Noor is a well-known webhosting blogger and industry analyst. Since 2006, he has tested a wide variety of web hosting services and posted the results on his popular blog, InlineHostBlogger.com. For each review, he extensively tests each web hosting company personally, or with his hand-picked team of technicians.
Are you having trouble choosing between SiteGround and Bluehost because you haven’t found any unbiased reviews that you can actually understand?
Choosing the right hosting service is a nerve-wracking experience because hosting can make or break your website. You have to spend hours upon hours doing research, trying to understand what sounds like gibberish and then comparing all these companies.
I’ve done all the legwork for you and you’ll find a comprehensive SiteGround vs Bluehost hosting comparison below, along with many other hosting reviews and comparisons, including HostGator vs Bluehost and HostGator vs SiteGround.
Bluehost was founded in 2003, whereas SiteGround made its entry into hosting in 2004.
If you are too busy to read this entire review, here's an infographic that covers the main points.
Here’s a graph which describes the popularity of SiteGround and Bluehost over the years.
As you can see from the graph, Bluehost was growing rapidly until 2013, when they were finally acquired by EIG. After the acquisition, like any other EIG company, Bluehost started receiving so many bad reviews, finally resulting in a low popularity and less growth. They grew only 10% in the last 3 years, compared to 100% growth from SiteGround.
SiteGround was hosting only 500,000 websites by 2015, now they host over 1.8 million websites, that’s a 3* increase in the last 3 years.
Web hosting companies associated with EIG has a very bad reputation for support and reliability as you can see from the below image.
Bluehost vs SiteGround – Performance, Reliability, Speed test and Security
SiteGround web hosting developed some highly innovative approaches and ideas such as their own SuperCacher, latest PHP releases and SSD Drives(Bluehost recently started using SSD drives).
SSD drives are more expensive but have proven to be faster and more reliable than HDD drives. SiteGround and Bluehost uses Apache + NGINX web server technology, running NGINX for static files and Apache for dynamic ones. This is a popular formula used by top web hosting companies. They use NGINX reverse proxy caching solution in front of Apache to give your visitors a fast website.
SiteGround has already released PHP 7.3 RC. The latest PHP version is 2 x faster and requires less server resource to deliver your website to the same number of visitors. Conversely, Bluehost has not yet provided their customers with access to PHP 7.2 and are still running PHP 7.0. And support for #PHP 5.6 and PHP 7 will end after December.
Over the last 2 years, most sites are moving rapidly towards HTTPS due to free certificate By Lets Encrypt and Google openly promoting HTTPS site.
However, one main issue with people moving towards HTTPS site has been the slight increase in load time as a result. This was addressed by SiteGround using the latest TCP 1.3 and OCSP stapling method.
Bluehost is much slower across the board in terms of updates and new features, which sets them pretty far behind SiteGround on the cutting-edge technology front.
The new bot prevention system has delivered amazing results as it blocks as many as 2 million attacks across their servers. Not only does the AI system protect customer websites, but it also frees up server resources that can now be used by customers.
The AI system monitors all SiteGround’s servers simultaneously and analyzes the data. Based on the results, it takes automatic action to stop malicious bots. Some of the flags the AI watches include:
How many simultaneous connects are present to different URLs
DDoS weaknesses that are already known in different apps
A constantly updating list of blacklisted user agents
When the AI determines that an IP is malicious, it blocks it and issues a challenge via a Captcha page. If the “puzzle” is solved, meaning that it’s actually a human and not a malicious bot, the address is whitelisted. And the AI learns from these situations so that it can reduce the level of false positives that occur.
Thus, SiteGround’s new security system is much more efficient at protecting customer websites.
Bluehost relies on Cloudflare to protect its customers from DDoS attacks. They also offer other security features, such as spam protection, password-protected directories, and an option to blacklist certain IPs.
2. Bluehost Vs SiteGround Uptime Test – Which Hosting Offers Better Uptime?
Uptime is the amount of time your website is up and running to your visitors. There are many chances that your website might be not available to your visitors as a result of hardware failure, server maintenance, power shutdown, etc., by your web hosting company. That’s why this test is very important as less uptime can bring a lot of loss to your business through loss of credibility, lost sales, Google rank loss, etc,.
Both Bluehost and SiteGround promises 99.99% uptime guarantees. However, practice shows that Bluehost has significant and consistent issues with downtime, leading to an average uptime of less than 98% per month.
SiteGround, on the other hand, does not exhibit any major problems with downtime. In fact, over the past year, their average uptime exceeded 99.99%. This proves that their servers are highly reliable and some of the best in the industry.
We used Host Tracker to monitor approximately 150 Bluehost and SiteGround websites to determine a more accurate figure for their uptime.
As web hosting companies started competing with each other in providing the most in-demand feature for the best affordable price, choosing one hosting over the other has become so hard. Moreover, even after you choose the best hosting for your website, the job is not done yet, then comes the part of choosing the best plan within a hosting that suits your website requirements.
