Hawk Host vs SiteGround: $5 vs $20 Web Hosting Compared

Hawk Host vs SiteGround in the Context

Less powerWeb hostingCloud hostingPro
Lower priceHawk HostCloudwaysSemi-managed
Higher priceSiteGroundKinstaFully managed
BeginnerShared resourcesPrivate resourcesMore power
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Introduction: Hawk Host vs SiteGround

When it comes to choosing inexpensive web hosting, two most popular options are often Hawk Host and SiteGround.

The companies have many similarities. Both Hawk Host and SiteGround were founded in 2004 and are established brands with over 15 years of experience. Both have become global hosts with data center locations in North America, Europe and Asia. And both are customer-centered companies with 24/7 in-house tech support and essential guarantees (99.9% uptime and 30-day refunds).

 Hawk HostSiteGround
Founded20042004
SizeMediumLarge
Main officeCanadaBulgaria
Data centers74
Hawk Host and SiteGround Server Locations Placeholder
Hawk Host and SiteGround Server Locations
  • Blue: Hawk Host & SiteGround
  • Black: Hawk Host only
  • Red: SiteGround only

There are also significant differences between SiteGround and Hawk Host. This article zooms in on those differences in greater detail in order to help you make an informed choice between Hawk Host vs SiteGround.

Essentially we ask one main question when comparing SiteGround vs Hawk Host:

Is it worth paying four times more for web hosting?

SiteGround’s plan for multiple websites costs $19.95 on a regular basis while Hawk Host’s equivalent plan costs $4.99.

Plans and Pricing

To compare SiteGround vs Hawk Host, it is crucial to focus on those plans that are similar and actually comparable.

Hawk Host has two plans that differ only in the amount of disk space. The cheapest Primary plan has a limit of 10 GB of disk space and 500K inodes. Otherwise, there are no limits on the number of domains, databases, email accounts and bandwidth. We have tested the Primary plan and will focus on it.

SiteGround has three plans that have more differences among themselves. The cheapest StartUp plan is limited to 1 domain only and does not include speed optimizations that SiteGround is known for. We have therefore tested and focus on the GrowBig plan. It includes 20 GB of disk space, 300K inodes and an unlimited number of domains, databases, email accounts and bandwidth.

 Hawk HostSiteGround
PlanPrimaryGrowBig
Promo price$2.24$5.95
Promo conditions24 monthsFirst invoice
Regular monthly price$4.99$19.95
Credit cardYesYes
PayPalYesUpon request
BitcoinYesNo
Money-back30 days30 days

SiteGround has a huge discount on any first payment but becomes much more expensive on a recurring basis. Instead, Hawk Host does not change pricing on renewals and the price depends on the billing cycle (1 to 24 months).

So, why is there such a significant difference in pricing between SiteGround and Hawk Host? To answer the question, we need first to look into the technical setup of the two hosts.

Technical Setup and Features

Both SiteGround’s and Hawk Host’s inexpensive plans provide shared – rather than private – web hosting resources. However, their shared platforms rely on a different set of software and tools.

One of the reasons SiteGround hosting costs more is because SiteGround has many custom solutions starting from its infrastructure (LXC platform) to website-level optimizations (caching plugin).

Like many budget hosts, Hawk Host uses many ready-made tools including Storpool storage system, LiteSpeed Web Server and LiteSpeed Cache. This said, unlike other cheaper alternatives, Hawk Host includes extra caching (Memcached and Redis) which is easy to configure from within the control panel.

 Hawk HostSiteGround
Web serverLiteSpeedApache & Nginx
Database serverMariaDBPercona
CachingMemcached & RedisNginx & Memcached
Caching pluginLSCacheSG Optimizer
Account isolationCloudLinuxCHROOT
Limiting factorCPU Cores & RAMCPU Seconds
Resource limits1 Core & 1 GB RAM600,000/month
Control panelcPanelCustom
App installerSoftaculous & FantasticoCustom
Backup softwareAcronisCustom
Backup frequencyDailyDaily
Backup retention7 days30 days

Talking of the control panel, until 2019 SiteGround used cPanel. In 2019 SiteGround launched its custom-made control panel, which allows the host to implement server-side changes faster and with more flexibility. SiteGround also has its own WordPress installer, staging tool and backup solution.

