As Hostinger offers some of the cheapest shared hosting plans on the market, it’s natural to be wary. How do they keep prices so low? Is it because they’ve cut corners on quality or features? You may find yourself wondering whether paying a bit extra for SiteGround would result in better service.
We tested both hosts thoroughly, and the results were pretty surprising – despite costing less, Hostinger delivered significantly better performance than SiteGround, and had a slightly wider range of features.
Check out Hostinger’s latest deals now, or read on to see how Hostinger managed to beat SiteGround, a quality provider in its own right.
1. Plans and Pricing
SiteGround Can’t Match Hostinger’s Affordability
SiteGround’s pricing was never its strong suit, and this becomes most obvious when you compare it to Hostinger.
Hostinger’s most popular shared hosting plan is its mid-range one, the Premium. SiteGround’s equivalent is the GrowBig. Both offer unlimited websites and unmetered bandwidth. But the Hostinger plan offers five times more SSD storage, and is roughly three times cheaper than SiteGround’s for long-term contracts.
On renewal, you’ll have to pay the full rate with both hosts: With Hostinger, this means just a few dollars more per month, while SiteGround almost triples the initial cost.
What about cloud plans? Glad you asked. The resources on SiteGround’s Business plan are roughly on par with Hostinger’s Cloud Professional one. The SiteGround plan includes slightly more RAM, but Hostinger gives you more than double the storage space.
What’s more, Hostinger’s cloud plans are almost six times cheaper than SiteGround’s (for the first year in a one-year commitment), and three times more affordable on renewal.
Seeing a pattern here?
Both companies offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on their shared plans, which gives you enough time to try them out and get a refund if you’re not satisfied.
Hostinger Offers Slightly More For Less Money
Both Hostinger and SiteGround have proprietary control panels that include everything you need to manage your website and then some. SiteGround’s Site Tools and Hostinger’s hPanel are both easier to use than cPanel.
Both web hosts have free transfers, but the fine print shows quite a difference in how they’re done. Hostinger’s tech squad will migrate your websites for you free of charge, but with SiteGround you have to pay for managed migrations. Sure, you can use its WordPress plugin, but if you don’t have a WP website and you need help, you’ll have to pay a hefty fee for each migration.
Hostinger has an advantage over SiteGround in the form of a free domain name for one year, available on all plans except the Single. Although a domain registrar itself, SiteGround doesn’t include a free domain name.
One plus for SiteGround is that its shared hosting plans include managed WordPress services. This means you get automatic core and plugin updates for your sites, specialized WordPress support, and some advanced WordPress tools.
To get the same with Hostinger, you have to opt for one of their managed WordPress plans. These are still cheaper than what SiteGround has to offer but more expensive than regular shared hosting.
To help you compare the two hosts quickly, I’ve put their essential features in the table below:
|Hosting Type||Shared, WordPress, Linux and Windows VPS, cloud||Shared, WordPress, cloud dedicated servers, reseller, custom enterprise solutions|
|Free Domain Name||Yes, on yearly Premium and Business plans||No|
|Free SSL Certificate||Yes||Yes|
|Number of Websites||1 on the Single plan, 100 in Premium and Business||1 on the StartUp plan, unlimited in GrowBig and GoGeek|
|Disk Space||30GB to 200GB on shared plans||10GB to 40GB on shared plans|
|Bandwidth||100GB to unmetered||Unmetered|
|Automatic Backups||Weekly on Business, daily on Premium||Yes (daily)|
|Control Panel||hPanel||Site Tools|
|Email Accounts||Unlimited on higher tier plans||Unlimited|
|Free CDN||Only on the Business plan||Yes|
|Money-Back Guarantee||30 days||30 days|
Hostinger and SiteGround are very close in this category, but in the end, Hostinger offers just a little bit more.
Hostinger Performs Better Than SiteGround
It’s time to get technical and find out what goes on behind the scenes. If you don’t feel like reading all the geeky stuff (entertaining as it may be), the winner here is Hostinger.
All of Hostinger’s features are aimed at improving page loading times. For instance, the company upgraded to the LiteSpeed web server, which is known for its exceptional performance. On the other hand, SiteGround uses Apache with NGINX, which is set up as a reverse proxy. This means your website will load fast, since NGINX does certain things better than Apache, but the entire configuration is complicated.
Both hosts offer SSD storage on their shared plans and the Cloudflare CDN built into the dashboard, so you can expect decent performance around the world. They’re roughly on par in terms of data center locations, with servers in the US, Europe, and Asia, though Hostinger is a better choice if your main audience is in South America.
To test Hostinger and SiteGround, I signed up for their entry-level plans, published the same website on both platforms, and then tracked its performance for several months.
On GTmetrix, SiteGround was disappointing. The fastest time my site achieved was 1.4 seconds, while the slowest was an unacceptable 2.5 seconds. The average page loading time was 2 seconds, which is when experts say you’ll start to lose customers to competitors’ websites.