So I guess that is one of the reasons you are here. You have already decided upon SiteGround, now confused about choosing between their most three basic shared hosting plans. You are in the right place, I will be reviewing SiteGround GrowBig plan here to help you analyze if this is indeed the right plan for your website requirement.
Here’s what we analyze.
How are we going to compare?
We are going to compare SiteGround GrowBig plan with Grow Big plan from SiteGround and Similar shared hosting plan from Bluehost.
SiteGround GrowBig Performance Reviewed
SiteGround servers are equipped with some highly innovative and advanced technologies from the web hosting industry. They have a unique approach to giving the best of performance in the entire web hosting. This can be evident from their features such as SiteGround supercacher, SSD drives, latest PHP 7.2 version, TCP 1.3 and OCSP stapling methods. I have explained much further about their performance and these feature in this SiteGround Vs Bluehost comparison.
SiteGround supercacher uses 3 layers of advanced caching solution to deliver a very fast website. And this 3 level of caching is one major feature that makes GrowBig plan superior over SiteGround’s lower level plan like Startup plan.
Another important feature at Siteground its release of the latest PHP7.2 version for their server. PHP 7.2 is 1.5x faster than PHP7.0. Most well known hosting companies like Bluehost and HostGator still uses PHP 7.0 as their latest version.
HTTPS has become a norm for everyone owning a website. Moreover, Lets encrypt started offering Free SSL, as a result, everyone started transferring their site from http to https. However, there is some major worry among people that https sites add a little bit of time to their load time. This was addressed by SiteGround’s TCP1.3 AND OCSP stapling method. Usually, browser have to validate encryption certificate from the certificate provider, this increases the load time. However, TCP 1.3 makes this process faster by storing the certificate inside SiteGround’s server.
How fast is SiteGround GrowBig plan websites?
One of my favorite feature of SiteGround’s Grow Big plan is its speed. They have built in so many excellent software and hardware to offer great speed. This was one of the main features that helped SiteGround grow as big as it is now.
We tested GrowBig speed with that from the base plan of SiteGround and similar priced plan from Bluehost.
Speed is the most important factor to consider while choosing a web hosting, so we have conducted an extensive test to review the speed of SiteGround Grow Big.
This test was conducted by sending around 500 concurrent visitors to test website hosted on all these plans. We measured their speed as we started sending visitors from 0 to 500. The level of consistency in speed as we increase visitors 0 to 500 will help us rate the hosting based on speed.
Here are the results for the test.
The speed of SiteGround GrowBig and Bluehost Basic plan at 100 visitors.
At 300 Visitors…
At 500 Visitors…
The website hosted at SiteGround Grow Big plan was 3* faster than Bluehost shared plan.
99.99% Uptime guarantee test
Uptime is the amount of time your website is up and running to your visitors. Therefore, downtime is opposite to uptime and can be defined as the amount of time your website is unavailable to anyone visiting your website.
Causes of downtime can be many, but mainly due to hosting companies.
This can be:
Due to the poor quality of hardware used in hosting servers.
Lack of power backups during outages.
Vulnerable security firewalls.
Old and outdated softwares.
Overstuffing a single server with a high number of websites.
Most hosting companies promise 99.99% uptime, but that isn’t the case nowadays. It’s nearly impossible to get that amount of uptime in a year. And from my last 5 years of testing hosting companies, I haven’t seen a single company that fulfilled this promise of 99.99% uptime. Some companies will let us know prior to having downtime and hence they don’t calculate that as downtimes, that’s how they justify their 99/99% uptime.
However, SiteGround is one of the few who takes uptime very seriously and therefore they are the best hosting companies in terms of uptime from my testing. It’s very rare to see any unscheduled downtime from their side. I am hosting this site with SiteGround from last 3 years, and every time they had some server maintenance, they would let me know in advance.
They are very close to what we say is 99.99% uptime, if not entirely.
These are some figures which compare uptime of a website hosted at SiteGround Grow Big plan and a similar priced plan from Bluehost.
Support speed and knowledge test
Support is an important aspect of web hosting. Consider a situation when your website is suddenly down or you need to spike up your resources instantly to meet your sudden traffic, or for any other issue associated with your hosting, you will need a reliable, knowledgeable and speedy support.
SiteGround support is highly rated across the web hosting industry. They give a lot of emphasis on customer satisfaction, and support is one of the medium to achieve that.
Here are some of the reviews on SiteGround support from real users.
SiteGround offers 2 types of support. Normal support for their base shared hosting plan like Startup plan, and priority support for their higher plans. SiteGround Grow big is equipped with priority support feature. Priority support is very fast and gives you access to very experienced technicians to solve your problems.
We tested the speed of normal and priority support and here are the results.
SiteGround Grow Big priority support
SiteGround normal support offered by Startup plan.
The priority support first reply was within 5 minutes, and the subsequent reply was 2* faster than replies made by the normal support offered by Startup plan.
All in all, SiteGround priority support offered by Grow Big plan is very fast than the normal support.
