SiteGround Review: Your Best Bet For Web Hosting?

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SiteGround is widely praised by web hosting customers. It is particularly noted for its support. But its performance is also often highlighted.

Below, we'll look at what SiteGround offers, how customers feel about them, and what tests indicate about their performance. So read on!

SiteGround Hosting Screenshot

Pros and Cons

Before we get into details, let's look at the upsides and downsides of hosting with SiteGround.

Pros

  • Lots of hosting options
  • Fast and stable servers
  • Excellent support

Cons

  • More expensive than competitors
  • No site transfer on base plan
  • No free domain name

About SiteGround

SiteGround provides services aimed at beginners like their shared hosting plans and domain name registration service. They also offer high-end Cloud and Dedicated hosting plans.

Where Is SiteGround Located?

SiteGround is an established host, founded in 2004. Based in Bulgaria, SiteGround is one of the largest independently-owned hosting companies in the world, employing over 400 people.

Is SiteGround Any Good?

As you’ll see shortly, SiteGround provides excellent performance and support, even on their cheapest plans.

SiteGround Hosting Plans

SiteGround offers a wide variety of hosting plans. We’ve categorized them into four fairly distinct categories to help you sort them out.

Shared Hosting

You have access to a custom drag and drop site builder, as well as applications to quickly install popular CMSs.

SiteGround boasts that its shared hosting plans offer “fast and secure” web hosting for small- to medium-sized websites. These plans are relatively cheap. But as usual with shared hosting, you share a server with other SiteGround customers.

You have access to a custom drag and drop site builder, as well as applications to quickly install popular CMSs.

Your account comes with the standard cPanel control panel.

You can host multiple websites on most plans. This is the most common type of hosting for web developers working on small websites. It’s a great place to start if you’re not sure about which hosting plan you’ll need, as you can always upgrade later.

Shared Hosting Plan Specifics

If you opt for a shared hosting plan, you'll have three different plans from which you can choose:

  • StartUp: supports 1 website with 10 GB of storage and allows up to 10,000 monthly visits
  • GrowBig: supports an unlimited number of websites with 20 GB of storage and allows up to 25,000 monthly visits
  • GoGeek: supports an unlimited number of websites with 30 GB of storage and allows up to 100,000 monthly visits.

Regardless of which option you choose, you'll get access to the Weebly site builder to launch your front-end. SiteGround will migrate your site if you choose the GrowBig or GoGeek plans.

WordPress Hosting

SiteGround offers specialized WordPress hosting that's very similar to their shared hosting plans.

With it, you will get WordPress installed for free on your account.

All WordPress hosting packages come with an auto-updater to keep your plugins up to date. This closes up one of the most common security gaps in WordPress sites.

SiteGround WordPress Hosting Plans

On top of that, SiteGround has security experts whose job is to monitor WordPress sites for vulnerabilities. When possible, they will protect your site from any potential issues they spot.

You can install WordPress on a shared hosting plan, but if you’re using WordPress, go with the specialized plan (same price anyways).

Those who use WooCommerce as their WordPress e-commerce plugin should know that SiteGround offers PCI-compliant servers.

Cloud Hosting

Those who are looking for a fast, scalable, and fully-managed web hosting solution should consider SiteGround's cloud hosting.

SiteGround's cloud hosting plans are not cheap — prices begin at $80 per month. But with large resource allocations and access to 24/7 VIP support, those who are growing their websites might nevertheless find value in this particular hosting option.

SiteGround offers four different cloud hosting plans from which you can choose:

  • Entry: 2 CPU cores, 4 GB memory, 50 GB SSD space, and 5 TB data transfer
  • Business: 3 CPU cores, 6 GB memory, 60 GB SSD space, and 5 TB data transfer
  • Business Plus: 4 CPU cores, 8 GB memory, 80 GB SSD space, and 5 TB data transfer
  • Super Power: 8 CPU cores, 10 GB memory, 1200 GB SSD space, and 5 TB data transfer.

If none of the pre-defined plans work for you, SiteGround offers a Create Your Own Plan option where you can modify any of the existing plans. As you make changes to your resource allocations, you'll see the pricing change accordingly so there will be no surprises when billing time comes around.

Advanced Hosting Options

If you're in need of advanced hosting options, SiteGround offers two plan types that might appeal to you.

