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There are two probable reasons for your presence here.
One, You are in the early stage of blogging and want to know more about the SiteGround Web Hosting and find out that, are they really worth your Investment?
Two, Your Previous host disappointed you with the poor website performance and not responding when you need them the most. (It happened to me too)
If you said yes to one of the above, Then I promise you, Today you will make an Informed decision about SiteGround.
I am going to tell you everything without holding back any Information, The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly sides of SiteGround.
Disclaimer: I will earn a small commission from SiteGround If you decide to purchase hosting using links on this post. You won’t be charged extra, In fact, you will receive 60% discount with free website transfer. (Thanks in advance if you consider buying with these links).
About Siteground: [Quick Facts]
Before jumping into the review, let’s take a look at some quick facts of Siteground.
- Founded in 2004.
- Headquartered in Sofia, Bulgaria.
- Largest Independent Hosting service provider.
- Has a presence on three continents.
- Siteground Data Centers are located in five Countries: Chicago, London, Amsterdam, Milan and Singapore.
- Employees Strength is 400+
- Hosts more than 800,000 domains.
- WordPress Recommended Host.
- Official Partner of Joomla CMS.
Siteground hosting comes in different packages they are,
- Shared Hosting
- Cloud Hosting
- Dedicated Server
- Reseller Hosting
- Enterprise Hosting (Custom made Solution)
Also, Read More about 8 Types of Web Hosting.
Shared Hosting is offered in three-tier plans they go by these names
I have signed up for the GrowBig plan which houses decent features, especially the one bloggers and business website owners need. I update this review every month to keep it with the fresh info.
Things That Matters To You (My Experience):
If you hate reading lengthy articles I will put this in one simple sentence “SiteGround is worth your time and Investment“. I am happy with the service.
When I read lots of positive reviews about Siteground I was still sceptical, but I did purchase the service to test it out for my self. When my website transferred to SiteGround I did notice Immediate positive results.
By the way, SiteGround website transfer is free. They will migrate your site with no downtime.
Let‘s look at my Siteground experience from different aspects.
SiteGround Support (Stand By Rescue Team):
-Customer Support Live Chat, Yes That is 32 minutes of chat.-
Customer support is the foremost thing that comes to my mind. Irrespective of the time, you get a quick response from the support team.
Just do the quick test for yourself, talk to their pre-sales team with live chat and you will know why I like their support.
When I ask them about a technical issue I feel like as if I am talking to my friend who listens patiently (satisfaction to every penny I spent). and solves the issue for you.
We all need one, especially when we have no clue about technical stuff.
My previous host made me wait for hours which was frustrating.
Imagine a ship that sunk in the middle of nowhere and the rescue is far from hours.
That’s exactly how a site owner feel when his site goes down and there is no quick response from customer support. losing traffic is no joke, Each minute counts for a website with decent traffic.
In my case, not receiving a response on time is even worse than a site going down.
But now with Siteground if there is an issue I get a response in minutes that’s something I am willing to pay for. And trust me, the support team is highly knowledgeable they know what they are speaking.
Siteground recommends live chat over the ticket system to get a quick response.
Siteground stands up to the promise in terms of technology they adopted. Siteground keeps its Infrastructure and Software with the updated technology ensuring excellent performance.
As you are aware of the fact that WordPress runs on PHP in the backend. PHP 7.2 version is the latest version released, which can accelerate the website speed by 2-3x. And still, 40.8% of the WordPress sites on the internet are running on PHP 5.6 version.
Unlike others, Siteground runs on Latest PHP 7.1 version and they recommend to use the latest versions.
WordPress.org specified few requirements from Host providers as you can see here
They offer SSD storage, which is reliable in the long term and Much faster than Mechanical hard drives. FYI, SSD stands for Solid State Drive, which is pretty expensive compared to traditional HDD (Hard Disk Drive) storage.
Siteground offers In-house developed plugin SG Supercacher, which cache your site files, thereby improving the loading speeds in browsers.
Cloudflare CDN(Content Distribution Network) places your site content(Images, CSS, HTML) across many data centres all over the world which reduces the load on the server and Improves page loading speeds.
All put together my site performance is spiked like super crazy. I am so happy that my sites are loading smoothly with decent speeds now I have nothing to worry about server-side issues.
