Hostgator Vs. InMotion Hosting And SiteGround

 

HOSTGATOR
Starting from $3.96/month
Rating: 9.3.
Linux and Windows hosting.
Shared/Reseller/VPS/Dedicated.
Has data centers in different locations but customers can not choose server location.
Unlimited Disk Space.
Unlimited Bandwidth.
Free Applications (including Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, phpBB and Weebly).
4500 Free website Templates.
No free domain but does free website transfer.
Unlimited email accounts.
cPanel Control Panel.
1 Click Install.
99.9% Uptime Guarantee.
Free daily backup. Charge $20 to restore.
$100 Google Advertising Credit.
45 Day Money Back Guarantee
24x7x365 Telephone, LiveChat and Email support
-
INMOTIONHOSTING
Starting from $3.94/month
Rating: 9.2.
Linux hosting only.
Shared/Reseller/VPS/Dedicated/Managed.
Has data centers in different locations and customers can choose server location.
Unlimited Disk Space.
Unlimited Bandwidth.
Free Applications (including Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, Presta Shop, phpBB and premium website builder).
Over 500 Templates.
Free Domain or Transfer with purchase.
Unlimited email accounts.
cPanel Control Panel.
1 Click Install.
99.9% Uptime Guarantee.
Free daily backup and restore.
$275-$300 Free Advertising Credit.
30-90 Day Money Back Guarantee.
24x7x365 Telephone, Livechat and Email support.
No coupons. But automatically applies over 50% discount.
-
SITEGROUND
Starting from $3.95/month
Rating: 9.2.
Linux hosting only.
Shared/Reseller/Cloud/Dedicated.
Has data centers in different locations and customers can choose server location.
10GB Web Space for starter plan.
Unlimited Bandwidth.
Free Applications (including Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, phpBB and Website Setup wizard).
Free Templates.
Free Domain or Transfer with purchase.
Unlimited email accounts.
cPanel Control Panel.
1 Click Install.
99.9% Uptime Guarantee.
Free Daily backup. Charges for auto-restore.
-
30 Day Money Back Guarantee.
24x7 Telephone, Livechat and Ticket support.
No coupons. But up to 60% discount automatically applied.
Free site setup.

I wrote this post on comparison web hosting because even when you’ve read a review of a reliable web hosting company, you never think your research is done until you are able to compare that web hosting service with other hosts to see how it measures up. So here’s web hosting compared. I compared my top 3 web hosting services.

Honestly any of these hosts will do a great job hosting your website. However when there are lots of people offering a service and there’s a standard for comparison then it’s good to have one to see just how great the individual hosting companies are.

If you haven’t read my posts your site web hosting how to choose a good web host and web hosting buyers guide I encourage you to do so. You will learn a lot about choosing and buying a reliable web hosting service.

One of the things I mentioned in one of those articles I just referred to is the actual responsibility of a web hosting service. We get carried away by the security application(s) and or speed application(s) a hosting service support or offer. Forgetting that, that’s not their primary job.

Yes it is the job of a web hosting service to ensure speedy servers for a better website user experience and search ranking. However not if the only way the site does that uniquely from other hosting services is by providing a cacher plugin for example, that is available to self hosted WordPress bloggers via a free WordPress plugin.

The primary responsibility of a web host, that is what you’re really paying for is to store your files on their server and for them to deliver those files to whomever requests it as fast as possible every time they ask for it. Their secondary responsibility is to provide support for if and when you need it relating to managing your hosting service. However there are more things a hosting service needs to have to make things easier for the webmaster. There’s a standard requirement for web hosts.

Standard web hosting requirements:

Linux Server.

Measures in place that ensures fast page load.

At least 99% server Uptime guarantee.

Pre-installed and or support popular website building applications.

Disk space, number of websites and databases.

Easy to use hosting Backend.

Unlimited email accounts.

Backup services.

Free domain name transfer.

