Siteground Reviews: Is It The Best Hosting Platform?

This SiteGround review evaluates all the critical stuff you’d like to know – from its main features to the pricing schedule, and notable weaknesses.

Some praise it for its excellent support and security. Others love it for its exemplary performance and uptime. And then there’s the group of users who argue that it’s the leading web hosting solution today.

But, c’mon. Is SiteGround really that impressive? It has got to have a couple of drawbacks, right?

Well, one thing’s for sure. This is no ordinary web hosting service. It has been around for over a decade. And word on the street is- it means business.

So, let’s find out what the business is really all about…

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SiteGround Reviews: Overview

The journey started back in 2004 when a couple of university buddies seeking to push web hosting to the next level embarked on creating a robust hosting solution – which resulted in the launch of SiteGround in 2004.

Their principal goal was to set up a system that would be more secure, faster, safer, and with better support than other solutions. Consequently, SiteGround was built to expand beyond the typical web hosting service boundaries. It’s now renowned for its wide range of provisions- from WordPress hosting to shared Linux hosting, plus cloud and reseller server solutions.

siteground reviews - homepage

That said, we’ve seen SiteGround develop exponentially over the years to host not just small and medium-sized websites, but also large, high-performing platforms. And the corresponding numbers prove that things have been going well so far- the service ultimately hit 1,000,000 hosted domains in 2017.

Currently, SiteGround boasts of hosting more than 2 million domains and growing. Quite admirable, to say the least. But, you know what’s more interesting? Well, the fact that the client satisfaction rate here is reportedly 97%. And the amazing thing is that they get the same high satisfaction rate year after year.

From the top, I’ll admit that SiteGround seems like a pretty solid hosting solution. But their usage numbers are barely anything to go by.

👉  So, let’s dig into the details and separate the facts from the fancy.

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SiteGround Review: Features

Speed and Performance: Is SiteGround Fast?

Well, it just so happens that SiteGround’s main site is filled with multiple promises about boosting your website’s loading speeds. So, I was particularly curious how a quick speed test would pan out.

But, before we even proceed, let’s be honest about one thing. Website speed depends on several different variables, some of which are not entirely defined by your hosting service provider.

Consider media, for example. The sizes of the images and videos you upload to your site greatly influence the corresponding loading speeds. The best your hosting provider can do is implement features to accelerate server response times, and the rest is usually up to you. That’s why relying on just the page loading times would be a flawed approach.

So, here’s the thing, I decided to pay close attention to a parameter that’s entirely managed by hosting service providers- Time To First Byte, otherwise known as TTFB. It’s fundamentally the time the host server will take to relay the first byte of the webpage in response to a request.

👉 And here are the juicy details. A quick test of one of SiteGround’s clients revealed a TTFB of 0.332s, with an overall page loading time of 2.463s.

siteground reviews - performance test

All in all, a sub-0.5s TTFB is fairly good news to site owners. That translates to a reasonably great chance of maintaining considerably favorable page loading speeds.

But how does SiteGround achieve this?

Well, the service leverages multiple resources to accelerate page loading speeds. For starters, we’ve already mentioned the SuperCacher plugin, which is quite handy at invading your visitor’s cache.

Now, combine that with data centers spread across Singapore, Amsterdam (Netherlands), London (the UK), and Chicago (the US). Come to think of it, the four locations are seemingly in the middle of the main traffic sources globally.

As a result, SiteGround holds your site’s content on the server that’s positioned closest to your traffic source. The shorter the distance between traffic and server positions, the higher the subsequent response rate.

And guess what? Each of these data centers uses Solid State Drives (SSDs) instead of regular drives. They are way faster when it comes to saving and generating data.

👉 Then to top it off, SiteGround offers free Cloudflare CDN on all its plans. That basically translates to over 150 more server locations around the world.

SiteGround Reviews: Uptime

Closely related to page performance, of course, is uptime. Keeping your site online at all times is, by far, the principal role of hosting service providers.