Can I use WordPress with SiteGround GrowBig Plan?
With the emergence of WordPress, building website has been a very easy task for someone who has no knowledge whatsoever about the website. WordPress is an application which helps you build a build a website with few clicks instantly.
And SiteGround GrowBig plan has in-built WordPress feature. It helps you create a WordPress website in few clicks from their control panel.
Moreover, their shared plans and servers are customized for providing maximum performance to WordPress users. They have SG Optimizer WordPress plugin to enable some of the performance features directly from WordPress dashboard. They have a dedicated team of WordPress support expert who will help us with problems associated with our WordPress websites.
Is GrowBig plan equipped with enough resources for your website requirement?
SiteGround is feature rich hosting with so many innovative features. Grow. Grow Big is a mid-level shared hosting plan with enough resources for a website with reasonable traffic. They state that the Grow Big plan can accommodate up to 25000 visitors per month. That’s roughly 800-900 visitors per day, which is a good figure for a small personal blog.
However, if you have more visitors than that, their Gogeek plan is most suited capable of handling up to 100000 visitors.
Grow Big plan comes with all the important stuff except staging and backup on demand features. If you are okay without these two features, consider GrowBig as it can save you around 200$/year compared to Gogeek.
Here’s an image which compare features among three shared hosting plan of SiteGround.
Which SiteGround shared hosting plan is more popular?
Which shared plan is used by most people? From my years of promoting SiteGround through this review site, I found out that SiteGround Grow Big plan is the most popular shared hosting plan.
Here’s a report on commission I received promoting Siteground in this site. As you can see, more than 80% of my referrals chose Grow Big plan for their website.
How good is the user interface?
A user interface is what that controls the backend of your website. Its a place where you can access your website files, make changes to your web design, upload and download web files, check your resource stats, logs, create a backup, restore, etc,.
You might be migrating from a different hosting and has been using a different user interface for past years. So migrating to a new hosting can be tricky for you as it will have different structures and features for its user interface.
However, SiteGround uses cPanel, which is the most popular web hosting control panel. Almost 80% of the popular hosting use cPanel as their user interface. Therefore, getting used to SiteGround cPanel will be a very easy procedure for you as there are minimal differences between theirs and other hosting’s cPanel.
SiteGround Grow Big plan is a powerful shared hosting plan that promises and delivers amazing performance for mid-sized websites and businesses.
Renewal prices are higher compared to similar level plans offered by Bluehost, HostGator or DreamHost. However, performance is top notch and the best in the industry, way higher than the above 3 mentioned hosting. Its reliable, very fast, highly secure and offers excellent support to help us with as simple as setting up our website to highly complex issues.
I have no issue recommending SiteGround Grow Big for hosting your website.
Are you in the market for a web hosting company? Confused by the myriad of options out there on the Internet? It’s understandable because your website is your connection to the online and off-line world. It connects you to your community, company, clients, and customers.
This comparison of WP Engine vs SiteGround, two popular web hosts, will help you make the best choice.
WP Engine will be a good fit if you are a WordPress user. That is because WP Engine only hosts WordPress sites. Because of this focus, they offer a unique value proposition in combination with aggressive customer support. SiteGround is a web hosting company that began operations in 2003. They have been known for their progressive approach to Internet security. When they recognize that an attack is in progress, their custom security team works quickly to create patches to ensure the security of their client sites.
One of SiteGround’s promises is that they will always bring the latest technology to their customers as quickly as is feasibly possible, and to that end, they have already released PHP 7.2 RC.
Using the latest release of PHP is vitally important because it brings a series of improvements in terms of speed, security, and efficiency.
To understand the difference, consider that PHP 7 is three times faster than PHP 5.6.
We mention this older version of PHP because, according to statistics courtesy of WordPress, a lot of people still use it. In fact, only 4% of WordPress sites run on PHP 7.2, and it’s likely they are all SiteGround customers.
WP Engine offers a mix of servers with some running on PHP 5.6 and some on PHP 7. However, despite this, they still offer excellent performance.
WP Engine has some innovative and high-quality features to improve performance such as Amazon Web Services, Global data centers in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and in the Asia-Pacific region, Proprietary EverCache®.
Moreover, SiteGround is not far behind with their WP SuperCacher, SG Optimizer and global data centers.
Conclusion: Despite SiteGround having the leg up in terms of the PHP version they are running, our tests have found that both web hosting companies offer comparable performance, so we have to say this one is a tie between SiteGround and WP Engine.
WP Engine Vs SiteGround – Uptime Report
Uptime refers to the percentage of time that a web hosting company is able to keep their servers online and serving websites properly. If a server is down, either all or some of the client websites are down as well. This is not good, because many people rely on their websites to generate sales and leads. Any amount of downtime is lost revenue.
WP Engine has a fanatical desire to try to achieve a perfect uptime record. While this would be almost impossible, they come very close at 99.9%. This is partly due to their No Overselling Policy which makes sure they have enough server space to properly service their customer base.
