Price versus performance – the time old balancing scales when it comes to the nitty gritty of deciding value. But what happens when you pit two industry stalwarts against one another?
In the bitter battle of web hosting rivals, we pit SiteGround against InMotion Hosting and the competition boils down to the nuts and bolts. InMotion Hosting manages to eke out a draw, but in the end, I still prefer SiteGround awesome speeds.
October 20, 2021• Last Updated
Founded in 2004 and building its way up through the ranks, SiteGround today plays host to over a million websites in what has become a cut-throat industry. It is famed for its very special speed technology and offers extensive services and value-added features that make it an extremely hard proposition to beat.
InMotion Hosting on the other hand, has been in the business for a slightly longer period, since 2001. Yet as our tests have proven before, having a long tooth in the industry doesn’t generally equate to better products and services – simply a better penchant for survival.
Out test case between these two companies today is significant, however, given that both are true pedigrees. This means that their history is undiluted, with no takeovers or major sell-outs to break the lineage of their existence.
With that in mind, here’s what we will be comparing today.
Let’s see the plans that these two have for the masses and the price points they come in at;
As you can see in the price comparisons, InMotion comes in at a much higher cost of entry compared to SiteGround. However, this is more than offset by SiteGround’s longer-term renewal costs.
For the plans in comparison, let’s say that over a period of 5 years (with 1-year initial sign up period), the Total Cost of Ownership would be:
$9.99 + (4 x $24.99) = $109.95
$8.49 + (4 x $9.99) = $48.45
That’s a significant difference, so unless you’re intending to move web hosts after the initial sign-up contract expires, InMotion Hosting offers a far greater value in terms of price.
Both hosting providers offer plans that are quite solid and come with nice value adds. Do note that they both also offer free web migration services (For SiteGround, free site migration is only available for GorwBig and higher plan.), which I consider an excellent transfer point.
However, I would say that InMotion Hosting has a slight edge here because of the fine print in which they extend their migration services to include not only site files and databases, but they will even help transfer your cPanel settings, domain records and even email accounts!
SiteGround has the support of 5 separate data centres spread across the globe, with one in the US, 3 in Europe and an Asia location served via Singapore. This is a very strategic spread and offers good latency for their customer sites.
InMotion Hosting on the other hand is slightly more elusive about their data centres, simply mentioning that they have “data centres on both coasts” – which we assume would be the US East and West. They are, however, inordinately proud of their Los Angeles data centre.
It takes advantage of natural cooling, or Outside Air Cooling technology. Through this they can cut cooling costs by nearly 70%, but more importantly reduce their carbon footprint by more than 2,000 tons per year. Compared to InMotion Hosting, SiteGround’s only claim to ‘Green’ fame seems to be the planting of a few hundred trees back in 2010.
In addition to that, the company also has a partnership with non-profit Trees For The Future. Through this initiative, InMotion Hosting helps provide for the planting of 5,000 trees throughout world.
|US (W)||US (E)||London||Singapore||Sao Paulo|
|68 ms||33 ms||96 ms||233 ms||181 ms|
|243 ms||203 ms||165 ms||29 ms||118 ms|
|US (W)||US (E)||London||Singapore||Sao Paulo|
|2 ms||53 ms||322 ms||178 ms||172 ms|
|514 ms||153 ms||109 ms||67 ms||149 ms|
Despite the discrepancy in location of data centres that the two hosting providers have, these are excellent speed performance timings across the board. In fact, these timing are pretty hard to beat and very significant on shared web hosting spaces.
To delve down a little deeper into speed performance, do take note that each of them has a little something extra which most hosts do not offer – specialized speed tweaks (or a variety of).
SiteGround deploys a potent mixture of SSD, NGINX, SuperCacher, CDN, HTTP/2 and PHP7. Combined, each of these helps inch forward speed performance just that tiny bit more to give it an edge over the competition.
InMotion Hosting however, sells very hard on what it calls ‘Max Speed Zone’. There is however just a tiny lingering doubt here in the way the company positions this technology. InMotion Hosting lays premise that many competitors overly rely on single data centres, which results potential negative speed impacts.
Yet in a data centre comparison, Siteground offers a far better global overlay than InMotion Hosting. Add to that the fact that many reputable web hosting providers would never rely on single data centres and we have a quandary – it simply doesn’t sound right.
Yet the results can’t be argued with and we’ll give them both an up for excellent speed performance.
InMotion Hosting showed a solid 100% uptime over the most recent 30-day monitoring period, but I was a little surprised that there seemed to be a slight glitch in SiteGround’s 30-day period. It’s a tiny drop in a big ocean, however, since I’ve monitored this host for some time now and it has generally been solid. Even with the bump, uptime remained above 99.95%.
This is where again we call attention in to the response times shown in the graphs. SiteGround once again shows its resilience with consistent below 1,000 ms responses. To penalise SiteGround for a tiny blip on an unblemished record would be a little unfair in my eyes, and combine that with the response time, I’m willing to give the point to them.
As usual, this is again a very strong key area which anyone who is looking for hosting needs to pay attention to.
I’ve gone over it before and will do so again, SiteGround has excellent customer service and this is something I’ve tested and thankfully been vindicated in several times already. There is always a risk of things slipping a little over the years, but this is not one of those places where it happens.
InMotion Hosting proudly states that they offer US-based tech that helps customer across multiple channels including phone, chat, email, or ticket system. The system is comprehensive and in fact, above and beyond what many web hosts would offer.
As you can see, both web hosts have strong user reviews in favour of them. This is rare in the world of web hosting, where users are often extremely opinionated of their hosts. To keep standards at a level high enough to get positive feedback is good.
Although both our hosts use cPanel, I still felt that this segment should be left in simply so that I can remind everyone of importance of a good control panel. This is basically your doorway to your host and it’s likely that you’ll spend some time here.
cPanel is an excellent and popular choice and brings both of our hosts a solid win in interface. It’s powerful, convenient, widely distributed and simply put, very user friendly.
SiteGround has always remained on my list of top hosts and running through it once again is always refreshing. It’s a consistently high performer with an excellent history and to date, I’ve yet to find many real competitors for it.
In a nutshell;
As I ran InMotion Hosting through the gauntlet it gave me quite pleasant surprises at times. This is a strong contender for SiteGround and offers both features and performance that is competitive. I especially like that it doesn’t offer crazy discounts for first time sign ups, because to me, that just seems a little wrong.
In a nutshell;
This was for me personally a very difficult decision. After reading through my review, some of you might wonder why I awarded points to one host while praising the features of the other at the same time.
I’ll be honest – yes, I loved them both. It is so very difficult to not only find one fantastic hosting service, but another that matches it.
However, despite my final tally of 4:4, I feel that I owe it to everyone out there to break the tie – and I’d still go with SiteGround. Above all, at the end of the day one of the most critical feature of your website will be its speed and SiteGround has never let me down yet.
Once you add in the other factors, they are just icing on the cake.
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