When it comes to hosting companies, there are a handful that dominate the industry, that every marketer is quick to recommend. But you can also find budget-friendly hosting companies, if you’re willing to look hard enough.
Most budget hosting companies offer enough features to rival the bigger-brands, and you can save some money while you’re at it. Today we’ll be comparing two hosting companies, one that you have probably already heard about (Siteground) and another, lesser-known company, Hostinger.
Interestingly enough, both of these companies are based in Europe, and they offer similar features. Now, while researching these two companies, I discovered some interesting facts that you should know about before you sign-up to either one.
In this review, we’ll be comparing the following features:
- Shared Hosting Prices
- Renewal Fees
- Hardware and Hosting Services
- Features Included for Free
- Speed and Performance
- Customer Support
- Value for Your Money
- The Clear Winner
As you can see, we have a lot to cover in this comparison review. Without further delay, let’s start with a brief introduction to our two competitors; Siteground and Hostinger, and then we’ll start comparing the features listed above.
What is Siteground?
Founded in 2004 and based in Sofia, Bulgaria, Siteground is one of the most well-known hosting companies, and for good reasons. It’s also officially recommended by WordPress, the world’s most popular blogging software. They offer a wide range of hosting services, such as:
- Web-Hosting (Not Limited to WordPress)
- WordPress Hosting
- WooCommerce Hosting
- Cloud Hosting
What I liked the most about Siteground is their premium customer support. When you run into a problem you can either phone, live-chat, or submit a ticket. I have used the live-chat service quite often, and they were always able to solve my problem. But they also include a bundle of other services and features, which we’ll talk about later on.
One of the major downsides are the renewal fees. They advertise cheap discounts for first-timers, but when it comes time to renew, the price doubles, sometimes triples, which can be quite hard on new entrepreneurs.
What is Hostinger?
Hostinger is a lesser-known hosting company with several headquarters around the world, the main one in Kaunas, Lithuania, where the company was founded.
This company was founded in 2004 and offers a wide range of hosting services. One of the reasons this company hasn’t gained as much attention could be because it changed its name from Hosting Media to Hostinger back in 2011.
The following are some of their most popular services:
- Web Hosting
- Cloud Hosting
- VPS Hosting
- Domain Checker
- Website Builder
What I liked about Hostinger is their subscription plans are quite cheap. If you purchase a 24 month subscription you can save a lot of money in the long run. On the other hand, much like Siteground, there are expensive renewal fees.
The customer support is also decent, with a live-chat service, and email support, although they don’t have a phone hotline at the moment.
I also liked how Hostinger offers a wide range of payment options, including PayPal and Bitcoin, we’ll cover the prices and payment options in the next section. Overall, Hostinger is a good budget-friendly hosting company for small to medium size businesses.
Now that we’re done with the introductions, let’s start the comparisons.
In a Rush? Here’s What You Need to Know
Hostinger is a much cheaper hosting service, but it doesn’t have as many features as Siteground. Nevertheless, if you’re on a budget, Hostinger is a great choice. Siteground, on the other hand, has plenty of free features included, and it caters more to developers. When considering performance, both companies offer about the same speed-test results, so it’s up to you to decide which one is best for your needs.
Shared Hosting Pricing & Renewal Fees:
You’re probably wondering how much these companies charge. First of all, both companies are similarly priced, at least when it comes to the first term. It’s also important to note that we’re comparing the shared hosting plans here.
We’ll compare the heavily discounted advertised rates first, and then move on to the real rates, and renewal fees. When you’re done with this section you’ll know exactly how much both of these companies cost.
Single Plan, One Website
- Hostinger: Single, 12 months, $28.08.
- Siteground: Startup, 12 months, $47.40
As you can see, Hostinger is a bit cheaper for the first year, which is nice.
- Hostinger: Premium, 12 months, $53.88
- Siteground: Grow Big, 12 months, $71.40
Once again, a closer one, but Hostinger still ends up being a bit cheaper.
Business and Geeks
- Hostinger: Business, 12 months, $91.08
- Siteground: Go Geek, 12 months, $95.40
Once again, Hostinger is cheaper, but not by that much. It’s clear Hostinger offers cheaper plans, especially for the Single and Unlimited website sections.
Now, let’s talk about the real rates. These are the rates you’ll receive after your first term expires, the normal rates.
I know a lot of people, myself included, who registered with Siteground, not knowing their renewal fees cost so much. It’s a bummer, that’s for sure. In this section, I’ll prepare you for the kind of fees to expect when it comes time to renew.
Now, even though Hostinger does increase the price when you need to renew, if you choose to renew it before the period expires, there will be a discount. On the other hand, Siteground will charge the full price, even if you renew before it expires.
Starting with Hostinger’s 12 month plans…
- Single – $39 (if renewed before expiry) and $149 if renewed after.
- Premium – $70.08 (before expiry) and $207.86 after.
- Business – $119.88 (before expiry) and $293 after.
Overall, I like how the company still gives you a discount when you need to renew for another period. It definitely makes things a lot easier.
Siteground, on the other hand, charges the full price.
Keep in mind these prices are for 12 months.
- Start Up (single website) – $143.4
- Grow Big – $239.4
- Go Geek – $419.4
As you can see, Siteground is much more expensive. The initial discounted plans and the renewal fees are more expensive than Hostinger’s plan.
Currently, Hostinger has more payment options, it accepts most credit and debit cards, as well as PayPal and Bitcoin. I like the PayPal option. On the other hand, Siteground only accepts debit and credit cards.
