I tried SiteGround hosting on one of my WordPress sites to see how it would compare to others. I love fast loading sites, so I am always looking for web hosts that can deliver speed.
After using the provider for 2 years, I am quite happy with it. However, as you are going to find out in this review, there is a but!
But before we get to that “but”, let’s get an overall feel of what SiteGround is all about.
In the year 2003, a group of IT professionals pulled their resources together and formed Siteground.com, a Web hosting company, after spending years on the other side of the business. To this date, Siteground remains privately held.
In the US, the offices are in Humble, Texas and New York City. It also has offices in Sofia, Bulgaria to oversee its European operation.
Small businesses and private individuals form the core of its client base in the Web hosting business, with about 150,000 websites hosted through its facilities.
BBB Rating & Reviews
As for the Better Business Bureau’s SiteGround rating, I was sort of surprised to see SG being rated
C+ on a scale of A+ to F. (Update: the BBB has just changed their rating of SG to A+ which is the highest rating).
Moreover, the company is not a BBB accredited business either, though it’s not really a deal breaker since there are lots of great companies that do not participate in BBB’s accreditation program.
There were also 31 complaints against SG in the last 3 years, all of which were resolved as far as I could see.
SiteGround’s Web Hosting Plans & Pricing
Their offerings revolve around shared, VPS, dedicated Web hosting, and reseller hosting as well.
All these packages are made available from its array of servers that are exclusively Linux-based. Its services also extend to e-commerce solution, for customers who look for extra help in setting up their online shops.
All plans come with free software to design website, a free domain and unrestricted e-mail accounts.
- StartUp: $3.95 (60% off from the regular $9.95/mo). This is the most basic shared hosting plan. Comes with 10GB Web Space. You can host one domain.
- GrowBig: $7.95 (50% off from the regular $14.95/mo). This plan offers 20GB Web Space, and you can host unlimited sites.
- GoGeek: $14.95 (50% off from the regular $29.95/mo). This plan offers 30GB Web Space, and you can host unlimited sites.
In addition to shared hosting, the company offers 3 VPS hosting plans and 4 managed dedicated server plans.
The company’s website claims that only the very fast and reliable servers are used so as to achieve a 99.9% uptime, but it never provides a guarantee for the performance.
Technical support is available through 24 x 7 e-mails support and that responsibility is delegated to its European office.
Signup & Setup
Registration is straightforward and could be done under five minutes. You will have to decide on your desired plan once the registration process is over.
There is a premium support option right at the end of the page, and I decided to take up that option since there was no indication of additional costs (it is free for three months).
But there are items that can greatly inflate the price. If your plan includes options such as Domain Privacy, Daily Backup, HackAlert Monitoring, you would end up paying a lot more compared to the basic plans.
These are all nice to have features, but make sure you include only those options that are immediately useful to you if you don’t want to pay through the nose.
Upon successful registration, a confirmation e-mail will come your way indicating all details such as account ID and login information. There is also going to be a call from their customer service representative just to check if everything goes well, I really find these friendly services useful.
Uptime and Server Reliability
Siteground’s WordPress hosting has been the choice for my personal website over a period of two years now. During this two years span, my site has experienced downtime two times, each lasting no more than half an hour.
Interesting enough, both timings clashed with their scheduled maintenance. And I was adequately warned, in fact, three times – a week before the scheduled program, 3 days prior to it and finally 3 hours before the maintenance kicked in.
Arguably, the reason for the downtime is due to the lack of server speed, so the company has decided all their servers would be upgraded to allow more speed.
Out of these two isolated incidents, which seemed to suggest out of speed servers at times of maintenance, the experience has been smooth. In that sense, its uptime can be rated as almost perfect. The site is always up and I never notice any more downtime.
It is near impossible to pick any bone with SiteGround’s Cpanel. It is great as it consolidates all necessary info under one web page. Its ease of use is never in doubt, ever, in order to maintain our site.
The support program from SiteGround is excellent. It truly keeps up to its promise of 24/7 support. Regardless the time of the day, customer support is always on and ready to be of service. The response can be described as fast, and, more importantly, helpful.
They also make available a number of online tutorials and newbies can always count on them (on their main website) to find tips on setting up their sites.
But not all tutorials are equal, such as the ones on W3Total Cache. The company never seems to make serious attempt to keep these up to date.
Other Reviews of SiteGround
Of course, as always, I tried to find out what other people had experienced with SG. So, I spent sometime reading reviews both negative and positives on major review sites such as Cnet and WhoIsHostingThis. And it seems like the majority of their customers are happy with them. But of course, there were some negative reviews as well, but you can’t make everyone happy.
Combining my own observation and the experience of others, here are pros and cons of hosting your site with SiteGround:
- The one thing that bought me over is the comprehensive precautions to ward off hackers. Even if you have to type cpanel URL directly from with your blog, you would be channeled through SiteGround’s securely encrypted connection straight to the log-in page on their website. This way, you have the best assurance that your sensitive information remains safe, free from any malicious attempt from any hacker who want to access it while transmission takes place.
- Secondly, I thought it is good that the company does not allow for direct activation of plugins and themes. It has an additional layer of security in place, to ensure that whatever plugins and themes you installed would be clean and safe. Moreover, restrictions are in place if you log in from your WordPress blog, and the user is denied further attempts of login if wrong passwords/usernames have been entered repeatedly. This greatly minimizes the chance of your blog being compromised by hackers.
- And there is their advanced caching technology, which can be enabled automatically with the installation of WordPress. This files caching capability can greatly enhance your blog’s performance. An arguably even more powerful caching capability, SuperCacher, comes with a more advanced plan but I didn’t test it.
- The server uptime is fantastic. During my two years with SG, I never observed even a short downtime, and I really scrutinized the performance. Granted, it is still a short stay for a period just over 2 years, but such track record says a lot about how reliable the hosting service is.
- A good practice here is that not many users are kept on the same server in their shared plans. This is a good thing as it demonstrates their commitment to quality. The company claims that it hosts the lowest number of users on shared servers among its peers in the industry. While such comparison is not in the public domain, I would be tempted to give the company the benefit of doubt as WordPress really loads quickly here compared to other common shared hosts.
- These are really some interesting features that make this web hosting provider stands up vs other web hosts like HostGator. While there are other helpful features, these tend to be commonplace for all other website hosts.
- If there is any con of SiteGround, it has to be the limit thy place on storage space. With the most basic plan, you are entitled to a measly 10 GB storage. To some who do strictly blogging, it may be enough, but individual preference differs.
SiteGround combines efficient hosting services with affordable pricing. Its tech support is inferior to none.
The flip side is that the hosting service only suits people who run just a handful of websites (less than 5) within a single account. But for small businesses, it is definitely a value for money and yet dependable service provider.
So, to end this review, I do recommend SiteGround if you have a few websites and are looking for a reliable host.