Excellent customer support.

When making a web hosting comparison of which host to buy, compare them based who offers the standard requirements without you having to spend unnecessarily.

Now let’s do a comparison web hosting services. Let’s compare who is the best, overall, among these top 3 hosts. If you’ve read my top web site hosting article, you would know I use Hostgator to host all my sites. And I consider them the best web hosting service. I have done a detailed research on InMotion Hosting and SiteGround including reading lots of customers reviews and I am very impressed with both hence I put them side by side with my hosting company. However in the comparison of Hostgator vs. Inmotion Hosting and SiteGround I will enlighten you further why overall, Hostgator is still the best. I will make these comparison focusing on the standard hosting requirements and which host offers all that is required at the best price.

Comparison Web Hosting

A Little about Hostgator, InMotion Hosting And SiteGround

HostGator was started in a dorm room at Florida Atlantic University in 2002 by Brent Oxley. Hostgator has been one of the fastest host since then. They built their reputation on cheap pricing, fast servers and overall great service. And won several recognition for this over the years. HostGator are the most reputable web hosting company online providing Shared, Reseller, VPS, and Dedicated web hosting. It’s web hosting network is based on Linux and Windows operating systems. They now have over 500 employees and they are the host for over 9,000,000 domain. Hostgator is so popular and used and recommended by so many webmasters  that the name became synonymous with web hosting; still is. Hostgator has its headquarters in Houston Texas US with several international offices. Hostgator is a public company. On June 21, 2012, Brent Oxley announced that HostGator was being acquired by Endurance International Group. Today Hostgator is owned by the corporation.

InMotion Hosting with headquarters in Virginia Beach and California was started in 2001 in US by a small group of experienced people in hosting. Since starting out, InMotion Hosting has gradually positioned itself as one of the leading web hosting providers in Shared, Reseller, VPS, Dedicated and Managed hosting. InMotion Hosting won several awards for their hosting services within a short time.  Its web hosting network is based on Linux and Unix operating systems. InMotion Hosting  is employee-owned.

SiteGround was founded in 2004 by a few university friends. Since then SiteGround has gradually but steadily grown into one of the leading web hosting providers in Shared, Reseller, Cloud and Dedicated hosting. They now have over 190 employees. And hosting more than 320,000 domains; and the number increases every hour. Its web hosting network is based on Linux operating system. SiteGround is still independently owned.

Hostgator, Immotion Hosting And SiteGround Page Load Speed Comparison

Web page load speed is very important for two reasons. First to avoid visitors getting frustrated whenever they want to load your site. Second to please Google as website speed is now one of the signals they use for search ranking.

There are a few things you’ll need to do to get your site to minimum page load time. However choosing an adequate hosting service is the start to achieving maximum website speed.

With Hostgator your site is served from industry-standard technology. Hostgator currently uses more that one data center to house its servers.  Their current Data Center partners are:
Ace Data Centers
Provo, Utah
CyrusOne
Houston, Texas

Unfortunately at this time Hostgator doesn’t let customers choose which data center houses their server.

Hostgator is one of the certified CloudFlare partners so optionally customers can activate the plugin. CloudFlare is a free system that acts as a proxy between your visitors and Hostgator’s server. By acting as a proxy, CloudFlare caches static content for your site, which lowers the number of requests to their servers, but still allows visitors to access your site. Thereby allowing Hostgator’s server to  load your site quickly.

If you activate the plugin your content would be routed through an additional 23 data centers worldwide (North America, Europe, Asia, Australia).

InMotion Hosting and SiteGround really offer more than Hostgator does to ensure optimal speed.

InMotion Hosting has three data centers and allow customers the choice of which data center they want to utilize depending on where most of their website visitors or clients are located; allowing customers to maximize their server speed. And for customers that live within the Max Speed Zone their email and website run up to 6x faster.

