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Hostinger vs. SiteGround: Which Is a Better Web Host in 2024?

Suzanne Stewart Suzanne StewartWeb Hosting Expert February 19, 2024
February 19, 2024
Admit it. You’ve wondered if Hostinger could really be that good, haven’t you? After all, it must certainly sacrifice something, cut corners somewhere, to keep its prices so low. What’s missing: features, customer service, performance? Something’s gotta give somewhere! Wouldn’t a host like SiteGround, that’s viewed as more expensive, be the better quality choice?

We wondered the same thing. And as we do, we put the two hosts to a thorough head-to-head comparison test to find out just which one was the better web host. Our tests uncovered a dead-even tie between the two hosts in one of our categories. We also discovered that one had a better range of features, more security measures, as well as better performance. Which one?

Read on to find out how budget-friendly Hostinger outdid its rival, SiteGround!

Plans and Pricing

Turns Out, Things Aren’t So Different After All

Sometimes, you can get the wrong impression about someone, and then, you’re faced with the surprising reality that they really aren’t as good/bad/different as you initially thought. Well, that’s certainly the case with SiteGround being a “costly” web host. It turns out, SiteGround’s shared web hosting prices are pretty much on par with Hostinger.

Hostinger offers three plans: the Premium, the Business, and the Cloud Startup. SiteGround’s three plans are the StartUp, the GrowBig, and the GoGeek. Hostinger’s Premium and SiteGround’s StartUp cost the same, and there’s a slight advantage in cost to Hostinger’s mid-tier Business plan. However, GoGeek does cost less than Cloud Startup (which may not be a fair comparison, considering Cloud Startup is dedicated hosting rather than shared).

Where things truly go in Hostinger’s favor is when you consider your renewal fees. Hostinger’s plans renew with a much lower fee than SiteGround’s plans do. Hostinger’s plans all include a free domain for a year, unlimited free SSL certificates, unlimited bandwidth, and 100 email accounts. With the Premium plan, you can expect weekly backups. With either the Business or Cloud Startup plans, you also receive daily backups and a free content delivery network (CDN).

All of SiteGround’s shared hosting plans include the following free features: SSL certificates, CDN, daily backups, unlimited data transfer, unlimited email, and unlimited databases. However, all its plans only use SSD storage.

A free domain name is included with some hosting plans from SiteGround
If it weren’t for SiteGround’s lack of NVMe storage in its higher-level plans, we’d have to call this contest a tie. As it is, the faster, better NVMe transfer speeds give Hostinger the advantage.

Features

Hostinger and SiteGround Offer Plenty, With One Offering Just a Bit More

With hPanel and Site Tools, each host has created a proprietary control panel that users find easy to use and quite helpful in managing their sites. Hostinger’s hPanel allows you to manage and monitor multiple websites from one dashboard, including WordPress installations. Likewise, Site Tools gives you access to all your sites, as well as important data about them. When it comes to control panels, both hosts are fairly evenly matched.

Hostinger has a singular advantage when it comes to its LiteSpeed servers in comparison to SiteGround’s Linux-based servers. LiteSpeed’s increased speed and performance give Hostinger’s sites an advantage over SiteGround.

Another area where Hostinger stands out is in its drag-and-drop website builder. SiteGround offers the Weebly site builder to its customers, while Hostinger’s proprietary site builder is an improvement over Weebly, with AI features and an easier-to-use editor.

I’ve summed up both sites’ main features in the table below.

Hostinger SiteGround
Hosting types Shared, WordPress, dedicated cloud, VPS, business email Shared, WordPress, dedicated cloud, WooCommerce, reseller
Free domain name
Free SSL
Number of websites 100 – 300 1 – unlimited
Storage 100 GB SSD – 200 NVMe 10 GB SSD – 40 GB SSD
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited
Control panel Custom – hPanel Custom – Site Tools
Free CDN  (except Premium)
Email accounts Up to 100 accounts 10 GB of email storage
Money-back guarantee 30 days 30 days
We declare Hostinger the winner here, for the most part offering you more and better features than SiteGround.

Performance

Hands Down, Hostinger Comes Out on Top

There’s no use trying to be coy when discussing these two hosts’ performance capabilities. Budget-friendly Hostinger’s performance is on par with some of the higher-priced premium hosts. SiteGround returned some impressive results, but still couldn’t match up to Hostinger.

Hostinger offers nine data centers located in North and South America, the UK and Europe, and Asia. SiteGround, on the other hand, has 11 data centers, four of which are in the US. Five are scattered throughout the UK and Europe, with the remaining two located in Asia and Australia.

Utilizing LiteSpeed servers allows Hostinger to provide lightning-fast loading times, under 1 second in most cases. SiteGround utilizes cloud technology and has developed its own WordPress optimization plugin, SG Optimizer, to increase performance and loading speeds. The big difference is that while Hostinger uses LiteSpeed as one of its site optimization default settings, you have to manually work within SG Optimizer to improve your site’s performance.

Both hosts offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee. In our tests, both hosts well exceeded this. To test each host’s abilities, we created a basic WordPress site, complete with images, custom fonts, and some complex coding, to simulate the average small business site. For all the nitty gritty details on our site’s testing results, read on.

