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Choosing a web host is a big decision. Ideally, the web host you choose is a company you will be able to build a relationship with for years. This is a company you will come to rely on and trust with the digital side of your life or business and, by extension, your data.
Choosing either SiteGround or InMotion means that you're already looking at the highest class of web hosts. Maybe you've narrowed down your options a bit and really want the details on who offers the most features as well as the best, most consistent pricing and responsive service.
This review will help you make your choice and aims to answer any questions you might have about either of these hosts. You'll also get to see a comparison of how each host does on a number of key issues and learn exactly why those issues are critical to the health of your site.
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7 Criteria That Can Determine the Best Hosting Service Provider
The following 7 categories are how I evaluated each of these web hosts. In the review, each category will have a little more explanation, if needed, and then explain what is offered by each hosting company. After that, the winner of SiteGround vs InMotion for that category will be announced.
Pricing and Plans
How much you can expect to spend for a certain set of features will be discussed in the first section. Though not every host offers directly comparable plans, they typically have options that are similar for a set of services, be they shared, VPS, Cloud, or dedicated hosting plans.
Ease of Use
Once you decide on your domain and set up your initial hosting registration, you want it to be easy to set up the additional features. This could be installing WordPress, following a tutorial on uploading code, or using a host-offered website builder. Whatever you choose, will it be easy?
Help and Resources
Are there tutorials you can follow to help you get acquainted with the hosting service you have chosen? Will there be videos the answer your questions? Will the customer support reps be knowledgeable and responsive? These questions are answered in the “Help and Resources” category.
Other Notable Features
Each and every host out there offers something just a little bit different—both good and bad. If there is anything I've come across that's of particular value, this is where it will be mentioned and compared.
Page Load Speeds and Reliability
Will your website be available at all times or virtually so? Will you be able to rely on fast loading speeds, and are there any options available that will allow you to speed up your website, like SSD Hosting?
How secure, overall, is SiteGround? Will InMotion monitor their servers for suspicious activity and let you know about it? Not all web hosts handle security in the same way. Any strengths and weaknesses for either hosting company will be reviewed in this category.
SiteGround vs InMotion Reviewed: Is There a Clear Winner?
SiteGround and InMotion are closely matched in many ways, but there are a few key differences you should pay attention to before you commit to one host of the other.
Pricing and Plans
InMotion hosting vs SiteGround hosting is going to be largely decided by this category. Whichever hosting company offers the best value and the most flexible plans will likely get the most points and attention.
SiteGround offers three tiers of basic, shared hosting. For $11.95 per month, you can set up a single website with 10GB of web space and unlimited data transfers. Paying for the next tier at $19.95 per month gets you 20GB of storage and free restoration from a backup and priority support.
The highest shared tier is $34.95 per month and comes with 30GB of storage, unlimited sites, and all of the advantages of tier 2, plus free on-demand backups and a number of developer-centric features like pre-installed GIT and staging.
With shared hosting, a major potential drawback is that monthly visitors are capped. You either get 10k, 25k, or 100k monthly visitors per plan.
They also offer managed WordPress and WooCommerce hosting. These managed plans are, essentially, just an option offered with the plans mentioned above. For WordPress hosting, this is a great deal.
No VPS hosting is offered by SiteGround, but they do have Cloud Hosting, which is a welcome alternative. Cloud “VPS” plans range from $80/mo with 40GB SSD space to $240 with 120GB SSD space. There are four basic tiers offered with all of the same features as their highest-tiered shared hosting plan.
They also offer reseller hosting and enterprise solutions. However, this pricing is somewhat individualized, as you would expect.
To begin with, InMotion sells cheaper hosting. They offer shared, VPS, and dedicated servers. Plans include multiple tiers as well as additional plans for business and for managed WordPress installations.
Shared hosting ranges from $7.99 per month with 2 websites, free domain registration, free backups and restoration, and unlimited disk space, data transfers, and email accounts and storage.
The higher tiers add additional databases, subdomains, and hosted domains. Their highest tiered shared hosting plan costs just $14.99 per month and offers unlimited hosting or parking for domains.
Business plans are only $1 more per month, on average, and come with additional marketing tools, a security suite, and, on the highest tier, professional support (priority). If you want VPS, they offer managed and cloud VPS plans starting at $34.99 per month.
You can also choose a “Website Creator” plan that comes with priority support and full access to InMotion's website builder. This plan starts at $20 per month, after any promotional pricing.
The managed WordPress plans offered by InMotion are separate from their standard offerings but still relatively cheap compared to other managed plans. They also come with a number of “bonuses”. More information can be found in the WordPress section below.
