SiteGround Web Hosting Review

Want to have the answer right now? Here it is: SiteGround is a fantastic web hosting service which is suitable for nearly any type of website.

SiteGround is a Bulgarian hosting company which has been around since 2004. Over the years it has grown into a hosting juggernaut which is home to over 2 million websites and 500 employees.

The company has a rabid fanbase, thanks to its legendary customer support, quick loading speed and great performance across the board.

You can count me as among its fans: I run most of my websites on the service and have done so for years without a hitch. So it was pretty much a no-brainer to write this SiteGround review, through which I want to help you decide whether it’s a good hosting option for you too.

So without further ado, let’s jump straight into it.

SiteGround at a glance

 Recommended by WordPress
 Fantastic 24/7 customer support
 Easy-to-use backend
Automatic daily backups
 Get a 57% discount

The holy trinity of good web hosting

The three most crucial variables which determine the quality of a web hosting service are customer support, uptime and speed. Let’s see how SiteGround fares across these.

Customer support

So far, I haven’t had any problems with SiteGround due to a technical error *knock on wood*.  

At times though I’ve got specific technical questions which can’t be solved through a Google search. In such instances, it doesn’t take me longer than a few minutes to get a hold off SiteGround’s customer support through live chat (though you can also call them – same waiting time). This is the case 24/7.

In times like these where you have to move heaven and earth in order to get a hold of companies’ support teams, this truly is a breath of fresh air.

On top of that, SiteGround is thoroughly familiar with WordPress. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that the service is only one of 3 hosting companies which are recommended by WordPress. So if you’ve got a specific WordPress-related question, their team gladly will lend you a hand.

Obviously, there are limits to this. If you’re dealing with a complicated problem which you’ve caused yourself, they won’t go down the rabbit hole with you and spend hours to solve it.

But if hosting and WordPress are completely new to you, it’s reassuring to know there’s someone just a few minutes away ready to help you out. Plus, all you often need is just a little nudge to get the ball rolling again anyway.

One final thing I like about their customer support is the courteous and pleasant demeanor of their staff. The hosting industry is fiercely competitive, and providers often aren’t shy to rip their competitors to shreds, aggressively try to upsell you, or push you to jump on a sales call. This isn’t the case with SiteGround at all, as you can see below (I was posing as a new customer interested in their services):

SiteGround customer support.

Loading speed

Not a soul in the world appreciates a slow website. Slow web pages get punished by Google and visitors tend to leave your page within a couple seconds if it hasn’t loaded by then.

There’s a lot you can do when it comes to the speed of your site. You can compress your images, use a caching plugin and remove CSS bloat. But at the end of the day, all of that will be for naught if your web host is slow.

When looking at a SiteGround test website with no bells and whistles, we see that their loading speed hoovers between 609 and 758 milliseconds for their shared hosting plans. These are fantastic numbers.

SiteGround snelheid per maand in 2020.

And if we take a look at their loading speed in a real-world context, they are crushing it too. Here’s a 4,000+ word guide with 50+ images, a custom web design and a bunch of user comments. According to GTMetrix, it passes with flying colors:

GTMetrics score heavy SiteGround site.

Uptime

It’s great if your site is blazing fast and your web host’s customer support is top notch. But if your site is offline this all doesn’t matter one bit.

Luckily, SiteGround’s uptime is among the best in the industry. I’ve never heard of a visitor being unable to reach any of my sites that run on SiteGround, nor have I encountered one my sites offline myself. The data confirms this: as you can see on the image in the previous section, the uptime is at worst 99.92% and often hits the perfect 100% mark.

How does SiteGround accomplish this feat?

For starters, their security system checks the server status every half second. It doesn’t only detect existing problems, which it automatically solves, but it can also predict and prevent potential issues. On top of that, SiteGround’s engineers keep an eye 24/7 on possible threats and software vulnerabilities. It tackles these with a firewall which increasingly becomes more intelligent, and an AI bot which automatically can deflect malicious web traffic before it can get to your site.

The results speak for themselves: you’ll get yourself a website which is at worst a fraction of a fraction of a percentage point removed from being online all the time.

Other considerations

Aside from customer support, speed and uptime there’s few other things to keep in mind when selecting a hosting service for your website. Let’s take a look at these.

Versatility

You can host practically any website on SiteGround.

Is this the very first time you’ll be launching a website? Worry not. You don’t need any technical skills in order to get started with SiteGround. For instance, after you’ve got yourself an account, installing WordPress won’t take you more than just a few clicks.

But also for grizzled web veterans SiteGround is an excellent choice. All their plans offer plenty of developer tools and their more advanced plans offer tons of server configuration options.

SiteGround’s shared hosting plans are affordable enough for new websites, yet their most advanced shared hosting plan can still accommodate up to 100,000 monthly visitors. Once you’ve outgrown this, you can upgrade to their cloud hosting and VPS hosting.

Some of the world’s biggest blogs (think millions of monthly visitors) run on SiteGround, as do websites which just attract a few hundred visitors each month. So whatever kind of website you have or are looking to build, SiteGround will probably be able to accommodate your needs.