Now, as you sign up, you’ll notice that SiteGround promises 99.99% uptime. Sounds good- but, there’s more. It turns out that the service offers an additional guarantee in form of compensation in case of even the slightest downtime.

If you happen to experience a cumulative downtime of 0.1% over twelve months, you’ll be entitled to a full month of free hosting with 99%-99.9% uptime.

Ok, wait a minute. Why is SiteGround that confident about uptime?

Well, first off, the platform here relies on Linux containers to manage traffic. This tech is flexible enough to keep your site stable even when traffic spikes unexpectedly.

But since only a fraction of downtimes is triggered by traffic irregularities, SiteGround has gone ahead to supplement containers with anti-bot artificial intelligence. They act like defense soldiers, flagging and stopping potential brute-force attempts before they infiltrate servers.

And speaking of which, you also get proactive server monitoring to pick up and fix any issues immediately they occur.

SiteGround Reviews: Security and Backups

It seems like SiteGround is not taking any chances when it comes to protecting your data. It has implemented a solid security framework with numerous mechanisms to prevent, detect and mitigate potential attacks.

Let’s start off at the base, where the system of measures continues to protect data centers against physical threats. In addition to full-time video surveillance, SiteGround has sealed vulnerabilities using bulletproof lobbies, biometrics, mantraps, access control, plus 24/7 human security.

And moving onto the actual servers, we find that SiteGround uses a rather interesting method to contain potential attacks. Although one physical server holds multiple sites, they are virtually isolated to run as separate entities. This protects your server account from vulnerabilities emanating from other infiltrated users.

Fair enough. But, what happens when someone ultimately tries to hack their way into your account?

Well, one thing you can rely on is SiteGround’s HackAlert Monitoring. It’s an add-on that will keep tabs on the site to notify you immediately an attack is detected. And for comprehensive protection, you can take advantage of anti-spam tools, IP address block lists, and hotlink protection- to prevent potential attacks before they even begin.

You also get a web application firewall, which is updated on a regular basis to help you stay ahead of hackers. Then to make data completely useless in case of an infiltration, SiteGround provides all-rounded data encryption- complete with HTTPS technology and SSL certificates.

siteground reviews - let's encrypt ssl

So far, so good. But, let’s face it. The biggest vulnerabilities usually come from the users themselves. An honest user mistake, like revealing passwords, might progressively develop into a significant attack. That’s why SiteGround also comes with Leech Protect, which allows admins to avert possible cases of users posting their secret passcodes on public sections of the website.

Then to cap it all, you can backup up to 30 versions of your site on the platform’s servers. You also get the ability to set up your own manual backups. And the best thing is that you can retrieve any of them as a restore point for your site.

SiteGround Reviews: Customer Support

Customer support is reportedly one of the primary elements that SiteGround is widely recognized for. I’ve seen many forums praising it for its speedy response and resolution of issues. But then again, I’ve also come across my fair share of biased reviews.

So, what’s the truth about SiteGround’s customer support?

Well, if you’re anything like me, then you probably enjoy the thrill of diagnosing and resolving stuff on your own. We are the geeks who’d first look for relevant support documentation in case of a technical problem.

Now, SiteGround is quite something when it comes to that. The knowledge base here is seemingly extensive, with pretty much all the information you might need to manage your user account. And to make things much easier, it comes in the form of guides, tutorials, videos, plus digestible articles with relevant graphics and screenshots.

So far so good. But, a platform’s customer service capabilities are fundamentally judged by its one-one-one support framework.

Well, just like its knowledge base, you’ll notice that SiteGround leaves nothing to chance when it comes to this- it’s generous enough to provide all the primary support channels. If raising an online ticket sounds cumbersome, you could alternatively use SiteGround’s live chat feature or give them a phone call.

👉 The most remarkable thing, however, is the speed at which SiteGround attends to customer queries.

Personally, I’m not particularly fond of raising online tickets because we all know how it goes on standard platforms. It typically takes hours just to resolve a small problem. But, get this- Although SiteGround’s customer service team caters to multitudes of users, they managed to live up to their promise by getting back to me after about 8 minutes. That’s 2 minutes earlier than their reportedly maximum waiting time of 10 minutes.

