Are you trying to decide between InMotion vs SiteGround? If you're down to these two hosts we know you've got the interest of your website very much at heart. We get your passion for fast, reliable sites. We've been through this ourselves. And we have sites hosted with both these hosts...this our real, genuine experience of working with these two companies.
We have no bias towards any of these companies.
We host this website (CollectiveRay.com) on InMotion hosting but we also have several other sites hosted on SiteGround. We've just revisited this web hosting review in September 2021 to make sure all new details have been added and the article is kept fully updated.
If you're short on time, you can check our concise but detailed summary below:
InMotion vs SiteGround
The difference between InMotion vs SiteGround is that SiteGround has slightly cheaper pricing plans for the first year but InMotion is the best overall web hosting company. They both have fast servers, free daily backups, and a full money-back guarantee.
Both have free daily backups, great performance, excellent support but with ROOT access on WHM we got better performance from InMotion hosting.
|Ease of Use||5/5||4.5/5|
|Reliability and performance||5/5||4/5|
|Value for Money||5/5||4.5/5|
|Price for new clients||$2.49/month (CollectiveRay exclusive 47% OFF on InMotion hosting plans)||$3.95/month (70% OFF regular price for new clients)|
|Money back guarantee||90-days for Business, Reseller, VPS, 30 days for Dedicated||30 days for shared plans / 15-days for cloud plans|
|Datacenter location||US (Los Angeles on the West Coast / Virginia on the East Coast)||US, London, Amsterdam, Singapore|
|VPS||WHM including ROOT Access||Cloud hosting (no ROOT)|
|CDN Support||Cloudflare (Manual installation)||Cloudflare support built-in|
|Customer Support||Great - resolutions on the spot most times||Very Good - Live Chat + Technical support via Tickets|
|Channels||Phone / Email / Live Chat / Knowledgebase||Phone / Email / Live Chat / Knowledgebase|
|Free HTTPS||Let's Encrypt||Let's Encrypt|
|Disk Space||40 GB||10 GB|
|Traffic Supported||~ 25,000 visits||~ 10,000 visits|
|Websites on cheapest plan||1||1|
|Backups||Full VM snapshot, Full CPanel (VPS) or via WHM||No CPanel backup, daily backups limited by the number of files (inodes)|
|Freebies||Free domain, free advertising credit (up to $250), free YP business listing, free website migrations||Free website migrations|
|Environment Friendly||Green data center, Trees for The Future partner||Green friendly, Google Servers 100% renewable|
|Unique Hosting Features||Max Speed Zone||NGINX direct delivery, multiple levels of caching|
|Performance||Winner in our speed tests||Great|
|What we liked||Performance + MaxSpeedZone||Advanced Technical Setup|
|Superior customer support||CDN Built-in|
|VPS ROOT access||Staging setup (GoGeek)|
|What we didn't like||No Windows infrastructure||No ROOT access|
|Lots of upselling|
|Support avoids some tough questions|
|Website||Visit InMotion Hosting||Visit SiteGround|
Let's start digging into the details of this comparison between SiteGround and InMotion hosting.
Why is your web hosting provider choice important?
We've been in the online space for more than 18 years now.
Our sites have been attacked ferociously with malware and negative SEO attacks, gone viral several times, and suffered floods of traffic from botnets (DDoS). We also see steady streams of visitors (more than 60,000 page views each month).In these circumstances, making the right choice is very important.
The choice of web hosting provider makes a real difference to the success of your website.
- the perception and feeling of having a fast snappy experience are critical to your website.
- you need to be assured of 100% reliability and reassurance that your web hosting won't mess up
- no downtime under heavy load is essential
- full protection offered against prolific hacking attempts is something that cannot be taken for granted.
That's why having narrowed down your choice to the SiteGround vs InMotion hosting is already your best decision so far. By the way, if you're looking for web hosting reviews, you can find our other articles in the web hosting section in the menu above.
But, who of these two hosts would we fully recommend? Throughout this article, we'll go through various aspects of web hosting and make full comparisons so that you can make an informed decision, particularly to the specific aspects that concern you.
Before we start our web hosting comparison, let's start with some essential background information.
Who are these two companies? In the next two sections, we will introduce these two web hosting providers and what are their niches.
InMotion Hosting, founded in 2001 has been rated as one of the leading web hosting companies for the last 17 years with an A+ rating on BBB.org. They offer fast performance for 300+ pieces of software including WordPress hosting, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, and Prestashop.
