- Setting Up a Fight: SiteGround vs. InMotion Hosting
- 1. Features
- InMotion Hosting
- Round One Thoughts
SiteGround is rated highly in our best web hosting guide, and it’s easy to see why. In addition to dominating in our SiteGround vs. Bluehost matchup and displaying a masterclass in our best web hosting for WordPress guide, SiteGround proves that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get excellent service.
InMotion Hosting is just as impressive. Like SiteGround, it’s an independent host that focuses on providing the best service for the least money. That said, though the two succeed in their goals for the most part, they’re different services. In this SiteGround vs InMotion Hosting comparison, we’re going to help you choose the right one.
While we’ll try our best to do that, the web host you should go with depends on the type of website you’re building and how the web host can accommodate that. If you want to read more about either provider, regardless of which we think is better, read our SiteGround review and InMotion Hosting review.
Setting Up a Fight: SiteGround vs. InMotion Hosting
We compare web hosting providers over a series of five rounds. Not all rounds featured will be featured here, though. Instead, we’ve combined a few criteria, such as hosting types, into other sections. That way, the comparison is more concise and fair.
The rounds we’ll use here are features, pricing, ease of use, speed and security. At the beginning of each round, we’ll lay out what we’re looking for. After that, we’ll talk about each provider and give our thoughts on how they compare. Finally, we’ll declare a winner and award that service a point. Whichever service earns three or more points will be our champion.
We don’t recommend going solely on points, though. Some rounds may be clear, but others may have more nuance. As you can see in our HostGator vs. Bluehost comparison, many rounds came down to the type of website you’re trying to build and personal preference. Because of that, we recommend reading through each section to find the best provider for you.
Features are an important but often misunderstood area for web hosts. Though beginner-focused services, such as iPage, focus on ad credits and a free domain, those features aren’t that beneficial in the long run (read our iPage review). Much more helpful are features that help you build, optimize and secure your website.
In this round, we’re looking for features that make your website better. That includes building tools, such as a website builder, optimization methods, such as caching, and security features, ranging from website backups to a free SSL/TLS certificate.
SiteGround is loaded with features. Though it may look similar to other services when the features are compared, it does something unusual. It doesn’t make you pay extra for the features your website needs.
Take HostGator, for example. As you can see in our HostGator review, it’s stuffed with features, but you’ll need to purchase the appropriate tier of hosting to access them. With SiteGround, everything’s included across plans. Instead of focusing its lineup on what goodies you get, SiteGround gives you everything and segments its plans based on performance.
That starts with a website builder. SiteGround gives you access to one of the best website builders, Weebly. As you can see in our Weebly review, it’s easy to use, highly functional and customizable. You get the “connect” plan, so you can use the free version of Weebly with your domain. If you need more features, specifically for ecommerce, you can upgrade at any time.
WordPress is also supported well. SiteGround gives you SuperCacher, which is an in-house caching tool that can improve loading times. WordPress users can also take advantage of easy Cloudflare integration, automated daily backups and WordPress staging.
Compared to Kinsta, none of that is impressive (read our Kinsta review), but considering how inexpensive SiteGround is, the features shine. As we’ll dig into in round two, those features are available across plans, meaning no matter which price you’re paying, you get premium offerings.
InMotion Hosting has an excellent range of features, most of which are focused on getting your website designed. That said, there isn’t a website builder. Instead, InMotion Hosting integrates with BoldGrid to allow you to design beautiful WordPress websites easily.
BoldGrid is a free drag-and-drop editor for WordPress, giving you the flexibility of a content management system and the accessibility of a website builder. Though you can use BoldGrid on any WordPress website, InMotion Hosting is already set up to take advantage of it. Plus, you get a free search engine optimization tool and over 200 customizable themes.
If you don’t want to design a website, InMotion Hosting can do that for you, too. Though we’ve seen similar services from GoDaddy (read our GoDaddy review), InMotion Hosting is one of the few that’ll design your website for cheap. After $99 and two business days, it’ll deliver a unique website that works on desktop, tablet and mobile and comes with a custom email address.