Also recently InMotion Hosting started using solid state drives (SSD) for their Business Hosting. The benefit of that is that it loads 20x faster than normal hard disk and is able to push through about 65% more data from the server.

SiteGround have data center in three continents, North America (Chicago), Europe (Amsterdam) and Asia (Singapore).

They use worldwide data centers to deliver static files such as images, or other content while using data center closest to their customers’ readers. This really makes a great difference in your site’s speed, sometimes as much as 50-60% increase in speed.

Like Hostgator, SiteGround uses CloudFlare CDN for faster and safer website.

Also SiteGround have their own SuperCacher plugin that includes three levels of caching, Varnish, Memcached and GoogleSpeed. The number of levels you’re allowed varies with hosting packages.

One caveat though about the plugin. I read somewhere that the Google Speed module when installed can mess with other functionality of your site IF used aggressively. And that is why almost all hosting services offering shared hosting don’t use or allow the use of it. I’m not sure how true this is. But if it’s true I guess SiteGround applies some restrictions so it’s not used aggressively. Having a Cacher plugin doesn’t impress me much though. Not when there are several effective free WordPress cacher plugins.

Hostgator, InMotion Hosting and SiteGround – Uptime Comparison

For site uptime, they all meet the industry standard Uptime requirement.

Hostgator guarantees a 99.9% Uptime.

However Hostgator has had a few server outage. They became more frequent after they got acquired by EIG. Since Hostgator was acquired they have had at least 4 major server outages. The last one was in October 29th 2014. And it took the longest time to completely resolve. Hostgator said that an OS upgrade was the cause of the issue. Since this year (2015) however, Hostgator hasn’t had any major server outage. I use the Jetpack plugin site downtime monitor feature to monitor my site’s downtime. Since activating it on one of my sites on Hostgator in January 2015, my site has only been down twice. And the longer time was 8 minutes.

Although InMotion Hosting doesn’t state it boldly on their site, but they too guarantee a 99.9% Uptime.

As for server outage, InMotion has also had a server outage that lasted more than a day. Also according to currentlydown.com InMotion Hosting has had a few more downtime likely in 2014. Here’s the downtime it reported.

October 22 31min
October 13 20min
September 22 20min
August 12 58min
July 31 28min
July 12 19min

SiteGround guarantees 99.9% monthly and yearly Uptime.

Honestly it seems SiteGround got the Uptime thing down. I researched and researched and I couldn’t find any site reporting a major server downtime for SiteGround.

Although the fact that a hosting service hasn’t had any general major downtime doesn’t mean individual customers haven’t had a major downtime.

For example here are two out of the negative reviews out there by SiteGround customers about their server outage.

SITEGROUND SHUTS OFF SERVERS WITH NO ADVANCE NOTICE!!

they claimed we had exceeded our CPU quota for the month of February.

Jim Ryan  March 2nd 2015

I have a dedicated server. For the last month I have been having web outages on a regular basis. Their senior support do not work weekends or after business hours.

John Smith Jan 29th, 2015
For each of the review above, a SiteGround representative looked into it and made a comment to address both issues. Which I thought spoke volume as regards their customer service.

Hostgator, InMotion Hosting and  SiteGround – Website building tools comparison

For a traditional website:

Hostgator partnered with Weebly to provide a drag and drop website application.

InMotion Hosting has their own drag and drop website application they called Premium Web Builder.

SiteGround has Website Wizard.

For a CMS website:

Hostgator has pre-installed:

  • WordPress
  • Joomla
  • Drupal
  • B2evolution
  • And many more.

InMotion Hosting has pre-installed:

  • WordPress
  • B2evolution
  • Joomla
  • Drupal
  • And a lot more.

SiteGround has pre-installed:

  • WordPress
  • Joomla
  • Drupal
  • And many more

For E-commerce site:

Hostgator has pre-installed:

  • Magento
  • PrestaShop
  • ZenCart
  • And a few more.