On the other hand, Hostinger surpassed my expectations. The fastest page loading time was 1 second, while the slowest was just under 2. This put the average at 1.5 seconds, which is much better than my results with SiteGround.
To confirm these results, I repeated the tests on Sucuri Load Time Tester. Hostinger’s LiteSpeed web server managed an outstanding performance. The fastest loading time was 0.17 seconds, while the slowest was 1.1 seconds, which resulted in an average of 0.499. Pretty stunning.
SiteGround was also better this time around. From North America to Europe, and even in Singapore, the host performed admirably. It’s not a headline performance, but at least it’s not as embarrassing as the GTmetrix score.
Uptime was a closer contest, as both SiteGround and Hostinger went above and beyond their 99.9% guarantee. Both hosts pulled off an excellent 99.997% service availability over the course of two months.
Both services offer some form of compensation if your uptime is lower than 99.9%. However, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever have to use this clause, and it’s much better this way.
You can learn more about how Hostinger achieves high page loading speed in our Hostinger review.
For more information about what went wrong with SiteGround, check out our in-depth SiteGround performance review.
Both Hosts Make You Wait, but SiteGround Offers More Hands-On Help
Whether you choose Hostinger or SiteGround, you can rest assured that your website will be safe. Both services offer free SSL certificates, DDoS protection, a spam filter, and a strong web application firewall.
Shared hosting means your website will share a server with many others, but both web hosts protect your account using Linux containers. These keep your resources isolated, which means that even a DDoS attack on one of your neighbors shouldn’t affect you.
In addition, both SiteGround and Hostinger have security teams monitoring network health 24/7. While SiteGround has its proprietary real-time scanning software, Hostinger uses Wanguard, a dedicated, industry-leading solution.
If you’re like me and constantly worry about things that might happen, you can turn on the CDN on either service and make your website an even more difficult target for botnet attacks.
Both Hostinger and SiteGround Might Make You Wait
SiteGround and Hostinger offer 24/7 support through live chat, and SiteGround also features a phone channel and ticketing system. I like to open a messaging window to see if anyone is available, otherwise I prefer a DIY solution.
The problem with both Hostinger and SiteGround is that you’ll likely have to wait a while before you get in touch with a live chat agent. The waiting time for both platforms can sometimes be as much as 40 minutes.
When I finally got in touch with one of Hostinger’s agents, they told me everything I needed to know. For more complicated tasks, I was also provided with knowledge base links that described the process step by step.
The quality of support was slightly better with SiteGround. After a bit of a wait, the agent who picked up my query helped solve every issue I had. They even took the time to re-install an SSL certificate on my behalf, whereas Hostinger likely would’ve just sent me a link to online documentation.
If your problem is not that serious, you can rely on either host’s knowledge base for easy, DIY tutorials.
While both hosts need to work on their response times, I found SiteGround’s support to be more helpful.
It’s a Photo Finish with Hostinger in the Lead
Overall, Hostinger is the winner of this comparison, but it was close. Hostinger is one of the most affordable hosts out there, and its excellent price-to-performance ratio makes it the best-value web hosting service on the market.
SiteGround has its advantages too, namely its managed WordPress features, streamlined control panel, and advanced developer tools. And both hosts are comparable in terms of security and support.
Even though both providers made our list of the best web hosting services, SiteGround didn’t grab a podium finish. This means you’ll find several other hosts in between these two that are excellent in certain use cases.
If you’re still undecided, check out this quick summary of my comparison between Hostinger and SiteGround:
Is SiteGround better than Hostinger?Not anymore. SiteGround used to be one of the best web hosts on the market, but the quality of its service has slipped lately; specifically, page loading times have increased. Hostinger is currently better than SiteGround. It offers better performance, more competitive prices, and comparable levels of security and support. Check out my detailed comparison to learn more. If neither of these hosts addresses your needs, check out our list of the best web hosting services for 2022 to find the right one for you.Does Hostinger use SSD storage?Yes. Solid state drive (SSD) storage can have an impact on page loading speed. All of the best-performing web hosts offer SSDs on their servers. Hostinger uses SSDs and other performance-enhancing features to great effect – take a look for yourself in my review of its performance above. Does SiteGround use cPanel?Not anymore. SiteGround switched from cPanel to a proprietary solution when cPanel raised its licensing fees. It’s not the only host to do so – Liquid Web and Hostinger have also moved away from cPanel. The good news is, SiteGround’s Site Tools is better than cPanel in a lot of ways. With small exceptions, like the fact that it doesn’t have an auto-installer like Softaculous, there’s no loss of functionality. If you’re looking for the easiest way to host and build a website, a site builder may be a better option for you than WordPress. Our complete guide to building a website takes you through the process of choosing a website builder versus a CMS.Does Hostinger offer a free domain?Yes. With the exception of the Single shared plan, all of Hostinger’s cloud and shared plans come with one year of a free domain if you purchase at least one year of hosting. Many companies have moved away from this freebie, so enjoy it when you find it.