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 WordPress support), 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 do little to no innovation. 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.
NameHero and Cloudways (aff links) are much faster/better than SiteGround or HostGator if you check Facebook Groups. NameHero uses LiteSpeed servers and Cloudways uses Vultr High Frequency. They start at $3-13/mo and are cloud hosting. NameHero’s Turbo Cloud plan is $8/month and includes 3 CPU, 3GB RAM, and NVMe. It would be easy for me to steer you to SiteGround/HostGator, but I try to stay honest.
|Speed Features||Many||Very Little|
|CPU Limits||Takes Down Website||Throttles Bandwidth|
|Support||Average (But Declining)||Awful|
|Dashboard||Site Tools (Custom)||Portal (Custom)|
|Uptime||Googlebot DNS Issue||Poor|
|Pricing||Cheap + High Renewals||Cheap + High Renewals|
|Facebook Group Feedback||Recently Poor||Awful|
|Winner||No (See Alternatives)||No (See Alternatives)|
1. SiteGround vs. HostGator Speed Tests
SiteGround and HostGator are two of the slowest hosts out there. HostGator is obvious, but most people don’t know about Backlinko’s TTFB test where SiteGround was the slowest host.
I did my own test by signing up for SiteGround GrowBig and HostGator’s Standard plan. I installed the same Astra Starter Site with the same 6 plugins (no cache plugin or CDN were used). Then I used multiple speed testing tools to measure each website’s TTFB + load times.
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 shared servers. When it comes to speed, SiteGround was slightly faster than HostGator in multiple tests, but not by much at all.
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 was for a period of 1 week at 30 minute check intervals, which means 336 individual tests were done on each site.
Conclusion: both SiteGround and HostGator are slow, but HostGator was the slowest.
2. Speed Features: Which One Has More Optimizations?
SiteGround uses Google Cloud servers but there are many complaints about SiteGround’s TTFB getting slower after migrating to Google Cloud. They also have the SiteGround Optimizer plugin which is “decent” and uses fast server-leveling caching. SiteGround has made big updates to this plugin and is also does a decent job of addressing core web vitals. Plus, they use PHP 8.
HostGator uses slow in-house servers, has no cache plugin (so you would need to using something like WP Rocket), and they’re also slow to release to newer PHP versions. Which means SiteGround has more speed features than HostGator and should theoretically be faster.
|Caching||Server Caching in SG Optimizer||Server Caching in Dashboard|
|CDN||Free Cloudflare||Free Cloudflare|
|Cron Job Manager||Yes||No|
3. 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 (same with HostGator). You can find these in their terms of service, user agreement, and SiteGround’s features page under the “server” section. While both SiteGround and HostGator have CPU limits, SiteGround will take down your website if you exceed them. HostGator will throttle bandwidth (making your site slower) and with 503 errors, but they won’t take down your site.
SiteGround customers constantly exceed CPU limits. SiteGround usually blames it on plugins, bots, or the WordPress Heartbeat API. But this is not usually true (I wrote a popular tutorial on reducing CPU and still went from $14.99/month on GoGeek to $120/month for cloud hosting to eliminate the issue). It’s bogus – SiteGround’s CPU overages are a ploy to make you upgrade.
SiteGround CPU Limits:
|Simultaneous Server Processes||10||20||30|
|Simultaneous Connections From Single IP||10||15||20|
|CPU Seconds||1000/hour, 10000/day, 300000/month||2000/hour, 20000/day, 600000/month||4000/hour, 40000/day, 800000/month|
|Average Execution Time Per Day||2 seconds||2 seconds||4 seconds|
|Shared Service CPU Usage||No more than 20% for a period more than 10 seconds||No more than 20% for a period more than 10 seconds||No more than 20% for a period more than 10 seconds|
|Server Memory Per Process||768 MB||768 MB||768 MB|
|Minimum Cron Job Interval||30 minutes||30 minutes||30 minutes|
HostGator CPU Limits:
|Resource Limits||Shared Hosting Plans|
|Inodes||250,000 (at 100,000 it will be removed from backup system)|
|Database Queries||No longer than 15 seconds|
|Single Database Table Size||5GB|
No matter how much you optimize for lower CPU, you will likely have problems on SiteGround:
4. EIG Owned – HostGator Is Controlled By Shareholders
Heard of Endurance International Group?
They own 80+ different hosting companies with HostGator and Bluehost being their top 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 the money, not making customers happy. If it’s owned by EIG, run far!