The excellent performance of their infrastructure is achieved through a number of conscious decisions:
- Platform-specific optimized stacks and use of SSD drives
- Keeping the number of accounts on each server fairly low (compared to other cheap hosts)
- Hosted in the US catering primarily for businesses or sites with a primary audience in the United States
InMotion hosting is fully US-based including its customer support center.
Freebies offered by InMotion hosting include:
- JetPack Personal in their plans,
- a free domain name,
- $50 in Free Amazon Ads
- $100 in Free Microsoft Advertising Credits and
- a free business listing with YP.com.
Of course, there is also the whole host of other popular software to power your websites.
The company has been around for 19 years, which is a VERY long time for a web hosting company, where companies bloom and fade away in a matter of months.
Only the greatest web hosting companies stay around for such a long time. Since its inception, this company has always been a leading service provider.
They've got a 3/3 star CNET rating since 2003 - that's more than 17 years of constant top ratings on CNET, and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Over the years they’ve made massive strides in their infrastructure, hardware and networking capabilities. They may not be the cheapest web hosting plan around, but it's no surprise that they have one of the fastest and most reliable networks in the world.
The difference with their service is this: they do not overwhelm their accounts.
This is why InMotion hosting servers and websites hosted on them perform so well. With around 300,000 satisfied customers, and a variety of web hosting services it's no wonder that they have carved a niche with regards to performance.
Watch this short video about their office culture:
Their data centers are primarily based in the US, they have two main data centers, one on the West Coast (Los Angeles) and one on the East Coast (Virginia).
InMotion Hosting review
If you're not looking for a comparison between these two companies, but are looking to see how the service racks up, we've created a full InMotion hosting review here - you might want to have a look at this too.
We also have an exclusive offer of 47% OFF for CollectiveRay readers ONLY until the end of September 2021 - just click the button below.
SiteGround was founded in 2004 by a group of university friends in Bulgaria but is today headquartered in Washington, D.C, though they still have much of their operations out of their Bulgaria offices. They use cutting edge technology and their constant innovation has enabled them to grow steadily over the years to become one of the most established names in the web industry.
SiteGround has expanded significantly and now has data-centers in locations in Chicago and Iowa in the United States, Amsterdam, and London in Europe and Singapore in the APAC region.
Recently SiteGround has been moving some of their infrastructure to Google's cloud hosting platform. As we have seen from other web hosting providers (such as Kinsta) who use Google cloud hosting, this is great news for performance. They are also one of the web hosting services recommended by WordPress.org.
They also have offices in the US, UK, and Spain. Since the very beginning, they have shown themselves to be a differentiator when it comes to WordPress hosting and other technology platforms.
SiteGround has shown tremendous growth over the last few years, mostly thanks to sponsoring events around WordPress and Joomla and thanks to their base of more than 2,000,000+ domains. Their satisfied customers are all very keen to praise their services.
This company uses technology to the advantage of their customers. They roll-out many hosting features that few companies roll-out ever. That's why their servers perform so beautifully.
Speaking of technology, check out this 1-minute video is a great way to showcase what the company does to make your site fast:
When it comes to reputation and history comparing SiteGround versus InMotion hosting, they are mostly head-to-head.
Network, uptime, and reliability
InMotion hosting has data centers in Los Angeles, California on the West Coast and Ashburn, Virginia on the East Coast.
SiteGround's data centers are in Chicago (US), London and Amsterdam (Europe) and Singapore (APAC).
Both SiteGround and InMotion hosting have a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
The choice of where to host your site is up to you such that the servers are as close as possible to your website's visitors. If your primary users or clients are coming from the US, we would recommend that you host your site there.
If your site is more localized, for example, you operate mostly for local users, we would suggest that you host your site on a data center that is closest physically to your users.
The West Coast data center in Los Angeles is connected through One Wilshire, also known as the "most connected building" in the world according to Wired magazine. This company is also connected to four tier-1 ISP's via BGP and also have a BGP route optimizer to ensure only the fastest routes are used for their connectivity.
The East Coast data center in Virginia includes two tier-1 ISP's via BGP, route optimization, and a carrier-grade network core.
Besides this, their Max Speed Zones on the business hosting plan and VPS, allows you to choose which data center best serves your website. This is because the closer your visitors are to the data center, the faster the loading times of your website.
By choosing a hosting data center based on your clients' location, your website will be faster because data has to travel a shorter distance between the server and the user.
You can check out the graphic below to see what makes sense for your business if you are opting for InMotiong hosting. The dark green zone would be the area that achieves the absolute fastest speed - the Max Speed Zone.
Besides multiple data centers, SiteGround have agreements with a few of the world's largest ISPs and peering exchanges to create direct data connections. The result is a clearly faster connection.