Website Planet test site home page
Our test site contains all the typical elements of a small e-commerce site.

GTmetrix

We ran our websites through the GTmetrix performance check, keeping things geographically local. We picked a server in the US, not too far from where our test site was doing its thing. Then, we spent a whole week digging into the performance, running speed tests every hour. Let’s consider Hostinger’s first.

GTMetrix report for Hostinger hosted test site
GTmetrix gave our Hostinger test site an A, with an average Fully Loaded Time of 0.8 seconds
After a solid week of putting our website through the paces on Hostinger’s server, it pulled off a typical Fully Loaded Time of only 0.8s. Just to give you an idea, most other budget hosts usually clock in at 2s to 3s – but Hostinger? It’s cruising ahead, several times faster.

GTMetrix results for SiteGround hosted test site
The same GTmetrix Chicago-based server also scored our SiteGround test site with an A.
Now, consider SiteGround’s GTmetrix results. We used the same Chicago-based GTMetrix server as we did for Hostinger. And, as you can see, our SiteGround site scored slightly better than our Hostinger site in some areas, notably site structure and Largest Contentful Paint time. The losing point, however, comes in the average Fully Loaded Time. SiteGround was only able to pull off 1.1 seconds to Hostinger’s 0.8 seconds.

UptimeRobot

Alright, let’s talk about our two hosts’ reliability because speed is awesome and all, but what’s the point of fast load times if your website’s hardly ever online? So, we put our competitors to the test for a whole month, keeping a close eye on our test websites with UptimeRobot. Anytime either server decided to take a break and go offline, we made a note of it.

UpTime Robot results for Hostinger hosted test site
Hostinger’s uptime was not only 100%, but the site responded to UptimeRobot within 230.08ms.
When it comes to uptime, Hostinger didn’t really surprise us with its 100% return. What was notable is that our test site responded to UptimeRobot’s monitor on average within 230.08ms. That’s just another example of how fast Hostinger’s sites are. You can read our in-depth review of Hostinger’s performance, and more, if interested.

UpTime Robot results for SiteGround hosted test site
SiteGround’s test site uptime results were a bit surprising, given the age of the host.
When our reviewer ran our test site through SiteGround, one of the questions we wanted answered was whether or not the 20+ year-old host still “had what it takes” in the hosting world. We were a bit surprised, then, to see that SiteGround also returned a 100% result from UptimeRobot over a month of monitoring. And its response time was a respectable, and somewhat average, 637.84ms. Check out our expert review of SiteGround for all our test results and more.

We usually run our Website Planet test sites through Sucuri Load Time Tester, but SiteGround apparently blocks that service from monitoring its sites. Therefore, we were forced to skip that comparison between these two hosts. If the scores from GTmetrix and the response times to UptimeRobot are any indication, though, it’s not hard to imagine Hostinger coming out on top in that test, too.

Security

Pricier Isn’t Always Better

Both hosts offer fairly respectable site security measures, including free SSL certificates and DDoS protection. SiteGround has developed its own security plugin for WordPress, SG Security, that enables you to protect your site with various advanced options like hiding your WordPress version and disabling the themes and plugins editor.

Hostinger, on the other hand, has an in-house developed application firewall, giving your site an added layer of protection from outside invaders. It also offers a free malware scanner in contrast to SiteGround’s Site Scanner, which is a paid add-on.

Overall, we have to call this one for Hostinger. While SiteGround offers more, you have to pay for it. And let’s be fair, Hostinger gives you more security features than most of the top “budget” hosts in the industry. Admittedly, what it offers is pretty standard fare, but it’s more standard fare than most others offer for free.

Support

Disappointing Experiences With Both Hostinger and SiteGround, but Not Disastrous

Both Hostinger and SiteGround offer 24/7 support. Hostinger uses live chat and email, while SiteGround offers live chat, phone, and an email ticket system. Both have rather extensive and helpful knowledge bases, as well. What we found in our testing was that while both hosts served up fast and friendly support, they both served up some frustrations, too.

Hostinger live chat support conversation
Hostinger support, in our experience, relies too heavily on the knowledge base materials that we could have searched out for ourselves.
We found Hostinger’s support system to have perfectly mediocre response times. Our live chat agent was online with us 14 minutes after we opened the window. Our email was answered in less than 30 minutes. Speed, however, wasn’t the frustrating thing with Hostinger support. The quality of support was.

While both agents were friendly, polite, and professional, all either did was offer links to knowledge base articles. Had I had the time and patience, I could’ve looked these articles up on my own. The email agent did go a little further in sending me links to some resources I didn’t specifically ask for, but that was as far as any personalized help went. Hostinger support seems unwilling or unable to go that “extra mile” many other support teams can and do.

SiteGround live chat support conversation
SiteGround support was speedy, friendly, non-techy, and professional. Getting there, though, is another story.
SiteGround’s support team’s response times have Hostinger beat. Our phone support call’s wait time was all of five minutes. And the agent was able to address and resolve our issue in less than five minutes. Our live chat conversation took less than four minutes, and on a midweek afternoon, no less. The frustration with SiteGround’s support comes in getting to those agents.

