SiteGround hosting is slowly but surely becoming one of the best web hosting companies for bloggers. Almost every blogger I ask is recommending Siteground for WordPress blogs. But can SiteGround really be SO good that people are finding it better than all the other web hosting alternatives out there?
Table of Contents
- 1 What is SiteGround?
- 2 Siteground WordPress Hosting
- 3 Pros and Cons of SiteGround
- 3.1 Pros of SiteGround
- 3.1.1 #1. SiteGround Uptime
- 3.1.2 #2. SiteGround Loading Times
- 3.1.3 #3. SiteGround Server Response Times
- 3.1.4 #4. Multiple Data Centers
- 3.1.5 #5. Daily Backups
- 3.1.6 #6. Transparency
- 3.1.7 #7. Global Reach
- 3.1.8 #8. Awesome Security
- 3.1.9 #9. SiteGround Customer Service
- 3.1.10 #10. Free Website Migration
- 3.1.11 #11. CloudFare CDN One Click Activation
- 3.2 The Cons
- 3.1 Pros of SiteGround
- 4 Siteground Pricing and Siteground Hosting plans
- 4.1 #1. Siteground Start Up Plan – starts at $3.95 per month.
- 4.2 #2. SiteGround GrowBig Plan – pricing starts at $5.95 per month.
- 4.3 #3. SiteGround GoGeek Plan – pricing starts at $11.95 per month.
- 5 Which Siteground plan should I go for?
- 6 What makes SiteGround different?
- 7 Our take of SiteGround
- 8 SiteGround customer reviews
As a beginner I had chosen one of the cheapest hostings available. In fact I had opted for GoDaddy as it had the cheapest domain name as well. After buying domain name from them, I chose their upsell to buy hosting as I figured – let’s all have it in one place and it’s was within my budget.
I never really had any problems with GoDaddy back in 2015 when their customer service was quite responsive. But then I began to hear a lot about SiteGround. Since I wasn’t in the market for domain hosting – I didn’t really pay much attention to them. But fast forward to 2017 and I was again in the market for domain hosting and I finally put SiteGround under the microscope.
Yes, I was a bit skeptical to begin with – but slowly that changed. Every blogger I knew was recommending SiteGround. Yes – EVERY!! Except of course the ones who blogged about web hosting – and they always, without fail recommended Bluehost.
Why? Because Bluehost commissions are so good, that every blogger who is an affiliate – invariably recommends Bluehost. With commissions as high as $125 dollars a sign up Bluehost sure doles out good money. And for struggling bloggers such commissions are their bread and butter. Not only struggling bloggers so many of the established bloggers who do posts like “I made $56,459 blogging” and “Blog Income Report” are all making a butt load of money from web hosting compaines. Bluehost has always been a decent hosting provider, but then I began to hear a lot of complaints about their poor customer service and websites experiencing downtime.
Anyways, so back to SiteGround review.
What is SiteGround?
SiteGround is a hosting company that was founded in 2004, its headquarters is located in Sofia, Bulgaria.
SiteGround offers a range of hosting services; from shared hosting, cloud hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS, reseller hosting, to dedicated servers and enterprise hosting.
- All plans come included with managed WordPress hosting.
- Free SSD drives come included on all shared hosting plans.
- Servers are powered by PHP7, HTTP/2 and NGINX+ caching
- Offers free SSL certificate (Let’s Encrypt) and CloudFlare CDN.
- Also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Website: www.siteground.com
All things considered, SiteGround is the superior web host right now! They have a team that is dedicated to speed, security and support – the 3S that every site needs!
If you’re planning a WordPress website then you’d be happy to know that SiteGround is the most popular and best hosting provider by the WordPress community. In fact, WordPress officially recommends SiteGround as the top web hosting company to consider.
SiteGround includes in all packages – automatic upgrades,CDN, one-click staging built-in WP caching, and GIT version control. It is also among the handful of companies that offer location specific hosting with 3 data centers in USA, Europe, and Asia.
Side Note: Location specific hosting is important because the location of a server did (and still does) have an impact on your SEO ranking. Also if your your website data is being stored on a server close to you (or to your customers), your website will have a response time in the milliseconds.
SiteGround has developed its own unique proprietary in-house WordPress speed and security solutions. Your website is fast and secure from hacks because of these precautions. And bloggers just can’t seem to stop raving about their 24/7 customer friendly support.