5. Support – SiteGround Is Better, But Not Great Anymore
SiteGround used to have outstanding support, but it’s very bad now. Here’s why:
- They made it difficult to contact them
- They limited support to hosting issues, not WordPress
- They moved priority support from GrowBig to GoGeek
- They pressure you to upgrade and recommend expensive plans
- 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.
I haven’t used HostGator’s support for years, but it has always been 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 isn’t great. It can take more than a week for them to respond to tickets. So if your website is down, don’t expect prompt answers. It’s just very slow.
6. Sitelock Scams – How HostGator Tries To Take Your Money
HostGator partnered with Sitelock who (once signed up for HostGator) sends emails warning you of malware. Even if you don’t have malware, you can receive these emails recommending to purchase Sitelock through HostGator for hundreds of dollars. Many people have already fallen for this scam which is another unethical thing HostGator does to try and get money out of you.
7. Dashboard: SiteGround Site Tools vs. HostGator Dashboard
Both SiteGround and HostGator have their own custom dashboard.
SiteGround’s Site Tools was built in a rush after cPanel raised their prices (so SiteGround ditched them). After a quick release, they used their customers as beta testers while they fixed bugs. Still, Site Tools has many problems and many customers aren’t happy with the switch.
HostGator’s dashboard is so minimal that it’s hard to do anything at all. All you have is caching, email, FTP, SSL, and promotional options in your dashboard to entice you to pay for upgrades.
8. SiteGround vs. HostGator Features
View SiteGround’s features page and HostGator’s features page.
The main differences are staging, number of sites, and migrations. HostGator doesn’t offer staging on shared hosting plans while SiteGround offers it on GrowBig+. Number of sites are limited on HostGator but is unlimited on SiteGround’s GrowBig+. Finally, SiteGround offers cheaper migrations (and a Migrator plugin) while HostGator is more expensive with no plugin.
Conclusion: SiteGround’s Site Tools has more options than HostGator’s dashboard.
|Backups||Free Daily||Free (Limited)|
|# Of Sites||Unlimited On GrowBig+||1-3|
|Migrations||$30/Site||Free on “qualified accounts” (otherwise $150/Site)|
9. Uptime – Higher Uptimes On SiteGround
Search for HostGator down or look at their Downdetector profile.
There are more reported uptimes issues on HostGator than on SiteGround. Doing an “uptime test” is not really fair since you’re only testing one of their servers, so simply look at complaints on Twitter and Downdetector (however, SiteGround does not have a profile on Downdetector).
SiteGround had their own issue when Googlebot blocked SiteGround’s DNS for 4 days resulting in huge ranking drops, websites disappearing from Google completely, and a lot of money being lost. Instead of telling customers to move to an external DNS, SiteGround claimed there was no blocking on their end, but then just days later, they came out with a fix (customers were pissed).
Status Update: We are glad to inform you that we have implemented a fix for the Google bot crawling issue experienced by some sites. Websites are already being crawled successfully. Please allow a few hours for the DNS changes to take effect. Thank you for your patience!
— SiteGround (@SiteGround) November 12, 2021
You should be advising people to move to an external DNS to resolve the issues if it is causing them massive losses in business. I have just sorted our connectivity issue in around 25 minutes by moving to googles DNS. If you had let us know 4 days ago, we wouldnt be £20k+ down!
— Jon Bunce (@thejonbunce) November 11, 2021
If you move to your Google Search Console > SETTINGS > CRAWL STATS you will, if unlucky like me, see something like this :-( pic.twitter.com/ocBEkWKsaw
— Tristan Haskins (@trishaskins) November 12, 2021
10. Security – Which Host Is More Secure?
SiteGround is much more secure than HostGator.
SiteGround provides a long list of security measures and makes constant security patches to their servers. HostGator is very broad about their security and doesn’t even list any technical specs, which probably means they don’t use a lot of things they should. In fact, they heavily rely on you to use Sitelock (a paid service costing hundreds of dollars per year) if you want to protect your site. HostGator provides minimal security in hopes of you purchasing Sitelock.
11. Data Centers – SiteGround Has 4 More Data Centers
While SiteGround has 6 data centers, HostGator only has 2. SiteGround also lets you choose your data center when choosing a hosting plan while HostGator automatically assigns you one, which may not be a good location considering your visitors. There’s more control at SiteGround.
|SiteGround Data Centers||HostGator Data Centers|
|Council Bluff, Iowa (US)||Provo, Utah (US)|
|London (UK)||Houston, Texas (US)|
12. Pricing – Both Are Initially Cheap With High Renewals
HostGator is cheaper than SiteGround.
