If you’ve been in the web hosting industry for a while, you certainly have heard or crossed paths with SiteGround at some point. It is one of the fast-rising companies that’s surprisingly appearing in reviews of almost every tech blogger’s site today. With so much action and heat, undoubtedly it must be doing something the competition isn’t. For that, we set out to explore and below is our unbiased SiteGround Review. We’ll first cover the background info, dig into its hosting packages and pricing, then analyze its inherent features, and finalize by outlining its pros, cons, and frequently asked questions.
SiteGround was launched in 2004 by three university friends namely Tenko Nikolav, Nikolay Todorov, and Reneta Tsankova who were students at the time. What initially started as a small project of a handful group of people working from their dorm rooms, has today grown into a company with over 400 employees. Its support team handles more than 1500 tickets, 3000 chat requests, and 1000 phone calls every day. Moreover, it hosts more than 1.7million domains on its servers.
SiteGround’s vision has from the start been to provide a safe, fast, and reliable hub to store, relay, and grow ideas and businesses. It’s no wonder why their products and services appear to cut across all sectors of hosting and be budget-friendly to many.
|Plan Name||Disk Space||Bandwidth||Currency||Admin panel||OS||Websites||Scripting||Email-Transport||Database||SSH||Databackups||Free Domain||1-Click Installer||Websites Builder||Location||Price|
|Plan Name||Disk Space||Bandwidth||Admin panel||Cores||RAM||Core Speed||CPU||OS||Backups||SSH||Managed||Location||Price|
|Super Power||120GB||5000GB||cPanel||8||10GB||-||8 Cores||$ 240.00|
|Business Plus||80GB||5000GB||cPanel||4||8GB||-||4 Cores||$ 160.00|
|Business||60GB||5000GB||cPanel||3||6GB||-||3 Cores||$ 120.00|
|Entry||40GB||5000GB||cPanel||2||4GB||-||2 Cores||$ 80.00|
|Plan Name||Disk Space||Bandwidth||Admin panel||OS||Core||RAM||Core Speed||IPs||SSH||Backups||Managed||CPU||Guarantee||Location||Price|
|Super Power Server||1920GB||10000GB||Admin panel||12||64GB||2.00GHz||5||2 x Intel Xeon E5-2630 SSD||$ 729.00|
|Power Server||960GB||10000GB||Admin panel||4||32GB||3.50GHz||5||Intel Xeon E3-1270 SSD||$ 349.00|
|Entry Server||480GB||10000GB||Admin panel||4||16GB||3.20GHz||5||Intel Xeon E3-1230 SSD||$ 269.00|
Performance and Speed
If there’s anything that matters most to visitors it is the performance of your site and the time it takes to load content from it. Any website with frequent downtimes translates to loss of potential clients and drop in the SEO ranking. As such, anyone serious site will ensure it has a strong online presence and this will narrow down to the hosting company it uses. Now, SiteGround takes care of performance and speed in the following ways:
This content delivery network not only prevents denial of service attacks but also optimizes sites to serve content using the nearest node to the visitor. All the hosting packages by SiteGround include this feature by default and it’s free.
Although this tool is not included in all plans, but its job is to store frequently accessed elements of your site in memory. This not only reduces latency but also improves how much content is accessed per unit time. Other caching plugins supported by SiteGround include Redis and MemCached.
As you’ve probably noticed, all the hosting packaged use SSDs for storage. They are capable of serving data three times faster than traditional hard disk drives. Moreover, they rarely suffer from hardware failure.
This is an alternative web server to Apache with the benefits of speed and reliability resulting from its inherent lean architecture build.
This protocol was born from major revisions of HTTP. It is capable of reducing latency, improving site security, and relaying content speedily to most modern browsers.
Accessible from SiteGround’s cPanel, PHP 7 is the latest version and is installed by default. Other versions are available too for convenience.
SiteGround’s web hosting platform is built on Linux containers which is known to be highly flexible, efficient, and foolproof.
This is arguably SiteGround’s best feature for predicting, identifying, and fixing server issues. Through it, hosting function hardly fails and if it does a quick fix is present to resolve it. Again, from the company’s server statistics, it has a 99.8% uptime.