Unfortunately, not many technical hardware specs are available on their networks. Of course, being hosted in world-class data centers means that their network would be top-notch.
In terms of server technology and software, SiteGround has always prided itself to be at the forefront of technology.
They are the first to implement software that gives any type of advantage to your website. Memcache(d), HTTP/2, PHP7, OPCache extensions, SSD drives, Nginx as a Reverse Proxy, TLS1.3, OCSP Stapling, QUIC, free CDNs and their custom SuperCacher technology means they are always pushing the envelope when it comes to website performance.
SiteGround strives to always edge out that little bit of extra boost for websites hosted on their accounts.
See the following graphs which show close to 100% uptime for both companies. We believe that when it comes to uptime for SiteGround vs InMotion hosting there is not much to debate. They are both absolutely reliable hosts.
Using Pingdom for uptime monitoring we can see the following trends up between March 2016 to April 2020:
|Average Response Time||766 ms||685 ms|
|Downtime Hours||8 hours||3 hours|
Below are a couple of graphs showing an averaged out graph to response time and uptime. This is for InMotion hosting:
And this is for SiteGround:
Keep in mind that most times, the uptime happens because of extraordinary circumstances that are beyond the control of the web hosting company. For example, some outages happen when there is an internet-wide service outage, or a service provider has a problem.
In these circumstances, what separates the men from the boys is how quickly the web host can switch to their secondary and backup infrastructures.
Clearly, both InMotion and SiteGround do an excellent job of this. 3 and 8 hours of downtime over 2 years is an incredible uptime rate.
Our next comparison when it comes to SiteGround vs InMotion hosting is the User Interface.
InMotion hosting UI
InMotion hosting have a mixture of a custom UI called the AMP or Account Management Panel and the traditional and well-established use of WHM and CPanel. We find this mix a good balance of custom vs established.
The AMP makes sense from a user's point of view, because it contains stuff that is completely unique to the InMotion hosting experience. With access to everything you need from one dashboard, this is a highly intuitive user interface.
As you can see in the above screenshot, the AMP gives you access to most of the important stuff via the dedicated icons.
From here you also get access to CPanel and WHM, the traditional software used by most web hosting companies.
SiteGround also have a custom UI for management of the account, which has been revamped and is slowly being released to all clients around the year 2020. New clients will see this new UI, will older clients are slowly being moved to the new interface.
Once again, this is fairly intuitive. There is a difference from the old UI, where there is plenty of upselling in the actual management account, but in terms of UX, overall it seems better than the previous UI.
As for CPanel, we are under the impression that SiteGround is moving away from this, but so far, our account is still on CPanel. It is a custom skinned implementation keeping the SiteGround brand colors and quite a neat UI overall.
Next up on our SiteGround vs InMotion hosting comparison: performance.
One of the next things which are critical to your website is how it performs when users are accessing it (particularly under load). Websites should load with lightning-fast speeds.
When a website takes more than 3 seconds to load, you will start losing visitors. Your site must feel snappy and fast. This is quite a subtle thing.
If your site feels snappy, your visitors will be happy to come back. If your site feels clunky and slow, your visitors will psychologically get turned off by your site.
You WILL lose business if your site is not fast.
Now both of these companies are known to perform excellently with websites hosted on them. Both offer free SSD drives as part of the default plan, which is particularly important if you plan to use local file caching to improve the performance of your site.
SSD disk drives are much faster when it comes to retrieving information (up to 20x faster than regular drives).
Another notable aspect of both of these web hosting providers is their policies of not putting too many website accounts on the same server. Other hosting companies can keep their pricing cheap because they overwhelm their accounts with sites. The consequence of this is that ALL websites suffer degraded performance particularly at peak times when your site should be operating at its best!.
The servers of both InMotion and SiteGround will maintain a level of accounts that keeps performance good for all website. Furthermore, SiteGround has regular monitoring of performance and will shut down any account that is consuming too many resources beyond fair use.
This ensures that if there is a rogue process or a website that is suffering and creating a bottleneck, it won't affect all the other sites on the same server.
To make sure that our review is free from bias, we have performed a number of speed tests and will present the results of these performance tests.
We wanted to perform our own group of tests rather than rely on the testing of any other 3rd party available online. There is nothing quite as good as running your own tests.
This is our testing environment:
- Default WordPress installation
- Default Joomla installation
- WordPress with Astra + Starter Template
To run the test, we created a core installation of WordPress 5.4 and Joomla (3.6.2) on both InMotion and SiteGround's servers. We then performed tests using the main speed testing services available using primarily Pingdom Tools, because this is the most trustworthy test.
