I have been using SiteGround for over 3 years to host Joomla and Wordpress websites. I have to say, this is a rare beast, and a hidden gem in the web hosting market. Despite minor niggles, SiteGround eclipses many of its big rivals on most of the features small businesses needs such as speed, uptime, and customer support.
Prior to SiteGround, I have used Godaddy and Bluehost to host my websites. I find the experience with SiteGround as the best. I have listed my reasons to stick with SiteGround and also listed some minor niggles observed.
10 Best Reasons to Chose Siteground
|What’s good about SiteGround Hosting?||What’s bad about SiteGround Hosting?|
1. High Uptime (consistently around 99.99%)
Instead of using ready-made software solutions, SiteGround prefers in-house crafted solutions to ensure high-quality hosting experience.
- Their platform is built on Linux containers that provide great stability in times of unexpected traffic spikes.
- SiteGround were the first that introduced the account isolation technology for client security.
- They built their own proactive server monitoring system that monitors their servers every 0.5 seconds and also proactively fixes any problems without human intervention, thus ensuring amazing uptime.
This is the uptime stats for one of our websites in shared hosting plan in 2018:
- January average uptime: 100%
- February average uptime: 99.97%
- March average uptime: 99.99%
- April average uptime: 100%
- May average uptime: 99.97%
- June average uptime: 100%
- July average uptime: 100%
- August average uptime: 99.98%
- September average uptime: 100%
- October average uptime: 99.99%
2. Transparent Community Support
The world of web hosting and cybersecurity is rife with shady practices and unscrupulous behavior.
Luckily, SiteGround is committed to providing their customers with a transparent and straightforward experience as well as a thriving community of experts who can help walk you through different challenges and troubleshooting issues.
From including an uptime monitor in the main navigation menu to sharing the IP address of their data centers to blatantly telling their “GoGeek” customers that they will have fewer accounts on their server than ‘Startup’ customers (a fact that most shared hosting providers avoid), SiteGround is committed to maintaining their company’s integrity and providing you with a clear and transparent customer experience.
Furthermore, they have a strong commitment to the web hosting community and over the years their team has sponsored, attended, or spoken at more than 400 community events.
In conjunction with the high level of support that they provide their customers, this illustrates a clear commitment to the web hosting community and a company culture of support and charity.
3. Fast Load Time
Our SiteGround test site saw average page loading times of ~700ms, much faster than many leading other web hosts. It was also very consistent. No spikes or slow loading times whatsoever.
4. Highly Responsive Support
Customer service is one area where SiteGround pays special attention. Which is no small feat, when you consider that they’re processing over 1,500+ tickets, 800+ phone calls and 2,000+ chat requests each day.
Over 230 people at SiteGround are engaged with customer support only to make sure clients are taken good care of and support is provided in three languages – English, Spanish and Italian.
SiteGround provides support for well beyond only hosting related issues – their reps help with CMS questions as well.
The official client survey results released by SiteGround each year show that their client satisfaction rate is constantly scored over 96%. (2014, 2015, 2016).
5. High Performance Managed Wordpress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting means that someone actually manages the service for you in terms of speed, security, support, updates and provides enhancement tools to make your life easier. The SiteGround platform is built on SSD and have an in-house crafted caching tool, the SuperCacher that is essential for the loading speed of your site.
They are also serious about security by constantly monitoring for WordPress related vulnerabilities and proactively protecting users with custom WAF rules.
They take care of WordPress and plugin updates, make daily backups for free in case a random occurrence might bring down your site. (Which is surprisingly common, like when two plugins don’t play well together and you’re met with the dreaded white screen of death.)
But that’s not all. There is also stuff for power users as well within their GrowBig and GoGeek plans such as: WordPress staging environments, pre-installed Git, WP-CLI for easy command line management options, PCI compliance for e-shops, 1 year Wildcard SSL for free, priority customer support, free backup and restore.
6. Free Bonus of CDN and SSL Certificates
Another great benefit of using SiteGround’s service is that every plan they offer comes equipped with a free SSL certificate and CDN (content delivery network) integration.