Both HostGator and SiteGround have cheaper initial prices which you get for 1-3 years, then they charge about 2.5x times that price (the higher renewal price) after your contract expires.
HostGator makes you pay 3 years upfront to get the cheaper price while SiteGround only makes you pay 1 year. However, SiteGround has a history of price increases (in 2018 and 2020).
These were 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.
|SiteGround Plan||Intro Price||Renewal Price|
|HostGator Plan||Intro Price||Renewal Price|
|Starter Plan||$5.95 – 7.95/month||$9.95/month|
|Standard Plan||$7.95 – 9.95/month||$15.95/month|
|Business Plan||$9.95 – $11.95/month||$22.95/month|
13. TrustPilot Rating – SiteGround Has Better Reviews
SiteGround has better TrustPilot ratings than HostGator.
However, SiteGround’s support funnels happy customers to leave good TrustPilot reviews while HostGator does not. So while SiteGround has a better rating, it’s still somewhat biased.
14. Facebook Group Feedback – What People Are Saying
When it comes to SiteGround vs. HostGator, what do people say 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.
And here’s a long one about HostGator.
15. Winner – Neither SiteGround And HostGator Are Good Anymore
The winner of SiteGround vs. HostGator is definitely SiteGround, however they’re still not a great choice.
SiteGround has faster speeds, better support, more features, and an SG Optimizer plugin that is comparable to WP Rocket. But their servers aren’t fast, Site Tools is oversimplified, CPU limits are brutal, and it’s just not worth the price (especially when it comes to higher renewal prices).
Instead, I would go with Cloudways.
They were #1 in my speed tests and highly recommended in the WordPress Hosting Facebook Group with 4.7/5 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.
They also do free migrations. You can view my GTmetrix report and see yourself.
Or check migration results of people who switched hosts:
They were also #1 in most recent Facebook polls:
You can save 25% off your first 2 months. with this promo code: OMM25
Request a free migration from Cloudways and enjoy the faster load times.
Why I use Cloudways:
- 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).
- Server caching (Varnish, Redis, memcached) = faster 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.
- Muhammed (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.
Do your research and look at this Facebook thread.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is SiteGround or HostGator faster?
SiteGround is faster than HostGator since they use Google Cloud servers and the SG Optimizer plugin. SiteGround also had a faster TTFB in speed tests, however neither host performed well.
Is SiteGround good for WordPress?
SiteGround isn't the best option for WordPress. They have gone downhill in recent years with slower TTFBs, reduced support, increased prices, and strict 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 live chat and push upgrades more than previously.
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.
Although I respect what you’ve done here, and I do understand what you are getting at. The cost vs performance just does not make sense. If you know even just a little bit about servers, you know that what you get at Hostgator with cloud hosting for $10 a month will cost you $80-100 a month at cloudways. Taking it one step further, when you enable a FREE cdn with cloudflare and setup your caching properly, and then do a real world speed test my little $10 server blows Cloudways’ $80-100 offering out of the water. It’s all about knowing and understanding your web application, what it needs, and how it is set up.
Cloudways, in 2023, is trash. I’m sorry, but it is. Overpriced, underperforming, and just not worth it.
I have to agree Cloudways has been going downhill especially after being acquired by DO. I’ll be changing my Cloudways recommendation shortly. Appreciate your honesty.
Thank you for your honest review! I kept finding tons of endorsements for how wonderful HostGator is, with coupons of course. But I got suspicious and then found your site! I am with godaddy but it was a real mistake. They screwed me over more ways than one. I am looking to switch and thanks to you siteground seems to be the way to go!
Let me know how you like it Elena! I think you will :)
Hi , i used to be on blogger and now i am looking for a good hosting provider.
I don`t understand any thing about my website only that it gets about 70K visitors/monthly.
and the content full of text and a picture for every post.
do i need to know any other thing before i choose gogeek plan?
thanks for that great article, but sometimes you get stuck with (blogspot) people who rarely know anything about these features.
Just make sure you avoid heavy plugins when possible and use WP Disable and a cache plugin like SG Optimizer or WP Rocket. This will help you minimize your server resources and also make your site faster. If you do this I think you should be good.
Let me know how it goes!