servers are incredibly slow, your website will go down for absolutely no reason, and support is slower than a turtle.
So if you read my SiteGround vs. HostGator review and still go with HostGator, I wish you luck. They’re known for being one thing (cheap) while SiteGround is undoubtedly the better option.
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1. SiteGround vs. HostGator (Facebook Polls)
Here are 30 different Facebook polls where SiteGround was rated #1 (many were taken by the WordPress Hosting Facebook Group), while HostGator was pretty much nowhere on the map.
2. HostGator Is Owned By EIG
HostGator, Bluehost HostMonster, Site5, iPage, Unified Layer and several other hosts are owned by the same horrible company (Endurance International Group). They are known for firing top employees and cutting costs by downgrading hardware, “streamlining” support and packing way too many people on the same server. Anything owned by EIG – I would run away.
Read this about EIG hosting…
3. HostGator’s Servers Are Slow
You can tell if your hosting is slow if you run your site through Google PageSpeed Insights and the reduce server response time item is in your report. I tested a few websites from HostGator’s list of websites and the overwhelming majority of them have this item (many also migrated to a different host already). But this is one way to find out if your hosting is slow.
Most websites hosted by HostGator have a slow server response time…
Their customers constantly complain about this on Twitter…
4. HostGator’s Support Sucks
It can take more than a week for HostGator support to respond to tickets. So if your website is down, don’t expect them to jump out of their seat to help. Even if the problem is on their end…
5. Websites Shutting Down Constantly
We all know how much hosting companies like to advertise 99.99% uptimes, but does HostGator deliver? Here’s just one incident of a major downtime period by HostGator. And when they finally told their customers about it – it was too late. Needless to say people weren’t very happy (and you can see the frustration in the comments). But this isn’t the only incident. A LOT of HostGator customers are reporting their website going down for no reason.
HostGator customers complaining about downtimes…
6. Affiliates Creating Dishonest HostGator Reviews
I’m calling out all HostGator affiliates who promote them even though they know it’s inferior to PLENTY of other hosts – not just SiteGround. One of the reasons they do this is that HostGator allows affiliates to create coupon codes which can be used in video reviews (instead of an affiliate link) which can increase commissions. It’s crap, but a lot of affiliates promote HostGator because of this. I chose to keep my soul and endorse the better host.
7. SiteGround’s Speed Technology Makes Your Site Faster
HostGator’s cheap servers don’t come close to SiteGround’s speed technology. They use NGINX servers, solid state drives (SSDs), PHP7, and industry-leading hardware. Fast hosting is the #1 thing recommended in the WordPress optimization guide so this is super important.
You can see this on SiteGround’s speed technology page…
My GTmetrix report is good too…
People who migrated to SiteGround and posted results on Twitter…
1.7s load time…
1.8s load time…
.23s load time…
- HostGator barely gives any technical specifications about their servers or other website speed factors. They just say 2.5x faster with managed (cloud) WordPress hosting and that it includes CloudFlare’s free CDN, which SiteGround also includes in their plans
8. Support Tickets Answered In 10 Minutes Or Less
I like to do a Twitter Search to see how many complaints vs. compliments each host gets. Hosting companies have a bad rep so I look at the ratio. SiteGround’s twitter is much more positive than HostGator’s Twitter. From my own experience, SiteGround addresses tickets within minutes (especially if you have priority support which comes with their GrowBig and GoGeek plan). They are also SUPER helpful and provide thorough answers. When I had an issue with Wordfence they actually logged into my site and fixed it for me. THAT is service.
Happy SiteGround customers…
The reason SiteGround has been so successful is because they’re a people company. They respond to tickets, they answer the phone immediately, and they respond to your Twitter posts. But they also treat they’re employees well and give praise to their support team…
9. I Had 100% Uptimes Last Month With SiteGround
I measure this in Pingdom which was 100% last month…
10. WordPress Features: Autoupdates Security, Staging
SiteGround’s features page shows you the different WordPress features you get with each plan. The main things are the automatic WordPress updates (which you can activate in the cPanel) and the amazing WordPress support by SiteGround support. They have actually logged into my site and tweaked a few plugins to make my site consume less resources and load even faster. They also have 1-click staging, WordPress install, and a few other features.
11. SiteGround Is A Recommended WordPress Host
Only 3 hosts managed to make it to the official WordPress hosting page…
12. SiteGround Plans: StartUp vs. GrowBig vs. GoGeek
Now you see why there’s no comparison between SiteGround vs. HostGator – the winner is clear. The next step is to choose a SiteGround plan. There have 3 shared hosting plans to choose from: StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek. GrowBig and GoGeek come with more server resources which make your site load faster. You can see this under the “we allocate the resources you need” section at the bottom of this chart, along with a comparison of the plans.
You can view this on their features page…
SiteGround Plans In A Nutshell – plans are faster as you upgrade (under “we allocate the resources you need” section you get about 1.5x more server resources for every plan you upgrade). You can host unlimited sites with GrowBig and GoGeek while you can only host 1 with StartUp. GrowBig and GoGeek include priority support, 30 daily backups, eCommerce features like a free SSL from Let’s Encrypt, and more storage. GoGeek comes with the most server resources, staging, and other features. StartUp comes with many features just not as many. I like GrowBig since it’s only $4 more, is faster, and also includes priority support.
13. Winner: SiteGround
SiteGround is the winner. This goes for speed, support, security, uptimes, features, and even pricing for most plans. SiteGround also sponsors WordCamps whereas with HostGator, you don’t see anything like this. And when you look at the WordPress site’s I’ve optimized to load in 1-2 seconds I have never seen a website hosted by HostGator load this quickly. When comparing SiteGround vs. HostGator it’s truly an easy choice. And if you read reviews around the web you’ll see the same thing – unless they are written by a HostGator affiliate of course.
Frequently Asked Questions
✅ Is SiteGround faster than HostGator?
SiteGround is significantly faster than HostGator especially when you setup their SG Optimizer plugin, activate Cloudflare's free CDN, and upgrade PHP versions in SiteGround. HostGator does a poor job in keeping their speed technology up to date.
✅ What do people NOT like about HostGator?
Their server are slow, their support isn't great, and many people experiences downtimes. HostGator has a cheaper price tag, but you may spend more time dealing with issues.
✅ What do people not like about SiteGround?
SiteGround's renewal prices are the main complaint. You can get up to 3 years of SiteGround's promotional price, but it jumps by about 3x after the promotion period.
✅ Who is rated more highly in Facebook polls?
SiteGround was rated much higher in Facebook Polls taken in WordPress-related Facebook Groups, while most people will tell you to avoid HostGator.
✅ Is HostGator really owned by EIG?
Yes, HostGator is owned by EIG who own over 60 different hosting companies. They have shareholders who are primarily interested in growing profits instead of taking care of their customers, which is likely their biggest downfall. Bluehost is also owned by EIG.
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