SiteGround has a 99.9% uptime guarantee which applies to all of their plans, even the more inexpensive ones. They have real-time detection technology which alerts them to any downtime and quickly works to find a solution. They have customized software that automatically repairs any errors that would usually cause downtimes.
Here are the statistics:
Average 6-month uptime for WP Engine (tested for 10 sites based in different parts of the world): 99.99%. That means your site would possibly be down almost 4.4 hours over six months of service.
Average last 6-month uptime for Siteground (tested for 10 sites based in different parts of the world): 99.99%. Like a WP Engine, this level of service means that your website could potentially be off-line for just over four hours over six months of service.
It is clear both WP Engine and SiteGround have strong uptime performance numbers. They both clock in at 99.9% uptime.
Below is an interactive graph that will allow you to plug-in different sets of data to see various outcomes for each company.
We wanted to verify our findings, so we conducted a second test using Pingdom. As you can see below, both hosting companies performed admirably, with WP Engine registering a highly impressive 100% uptime, while SiteGround registered an uptime of 99.98%.
In the past, website surfers were more patient with slow loading sites. Those days are in the rearview mirror, however, and fast loading sites have become a common expectation. Site speed is becoming so important that Google has incorporated how fast your site delivers web pages as a contributing factor to how well they rank your pages.
WP Engine has servers in the United States, Great Britain, and Japan. Customers can choose which server they want to keep their data on. More importantly, the international network of servers ensures that there are strong redundancies and stability.
SiteGround also has fairly fast-loading websites. This is partially due to their Supercacher which uses custom computations to cache items like images and theme elements that are used repeatedly.
Here are some specifics:
The average speed of website running with WP Engine (Optimized 10 sites): 1.3 seconds.
The average speed of website running with Siteground (Optimized 10 sites): 1.3 seconds. This number was 1 second just six months ago when we last tested it. They have slowed slightly due to an influx of new customers.
Time to first byte (TTFB) is the metric we prefer to use in determining the quality of a web hosting company’s servers. This is because it eliminates any impact other variables have on the loading speed of a website, such as the size of the site, the type of content, the structure and so on.
It also provides a more accurate comparison between hosting companies because the time it takes a server to deliver the first byte is dependent solely on the quality of the server.
SiteGround’s TTFB was 308 ms, while WP Engine features a TTFB of 466 ms.
While WP Engine’s speed is not bad, SiteGround is better by a small margin, proving they have excellent quality servers.
It should be noted that they also have 5 major data centers across the planet, which also contributes to this great speed because TTFB is also affected by the physical distance that the information has to travel.
Server response time refers to the speed it takes for a web hosting company to deliver all of the various elements of a webpage and present them in your browser. Several factors influence server response time and quality of servers is a primary one.
WP Engine has enterprise-quality servers and, unlike some competitors, they also have enterprise-quality system administrators managing their servers. That means you get high-level technology and support no matter which package you purchase.
SiteGround makes a point to keep the load on their servers below industry standards, so there is plenty of power and space to accommodate both temporary bandwidth spikes as well as long-term growth. Because they support a number of open-source software packages, they provide server optimization tutorials for a number of content management systems including Drupal, Joomla, and vBulletin.
A critical aspect for any site is how well the server it’s being hosted on can handle a large amount of concurrent traffic. When lots of people visit a website at the same time, the server has to respond to a larger number of requests. Some servers can handle it and some can’t.
We ran a Load Impact test, which means we sent up to 100 visitors to a test website at the same time. We start with one visitor and slowly grow the number up to 100, measuring response time throughout the test.
WP Engine’s load time remained steady from one visitor to 100 visitors and registered an average of 278.4 ms, which is an excellent load time. You can see the results in the graph below, where the blue line represents the number of visitors, and the green line is the server’s response time.
SiteGround had a few initial spikes and then stabilized, leading to an average of 513.39 ms. What we found surprising was that the spikes were near the beginning of the test, when we only sent a few extra visitors, as you can see in the graph below, where the blue line is the number of visitors, and the green is response time.
Clearly, WP Engine offers better load times, and this is because they are customized for WordPress and also offer an inbuild max CDN. The latter ensures that your website is loaded from the closest server possible, which is why they have a lower response time.
The drawback is that you get this higher speed at $29 per month. Conversely, a SiteGround plan costs just $3.95 per month, and if you really want to, you can purchase the max CDN separately to achieve similar load speeds to WP Engine. The additional cost is $20 per month, making it a total of $23.95 per month, which is still less than the cost of WP Engine.
SiteGround vs WP Engine: Security
SiteGround recently rolled out a proprietary anti-bot AI to protect their customers against brute-force attacks.
The new system has been able to block as many as 2 million attacks across all SiteGround servers, making it a resounding success.
It works by monitoring all the servers at the same time and analyzing the data it is gathering. It then takes action automatically to prevent malicious bots from doing harm. Some of the things the system watches for include:
Number of simultaneous connections to different URLs
Repeated failed logins
Known weaknesses to DDoS attacks in different apps
Request types are known to be connected to DDoS attacks
Blacklisted user agents – a list that is continuously updated.
