8.5 Out Of 10
|Plans||Cloud, WordPress & Shared|
|Data Centers||Iowa/US, Australia/Germany, Netherlands, Singapore, & United Kingdom|
|Support||Help Desk & Knowledge Base|
|Uptime||Excellent (100% in the past 6 months).|
|Migration is free|
|Best for||Developers, designers & agencies|
|Strengths||Superior performance and superior customer service|
|Weaknesses||It is not easy to set up.|
|Promotion||Get Up to 73% Off|
What is SiteGround?
SiteGround Hosting was founded in 2004 as an independent web hosting company.
They are based out of Bulgaria, but they serve all hosting markets worldwide. SiteGround is a company that offers high-quality and “well-crafted” hosting solutions.
SiteGround offers a range of hosting options, starting with a shared Linux web hosting option (the most affordable and versatile type), all the way up to Cloud and WordPress server solutions for large websites.
Is SiteGround Legit?
They are one the fastest-growing independent hosting companies (i.e., not owned by a larger corporate group). They were a part of growing events in the WordPress, Drupal and Joomla communities, which I discovered years ago. The WordPress Foundation has made them an official recommended web host. They are legitimate.
What does SiteGround Hosting serve?
SiteGround is used to host WordPress websites. SiteGround has a private server backend and a cloud infrastructure that can host all kinds of websites or web applications. However, most of their clients use WordPress. They have a diverse client base, from novice bloggers to large enterprises.
Similar to my WebHosting Hub experiment, I had recently created a few small websites that required their own hosting accounts. I decided to give SiteGround Hosting another chance based on the high praise I received from industry professionals. The account was active when I first started the project many years ago. This review was originally published several years ago. SiteGround changed its tools and services so I have republished it.
Here is my SiteGround review. It includes pros and cons, comparisons, next steps, and other information based on my experience with the company.
SiteGround offers a variety of hosting packages and plans, even though they only offer one solution.
SiteGround offers 3 plans to fit your web hosting needs:
|Storage||10 GB||20 GB||40 GB|
|No cost domain name|
* Prices per month for 12-month subscription
Get up to 73% off with SiteGround
These plans look exactly the same as their WordPress/WooCommerce counterparts , except that WordPress does not automatically install.
Industry-wide, there isn’t much between WordPress hosting plans and web hosting plans . SiteGround is exactly that. SiteGround’s Web Hosting product is optimized for WordPress, but WordPress isn’t automatically installed.
The StartUp Plan has a 1 site limit, and no premium features like staging or on-demand backups.
GrowBig Plan includes unlimited websites and on-demand backups.
GoGeek Plan places your website on a server that has fewer websites so that you don’t need to share as much server resources. If you’re an agency, Git and client management/site tools are included in your SiteGround account.
WordPress Hosting Plans
SiteGround’s WordPress Hosting plan is identical to their Web Hosting plans except that WordPress is automatically installed. SiteGround is a WordPress host for all plans.
SiteGround is just one of three WordPress hosting providers that WordPress.org recommends (HT0_ Bluehost, DreamHost)
WooCommerce Hosting Plans
SiteGround’s WooCommerce Hosting works exactly like their Web Hosting product except that WordPress is automatically installed and the WooCommerce plugin is also auto-installed.
Cloud Hosting Plan
SiteGround provides scalable web hosting in the cloud. It basically means you pay per use of the server, rather than for an allocation.
SiteGround uses Google Cloud to host its cloud hosting plan. SiteGround will provide support and you can use their backend, but your website will live on Google’s servers (the same ones used by YouTube.com and Google.com).
SiteGround is directly competing with cloud resellers such as Cloudways pricing or Kinsta pricing). It is very affordable. It all comes down to advanced support options and backend tools.
Reseller Hosting Plans
SiteGround offers Reseller Hosting plans which are similar to their web hosting product. I have explained Reseller hosting here . It is essentially a way to sell hosting under your own brand but with SiteGround’s backend.
