If you thought web hosting was more or less a commodity and that it doesn’t really matter which service you use, think again.
By choosing a poor quality hosting company not only can this affect your website’s ability to rank in the search engines, but also traffic, customer experience, and revenue can be negatively impacted.
Websites have never been easier to build thanks to WordPress, and popular page builders, even someone who isn’t especially technologically literate can build a website these days.
When it comes to hosting, however, it pays to do some research beforehand to save making a mistake, overpaying or worse still being stuck in a contract with an inferior service for years!
To help you make avoid those mistakes, I’ve put two of the industry’s leading web hosting services head-to-head: SiteGround vs InMotion.
SiteGround vs Inmotion Hosting Comparison
SiteGround was founded 14 years ago in 2004 and is based out of Bulgaria, although they have offices in the USA, UK, and Panama also.
They offer 7 different types of web-hosting to cover every need, have data centers on 3 continents and boast a 99.9% uptime record.
InMotion was founded in 2003 and is based out of Los Angeles, California. They have over 280 employees and have been accredited with an A+ rating on BBB.org.
Along with their 6 hosting services tailored to an individual’s needs, they also offer domain name registration and web design services not to mention numerous site-building tools.
Let’s start with the main feature that’s high on most people’s agenda…pricing.
The pricing structures of InMotion and SiteGround are naturally highly competitive, but be aware that hosting services don’t typically discount your monthly rate with longer-term subscriptions like other digital services (e.g. cloud storage, VPNs, etc.).
Instead, each service structures its pricing model based on the specific needs and requirements of the user.
For instance, if you wanted to build your own website or start a relatively simple blog through WordPress, you could probably get away with using the entry-level package.
On the other hand, if you needed business-grade solutions, a virtual private server, or even a fully dedicated server, you would need to opt for one of the more expensive packages.
The following outlines SiteGround’s Web Hosting and WordPress payment plans:
- StartUp Plan – $2.95 per month
- GrowBig Plan – $4.95 per month
- GoGeek Plan – $8.95 per month
SiteGround also offers a few other packages if you need more than the basics:
- WordPress Hosting – From $2.95 per month
- Cloud Hosting – from $48 per month
- Dedicated Servers – from $195 per month
There are 3 plans offered by Inmotion on their basic Business Hosting: Launch, Power & Pro, which start at $5.99 per month.
- Launch Plan – $6.39 per month
- Power Plan – $8.95 per month
- Pro Plan – $14.71 per month
In addition to the Business Hosting Plans, Inmotion also offers 4 other options:
- VPS Hosting – from $21.04 per month
- Dedicated Servers – from $105.69 per month
- Reseller Hosting – from $15.39 per month
- WordPress Hosting – from $7.26 per month
Pricing Winner = SiteGround
Despite the fact that InMotion provides much more granular payment options, I have to award the pricing victory to SiteGround. SiteGround is cheaper for simple WordPress websites, and its Cloud Hosting plans are cheaper, by and large than InMotion.
I do think that InMotion is the better choice for dedicated servers, but I don’t see the vast majority of people who just want to set up their own personal website (individual bloggers, small businesses, etc.) having any need for the power that accompanies a fully dedicated server; it’s just plain overkill.
So if the price is your primary concern and you just want to set up a WordPress website, SiteGround is the superior option.
Typically the companies in the hosting space do not, unfortunately, offer free trials. I imagine this is because server resources are precious, valuable, expensive, and in short supply.
It would likely be a costly endeavor to provide a free trial account that could be taken advantage of by folks just looking for a free service, not to mention the setup time and costs involved. Therefore, you need to be aware of a companies moneyback guarantee policy.
To the credit of InMotion, they do have an incredible moneyback guarantee. As long as your subscription is six months or longer with the Business and VPS hosting packages, InMotion will protect you with a 90-day moneyback guarantee.
Additionally, all of the Dedicated Server packages and monthly plans (such as monthly WordPress hosting) are protected with a 30-day moneyback guarantee.
Like the majority of other competitors in the industry, SiteGround compensates the absence of a free trial with a moneyback guarantee, but it isn’t nearly as long as the 90-day moneyback guarantee offered to select InMotion, and instead makes do with an adequate, yet much shorter, 30-day moneyback guarantee.