This is a semi-scientific test where we try to eliminate most variables. We used the same installations of WordPress and Joomla, with the same themes and the same content, so that we don't give any of the hosting companies any advantage.
We also used similar testing locations that are fairly close to the hosting data center. We want this to be a pure hosting performance test, having a long-distance between the test client and server would introduce delays that the hosting company cannot control.
We wanted to perform a real-world test, under real-world circumstances.
Our tests have not been tweaked or re-touched. They are pure real-world testing results, so you can compare and reach your own conclusions.
Check out our full SiteGround vs InMotion hosting performance tests:
|WordPress with Astra + Outdoor Adventure||1.09s||853 ms|
|Core Joomla + Sample Data||1.55s||1.6s|
This was a core installation of Joomla 5.4, with no plugins installed, using the Twenty Twenty WordPress theme.
We can see that for a blank WordPress installation, both InMotion hosting and SiteGround perform very nicely with test results of under half a second. This is an excellent loading time performance, though this is to be expected, given that the installation has little content to display.
The difference between the two hosts is so small (11ms) that it is negligible.
WordPress with Astra + Outdoor Adventure Starter Template
The second test is a more realistic scenario, though the volume of content on the site is fairly limited too.
We wanted to use a WordPress theme that is already known for its fast performance so we chose Astra, and also set up one of the Starter Templates that come with it: Outdoor Adventure.
The size of the site is 1.8Mb and we have performed no further speed optimizations such as caching.
In this test, we can see that SiteGround takes the edge at 853ms, with InMotion hosting at just over 1s, with a minimal difference of about 200ms.
In this test, we checked the performance of a blank Joomla installation.
As we can see here, InMotion hosting outperforms SiteGround servers but the difference once again is very small, around 200ms.
Winner: InMotion hosting
Core Joomla + Sample Data
In this test, instead of using a blank Joomla installation, populated the Joomla installation with the learning data sample that comes with the core installation. We simply dropped all the previous tables and imported the tables that contain this data. This means that the installation is identical, no additional components/plugins were installed.
Winner: InMotion hosting
*Phew* - that was quite a task. Setting up multiple installations of WordPress and Joomla, then redoing everything with different data, and overall running so many tests to ensure we had no variables and bias takes a lot of time!
But if we really want to test SiteGround vs InMotion hosting in terms of performance, this had to be done.
Analysis of tests
It is quite clear from the results that both hosting providers have a great infrastructure. While there were some marginal differences, both sites have performed exceptionally well.
We can see that in terms of actual performance InMotion servers are almost identical to SiteGround's. The difference we see is marginal and most times can be attributed to variables that are outside of the control of the actual server setup (internet traffic at the time of the test can play a role, as does the internet route the traffic takes during the test).
The crucial metric is that in all of the tests, all the sites loaded in less than 2 seconds. This is our key metric, we always want a site to be able to load in under 2 seconds, because this means that the user will be happy with the site's performance.
We can also see that the location of the server and the testing location also has a significant role in the loading of the site. The closer your website server is to the actual location of the website visitor, the faster the website's content will load.
Although in terms of performance we believe InMotion hosting is faster, you might want to perform your own tests and see what would work best for the visitors of your website, especially considering the location of the servers available. If you're opting for SiteGround, go for the higher tier hosting plans, which should eliminate some of this performance impact.
Remember, the closer your website visitors are to the server where your website is hosted, the better. If you are a mainly US company, go for a US-based server. If you are a European based company, we would suggest you go for a Europe based server.
But truth be told, when it comes SiteGround vs InMotion performance, there is very little difference.
When all is well and good, customer support response times and knowledge of agents doesn't make a difference.
However, in those few hours or the days when something goes wrong with your website, a good customer support experience can be the difference between a great experience or a very frustrating situation.
So next up, on our SiteGround vs InMotion comparison, we'll look at how these two companies perform when it comes to customer support services.
SiteGround: responsive and technical
SiteGround offers customer support response times that are one of the best we have ever experienced. Waiting time is low most times, that you can say it is almost zero, at least during the times we have used the support chat.
You will surely get a response within a few seconds of trying their customer chat, though this could possibly vary during peak times.
They have various channels to get in touch, you have the option to get customer support via email, chat and opening support tickets via their portal.
This is first-line support, so if your problem is a complex one, you might not solve the issue immediately. You will then have to escalate to 2nd line support, where the response time is a bit longer.
Typically, you'll get a response time (in my experience) within 15 minutes to an hour of creating a ticket with customer service.