SiteGround's Dedicated Hosting option gets you a single server wholly devoted to serving your website.

These options are much more expensive than the previous plans, as they give you access to a complete server.

They’re only necessary if your websites need a lot of resources, or you need more control for a custom web application.

Dedicated Hosting

SiteGround's Dedicated Hosting plans provide you a single server wholly devoted to your websites. Prices begin at $269 per month, and there are three different pre-configured servers from which you can choose.

Dedicated Hosting customers get access to 24/7 VIP support, and all servers are fully managed by SiteGround.

Enterprise Hosting

Enterprise hosting allows you to purchase a web hosting plan that meets your needs exactly.

The purchasing process begins with a conversation between SiteGround and you to determine the specific needs of your business. Then, SiteGround comes up with a package featuring everything you need to run your website optimally.

Your setup could be a single instance, a public cloud configuration, a private cloud configuration, a geographically-dispersed cluster, or some combination of these.

Enterprise plans are fully-managed by SiteGround.

SiteGround Hosting Features

There's much more to SiteGround than its plan specifics. Below we discuss general features you should know about.

Hosting Designed for Speed

The big problem with most inexpensive hosting plans is that they’re based on mediocre, overloaded servers. Yes, you often get “unlimited” bandwidth and storage, but your website is incredibly slow.

SiteGround has a few important things to offer when it comes to speed.

Solid State Drives

First, all servers, even the ones used for shared hosting plans, incorporate solid state drives (SSDs). Any reading or writing operations that your website needs is done significantly faster than on mechanical hard drives.

Cloudflare CDN

Next, SiteGround incorporates the Cloudflare content delivery network (CDN), which makes your website faster if you have visitors across the globe. This is important even if your audience is confined to a single large country like the United States.

If you want a premium CDN, you can upgrade through SiteGround for $3.95 per month and up.

Custom Caching

Finally, SiteGround has built a custom caching system for the most popular content management systems (CMSs): WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. This speeds up websites by caching dynamic content so that the server doesn't have to recreate it for every visitor.

Datacenters

SiteGround users can choose which datacenter their site will be hosted on. This allows you to have your online presence close to your main target audience. You can pick from 5 datacenter locations:

  1. Chicago
  2. Amsterdam
  3. Singapore
  4. London
  5. Iowa.

Control Panel

Most plans come with access to the cPanel control panel. cPanel is a GUI that allows you to administer your website. With it, you can do things like transfer files to your web hosting environment, check your website's resource usage, manage your email accounts, handle billing, and more.

Furthermore, the cPanel comes with one-click installers, so you can easily install things like the content management systems (eg, WordPress) or add-ons to improve the functionality of your site (eg, forums, photo galleries, e-commerce platforms). There are hundreds of applications you can install this way.

SSL Certificates

SiteGround provides a free SSL certificate for all hosting plans. The certificate is from Let’s Encrypt. SSL certificates ideally should be standard since they are key to website security and ensuring that a webpage ranks well in search engine results. But many hosts still charge for it.

Backups

On all plans, even the cheapest one, SiteGround provides a free daily backup. This should make data loss much less likely. However, it is generally a good idea to do your own backups as well. There are many tools to allow you to do so.

Staging Environment

On the higher-level shared plans, SiteGround offers a staging server for WordPress and Joomla. It allows you to test website changes and additions before they are made live. Once you’re happy with your changes, you just deploy them from your staging site and your actual site will be updated.

Comprehensive Customer Support

SiteGround provides three ways to contact their in-house support team, and all options are just a click away from the control panel.

Phone support and live chat are available 24/7. SiteGround promises to respond to you immediately if you use these methods to get in touch.

You can also create a ticket requesting assistance. SiteGround has an average first reply of 10 minutes. If you’ve ever dealt with support from a different host, you know how rare that is.

Video: SiteGround Support

Based on over 2,000 user reviews, SiteGround provides excellent customer service. The company receives an overall rating of 4.8 out 5 stars. A significant component of this rating is based on SiteGround's customer service.

Knowledgebase

If you don’t want to bother the support for some reason, or just need a guide or tutorial, SiteGround has one of the most organized knowledgebases that we’ve seen. It’s intuitive to find whatever help you’re looking for.