While the guarantees offered by both of these services aren’t technically a ‘free trial’, they do serve to remove the risk of disliking the service and getting stuck with a subscription you don’t want within the first 30 to 90-days.
Moneyback Guarantee Winner = InMotion
Hosting Speed & Uptime
The following speed tests were performed with Pingdom.com, a tool that analyzes a webpage and determines how long it takes to fully load that page and provides various other details to help determine what is causing slow load times.
I figured that being hosting companies they’d be using their own hardware for their own websites, so it made sense the run each homepage through the website speed test tool and compare the results.
When it comes to site speed, both of these companies are neck and neck, with similar page sizes and load times there's no splitting the two of them.
The only thing we could point out from this test is that even though SiteGround has more requests to make to load their homepage, they actually scored HIGHER (77 vs 74 in performance) and had a slightly faster load time.
Speed Winner = SiteGround
Comparing Uptime Numbers
Both services offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee, which is the best on offer from any hosting company since a 100% guarantee is impossible to offer.
SiteGround offer Pro-active Server Monitoring which will alert them to any issues arising on any one of the servers, so they can swing into action and put it right immediately or in some cases pre-empt an issue and resolve it with you being none the wiser.
Similarly, InMotion has a dedicated management network to allow them to quickly respond to incidents that may occur on their network.
Uptime Winner = Tied
SiteGround: Features and Benefits
I was impressed not only with the simplicity of the packages structure for the Web Hosting and WordPress options but also with the basic set of features included among all service tiers.
Essentially, the basic differences between the packages raw features include upgrades to storage space and the number of monthly visitors it can support.
The StartUp plan allows for 10GB of storage and 10,000 monthly visitors, while the GrowBig plan allows for 20GB of storage and 25,000 monthly visitors.
The GoGeek plan, on the other hand, allows for 30GB of storage and 100,000 monthly visitors.
Apart from these basic upgrades, there are also critical security and performance enhancements added with each successive package.
For instance, the GrowBig plan is superior to the StartUp plan because it adds four premium features: free site transfers, priority technical support, free backups and restores, and a website caching feature for enhanced speed and performance.
Lastly, note that the GoGeek plan adds even more features on top of the GrowBig plan such as PCI compliance, which is a massive advantage if you want to accept online payments with credit and debit cards.
Furthermore, it allows for WordPress and Joomla staging, one-click git repository formation, and free backups on demand, whenever you want.
I did like SiteGround’s Cloud Hosting services, and I think that even the Entry Level plan offers adequate (but not fantastic) CPU and RAM. And 5TB of data transfer is massive, so no problems there. The only thing I didn’t like was the amount of SSD storage space offered.
SSD is far faster than hard disk drives, but there isn’t really a whole lot of storage space at all. 40GB may have been a lot in the year 2000, but these days, 40GB just isn’t that much at all.
Consider that a single Blu-ray disc can hold 25GB, so the basic plan effectively has less storage capacity than two Blu-ray discs.
Even the “Super Power” package only offers 120GB of storage, so you will be limited with regards to the amount of data that can be stored locally.
Next up, let’s take a closer look at dedicated servers. As you may well know, one of the primary concerns of dedicated servers is their hardware and raw power.
Naturally, dedicated servers package tiers improve by bolstering the server’s power with more advanced hardware for improved computing power, memory, and speed. However, dedicated servers are rather pricey and probably aren’t suitable for the average website.
The advantage to a dedicated server is that you don’t have to split resources with other websites on a shared server, so you get 100% of the hardware all to yourself.
I was pretty darn impressed with even the entry-level server, given that it comes with an Intel Xeon E3-1230 processor, which is a quad-core processor clocked at 3.2Ghz and allows up to 8 simultaneous threads.
It also comes with 8MB of CPU cache, which is outstanding for a basic package, and 16GB of DDR3 RAM. And in addition to a 480GB SSD, it also comes with 10TB of bandwidth.
I do wish the SSD was a little larger, but again, for an entry-level service, you’re going to have to make some sacrifices.
The mid-tier dedicated server package, named the Power Server plan, upgrades the E3-1230 processor to an E31270, which is clocked at 3.50Ghz, and doubles the amount of RAM to 32GB. Though it does have the same amount of bandwidth, the SSD storage limit is doubled to 960GB.