If on the fastest network infrastructure, security is key to maintain site integrity and gain the trust of your visitors. Well, SiteGround has several measures put in place to secure websites, applications, and services hosted on their infrastructure. Let’s go through each:
Each account receives an SSL certificate that flags your website as secure to the visitors. Additionally, data is tunneled via HTTPs which adds an extra layer of security thereby preventing meaningful traffic sniffing.
It is this company’s policy to automatically backup web data on a daily basis and preserve it for 7 days. Subscribers of high-end plans can even set custom backup intervals and how long data stays available for restoration. Also, restoration tools are freely available on cPanel.
This was implemented in 2008 by introducing CHROOT permissions which protected each unit in its isolated environment. In the event of an account attack, others in the same server block would not be affected.
By default, all accounts at SiteGround use cPanel to manage tools, sites, and configurations. Nevertheless, its version is slightly customized to pave way for inclusion of additional features. If you’ve used cPanel before, it won’t be confusing since the core components are retained. This control panel allows you to:
This is accessible from “User’s Area” portal. It reveals the subscription and expiry dates of your current plan plus your hosting type.
This feature can be helpful when following up on a problem that requires long term intervention.
You can view datacenter locations currently working with your site, your IP address, and server specifications in terms of resource use.
When using cloud hosting, scaling of resources is accessible from the control panel allowing you to minimize hosting costs by choosing optimal parameters.
cPanel allows you to decide the backups to restore, transfer to external sources, or delete. Other accounts even provide for custom configuration of backup frequency.
Any serious company is before anything considerate of procedures, systems, and methods they use to take care of their clients’ needs. Web hosting is a sensitive field and requires a support system that is friendly and relevant in its handling of issues. SiteGround throws in several measures, tools, and systems that answer to customer queries, concerns, and ultimately needs. These include:
When you have no idea what SiteGround is, how it works, or how to host sites with them, SiteGround Tutorial page is the first place you should check out. It has video materials, written articles, and answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
You can raise a ticket from the control panel, call, or chat the support staff any time of the day. Response time will depend on the technicality of your question, method used, and relevance. SiteGround estimates the average response time to be 10 minutes.
This functionality was introduced to inform customers of latest developments and significant changes on the hosting environment. Copies of the recordings can be streamed online or downloaded for future reference.
This feature is available for enterprise hosting only. It allows speedy handling of concerns by giving clients permission to work with a dedicated 24-hour helpdesk.
If there’s any hosting provider that’s keen on trending hosting topics, it’s definitely SiteGround. They’ve found purpose in updating blog content every few days. The move is quite impressive considering the level of relevance of trending topics they’ve covered.
It helps to find a provider that gives you time to evaluate hosting services and decide whether the contract is worthy or not. SiteGround gives a 30-day money-back guarantee meaning cancellation of your subscription within the period qualifies you to a 100% refund. Nonetheless, they do not refund fees spent on acquiring a domain name, hiring admin services, and purchasing add-ons.
A cancellation after the expiry of the 30 money-back guarantee days is still possible but the refund will not be 100%. Instead they’ll calculate the unused portion on a pro-rata basis and return the remaining amount.
Here are the extra features not covered in above categories:
Aside from application-based frameworks like WordPress, you can integrate any open source builders in your SiteGround account. It supports top site builders and suggests a few that you can use to get started.
Updates of application hosting environments are deployed at the server level. This ensures no framework is left vulnerable whenever critical updates are available.
On purchasing it, you’ll receive weekly alerts on any threat detected and how to go about counteracting it.
SiteGround provides a platform that’s built on Linux containers which are highly stable irrespective of the traffic spikes. Additionally, the account isolation technique ensures compromise of one doesn’t affect the uptime of another or the whole system. Lastly, there’s the proactive server monitoring system that runs every 0.5 seconds. It automatically fixes most server problems without human intervention averting disruption of services. All these factors have contributed to a 99.8% uptime in the last 12 months for SiteGround.
The average load time for sites hosted on shared server hosting the last 12 months is 716ms. The value is lower than 890ms which is the average load time for top 10 web hosts in the world. Interestingly, the value is consistent with very few fluctuations over the period. In short, SiteGround is an above-average provider for any type of hosting.
