SiteGround Review




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Web Hosting

SiteGround Review

This review relies strongly on data, such as uptime, load time (speed) and customer support experience.

What is SiteGround?
SiteGround.com is recommended by many on different blogs and forums. It is also officially

recommended by WordPress.org, Joomla and Drupal.

SiteGround has amassed 800,000 domain names worldwide, with data centers across United

States, Europe and even Asia.

Not bad, considering they started out with only one employee back in 2004, making them one

of the youngest behemoths in hosting today.

Siteground review: Their growth

That’s an impressive ascent, so they must be doing something right to achieve such heights

faster than many of its predecessors.

But what?

Decent uptime? Fast loads? Good support? Extra premium features?

The StartUp plan offers the most basic set of features and lacks their famous caching plugin – the SuperCacher that boost websites performance up to several times (available on GrowBig and GoGeek plans).

Here are the results:

Pros of SiteGround Hosting

The primary categories we analyze for web host performance include uptime, speed, and

support. After all, these three categories are the most critical to your site’s success.

However, there are also a few other areas where web hosts can set themselves apart from the

competition, like in additional plan features, which can positively contribute to their overall

rating. SiteGround has a few, which we’ll dive into.

1. High Uptime (99.98%)

All of our reviews are based on twelve months of actual statistics and raw data.

Instead of using ready-made software solutions, SiteGround prefer 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.

During that time, our test site on SiteGround had an average uptime of 99.98%, which is .19%

better than the 99.79% industry standard and a promise from SiteGround.

They only had 12 outages in the last year (2016). That’s impressive as Web Hosting Pad had

2000+ outages.

Nevertheless, here’s the ‘uptime’ detailed overview:

2016:

November uptime: 100%
December uptime: 100%
2017:

January average uptime: 99.99%
February average uptime: 99.97%
March average uptime: 100%
April average uptime: 99.85%
May average uptime: 99.98%
June average uptime: 99.99%
July average uptime: 100%
August average uptime: 100%
September average uptime: 99.99%
October average uptime: 100%
SiteGround Uptime Performance

SiteGround Load Time & UpTime: Last 12 months, detailed data can be found here.

2. TOP 2 Load Time (~500ms)

Over the same 24-month period, our SiteGround test site saw average page loading times of

483ms – faster than the 1059ms average load times we found from other web hosts.

That’s very good, among the quickest we’ve seen.

It was also VERY consistent. No spikes or slow loading times whatsoever. So far, so good.

SiteGround Load Time 2017

Last 12 month average load time (2016 – 2017)
2016:

November average speed: 352ms

December average speed: 686ms
2017:

January average speed: 740ms

February average speed: 694ms

March average speed: 708ms

April average speed: 686ms

May average speed: 686ms

June average speed: 560ms

July average speed: 620ms

August average speed: 650ms

September average speed: 483ms

October average speed: 453ms

3. Knowledgable Support

Customer service is one area where SiteGround pays special attention. Which is no small

feat, considering 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 provide 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).

Case in point: our experience was FANTASTIC.

After only 11 seconds, their friendly and knowledgeable live agent connected with us. Then,

we started to bombard her with different questions on how to do X and how to do Y. For example, we asked her:

#1 How to change nameservers on domains?

#2 How to create email addresses on SiteGround?

#3 How to keep my email inbox free from spam? – She actually told us they have a software

that detects 98% of the spam emails.

It was such a pleasure, that they’re one of the only web hosts we’ve analyzed to get a perfect 10 out of 10 in support.

4. High Performance WordPress Hosting on All Plans

One of the special features that SiteGround plans include (which most other web hosts don’t)

is managed WordPress hosting on all accounts.

What does this mean?

For newbs, it 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.

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.)

You’ll also get access to their ‘Let’s Encrypt SSL’ and free CDN with 100+ server locations to

make sure heavy multimedia files are delivered quickly (ensuring your page load times don’t take a hit either).

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.

Siteground managed WordPress hosting

Free Security Add-Ons

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.

All of their plans come with ‘Let’s Encrypt SSL’ for added security, and you can 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.

Easy E-Commerce Installs

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.

Affordable Pricing (On-Par with Other Web Hosts)

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.