SiteGround is competitive with other reseller programs. However, every hosting reseller must balance support, performance, profit margins, and support. SiteGround’s pricing structure is higher, which can reduce reseller margins but also provide support.
Enterprise Hosting Plan
SiteGround offers customized Enterprise Hosting packages to fit budgets up to $2000. SiteGround can tailor resources and technologies to suit any website or timeframe.
Review of InMotion Hosting
Migration is free
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The Best Web Hosting
SiteGround reviews are plentiful online. Most of them are user-generated reviews that are based on personal experience and anecdotes. This is fine, but I prefer a different approach.
In all my hosting reviews I have mentioned that there is no “best” web host. It all comes down to the right fit for your project, based on your budget, experience, and expertise. SiteGround has many advantages.
Speed and Performance
Your web hosting server receives the request when someone enters your website address. There are many variables that affect website speed. However, it is your web hosting server’s responsibility to send the requested files as fast as possible to the visitor’s browser.
SiteGround promises a lot regarding website speed throughout their website. They have lived up to their promises based on all the tests I’ve done since opening my account.
Time to First Byte is a key factor in site speed. This refers to how fast the server responds to a request by sending the first byte of the file. Here is how SiteGround’s website performed.
SiteGround offers fast server performance and major data centers all over the world.
They use Google Cloud infrastructure to create cloud-based enterprise plans.
Because of the distance your website files must travel, this is important. Many major web hosting companies automatically assign customers to their single data center, often in the middle of the US.
This is fine if your customers are mostly located in North America. But, if you have customers in North America, that’s fine. You should make sure your website is located in Australia or Singapore. SiteGround is pleased to offer this speed factor.
SiteGround also does an excellent job in allocating resources. A shared hosting server means that resources are shared among multiple customers. It is crucial to ensure that the allocations are correct. Hosting companies often place very low memory limits to sites in order to limit their performance. SiteGround offers generous allocations for up-to-date software.
They had high default limits, even when I started my first project.
They were the first to implement PHP 7 as a standard and continue to roll out cutting-edge speed features on all accounts.
SiteGround’s speed, reliability, and performance are the major pros of their product.
Hosting Features Sets & Integrations
SiteGround offers a wide range of features, especially for those who are technical. You can have unlimited email accounts and databases.
Daily backups are done by them, which can be a great safety net in case your own backups fail. SiteGround has a customized dashboard that makes it easy to access all your files and tools.
GrowBig / GoGeek websites offer a free website transfer as well as a free WordPress site creator. Although none of these features are particularly noteworthy, they make them stand out from many other hosting companies.
SiteGround has many developer-oriented features. They are compatible with CloudFlare’s CDN. They offer free PCI compliance as well as free Git and staging areas under their “GoGeek” plan – both which are very useful.
The “price” for some of these features is their custom server backend. They don’t use the more popular cPanel software. It might be confusing if you’re coming from another host. Their setup is mainly beneficial for websites with high traffic.
If you have a highly-traffic website, the WordPress staging feature of the GoGeek plan can be very useful. It can be difficult to set up staging servers that allow you to edit non-live versions of your site, and then push it live. Although it is possible to do “hotfixes” on live sites, it is not ideal.
They also focus on WordPress, which is a popular content management system. They don’t try to sell fake WordPress-specific features. Instead, they show how the built-in features can improve WordPress’s performance and (to a lesser extent) Joomla’s.
They are at the forefront of product integrations.
SiteGround offers a free SSL certificate. It can be accessed by clicking a button. This eliminates the biggest obstacle to moving HTTPS/SSL with WordPress. You can also integrate with CDNs such as CloudFlare CDN. They are investing in NGINX and HTTP/2 as well as PHP 7 with built-in CDN and Caching. They boast incredible bandwidth and uptime. You can also customize WordPress websites.
SiteGround also offers a wide range of hosting options. SiteGround can help you grow your site from StartUp to Enterprise Dedicated Server if you have a fast-growing site.
SiteGround can be impressive if you’re focused on the performance of your hosting –rather than as a website cost and/or raw utility, like performance.
Advanced Customer Support*
*I’ll mention an asterisk at the end.