Dedicated servers at InMotion will cost a minimum of $189.99 per month and start at 500Gb of storage, 8GB of RAM, and 5 free IPs.
The Host with the Best Pricing and Plans Is ...
InMotion. InMotion offers greater all-around value for less than what SiteGround charges. All of their plans both offer more and happen to be cheaper. If you take into account their even steeper discounts on your first year of hosting with them, InMotion is hard to beat.
Ease of Use
How easily can you set up your first website and are there any major roadblocks to doing so? Both of these hosts offer a modified version of cPanel. This means that the “control panel” for both hosting options will be quite similar.
SiteGround offers cPanel. They also offer a number of easy-to-install web apps, shopping cart solutions, and can even pre-install WooCommerce or WordPress when you set up your hosting. They also offer a website builder, though it's not winning any awards.
InMotion offers its version of cPanel. It's meant to be a little simpler. They have similar easy-to-install applications. In fact, there are well over 300 to choose from. These include popular CMS like Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress, as well as e-commerce solutions and more.
InMotion's website builder is somewhat easier, and they even have a $99 option where you can get them to set up a simple one-page website with your information and specifics in 48 hours or less.
The Host with the Best Ease of Use Is …
Both InMotion and SiteGround have a very high ease-of-use score. This category is a tie. Both hosting companies offering very similar ease-of-use features and options. Neither one has a feature that fits this category and stands out as better than the other.
InMotion vs SiteGround for WordPress (WP)is easy to compare because InMotion offers WordPress-exclusive plans while SiteGround does not. Yes, they will manage your WordPress Installation as an added feature to a basic hosting plan, but they don't offer any other WP features.
As stated above, SiteGround offers basic management for your WordPress installations. They also offer a similar setup for managed WooCommerce.
When it comes to WordPress, InMotion offers managed WordPress plans that are distinct from their other hosting plans. This means that your WordPress website will be installed on a WordPress-optimized server and in the case of InMotion, this means that server will be Linux-based.
These plans start at $8.99 per month and limit your visitors. With shared hosting, this can mean that everyone gets their fair share, but many people are uncomfortable with a hard limit like this. However, if you have a sudden traffic spike, you may receive additional bandwidth. InMotion is flexible.
You will also be limited to the number of sites you can have hosted under these plans. Limits start at 1 and range up to 20. You will also get Jetpack, a premium plugin, for free, as well as a number of premium theme options and BoldGrid, a WordPress page builder.
InMotion does offer a managed installation feature that most companies do not: plugin updates. Further, their WordPress plans all come with server caching that rivals what SiteGround offers.
The Host with the Best WordPress Advantages Is ...
InMotion offers advantages beyond basic updating and management. They give you premium themes, plugins, and WP site-building tools. Sure, their plans come with limits when they're of the managed WordPress flavor, but those limits are not more than SiteGround's.
Help and Resources
Will you be able to find the information you need when you need it? And if you have questions, will the people taking your call or answering the chat be as polite as they are helpful?
SiteGround says they have a 99.7% customer “happiness” rating. Does this match up with the service they offer? In short: Yes.
SiteGround offers phone, live chat, email, and ticket-based support. They have good integration across channels as well. SiteGround support agents have proven to be well-informed and friendly. The hosting provider also has a number of positive ratings across various well-known rating websites. Response times for these answers are short, sometimes even less than a minute.
When it comes to resources, SiteGround also excels. Their knowledge base contains articles as well as videos, and it's easy to search for what you need.
SiteGround's money-back guarantee is a little lackluster compared to the competition. You get 30 days for a shared hosting plan and only 15 days to decide if you like their cloud hosting or not.
InMotion also offers virtually every support channel imaginable. They have 24/7 phone support, live chat, a ticket-based system, and email on offer. Working between channels is not recommended but interactions are well-documented.
InMotion's representatives are also knowledgeable and courteous. Few people have reported negative interactions overall. Response times are also in-step with what SiteGround provides, typically just a few minutes or less for simple questions.
InMotion also offers a 90-day money-back guarantee. This is one of the longest guarantees you will find out of any hosting company.
The Host with the Best Help and Resources Is ...
With the number of support channels and quality of representatives being equal, it comes down to guarantees. To me, if you're willing to put a long-term guarantee on a product, you know it will hold up to scrutiny. It also seems to say that you're willing to give a customer time to figure things out.
InMotion wins this category for their 90-day guarantee. Both hosting companies have excellent support and will be able to answer any questions you have and address any issues with professionalism and in a timely manner.
Other Notable Features
This section is for pointing out any features unable to be weighed in the other categories, as well as standout features offered primarily by one of these hosts and few, if any, others.
Unmetered data transfer is the first notable feature SiteGround offers. They also offer unlimited subdomains and parked domains.