On SiteGround's support page, you'll also find things like tutorials and webinars, and (depending on what you're trying to accomplish), there might also be wizards to guide you through the first few steps of the process.

Money-Back Guarantee

SiteGround doesn't offer free trials, but to make sure that you're satisfied with your purchase, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee for all their shared hosting plans and a 14-day money-back guarantee for cloud hosting plans.

Unfortunately, dedicated hosting packages and other services/add-ons are excluded from the money-back guarantee. Reseller packages are covered only if the entire package is canceled — you cannot cancel just a few accounts.

Uptime and Performance

In terms of response time, SiteGround offers performance that is much better than competitors like GoDaddy.

SiteGround guarantees a 99.9% uptime for all their hosting plans.

They do that with a variety of security measures, from automatic back-ups to proactive server monitoring.

In addition, accounts are completely isolated. So even if someone’s website goes down on a shared server, it doesn’t affect the other websites.

Based on our testing, the performance for SiteGround over the past year has been excellent:

  • Uptime: 99.995%
  • Average response rate: 431 milliseconds.

As you can see, SiteGround exceeds its uptime guarantee of 99.9% — with a measured uptime of 99.995%. You can expect just over 2 minutes of downtime per month outside normally scheduled maintenance periods.

In terms of response time, SiteGround offers performance that is much better than competitors like GoDaddy (whose average is in the realm of ~1000 ms). But it isn't quite as good as those of A2 Hosting.

Domain Names

SiteGround is a domain name registrar, so you can purchase domain names from the company.

Does SiteGround Offer Free Domains With Hosting?

Unlike many hosting companies, SiteGround does not include a free domain name with the purchase of a web hosting package.

SiteGround vs Bluehost

Bluehost is often brought up along with SiteGround as a host that provides good value: low prices and high performance.

Bluehost was the first host to get official recognition from the developers of WordPress. Since that time, SiteGround has also become a recommended host. (The other is DreamHost.)

The following table compares the base shared hosting plans of both SiteGround and Bluehost.

FeatureSiteGroundBluehost
Storage10 GB50 GB
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmetered
Monthly Visits10,000N/A
Intro Price$3.95$2.75
Renewal Price$11.95$7.99

Is SiteGround Better Than Bluehost?

Our tests indicate that Bluehost lags SiteGround when it comes to uptime and page load speeds. But the difference isn't that great.

And Bluehost has the advantage of being distinctly less expensive. Their introductory price on their lowest-cost shared hosting plans is $2.75 per month — compared to $3.95 for SiteGround. And the renewal prices diverge similarly: $7.99 vs $11.95.

If SiteGround's performance advantages are not that important to you, you can save a lot by hosting with Bluehost.

Other SiteGround Alternatives

HostGator offers a wide variety of web hosting options and its shared hosting plans are designed to be easy to use and affordable. A2 Hosting isn't the easiest web host to use, but if you want performance on a budget, you can't go wrong with them. And GoDaddy offers every kind of hosting and related service you could want, so they are worth considering.

SiteGround Deals

You can get SiteGround hosting for as little as $3.95 per month for a three-year contract.

SiteGround offers large introductory deals on their shared hosting plans. You can get to them by clicking one of the links in this article — like this one.

So instead of paying $11.95 per month for its basic hosting plan, you only pay $3.95.

Note that this deal applies to your first contract term only. So the longer the term, the longer you will get the deal. You can choose a plan length of up to 3 years. Get 67% off SiteGround hosting now.

Summary

Overall, SiteGround is one of the most polished hosting services there is.

The performance of their servers, from the cheapest shared package to the most expensive dedicated package, is excellent.

The support is available 24/7 and goes the extra mile to help you build a website that you’re happy with.

Their only real downside is that their hosting is a bit more expensive than their competitors. But if you want performance hosting at what is still a low cost, visit SiteGround.com now.

Your Review of SiteGround

Are you a current or past customer of SiteGround? Would you recommend them? Please leave your comments below and let our visitors know what you think of SiteGround's speed, features and customer service.

Visit SiteGround Now


Contributing write: Katie Horne. Contributing editor: Frank Moraes.

Katie began her tech career as a C# developer before turning her hand to technical writing. She still codes regularly but these days she can be found writing about web development, coding and technology for HTML.com and our sister websites.

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