Finally, the highest level plan, named the Super Power Server, comes with an E5-2630, which is a behemoth of a chip. Its cores are clocked at 2Ghz, which may sound like a bit of a downgrade until you realize that it comes with a 2X6 array of cores, meaning two logical cores per each physical core.
This processor can handle 2X12 CPU threads at a time and comes with a whopping 64GB of RAM.
InMotion: Features and Benefits
The list of features and benefits across all the different hosting packages is extensive. With the goal of being concise and informative, I wanted to break them down one by one for each type of hosting service, starting with the WordPress packages because they likely appeal more to the average user.
First off, note that all of the WordPress packages come with a free domain name, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited email accounts too.
I thought that was fairly generous considering that even the cheap entry-level package (which only costs $7.26 per month) includes these benefits as well.
Often I’ll see some of the entry-level accounts encumbered in some way – be it bandwidth throttling, monthly data caps, and other similar gimmicks – to encourage users to buy the next highest package.
But the basic InMotion plan (WP-1000S) doesn’t force those types of annoyances on the customer.
And across the board, InMotion’s WordPress packages have significantly more power. Not only do they support more monthly users, but the storage, when we compare that with SiteGround, is tremendous.
The most advanced tier of SiteGround’s packages only offer 30GB of storage, and the most basic version of InMotion’s WordPress alternatives already exceed that amount by 10GB.
I did also think that InMotion provides good value with Managed VPS hosting.
I love the fact you can get a server with 4TB of bandwidth for only $29.19 per month, though the entry-level plan is a bit scarce in the way of storage.
I must say, I was impressed with the hardware included with InMotion’s dedicated server packages, especially considering that the lowest three packages cost less than even SiteGround’s basic package.
InMotion’s dedicated servers have a lot more powerful hardware under the hood than SiteGround.
Features & Benefits Winner = SiteGround
Customer Support & Service
A review of these two hosting giants wouldn't be complete without taking a look at the available customer support options, starting with SiteGround.
SiteGround Customer Support
SiteGround users have a plethora of options at their disposal with which to contact 24/7 support, including phone, live chat, and a ticket system.
In fact, SiteGround has a 10-minute guarantee for the first reply to a ticket, so you won’t feel like your ticket has fallen through the cracks and become lost in the system.
Personally, if I just had a small question, I would ping the support department via live chat because it’s nearly instantaneous.
If you need support for an extremely difficult question, problem, or technical issue, opening a ticket will yield better results.
I also liked that many SiteGround packages include priority support, with exception to the most basic packages.
SiteGround also goes above and beyond the average call of duty by helping users with technical coding issues, which traditionally lie outside the scope of hosting support, since they are website issues and not technically hosting troubleshooting.
InMotion Customer Support
InMotion also has a comparable 24/7 support system. Like SiteGround, InMotion also has an online knowledgebase filled with troubleshooting guides, basic domain name setup tutorials, website tutorial, product guides, and other guides of that ilk.
You’ll also find that InMotion has the same contact systems with their customer support, which also include a phone support system, live chat, and email/ticket-based systems.
So, which provider has a superior customer service department?
It’s actually a very close call, but I think that SiteGround wins by a very narrow margin.
Why? Well, you may think that I’m splitting hairs here (and I may be), but I liked SiteGround’s knowledgebase better.
The knowledgebase page on InMotion’s website felt a little overwhelming and slightly chaotic to me, while SiteGround’s seemed a little more clean, polished, and easy to navigate.
That may not seem like a big deal to you, but trust me, when you have a headache during the troubleshooting process, being able to find and access the information you want with ease is a godsend.
Customer Service & Support Winner = SiteGround
Conclusion and Editor’s Pick: SiteGround or InMotion?
When comparing InMotion vs SiteGround, it all boils down to a simple question: how much power do you really need? Generally speaking, InMotion offers much beefier hardware, but it costs a lot more too (with exception to dedicated servers, as I’ll soon discuss).
It seems that InMotion fills gaps for people who have higher-end needs than SiteGround, but do you really need all that power?
If you’re a small-medium sized business and just want a website that’s essentially a digital brochure or a personal blog, SiteGround is the way to go.
Furthermore, if you want to market your business online via social media with a WordPress website and have a small marketing budget, I do still think SiteGround is the better alternative.
For as little as four dollars a month, you can set up your own WordPress website with SiteGround and begin content marketing and blogging.