But then again, that’s nothing compared to what SiteGround promises on its live chat support channel. Apparently, you should expect nothing less than an instant response. And so, I decided to give it a try.

siteground reviews cusotmer center

Interestingly, the team answered almost immediately. Now that’s the type of response you’d expect for an ambulance service. Leave alone web hosting.

And you know what? SiteGround goes ahead and replicates that same level of dependability on its phone support channel. You are free to give them a toll-free call at any time of the day or night.

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SiteGround Reviews: Usability

One of the first things you’re bound to notice about SiteGround is that it provides a cPanel to facilitate account management. And yes, it’s available to all user levels, regardless of your specific subscription plan.

Although the whole interface might feel a bit archaic, SiteGround’s control panel is admittedly powerful when it comes to the actual functionalities.

siteground reviews - usability

Consider the SuperCacher feature, for instance. It’s a web caching solution you’ll be able to access through your cPanel if you intend to minimize your server load. Created on reverse proxy, it essentially relies on its Memcached and Varnish-based framework to save web pages directly on your audiences’ browser cache. This substantially reduces their page loading times on any subsequent visits they make.

Apart from that, the panel also provides Joomla and WordPress toolkits. You can use them to delete or move your installation, configure SSL, secure your admin page, repair potentially broken permissions, rest admin passwords, and customize your domain.

Now, if you’re a developer, you’ll be pleased that SiteGround works well with a host of script languages. You can proceed with numerous PHP versions – including PHP 7- as well as Python, Ruby On Rails, Perl, and many more.

To top it off, SiteGround goes ahead to provide special developer features like Drush and Git integration, Site Staging, plus WP-CLI. You can capitalize on them to streamline and ease your entire site installation and management framework.

SiteGround Pricing: How Much Does SiteGround Cost

SiteGround is an extensive platform providing a wide array of hosting services for different types of users. So, it’s understandable if its pricing schedule turns out to be a bit confusing at first. And to make matters worse, the main site does not come with a dedicated pricing tab. You’ll certainly have a hard time finding your way to various schedules on their respective pages.

👉 That said, here’s an organized breakdown of what you should expect to pay for each SiteGround service:

Shared Hosting

All shared hosting plans come with unlimited MySQL DB, free CloudFlare CDN, free site transfer, cPanel and SSH, unmetered traffic, 30-day money back guarantee period, 24/7 support, free daily backup, free email accounts and a free website builder. The respective plans are:

StartUp – Ideal for beginners at $3.95 per month.

  • 10,000 visits per month
  • 10GB storage space
  • One website
  • Free daily backup and restore for peace of mind. Even if you break something you can easily get your site restored
  • Free SSL – all plans come with free SSL
  • Auto updates of application and plugins

GrowBig – Ideal for growing users at $5.95 per month.

  • 25,000 visits per month
  • 20GB storage space
  • Multiple websites
  • Free backup restores
  • SuperCacher
  • Priority tech support
  • Free site transfer

GoGeek – Ideal for small business users at $11.95 per month.

  • 100,000 visits per month
  • 30GB storage space
  • Multiple websites
  • Free backup restores
  • SuperCacher
  • Priority tech support
  • Free site transfer
  • Free backups on demand
  • One-click Git Repo creation
  • Joomla and WordPress staging
  • PCI compliant servers

WooCommerce Hosting

siteground reviews - woocommerce hosting pricing

💡 SiteGround are one of the three officialy recommended hosting companies by ‘WooCommerce’ so they have dedicated hosting plans for WorPress and WooCommerce sites.

These plans come with pre-installed WordPress and WooCommerce. The GoGeek plan is specially optimized for ecommerce and comes with free WorPress migration, advanced backups, WordPress super cahcher, priority support, and PCI compilance.