30-Day Money Back Guarantee

SiteGround might not offer a free trial of their services, but they do offer a 30-day money

back guarantee. That’s just the kind of security you need if you’re looking for a web host.

That way, you’ll have peace of mind. You don’t have to fully commit to SiteGround unless you

are 100% satisfied with it in your first 30 days of use.

However, some conditions apply to this host’s money back guarantee:

You must post a service termination request through the User Area.

Initial orders for hosting services are covered only within thirty days from the day that

SiteGround activated the service(s).

Renewal orders are not covered.

Domain name and domain privacy (ID Protect) fees are not refundable. These fees might

even be due upon cancellation, even if they are waived as part of a promotion.

Dedicated and cloud hosting services, paid support, and third-party services are not covered

by the money back guarantee.

Reseller packages are only covered if the entire reseller package is canceled. This guarantee

doesn’t apply to the termination of single accounts in a reseller package, either.

Cons of SiteGround Hosting
SiteGround offers great uptime, page loading speeds, and support. They even offer a bunch of

nice ‘extras’ that can help seal the deal. However, there are a few drawbacks to consider when shopping around.

Here they are:

1. “Setup Fee” for Monthly Billing
Here’s how most web hosts get you.

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 straight forward and doesn’t play that game.

Their low advertised price is for the 12-month deal.

Conclusion? Don’t pay monthly.

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. That’s enough to be a ‘hidden’ cost, which while not a huge

dollar amount, is still kinda annoying as it’s not listed anywhere else.

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.

If you need more, just move up to the GrowBig plan. You’ll get 20 GB of web space with that

plan. If you receive around 25,000 monthly visitors, SiteGround recommends this package.

If you want to upgrade to the GoGeek plan, you’ll receive 30 GB of space. SiteGround

recommends this plan for a website that receives about 100,000 visitors every month.

SiteGround Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts

Here’s a quick rundown of the hosting plans offered by SiteGround:

Shared Hosting: Their shared hosting comes with three main plans:

SiteGround plans & pricing

The StartUp plan: This plan costs $3.95 per month and can host one website and is suitable

for newbies who are just starting with their website. Can handle up to 10,000 unique visits

per month and has the first level of the SuperCacher plugin enabled which is static cache,

24/7 client support, free CDN, Let’s Encrypt SSL, Unlimited Emails & DBs, free site

migration, free daily backup, etc.

The GrowBig plan: This plan costs $5.95 per month and can host multiple websites and this

plan can handle up to 25,000 visits per month, a free SSL Wildcard for 1 year, 30 backup

copies and free restore, all 3-levels of the SuperCacher, which aids loading time

tremendously, customer support with priority, although SiteGround has insanely fast

response times, GrowBig and GoGeek clients are handled with priority.

Their GoGeek plan: This plan costs $11.95 per month and can host multiple websites and

offers even more space, can handle up to 100,000 visits per month, has all features of the

other two plans plus 1-click WP staging, pre-installed git, PCI compliance and fewer accounts on the server.

All shared hosting plans come with free email account, free CDN and unlimited bandwidth.

You may check the full features list here.

Domain: Domain prices start from $9.95
Ease of Signup: Very easy, one-page sign-up process.

Payment Methods: Credit Card.

Hidden Fees and Clauses: They charge a $14.95 setup fee if you pay for their shared hosting plans monthly instead of annually. Sad face :(. You’d be better of paying 1 year upfront to avoid that.

Upsells: Few… Nothing too bad.
Account Activation: Quick account activation.

Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: cPanel

Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): Quick and easy install of popular apps and CMSs using Softaculous.

Do We Recommend SiteGround?

Most definitely. SiteGround is perfect for those who care deeply about customer support,

while not sacrificing quick page speeds or impressive uptime either.

They also offer a bunch of additional features that might be perfect for you if

eCommerce/WordPress is your goal, or if you’d like security to be handled by someone else.

What’s good about SiteGround Hosting?
Awesome uptime (99.98%)
Top 2 load time (~500ms)
Friendly and knowledgeable customer support
WordPress hosting comes with all plans

No charge site transfer

Free security add-ons and e-commerce installs

Free website transfers
Low pricing
30-day money back guarantee.