Siteground vs Cloudways : updated 2020

Update: As of Nov 25, 2020, Siteground’s pricing has been increased and the basic Startup plan will cost $15/mo upon renewal. Add to this, Cloudways’s monthly billing and Cloudways is the clear winner. 

Siteground vs Cloudways. Two names will pop up when you look for good quality hosting. Siteground has a reputation for good performance and amazing support. I have moved a few people from not-so-good hosting to Siteground on many occasions and it has never let me down.

However, thanks to my friend, and WordPress optimization expert Gulshan Kumar, I got a chance to test a theme on Cloudways. The performance of the theme on Cloudways was mind-blowing!.

I had this experience before: when I had tested Siteground for the first time. It was in a different league. At the time, Siteground was faster than the average hosting I had seen. And now, it was Deja Vu! Cloudways was at least 30% faster than Siteground when I tested it.
Just when I thought the matter was settled and was jumping ship from Siteground to Cloudways, something huge happened: Siteground announced that they are moving to Google Cloud Platform. At the same time, I also started hearing about the good experiences people were having with Cloudways. And so, I got an idea for my first blog:

Siteground vs Cloudways hosting comparison

First I will compare performances. For this, I will carry out four rounds of testing. First round will be with the default wordpress theme Twenty Tweynty. Second round will be with the theme I use myself : OceanWP. The third round will be with Astra, one of the fastest themes, and feature packed too. The last round of testing will be with Hestia, a modern and elegant theme. For each theme, I will import the same demos into both Siteground and Cloudways installations. To eliminate any doubts, I will test each theme three times.

For this comparison, I am using Siteground’s Startup plan. This is hosted on Google Cloud. And on Cloudways, I am using the most affordable Digital Ocean plan. 

Both the servers are located in the United States and so the test region is also set to Dallas, USA in GTMetrix.

Siteground vs Cloudways, Round 1: Default Twenty Twenty theme

I ran this test three times for each platform and the results are here :

Siteground:

Cloudways:

 

Twenty-Twenty 1st test stats:

Parameter

Siteground

Cloudways

Pagespeed

98%

98%

YSlow

91%

91%

Fully Loaded Time

1.1s

0.7s

Page size

341KB

323KB

Requests

18

18

TTFB

228ms

177ms

First paint

0.8s

0.47ms

Dom

0.8s

0.44s

Onload

1.0s

0.5s


Twenty-Twenty 2nd test stats:

Parameter

Siteground

Cloudways

Pagespeed

98%

98%

YSlow

91%

91%

Fully Loaded Time

1.0s

1.6s

Page size

341KB

323KB

Requests

18

18

TTFB

245ms

184ms

First paint

0.6s

1.1s

Dom

0.6s

1.2s

Onload

0.8s

1.4s


Twenty-Twenty 3rd test stats:

Parameter

Siteground

Cloudways

Pagespeed

98%

98%

YSlow

91%

91%

Fully Loaded Time

1.2s

0.7s

Page size

341KB

323KB

Requests

18

18

TTFB

223ms

167ms

First paint

0.6s

0.5s

Dom

0.6s

0.48ms

Onload

0.9s

0.6s

Verdict: For Round 1, Cloudways performed better 2 out of 3 times

Siteground vs Cloudways, Round 2: Ocean WP Theme

Ocean WP 1st test stats:

Parameter

Siteground

Cloudways

Pagespeed

95%

96%

YSlow

75%

85%

Fully Loaded Time

4.7s

3.8s

Page size

1.32MB

1.26MB

Requests

70

70

TTFB

1.3s

0.467s

First paint

2.4s

1.9s

Dom

3.3s

2.7s

Onload

4.0s

3.4s

Ocean WP 2nd test stats:

Parameter

Siteground

Cloudways

Pagespeed

95%

96%

YSlow

75%

85%

Fully Loaded Time

2.9s

1.8s

Page size

1.32MB

1.26MB

Requests

70

70

TTFB

0.6s

0.424s

First paint

1.5s

0.9s

Dom

2.2s

1.2s

Onload

2.6s

1.5s

Ocean WP 3rd test stats:

Parameter

Siteground

Cloudways

Pagespeed

95%

96%

YSlow

75%

85%

Fully Loaded Time

1.8s

1.8s

Page size

1.32MB

1.26MB

Requests

70

70

TTFB

0.5s

0.48s

First paint

1.1s

0.9s

Dom

1.4s

1.3s

Onload

1.6s

1.5s

Verdict: For Round 2, Cloudways performed better 2 out of 3 times

Siteground vs Cloudways, Round 3: Astra Theme

Astra 1st test stats:

Parameter

Siteground

Cloudways

Pagespeed

97%

97%

YSlow

81%

90%

Fully Loaded Time

1.6s

1.2s

Page size

945KB

895KB

Requests

56

56

TTFB

372ms

334ms

First paint

0.9s

0.8s

Dom

1.1s

0.8s

Onload

1.2s

0.9s

Astra 2nd test stats:

