“Web Hosting – Crafted with Care” – This is the first thing you would notice when you visit SiteGround’s website. So is it actually the case? Let me walk you through it with my SiteGround Review today.
I would like to reiterate the fact that I review web hosts based on actual user experience and my first hand experience with them. So you can be rest assured what I talk about at BlogMeHow, is genuine information and not based on some assumption or a third party experience.
So let’s start digging…
SiteGround Review – How I Prefer to Review them:
This SiteGround Review will be based on the criteria I typically follow for reviewing web hosts. I feel these are a good aspects to consider while reviewing a web hosting service:
But first, Let me share a few things about SiteGround:
SiteGround came into existence in 2004 and is a NON EIG company. That in itself is a plus for many. In case you are wondering why is it important, you can read a post I wrote about EIG and its group companies to understand the context better.
Coming back to SiteGround, Founded by Ivo Tzenov, SiteGround has grown to be among the top web hosts around.
SiteGround Contact info:
They are available 24/7 and can be reached over the phone, live chat, email.
You can start a Live Chat from over here
Get in touch via Phone call at 1.866.605.2484
Or Drop an Email using the Post Ticket option over here
Typically SiteGround guys are prompt with their response and you will get almost instantaneous response. They pride themselves when it comes to customer support – more on that later.
SiteGround Review – What Makes it Special [Features]:
SiteGround is among those web host for whom the word ‘feature rich‘ is apt. They offer a lot of services and features which you would not expect in similar plans with other web hosts.
WordPress Hosting and Joomla Services:
Yes, there are more and more web hosts who have started providing these services. But in case of siteGround, this is not just limited to One-Click WordPress or Joomla installations, or pre-installed plugins.
When it comes to WordPress Hosting, I won’t be wrong in saying SiteGround is the next best thing to Managed WordPress Hosting – or infact for the plans vis-a-vis pricing vis-a-vis their features, it is probably the best thing you can pick for your WordPress website – Have written more about this in the Plans section below.
Same goes for their Joomla Service.
Here is an example of their WordPress Service – They will update your plugins and fix any possible vulnerabilities.
Also they will inform in case of any WordPress Core Updates are pending:
SiteGround has one of the best customer support system in business. I have experienced this first hand, and it was even before when I wasn’t writing web hosting reviews. So there was no other incentive for them to give me good support except for the fact that, I was like any other regular customer for them.
And yes, I was not even using any high end plans by them. So I was really impressed by their response times and support.
Free Daily Backup:
SiteGround provides daily backups of your sites across all plans and keeps 30 copies of your site. This is a big plus as it allows you to not worry about taking backups or looking for plans or plugins which do it for you.
They provide a very high level of security and monitoring to prevent and hack attack or malicious code from running on your websites.
They even have server-level fixes for any possible vulnerability which they might encounter, without depending upon the server software developers to release a patch – this to me is pro-activeness.
Here is an example of that:
This feature is NOT for all plans, but for the higher WordPress Hosting plans, SiteGround does provide a simple one-click staging option.
I also like the way they explain Staging and how they help out – Check infographic, its quiet fun.
One Click Caching and CDN in select plans:
Cloudflare CDN and SuperCacher caching plugin is provided by SiteGround for select plans. You need to install it, but the installation is a simple one click process. This only makes your sites load faster.
Understanding CDN in simple words:
CDN or Content Delivery Network is a network of multiple servers located strategtically in different parts of a world (typically spread across all the continents and in several cases in multiple cities of a country). If you use a CDN service and a someone visits your website, the static content like images, videos, CSS files, etc. are served from the CDN server nearest to the visitor’s location.
Only the files or content which is dynamic will be loaded from the main server. This reduces the latency and time it would have otherwise taken to load all the files from the main server or the actual location of your website; thus improving the performance and load speed of your website (and Google loves that too).
Now for Caching…
WordPress, unlike HTML is a dynamic system, which loads multiple things from multiple places. Due to this, when you have a sudden surge in traffic, or primarily run moderate to high traffic websites, the constant visits by your users can put a load on system resources and also result in higher load times. To counter this Caching plugins are useful.