Going further, InMotion Hosting offers a white glove design service. Again for $99, it’ll pair you with a WordPress expert who’ll dig deep into your website to find errors. After that, they’ll help devise a plan to fix problems with your website.
The design features are so impressive that some of the technical aspects of InMotion Hosting are easy to overlook. All users get full solid-state storage, automated backups and a free SSL/TLS certificate.
Round One Thoughts
As mentioned, some rounds may come down to personal preference, and this is one of them. SiteGround and InMotion Hosting offer excellent features for building, optimizing and securing your website. This round could go either way, but we’re going to give the win to SiteGround.
Though InMotion Hosting’s design features are excellent, they’re paid and focused on WordPress. If you’re not interested in using the popular CMS, InMotion Hosting doesn’t have much to offer. SiteGround, on the other hand, provides features for both sides of the fence.
Though pricing should be a straightforward round, it isn’t. As you can read in our Arvixe review, web hosts have a knack for deceptive pricing, making it difficult to know what you’ll be paying until it comes time to check out. Though we’re concerned with the rate of each web host in this round, we’re also looking at how clear it is throughout the checkout process.
As hinted at in round one, SiteGround isn’t impressive because it contains so many features, but rather because it contains so many features for so cheap. Plus, the price advertised on the website is the price you’ll be paying, bypassing the multi-year restrictions of a service like Bluehost (read our Bluehost review).
All plans are offered monthly, yearly, biennially and triennially. There’s a $14.99 setup fee applied to monthly plans, though, which is annoying. That said, considering most web hosts don’t offer monthly shared plans — read our JustHost review for just one example that does — the fact that SiteGround offers one at all is good news.
Like most web hosts, SiteGround has an introductory rate that jumps at renewal. The rate doesn’t change based on the duration you get, so you’ll pay the same monthly rate whether you want a month or three years. Unlike Hostinger, SiteGround doesn’t offer multi-year discounts (read our Hostinger review), but you’ll still get a nice chunk off when you sign up.
The shared and WordPress plans are the most impressive for their prices. Cloud and dedicated hosting, on the other hard, are overpriced. If cloud hosting is what you’re after, read our MDDHosting review. Dedicated hosting is usually expensive, but you can find a budget solution in our WebHostingBuzz review.
SiteGround’s cloud and dedicated hosting come with downsides beyond their high price tags. The 30-day money-back guarantee that applies to shared plans isn’t applicable to the other types of hosting. With cloud hosting, you’re limited to 15 days to get a refund, and with dedicated hosting, there isn’t a refund period.
On first glance, InMotion Hosting looks expensive, especially compared to Hosting24 (read our Hosting24 review). The devil’s in the details, though, and thankfully, that works in InMotion Hosting’s favor. Though the advertised rate is higher than most leading web hosts’, the renewal rate is in line with the rest of the market.
That said, if cheap web hosting is what you’re after, InMotion Hosting isn’t the best option for the initial term. You’ll end up spending a couple more bucks on shared plans and WordPress plans. VPS plans aren’t bad, though, and dedicated hosting is around what we’d expect, but you’re not getting a bargain.
There are other issues with the lineup, too, namely durations. InMotion Hosting sometimes offers monthly plans, but there’s no pattern to it. As noted in our review, the most inexpensive shared plans are offered in one and two-year duration, as is a WordPress plan for $15 a month. That said, a shared plan that’s also priced around $15 per month can be purchased monthly.
That’s made up for in two ways. InMotion Hosting shows the durations and their respective prices on the product page, so you don’t have to go to checkout to see what you’ll be paying. Plus, you get 90 days to change your mind. InMotion Hosting’s money-back guarantee is only beaten by DreamHost and A2 Hosting (read our DreamHost review and A2 Hosting review).
Round Two Thoughts
This round, like the last one, is tough. SiteGround has cheaper pricing, but the $14.95 setup fee puts a damper on the otherwise generous range. InMotion Hosting is more expensive for the initial term and has a strange distribution of durations, but the refund window is excellent.