Their caching technologies, especially “SuperCacher” are something to pay attention to if you want to increase the load speed of your website. These will not directly affect SEO, though, due to them being effective for repeat visitors and not “new” visitors.
They also offer more hardware redundancy than most of their competitors. What this means is that if part of a server fails, another part will pick up the slack while repairs are in progress. This happens automatically.
Being able to pay for priority support is also an interesting concept, especially when their support is so positively reviewed by just about everyone, regardless of whether they have “premium” support or not. Free shopping cart and SSL is also something to take advantage of.
InMotion offers unlimited email at all levels. This is unusual. They also offer unlimited storage at all levels of shared hosting. Their updates for any installed web apps are also free and happen automatically. This is only made possible by free backups and restoration.
Free backups and free restoration at all levels are notable. At SiteGround, this only applies to higher tiers of service. Their money-back guarantee is three times as long as SiteGround's as well.
With InMotion, if you choose WordPress as your website builder or CMS of choice, then you're going to get plenty of extras offered nowhere else. This includes JetPack, a premium plugin that can help your SEO and page load speeds.
The Host with the Best Notable Features Is ...
SiteGround offers more little things that could make a big difference, especially with their most basic 1-website plan. InMotion also offers quite a bit, but most of their main offerings are all in their managed WordPress plans.
Page Load Speeds and Reliability
Page load speeds can also be somewhat affected by where a server is located. If you have traffic coming from the US, primarily, then you want a data center or server located in the US, etc.
As most of the speed differences you may see today have to do with SSD and caching options, it's important to understand how they work. Below is a video showing the difference between an hard disk drive (HDD) and solid state drive (SSD).
The reliability of SiteGround is largely based on its uptime. Right now, their uptime is over 99.99% and guaranteed to stay over 99.9%. This is very good and just slightly better than what InMotion is currently offering.
As for speed, SiteGround hosting meets the industry standard. Basic pages on a good connection load in under a second. SiteGround offers data centers located in the US, the UK, Amsterdam, and Singapore.
InMotion has and meets their 99.9% uptime guarantee. This means that your website is guaranteed to be up 99.9% of the time and, in third-party tests, this has held out to be true.
InMotion offers the better speeds of these two hosting companies, but not by much. They also only have data centers in the US. These better speeds may be, in part, due to using only SSD storage on every single plan, no matter the level.
The Host with the Page Load Speeds and Reliability is ...
SiteGround wins this category. Their uptime may be .001% less or so, but they do load pages much more quickly. Not only have they recently made quite an investment in SSD storage space, they are also making progress with caching for all users. This speeds up page loads for repeat visitors by a lot.
Security is extremely important for all websites. This is especially true if they are collect user data, allow users to create accounts, or sell any products.
Before moving on to the individual hosts, it's important to note that both hosting companies offer free, basic SSL certificates with all of their hosting plans, though these are of a limited number for SiteGround.
They also both make use of “Let's Encrypt” to do so. This ensures that HTTPS will be available to you and ideally all of your websites. As of 2018, HTTPS is mandatory in order to have your website visitors trust you.
SiteGround makes it a priority to stay up-to-date and makes sure you do, too. They offer adaptive security for all shared servers and monitor activity, as well as what rules are in place, on a weekly basis as well.
Another neat thing about SiteGround is that it aims to educate all of its customers on what they can do to improve the security of their websites. While SiteGround can do a lot with server-side security, there are some things that individuals can do to protect themselves.
These resources are incredibly comprehensive and step-by-step. In cases where code is modified, they show you exactly what needs to be customized and where you should be able to locate it. This works for both WordPress and a number of other click-to-build applications.
InMotion also offers some education about security, but to nowhere near the extent that SiteGround does. Their basic security is fine. They protect what they can and monitor it regularly. However, InMotion does expect you to pay for what would, with SiteGround, be seen as more basic “added” security features.
InMotion allows customers to purchase additional security products including Securi and Patchman (which is free to all business plan holders).
The Host with the Best Security Is ...
SiteGround wins here. Both hosts protect you from all kinds of malware and attacks using industry-standard methods. However, SiteGround goes the extra mile to keep you informed and safe. They also are better about including security products at higher tiers.
The Better Host for Most Hosting Needs Is …
SiteGround or InMotion? If you've read the full review, you probably already know that the host you're going to choose will depend on your needs. For most, the winner here is InMotion hosting. They're reliable, have excellent support and security, and have plenty of low-cost—but still full-featured—plans.
However, these two hosting companies are evenly matched in most categories, and SiteGround does stand out for one thing: speed. If you care about speed and are willing to pay that much more for it, SiteGround won't let you down.
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