Parameter

Siteground

Cloudways

Pagespeed

97%

97%

YSlow

81%

90%

Fully Loaded Time

2.4s

1.4s

Page size

945KB

895KB

Requests

56

56

TTFB

0.9s

0.3s

First paint

1.5s

0.8s

Dom

1.8s

1.0s

Onload

1.9s

1.2s

Astra 3rd test stats:

Parameter

Siteground

Cloudways

Pagespeed

97%

97%

YSlow

81%

90%

Fully Loaded Time

1.8s

3.2s

Page size

945KB

895KB

Requests

56

56

TTFB

0.5s

332ms

First paint

1.1

2.0s

Dom

1.2s

2.5s

Onload

1.4s

2.9s

Verdict: For Round 3, Cloudways performed better 2 out of 3 times

Siteground vs Cloudways, Round 4: Hestia Theme

Hestia 1st test stats:

Parameter

Siteground

Cloudways

Pagespeed

82%

89%

YSlow

85%

90%

Fully Loaded Time

1.9s

1.0s

Page size

734KB

692KB

Requests

40

40

TTFB

308ms

172ms

First paint

1.0s

0.6s

Dom

1.2s

0.7s

Onload

1.3s

0.7s

Hestia 2nd test stats:

Parameter

Siteground

Cloudways

Pagespeed

82%

89%

YSlow

85%

90%

Fully Loaded Time

1.7s

0.9s

Page size

734KB

692KB

Requests

40

40

TTFB

303ms

211ms

First paint

0.9s

0.6s

Dom

1.2s

0.7s

Onload

1.3s

0.7s

Hestia 3rd test stats:

Parameter

Siteground

Cloudways

Pagespeed

82%

89%

YSlow

85%

90%

Fully Loaded Time

1.7s

2.7s

Page size

734KB

692KB

Requests

40

40

TTFB

289ms

255ms

First paint

1.2s

1.7s

Dom

1.7s

2.0s

Onload

1.9s

2.3s

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Performance Conclusion

Cloudways has performed better than Siteground in eight out of tweleve tests that I ran. But the difference is not huge. Both the platforms are top class.

However, in every test, Cloudways was better than Siteground wrt TTFB and YSlow score.

Siteground vs Cloudways : Features comparison

Now that we know how the two platforms, let’s see how they compare on features:

Feature

Siteground

Cloudways

Price

Starts at $3.95/mo renews at $11.95/mo

Starts at $10/mo. Also provides a pay as you go option

Security

Secure with regularly updated FireWall

Secure with regularly updated FireWall

Multi Domain Hosting

Requires at lest Grow Big plan. ($5.95/mo, renwes at $19.95/mo)

All plans allow Multi Domain Hosting

Disk Space

10GB

25GB

Ram

Unknown

1Gb

Bandwidth

Unlimited (probably has some sensible limits to prevent abuse)

1 TB/mo

Free SSL

Yes

Yes

Email

Yes

Available as an add-on

Support

Outstanding

Good

Advantages of Siteground

1> Pricing: the first term pricing starts from $3.95/mo. So, at $4/mo, you get a world class hosting. To make the most of it, you can buy up to 36 months of hosting at this price.

2> Bespoke servers. Siteground offers bespoke servers for high volume sites. Some large sites that have millions of visitors per month rely on Siteground’s tech prowess to design custom solutions for them.

Try Cloudways Hosting for Free!

Advantages of Cloudways

1> True Cloud Hosting. At $10/mo, you get to experience true cloud hosting. You can scale up and scale down resources to suit your requirements.

2> Monthly Billing: $10/mo translates to $120 per year. But Cloudways allows monthly billing. So customers do not have to pay $120 upfront. instead, they can pay $10 per month. This eases the burden on customers and allows us to get the benefits of great hosting.

3> Pay as you go: When you are creating your site, you may not use the resources much. In such scenarios, you can opt for pay-as-you-go billing. I was charged $6 for a month when I wasn’t using any resources.

4> Sites with a lot of dynamic data: Cloudways is suitable for sites with a lot of dynamic data, like job portals, review aggregator sites, etc. These type of sites have a lot of tables which are related to each other. As the number of rows increases, fetching all this relational data becomes resource-intensive. With Cloudways, customers can scale up resources to meet the demands without any downtime.

What do I choose?

I wanted a solid hosting for my site WpMitra. I will definitely need multi domain hosting and I will need to scale up and scale down resources as I create experimental sales funnels and marketing related blogs.

For these requirements, I am choosing Cloudways. However, if you have sites on Siteground, they’re probably on GCP by now, and they are performing well.

Try Cloudways Hosting for Free!

Disclosure: I am an affiliate marketer and some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. I may earn a commission when these links are clicked. I only recommend products that I am convinced are the best.

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