Where Hostinger’s agents respond with all the articles and DIY knowledge you could (n)ever ask for, SiteGround starts with its knowledge base. You have to type in your issue or question, have every seemingly possible article presented to you, go through them to find out none of them resolve your issue and then, finally, get the contact information for a phone call or receive a link to open a live chat.

It’s jumping through hoop after hoop, in SiteGround’s hopes that you actually, really, “are-you-sure?” have to contact the support team. It’s quality support, but only after you exhaust every other possible option on your own.

Since both hosts offer a fair amount of support frustration to have you wondering why you bothered, we have to say that this category results in a tie. There’s no clear winner among the two hosts, while their respective customers win and lose at the same time.

Hostinger Wins the Day vs SiteGround

While a couple of our categories were too close to declaring a clear winner, Hostinger wins in the end by offering better features and superior performance at a slightly better price than SiteGround.

We have to admit that both hosting providers have issues with their respective support teams. And in one way or another, both Hostinger and SiteGround could make some improvements to their site security measures. Hostinger could perhaps do a bit more than standard fare, while SiteGround could offer more of its security features without charging you extra for them.

Overall, though, Hostinger gives you more, for less, than SiteGround can. Its performance capabilities alone are enough to win over most site owners. Combine that with its NVMe storage, LiteSpeed servers, proprietary website builder, and other features, and you have a budget-friendly host that SiteGround just can’t quite compare with.

And not only did Hostinger top SiteGround in this head-to-head match, it made the top spot in our list of the best web hosting services for 2024.
The table below gives you a brief comparison of our two competitors to help sum things up.

Hostinger
SiteGround
Plans and Pricing
Budget-friendly, feature-filled
Budget-friendly, fewer features
Key Features
LiteSpeed servers
Free domain name
More and better storage
SPanel control panel
SG Optimizer plugin
SG Security
Performance
LiteSpeed servers
Cloudflare CDN
9 data centers
Excellent performance and uptime
Apache and NGINX servers
Cloudflare CDN
11 data centers
Great performance and uptime
Security
DDoS protection
Custom firewall
Free SSL
Weekly and daily backups
Free malware scanner
DDoS protection
Custom firewall
Free SSL
Daily backups
Paid add-on malware scanner
Support
24/7 via live chat

Email
Extensive knowledge base

24/7 via live chat

Phone
Email tickets
Extensive knowledge base

FAQs

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.

Does Hostinger offer a free domain?

Yes. 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.

What are the cons of Hostinger?

We discovered that Hostinger’s support teams aren’t as willing or able to help as fully or as personally as we’ve come to expect from other hosts. Its mid-level hosting plan isn’t as low-priced as the one SiteGround offers. And, while not a topic of this review, our overall review found that its VPS and cloud hosting plans don’t always stack up against the competition, either.

What if I need a lot of help in setting up and running my website?

Since neither Hostinger nor SiteGround wowed us with their support systems, you might be better off with a different hosting provider. You should review our list of the top 10 recommended web hosts.

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SHP
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I just noticed that Hostinger only offers RAM at 768 MB 1,024 MB 1,536 MB that seems very low. "we do not provide a set number of CPU and RAM since we use next gen LXC containers and can allocate the power based on the usage" Also Hostinger only give you one database at 3g at the two lower tiers. Both situations with Hostinger seem like they will be a problem if you were going to have more than one website.
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Website Planet Team
Thanks for your comment. Hostinger's RAM allocation could be enough, but it depends on your specific site and how much traffic you're getting at any given time. It would be a good idea to take advantage of Hostinger's 30-day money-back guarantee1 to test how it holds up with the site(s) you want to host, because you don't really know how your specific site will run on any shared platform until you test it. As for databases, Hostinger gives you two databases with the entry-level shared plan, but it is only intended for a single website. On the next plan up (shared or WordPress) you get unlimited databases, but the first point still applies -- while you can theoretically host as many sites and databases as you wish, it's shared hosting, so you'll have to test it. And even then, it might work for a while, and then if another customer's site starts getting a lot of traffic, performance levels could drop. Hostinger's LXC containers can only do so much. But again, it might be enough for your sites.
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anonymus
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nice article does hostinger offer unlimited disk space? that would be amazing Disk Space is not unlimited on Hostinger (20 GB Premium & 100 GB Business).
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Website Planet Team
Hostinger does not offer unlimited storage on any plans. Still, no host ever offers infinitely unlimited hosting, even if they say they do, so bear this in mind.
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Joseph
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Disk Space is not unlimited on Hostinger (20 GB Premium & 100 GB Business). This is a deal breaker for me as I am on ssdNodes VPS Performance (360 GB) package and trying to migrate and cancel due to ridiculous throttling down policy that kicks in every time you update your web-servers.
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anonymus
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not a great review. preformance cannot simply be assesed a possible refund you could get from downtime & to simply use a reply time to a new client as the deciding factor for the support is riddiculous. Might aswell flip a coin
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