SiteGround Hosting Review

SiteGround Hosting Review
4.3
4.3 of 5 stars 1 review
  • Pricing
    (4.5)
  • Features
    (4.5)
  • Support
    (4)
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Pros

  • Initially affordable
  • User-friendly interface
  • Exemplary uptime, speed, and server response time
  • Excellent customer support
  • Free CDN, SSN certificates and CMS installs
  • Unlimited data transfer and MySQL databases
  • Top-notch security features

Cons

  • High upgrade fees
  • No free domain

ABOUT

SiteGround is a web hosting provider that supports multiple online platforms. These include everything from WooCommerce to reseller and enterprise hosting. The company offers users a potent mix of budget-friendliness, dependability, performance, and security, all of which have made it one of the top hosting providers the world over. At present, SiteGround hosts over 2 million domains, has data centers on 4 continents, a workforce of more than 400 people, and headquarters in the United States, UK, Spain, and Bulgaria.

Its present-day status is a far cry from its humble beginnings in a dilapidated apartment in Sofia, Bulgaria. The company was started by a group of Bulgarian university students in 2004. So shabby was their first base, that the team used buckets to collect water falling from the leaky roof. This enterprising bunch was led by Ivo Tzenov, a business administration student, and Tenko Nikolov, who, interestingly enough, was studying to be a lawyer at the time.

Despite the abject surroundings and motley founding crew, the company slowly but surely found its footing in the overcrowded hosting market. This success was due in no small measure to their focus on providing a reliable product at an affordable rate, something that was not the norm at the time.

What Kind of Hosting Does SiteGround Provide?

The company provides six different types of hosting. These are:

1. Shared Web Hosting

One of their most popular platforms, SiteGround’s shared hosting comes packed with features such as a control panel, the ability to install web applications, a Content Delivery Network (CDN), website builder, and much more.

2. WordPress Hosting

This shared platform is designed especially for WordPress users. Here, users can get their WordPress sites installed for free. Other unique features include bot protection, backups, staging, and speed-boosting tools for your WordPress site. Aside from this, it shares much of the same features as the company’s shared platform in terms of the number of websites supported, webspace provided, and visitors allowed.

3. WooCommerce Hosting

Another indication of their affinity towards WordPress sites is SiteGround’s WooCommerce hosting. It is especially beneficial for businesses looking to build an e-commerce site using WordPress. It includes notable features such as free shopping cart installations, Let’s Encrypt certificates, and PCI (payment card industry) compliance.

4. Reseller Hosting

The company allows users to sell their purchased web spaces to external parties. This facility essentially enables them to become web hosts of their own or to offer that as one of their services. Importantly, the platform will allow you to white label the web spaces you are selling, so your customers never know you are reselling from SiteGround. However, users need to purchase credits to resell their web spaces. The cost for a single credit ranges from $42 to $49, depending on the number of credits you buy. To become a reseller, SiteGround mandates that you purchase a minimum of 5 credits.

5. Cloud Hosting

SiteGround’s cloud hosting platform is especially beneficial for websites that get a high volume of visitors every day. The company’s four cloud hosting plans gives users access to a host of powerful computing resources. These include multiple CPU cores, up to 10 GB memory, and 5TB of data transfer monthly.

6. Dedicated Server Or Enterprise Hosting

In addition to the above, SiteGround also offers users dedicated servers. Furthermore, companies can also design a custom cloud server with CPU, memory, and SSD space specifications that suit their unique business needs. The company allows a maximum of 32 CPU cores, 128GB memory, and 1TB of SSD space.

Who Is SiteGround For?

Given the diverse types of hosting it supports, the company is a good fit for all kinds of site owners, ranging from solo professional blogs to heavy-duty, enterprise-level corporate websites. Another tick in its favor is scalability. It gives businesses the space to grow over time, allowing them to move onto higher bandwidths as and when their site’s profile expands. In terms of expertise too, SiteGround’s feature sets have something for everyone. Greenhorns new to the world of website building can make use of the user-friendly builder to design a website without inputting even one line of code. On the other hand, developers too can have a bit of fun with the platform’s more advanced features such as the pre-installed Git, multi-level caching, and default and custom PHP versions.