Overall, if you’re on a budget, Hostinger is the best choice. But before you lock in, let’s compare some of the other features. Cheap doesn’t necessarily mean best.
Hardware and Hosting Features:
I’ll start off by saying both of these companies offer great performance, almost identical. They also both use SSD drives and cache technology to improve website performance. Interestingly enough, each company’s starter plans limit the SSD storage to 10 GB.
Data Center Locations
If you’re familiar with Siteground, then you probably know they let you choose your preferred data center. What this means is you can choose the physical location of your server, so your target audience can receive the best performance.
Currently, Siteground has several data centers:
- Chicago, US
- Iowa, US
Overall, more than enough data centers to deliver great worldwide performance. What about Hostinger? Hosting also has a great set of data center locations, as a matter of fact, they have more than Siteground.
Hostinger’s data center locations:
- Lithuania (Coming Soon)
As far as I can tell, both companies allow you to choose your preferred data center. When it comes to server locations, Siteground and Hostinger have good options. Let’s move on.
What Cache Technology Is Used?
Website cache technology can drastically increase the speed of websites, but not every cache technology is created equal. It will take too long to describe exactly how these technologies work, but we’ll provide a brief overview for your information. Let’s start with Siteground’s cache technology, called SuperCacher. To access the service, look for the icon in the Cpanel.
Siteground claims this service can increase your website’s load time by four times, or more. Currently, Siteground offers four types of cache; Static, Dynamic, and Memcached.
With Hostinger you’ll be using a server-level caching solution called LiteSpeed. Now this is more like a suite of speed tools you can use on your website, including WordPress plugins. Their service claims to do a lot, such as: private cache, optimize images, lazy load images, code minification, content delivery support, server level full website cache, and a lot more.
Overall, the cache technologies of both companies are quite different, but they both are capable of creating high performance websites.
What Type of Panel Is Used?
One major difference between these two companies is Siteground uses the classic Cpanel, while Hostinger uses a slightly different version called H-panel. The H-Panel is a little different but includes most of the regular features, and it’s a bit easier to use.
It’s important to note that Hostinger used to use the regular Cpanel, but recently swapped it for another version, so there are still some archives of the old Cpanel.
Overall, both company’s panels work great, but Siteground has some extra free features and services. But Hostinger streamlines the core services and makes it incredibly easy for beginners to get started.
So now that you have a basic idea of what these two companies can deliver, let’s compare pros and cons, to narrow down your choice.
- Cheap Starter Plans
- Free SSL Included in Every Plan
- Great Cache Solutions
- Excellent Customer Support (Phone, Live-chat, and Email).
- Access to Cpanel and Free Services
- Free Cloudflare
- Free Daily Backups on All Plans
- Free Website Transfer
My Favorite Pro: Customer Support
I have hosted several websites with Siteground, and I always found their customer support to be incredibly helpful and reliable. I use their live-chat feature quite often, and they have never failed to solve a problem.
Although Siteground is a great hosting company, here’s what I didn’t like about their services.
- Expensive (See Below)
- More Oriented Towards Developers
Notable Con: Expensive Renewal Fees
I wish Siteground would make it clear how much you’ll pay when your first period ends. The account that lets you host unlimited sites, Grow Big, costs $239 to renew for a year. To me, the expensive renewal fees are the one thing I didn’t like about Siteground.
Overall, it’s pricier, that’s for sure, but some people could argue there’s more value included, and we’ll get into that later on. Now let’s take a look at the other hosting company.
- Cheap Initial Plans
- Cheap Renewal Fees
- Very Fast
- Decent Cache Systems and Plugins
- Six Datacenters, with more coming soon.
- Works Great with WordPress
My Favorite Hostinger Pro: Great Budget Choice
Honestly, during my time with Hostinger I felt the website performance and service was identical to more expensive hosting companies.
Granted, it lacks a few key features, but overall, the experience was great. For people on a budget, Hostinger is worth looking into. I think it’s the perfect choice for beginner bloggers.
On the other hand, there are some downsides you need to know about.
- No SSL Included for Free
- No Cpanel
- No Phone-Support
- No Daily Backup
Notable Con: No Daily Backup
At least on the Single plan, Hostinger doesn’t offer daily backups. Usually, this wouldn’t be an issue, but if you ever run into a problem, it can be a hassle to load a previous version of the website.
After testing and comparing these companies, it’s clear they both have similar services, hardware, and performance capabilities. It’s hard to pick a clear winner, and you can’t go wrong with either company, they’ll both work great.
But I will say this:
Hostinger is best for beginners because they offer cheaper plans, and a more user-friendly interface. They also offer a lot of other services on the side, one of which is Minecraft server-hosting which I thought was cool. They also have Windows VPS services.
Siteground, on the other hand, is a premium service with plenty of free features, but it costs a bit more. I really like their customer support, the live-chat is incredibly helpful.
Overall, though, Siteground caters more to professionals, web-developers, business owners, and agencies. But I don’t like the renewal fees, I feel like they should be more transparent about that.
So instead of asking which hosting company is the best, I would ask which hosting company is best for you and your current situation. Hostinger is great for bloggers and small businesses, it’s cheaper, but it lacks some core features. Siteground costs more, but it has more features, and a better support system.
Personally, I would choose Siteground because I’m more familiar with Cpanel, and I feel like the support, daily backups, and free SSL make the extra price worth it.