What makes the AI incredible is not only that it can act on its own, but that it also learns. So, if the AI thinks an IP is malicious, it will use a Captcha page to determine whether or not it was right in its assumption. If the Captcha is resolved, meaning that a human is on the other end and the system wasn’t being attacked by a malicious bot, the AI whitelists the address and learns from the events to avoid future errors.
Thus, SiteGround now has a “smart” security system that has taken the protection of their customers to a whole new level.
WP Engine also takes good care of their customers in terms of security as their platform monitors traffic in an attempt to identify new types of attacks, as well as checking for certain request patterns from specific locations that could indicate problematic activity. Those attacks are blocked automatically.
They rely on rules, which are constantly evolving. The company claims that they block more than 200 million bad requests per day and they are constantly improving their rule set to stop attacks.
Though WP Engine’s security system isn’t nearly as impressive as SiteGround’s, it’s still a far cry better than the third-party solutions some other web hosting companies rely on.
Winner: SiteGround, their anti-bot AI take the cake without a doubt. No matter how great WP Engine’s rules are, a machine that has the capacity to learn is not only impressive but also much more efficient.
It doesn’t have to eat, sleep, or take toilet breaks, and can spot and learn new patterns faster than any human.
It’s like comparing the Terminator to John Reece – who would you rather have as a bodyguard? We’d pick the Terminator every time, which is why we pick SiteGround.
WP Engine Vs SiteGround – Hosting Plans
WP Engine has a number of hosting plans that range from $29 a month for a Personal plan to enterprise-level plans that accommodate large corporations and organizations. While the entry-level plan is higher in cost than some competitor’s beginning plans, WP Engine offers tremendous value due to their level of service, customer response time and quality of server uptime and speed.
SiteGround has Linux-based hosting offers for shared, VPS, cloud and dedicated servers. They have very basic introductory shared plans starting at only a few dollars per month, making them one of the more affordable web hosting companies at this level. Cloud hosting is available in the United States, Asia, and Europe and begins around $70 per month. Their GrowBig feature allows you to restore a website from a backup quickly and easily.
The following table outlines the relevant features, prices, and plans available from both services.
If you want your website to rank well, then it needs to have an SSL certificate. This means that instead of seeing https://inlinehostblogger.com, you’ll be seeing https://inlinehostblogger.com, indicating that your website is encrypted and secure for users to browse.
SSL certificates are essential because not only do they keep your audience safe, but Google has started to penalize non-HTTPS sites. First of all, the search engine assigns them a lower rank, but they’ve also started issuing warnings that these sites aren’t safe, essentially scaring people away from visiting them.
Now, both SiteGround and WP Engine offer free SSL certificates, which is great.
However, if you have a website with multiple subdomains, you need to set up and maintain a different certificate for each subdomain.
So, for example, if your primary domain is yoursite.com and you have subdomains like blog.inlinehostblogger.com, store.inlinehostblogger.com, and forum.inlinehostblogger.com, you’ll need a certificate for each. Managing all these certificates can be a pain, but there is a more effective option.
Wildcard SSL certificates allow you to use one certificate to encrypt a primary domain along with all its subdomains, regardless of how many you have. This makes life much easier.
SiteGround offers a Let’s Encrypt Wildcard SSL certificate with all of their hosting plans. By comparison, WP Engine charges $199 for their RapidSSL Wildcard SSL certificates.
★ Winner SiteGround, It has more affordable plans with choice of CMS other than WordPress.
Enterprise-level companies are finding that with WP Engine they are able to lower their overall spend on technology while increasing their company’s website speed and uptime. WP Engine, while focusing on customer service, has also developed solid, stable technology. For example, during a recent Country Music Association Awards television show in the United States, WP Engine delivered over 71 million page views in less than a day easily and effortlessly.
They have a good customer satisfaction level, although their overall performance lags behind SiteGround.
SiteGround has a good performance record in the open-source CMS and bulletin board worlds. They have quality server response load times as well as an easy-to-use control panel.
WP Engine has established a rapid reputation for customer service. They are able to do this based on a singular focus on the WordPress content management system. By focusing on one CMS, and not spreading their attention to Drupal, Joomla and other products, they have become experts in WordPress hosting and troubleshooting. That concentration helps them answer questions quickly and accurately. Customers can contact them via an online knowledge base, e-mail support, and a toll-free telephone service. In addition, clients can access a chat box that is available on every page of their site.
WP Engine’s customer service goes well beyond their customer support options. For example, their security systems include disk write protection, disk write limitations, script protection and “disallowed plug-in” monitoring. Backups are separate from databases and are stored as tarballs on the Amazon S3 platform. This level of care and secure handling of data shows the level of customer support the WP Engine provides their clients.
We tested the response time of Wp engine and here are the results.