They keep all the websites in Cpanel updated to latest WordPress versions. A great relief for developers who handle a ton of clients websites. If there is an update released by WordPress, They will notify you by an email to update your site to the latest version. See the email I received.
Performance wise my site is pretty amazing now, which is not the case with my previous host. I must say, above four features were not available on my previous host and they are essential to every blogger probably these are the reasons for low performance.
Security (How Much They Care About Your Website):
Security wise Siteground takes that extra mile.
One interesting feature you must know about Siteground is Website Isolation. Shared hosting hosts many websites with the same IP address.
Any malicious activity on one website affects all the remaining websites on the server.
That’s when Website Isolation comes to our rescue. It isolates the affected site so that other websites aren’t affected, amazing isn’t it!.
Siteground claims that they are the first to adopt such technology and since then other hosting companies started adopting the same.
Above data is collected by Siteground from comparing 12 popular web hosting providers.
WordPress.org houses 40K+ plugins when a plugin gets hacked, websites installed the same plugin are also subject to hacking. websites are vulnerable if the patch is not released immediately by developers.
While many hosts wait for the developer to release the patch, Siteground develops a temporary patch and secures the website without waiting for developers patch release.
Ease of Use (I Hate Coding):
–Siteground Cpanel Dashboard–
Siteground offers traditional Cpanel dashboard which makes it easy to use. They offer a great library of a collection, helping to understand the Cpanel even further.
Every feature of Cpanel is covered in the library so, literally there is nothing to worry about. If the library doesn’t help you, Support team helps you.
Activating additional features like SSL, Cloudflare CDN is very simple. At the push of a button, you can activate these features.
When you activate these features you must note few things.
- For those who are starting(Fresh Blog), you have nothing to worry about.
- If you are transferring your website to Siteground, make sure your theme doesn’t act weird with Cloudflare activation. This might happen with sites using Page Builders.
It happened to me but after changing to Genesis themes everything went well.
SEO (Things That Google Expects from your Website ):
A year ago I wasn’t aware of the fact that poor hosting can affect SEO. I learned it the hard way.
According to Brian Dean from Backlinko following factors related to Web Hosting will have an Impact on SEO(Ranking Factors).
- Page loading speed
- Site Uptime
- Server Location
- SSL certificate (HTTPS)
- IP address of your server
Page loading speed:
–Pingdom test Before Moving To Siteground–
Web Hosting plays a significant role in page loading speed. As a beginner one can’t start with a heavy budget to buy a premium($50/month) hosting service, so choosing a hosting provider who can provide decent speed at a reasonable price is important.
Half a Year ago My site speed was far from decent, I didn’t like the page loading speed. If you are just starting out don’t make the mistake (Opting Poor Hosting) I made.
Siteground with its superior technology offers decent speed. I am satisfied with the speed Improvements after upgrading to Siteground.
–Pingdom test After Moving To Siteground–
SiteGround offers 99.9% Uptime guarantee. SiteGround states they will compensate you with one-month free hosting if they fail. I found following few words in Terms of Service page.
SiteGround’s reliable hosting service is backed up by an industry-leading Service Level Agreement (SLA). We guarantee network uptime 99.9% of the time during a twelve month period, starting on the date you order your account. If we fall below that, we will notify you by email and we will automatically compensate your account as follows:
- 100% – 99.9% uptime: No compensation
- 99.9% – 99.00% uptime: 1 month free hosting
- An additional month of free hosting for every 1% of uptime lost below 99.00%
In my experience, they did the pretty amazing job. My site has 99.99% uptime since I upgraded to Siteground GrowBig Plan.
–Past 30 Days Uptime Stats from Pingdom–
Siteground has data centres on three continents. USA, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. To be more specific countries like Chicago, London, Amsterdam, Milan, and Singapore. My site has the majority of visitors from India so I choose Singapore nearest to India.
Top of that Siteground offers Cloudflare free account which makes my site content span across 101 data centres all over the world Improving site loading speed.
Cloudflare lets your website visitor access content from nearest data centres thus improving Page speed.