What a caching plugin does is as soon as the very first visitor accessed the site, it will save a HTML copy of your WordPress site on the server. HTML files are static and as the next set of users visit your site, this cached HTML copy is served to them. This thus reduces the load on the server as well as results in faster site loads.
Of course you can define the duration after which the current cached copy of your site expires and a new one is saved, thus ensuring your site updates are also served to the users.
CDN + Caching = Super Fast Site loads:
So when you have a CDN with a Caching plugin working in tandem, the static HTML or the cached copies are not saved on the main server but on the CDN locations, thus serving even the Cached copies from the nearest possible location to the visitors. This results in superb load speeds.
For all plans SiteGrounds has a free migration option, wherein users can transfer their sites from one web host to another to from one SiteGround plan to another. They also offer this service in case of Blogger to WordPress migration.
FREE Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate Installation:
SiteGround allows its users to install Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate for FREE through the CPanel. This is again a good add-on feature.
Location of SiteGround Data Centers:
One of the crucial parts of my review and also the reason I would pick a web host; has always been Data Center location. The reason is the closer the Data Centers from your physical location, the faster it will be and lesser the latency.
SiteGround have their Data Centers in 4 Locations, across 3 Continents:
- Chicago USA
- Amsterdam, Europe
- London, Europe
- Singapore, Asia
I think the above locations should suit many users and its spread across 3 continents and users around them can pick one depending on their choice.
As mentioned above the Data Center locations are strategic. To add to it, these Data Centers are also technological advanced and secured.
The Data Center locations are in areas with 24/7 connectivity and they have network connectivity through multiple carriers and service providers, thus ensuring maximum uptimes.
They are well equipped to handle redundancies like power and network failures – Yes, most good web hosts also have these aspects covered.
Here is a look inside the Data Centers of SiteGround – Do note, not every company does this:
OK if you are aware of the pros and cons of Shared Hosting, then you would know, that one of the cons is that if an account of one of the users is compromised in terms of security, this could affect the sever, putting the accounts of other users hosted on that server at risk.
SiteGround was among the first companies to actually work a solution for this, and have since have a system wherein user accounts, even if hosted on the same server are isolated from each other. This means if on of the accounts is affected by any security attack, the other users are unaffected.
Pro-Active Security Setup:
The typical types of servers used for web hosting are often vulnerable to security attacks. Typically in case of a attack, the web hosts may rely upon the server software developers to provide a fix for it. However SiteGround’s server management team generally fix this by writing their own patch for fixing up any vulnerability.
Server Issues and Downtime Management:
SiteGround’s server software monitors realtime server status and automatically attempts to resolve any server issues and thus prevents downtime – in 90% of cases.
I might add here, there are other companies who use similar technology, and SiteGround is not the only one to do so.
PHP 7 + OpCache Support:
SiteGround Hosting is among the early adapters to PHP 7 and OpCache platforms. To put in simple words this enables a much faster server performance as compared to any other PHP 5.x versions. So yeah, I would say it is kind of good.
SiteGround Hosting Review – Plans:
SiteGround offers a variety of plans for all types of web hosting needs, including WordPress and Joomla optimized hosting plans.
As already discussed in the Features above, it won’t be wrong to say that SiteGround’s WordPress hosting plans are kind of like Managed WordPress hosting. It’s base plans are of course way cheaper than a typical Managed WordPress Hosting plan, starting at $3.95 a month.*
They also have their own WordPress Caching plugin – SuperCacher which runs on NGINX (a WordPress optimized server). Plus, they do take care of some of updates for WordPress plugins and gives a much better WordPress experience overall.
One thing you will notice is the SiteGround Plans are affordable and if seen from a perspective of what they offer, they are value for money, in most cases.
Just a head’s up, SiteGround has a multiple plans within a class of plans – Meaning it has 3 different Plans within its Shared Hosting, WordPress Hosting and other plans. So you really have a lot of options to pick a plan with best suites your needs.
Shared Web Hosting Plans:
SiteGround has 3 levels of Share hosting plans starting from $3.95 a month.