All things considered, though, SiteGround is superior. While the money-back guarantee isn’t great, straightforward pricing and plentiful duration options push the service above InMotion Hosting.
3. Ease of Use
Web hosts like to make checkout more difficult than it should be. There are exceptions, but the multi-step process for checkout and account creation can’t be ignored (read our Namecheap review for an example). In this round, we’re going to see how simple InMotion Hosting and SiteGround make it to get through checkout, as well as how accessible their control panels are.
SiteGround has a simple and inviting website. Choosing a plan is a breeze, with minimal options on each product page. After picking your type of hosting, you’ll be sent to a product page that has different tiers of it. Instead of technobabble about the differences between tiers, SiteGround shows you how much space your website will have and how many visitors it can handle.
Checking out is simple, too. SiteGround keeps the number of steps to a minimum and allows you to set your login credentials right away, unlike the insecure email route of LunarPages (read our LunarPages review).
Things aren’t so great after that, though. SiteGround has an outdated control panel. Though it’s still as functional as any leading web host’s, the face leaves a lot to be desired. Everything is crammed toward the center of the page with little thought put into navigation. Finding cPanel, for example, requires you to go to a different tab and find a link in a long list of options.
cPanel is similarly dated. Though it’s not as offensive as HostPapa’s (read our HostPapa review), SiteGround’s implementation of cPanel looks a decade out of date. Like the account dashboard, it’s usable, but its looks could be improved. As we saw in our best web hosting with cPanel guide, a pretty face not only makes the cPanel more attractive but also more functional.
InMotion Hosting isn’t difficult to use, but choosing a plan is. The website is well-designed and easy to navigate, but the way plans are laid out makes it difficult to get a grasp on what’s what. If you’re going in without direction on what you want to purchase, it’s easy to go down a rabbit hole.
Once you find the type of hosting you want, though, comparing tiers is simple. InMotion Hosting provides more technical details on each tier, but it’s still easy to digest. If you know what you’re looking for, there’s a highly detailed comparison of tiers to browse, too.
After you check out, InMotion Hosting will send you a few emails with instructions on how to sign in. Though we’re not fans of sending credentials that way, the emails were prompt. Once you get them, you can log in to the Account Management Panel, or, as InMotion Hosting calls it, AMP.
AMP is excellent. The usual account management tools are present, including links to change your billing information, purchase additional domains and add services to your plan. There are also many items from cPanel directly inside AMP. That means you can quickly use the Softaculous app installer or add email addresses without opening cPanel.
Though handy to have around, there’s no reason to avoid cPanel. It’s a mostly stock build in terms of layout. The color scheme and icons have been designed to match InMotion Hosting’s aesthetic, though, leading to a cohesive look through the two control panels. Additionally, InMotion Hosting added a top menu for jumping to different sections of cPanel.
Round Three Thoughts
Round three is still close, but it’s not as close as our previous two rounds. SiteGround isn’t difficult to use, but it’s dated. Despite us saying many times that the control panel needs to be updated, it’s still as drab as it was years ago. InMotion Hosting, on the other hand, has an excellent control panel that integrates seamlessly with cPanel.
4. Speed and Uptime
Round four is perhaps the most objective of the lot. We test websites using two tools: Pingdom Speed Test and Load Impact. First, we create an account and purchase the most inexpensive shared plan. Then, we install a blank copy of WordPress and run the test website through our benchmarks.
In this round, we’re going to compare the results we gathered for InMotion Hosting and SiteGround.
SiteGround performed well, according to Pingdom Speed Test. It gave our test site a 96 out of 100, which is the best score we’ve seen outside of the overpriced Pagely (read our Pagely review). As you can see in the chart below, though, the load time was long — 2.98 seconds, to be exact.
That said, if we dig into the details, we can see that’s not on SiteGround’s shoulders. The majority of the time was taken by DNS requests, which makes sense, considering our domain wasn’t managed by SiteGround. The “wait” time, which is most important to evaluating a web host, was low, likely thanks to SuperCacher.