SiteGround does have great features, but some features do set them apart from the competition. This helps explain why SiteGround is recommended by WordPress, Joomla and Drupal, and why it gets such enthusiastic user support and great customer reviews.
Facebook has a closed group community called WordPress Hosting with 10K odd members – which is basically a Siteground review forum. Members, vote for their favourite web host each year! And guess which WordPress web hosting service provider raked in the maximum votes, two years running? Yup! It’s SiteGround.
SiteGround has twice been voted the #1 WordPress host (#1 in 2017’s poll and #1 in SiteGround Review 2016’s poll). That’s the best siteground review wordpress users can hope for isn’t it?
#1. Server Speed – Siteground Speed Review
If you want your website to be user friendly the most important thing is speed. We had chosen a different host and when we moved the site over to SiteGround loading time became faster.
Byte Check measures the time it takes to load the first byte (TTFB). This helps to measure of responsiveness of your web server. Most of the websites we had took 2.3 seconds to load but when I moved them to SiteGround it came down to 0.2 seconds.
When measuring using GTmetrix homepage load time went from 6.9 seconds down to a 1.6 seconds after the move. I kid you not! That’s a 5.3 seconds faster load time!
The website loading speed using Pingdom was 4.96 seconds. It went down to 581 milliseconds after moving to Siteground. That’s pretty amazing, don’t you think!
One cardinal rule of the internet – Websites that are slow to load will not rise to the top in any niche. Do you really need to ask? It’s because web users are super impatient. If your page hasn’t loaded in 2 seconds – they will simply click away! Write this down somewhere – the longer you make them wait, the more people you’ll lose.
SiteGround sure does take site speed seriously as they are constantly working on some new technology to improve their sites’ load times – and it’s evident that they are doing it well.
Here’s the geeky list of details that show the specific technologies they use to guarantee quick loading times to their clients:
- SiteGround uses Solid State Drives or SSDs (which are much faster than your regular drives) to store databases and websites
- SiteGround’s uses NGINX web server technology to reduce loading time for static content on websites
- SiteGround SuperCacher plays a key role in loading dynamic content of your website
- SiteGround has their own caching mechanism, which results in better website speed optimization because it relies on NGINX reverse proxy
- They also use Free Content Delivery Network (CDN) and HTTP/2 and PHP7 to ensure that their servers reduce loading time and make your content more accessible.
Anyone who owns a website knows that security breaches are commonplace. Individuals, MNCs and government organizations have all suffered from hacks. While a 100% guarantee is non existent in the online world – SiteGround does indeed offer some of the most reliable security online.
While you will surely have do your part to keep your website safe, some of the security features of SiteGround which make it great are:
- SG does site isolation which ensures that if there’s a security breach of one of the other sites on your server your site is not affected. It’s like a hosting firewall which protects websites from hackers.
- As mentioned above -their servers support HTTP/2 technology. It is the most secure option available, which not many other web hosts offer.
- SiteGround gives everyone the benefit of (WAF) their web application firewall. This protects against security breaches.
- They send out proactive “patches” to everyone when new threats emerge.
SiteGround runs regular virus and malware scans in the background and notifies you of the results. They do this is on a regular basis, which is why users love about their web hosting service.
When things go wrong – that’s what matters most isn’t it? Hosting service can have all the tech in the world – but if something goes South and customer service bails on you – that’s what leaves a sour taste in your mouth.
SiteGround has made customer service a priority and prides itself on that. Loyal customer reviews are the best testimony to this.
SiteGround’s average response time for a ticket is a flat 8 minutes, while the their closest competitor is 44 minutes!! That’s 6 times more efficient, leaving their competitors much room for improvement.
SiteGround Customer Service is offered three ways:
- Chat live where you get an immediate response 24*7
- Phone support is a call away and again you get an instant replies
- Raise a ticket for which you get a reply within 8 minutes. This is indeed even shorter for priority services customers
Instead of waiting hours for a solution – SiteGround can be counted on to give you timely responses. In turn – you’re able to service your users better.
Siteground WordPress Hosting
WordPress is hands down the most popular CMS (Content Management System) in use today. Over 30% of all the websites delivering 60% of the web content is powered on WordPress.
It’s no surprise that SiteGround has managed WordPress hosting which is packed with awesome features:
For that reason, it’s very important to choose a web host that supports WordPress – and SiteGround does. Here are some of its best WordPress-related features:
- Fully managed WordPress hosting for all plans.
- Automatic WordPress updates option is included for all plans.
- Regular updates of installed WordPress plug-ins for all plans.