SiteGround has a quality support staff that can be reached by telephone, chat or through the ticket system via e-mail. Customer support is adept at handling redirects, security questions, database installs and other common technical questions related to open source software programs.
We tested the response time of SiteGround here are the results.
Customer support of both SiteGround and Wp engine responded quickly and efficiently. Because of their singular focus on WordPress, and their unparalleled concentration on security, WP Engine ties with SiteGround for the title of best customer support.
WP Engine has enjoyed remarkable growth since they exploded on the market four years ago. Just last year, they hired their 80th employee, a sign of rapid maturity and development. They have a stellar reputation of customer service based on the speedy response, helpful personnel and attention to detail.
Other web hosts may charge less, but for entrepreneurs that want a service that is reliable and fast, and backed up by a highly trained support team, WP Engine is the way to go.
WP Engine has continued to innovate since they splashed on the scene in 2010. In only a short period of time, they expanded their employee count to accommodate over 80,000 customers hosting over 500,000 domains.
Recently, WP Engine announced a new WordPress hosting platform called Mercury. It uses a new technology called HHVM which is an open source project developed mainly by the gearheads at Facebook. In terms of speed, it is like comparing a regular family sedan to a NASCAR race car. While this technology has yet to be implemented, it shows WP Engine’s continuing commitment to pushing the boundaries of their value proposition for their clients.
SiteGround enjoys a strong reputation for quality they have developed slowly since they began in 2003. With a focus on Drupal, Joomla and similar content management systems, they are well-known as a quality host for those platforms. They have created their own custom-made programs for accounts isolation, speed optimization, and server monitoring, all of which indicates an ongoing focus on innovation. SiteGround grew rapidly in last 2 years now hosting over 1.8 million websites.
WP Engine elected to make their control panel very simple and plain. It allows clients to manage their own websites with a minimum of technical knowledge. WP Engine is unique in that they have created a staging area so that customers can plan and test their website changes before going “live.” They have taken a professional web developers technique and made it available for everyday clients.
Compared to well-known control panels, WP Engine’s custom-made Control Panel is simple and direct. You do not need to be a web technologist to do fairly involved manipulations of your WordPress database and file structure. For example, you can set up and test new plug-ins and themes without affecting your live website. This “pre-staging” is a high-level function of web developers and WP Engine has made it available to normal users.
SiteGround, on the other hand, is more suited to open-source aficionados who know the ins and outs of their particular software packages fairly well. Whether they are Drupal fans or Joomla followers, they will find SiteGround is a good home for their particular software needs.
Also, SiteGround comes with their own staging feature just like WP Engine.
This review has covered the extensive details of WP Engine vs SiteGround in the areas of server times, page load speed, site speed, customer support, control panels, and overall performance. Looking at all the data, I recommend WP Engine for WordPress users at WordPress level who can afford their high prices. SiteGround along with HostGator can be an ideal choice for other types of hosting with reasonable price.
It was actually very difficult to pick a clear-cut winner since they are both so close to each other in everything, including performance.
In the end, it all came down to price. SiteGround is a far better choice because, for $4 per month, you get the same level of performance but at a more attractive price than the $29 per month WP Engine charges. There’s also the fact that with WP Engine, you are constrained to WordPress, whereas with SiteGround you can shift to a different CMS or plan at any time.
I would recommend you to have a look at this SiteGround Vs Bluehost review if you are planning for Multiple CMS hosting.
WP engine has dedicated their entire organization to optimizing WordPress hosting. This is particularly apparent when you look at the development of the WP Engine Mercury platform. This high-speed WordPress hosting environment is the result of WP Engine’s innovative approach to web hosting services.
If you have plans on creating your own site, SiteGround is the complete choice for web hosting.
As webmasters, choosing a highly reliable web hosting company that fits into all our requirements has been the most difficult task. There are so many web hosting companies on the market that finding the right one can sometimes be overwhelming.
I have already compared Bluehost Vs HostGator and HostGator vs SiteGround in another post, but this specific post adds in DreamHost and compares it to the previous two. HostGator and Bluehost are two of the most highly-rated web hosting companies on the web and are often featured in top review posts across the Internet.
All three are great choices to go with, but each one provides something different from the other, and this review of HostGator vs Bluehost vs DreamHost will help make your selection process much easier.
In this post, I’ll compare performance (which includes uptime and speed), pricing plans and features, customer support, and control panels.
Creating a website with a poor web hosting company is like building a house on quicksand. Eventually, you are going to have structural problems. Because your web hosting company is so important, this review will compare two of the most popular: SiteGround Vs HostGator.
HostGator is a large web hosting and domain company with over 9 million domains and more than 400,000 clients using their service. Based in Houston, they have grown rapidly since their inception in 2002. They were acquired by Endurance International Group in 2012.
SiteGround was established in 2004 and now has 140 employees. They are strong supporters of open-source software and have custom hosting plans for WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, and other popular programs. Currently, they host over 250,000 clients worldwide.