Hawk Host uses cPanel, the most popular control panel. It includes two app installers, Softaculous and Fantastico, that have a function to stage and clone websites. And for backups Hawk Host uses Acronis Backup.

Finally, in terms of security, both Hawk Host and SiteGround have hardware firewalls in place. They also ensure account isolation, although in different ways. Both companies support Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates, keep up with the latest version of PHP and integrate with Cloudflare CDN.

Performance: Uptime and Load Time

How does the technical setup translate into performance? We regularly test Hawk Host and SiteGround using HetrixTools. For our most recent results, we tested SiteGround and Hawk Host for a year between November 2018 and November 2019.

Uptime: The results below show that SiteGround generally has better uptime and overall stability. As of the end of 2019, SiteGround’s 2019 uptime is above 99.93% while Hawk Host’s uptime is about 99.90%. The uptime includes scheduled maintenance, of which both SiteGround and Hawk Host had several.

Load Time: With regard to the speed, the difference is less obvious. In fact, Hawk Host had a slightly better average load time of 400 ms compared to SiteGround’s 602 ms. This result confirms that LiteSpeed WS and LSCache work well for shared hosting. The speed is, however, a non-impacting factor and greatly depends on the website-level configurations.

Hawk Host Pros and Cons

Hawk Host Pros

  • Stable affordable pricing
  • Generous resource limits
  • Excellent load times
  • Popular cPanel control panel
  • Free website migration
  • Locations on three continents
  • 30-day money back guarantee

Hawk Host Cons

  • Uptime just around 99.9%
  • Limited WordPress-specific support
  • Manual account setup

SiteGround Pros and Cons

SiteGround Pros

  • Unique platform & infrastructure
  • Custom-made control panel
  • Stable uptime above 99.9%
  • Good & stable load times
  • In-house WordPress caching plugin
  • Recommended by WordPress.org
  • WordPress-specific support
  • Free website migration
  • Immediate account setup
  • Locations on three continents
  • 30-day money back guarantee

SiteGround Cons

  • Plans renew at higher prices
  • Low resource limits

SiteGround WordPress Hosting

Conclusion: SiteGround vs Hawk Host

So, is it worth paying more for web hosting? That is, will you be better off with SiteGround rather than Hawk Host?

The answer will depend on your strategy and expectations. If you expect your website to grow and generate income, it may be a good idea to get a discount on your first payment with SiteGround. If, however, you do not expect your website to grow much, you may want to choose Hawk Host to save in the long term.

If you are looking for WordPress hosting, you may also want to consider the tools and support the two companies offer. Hawk Host provides what can be termed Semi-Managed WordPress hosting, meaning primarily that its WordPress-level support is very limited. SiteGround offers a more advanced level of WordPress management.

With both hosts, however, you get plenty of great features. Here is a recap of how Hawk Host compares to SiteGround.

  • Pricing

Lowest price: $2.24/month

Regular monthly price: $4.99

  • Pricing

Lowest price: $5.95/month

Regular monthly price: $19.95

  • Locations

USA (NY, TX, CA), Amsterdam, Singapore, Hong Kong & Toronto

  • Locations

USA (IA), London, Amsterdam & Singapore

  • Uptime

>99.90%

  • Uptime

>99.93%

  • Load Time

+/- 500 ms

  • Load Time

+/- 500 ms

  • Control Panel

cPanel

  • Control Panel

SiteGround

  • Automated Backups

Acronis Backup

Daily backups

7-day retention

  • Automated Backups

SiteGround Backup

Daily backups

30-day retention

  • Platform

Cloud hosting (NY & Singapore)

LiteSpeed & MariaDB

  • Platform

Cloud hosting (all locations)

Nginx & Percona

  • Visitors

Unmetered

Limited by CPU & RAM

  • Visitors

~ 25,000

Limited by CPU Seconds

  • WordPress Tools

Softaculous staging tool

LSCache plugin

Multiple layers of caching

Limited WP-level support

  • WordPress Tools

Custom staging tool

In-house plugins

Multiple layers of caching

Full-scale WP-level support

  • Tech Support

In-house 24/7 support

Free website migration

Response within 3 hours

  • Tech Support

In-house 24/7 support

Free website migration

Response within 1 hour

4.8/5
4.8/5
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