SiteGround vs. HostGator – why you should stay away from both

Siteground vs Hostgator

If you’re deciding between SiteGround vs. HostGator, I wouldn’t use either.

SiteGround used to be good, but has gone completely downhill in the last few years. Even though they use Google Cloud servers, their TTFB is horribly slow and there have been many complaints about this (and CPU limits) in Facebook Groups. They also reduced support (no more live chat option), push upgrades, ditched cPanel, and aren’t taking care of their customers.

HostGator was never good after they got bought out by EIG who is infamous for overcrowding servers and little to no innovation. In fact, they were the slowest WordPress host in speed tests with an average TTFB of 1268ms and a load time of 2680ms based on 336 individual Pingdom tests. The only people recommending HostGator are affiliates who don’t even use their hosting.

If SiteGround and HostGator are bad, who do I recommend? Cloudways, and here’s why.

 

1. SiteGround vs. HostGator Speed Tests

In this test, I signed up for SiteGround’s GrowBig and HostGator’s Standard plan, installed the exact same Astra Starter Site, then measured key metrics across multiple speed testing tools. TTFBs were measured in US locations only (since that’s where the data centers were) and it’s somewhat pointless to measure TTFBs since your host and data center is usually in your same country. More details about the test can be found here, along with screenshots of every report.

SiteGround’s TTFB averaged 1164ms while HostGator averaged 1268ms (only a 104ms difference). This was surprising considering SiteGround uses Google Cloud servers which should theoretically be faster than HostGator’s in-house servers. When it comes to speed, SiteGround was slightly faster than HostGator, but not by much considering all speed tests.

SiteGround-vs-HostGator-Speed-Test

In Pingdom, SiteGround and HostGator were the slowest hosts when comparing 16+ different hosting plans with a load time of 2280ms and 2670ms respectively. This is for a period of 1 week at 30 minute check intervals, which means 336 individual tests were done on each site.

WordPress-Hosting-2020-Pingdom-Test

Conclusion: both SiteGround and HostGator are extremely slow.

HostGator Server Response Time

 

2. Why I Left SiteGround As A Customer + Super Affiliate

I referred over 3,000 people to SiteGround and used to host my site with them.

But that all changed.

After I got CPU issues on GrowBig, I upgraded to GoGeek. Same thing happened, so I had to upgrade to their cloud hosting for $80/month, but I was still getting CPU issues and had to pay SiteGround over $120/month to avoid CPU limits. I ended up upgrading even more (because my site wasn’t fast) even though I wrote a popular tutorial on reducing CPU and WordPress speed.

It didn’t make sense.

I eventually switched to Cloudways DigitalOcean where I was paying 1/2 the price for 2x faster load times. At the same time, I saw lots of other people were migrating to Cloudways for the same reasons. That’s when I changed all my hosting recommendations to Cloudways instead of SiteGround. They have had so many issues and are just not a good recommendation anymore.

Goodbye SiteGround.

Cloudways Shoutout

OMM on Cloudways DigitalOcean

 

3. Two Major Price Increases

SiteGround increased prices in 2018 and 2020.

Since then, I haven’t seen 1 Facebook poll where SiteGround was rated the #1 host.

This was completely unwarranted because their servers have gotten slower, they replaced cPanel with Site Tools (to increase their own bottom line since cPanel raised their prices), and their support has gotten worse. Why would they increase prices when the quality of their hosting has been getting worse? I don’t know, but that’s why so many people are leaving them.

Their renewal prices are also way too expensive.

SiteGround Renewal Pricing

You get 1-3 years of the intro price, but then it jumps to about 3x the price.

Gone are the good old days when prices used to be much more affordable:

SiteGround WordPress Hosting Plans

 

4. CPU Limits Force You To Upgrade

CPU limits are the worst part about SiteGround.

Each SiteGround hosting plan comes with a certain amount of resources (as with all hosting). But for some mysterious reason, SiteGround customers constantly exceed these limits. SiteGround usually blames it on plugins, bots, or the WordPress Heartbeat API. But this is not true. SiteGround’s CPU limits are simply a technique they use to force you to upgrade plans.

Even when I was using a lightweight theme, only 12 lightweight plugins, disabled Heartbeat, and blocked bad bots, and I had <1s load times in GTmetrix, I was still hitting CPU limits! Within roughly a year, I went from $6.99/month to $120/month just to avoid SiteGround’s CPU limits.

Big red flag.

I ultimately came to the conclusion that SiteGround’s CPU issues are (almost always) unfixable, unless you pay them more. No matter how much you optimize your site, you can get these limits, and they will literally take down your entire website until you upgrade to a higher plan.