This doesn't mean you will have a resolution because sometimes the issues take a few back and forth responses.
One thing which is quite nice about this support team is the ability to ask for Technical Services and Advanced Technical services. These include things like the website being down, mail or domain assistance, WordPress or Joomla assistance, Password changes, etc.
Advanced Technical services include queries why the website response time is slow, creating website backups and performing of restores, transfer of websites and other advanced procedures.
Overall, the levels of help and customer support at SiteGround are great. There have not been many times where we were not satisfied with the response times we got, although they tend to pitch upgrades quite often.
For example, ROOT access is not available with their Cloud plans, and they will pitch you a dedicated server any chance they get. It's a bit annoying to get pitched for an upgrade, for something which should be a given.
Availability is 24/7 and based out of their Bulgaria offices.
InMotion hosting: US-based and fast resolutions
InMotion's customer support is based out of its US offices. They are also 24/7 and can be accessed via various channels. We typically get in touch with them via chat and we've experienced different response times, typically less than 5 minutes.
Also, fairly recently, the InMotion Customer Support center has been rebuilt from scratch, for improved performance, better-searching capabilities and stability.
We've also spoken to Mike Zyvoloski from the InMotion hosting management team, and for the last few months, they have been investing heavily in their support center. This means that these days, they are providing even better customer support than usual with shorter than ever waiting times.
At CollectiveRay, we frequently get in touch with the customer support team for quite advanced questions. We've never been let down, felt disappointed or kept waiting for long by InMotion's customer support.
When you are connected to a support agent, they know what they're doing. Even if it is the case that they need to escalate to 2nd line support, they will not disconnect without giving you a resolution.
They will ask you to wait a few minutes and in the meantime, they get in touch with their 2nd line technical support agents. Rather than having to open a new ticket and wait for a resolution, you will get a response time (even a technical one) there and then.
This is quite attractive about InMotion. Once you're on the call, you know that before you get disconnected, you will have an answer to your query.
When it comes to SiteGround vs InMotion's technical support, both companies have excellent support. We have always had an overall great experience working with both companies.
Let's now have a look at any specific features SiteGround vs InMotion have when compared to each other. Next, we will see Pros and Cons of both companies.
We've been saying for quite a while that SiteGround has cutting edge technology and offer some things which InMotion hosting doesn't. So let's get down to it and discuss what these are.
Otherwise, how can we say it's an InMotion hosting vs SiteGround review if we don't discuss the strengths of each. We won't mention stuff such as the free domain and advertising credit, we will focus on core hosting features and advantages when compared to SiteGround.
1. WordPress and Joomla Core AutoUpdates
As you might know, one of the most common ways that a website gets hacked is through known security vulnerabilities. Sometimes there is a patch that hasn't been applied to a site.
This is because sometimes we are just too busy to remember or keep up to date with the latest CMS update. The result is that sites get compromised because they are not quick enough to act.
SiteGround knows all of this and has developed a system automatically install all the latest core WordPress updates on your site.
This is a great feature which we implement on all of our sites - it's really worth it.
2. Security + Let's Encrypt
SiteGround is proactive when it comes to newer technologies but they're also very proactive when it comes to security. One of the things we like about SiteGround is how they use their technology to make sure that hack attacks that have not yet been patched are stopped by custom rules on their firewalls.
When there is a risk that is actively being exploited, they apply new rules to reduce the risk.
They've also been one of the first companies to embrace and implement free SSL certificates through Let's Encrypt - this is a group of companies who are striving to ensure that HTTPS is implemented across as many websites as possible, making the whole web implicitly more secure.
3. WordPress + Joomla custom tools for faster and better maintenance
This company uses technology and pushes it to create advanced solutions for their customers.
They have developed their own technologies for making websites fast, including, SuperCacher, the SGCache plugin (custom caching modules for Joomla and WordPress hosting), WordPress and Joomla admin toolkits, GIT repositories and staging sites for the testing of any updates before applying them to live sites.
Besides this, they are quick to embrace newer technologies like HTTP/2, Nginx, and the latest version of PHP7.
Rather than taking months to deploy these cutting-edge solutions, these are deployed within weeks, so that people who like to be at the absolute forefront of technology can do so.
4. Staging Sites
Staging is one of those gems from SiteGround which makes life so much easier when you are testing things out and want to make sure things work well before trying them out on your site.
As you are probably aware, updating plugins, installing new stuff, changing a theme, can result in unexpected results sometimes.
Updating your site is necessary though, otherwise, you leave your site open to hack attacks. So how do you test what will happen on your live site? This is where the concept of staging can help.