- Protects from WordPress vulnerabilities by keeping an eye out for threats and writing WAF updates to protect from them.
- Proprietary speed technologies help to make WordPress sites load as quickly as possible.
- Siteground’s SuperCacher is a built-in caching plugin. This plugin is exclusive to SG customers and it increases the traffic your site can handle which in turn speeds up your website loading time.
Only SiteGround’s StartUp plan comes with static caching. SiteGround’s GrowBig and SiteGround’s GoGeek plan both come with static, dynamic and memcache caching. The difference is explained here.
WordPress is SiteGround’s prime focus, but SiteGround is also recommended by Joomla and Drupal officially.
These SiteGround features gives website owners a reassurance of 99.99% uptime. Quick website loading time, high end security tech, and great customer service – what more you need at 3.9 dollars?
Pros and Cons of SiteGround
SiteGround features are impressive, but going into the tech of it won’t give you the complete picture of why choosing SiteGround is good for your website on a practical level.
Having said that, let’s have a look at some of the pros and cons of using SiteGround. It’s obvious there are lot more pros than cons – which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.
Pros of SiteGround
The pros of using SiteGround to host your website are undeniable. This is a company that prides itself on excellent service and it shows.
#1. SiteGround Uptime
Uptime is one of the most important factors when choosing a web host. A hosting company’s uptime stats tell you how often you can expect your website to be “down”.
There are so many factors at play that it’s not possible for any hosting service to claim 100% uptime. That’s why SiteGround guarantees a 99.99% uptime and they genuinely live up to it. Now, isn’t that mindblowing! SG has a monitoring software that alerts them immediately if a website is down and they right to work resolving it.
SiteGround’s uptime figures are out there and they are truly impressive. Overall average uptime of SiteGround as on their website:
- Monthly average uptime for last 30 days of 99.999%
- Annual average uptime for last 365 days of 99.996%
“99.99% uptime means that your website may go down for four hours in 6 months.” In reality SiteGround’s customers don’t ever have to worry about their websites being down.
#2. SiteGround Loading Times
We have talked enough about SiteGround speed technology that reduces loading times for WordPress sites. SiteGround hosted websites have average load time of 1.3 seconds.
Internet users will not give a site more than 3 to 5 seconds to load before they click away. In real time – that’s not much time – but it’s enough to lose your site’s visitors.
#3. SiteGround Server Response Times
SiteGround has fast server response times which is another tick in the right box. Server response time measures how long it takes for the server to load all of the elements of your website for the user.
SiteGround’s server response time averages about 190 milliseconds. This means that both static and dynamic data of your site – no matter where stored can be loaded to a user’s browser in literally milliseconds.
Why should server time matter? Lower server load times means better user experience. Users who visit your site will not consider navigating away if your server responds quickly. And with SiteGround that just what happens!
#4. Multiple Data Centers
SiteGround’s server response times are fast mainly because websites hosted on them have access to multiple data centers. Their data centers are present at strategic locations around the world. Whichever SiteGround plan you choose, you are given the option to select your preferred server location which include:
Data delivery speeds have increased with technology, but the physical distance between a server and the user does still impact loading times.
#5. Daily Backups
It’s always important to have a backup of data on your website. Because if you don’t, you can lose static and dynamic data of your website – which may not be replaceable. Having a hosting backup is like having your website insurance. Website updates gone wrong, user errors,deleted files, or worse – a hack – can all be solved with a single backup restore.
Ideally, when setting up your website, you should have a system that takes regular backups. But, should your back up system fail – SiteGround has your back. SiteGround does backups on a daily basis of their clients’ websites. Should your fail or you need to recover your data – SiteGround customer service can help you get it back.
With the SiteGround StartUp plan you get one free daily backup copy. While on the SiteGround GrowBig and GoGeek plans you get website backup as well as website restoration service as well.
With SiteGround 1-click backup restore tool in CPanel you can easily do the following:
- Manage backups easily with SiteGround’s simple to use 1-click backup tool.
- Restore and create website backups quickly and easily with one click.
- No more data loss due to website mistakes.
- Do experiments with your site and quickly undo anything gone wrong.
Everybody wants to do business with companies that are transparent – with no hidden or suprise charges. Especially when trusting someone with your website – your entire online presence – you got to know that they are being open about how they do things.
SiteGround has till now a good record with transparency. Bang on their website you can see both their monthly and yearly uptime percentages. This gives you a fair idea of how websites on their servers are performing.