SiteGround is one of the few hosting providers that fully manages WordPress framework. They provide 24-hour support, speed tweaks, security patches, updates, and tools that ease use of the hosting environment. Importantly, they make automatic backups of your plugins to restore the site to a working state in case of white screen of death. When on GrowBig and GoGeek plans, they throw in important provisions including WordPress staging environment, PCI compliance for ecommerce shops, free Wildcard SSL, command line interface for administrative task, and preinstalled GIT.
As we said at the beginning of the post, the company processes over 1500 tickets, 2000 chat requests, and receives over 800 calls per day. Their 400+ staff are highly qualified, knowledgeable, and can communicate in three languages namely English, Italian, and Spanish. Moreover, surveys by independent bodies on SiteGround’s support system shows scores of over 96% in the last three years. We tried to scour the internet for negative feedbacks on their support staff but we couldn’t find many.
You can install Magento, PrestaShop, Drupal and many other ecommerce content management systems on their infrastructure. The websites are powered by free CloudFlare CDN, service from multiple geographical locations, and caching tools like SuperCacher to improve load speed. Importantly, SiteGround is PCI compliant.
Convinced SiteGround is the best for your web hosting needs? Well, you don’t have to worry about the tedious migration hassle. The company transfers your website from a previous host within 24 hours without charging you a dime. The migration option is present in the account setup wizard or from Support Menu in the cPanel.
Whether you’re a new webmaster or a veteran in the field, SiteGround has affordable pricing for every hosting need. The lowest package is Student Hosting which offers decent features. Popular plans for the shared web hosting package are also easily affordable.
There’s no free trial for SiteGround’s services but they give you a security period of 30 days to assess their infrastructure. On applying for termination request citing reasons for it, your money will be refunded in full within a few days.
The monthly charges advertised on SiteGround are payable on an annual basis. Fortunately, they don’t charge setup fees as observed in payment plans of other web hosts.
The free daily backup might not be sufficient for websites that run intense number of transactions per day. So, any mess up in the system is a possible trigger to a huge loss.
Unless you create a custom plan for cloud hosting, the charges will be overwhelming considering billing is processed separately from the main hosting fee.
Other downsides include:
Absence of Google AdWords credit
Smaller storage space compared to other hosting providers.
Where are SiteGround servers located?
SiteGround has data centers in Chicago, London, Amsterdam, and Singapore. With these options, you can set the ideal location to serve contents of your websites from cPanel.
Which types of hosting are available at SiteGround
SiteGround offers shared web hosting, dedicated hosting, application hosting for Content Management Systems, enterprise hosting, cloud VPS hosting, student hosting, email hosting, and reseller hosting packages. To use two or more hosting environments, create multiple accounts using the SiteGround’s setup wizard.
Which is SiteGround’s cheapest hosting plan?
Student hosting is SiteGround’s cheapest hosting plan. However, the most sought after is Startup Plan which offers great features at a bargain. The company gives a risk-free money-back guarantee period of 30 days.
Which alternative to SiteGround do you recommend?
The best SiteGround alternatives for web hosting include InMotion, HostGator, A2Hosting, and BlueHost. Their pricing plans and hosting packages are closely similar to those of SiteGround.
Can I use WordPress on SiteGround?
Yes. WordPress installation and hosting is supported right out of the box. SiteGround provides Softaculous, which is an inbuilt script application, to install and run WP on your behalf.
Aside from WordPress, which CMS are supported by SiteGround?
SiteGround supports content management systems such as Drupal, PrestaShop, Joomla, Magento, and, of course, WordPress.
Which communication channels are available for me at SiteGround?
SiteGround’s main communication channels are live chat, ticketing system, phone calls, and email. You can contact the support staff in English, Italian, and Spanish languages.
Must I use Let’s Encrypt SSL provided by default on SiteGround?
No, but it’s recommended that you do if you have no other SSL certificate. Let’s Encrypt SSL is freely provided in SiteGround’s hosting platform. You can upgrade to Wildcard SSL which is readily supported by the company when Let’s Encrypt SSL features are not sufficient.
Which payment methods can I use on SiteGround?
SiteGround accepts major credit cards such as Visa, Discover, and MasterCard. You can request for other payment methods to be made available by speaking to an agent on their website.
Apart from cPanel, which other control panels can I use on SiteGround?
WHM is the alternative control panel to cPanel on SiteGround. Note that cPanel is customized to include additional features and therefore its user interface may look different from the standard version.