A staging site is a true copy of your existing site. Not a development copy you created ages ago, which may or may not be up to date. A staging site should be a replica of your website's current state.
Wite SiteGround Staging, you can create a copy of your live website so that you can test out things on your "Test" website, or staging server - before you apply the changes on your live website.
This ensures that if there are any issues with the new function or change you are testing, you can make sure this is ironed out before applying it on your live server.
SiteGround have also keen renown for using an impressive technology stack. They are typically the first to release new technology to get the latest performance from the software and hardware they use.
For example, as soon as new versions of PHP are released, they are some of the first to make them available on their servers.
Their SGCache plugin is also a great custom developed plugin for both WordPress and Joomla that creates a caching setup that is customized to their own setup, so it does push the envelope when it comes to performance.
SiteGround are industry leaders when it comes to taking advantage of technology.
InMotion Hosting PROs
InMotion hosting has also got several advantages as compared to SiteGround.
1. Full Snapshot Backups
Performance of a website is crucial, and we've seen that InMotion hosting is on par with SiteGround when it comes to performance.
But where they really excel is in backups. Using our VPS, we are able to take a full snapshot backup, which can be used to revert to the previous state of the server. This is great because we do like to experiment with our server to push for better performance or get the most out of the hosting.
So we do stuff like upgrade the underlying databases, change PHP versions, install custom web servers such as LiteSpeed enterprise and other heavy customization. Of course, these drastic changes are not without risk.
Having full snapshot backups allows us to experiment with the full peace of mind that if something goes wrong, we can quickly bring the system back to the previous state without any negative consequences.
Of course, over and above this, you can create daily backups or scheduled backups via CPanel, or via WHM.
2. Affordable VPS hosting
Server virtualization is very important when it comes to growing a website and this is where this host shines when compared to its rival. This is a concept of partitioning a single physical server to appear as multiple servers, with the actual hardware running hypervisor, which manages virtual machines. Read more about how a VPS works on Wikipedia.
With prices starting at $17.99/mo, the InMotion hosting VPS solutions are extremely affordable. If you are a freelancer or a small digital agency, this is a very attractive package which you can use to host your clients' websites. Click to see our specific InMotion VPS review.
Their machines are highly specced and fast, with good amounts of RAM, starting at 2GB burstable RAM with 45GB of storage, much more than the cheapest Cloud Hosting solution offered by SiteGround.
There is also NO CPU lockdown and you also get ROOT access, something which cloud servers provided by SiteGround do not offer.
This means that your site doesn't get constrained by a lack of raw CPU power. Again, this is the reason why we've seen such good speeds on their platform.
3. Up to $250 in free advertising credit + Free domain
Everybody loves a freebie. Who wouldn't?
A free domain is great and we love that because if you are just starting out, you can just go for a casual domain. More than that, however, is the $250 you get in free advertising credit for use with any Business package or above.
4. Let's Encrypt
Recently, InMotion hosting has also implemented Let's Encrypt functionality on their services. A free SSL certificate is available very nicely via AutoSSL providers. As soon as the SSL certificate is about to expire, it is automatically renewed. We've implemented this on several of our sites and have found it to be very reliable.
You can also see below what a difference there is between InMotion hosting and other leading web hosting providers. You can see comparisons with BlueHost, GoDaddy, HostGator and Arvixe, most of whom offer shared hosting as their strong point.
1. Limits on inodes/disk space
While SiteGround suggests on their sales pitches that you can host unlimited websites, you'll find that if you are a power user you will quickly reach the limits. The fastest way we've hit the limits is through the number of inodes.
Inodes are the number of files that your account is using, made of such stuff as installation files, backup files, logs files and everything else. Keep in mind that the hosting itself generates a number of working files as part of the normal running of the server, so the number of inodes can grow very quickly.
The first problem is that as soon as you reach a specific number of inodes (which varies by account), the whole account will be EXCLUDED from backup.
We find this to be a serious drawback.
To make things worse, if the number of inodes keeps increasing beyond the maximum allowed, your account will actually be suspended until the problem is fixed. This is a problem.
2. Plans are more expensive than InMotion's
SiteGround's plans look cheap if you take a look at the list price. This is because they have very aggressive (cheap) pricing when it comes to new accounts, but renewals are actually quite expensive compared to other hosts.
For example, in 2018, they increased pricing by up to 85% making the renewals very expensive.
Of course, this is a strategy, because once you have moved or started with a host, very few people change. But this is very disappointed when people see this. Their cheapest prices are also for 3-year plans. In our opinion, being tied to a company for 3 years is way too long.