PRICING

SiteGround’s pricing has two sections. The first covers its shared platforms. The company has the same feature sets and pricing plans for all its collaborative hosting, be it WordPress, WooCommerce, or reseller hosting services. The second targets its cloud hosting services. The provider does not offer users a free plan. What it does offer is a 30-days money-back guarantee, which is a risk-free way for users to test out the platform. Besides, the company offers special discounted rates for students and academic organizations, starting at just $1.99 per month. 

That said, while at first glance, the company’s prices appear quite cheap, but this is so only until the first renewal. After that, the price jumps exponentially. With SiteGround, you can sign up for 12, 24, or 36-month subscriptions. Notably, in response to the Covid-19 outbreak, the company, at present, is offering businesses its StartUp plan for only $0.99 for three months, after which they will charge $5.95 until the first renewal.

Here is a comparative look at SiteGround’s shared hosting and dedicated hosting plans:

1. Shared Hosting Plans

Web, WordPress, WooCommerce, And Reseller Hosting

Please note, the company’s GoGeek plan essentially doubles up as the reseller plan.

Plan

StartUp

GrowBig

GoGeek

Sign-Up Price

$3.95/Month

$5.95/Month

$11.95/Month

Price After Renewal

$11.95/Month

$19.95/Month

$34.95/Month

Approximate Visits/Month

10,000

25,000

100,000

Storage Space in Web

10 gigabyte

20 gigabyte

40 gigabyte

Data Transfer

No Limit

No Limit

No Limit

Websites Hosted

1

Unlimited

Unlimited

Sub & Domain Parking

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

MySQL Database

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

CMS Installs & Email Accounts

Free

Free

Free

Solid State Drive Storage

Yes

Yes

Yes

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Free

Free

Free

HTTP/2 Compliant Servers

Yes

Yes

Yes

SuperCacher

Level 1

Level 1, 2, & 3

Level 1, 2, & 3

Shopping Cart Installs

Free

Free

Free

SSL Certificates

Yes

Yes

Yes

Free Website Transfer

Yes

Yes

Add Collaborators

Yes

Yes

Staging

Yes

Yes

Pre-Installed Git

Yes

White-Labelling

Yes

Dedicated Hosting Plan:

i) Cloud Hosting 

Plan

Entry

Business

Business Plus 

Super Power

Price

$80/Month

$120/Month

$160/Month

$240/Month

CPU Cores

2

3

4

8

Memory

4 gigabyte

6 gigabyte

8 gigabyte

10 gigabyte

Solid State Drive Space

40 gigabyte

60 gigabyte

80 gigabyte

120 gigabyte

Data Transfer

5 terabyte

5 terabyte

5 terabyte

5 terabyte

ii) Enterprise Hosting

SiteGround has custom pricing plans for enterprise-level customers based on their client’s server, cloud configuration, development workflow, and geographical network architecture needs. Besides a customized hosting solution, enterprise customers also get custom onboarding, dedicated account managers, and priority support. You can request a quote for an enterprise plan from the company’s sales reps here.

Performance

Uptime

There is not much to complain about SiteGround’s performance. With an uptime that rarely goes below 99.98%, the company exceeds the industry-recommended rate of 99.5%. This exemplary uptime means you never have to worry about losing potential clients. One reason for this is the cutting-edge technology the providers use. SiteGround uses Linux Containers, Apache web servers, and Nginx for load balancing and reverse proxy. All that technological verbiage simply means that not only do the servers remain stable even with sudden traffic surges but also that they are resource-efficient and do not get overloaded quickly. So confident is SiteGround about their uptime rates, that the company offers a month of free hosting if they fall below their guaranteed network uptime.