Here are the plan options with their features:
Cloud Hosting Plans:
Here are the Cloud Hosting Plans and Features:
Dedicated Server Hosting:
If you have a really high traffic website then, you can check their Dedicated Hosting Plans too:
WordPress Hosting by SiteGround:
WordPress Hosting by SiteGround can rival any other Managed WordPress Hosting company.
Here is a quick Summary of what they offer:
- One Click WordPress Install
- Free Migration services
- Free Daily Backups
- Automatic Updates for Plugins and Notifications for Core WordPress Updates
- Account Isolation & Server Level Security and Pro-active Fixes in case of vulnerability
- SuperCacher Caching Plugin running on NGINX, in select plans for the WordPress performance
- CDN with 34 locations
- Customer Support by WordPress Experts – Zero Wait times
- Access to Select FREE WordPress Themes
- WordPress Tutorials
Here are the Plan in details and their Features:
Joomla, Magento and PrestaShop Hosting Plans:
Apart from the above, SiteGround also offers plans for Joomla, Magento and Prestashop users.
SiteGround Review – Customer Support:
Now this is which many a times is a Deal Breaker for most. And it is also justified. You really don’t want to be stuck with a problem or a down website for hours and lose out on important business or traffic!
While their security and WordPress services will impress you [as seen above in the features section], their customer support too, is awesome.
One thing I can say for sure is, SiteGround will not disappoint you in their customer support.
As mentioned at the start, they have multiple avenues for you to get in touch with them, and all have almost ZERO waiting time. Except for email maybe, which takes between 5-10 minutes for a revert in most cases. Again pretty good response time if you look at it.
Their Live Chat and Phone Call options are instantaneous and the person you will speak to, will be knowledgeable. In my experience I haven’t come across any instance wherein the support guy is was not able to understand my query.
When it comes to resolution, again depending upon the kind of problem, it is pretty prompt.
Here is my experience with them when it comes to Customer Support – You can see the time taken in the time stamps and they did eventually resolve the issue:
This above scenario also brings me to the scalability aspect and how they help in that.
SiteGround Review – Scalability:
In my SiteGround Review or any other Web Hosting review for that matter, when I say scalability, I don’t just mean scale in terms of upgrading from one plan to another. I also mean in terms of traffic, and how well they handle your site as the traffic grows in an existing plan.
Now take a case when your website is seeing a healthy growth and your traffic is constantly moving north. In this case is that:
- Is the web host able to accommodate the spike in traffic, of course as long as the limitations of your existing plan permit?
- Whether or not they guide with the next course of action which you would require if you need to continue running your website with even higher traffic on their web hosting – either by optimizing the current plan or eventually switching over to a newer, higher plan.
In both these scenarios, as I have experienced for my website which was hosted on SiteGround, they have been nothing but awesome.
Why I say this? You can see from the screenshot above, how they helped me out to optimize my site’s resource utilization. They will pro-actively inform you if they see a scenario wherein your site might just experience a downtime owing to your site utilizing more resources than your existing plan. If the spike is temporary they might suggest ways to optimize a few things.
But if that will be a regular occurrence, they will explain you the possible options including and upgrade and also help with a zero-downtime migration process.
Like most web hosts, they too are provide a scalable environment – What makes them good is the pro-active support in the entire process.
Performance – SiteGround Review:
SiteGround does deliver very good performance and offers 99.9% uptime. It is not just a claim by them.
Here are some number:
Value for Money:
The last leg of my SiteGround Review bring me to the simple question – Is SiteGround Hosting value for money?
I would say a BIG YES.
Here are the reasons:
- They offer plans which are very affordable – Starting with $3.95
- They have a awesome feature set for every plan and in most cases your get more than your pay for.
- Awesome Customer Support – They say they care, and in my experience they actually do.
- Plans for every kind of Web Hosting requirement – Some which even rival the best Managed WordPress hosting plans with lower prices and similar experience.
I really don’t think I would be saying this for a lot of web hosts, but with SiteGround there is something for all and most users will be highly satisfied.
Blogging, WordPress, Building High Traffic Websites, Web Apps and Digital Marketing .... and yes, did I say I'm a big-time food junkie.
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The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
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