EIG is an international brand for web hosting owning around 40 top hosting companies which include HostGator, Bluehost, iPage and many more. They have a reputation for acquiring large hosting companies and then ruining their quality, one such acquisition was HostGator in 2012.
Like any other acquisition, HostGator’s quality and performance started declining so much in terms of uptime, speed, and support since 2013.
However, SiteGround’s growth in the last 3 year is mindblowing. They grew from hosting just 500,000 domains in 2016 to 1.8 Million domains in 2018. That’s a 300 percent increase in just 2 years.
Here are some of the ugly facts about EIG.
SiteGround Vs HostGator – Performance
SiteGround’s emphasis on offering top-level performance has led them to use SSD servers, latest software releases, their own inbuilt caching system known as SuperCacher, HTTPS speeding, etc,.
These features help them offer the highest performance among all the hosting companies.
SiteGround uses PHP 7.3 RC( the latest available version) released on 2018 as the server-side language. Whereas, HostGator uses PHP 7.0 released in 2015 to run their server-side language.
Using the latest PHP version address many bugs and also helps in faster execution of scripts, which further helps in increasing site speed.
SiteGround and HostGator provide free SSL certificate for the encrypted connection.
However, just like any other feature, HostGator was very late in providing free SSL. As a result, many of their customers openly showed their dissapointments.
SiteGround offers innovative features to achieve high performance.
SiteGround Vs HostGator-Uptime Report
As you can guess from the name, uptime is a critical measurement of web hosting companies. It is the total amount of time the company’s servers are up, operational and effectively serving websites for their clients.
SiteGround states they have a guarantee to be up 99.9% of the time. This guarantee applies across the board, no matter which plans you have. Much of their strength is in their custom programming, like a detection system they built which “sniffs out” potential downtime problems and automatically corrects them.
Similarly, HostGator guarantees to deliver 99.9% uptime. You get this guarantee whether you purchase the smallest intro plan, use the reseller plan or utilize their most complex dedicated server technology. A separate guarantee offers additional coverage for Network clients.
Let’s look at the raw numbers:
• The average 6-month uptime for SiteGround during our study (tested for 10 sites based in different parts of the globe): 99.99%. This means your website could potentially be off-line for just over four hours over six months of service.
• The average 6-month uptime for HostGator tested for 10 sites based all over the planet: also 99.99%. Like SiteGround, your site could potentially be offline for around four hours over 6 months.
But consider this: SiteGround was online with no downtime for 100 percent of the time during long periods of our study. This is unusual for any web host and a good testimonial for SiteGround.
Further, we are tracking uptime of a test website using Pingdom and here are the results.
Here are the test website used and the results.
For SiteGround- inlinehostblogger.com
For HostGator – hg-inlinehosting.com
From the above test result, we can conclude that SiteGround has a better uptime compared to HostGator.
We have a unique interactive graph here that lets you enter different data points to see various results for each hosting service. This graph tracks real-time uptime of around 150 websites hosted under these hosting companies.
SiteGround had good quality speed results based on a unique quality of many open-source projects: They respond well to good caching systems. Knowing this, SiteGround built the SuperCacher, a custom-made cache process that keeps things moving fast. On the other hand, HostGator focused on employing more equipment and server layers to allow faster speeds and better service.
TTFB or Time to First Byte refers to how quickly the host’s server sends the first byte of data when responding to a request. This is an important metric because it allows us to test the speed and quality of the servers independent of front-end issues.
So here are the results for SiteGround and HostGator w.r.t TTFB.
Take a look at these stats:
• The average speed of a website hosted on SiteGround (Optimized 10 sites): 1.1 seconds.
• The average speed of a website hosted on HostGator (Optimized 10 sites): 1.25 seconds.
HostGator looses to SiteGround on pure speed. SiteGround has made significant investments like VPS servers that use Supermicro Server Chassis, Dual AMD Opteron CPUs, SuperCacher, and RAID 10 Disk Arrays. To get a custom look at different speed scenarios, I have conducted a speed test for 2 similar sites hosted on SiteGround and HostGator from different continents. To make it appealing, two websites used are similar in size, content, requests, and attachments.
Speed Of Sites Hosted On SiteGround
Speed Of Sites Hosted On HostGator
As expected, SiteGround loaded faster in USA and Netherlands whereas HostGator tops in Australia. This is mainly due to the availability of servers for SiteGround in Netherlands and USA region. And also, their inability to have data centre in Australia, where HostGator manages to have a data centre.
Here’s a why website hosted on SiteGround is faster than HostGator.
In essence, a web server is really a big hard drive in an off-site, secure location. The speed of each machine will make a big impact on how fast your site is. SiteGround, who put customer support and satisfaction above all, purposefully keep server loads low. That means they have room to allow for surges and seasonal increases, like during holidays and near the end of the year.
HostGator has an impressive battery of server arrays, which work instantly to balance loads and keep server response high.
These are the hard numbers:
• The average server response time for SiteGround over our 6 months study (10 Optimized sites): 650 ms.
• The average server response time for HostGator for the same time period (same 10 Optimized sites): 750 ms.
