SiteGround is one of the largest independent web hosting companies out there, with over 400 employees and almost 2 million domains hosted. A group of university friends created it in 2004 and it still retains its fun, people-focused ethos. On top of this, the company promises high speeds, excellent security, and top of the range of customer support.
But should you go for it when choosing where to hose your blog? There are so many different hosting platforms, and choosing one can seem an impossible decision. This is made even more difficult when you don’t quite understand the differences between each option on the web. But our SiteGround hosting review is here to help answer all of your questions about hosting plans.
We break down each aspect of the hosting platform to help you make an informed choice. Choosing your hosting platform can be stressful, but we’re here to guide you through the process. By breaking down the pros, cons, and alternatives to the platform, our hosting review will ensure you have the possible information and can make a choice that’ll make you (and your blog) very happy.
Is It Good: The Bottom Line Up Front
The service has a positive reputation online. The fact it has been around for fifteen years makes it both experienced and trustworthy. Its focus on the people (both company employees and clients) make it a more personal face of web hosting. The platform is consistently very highly rated by users. Looking at quick comments on Twitter and Facebook tend to show it in a very positive light.
There are many benefits customers draw attention to when reviewing the service. The primary ones are as follows.
Many internet companies can seem a little shady, particularly when you don’t have a human face to put to the name. It is exceptionally transparent. On their homepage, they list accurate information about their uptime guarantee, plus they give information on all their data centers.
Did you know that most users give a page just three seconds to load before considering going somewhere else? That means if yours isn’t loading quickly enough, you’ll lose potential audience before they even get to see what your blog is about. The provider prides itself on speedy loading time and usually reports around 1.3 seconds. It is a top choice for e-commerce sites and e-commerce hosting, as these typically need to be super speedy.
They perform daily backups of all their hosted sites in the event of an outside failure. This means if your blog does go down, they will have the information stored and ready to restore by contact customer service. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t implement a backup strategy of your own – but it does add some peace of mind.
This refers to how quickly the server delivers your content to a viewer’s internet page. It’s measured in milliseconds, and SiteGround’s is extremely fast at an average of 190 over six months. This means the data stored on your blog is easily accessible from anywhere and means again that people won’t get too impatient and click off.
Easy To Reach.
The service offers a high level of customer service. This makes it a particularly good option for those just getting started with online content creation. They have a 24/7 phone and online chat
They have multiple data centers which are located spread across the globe. After sign up, you’ll get to decide which location works best for you – it tends to be closest to the country where you get the majority of your page views. The physical proximity of a data center can have a big impact on your loading times. They have locations in Chicago, Amsterdam, Milan, London, and Singapore to give themselves maximum reach.
Many hosting services are quite USA-centric. They have more of a global ethos. On top of its worldwide data centers, it also accepts multiple currencies and offers different language options. This aspect makes it perfect for an e-commerce website in particular.
Many hosting services are fairly WordPress-focused. With this provider, it’s easy to web host on various CMS platforms, including Magento, Drupal
Clear And Concise.
They offer three different web host plans, Start Up, Grow Big, and Go Geek. The three are staggered for different levels of service, and prices accordingly. SiteGround make it easy to see what’s included in each package, which can make it easier for you to decide which one you need.
SiteGround employs state of the art security tools to offers you maximum protection. These include anti-spam tools, ability to black certain IP addresses, free malware scans, and even a free SSL certificate with some plans.
Cons & Problems
All sounds great
- Data Limits. Compared to other hosting providers, there is a lower limit on the amount of data you can store – around 10 GB for the lower end plans, and up to 30 GB for the premium options. This may not pose a problem for text-based blogs, but if you’re creating more complex, GB-heavy content then you may wish to consider a different platform.
- Over-Use. There are monthly limits to the amount of data your blog uses per month. While the amount is generous, if you go over you can face issues. They do offer guidelines for how many page views it allows per plan, but if you’re attracting a large number of views (or get thousands on even some days out of the month) then this service likely isn’t for you.
Real Customer Reviews: What People are Actually Saying
Now we’ve got the basics covered, let’s take a look at actual, real-life customer reviews. Knowing how the service works, in theory, is one thing – but knowing how it works in practice is invaluable when making your decision.
Set Up and Development
Do They Offer WordPress Hosting Specifically?
They offer WordPress hosting alongside options for other platforms, each with an easy to use staging site. It also offers a transfer service between platforms for free.
Do You Get a Free Domain Name When You Sign Up? (Some Hosting Providers Offer This)
For selected domains, there is one year of free domain registration.
Do They Have Nameservers or Offer DNS Services?
They store all your DNS records in the DNS zone.
Migrating a SiteGround (and Transferable Installs): How Easy Is It?