Speed

Similarly, the platform’s load time speeds are right up there with that of its top competitors. It boasts of a loading time ranging from 20 milliseconds to around a second. One of the best things about SiteGround is that they are always in step with the latest technology. They were one of the first providers to offer PHP7. In keeping with this, they also provide other nascent tools such as SSD drives and HTTP/2, all of which ensure that your site loads faster.

Furthermore, SuperCacher, the company’s caching system, speeds uploading time by allowing faster access to your site’s content. Another speed-boosting tool is the optimizer plugin that configures and optimizes your WordPress sites so that it loads at super speed. This plugin allows you to hasten data transfer by minimizing your HTML and CSS or asynchronously loading your JavaScript. It also compresses your images so you can enable lazy loading, thereby increasing operational efficiency.

Server Response Time

On average, SiteGround has a server response time of under 450 milliseconds. The platform offers all its users free integration with Cloudfare’s CDN system, which allows you to store your content in CDN server nodes all around the globe. This feature is a boon for websites that have a worldwide clientele as the closer a visitor is to a server, the faster the content downloads. The company also has servers across four continents in locations such as Chicago, Sydney, Amsterdam, London, and Singapore. You can choose to host your website in the data center closest to your client base to reduce server response times further.

FEATURES​

  1. Control Panel
  2. Website Builder
  3. Developer Tools
  4. Security Features
  5. Freebies

1. Control Panel

Up until September 2019, SiteGround used the familiar Linux-based, third-party interface, cPanel, as their control panel of choice. The company has since moved away from that and have now introduced a control panel of their design. While this move was met with initial resistance (nobody likes change), the new control panel’s intuitive design has won over even the most diehard cPanel fans. SiteGround’s new interface has steered away from the more familiar hosting-account-based interface where you had one crucial site and subordinate add-on sites. The auxiliary sites did not get the same support and functionality as the primary one.

With the new design, however, each website gets equal importance with its own set of tools and can be managed individually. This feature works out great not only for single-site owners but also for design agencies that can now manage multiple sites optimally. Another outstanding feature of the new panel is that you can now add users, assign them differing roles, and put them in charge of individual sites. You can also ship sites to your clients and add applications to your website with just a few clicks. Moreover, the new control panel is built as a single-page application using REACT technology, making working with it easier and faster. It also makes your sites more mobile responsive.

2. Website Builder

This website host has a free website builder, so all its technically challenged users can design a professional-looking site without any technical know-how. The builder is powered by Weebly. It has a drag-and-drop functionality that makes website designing a breeze. Content elements such as text boxes, images, dividers, or videos can be simply dragged into place. To make things easier, the builder also has a variety of mobile-responsive themes from which one can choose. These themes range from classic to sporty and modern. Besides, e-commerce features such as storefront themes with inbuilt payment options and free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates are also available, so you can easily set up your e-commerce sites too.

3. Developer Tools

SiteGround accounts come pre-installed with several tools that developers can work with you to fine-tune their websites. These include phpMyAdmin, SFTP, WP-CLI, and SSH. Also, the platform comes with Git integration that will allow users to create Git repositories, track source code changes, and co-ordinate workflows. The system is also flexible enough to allow multiple PHP versions, should your project require it. What’s more, you can use different PHP versions on different portfolios within your account. Another notable feature is the staging tool, which allows you to create a copy of your site. This way, you can edit code or try out a new plugin and safely test out the changes made without interrupting your live site. If you are satisfied with your changes, you can push those edits from the test to your live site with one click.

4. Security Features

The platform boasts of several top-notch security features. First, each account on the shared platforms is isolated so that even if one site is compromised, it will not affect the whole server. This isolation technology was developed by the company in-house and is called Hive. Second, the company has also developed scripts to isolate hacked content and have an Intrusion Prevention System that identifies hackers trying to brute-force your passwords.