3. No ROOT access on WHM
While SiteGround does provide access to underlying server infrastructure via WHM, you never get ROOT access to the server. This means that the stuff you can do on the server is fairly limited.
In reality, with WHM access but without ROOT is just dangling a carrot in front of you.
ROOT access is only available with dedicated servers.
InMotion Hosting CONs
1. No Windows Infrastructure
InMotion hosting uses Linux based servers running some variation of a LAMP stack (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP). This typically excludes any applications that require a windows-based infrastructure such as anything running .NET applications, or software that requires the use of the IIS server.
While does is not a drawback for most people, it is good to be aware of this limitation.
Let's start with a little bit of a premise. You are looking at two leading web hosting providers. We are not looking at cheap web host services here. So you won't see much of a real difference when it comes to SiteGround vs InMotion hosting prices.
Update in 2019: SiteGround has drastically increased their renewal prices and quite a lot of users have been complaining about this and have been looking for alternative hosts. Even our plan went up by a significant amount, such that we decided to scale it back.
So buyer beware, either go for multi-year deals or be prepared for a significant bump when the renewal comes. Always get a quote of what it will cost you in subsequent years.
But - you get what you pay for. Premium service demands premium pricing. But even at premium pricing, you'll find that neither of the services we are comparing comes close to managed services such as Kinsta or WP Engine.
If you are looking for the cheapest hosting services - you might as well go elsewhere. However, given all of the premium services being offered by both companies, you are getting a fantastic deal out of both companies.
They also both provide such features as good disk space, plenty of bandwidth, free domains (addon), data backups, security, email accounts, CPanel, SSD drives, etc.
From mid-summer 2019, SiteGround is moving away from CPanel due to a stratospheric increase in the price of the license of this software. So far, InMotion hosting has not announced any intent to move away, but we will keep you updated if we get any new information about this.
In reality, for shared hosting, whether you use CPanel or not is a question of preference.
Pricing Comparison Table
Below is a quick summary of pricing for both companies on a per month basis in US Dollar.
|SiteGround||InMotion (includes CollectiveRay discount)|
|Shared/Business Hosting||$3.95 – $11.95||$2.49 – $12.99|
|WordPress Hosting||$3.95 – $11.95||$4.99 – $17.99|
|VPS Hosting||–||$17.99 – $72.99|
|Dedicated Hosting||$269 – $729||$139.69 – $259.99|
|Cloud Hosting||$80 – $240||$5 – $160|
|Reseller Hosting||$42 – $49 (per credit)||$15.39 – $39.99|
*The above monthly rates shown are the SiteGround, InMotion initial discount prices for new customers. These prices are for the first term only, and renew at the regular rate – always check these renewal prices before signing up and see what makes sense for let's say 5 years.
InMotion Hosting Pricing
InMotion hosting just like us, have the mantra, "You get what you pay for". So with that in mind, you may find that they are also not the cheapest host around. It's not who they want to be.
Now - you're actually in luck because CollectiveRay has partnered up with InMotion hosting to give you an exclusive offer of 47% OFF regular prices. (even higher discounts on VPS).
If you apply for an account through CollectiveRay, your pricing for launch will $4.19/mo instead of the regular price of $7.99/mo. For the Power package which is the recommended package for shared hosting you'll be paying $5.39/mo instead of the regular $9.99 per month and for the PRO package, it's $8.99/mo instead of the regular $15.99 per month.
We like to think that this a great bargain, for a great hosting package. At least that's what the many users who have already taken advantage of this offer tell us. Remember that you also get plenty of free stuff such as a free domain, free YP.com business listing, and advertising credits.
There main business hosting plans are:
- Lite: $2.49 per month
- Launch: $4.99 per month
- Power: $4.99 per month
- Pro: $12.99 per month
If you want to top-notch speeds on your site, we'd recommend going for a VPS - our site is hosted on an InMotion hosting VPS. You'll be able to take advantage of the same offer, with an even better discount of up to 51% OFF.
You can get your VPS hosting plans at $17.99/mo instead of the regular $47.99/mo.
VPS hosting plans are great options for reseller hosting or anybody whose site is mission-critical.
If you require any different hosting plans, such as fully-managed web hosting, cloud hosting, reseller hosting or managed WordPress hosting, don't hesitate to ask, there are plenty of different hosting plans that may not be immediately visible.
Testimonials for InMotion Hosting
Now that we've been with this company for more than 4 years, we can truly be a good testimonial of their service. But, what do other people say about the service?
The below is a 5-star rating by none other than Syed Balkhi of influential site WPBeginner. Does it get any better than that?