InMotion Hosting has pre-installed:

  • PrestaShop
  • OpenCart
  • ZenCart
  • Magento
  • And a few more.

SiteGround has pre-installed:

  • Magento
  • PrestaShop
  • ZenCart
  • And a few more

For a forum site:

Hostgator has pre-installed:

  • phpBB
  • bbPress
  • MyBB
  • And a few more.

InMotion Hosting has pre-installed:

  • phpBB
  • bbPress
  • MyBB
  • And a few more.

SiteGround has pre-installed:

  • phpBB
  • MyBB
  • vBulletin
  • And a few more.

Hostgator, InMotion Hosting and SiteGround  Comparison on Disk space, Number of websites allowed and Databases

Hostgator shared hosting packages offers unlimited domains (except for its cheapest package Hatchling plan that allows just one domain name), unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth and unlimited MySQL Databases.

InMotion Hosting

Launch

  • 2 Separate Web Sites
  • 2 MySQL Databases
  • Unlimited Disk Space
  • Unlimited BandWidth

Power

  • 6 Separate Web Sites
  • 50 MySQL Databases
  • Unlimited Disk Space
  • Unlimited BandWidth

Pro

  • Unlimited Web Sites
  • Unlimited MySQL Databases
  • Unlimited Disk Space
  • Unlimited BandWidth

SiteGround has three packages in its shared hosting packages.

StartUp

  • One domain name
  • 10GB Web Space
  • 10,000 visitors monthly
  • Unlimited MySQL Databases

GrowBig

  • Multiple Websites
  • 20GB Web Space
  • 25,000 Visits Monthly
  • Unlimited MySQL Databases

GoGeek

  • Multiple Websites
  • 30GB Web Space
  • 100,000 Visits Monthly
  • Unlimited MySQL Databases

What does this all mean?

The number of websites/domains refers to the number of domains that can be routed on the server. Database stores the information of your website. One domain or website could use two or more databases since there can be more than one website on one domain.

What that last statement means is that you can have mywebsite.com for example which is your domain name. However that domain name can house more than one website. Examples are:

myname.mywebsite.com

mybusiness.mywebsite.com and so on.

So one website to one database. So if you’re told you’re limited to 2 databases and two websites, it means all you can actually get is two websites even though you have unlimited disk space.

This is where Hostgator outshines most webhosts. They offer unlimited everything almost across their shared hosting plans. Whereas for Inmotion Hosting you don’t get these features except on their Pro plan. And SiteGround you don’t get unlimited everything even with their highest priced shared hosting package.

 Hostgator, InMotion Hosting and SiteGround Backend Comparison

Hostgator hosting comes with two website logins. One for billing/account management and the other for Cpanel hosting account. Hostgator uses QuickInstall, a simple to understand and use one click software install.

InMotion Hosting has an account management panel which serves as your hosting account frontend, your billing area and the place you go to get to the Cpanel. It can be a bit confusing especially if you’re not a beginner. The account management panel is not very informative. And it has many upsells.

 

Inmotionhosting-AccountManagementPanel

InMotion Hosting uses Softaculous as its one click install. However Hostgator’s QuickInstall is easier setting up than InMotion’s Softaculous. Softaculous is not very user friendly. It can be confusing for complete beginners. And that defeats the whole point of having a Quick installer.

inmotion-hosting-softaculous
InMotion Hosting Softaculous
hostgator-quickinstall
Hostgator’s QuickInstall

All SiteGround hosting plans backend uses Cpanel. And they consolidated all necessary information under one web page. It allows you easy access to different parts of your account.

SiteGround cPanel

Like InMotion Hosting, SiteGround uses Softaculous as its one click install.

Hostgator, InMotion Hosting and SiteGround Customer support comparison

Both Hostgator, InMotion Hosting and SiteGround have excellent customer support. Although InMotion Hosting and SiteGround makes customer support a priority. Most of their customers positive reviews tend to be mostly about their customer service. Whereas Hostgator treat customer support as part of business.