SiteGround’s IP addresses of all of their data centers is provided to all clients so that they can test the loading speed of website from each one of the data centers. Then you can pick the one that you feel will deliver the best user experience to your users.
SiteGround is straightforward in what is included in their plans. The pricer plans are serviced from low-volume servers which ensures faster load times.
#7. Global Reach
Internet, as well as the hosting industry has traditionally been US centric. This definitely becomes a pain point for people whose users live in other countries. SiteGround is a Bulgaria based company – with a global perspective.
SiteGround accepts the following currencies:
- US dollars
- British pounds
- Australian dollars
SiteGround also has a dedicated Spanish language page. It has toll free phone numbers for various countries. Country specific domain names are also offered by SiteGround for local businesses.
#8. Awesome Security
We have talked a lot about and how choosing SiteGround to host your site will give your website protection of the best security tools available online.
Besides SiteGround’s amazing security features they also have the following features that can be instrumental in helping to protect your data and users.
- Anti-spam tools like SpamAssassin and SpamExperts help to keep your website safe from spammers.
- Block suspect IP addresses. This can be very useful if you’ve been subjected to an attack.
- Free SSL certificate (Only on certain plans)
- HackAlert service which notifies you immediately if under attack (At an add on of $1/month)
- You can prevent your users from posting their password or login information on the website with an admin feature called Leech Protect.
- Their free SiteCheck tool allows you to quickly and easily check your site for malware to make sure that your visitors are protected.
- SiteGround takes security seriously, and that’s a big pro particularly if your site has an ecommerce store or collects any private information from users.
#9. SiteGround Customer Service
Experienced web developers, have little need for customer support. For lesser mortals, who can use all the help we can get – it’s super important to know that there is help at hand. When something goes wrong with your website – that’s when the customer service response matters. You need to know that you will get a speedy, satisfactory resolution to your query.
In this regard – siteground checks all the right boxes:
- Siteground customer service is fast and responsive.
- Siteground support helps to resolve your issues well.
- Customer support is truly exceptional. You get live chat and can even use telephone support. As soon as you contact them, you’ll get notified of how many customers are ahead of you.
- Wait times are minimal.
- If you put a ticket through their website, then also you get a fast turn around. If you’re a small business or a solopreneur then you will love their customer service as they are really helpful and patient and guide you through every step.
#10. Free Website Migration
For bloggers a major hassle when switching web hosts, is migrating their website. Siteground offers free website transfer service not only for WordPress sites, but also for Joomla and Drupal and other static HTML websites as well.
SiteGround free transfer service will get you a free transfer of your website, emails, FTP accounts, addon domains for (for accounts managed with CPanel) – no matter the size.
All you need to do is fill out the website migration form and wait for SiteGround to do it’s thing. Usually the process of transferring WordPress websites is done by SiteGround in just 24-48 hours.
#11. CloudFare CDN One Click Activation
SiteGround includes Cloudflare’s CDN for free with all plans. Once you access the cPanel you can activate Cloudflare in one single click. WordPress always recommends using a CDN like Cloudflare for speed optimization.
Cloudflare content delivery network (CDN) will caches website content over many data centers worldwide which helps in lesser load times.
Yes, of course SiteGround has its cons. After all, no company can be perfect, but there are fewer cons to consider before you make the decision to use SiteGround as your web host.
#1. Limitation on Data Storage
SiteGround gives a lower cap on the amount of data that you can store on your site.
The more data you store, the slower your website becomes – so Siteground is actually has good reason to do so. If your website is image or video heavy then you may face an issue with the limitations. Storage capacity starts from 10GB to 30GB at the high end.
So, if you’re more of a text based website – its shouldn’t be a problem. But the way out is to take a guess on how much storage you need and choose a plan accordingly.
- StartUp: 10 GB storage is good enough for static websites.
- GrowBig: 20GB storage is good for WordPress and other CMS.
- GoGeek: 30GB storage will work well for eCommerce as well as other media intensive websites.
#2. Resource Limits
SiteGround sets a limit on the amount of resources your website can use in a month. They calculate this based on CPU seconds per account. This can be problematic because when your quota is over, your website may be put on “hold” till the next month’s allowance kicks in.
- StartUp Plan: Suitable for websites getting less than 10,000 visits per month
- GrowBig Plan: Suitable for websites getting less 25,000 visits per month
- GoGeek Plan: Suitable for websites that get over 100,000 visits per month
If your website gets over 3000 to 4000 visitors daily, then it is better to go for a cloud hosting or VPS plan as they come with more resources and will be a better fit.