Here's another review from HostingManual, where they get a 4.5-star rating out of 5. This is a website that runs hundreds of reviews, so they can compare good companies to bad ones.
As for the crowd-sourcing reviews site G2Crowd, they get a 4 out of 5-star rating and the Leader Award for the summer of 2019 as can be seen below.
With typical offers, prices start at €3.95 per month for the first year, which is 50% off the regular price of €7.95 per month. We always recommend that you go for the GoGeek plans, which are the servers that have got all of the juicy, boosted hardware, that has been pimped. These are €11.95 per month for the first year which is also 50% off the regular price for subsequent years.
Unfortunately, we don't have a discount with SiteGround - we like to think that they are already a good deal.
It may not be the cheapest service, but rest assured that you will see a significant improvement between the Startup and GoGeek plans. As your site grows in traffic you can always scale up to their Cloud Hosting or Dedicated servers. Transfers between all of these are completely free.
Just like they've given InMotion hosting a good rating, WP Beginner also gave SiteGround a good rating of 5 stars out of 5, because like we said, both of these companies are at the top of their game.
And here are what 73 people on G2Crowd think, for an average rating of 4 out 5 stars.
Other features available
Our final section of this SiteGround vs InMotion hosting showdown will discuss additional features of these two hosting providers.
There are other features that are available with WordPress websites, but we tried to focus mostly on the differences here.
Both InMotion and SiteGround are powered mainly by CPanel.
SiteGround is now shifting away from this to their own custom UI. Both SiteGround and InMotion hosting have backup and restore mechanisms in place, full email feature sets, allow setting up of multiple MySQL databases and subdomains, raw access to logs, SSL/TLS managers, DNS and MX management and all the standard functions you would expect.
The two companies use "unlimited" pretty often in their sales pitches, such as unlimited disk space, or unmetered traffic. In reality, disk space is limited, but it's fairly generous.
However, there are always actual limits, such as on the number of backups you can store, the number of files you can have in your account, the amount of bandwidth you are allowed to use. For example, with SiteGround we've hit inode limits and size limits many times because we run multiple sites on their servers.
The truth is that online companies need to ensure that all users have a fair share of resources so you'll find some realistic limits in place. In all likelihood though, you're not likely to hit any of these limits. Unless you're a power user. And then most times you still won't.
If you do not do want to use a CMS, both of these hosts offer a website builder. InMotion hosting offers BoldGrid website builder preinstalled on every plan, while SiteGround provides this through Weebly.
You also get access to Cloudflare CDN with both services, for even better performance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is InMotion hosting good?
Yes, InMotion is a good, reliable and fast web hosting service. We host our own website with InMotion and have been using them for the last four years and we are very happy with the performance. They have good support, good features including great backups, VPS with ROOT access for advanced users and a solid overall set up.
How do I install WordPress on InMotion?
To install WordPress on InMotion you can either use the WordPress Manager application that is available for free. This will install WordPress and keep it updated with the latest versions. Optionally, you can create a MySQL database manually and install WordPress yourself by downloading the core files from WordPress.org and uploading them to your File Manager in CPanel.
Is SiteGround any good?
SiteGround are also a good web hosting service. While they are slightly more expensive than InMotion overall, they have very fast servers because they use an advanced infrastructure stack and make use of the latest technology. A very good web hosting service overall.
Does SiteGround offer a free domain?
No, SiteGround does not offer a free domain as part of their service.
Conclusion: Who should get your money?
Time to wrap up our SiteGround vs InMotion web hosting providers showdown.
Really and truly, both SiteGround and InMotion have got a good setup going on.
We've worked with both and found it to be a pleasant experience to work with both of them. Yet, so far, we feel that InMotion hosting has got that slight edge. We can't help feel that SiteGround is growing too fast and what once felt like special attention, no longer feels the same.
It feels that like the bigger companies, for SiteGround you are now a number rather than a customer.
InMotion Hosting, as we have seen still, has the edge in terms of performance and that is one of the main things for us.
We've tuned our setup with MariaDB instead of standard MySQL, together with OpCode caching, PHP 7.4 and plenty of other optimizations that we aren't able to get on SiteGround. We have a TTFB (Time to First Byte) which is consistently less than 0.5seconds, even under heavy load. Infact, our site loads lightning-fast, less than 2 seconds on most pages.
Want to go with SiteGround? We won't stop you - you are not making the worst of choices. However, if we had to choose which company to put our site online, we would go for InMotion (this site is hosted with them). Even though they might not seem as cutting edge as SiteGround, things just work. And they work fast.
That's why when going for an InMotion vs SiteGround choice, we'd take InMotion.
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