Reviewing customer service is difficult, as I mentioned in my top Web Hosting Services article. The most positive and least favorable reviews on Yelp are usually worthless.
It is impossible to know when customer issues will arise or when an employee has just encountered an amazing/horrible colleague.
SiteGround has been a good experience for me. However, this is a very personal experience.
Actually, I have noticed a pattern over the past year in my inbox.
SiteGround’s customer service appears to be getting worse, while success stories with large site migrations seem to have remained the same.
For customer support, I prefer to see ” proxy“. These are things that tell you something about the culture and processes of customer service.
SiteGround is particularly good with some of these proxy servers. First are transparent and responsive across many channels, including phone and live chat.
Second They’ve made investments in a custom knowledge base with comments and customer service monitoring.
Third It’s obvious that they put a lot of effort into their employees. Technical Events are held by their employees to help train developers.
These factors, along with the endorsement of high-profile WordPress core contributors, put SiteGround’s advanced customer services in the pro column.
But I can’t ignore the increase in bad experience stories I’ve received over the past six-months. This pro must be accompanied by an asterisk and a mention in the complaints / cons section.
Transparency* and Community
SiteGround has one problem with transparency, which I discuss in the Cons section. You can read the exception I would like them to fix, even though they do so much as I have already mentioned.
SiteGround provides transparency and a community of support in an industry that can be quite closed-off. It is refreshing to work for a company that is transparent and supportive, rather than a large company that is focused on product upsells and lacks details.
It is easy to sign up.
You can even see the IP addresses for all their data centers on their website so you can check their speeds from any location, without needing to register.
I love the way they describe their plans under GoGeek. They tell you that there will be “fewer accounts” on your server. This is a common tactic shared hosting companies use to get as many websites as possible. To borrow a phrase from a web developer, SiteGround shared Hosting transforms that “bug” into an advantage.
SiteGround, as I mentioned briefly in Support, spends a lot of time and money supporting web communities. It takes a lot of time to build and maintain communities like Joomla and WordPress. SiteGround does a great job supporting them. SiteGround has sponsored, spoken at or attended more than 400 community events. They also travel extensively to Bulgaria for this purpose.
Their transparency and support from the community is a big plus. It indicates a deeper culture for long-term investment. This is a great place to shop if you are a customer.
Hosting that is global-oriented
SiteGround’s global outlook is the last big pro. Their origins are in Bulgaria, a small but growing tech hub in Eastern Europe. Bulgaria doesn’t have a large internal market so they must be global-oriented to gain a solid market.
They must be twice as efficient to compete in the global hosting market. Their website copy and interface design show that they are committed to creating a global look and feeling that is accessible by everyone, not just Americans.
They accept multiple currencies (AUD USD, GBP, EUR, GBP, EUR), and offer multiple local toll free lines. This is a welcome change in a US-centric industry.
They have a Spanish-language site. The distributed data centers that they have are a huge advantage for businesses looking to expand their international reach, particularly in Europe and Asia.
Cons of SiteGround
SiteGround is not without its disadvantages, as any web host. These disadvantages, like the pros, are dependent on your goals and priorities. Here are some cons I discovered while using SiteGround.
Renewal Pricing Point
Comparing pricing between hosting companies can be frustrating, as I mentioned in my best web hosting services article. Because plans come with different caps, it can be difficult to compare apples and oranges.
I do not recommend comparing pricing without considering the following 3 D’s of core hosting features: Domains (how many websites you can host on your account), Data (how often you can install software) and Disk Space (how many files can you upload to your account).
SiteGround offers 3 shared hosting options:
- StartUp – $14.99 per month
- GrowBig – $24.99 per month
- GoGeek – $39.99 per month
All of them limit disk space. StartUp also limits you to one domain. SiteGround offers a lot of discounts.
This link should display plans with up to a deep discount of $3.99 per Month for StartUp.
The Intro Prices are very competitive, especially when you consider they are available for any period. Their standard renewal pricing is high compared to other companies, especially their StartUp plan.
