GreenGeeks vs Hostgator: Why I Moved My Websites

Recently, I’ve had a problem with my blogs performing less than admirable. The speed was just atrocious whether I was loading the front-end or trying to log into the admin screen of WordPress. So, I decided to test my sites. Here is my experience with GreenGeeks vs Hostgator.

Keep in mind that I haven’t spent as much time sprucing up my sites as I should have. Some of my lackluster efforts came as a result of poor speeds, though.

It can sap your motivation if the website takes longer than 30 seconds to move from one admin screen to the next.

And when I asked about the speed, Hostgator’s response was to spend an additional $80 per year for the premium Cloud-hosting feature. This is on top of the $180 I’m already giving them!

It’s a prime example of how a company purposely creates a problem so they can offer a new service to “improve the experience.”

But that’s a tale for another time.

Comparing GreenGeeks vs Hostgator

I’ve had the chance to use testing platforms on GreenGeeks and was simply blown away by how fast the servers are. After a couple of years, I decided to give the company a test run of my own sites to see what would happen.

I mean, I’ve been a Hostgator customer since 2008, and I’m usually very loyal to my brands. But I need to do what’s best for my sites in this case.

And the upgrade they suggested really irked my goat.

Before moving the blogs over, I tested each one several times using PageSpeed Insights and GTMetrix. The tests were run at different times of the day to get an average. And I tested each page four to five times.

This way, I could factor in primetime numbers. And yes, this took a few weeks to complete because I wanted to test the sites at specific times for accurate results.

And the results between GreenGeeks vs Hostgator were simply astonishing!

The tests included the top three blog posts of each website. I wanted to see how posts themselves load since it’s the articles that usually drive the most traffic to any website.

MichaelBrockbank.com, Winner: GreenGeeks(?)

The first site I moved was this one, MichaelBrockbank.com. It’s much smaller than the others, so I didn’t figure there would be a profound difference. After all, I don’t have a lot of content, plugins or widgets on this site.

But after running the tests, the load time was still faster at GreenGeeks than it was with Hostgator.

MichaelBrockbank.com
HostPSI Mobile ScorePSI Desktop ScoreGTMetrix PSYslowFully Loaded
GreenGeeks90.798.783.0%70.0%1.2 sec
Hostgator90.795.087.7%71.0%1.53 sec

Although the site loads faster for GreenGeeks, GTMetrix gave it a much lower score. I’m not entirely sure as to why especially when it came to the PageSpeed analysis.

Nothing was changed between the tests, so you would think both systems would have similar results.

Still, this website loaded 0.37 seconds faster on the GreenGeeks server. A lot of the poor scoring in GTMetrix referred to things like image optimization and minifying JavaScript and CSS.

This was to be expected considering I haven’t really done much to optimize this website.

WriterSanctuary.com, Winner: GreenGeeks

Currently, WriterSanctuary.com is my flagship in terms of blogs. It’s where I spend a lot of my time, whether it’s blogging or producing YouTube videos.

It’s the second-largest blog I have in terms of content. So seeing a comparison of GreenGeeks vs Hostgator was amazing when I saw the numbers.

WriterSanctuary.com
HostPSI Mobile ScorePSI Desktop ScoreGTMetrix PSYslowFully Loaded
GreenGeeks27.971.278.5%62.4%5.0 sec
Hostgator22.561.872.3%60.7%7.2 sec

Overall, GreenGeeks surpassed Hostgator in performance. Not only was the site more than two seconds faster, but all tests were superior.

Remember, this is a comparison of GreenGeeks vs Hostgator in pure server power alone. I know I still have a lot of optimization to do on my blogs. But these results show just how much faster GreenGeeks servers are regarding the average website.

Another thing I want to point out is how consistent the scoring was for GreenGeeks. There wasn’t much fluctuation in the score for all three pages tested throughout the day. This demonstrated stability and consistent high performance.

In fact, every test for WriterSanctuary scored nearly identical at every moment of the day.

Whereas the tests for Hostgator were all over the map. Sometimes the pages would load fairly quick while other tests showed severe slowness.

CrossingColorado.com, Winner: GreenGeeks(?)

CrossingColorado.com has the most content of all my sites. It was my primary blog until Google’s YMYL updates which sunk it in visibility and traffic. I’m still working on fixing the site.

Thank you, Google!

Anyway, the tests for this site were a bit confusing. I will still say GreenGeeks is the winner based purely on page load time, but the scores just didn’t make much sense.

CrossingColorado.com
HostPSI Mobile ScorePSI Desktop ScoreGTMetrix PSYslowFully Loaded
GreenGeeks16.056.862.9%57.1%5.2 sec
Hostgator14.860.865.7%58.9%12.4 sec

As you can see, Hostgator scored better in the individual tests but was considerably slower than GreenGeeks. I’m talking a 7.2-second difference, here!

Because of the results, I ran the testing a second time…which meant another week of testing at different time intervals. The results were the same.

The only thing I can think of that would move the needle like this is perhaps I have something set up on the Hostgator server to help boost performance that I haven’t done on GreenGeeks yet.

Unfortunately, I’m not 100% sure what that can be. But the point of this test is speed. And GreenGeeks blew Hostgator out of the water with a 7.2-second difference.

In fact, one of my pages in particular was 10 seconds faster on average while using GreenGeeks!

And yes, I know that 5.2 seconds is still pretty slow. I’m working on it.

What About ColoradoPlays.com?

The last test I was running was for ColoradoPlays.com, my gaming blog. Unfortunately, the Hostgator account was hit with malware that infected every WordPress platform on my account.

On the upside, I already managed to move the sites above before the incident.

Unfortunately, Hostgator didn’t have a backup as they said I simply had too much on the account. I’m not sure what they call “too much,” but I lost all of the images for ColoradoPlays.com in the process.

Luckily, I was able to back up the database. So, I didn’t lose the content. But now Google is flagging me for missing URLs from those images.

Needless to say, my once favorite hosting company has definitely changed my mind. It was a good decade, up until the company started overloading the shared servers and then offering a “fix” to help speed issues.

And because of this experience, I am going to say GreenGeeks wins based on the poor interaction I had with Hostgator.

Overall Winner: GreenGeeks!

I know some people might think my results are a bit biased. After all, I work quite closely with GreenGeeks. But when it comes to my blogs, websites I’ve poured a lot of time into, I need to do what’s best.

And in this case, it so happens to be hosting with GreenGeeks. I knew the servers were fast, but I had no idea how much improvement it made until I saw the numbers.

It’s also important to note that WriterSanctuary.com has also increased in Google Search Results in average position by quite a bit. I have no doubt this is because the site is much faster than it was before.

Too bad CrossingColorado.com needs so much work thanks to the algorithm update in June 2019. I bet the speed boost would have thrust the content much higher.

GreenGeeks vs Hostgator: Speed Matters!

In the grand scheme of things, speed makes a huge impact on website success. It’s not just Google that puts a high emphasis on speed and performance.

In fact, more than half of people visiting a site from a mobile device will leave if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

This goes to show that you should never settle on a slow hosting company because you feel obligated. If the web host cared about your business, it would offer the best services possible.

Michael Brockbank

I've been a freelance writer since January 1, 2012. I've worked with a myriad of clients and currently the Content Marketing Team Lead for GreenGeeks web hosting. My fingers are also in a lot of different industries such as gaming and fitness.

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