Due to the proliferation of cyber attacks and website hacks, Google has shifted certain aspects of their algorithm to favor secure and encrypted websites. Namely, websites with an SSL (secure socket layer) encryption.
With SiteGround, you will receive a free SSL certificate installation (which normally costs around $60) from ‘Let’s Encrypt SSL’ that will instantly bolster your website’s security and search engine optimization.
7. Affordable Pricing
SiteGround offers quality hosting packed with extra features and they are usually not the cheapest option available, however currently their rates are price matching some of the cheapest in the business (to $3.95 per month, down from $9.99 monthly).
Point is, for all of the stellar options they do offer, currently their pricing is a steal compared with other web hosts of lesser quality.
8. Free Transfer for an Existing Website
Just like many others, SiteGround will transfer for free your existing website from a previous host for 24 hours, in comparison this process may be paid or can take up to 30 days with other hosts.
You only get one free professional website transfer, but you won’t have to lift a finger or wait a month to get it. SiteGround’s support agents handle it all.
9. Easy Installation of E-Commerce Applications
E-commerce applications that power the web’s top sites, like Magento, can be especially difficult and problematic if you’re not technically inclined.
Fortunately, SiteGround removes a lot of the hassle by making it easy to choose from 18 eCommerce applications and install your favourite one with 1 click. They also provide multiple server locations, free CDN, PCI compliance, advanced caching solution for top site performance and great customers’ experience. As for security, client accounts are isolated from each other by a custom server solution, which means that if one account gets hacked others are not affected.
10. Free Security Top-ups
In addition to the security options available with their WordPress managed hosting, SiteGround also provides extra security for sites of all shapes and sizes. Available tools include SpamAssassin and SpamExperts, IP address blocklists, Leech Protect, and hotlink protection.
You can also add HackAlert Monitoring (a service that checks your website daily and notifies you if it has been hacked or compromised) for a measly $1 per month.
Cons of Using SiteGround
1. “Setup Fee” for Monthly Billing
They advertise an obscenely low ‘monthly’ price. The catch is that you often have to sign up for two or three years in order to get it. Most other web hosts don’t even offer a true ‘month-to-month’ option, with a one year deal being the shortest they’ll go.
The good news is that SiteGround’s pricing is straightforward and doesn’t play that game. Their low advertised price is for the 12-month deal.
They also do offer a true ‘monthly’ option if you want it. AND it’s the same low advertised price. The only problem is that they also charge a one-time ‘setup fee’ on these ‘month-to-month’ plans of an extra $14.95. And you don’t really find out about this extra fee until the very last second when you’re entering your credit card details.
Conclusion? Don’t pay monthly.
2. Limited Storage Space
Compared with other web hosts, SiteGround’s storage space is a bit on the small size (so you might want to clarify disk space if you think it’ll be a concern).
They will, however, offer a helpful note as to how many monthly visitors you can safely handle without experiencing any issues.
However, if you’re just starting out, the “StartUp” plan will usually be more than enough. If your site grows, you can easily upgrade to a more robust server/plan which is likely to have more power.
With the StartUp plan, you’ll get 10 GB of web space. SiteGround recommends this plan for about 10,000 monthly website visitors.
SiteGround Pricing & Hosting Plans
SiteGround’s shared hosting is the best way to start a new website. Their shared plans are available in three levels to match different budgets.
- Startup: This plan is limited to hosting one website. It includes 10 GB disk space and is suitable for hosting a website having 10,000 monthly visitors. You’ll also get all essential features like 1-click WordPress install, free setup, website transfer, daily backups, and more.
- GrowBig: The GrowBig plan lets you host unlimited websites. It comes with 20 GB disk space and is suitable for hosting websites having 25,000 monthly visitors. You’ll get all the features of the Startup plan, plus you’ll get premium features like Super Cacher, 1-year free wildcard SSL, and more.
- GoGeek: GoGeek plan is suiteable for small eCommerce websites. It can handle websites having 100,000 monthly visitors. In addition to all GrowBig’s features, you’ll get access to more advanced features like one-click git repo creation, WordPress and Joomla staging, and more.