Dashboard

Instead of using cPanel, SiteGround has developed their own interface for managing your website’s hosting. In it, you can oversee your email accounts, set up a staging environment and manage your site’s backups.

The interface is clean and user-friendly: a massive improvement over cPanel.

SiteGround backend.

Free hosting extras

Many hosting providers charge extra for many hosting must-haves. SiteGround on the other hand includes most of these must-haves in their hosting plans.

If you’re site is going to attract visitors from all over the world, then you can install Cloudflare CDN for free. Cloudflare caches your content across an international server network and loads your site from the server closest to your visitors. The result? A website with blazing fast loading speeds worldwide.

Furthermore, all SiteGround plans come with a free SSL-certificate.

Finally, SiteGround offers one free of charge website migration. If you’ve opted for the GrowBig or GoGeek plan, someone from SiteGround will take care of this for you.

SiteGround’s pricing

SiteGround isn’t the cheapest web host out there. This shouldn’t come as a surprise given the quality of their service. Having said that, their cheapest shared hosting plan still caters to nearly any budget.

Monthly costs

At first glance, SiteGround’s prices are pretty cheap. As is the case with most hosting providers however, their advertised fees are promotional rates.

Once you renew, your costs will look like this:

  • $3.95 to $11.95 per month
  • $5.95 to $19.95 per month
  • $11.95 to $34.95 per month

In other words, the monthly fees pretty much triples. Therefore, it might be a smart move to pay up front for as long as possible (36 months in the case of SiteGround). This ensures you’ll be enjoying the promotional rates for as long as possible.

30-day money-back

As is the case with any reputable hosting provider, SiteGround offers a 30-day money-back for their shared hosting plans. This should be more than enough time to figure out whether SiteGround is indeed the right hosting provider for you.

Their cloud hosting money-back policy lasts two weeks. This is a bit of a bummer, but it still ought to be enough the gauge the quality of their service.

On top of that, SiteGround guarantees a yearly uptime of 99.9%. Once they slide under this benchmark, you’ll get one month of hosting for free.

SiteGorund service level agreement.

Dit verklaart de uitstekende uptime cijfers die we eerder bespraken.

SiteGround’s hosting plans

Let’s now take a look at SiteGround’s most popular type of hosting plans: shared hosting and cloud hosting.

Shared hosting

These are the shared hosting plans SiteGround has got on offer:

SiteGround shared hosting plans.

StartUp

This plan works fine if you’re just managing one website and you don’t expect this site to exceed 10,000 monthly visitors. You’ll get 10 GB of storage, which is plenty for most websites.

Do keep in mind that this plan lacks some nifty features from the GrowBig and GoGeek plans. For instance, even though daily backups are included, you won’t be able to make backups “on demand.”

The StartUp plan also lacks a staging environment. A staging environment is where you clone a version of your site on which you can test new designs and functionalities, before your visitors get to see these. I’d say that for most sites with a commercial angle this functionality is critical.

Having said that, this plan is still fine for brand-new sites with little to no traffic. Plus, you can upgrade to a more advanced plan whenever you please.

GrowBig

The GrowBig plan lets you host as many websites as you like. Also, the plan supports up to 25,000 monthly visitors, which are serious numbers.

GrowBig comes with extensive backup capabilities and the aforementioned staging feature. Furthermore, the plan comes with “speed-boosting caching” which leads to faster loading speeds than the StartUp plan.

In case you’d like for partners or team mates to work on your site with you: this plan lets you add collaborators.

If you’re reading this review right now, odds are that this is the most suitable plan for you.

GoGeek

With GoGeek we’re charting heavyweight hosting territory. With 40 GB of web space and 100,000 monthly visitors, GoGeek is a shared hosting juggernaut.

This plan is also a great choice in case you’ll be developing websites for clients. SiteGround’s “white label” functionality lets you easily add external users to your SiteGround account. These users then get to access the Site Tools of just their own website.

GoGeek will grant you access to SiteGround’s very best server resources. What this means for your site is that it will run faster than on GrowBig or GoGeek.

On top of this, GoGeek users get priority access to SiteGround’s highest rated and most experienced customer service representatives.

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is a sensible next step for when you’ve outgrown SiteGround’s shared hosting plans. With cloud hosting your site will be schmeared out across multiple servers. This is great for scaling and ensuring that your site will stay online no matter what: if one server happens to go offline, there are plenty more to keep your site up and running.

With cloud hosting you can upgrade your server RAM, CPU and storage whenever you wish. You don’t require any approval in order to do this, and your site won’t experience any downtime.

Instead of doing this manually, SiteGround lets you use automatic scaling. This adjusts your RAM and CPU to meet unexpected traffic surges, but you’ll still be in control of all parameters.

Conclusion

As WebsiteGecko runs on SiteGround, me recommending them shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

SiteGround caters to nearly any type of website. They’ve got the best customer support in the industry, fantastic uptime and loading speeds, and WordPress recommends them as one of only 3 hosts.

So whether you’re looking to build a website from scratch or migrate an existing website, I’d say that going with SiteGround is a really smart choice. It easily ranks among the best hosting services out there.  

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