Once upon a time, website hosting was but a niche market with select few options to choose from. You would rent storage space and bandwidth from a business, which would, in turn, serve your files on the internet. As we have now reached the pinnacle of the digital age, everyone from store owners to soccer moms are operating their own websites and blogs. The massive demand and fierce competition have brought prices to an all-time low, but how do we choose one when they promise us everything for nothing?
As two of the last remaining, independently owned hosting providers, SiteGround and InMotion Hosting are an increasingly rare breed. While EIG (Endurance International Group) continues to buy up their competitors and flood the industry with mediocrity, these two companies have remained autonomous and strive for the highest quality.
In many regards, SiteGround and InMotion Hosting look quite similar and their differences are trivial. WordPress is, however, a resource-intensive application, benefiting greatly from system tweaks and configuration changes, areas that one provider can considerably outshine the other. We will take a look at these two companies and compare their plans, performance and support options for those in search of WordPress hosting.
Who is SiteGround?
As we have seen with many great startups over the years, SiteGround was established by several close college friends, working from the dorm rooms of their university. In business since 2004, they have since grown the company into one of the largest hosting providers on the market. They currently operate more than five hundred thousand websites, offer cutting edge hosting services and are ranked by WordPress.org as a premier choice for WordPress based websites.
Their hosting platform is built on superior performance, advanced security practices and the latest technologies. They pride themselves on exceptional customer service and craft every solution with the utmost thought and care. As a company, they have tailored every aspect of their business to serve customers that demand the absolute best.
Who is InMotion Hosting?
Formed in 2001, InMotion Hosting is one of the longest standing hosting providers in existence. They consider themselves as being the “nerds” preferred choice, but heavily orient their services towards small business owners, especially those expecting continued growth over time. With over 70 awards and ranked as CNET’s number one choice for 15 years in a row, InMotion Hosting remains among at the top of the list for those in search of quality website hosting.
They provide a vast range of plans and services that cater to nearly every potential demand, from the server hosting to website design, chances are they will have you covered. With agents ready to help every step of the way, their customers are in good hands.
SiteGround Hosting Plans
SiteGround offers three tiers of website hosting plans, placing heavy emphasis on their WordPress tools and features. The introductory “StartUp” package is geared towards those with a single website, where the more expensive “GrowBig” and “GoGeek” options cater to those in need of additional resources. Each plan has been tailored to meet the requirements of a different clientele, with clearly defined package names and subtext to illustrate who they are intended for.
StartUp Plan: Built for those with limited needs, the StartUp Plan is just $3.95/mo and capable of hosting a single WordPress website. Otherwise, the only notable limitation is the disk space included, capped at a modest 10GB of SSD storage capacity. The Essential Features offer a 1-click WP installer, automatic updater and site transfers. For those that need it, WP-CLI access and 24/7 WordPress experts are available as well.
Integrated within their cPanel/WHM Control Panel, they also provide free SSL Certificates and HTTP/2, Cloudflare CDN, SSH Access and more. Resources such as transfer bandwidth, e-mail addresses and MySQL databases are unlimited and backups are performed daily.
GrowBig Plan: As the mid-tier choice, the GrowBig Plan is $5.95/mo and designed for those with increasing needs. It supports hosting multiple websites, twice the storage space at 20GB and up to 25,000 visitors per month. In addition to the Essential Features included with all plans, they also include Premium Features which offers priority technical support, advanced backup options and SuperCacher, their custom-built caching solution for enhanced WordPress performance.
GoGeek Plan: As the developer-oriented package and top of the pack, the GoGeek Plan is available at $11.95/mo and caters to the demands of larger organizations. While the extra 10GB of storage space (30GB total) is welcome, the primary selling point is the Geeky Advanced Features. These include 1-click WordPress Staging, GIT integration and PCI Complaint servers for secure payment processing. To improve performance, they also place GoGeek websites on lower population nodes, ensuring that adequate resources are available to meet higher demands. While these certainly aren’t necessary for the average website customer, they do provide a solid platform for business purposes.