They offer tutorials on how to migrate an existing site to their services. It’s a fairly easy process.
Control Panel (cPanel): Do They Offer One To Manage Your Hosting?
All plans come with a cPanel for easy account management.
FTP & SFTP: How Easy Is It to Connect?
All hosting accounts they offer come with easy SFTP access.
Do They Offer Staging Environments and Temporary Urls?
Not only do they offer staging environments, but they also have a step-by-step tutorial on how to use this feature of the web hosting service.
Templates & Blueprints: Do They Offer Setup Templates?
They offer a range of free templates across different hosting platforms, including WordPress, Joomla and more. There is also compatible with the Weebly builder.
PHP Versions: Do They Support Legacy and The Latest Versions?
There are multiple different PHP options, and it’s easy to switch between them, so you’ll have no trouble at all.
Do They Support Git or Command Line Tool Integrations?
They do support the
SSH Connection: Do They Support It?
They do support SSH connection as a standard part of any of their packages.
Speed & Load Time
As laid out in our Pros section, they offer excellent speed and load time. This is thanks to their responsiveness, plus strategically located data centers.
Services and Goodies Offered With Hosting
Uptime, Outages & Downtime
The provider has an excellent record in terms of uptime. According to Hosting Facts, they have a 99.99% uptime – which makes for negligible downtime. They also experienced just 20 outages in 2018 (compared to Web Hosting Pad, which had over two thousand).
Do They Offer a CDN With Hosting?
Free CDN is offered to clients with every hosting plan.
Do They Offer Shared Hosting and Dedicated Servers?
Yes, they offer both shared and dedicated server hosting solutions.
Https: Do They Offer SSL Certificates or Letsencrypt?
You have one year of free SSL certification with any hosting plan. They have an excellent Let’s Encrypt tutorial on their site.
How Do Backups Work?
They offer free daily backup of every site hosted on the platform. This means if something goes wrong, it’s super easy to restore.
Redirects: Do They Support Server Level Redirects?
Yes, they do offer redirects. You can learn more with their informative tutorials.
Do They Support Multisite & Subdomains?
If you go for the Grow Big or Go Geek plan, they offer multiple site hosting. Hosting multiple websites through this provider is easy. SiteGround also offers an NGINX reverse proxy.
Does It Offer Email Hosting?
With any hosting plan, SiteGround offers unlimited email addresses at your chosen domain.
Security & Past Hacking Incidents
The provider prides itself on high levels of security. The hosting provider has had no major hacking incidents so far.
Pricing, Plans & Money Back
Pricing, Packages & Plans
They offer three different packages. These are called Start Up, Grow Big and Go
The Start Up plan costs $3.95 per month, and is ideal for beginners. With this startup plan, you can support ~10,000 visits per month, and 10 GB of storage, and you can only host one site.
The Grow Big plan costs $5.95 per month, as acts as the step up. It supports ~25,000 visits per month, 20 GB of storage and unlimited hosting.
The Go Geek plan is the most advanced offering. It supports ~100,000 monthly visits, offers 30 GB of storage, and unlimited hosting.
They also offer a reseller hosting plan.
Do They Have a Monthly and Annual Plan Payment Option?
You can choose to pay for your plan on a monthly or annual basis.
Do They Offer Unmetered or Unlimited Bandwidth Plans for Hosted Websites?
No, Siteground doesn’t offer any unlimited bandwidth plans.
How Does Canceling a Plan Work?
You can cancel a plan at any time through your cPanel.
Promo Codes & Discounts: Do They Have Special Offers?
You can often find discount codes by shopping around online. Make sure you perform a thorough check before purchase to ensure you have the best deal.
Do They Have a Satisfaction or Money-Back Guarantee?
They offer a 30-day refund policy for shared hosting
Customer Service and Support
SiteGround Phone Number: Do You Get a Real Person?
SiteGround prides itself on high-level customer service support team. There are 24/7 phone lines offering support, and you can speak to a real employee with minimal waiting time. On top of this, there’s an excellent live chat support team option which is also 24/7.
SiteGround Alternatives: What We Would Recommend Instead
There are a ton of different options for your web hosting provider. If you think SiteGround isn’t the best choice for you, we have a whole host of articles which can help you decide. Our guide to web hosting services for small businesses is a great place to start.
You can sign up for a SiteGround hosting account/ web hosting service through their website. They also offer an excellent array of different help and tutorials if you want more information based on the site you have (blog, e-commerce site).
Have you ever used SiteGround? Would you recommend it to a friend? What’s your preferred hosting provider? How do you feel about customer support? Do you have any tips for beginners? Any experience with shared hosting plans? We’d like to hear your thoughts! Let us know in the comments!