SSL certificate (HTTPS):
–SiteGround Let’s Encrypt Free SSL Activation Dashboard–
Siteground Makes it easy to activate SSL certificate with the push of a button. Also offers free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate which is sufficient for bloggers.
Also, they offer Wildcard SSL certificate free for 1 Year In GrowBig and GoGeek plans. Websites who make Card transactions can avail premium SSL certificates from Siteground. Activating SSL was very easy from Siteground Cpanel dashboard.
SSL certificate creates additional security layer to protect the information shared on a website. It is becoming more of a standard as Google giving importance to sites with SSL over Sites without SSL certificate.
Even bloggers need to upgrade to HTTPS from HTTP because we collect email Ids for Newsletters.
From October 2017 chrome (version 62) browser will show NOT SECURE warning when the user enters information in forms on HTTP website.
IP address of your server:
If your server IP address is flagged for spam It hurts all the websites available on the server.
Siteground takes extra measure to keep its servers free from spam. So there is nothing to worry about. So it is important to choose the right web hosting service.
What You See Is What You Get (even more). I have seen many hosting providers wooing customers with cheap pricing, but In truth, they are bound by certain conditions.
For example, Hosting providers show cheap pricing on websites, but when you sign up you will realize that offer is valid only if you sign up for more than 2 or 3 years.
Kind of feels like click bait to me.
Web Hosting plans are very transparent there are no hidden surprises in pricing. Thanks to Siteground, The features are listed in a tabulated form which makes it easy to compare the plans provided.
UPDATE: EFFECTIVE 6th, June 2018 SiteGround Has Introduced New Pricing Structure and Same is Updated In this Post.
Trust me, I have seen Hosting providers who provide very less Information about the plans.I had to contact their Pre-sales teams to know more details, even I had checked their Terms of Service pages to know more about hidden surprises. that sucks don’t you think.
Siteground publishes an article titled “Top Customer Support Representative of the Month”Siteground picks the best support representative every month based on the satisfaction rating and clients served. It is evident that Siteground does a great job at providing customer support.
Honestly, this is not a downside to me, but for many users, it might seem like one. Siteground has mentioned an approximate number of visits a plan can accommodate. And continues, stating that it is merely a point of reference, rather than a restriction.
We always perceive restriction as a bad thing as far as I am concerned, it is a good step taken to prevent unexpected things from happening. Like sudden traffic spikes can affect other websites performance on the server.
Now, why I did not consider it as a downside is, There are tons of hosting companies claim they offer unlimited hosting, but when you have a big traffic all unlimited promises will become limited by a pile of terms of service and policy restrictions.
Which I am not willing to afford. Now with Siteground, I am assured that until I reach the mere reference point I have absolutely nothing to worry about and I can focus on the things that really matter.
Do you really think that anyone can offer Unlimited Hosting? You can let me know in the comments section.
Am I Bragging?
While I was writing this post honestly it felt like am bragging about these guys so I decided to give you something more to make that Informed decision which I promised you in the beginning.
So I did some digging, Turns out I am not the only one who is loving their service. There is a flood of users who like Siteground service.
Check this social evidence I found.
There are so many happy users like me. Of course, there is some negativity too but let’s agree the fact that No one Is Perfect.
If Website Performace, Support, Uptime & Pricing are your Top Priority then it is highly recommended to start with SiteGround.
SiteGround is definitely not an end of the line. But it is a great starting point.
They are best suitable for content-based blogs like mine, small traffic business websites & small traffic eCommerce stores.
If your site content is media rich like full of videos and high-quality Images then Siteground shared hosting may not be a good choice because of less storage space.
With GoGeek Plan Siteground can accommodate up to 100,000 visits(even more with proper optimization).
Plans Suitable for:
StartUp: Best for Single-Site owners who are just starting with small traffic single website.
UPDATE: Effective June 6th, 2018, Free Website Transfer is available only on GrowBig and Higher Plans.
GrowBig: Best for Bloggers like me and Business Websites & Small Stores.Can host more than one website.
GoGeek: Best for Growing blogs, Medium traffic Stores, & Developers. Can host more than one website. More resources are available.
I am glad that you read this article up to this point. Now go ahead and make a smart move.
Here is the more than 60% discount link to get SiteGround Hosting (With 30 days Money Back Guarantee).