That doesn’t mean Hostgator technical support is any less effective. Just a few days ago, I had an issue with this website and had to contact support for help and they confirmed to me once again that their support is reliable and effective. The Mojo Marketplace WordPress plugin was giving an error and preventing me from logging into this blog. I contacted support via their LiveChat and my estimated wait time was one minute. But in less than one minute someone has responded to me and within a few minutes has entered my backend and helped me deactivate the plugin that was causing the problem. I’ve always contacted their support via LiveChat and they’ve always come through for me.

Prioritizing customer service appears to give InMotion Hosting and SiteGround an edge over Hostgator as it has won them customer loyalty.

All the hosting companies have extensive knowledge bases, articles and how-to tutorials for self help.

Hostgator, InMotion Hosting and SiteGround Price comparison

Among Hostgator, InMotion Hosting and SiteGround Hostgator has the cheapest hosting.

Depending on the shared hosting package you’re buying and the billing plan you choose you can pay as low as $3.95 a month for Hatchling plan, $5.95 for Baby plan and Business plan. Hostgator automatically applies a 40-60% discount to their shared hosting package,depending on the billing plan you choose.

Hostgator hosting plans

Hostgator discount as you can see above starts from a 12 months billing plan. However if you can’t afford a 12 months billing plan right away then take advantage of their 25% discount coupon code below:

ValueXHostgator25PercentOFF
Kay81Hostgator25PercentCoupon

InMotion Hosting doesn’t do coupons. However they automatically apply over a 40% discount to their shared hosting prices. And you can only pay for up to 2 years in advance. And  no monthly billing except for their Pro package.

inmotionhosting-shared-pricinginmotion-shared-pricing

Although Hostgator pricing is only slightly cheaper than InMotion Hosting, that’s not the case for SiteGround. SiteGround is still affordable but not cheap.

siteground-shared-pricing

Their regular price for their cheapest shared hosting package is $9.95. That’s the same amount Hostgator charges for Baby Plan. So SiteGround charges more for less features. SiteGround doesn’t have discount coupons but they automatically apply up to 60% discount on their shared hosting packages. And you can pay in advance up to 36 months hosting. So if you choose to use SiteGround hosting service, then to cut cost on hosting, you should pay for 36 months upfront. Since all hosting discounts only applies to the first invoice. Although you may want to think twice on that. Since 36 months is a long commitment. What if for some reason you’re not satisfied with their service and you want to move to another host? Will you get your money back? You need to read their terms first.

Although SiteGround allows you to pay for one month when starting out as a trial, after that first month, you’ll have to at least pay for a one year hosting upfront. Also the one month trial comes with a compulsory extra setup fee of $14.95-24.95 depending on the package you’re ordering.

siteground-startup-pricing

Summary on Comparison Web Hosting of Hostgator, InMotion Hosting and SiteGround

As I have said before you can’t go wrong with any of these hosting companies. However it’s only fair to ask for the one that gives you the standard features without trying to limit you, at a cheaper rate and that has a price and payment option for all budgets. That’s why those who use Hostgator use them. Moreover Hostgator doesn’t have so much extra services that needs extra payments.

The primary disadvantage of InMotion Hosting and SiteGround is that they limit the number of websites you can create. And even when you pay more you still don’t get unlimited websites with SiteGround. Even if right now you think all you just want is set up one or two sites, that could change in future. You don’t want to have to worry about paying more if that changes in future.

I recommend InMotion Hosting or SiteGround if you really think you won’t be setting up more than three sites. And you don’t mind spending extra for a reliable web hosting service and premium services. If not, then Hostgator is likely the best for you. Since the few major server outages Hostgator had, some people have become skeptical of Hostgator’s hosting services and even the hosting services of all EIG brands. However, outside those incidents Hostgator is a solid and consistent web host.

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