Siteground Pricing and Siteground Hosting plans
SiteGround offers three different plans for their shared hosting service; Startup, GrowBig, and GoGeek.
#1. Siteground Start Up Plan – starts at $3.95 per month.
Siteground’s StartUp Plan is good for people just experimenting with blogging. If you’re a start up, just beginning to make a mark in the online space – then it doesn’t get cheaper then this!
Features of Siteground basic plan:
- Host 1 website only
- ~ 10,000 monthly visits
- 10GB web space
- Essential features:
- SSD storage
- Free setup & site transfer
- 30 days money back guarantee
- 99.9 percent uptime guarantee
- 24/7 technical support
- Unlimited bandwidth, emails, databases
- Free SSL & HTTP/2
- Free daily backups
- Free CloudFlare CDN
- SuperCacher static caching only
- PHP7 + OpCache
- WordPress & Joomla tools
- cPanel & SSH access
Besides the standard features you get with the StartUp plan SiteGround also gives you the following premium features:
- WordPress caching
- Premium support
- Daily backups and access to a premium site backup and restore service
- First year SSL certificate free
#2. SiteGround GrowBig Plan – pricing starts at $5.95 per month.
GrowBig plan is the one almost everyone recommends starting off with. With this plan you can host more than one website. You also get double the resources than the basic StartUp plan, so your website runs even faster.
Features of Siteground GrowBig Plan:
- Host unlimited websites
- ~ 25,000 monthly visits
- 20GB web space
- All essential + premium features:
- SuperCacher dynamic & memcache caching
- 30 daily backups
- Priority support
- SSD storage
- Wildcard SSL certificate
- Backup & restoration service
- 2x server resources
- 2x database resources
- 2x email resources
#3. SiteGround GoGeek Plan – pricing starts at $11.95 per month.
Sitground’s GoGeek plan is recommended for sites that are heavy on media and receive a lot of traffic.The GoGeek Plan really has four times faster servers than other hosting plans of SiteGround.
In addition to the basic features already mentioned above, this plan gives you 4x more resources:
- Host unlimited websites
- More than 100,000 monthly visits
- 30GB web space
- SuperCacher dynamic & memcache caching
- 1 click WordPress staging
- SG-Git for repository creation
- Pre-Installed Git
- Free PCI compliance
- Premium backup & restoration service
- 4x server resources
- 4x database resources
- 4x email resources
Which Siteground plan should I go for?
So, I hope you got a fair idea of which SiteGround shared hosting plan to choose for yourself. Don’t worry too much about it, as you can always start with a lower plan and then upgrade to a higher one.
Go with the StartUp plan if you have a small static website which is just to maintain your online presence.
Opt for the GrowBig plan if you have a WordPress, Joomla or any other content intensive site.
Choose the GoGeek plan if you have an ecommerce site or are expecting a lot of traffic soon.
What makes SiteGround different?
With Siteground, you’ll see the difference in the following areas:
- Your GTmetrix and Pingdom reports will be awesome!! (Bloggers, do you really need another reason?)
- Siteground speed technology is better than EIG or Godaddy
- Average website load time is 1.3s – you’ll see a vast difference immediately
- Almost all Facebook polls, Blogger groups and forums recommend Siteground
- Siteground semi-dedicated plan will be within your budget, yet much faster than any other shared hosting
- WordPress itself recommends Siteground
- PHP 7, HTTP/2 servers gives the fastest server responses times
- 1-click Cloudflare activation in the cPanel. Wanna see it in action? Click Here
- Their SG Optimizer will keep your site updated with the latest PHP version
- IF you ever have a ticket, it’ll get answered in under 10 mins
- Free migrations for GrowBig/GoGeek Plans
- Let’s Encrypt SSL is provided free
- Daily backups
- WordPress updates done automatically
- Updated security email notifications
- 99.99% uptime guaranteed
- Very helpful in Facebook Groups and Communities
- 30 day money back guarantee
Our take of SiteGround
If you’re still here with me, and not on Siteground.com with your credit card out – then let me just tell you again! We are super happy with Siteground and wouldn’t have any other host! Go for it, you won’t regret it! And even if you do – you have a 30 days money back guarantee, right? So, give them a chance!
SiteGround customer reviews
Well, you needn’t believe everything I say! Here are customer reviews from around the internet.