We used the Load Impact app to send up to 100 concurrent visitors and test the load time of the website. The Green Line indicates the number of visitors and blue line represent the adjacent response time as the traffic increase.
Here are some of the steps taken to ensure that all tests were fair as possible.
Each site is a WordPress site of Installation 4 with the same theme installed and the same number of images, pages size, content, and request.
All the plugins and catching system was disabled
The test was conducted several times and the best results are displayed here.
Server location of both these hosting companies was located on Ashburn, VA, and Portland, Oregon.
SiteGround clocked a response time of 0.5s throughout the test, the blue line ( which indicate response time) remained flat for up to 100 concurrent visitors. This means the number of visitors and their multiple requests didn’t have much impact on the response time of SiteGround servers.
Siteground servers were stable and performed with high quality even when there was heavy load applied on the servers.
HostGator clocked a response time of 0.4ms until the traffic reached 50. After that, response time started varying heavily and finally, server stopped responding at 75 concurrent visitors. However, handling 50 concurrent visitors at a response time of 0.4ms is a good benchmark for a shared hosting server.
Here's another test on the response time of HostGator and SiteGround
Recently, another test was conducted on a smaller test website from a different location, and the result was similar.
Response time of SiteGround – 90ms
Response time of HostGator – 120ms
This concludes the superiority of SiteGround’s server over HostGator with a 1.5x faster performance.
SiteGround. Again, SiteGround gains an edge over HostGator.
HostGator Vs SiteGround – Control Panel
Control Panel is where you manage all the backend part of your website. This is where you make major design changes, coding changes to your website. The ease and flexibility in using the control panel play a huge role in successful and speedily development of your website.
Both these hosting use Cpanel as their control panel, except some design and feature changes, most of the functionalities are the same.
Here’s how SitGround’s transfer works. They got our very heavy test website transferred in less than 24 hours.
Similarly, HostGator offers the same service free of cost. I didn’t get a chance to personally test HostGator transfer service, I will update this post once I do it in near future.
Here are some more details on the free transfer service of HostGator.
Price, Plans and Features
SiteGround has a wide variety of hosting service plans for everyone from individuals to large organizations. They are especially suited to open-source projects like the popular e-commerce platform Magento.
HostGator also has a number of plans, from low-cost starter plans to full VPS hosting and dedicated servers.
Backup lets you keep a copy of your website just in case something goes wrong with your website. This can be anything like site breaking down due to accidental coding error, bugs in application software updates, hacking attempts, malware infections, etc,.
During such an event, the backup can be used to easily restore your website to a previous working condition. You will never know the value of a backup unless you are stuck with any such situations.
SiteGround provides 30 automatic backup copy of your website for a month, it means they will have a copy of your website for each day of last 30 days. Additionally, they will let you create a backup on demand, which means you will be able to create a backup copy anytime before you make major changes to your website.
HostGator only provides 1 automatic backup per week. This backup will be created on a random day of a particular week. However, they state in their TOC that those backups are not guaranteed, and encourages us to create a backup by ourselves.
SiteGround and HostGator – Live review by current user
As seen from the twitter feed, SiteGround has a very high customer satisfaction compared to HostGator.
Steps to High Performance
SiteGround early on niched themselves in the world of open-source software with customized plans tailored around specific packages like Joomla and Drupal. Their server response time is on par with competitors, although not at the top of the industry. Rather, they have concentrated on superior customer satisfaction.
Hostgator has increased investment in their infrastructure including more enterprise-class servers, 24-hour monitoring, and stronger UPS backup capability. Their partnership with SoftLayer, a cloud computing provider, has given them increased capability and speed to service customers.
SiteGround offers telephone support in addition to chat and an email-oriented ticket system. The ticket system boasts a “first reply” within ten minutes, while live chat and telephone support are almost instantaneous.
HostGator has beefed up support to deal with their strong growth in the last few years. They have built an entire support portal on their site with quick access to live chat (Still has longer waiting time compared to SiteGround), ticket submission or billing management. There is also a customer forum with lots of quality content built up over years of service.
SiteGround Support Waiting Time – 0 Minute (Instant)
HostGator Support Waiting time – 0 Minute (Instant)
We’ve taken a good look at the features and benefits of two of the most prominent web hosting services on the Internet. No other site looks as closely as we do at customer support, uptime, site speed, and overall performance.
That said, my recommendation is to go with SiteGround. Their considerable client base allows them to continue to invest heavily in increasingly complex server technology like DDR3 ECC Ram and customized hardware specs. The end result is their servers are faster, have better uptime and make fewer errors. For that reason, I can easily recommend SiteGround as the home for your next web hosting.
Disclosure: This site is run by a group of like-minded webmasters, whose mission it is to provide the public with honest web hosting reviews to ensure they meet our expert criteria. We do receive compensation for all the products that we review, which in turn helps us finance our work and provide users with honest reviews. All the products mentioned on our site are tested and evaluated before any reviews are written.