InMotion Hosting Plans
Separating their plans into Business and WordPress subcategories, InMotion Hosting offers a wide range of options to choose from. While their packages in both categories are capable of serving WordPress websites, Business Hosting lacks significant optimizations and performance may suffer when compared to other choices. As such, we will instead focus our attention on the WordPress centred plans available, where these utilize server configurations built with the software in mind.
WP-1000S: Serving as the starter package, WP-1000S is $6.99/mo and aimed at those with a small WordPress blog. Despite being limited to hosting 1 website, they provide a generous share of 40GB SSD storage space, unlimited bandwidth and even include a free domain name. WordPress also comes pre-installed along with many additional tools and features such as automated updates, backups and site transfers. The most notable aspect, however, is their heavy reliance on the BoldGrid plugin, where this provides a drag and drop website builder, staging environment and more.
WP-2000S: For those with elevated needs, the WP-2000S package is $10.99/mo and designed for small businesses. As the middle tier plan, the limitation of 2 websites maximum is somewhat unusual, however, they do provide a rather significant 80GB SSD storage space. Otherwise, the most notable difference from the entry-level plan is the Premium Themes and Plugins subscription, advertised as a $60/year value.
WP-3000S: With an emphasis on increased resource allocations, the WP-3000S package offers little else for the $14.99/mo price tag. The maximum website limit has been upped to a total of 3 and 120GB SSD storage space is substantial, however, these are the only areas in which the plan separates itself from the lower cost tiers.
Who Has The Best Customer Service?
Customer service is one of the most overlooked topics when comparing hosting providers, yet this can make or break your experience when it matters most. After all, contacting them is not a matter of if, but rather when it will happen.
Website hosting is an imperfect system and even the best in the business encounter occasional problems. Those that can communicate issues, minimize client impact and help resolve matters quickly are the ones that establish themselves at the top of the pack. As customers, we look for a company that hires trained professionals, capable of providing 24/7 assistance and servicing multiple support channels.
SiteGround Customer Support
Prominently displayed at the top of their website, SiteGround offers a toll-free 800 number, live chat and support ticket options. With more than 400 employees on hand, they actively maintain all customer service departments 24/7, ready to assist should the need arise. If you don’t require immediate help, they guarantee a ticket reply within 10 minutes for the less urgent matters as well.
When it comes to more specific questions, such as in-depth requests involving WordPress, they have a wide range of software experts stationed across all channels to better serve you. Willing to help with everything from plugins to scripts and templates, their support services encompass far more than the traditional provider.
Setting their technical proficiency aside, SiteGround is also pushing the human aspect of digital communication. As part of this effort, each representative has an employee profile in the support centre, showing you their picture, technical background and even personal interests. Putting a face to the name makes for far more pleasant user experience, while subsequently reminding us that they are people too. They boast a nearly 100% satisfaction rate and we don’t doubt it, they go above and beyond when it comes to their customers.
InMotion Hosting Customer Support
With even more options to choose from, InMotion Hosting has the same standard channels for live assistance such as phone and chat, but also introduce Skype support into the mix as well. For less urgent matters or lengthy discussions, they offer both ticket and e-mail based guidance. To top it off, they have even built a substantial community-based support platform where clients can help one another with any questions or concerns. If you are however more inclined to learn or troubleshoot problems yourself, their massive repository of tutorials and FAQ are an excellent learning resource for those so inclined.
As for their support department, they have over 400 employees staffed across two offices in Colorado and Virginia (US). They are quick and courteous across all support lines, meaning you can reach a live person within seconds, any time day or night. InMotion Hosting places great emphasis on their free Premier Support and aims for the highest standards in the industry.
Winner Between these Two Hosting Companies?
Both SiteGround and InMotion Hosting are fantastic companies and you can’t go wrong with either choice. They have excellent customer service departments, blazing fast servers for WordPress hosting and competitively priced plans to fit your budget. While minimal differences may favour one business over the other, they both check all of the important boxes we look for in a hosting provider.
The one area where SiteGround comes out as the clear winner is the exclusive focus on WordPress hosting. Thanks to their team of in-house developers and emphasis on superior performance, they have built a cutting edge platform capable of the best results in the industry. These custom-tailored solutions, making use of impressive features like SuperCacher, are what set them apart from otherwise very close competition.