Third, the platform regularly updates everything from PHP versions to the WordPress software and the plugins you use to minimize security risks. Lastly, all hosting plans come with automatic daily site back-ups, so you never have to worry about losing any data. Subscribers of the GoGeek plan can even create on-demand back-ups. Besides, all SiteGround data servers have 24/7 surveillance, biometric access controls, and back-up generators.

5. Freebies

Aside from free CDN access, a website builder, and SSL certificates, you also get unmetered data transfer along with unlimited MySQL databases and email accounts at your domain name. Also, the platform offers free professional site migration for one website where the company’s agents do all the heavy lifting for you. If you want their help with more than one website, the company will charge you an additional $30 for each new site. However, this service is available only for subscribers of the GrowBig and GoGeek plans. StartUp plan users need to pay for all professional site transfers. That said, SiteGround has a free migration plugin you can use to transfer as many sites as you want quickly.

INTEGRATIONS

SiteGround has always been easy to use. With the new control panel, this is even more so. The intuitive interface is at once both powerful and user-friendly. The dashboard is a clutter-free one with a horizontal main menu running across the top of the page. From there, you can access all the platform’s main features. Simplifying things further is SiteGround’s inbuilt setup wizard, which guides you through the process of onboarding.

Not only that, but it also comes with starter plugins that help you create a new site. And since the provider is compatible with over 250 applications and comes with free CMS installs, it can help you set up the site of your choice easily. Helpfully, the wizard also recommends pertinent extras that can optimize your website. The platform goes a step further for WordPress users. Not only does it automatically install WordPress for you, but it also helps you with all related assignments. This facility applies to simple tasks such as choosing a theme as well as more complicated ones, such as optimizing your caching plugin.

More About SiteGround Hosting

With a reputation for quick turnaround times, knowledgeable and friendly agents, and a plethora of options, SiteGround’s customer service is one of the company’s crowning jewels. The platform offers all its users 24/7 live chat, phone, and email support. Subscribers of the GoGeek plan get additional priority support where their tickets are attended to first by the most experienced agent available.

Along with this, there is also a well-endowed knowledge base for users to peruse through. This self-help module comes packed with over 1000 articles and guides that cover the A-Z of the platform. Each page on the client interface comes pinned with relevant support articles so you can quickly troubleshoot and solve your issues. Also, there are plenty of E-books and tutorials that school you in getting the best out of your preferred CMS, be it WordPress, Joomla, Magento, or Drupal, to name a few.

PROS AND CONS

PROS

  • Initially affordable
  • User-friendly interface
  • Exemplary uptime, speed, and server response time
  • Excellent customer support
  • Free CDN, SSN certificates and CMS installs
  • Unlimited data transfer and MySQL databases
  • Top-notch security features

CONS

  • High upgrade fees
  • No free domain

CONCLUSION

There is no doubt that SiteGround is a quality hosting platform. It is also easy to understand why the independently owned company is so popular. The web hosts consistently deliver on their promise of 99.9% uptime, fast speeds, and secure services. And don’t forget the company’s freebies and exemplary customer service that forms the icing on the cake.

On the flip side, SiteGround does not offer a free domain name, which is something that most of its competitors do. Also, its prices, though affordable initially, does become a tad expensive after the first renewal. One part-solution for this would be to sign up for the most extended period possible (36 months). The chances are that you will enjoy the technical functionality and ease of use SiteGround provides that you will not mind paying that little extra later on.

In conclusion, if you are on the lookout for a hosting platform that has consistently flawless performance, a robust technical feature set, excellent customer service, and is globally oriented, SiteGround should be one of the top contenders. If, however, long term budget is your primary yardstick, then you should probably look elsewhere. What’s good is that the company has a 30-days money-back guarantee in place for you to test out its features. Just remember to sign up for the longest term and then cancel after 30 days if you are not happy. Most likely, you will be.

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