I am using DigitalOcean for years to host my websites as I am working in a tech company and I find easy to do most of the work myself. I like to have a good site that is offering good performances and security, most of the times I wonder how DigitalOcean is comparing with SiteGround from a performance perspective.
I need to host multiple websites and I need to take this into consideration when comes to price, I will take also into consideration when comparing SiteGround vs DigitalOcean. Both companies are offering different services so I will start next with what each of them is offering in terms of services and WordPress hosting.
What SiteGround Has to Offer
SiteGround is a managed hosting provider that offers shared hosting. It is offering various plans from which you may choose in function of the needs, we will discuss more on the next points. With SiteGround you just choose the package and they will set up everything that is needed to host your website. In the backend, it is using cPanel to host your sites. It has daily and advanced backups for you to protect the data. SiteGround it is running on the latest technologies like PHP7 and last MySql making your website very fast.
SiteGround is offering also some cloud hosting with some VPS options but the price is quite high and for this reason is not for everyone.
Check this post with: How to Start a WordPress Blog on SiteGround
What DigitalOcean Has to Offer
DigitalOcean is newer then SiteGround and it is offering self-managed instances (VPS), which means that DigitalOCean is offering only the infrastructure needed to run your WordPress. After you create your instance you can install what you want on it to host your websites. This kind of service is for advanced users but it is offering more flexibility at lower prices. If you are not a tech person it can be hard for you to manage everything. Besides instance creation (compute) in DigitalOcean you have the below options also:
- Automatic backup – it backups your instance automatically but it cost money.(5$)
- Object Storage with CDN- for speed increase you have a storage with CDN (5$)
- DNS management
- Public IP – free
SiteGround vs DigitalOcean
In next lines we will compare everything from price, data centers, support, features to performance to see which one is for you.
In SiteGround you can choose from 3 packages:
- StartUp– only 1 domain with 10 GB of storage for ~10,000 Visits Monthly starting at 3.95$ and then 9.95 $
- GrowBig – unlimited domains with 20 GB of storage for ~25,000 Visits Monthly starting at 6.45 $ and then 17.95 $ . This is the plan that most used as it has multiple domain.
- GoGeek – unlimited domains with 30 GB of storage for ~100,000 Visits Monthly starting at 11.95 $ and then 29.95 $
The last plan GoGeek it is offering the best performance but it cost a lot more after the first invoice. The prices are paid 1 year in advanced.
DigitalOcean has flexible plans and in the function of your needs you can start with 5$ instance and scale up in the future if you need more. For 5$ you will get 25 GB of SSD, 1 CPU and 1 GB of memory + private IP. No backup in this price but you can host multiple domains. The DigitalOcean has a very flexible price and you can check it below:
On DigitalOcean an advantage it that the price is on hour and billed monthly. If you may need only an instance for a couple of hours you can pay very little.
SiteGround it has a higher price but it has the advantage of using cPanel to administrate your websites, the problem is that you need to pay upfront. DigitalOcean is more flexible and you can pay monthly but you need to do everything yourself.
Data centers are important because as in function of the datacenter used for your website the performance can be very good. In the function of how close the datacenter is from the user, the speed is higher and experience is more good.
SiteGround has datacenter in 3 continents in 5 locations ( 2 USA, 2 Europe and 1 in Asia)
DigitalOcean has datacenters in 4 continents in 8 locations( 2 USA,1 Canada, 3 Europe, 2 Asia)
Data Centers Conclusions
There are more datacenters offered by DigitalOcean but SiteGround it is covering the basic needs.
SiteGround has a better support as it can help you with various issues that you may have like WordPress install and SSL installation. You can chat live with a support representative and they are quite well trained.
DigitalOcean it is offering also support but is more basic, if you don’t know how to add an SSL or install WordPress it will be hard for them to support you. DigitalOcean can offer details about their services and standard configuration, on rest you are on your own.
Security is very important especially these days as a lot of cyber attacks are happening in this part we are going to discuss the security that you have in both.
SiteGround being a service where everything is handled by them can be more secure as the infrastructure is secured by them. You have only access to cPanel and you need to worry only about WordPress and his vulnerabilities, the rest will be handled by SiteGround team. SiteGround it is also offering DDOS protection to better secure your sites.
What I don’t like about cPanel shared hosting accounts is the fact that if you have multiple domains hosted in the same account and one is compromised by malware the rest will also be compromised as the same user is used and can move freely between sites.
DigitalOcean on the other hand it is offering a VPS that is publicly accessible and you need to handle the security part yourself. You need to make the necessary configs and install the proper software to protect your server as best as you can. You can’t just bring up the instance and install WordPress, you need to think how to secure your VPS.
DigitalOcean is not offering any DDOS protection ( but this can be obtained with help of CloudFlare or some WordPress plugins).
What I like on DigitalOcean in comparison to Siteground is the fact that if you are hosting multiple domains in the same instance you can use different users for each and in case one site is compromised it will not spread to the rest.
An important aspect for me is the load performance that is offered by each of them. How fast my site is loading it’s important and I want to have the best performance. In this chapter, we will analyze the performance that DigitalOcean and SiteGround are having on a WordPress site. I have prepared 2 websites in the same continent, 1 hosted on SiteGround GoGeek and 1 hosted on DigitalOcean with EasyEngine installed on a 15$ droplet.
Both websites have:
- Yoast SEO
- Affiliate Coupons
- Social Share
- WP Rocket – configured without the image lazy load and any CDN
- 2 post demo data with some pictures
- Astra Theme
- Convert Pro
On sidebar I have placed also 2 test coupons and activated the Convert Pro plugin as this is something that most users will have.
SiteGround Performance Tests
GTMetrix Home from Dallas
GTMetrix Article with 4 Pictures
Pingdom test for Washington
London GTmatrix Test
Load Impact from Ashburn with 50 sessions for post
As you can see in the SiteGround performance tests the situation looks very good. If you have installed the right plugins and theme you have very good speeds. The LoadImpact tests it shows a very good response from the post with 4 images. SiteGround and WP rocket cache plugin it is doing a very good job in keeping the site very fast even without any CDN.
DigitalOcean Performance Tests
After we have seen that GoGeek plan from Siteground does a very good job it came the time to test what we can do on DigitalOcean with a 15$ instance (2 CPU,2GB of RAM and 60 GB of SSD) with EasyEngine installed with same plugins, images and posts. For installation, I have followed the article: How to Install EasyEngine with WordPress added the latest version of EasyEngine with WordPress and caching. After I have created the same site with the same plugins and themes to test what is happening and how the speed is. The data center is in NY.
GTMetrix Home From Dallas
GTMetrix Post 1 From Dallas
Pingdom test for Washington
London GTmatrix Test
Performance Test Conclusions
We have the below values in the table:
|Home Page Load (GT)||0.8s||0.6s|
|Post Load (GT)||0.9s||0.6s|
|Post Load Pingdom||555ms||278ms|
|London Test (GT)||1.2s||1.4s|
|Load Impact test||91ms||36ms|
SiteGround vs DigitalOcean Video
SiteGround vs DigitalOcean Conclusions
As you can see from this tests DigitalOcean is doing better in results when requests are coming from same continent, none of the services had any problem with the load impact and results were very good and in the favour of DigitalOcean.
On SiteGround you have better security, email accounts but not that much flexibility. On DigitalOcean you have better performance and more flexibility with the cost of doing yourself the configurations. Both services are offering good performance and in the function of your technical knowledge and comfort, you can choose either one.