SiteGround CPU Overages

 

5. SiteGround Support Isn’t Great Anymore

SiteGround’s outstanding support doesn’t exist anymore. Here’s why:

  • They pressure you to upgrade
  • They moved priority support from GrowBig to GoGeek
  • They recommend expensive dedicated servers for low traffic sites
  • They disabled live chat in the SiteGround dashboard without warning
  • They don’t go “above and beyond” hosting issues like they once used to

This is another reason people are leaving SiteGround. They used to have amazing support, but people are noticing how it’s been going completely downhill and it’s just not what it used to be.

SiteGround Support Feedback

 

6. Too Many Changes In SiteGround’s Hosting

There’s just too many changes going on with SiteGround.

Even when they migrated everyone to Google Cloud servers, they did it without giving customers the option to stay on SiteGround’s in-house servers. Instead, they forced everyone to accept Big G and there was an outcry about privacy concerns on the SiteGround blog.

Between migrating servers, changing to Site Tools, reducing support, increasing prices… you never know what you’re actually getting when you sign up for SiteGround’s WordPress hosting.

 

7. Why I Stay Away From HostGator

SiteGround used to be good, but HostGator was never good.

Sure, they were good before getting bought out by EIG, but that was years ago and they have been run into the ground since. Overcrowded servers, 3 year price traps, and horrible support is what you can expect on HostGator. Even if you do a little research in the WordPress Hosting Facebook Group and ask about HostGator, you’ll see pretty much no one recommends them.

 

8. They’re Owned By EIG

Head of Endurance International Group?

They own over 80 different hosting companies and HostGator (and Bluehost) and their main 2. They are infamous for buying out existing (decent) hosting companies then running them into the ground by doing anything to cut costs. They have shareholders to please (and a stock ticker) and are really just in it for money, not making customers happy. Anything owned by EIG, run!

EIG Hosting Companies

 

9. HostGator Support Is Awful

I haven’t used HostGator’s support for years, but I expect it’s the same (terrible).

Their TrustPilot reviews are a great place to read up on their support. With a 2.7/5 star rating, it’s pretty obvious HostGator’s support is great. 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 from them, you are the one stuck to deal with consequences.

HostGator TrustPilot Review

 

10. 3 Year Price Traps

HostGator makes you sign up for 3 years upfront to get the “best price.”

SiteGround lets you sign up for 1-3 years upfront with the intro prices, but HostGator is literally a trap. You pay for 3 years upfront, you’re not happy with their hosting, you move somewhere else, and they keep your money. So many fall into HostGator’s trap – don’t let it happen to you.

p.s. Cloudways lets you pay month-to-month with no yearly contract.

HostGator Pricing

 

11. Frequent Downtimes On HostGator

Search for HostGator down and that is all you need to know.

Not only do customer websites get taken down when there’s something as preventable as a power outage, but HostGator says they don’t control the websites hosted on their servers. So if you want to create a toxic, malicious website, HostGator will still have you as their customer.

 

12. Affiliates Create Dishonest HostGator Reviews

I’m calling out all HostGator affiliates who promote them even though they know how bad they are. One of the reasons they do this is because HostGator allows affiliates to create coupon codes which can be used in video reviews (instead of an affiliate link) which can increase sales. It’s crap, but a lot of affiliates promote HostGator because of this (looking at you Tyler Moore).

hostgator-coupon

 

13. SiteGround vs. HostGator WordPress Features

Major Differences

  • SiteGround uses Google Cloud servers, HostGator uses in-house
  • SiteGround’s SG Optimizer plugin is just as good as WP Rocket (no HostGator plugin)
  • HostGator is slow to release newer PHP versions and their basic hosting has no staging
  • HostGator limits you to 1-3 sites on shared plans, it’s unlimited on SiteGround GrowBig+
  • Renewal prices and website migrations are more expensive on SiteGround
SiteGroundHostGator
ServerGoogle Cloud
In-House
Speed TestVery SlowThe Slowest
CachingServer Caching (1-3 Levels) via SG OptimizerServer Caching
CDNFree CloudflareFree Cloudflare
PHP Version7.47.3
SSLFreeFree
BackupsFree DailyPaid
StagingOn GrowBig+No
SupportAveragePoor
DashboardSite ToolsCustom
Email HostingYesYes
# Of SitesUnlimited On GrowBig+1-3
Banned PluginsNoNo
SiteLock ScamsNoYes
Migrations$30/SiteFree on "qualified accounts" (otherwise $150/Site)
Intro Price$6.99 - $14.99/moVaries by plan + term length
Renewal PriceAbout 3x Intro PriceAbout 2x Intro Price
TrustPilot Rating4.8/51.6/5

 

14. SiteGround vs. HostGator In Facebook Groups

When it comes to SiteGround vs. HostGator, who do people recommend in Facebook Groups?

