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HostGator and SiteGround, two big names in the hosting world, both offer incredibly affordable Managed WordPress hosting options (provided that your website isn’t so large that you would need a larger web host – please see here for what to do with high traffic websites).
In this blog, I will show you the similarities & differences between each plan, and give my recommendation on which plan you should choose.
Below is a chart outlining the cheapest three WordPress hosting options for HostGator & SiteGround, and I will compare how they rate with some of the biggest factors you need to consider when choosing a web host.
|# of Websites||1 website||1 website||Multiple websites||2 websites||Multiple websites||3 websites|
|Money Back Refund||30 Days||45 Days||30 Days||45 Days||30 Days||45 Days|
|Google Adwords Credit||No||$100||No||$100||No||$100|
|Free Website Transfer||No||Up to 1 Website||Up to 1 Website||Up to 2 Websites||Up to 1 Website||Up to 3 Websites|
As you can see, they offer affordable rates, but please be aware that when they list the price per month, they actually do charge you for one year in advance. You can actually get the HostGator price even lower if you pay three years upfront, though personally I would advice against paying three years in advance because that’s kind of a large commitment. Also, please note that this the price for the first term you lock into; price will increase after this first period (which, if you were completely sold on HostGator, would be a reason to go ahead and pay three years at once, so you could have a very low price for three years). If you really, really want to pay just one month at a time, then you should go with HostGator because they will give you a monthly option (which SiteGround does not), it’s just expensive; the lowest plan on HostGator jumps up to $14.95/month, but it would help you keep that initial cost down. But one big advantage of paying a year in advance is that you wouldn’t have to worry about paying month after month and that would significantly decrease your monthly expensive.
Now, both HostGator & SiteGround offer a lot of great features that are great for your website, and save you month. They both offer free-email, which is great because that saves you money on having to buy a separate business e-mail account like GSuite or Yahoo Business Mail. They also give you a free SSL (another money saver, because SSL is something you have to have to keep your website protected). Also, with the exception of SiteGround’s lowest plan, you can get a free website migration if you are moving your website over from another host, which is great. HostGator & SiteGround also both give you a money back guarantee which is great if you are on the fence about having a website.
But there are two huge differences between HostGator and SiteGround. The first one is that SiteGround’s StartUp, GrowBig and GrowGeek plans on a shared server whereas Hostgator’s StartUp, Standard and Business Plan. I could go into more detail on what this means, but in basic terms, if your website is on a Cloud plan then your website will be much faster than a Served Plan, which can make a difference because if your site is too slow to load, people are more likely to leave your website, which obviously you don’t want. Your website is also more likely to get downtime on a Shared Plan that a Cloud Plan. Now SiteGround does have Cloud plans, but the price starts at $80/month, which is obviously way more expensive than the plans I mentioned before. So this is a huge negative to SiteGround.
The other difference is that HostGator does not have a plan option that comes with a staging site. A staging site is a really useful feature because it means when you have to make changes – and by changes, I mean changes along the line of updating a plugin or theme rather than just adding a blog post – you will be able to do it on your staging site, see if it works and then push it live. It’s a much, much simpler way of updating your website. If you don’t have a staging website, when a plugin or theme is updated, it could crash your website and then you would have to get HostGator to restore your website to a previous point and then you would have to figure out what crashed the website…basically, it is just far more complicated. So, this is a huge negative to HostGator.
Both SiteGround and HostGator have a lot going for them, but there are negatives (which, honestly is to be expected when you are looking for a cheap Managed WordPress option).
If you’re choosing based on price, then I would suggest going with the HostGator StartUp plan. While the SiteGround StartUp plan is cheaper, the HostGator StartUp is not much more expensive but it would be worth it to get the cloud hosting rather than the shared hosting (and the SiteGround StartUp plan doesn’t give you a staging site, anyway).
But if you would like to make things a lot less complicated for you, then I would go with the SiteGround GoGeek plan. That way, you could take advantage of SiteGround’s staging site and the relatively low price of the plan. Then, if you were to find the site too slow, you could always upgrade to a SiteGround cloud plan or switch to a Managed WordPress host that is more expensive but would give you more than a Shared Plan (such as Kinsta, WP Engine or Flywheel). But you would only do this once your website had grown and you were earning more money and therefore could handle the price increase. So to me, the SiteGround GoGeek plan would give you the best in terms of making it easier for you to run your website, but if you really want to go on price (or want to be able to pay monthly) then I would go with the HostGator StartUp plan.
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