SiteGround is all about quality. This con is not about their overall value, but only their raw price. They are however still more expensive than independent, high-performing hosting companies such as:
- InMotion Host Review ( view their plans).
- Web Hosting Hub Review ( view their plans ).
- HostPapa Review (See their plans)
- GreenGeeks Review ( view their plans ).
If price is important to you, you can get much less expensive discounting, solid features and pretty good support from a large brand shared host such as:
- Bluehost Review ( view their plans).
- HostGator Review ( view their plans ).
This con is only applicable to mid-sized websites, which don’t need a VPS but need a stable, reliable shared hosting plan or specialized WordPress Hosting.
Many website owners choose managed hosting solutions such as:
- WP engine review (view their plans).
- Liquid Web Review (See their plans)
They also come with a lot more restrictions than your regular plan. SiteGround is a better option than these plans, as it offers more flexibility and a lower price.
SiteGround is not able to provide raw prices if that is your primary goal. SiteGround’s price + features is a great value if value pricing or other factors are your primary goal. You can find articles about the best WordPress hosting, and the best WordPress Hosting to help you sort through the various factors.
Frontline Customer Support Trends
SiteGround is one of the fastest growing hosts in a long time. No matter your product, scaling growth is not without its challenges.
SiteGround handled scaling issues very well up until recently, based on the evidence I have collected from industry contacts and readers. SiteGround’s customer service has been under attack. I have been receiving a lot of emails and reports via Reddit & Twitter.
Although they still claim a 90% closing rate and short wait times, it seems like they are having trouble fulfilling complex requests from intermediate or beginner customers.
Although this issue is difficult to quantify qualitatively, it’s something I have made my clients aware of and feel the need to include it here.
Developer & Agency Focus
Each web hosting provider starts with a target market, then expands to other markets. SiteGround appears to be geared towards professional developers, i.e., web designers who build websites for businesses.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing. This is a great thing for developers, but it makes it harder to appeal to a wider audience. SiteGround’s interface is very simple. However, SiteGround’s features are not as accessible or useful for general audiences, particularly when compared to other hosts such:
- Web Hosting Hub
- InMotion Hosting
SiteGround, for example, does not use cPanel – they have a custom dashboard that is more geared towards developers who use SSH than DIYers who use File Manager.
The top-tier plan includes a WordPress/ Joomla staging area as well as Git integration. These are amazing features. These features are not for the average web designer. These are not used by small agencies or developers for multiple clients.
SiteGround does not offer the same marketing bonuses as other hosting plans, such as the Google Ads credits and Facebook ad credit, free premium WordPress themes, or the free iStockphoto credit. These bonuses were once universally available, which I didn’t realize was the case at SiteGround. Ironically, one of the few “partnership bonuses” is credit at WeWork. This tells me something about their target market.
Although their Site Builder software is okay, it’s not free. It’s not as user-friendly as the WordPress-based website builders that InMotion hosting (Review) or the extremely simple and affordable builder that hostGator reviews.
SiteGround’s appeal for developers is tremendous. SiteGround’s appeal to developers is great, even if you don’t require all the advanced features (which are mostly in the GoGeek Plan), you don’t have to use them. They’ll still be available when you need them. SiteGround’s Startup Plan is easy and straightforward. It’s all about what features are important to you and what you will actually use.
The page had exact-match anchor text. I then looked closer at it. The page was published and is now accessible to search engines.
Is SiteGround Worth It?
Is SiteGround worth the investment?
SiteGround is one the fastest-growing independent web hosting companies. They offer great support and a solid product. They are headquartered in Bulgaria, which allows them to be more global than most US-based companies and still offer a world-class product. They would be even better if they could disclose or remove their auto-WordPress installation.
SiteGround offers a great deal if you’re looking for a company that is open to international business, has a strong technical focus, and plans to grow your website.
I recommend InMotion hosting if you’re looking for a web host that offers all the benefits of SiteGround, but at a slightly lower price and with better guarantees.
You can also check my best WordPress Hosting or best Web Hosting for more options.