Neither of them. Possibly SiteGround because they have a larger affiliate following, but they have been declining more and more each day as they continue to run themselves to the ground.

Read this about SiteGround.

SiteGround Bad Support

And here’s a long one about HostGator.

 

15. Cloudways: A Better Alternative

Since I don’t recommend SiteGround or HostGator, I hope you see I’m trying to be honest.

Instead, I would go with Cloudways DigitalOcean.

They were #1 in my speed tests and highly recommended in the WordPress Hosting Facebook Group with 4.8/5 star TrustPilot reviews, constant innovation, better support, and monthly pricing with no yearly contract. They even have a free 3-day trial so you can clone your website and test them out. I promise, you will see a significant difference in how fast your website loads.

You can even visit cwdoserver.com which is hosted on a $10/month Cloudways DigitalOcean plan. Click through the pages to see how instantly they load or run your own tests if you want.

People who already moved to Cloudways and posted their results:

Cloudways Response TimesCloudways-Migration-Result
Cloudways Google PageSpeed
WP Engine To Cloudways
DigitalOcean Pingdom Report
Cloudways Server Response Times
UntitledWPEngine-To-Cloudways
Godaddy DigitalOcean Migration
Cloudways Pingdom Load Times
Cloudways Pingdom ReportNamecheap To Cloudways Migration

They were also #1 in most recent Facebook polls:

Hosting-Recommendation
Moving-From-WPX
SiteGround-Alternatives
Preferred-Web-Hosting
Elementor-Hosting
Web-Hosting-France
SiteGround-Alternative
VPS-Cloud-Hosting

If you decide to use Cloudways, I recommend their $10/month DigitalOcean plan.

Cloudways-Pricing

You can save 25% off your first 2 months with this promo code: OMM25

Cloudways Promo Code

Request a free migration from Cloudways and enjoy the faster load times :)

2020-GTmetrix-Report

I use Cloudways because:

  • Even posts with a 2.70MB page size can load in under 2s
  • DigitalOcean and Vultr HF are miles faster than shared hosting.
  • It’s $10-$13/month (no yearly contracts or high renewal prices).
  • Varnish, Redis, and memcached are all built-in for higher performance.
  • You get to pick from DigitalOcean, Vultr HF, Linode, AWS, Google Cloud.
  • They have 25+ data centers between all their cloud hosting providers.
  • No CPU issues like on SiteGround, Bluehost, and other shared hosting.
  • SSL, staging, and backups are all very easy in the Cloudways dashboard.
  • Support used to be average, but is now really good as reflected on TrustPilot.
  • They offer a free migration but their Migrator plugin will also do the trick.
  • Adding a server, migrating your site, and the dashboard is actually very easy.
  • Mustasaam (their community manager) gave me peace of mind when moving.
  • Only complaint is they need to add LiteSpeed servers to their list of providers.

Affiliate Disclaimer – if you sign up for Cloudways using my affiliate link, I would seriously appreciate it. I don’t recommend bad hosting like many other affiliates. I also donate quite a bit to charity ($6,000 to GoFundMe so far) and your support would really help. I try to base my reviews not only from my experience, but real evidence from the overwhelming feedback in numerous Facebook Groups. It would mean a lot.

Just do your research and look at this Facebook thread.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

✅ Is SiteGround or HostGator faster?

SiteGround is slightly faster than HostGator, but neither are very fast. Both have strict CPU limits that limit the server resources dedicated to your site.

✅ Is SiteGround good for WordPress?

SiteGround isn't the best option for WordPress hosting. They have gone downhill in recent years with slower TTFBs, reduced support, and continuous CPU limits.

✅ Is HostGator good for WordPress?

HostGator is cheap, but they're not a good option to host your WordPress site. You will likely experience a slow website, poor support, and bandwidth throttling.

✅ Is SiteGround's support still good?

SiteGround's support is average, but it isn't as good as it used to be. They disabled the live chat function and push upgrades more than they previously used to.

✅ Is HostGator secure?

No, HostGator has stored passwords in plain text even in 2018. They do not take security nearly as seriously as other hosting companies.

See Also: Why I Use Cloudways

I hope you found this SiteGround vs. HostGator comparison helpful! Yes, I’m an affiliate for Cloudways (not SiteGround or HostGator) since I try to be honest with my recommendations.

Cheers,
Tom

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
4 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments