Siteground Review: The Insider’s Guide and Expert Opinion

SiteGround Profile

Founded in 2004. SiteGround, is a Bulgaria based web hosting company. It also operates from Madrid, Spain.


Why Choose SiteGround?

SiteGround is one of few web hosts that offers fast and reliable shared hosting(with 99.99% gurantee).

Also SiteGround excels in speed, uptime record and very good customer support, 3 core essentials for a small business website.

Hence small businesses choose SiteGround as their web hosting partner.

Here are 14+ good reasons to choose Siteground as your hosting partner:

  • Siteground is recommended by WordPress.org
  • Customers, after migrating to Siteground, notice very good load time improvements
  • They use fastest speed technology and hence have fast server response times
  • SiteGround ranks them #1 in multiple facebook and twitter customer surveys and user reviews
  • Free migration. A custom plugin is also provided for hasslefree migration from your old web host
  • Easy 1-click Cloudflare Global CDN activation from cPanel
  • Amazing Support. Tickets are usually answered under 10 minutes!
  • Get a Secure site or blog by using Free Let’s Encrypt SSL
  • All plans include Automatic daily backups
  • Automatic WordPress updates for wordpress hosting plans
  • Sites under Siteground are more secure because they frequently release new security updates
  • 99.99% uptime is guaranteed. (Most customers usually get 100% uptime)
  • 3 levels of SuperCache technology to make your site faster.
  • Special plugin to speed up your wordpress blog
  • Special GoGeek plan, for developers, who needs more server resources and advanced features incuding creation of staging servers.

Signup for SiteGround


High Speed Hosting: SuperCacher  and other performance options

SuperCacher: This is a proprietary cache tool developed by Siteground to sigificantly boost the website loading speed.
It has 3 cache options:
Static Cache – Caches static content like images, CSS, JavaScript and thus increases subsequent page visits.

 

Dynamic Cache – This is only available for WordPress and CMS like Joomla. It optimizes your wordpress blog for best speed.


Memcached Option – This is meant for caching database queries. It caches the results from the database queries.

SSD Hosting: Also, all hosting plans include SSD storage(high speed hard disk ) to speedup your website.

In addition following features gives a big boost to site speed.

Free Cloudflare CDN:

A CDN makes your website load faster. Plus it distributes content over multiple data centers all around the world. Thus any visitor from any part of the world will get fast access to site.

NGINX: NGINX web server technology is used to speed up the load of the static content.

HTTP/2 enabled servers: This latest network protocol significantly speeds up loading of websites in the browser. Also customer is provided with “Let’s Encrypt” free SSL Certificates to take full advantage.

Not just that, HTTP/2 has significant SEO advantages, thus can thus boost your site rankings in Google Search engine results.

HTTP/2 has SEO benefits and can give a boost to your site rankings

PHP7: Latest verisons of PHP can make php executions faster. Thus your php web apps as well as WordPress blogs can sure benefit from this.


24/7 Best Tech Support

SiteGround offers 24/7 live chat, ticketing support as well as phone support.


LiveChat: Our experience

In our experience, whenever we went for a live chat, the initial response was within a minute! And issues were solved within the chat session itself.

A few times, the rep could not solve the issue and hence escalted the issue to upper tier support. But even then, issue was resolved within hours.

What was impressive was, the depth of knowledge tech support and sincerity shown on their part to solve the issue. (In sharp contrast to rude dudes in other web hosting companies).

Ticket Support: First reply after ticket creation 

Studies reveal that SiteGround has way better  response rate, after a ticket is created. Most companies take time to resolve matters using ticket response. Only a few companies responded within an hour after ticket was created.  In case of Siteground, we got a response from tech support in around 8 minutes.

Vast knowledge-base: It has a very good collection of  self-help material. Many issues can be resolved by just reading how-to articles in this knowledge-base.


Uptime Record: 99.99% Uptime Guarantee

Siteground has been successful in providing a very good consistent uptime record for it’s customers.

It has take sufficient precautions to ensure downtime is minimal, due to server hiccups.

Pro-active Server Monitoring: SiteGround has developed its own software to so that it detects issues and fixes them immediately. The software can also foresee upcoming issues and thus take appropriate action to prevent them.
This it can prevent and fixes issues without mcuh delay.

Anti-bot AI: Prevents multiple brute-force attacks : Botnets , which can spew nasty Brute-force attacks on servers, can cause serious downtime. To tackle this situation, Sitegroud has developed a smart Artificial Intelligence solution which stops multiple on it’s servers , even before reaching customers websites. This prevents unauthorized access as well as saves your resources.

Shared Hosting: Secure Account Isolation: In shared hosting accounts, aggressive usage of resourcs can affect other websites in same server. To handle this, Sigeground has developed Secure Account Isolation software that makes sure that no single shared hosting count can affect the other accounts in same server.

Resource efficient Servers: Siteground servers use LXC (Linux containers) technology. LXCis highly resource efficient and provides more stability when server goes through high traffic spikes.

Now what does the 99.99% guarantee really mean?

It means that if  it fails to give the 99.99% guarantee, it will give free hosting to compensate for the loss. For example, 99%-99.9% uptime: 1 month of free hosting.

In our experience, we had minimal downtime.


Free Cloudflare CDN

Make your website or blog even more faster by using a free Cloudfare CDN.

Cloudfare is a global CDN and thus your site will be faster when accesed from any part of the world. A CDN caches your images and other files like css etc for faster blog access.

Cloudfare free global CDN with 120+ data centers wordlwide that will make make your site faster for sure.

With speed options like accelerated mobile links, Railgun, and caching along with security options like hotlink protection and Page Rules, Cloudfare makes is an amazing tool to boost your site speed.


Free Website Expert Transfer

One Free Website Transfer or migration is allowed in your GrowBig or GoGeek plans. Please note that any additional website transfer costs extra,

The Transfer Process

  • Website Migration: On request, SiteGround Support agent can migrate your site from old host to SiteGround.
  • Transfer Email accounts: SG can transfer email accounts, but your old host should be using cPanel.

After Transfer:

  • A Website Health Check is performed.
  • Your entire site is reviewed along with applications and plugins
  • Website caching are turned on
  • Daily backups are set up

SiteBuilder: Create your website with no tech skills

SiteGround offers a SiteBuilder Weebly for free for all its customers. Small business customers who do not want to spend money on web design or a a developer, can thus make use of this smart technology to create a reasonably good looking functional website that all the necessary things a small business website needs.


SiteGround Security: Top Notch

Anti-bot AI: Prevents multiple brute-force attacks

Botnets can cause nasty Brute-force attacks on web hosting servers and this cause serious downtime.

To handle this situation, Siteground has developed it’s won AI(Artificial Intelligence ) solution which stops multiple attack on it’s servers , even before reaching customers websites.

This prevents unauthorized access as well as saves your resources. Stats reveal that SiteGround was able to block around 2 million attacks on it’s servers.

This AI watchdog keeps track of :

  • Various request types associated with DDoS attacks
  • Repeated Failed login attempts
  • List of blacklisted known user agents. It updates this list as well.

If a website visit is deemed suspicious to the AI watchdog, it blocks access to the web page and instead comes up with a Captcha page. This makes sure it is a human and not a bot. And in case it is a hacker trying to sneak in, the AI system can handle as well.


SiteGround supports Macintosh users:All-inclusive Mac Hosting for you

Easy to use on a Mac: SiteGround hosting plans are easy to use on a Mac.

For example, You can read your email with Mac Mail. You can setup your Mac Mail client with your SiteGround’s email settings.

RapidWeaver website builder on a Mac: RapidWeaver for Mac OS, lets you create beautiful websites without writing any code.


Types of Hosting Supported by SiteGround

SiteGround offers following hosting plans:

  • WordPress Hosting
  • Shared hosting (Linux)
  • Dedicated Hosting
  • Cloud Hosting
  • VPS Hosting

SiteGround Shared Hosting Review

Studies have revealed that Shared hosting is the most sold hosting plan for any web hosting company.

Who should opt for this plan?

This is the most preferred hosting plan for small business as well as for professionals.

Question is: Does these shared plans offer the features needed for a small business website?

SiteGround has Superior shared plans when compared to its big rivals like BlueHost. Many important features provided in SiteGround’s shared plans are only available as add-ons in competing web hosts.

Managed WordPress plan

All shared hosting plans include managed WordPress, which is only available as a premium feature( or additional payment) in many rival hosts. Not only that, you can get core updates applied automatically. Also you can create staging servers in GoGeek Shared hosting plan.

Shared Hosting: Secure Account Isolation

In shared hosting accounts, aggressive usage of resourcs can affect other websites in same server. To handle this, Sigeground has developed Secure Account Isolation software that makes sure that no single shared hosting count can affect the other accounts in same server.

Free Daily Backups

This web host provides an Automatic Backup System.
Also the backup system allows customer to quickly browse and restore data from the automatic system backups.

Instant Backups

Customer can create instant backups.

For example, this feature can be useful for a developer who is trying to make website changes.

You can back up certain files, databases, emails, or your entire account and save an instant backup copy (retained for max 30 days). And then you can do an instant restore by using the backup restore tool.

Please note: Instant backup is included for free in GoGeek shared plan. For StartUp and GrowBig plans, you can still get it for additional cost.

3 Shared hosting plans are offered:

  • SiteGround StartUp Review StartUp plan($3.95/mo.) : Perfect for hosting just one website. This plan mostly suits a startup company that expects upto 10,000 visitors per month. It has one level of SuperCache.
  • SiteGround GrowBig Review GrowBig plan($5.95/mo.): In this plan, you can host multiple websites(no limit). Plan allows visitors upto 25,000 visitors per month. This plan also includes one free website transfer from your existing web host to SiteGround.
    It also has 3 levels of SuperCache.
    Customers under this plan also enjoys higher priority from support team.
    This plan also has has free Backup restore feature enabled. We strongly recommend this plan for small business websites.
  • SiteGround GoGeek Review GoGeek plan($11.95/mo.):
    As name indicates, this plan is best for developers. It has advanced features including creation of staging area, PCI compliant servers, Pre-Installed Git, Free Backups on Demand.

Signup for SiteGround Shared Hosting

(Best for small business websites and professional websites)


SiteGround WordPress Hosting Review

Recommended by WordPress.org

Siteground, is one of very few hosting companies recommended by WordPress.org. Here are some of best features.

  • Free WP Install – You can quickly install WordPress from your control panel with just one click. If you are not comfortable, Siteground support staff can install for you.
  • WP Autoupdates – Automatically install all necessary updates for your smooth operation of wp blog.
  • Free WP Migrator – Easily migrate your blog from another web host to siteground.  It is easy to setup. Signup for Siteground account first, then get a token id for the transfer.  Then install the siteground migrator plugin (in our existing blog(old host).  Once you enter the token id you can initiate the blog transfer..
  • Free SSL and HTTPS – Make your site mire secure by adding a free SSL. Thus your blog can be accessed using https:
  • 24/7 WP Support – This is a biggie. You get support from WordPress experts. These are the guys who have developed their own custom plugins to speed up wordpress blogs. So you get best support.
  • Free Cloudflare CDN – Make your blog even more faster by using a free Cloudfare CDN.
  • Free Daily Backup – Free daily backups of your blog is taken automatically for your peace of mind.

 

How To Make Your WordPress Site Load Faster

This is one of the most searched keyphrase in Google. Almost every blogger searches for this phrase.

And SiteGround has the answer for the same.
We explained above how 3 levels of SuperCache can speedup your website or blog.

In addition, you get access to performance boosting server technologies like NGINX and HTTP/2 enabled servers.

You also get a free Cloudfare CDN account, which can be enabled from your Control panel.

And combine that with SiteGround’s wordpress plugin SG optimizer, you have a high performance wordpress blog.

In User surveys conducted across various facebook groups, customers have recommended SiteGround as a favorite.

More details of WordPress Plan

SiteGround User Reviews

Many user surveys were conducted in facebook groups as well as forums and it should be noted that SiteGround was the most recommended web host.

SiteGround is the #1 preferred web host for wordpress speed hosting.

 

Facebook group Survey Results of wordpress Hosts

Data Centers and Locations

SiteGround has given a lot of importance to Glocal clients and has many overseas websites hosted with it. Hence it has data centers spread across 3 continents.

When you signup, based on your location, Siteground will autmatically suggest one. But you can change it as well.

USA Data Center::Chicago USA

If you or your customers are mostly from North America, South America, Africa region, then choose this data center.

Europe:: 2 Data Centers::Amsterdam, NL and London, UK

If you or your customers are mostly from Europe, Russia region, then choose this data center.

Asia Data Center::Singapore, SG

If you or your customers are mostly from Asia-Pacific region(Australia, New Zealand, Asia, South Pacific), then choose this data center.


Which Hosting plan should I purchase?

Hosting Plan For Bloggers

Get lightning-fast WordPress hosting along with automatic wordpress updates. And your blog will be optimised as well using SG custom plugins.

GrowBig plan for Bloggers

Hosting Plan For Business Owners

Get TOP PERFORMANCE: If your business website plays a major role of your business, then It is time to switch to a high performance web host that will not only improve its , but will provide fast and helpful support whenever you need it.

We Recommend: 

GrowBig or GoGeek plans for Business Owners

Hosting Plan For Designers & Developers

Host multiple websites at ease! Enjoy fast and high performance hosting technology that will make your (client?) websites faster. You have the the best hosting tools handy. And you get great tech support as well 24/7.
Chat support response is fast and can resolve issues in minimal time. Knowledbase is also vast with solutions to most common issues.

GrowBig or GoGeek plans for Developers

Siteground Vs Bluehost

Siteground Vs Bluehost: Who Scores better?

SiteGround has Superior shared plans when compared to its big rivals like BlueHost. Many important features provided in SiteGround’s shared plans are only available as add-ons in competing web hosts.

Let us see a few features where SiteGround has an edge over BlueHost:

1. Free Migration: Siteground permits one free site migration.
BlueHost: Bluehost charges a fee for migration.

2. SiteGround Migrator plugin: This is a DIY tool that helps customers migrate their WordPress blog from another web host to SiteGround easily. This is another good option a customer can

3. Advanced PHP Ver 7.2:
In SiteGround, you can use PHP Ver 7.2, if you want to.
Bluehost: As of today, Bluehost is yet to provide access to PHP 7.2. It still has PHP 7.0.

4. Faster Updates and smart technologies: SiteGround acts much faster on server updates and new technologies. It is more hungry for success.
BlueHost: They’re bit on slow side for updates and new features.

5. Soaring User Satisfaction: SiteGround User satisfaction surveys conducted in last 3 years shows a steady increase in satisfaction score. For example, In 2017 97% reported satisfaction with SiteGround. Please see our screen-shots in user satisfaction section.
BlueHost: BlueHost dropped in its rank below SiteGround in some surveys.

6. SiteGround Security: We explained above how topnotch security AI system prevents hacks and DDos attacks. These software was developed by Siteground itself. And they are seeing very good results as well.
Bluehost : It relies on Cloudflare for DDoS preventon. CloudFlare protects your site against malicious visitors, save bandwidth and speeds up your site. In addition, Bluehost has partnered with SiteLock for protection from hackers, malware and other nasty threats. But you need to pay for SiteLock.

In security aspect, SG scores over BlueHost.

Overall, SiteGround has an edge over BlueHost.

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Final Thoughts

We hope you have read all sections in this review and made up your mind.

SiteGround is all about high performance web hosting and has great support.

Whether it is for your website or blog, switching to it is a no-brainer.

Summary
Reviewer: Tom George
Review Date: 
Reviewed Item:  SiteGround Web Hosting Review
Author Rating: 1star1star1star1star1star