Load Impact produced great results, too. We use this tool for stress testing, sending 50 virtual users to the server over five minutes. SiteGround had a small amount of inconsistency, but compared to GreenGeeks, it was rock solid (read our GreenGeeks review). All of our requests made it through, too, which is nice to see.
During our testing, we had 100 percent uptime. Thankfully, though, you don’t have to take our word for it. SiteGround has a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee that’s more generous than most. If your website falls below that threshold, you’ll receive a free month of hosting. Plus, for each full percentage point below 99 percent, you’ll get an additional month of free hosting.
InMotion Hosting wasn’t as impressive in our first benchmark. Pingdom Speed Test gave it an 84 out of 100, which is one of the worst performances we’ve seen. It’s important to remember that our website has no content on it, so anything below 100 percent means there’s interference from the web host. A fully loaded site would likely be even slower.
It makes sense that the score was low, though. As you can see in the chart above, the “wait” time was around twice as long as SiteGround’s, meaning the browser had to wait that long to start receiving data. It’s likely the poor performance is thanks to the lack of server-side caching, meaning InMotion Hosting is fetching data upon request instead of serving it from the cache.
Load Impact had decent results, thankfully. InMotion Hosting was more consistent than SiteGround and able to serve every request, which is something not all web hosts can boast. The load time got higher toward the end, but it wasn’t bad overall.
As for uptime, InMotion Hosting offers a 99.9 percent guarantee. At least, that’s what the website says. Digging into the terms of service, we found that it actually offers a 99.999 percent uptime guarantee, which is a significant difference. As with SiteGround, if your website falls below that threshold, you’ll receive a month of hosting for free.
Round Four Thoughts
InMotion Hosting performed well in our Load Impact test and comes with a generous uptime guarantee, to boot, but SiteGround has the clear edge. It was faster in the Pingdom Speed Test benchmark, more consistent in our Load Impact test and comes with a better uptime guarantee.
5. Security and Privacy
Our last round focuses on security and privacy, which is more of a concern for web hosting than it’d seem at first. This round is focused not only on keeping your site and its visitors protected, but also your personal information.
Security features are abundant with SiteGround. As with the standard features list, everything is available. Plus, available across plans. For starters, each shared plan is segmented to an isolated directory, meaning that if one website on the server gets infected, the rest of them won’t be affected.
Additionally, there’s a security suite protecting your website. SiteGround includes a web application firewall, automated daily backups, a free SSL/TLS certificate and an AI-driven anti-bot system with every plan. Users on higher tiers of shared or WordPress hosting can make on-demand backups, too.
That said, domain privacy isn’t offered for free like it is with Midphase or WestHost (read our Midphase review and WestHost review). It’ll run you an additional $12 per year, which isn’t the most expensive we’ve seen, but it isn’t the cheapest, either.
InMotion Hosting includes the necessary security features to protect your website. As with SiteGround, you’re secured with a free SSL/TLS certificate, automated daily backups and simple Cloudflare integration. InMotion Hosting goes a step further, though, by including malware protection, too.
Across plans, InMotion Hosting will scan your website for vulnerabilities and patch them daily. If malware is found, it’ll be quarantined free of charge. Considering a service like that could cost upward of $100 per year with, say, HostMonster, InMotion Hosting’s inclusion is impressive (read our HostMonster review).
As for privacy, InMotion Hosting is equally matched with SiteGround. Domain privacy is a paid service, unfortunately, running $13 per year. Though not much different from SiteGround, it’d be nice to see it offered for free.
Round Five Thoughts
6. Final Thoughts
This comparison, more so than our others, was close. InMotion Hosting and SiteGround are excellent services, but for features, pricing and speed, SiteGround is the superior option.
That said, InMotion Hosting is still a great choice. It offers a long list of hosting types, excellent customer service and a solid list of features, to boot. Even so, if you feel like you need to browse more, check out our web hosting archive.
Do you think SiteGround is the better option, too? If not, why do you like InMotion Hosting more? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.