Cloud Hosting

siteground reviews cloud hosting

With ultra-fast and auto-scalable features, Cloud hosting is optimized for enterprise websites and projects. Instead of relying on one shared server, your site is held on multiple networked servers for improved resource usage and performance. In case of any traffic spikes, therefore, SiteGround automatically avails additional server resources for better handling.

All the plans at this level provide Softaculous auto installer, WHM and cPanel, Exim mail server, Apache and CentOS, 7 PHP versions and HHVM, MySQL 5 and PostgreSQL, IP tables firewall, one dedicated IP, free domain name, SSH access, plus free private SSL.

👉 Here are the respective plans:

Entry- $80 per month.

  • 5TB data transfer
  • 40GB SSD space
  • 4GB memory
  • 2 CPU cores
  • Business- $120 per month.
  • 5TB data transfer
  • 60GB SSD space
  • 6GB memory
  • 3 CPU cores

Business Plus- $160 per month.

  • 5TB data transfer
  • 80GB SSD space
  • 8GB memory
  • 4 CPU cores

Super Power- $240 per month.

  • 5TB data transfer
  • 120GB SSD space
  • 10GB memory
  • 8 CPU cores

Dedicated Hosting

siteground reviews dedicated hosting pricing

Dedicated hosting offers you an entire server with supplementary tools to boost overall performance.

👉 The plans here are:

Entry Server- $269 per month

  • 10TB Bandwidth
  • 480GB SSD
  • 16GB DDR3 RAM
  • 8MB CPU Cache
  • 8 CPU Threads
  • 4 CPU Cores
  • 3.20Ghz CPU Clock Speed
  • Intel Xeon E3-1230 SSD

Power Server- $349 per month

  • 10TB Bandwidth
  • 960GB SSD
  • 32GB DDR3 RAM
  • 8MB CPU Cache
  • 8 CPU Threads
  • 4 CPU Cores
  • 3.50Ghz CPU Clock Speed
  • Intel Xeon E3-1270 SSD

Super Power Server- $729 per month

  • 10TB Bandwidth
  • 2x960GB SSD in RAID1
  • 64GB DDR3 RAM
  • 15MB CPU Cache
  • 2 x 12 CPU Threads
  • 2 x 6 CPU Cores
  • 2.00Ghz CPU Clock Speed
  • 2 x Intel Xeon E5-2630 SSD

Reseller Hosting

siteground reviews - reseller hosting

This provides reselling capabilities to users seeking to set up hosting businesses on SiteGround.

👉 It’s priced in credits as follows:

  • 1-4 credits cost $49 per credit
  • 5-10 credits cost $45 per credit
  • 11+ credits cost $42 per credit

You’ll need at least 5 credits to start off.

Enterprise Hosting

At a negotiable price, enterprise hosting provides custom features that are tailored based on specific user needs. It’s ideal for large enterprises with an extensive array of high performing websites.

Who Should Consider Using SiteGround?

So far, so good. Compared to other hosting solutions we’ve reviewed over the years, SiteGround is undeniably one of the best options.

In short, SiteGround is indeed a robust website hosting service that can effectively support the entire spectrum of users- from individuals to small businesses and large enterprises.

And going by the pricing schedule, we can agree that SiteGround has even packaged its services for different types of websites. So, you should be able to find a well-optimized plan for any type of website - personal sites, ecommerce sites, WooCommerce-based stores, managed WordPress sites, you name it. SiteGround is specialized in all of them.

Should You Consider Using SiteGround For Your Ecommerce Website?

Yes, of course, you can host your ecommerce site on SiteGround. As a matter of fact, it offers free installation of ecommerce platforms like OpenCart, PrestaShop, Magento, and WooCommerce. More specifically, you’re free to select between 18 different ecommerce applications.

But that’s not all. You can also take advantage of SiteGround’s features to optimize your online store. Its advanced Supercacher technology and free CDN, for instance, would come in handy when you need to enhance your site’s overall customer experience.

If you’re thinking about setting up your online store on WordPress, you might want to know that SiteGround is one of the three hosting providers that are officially recommended by WooCommerce. There’s even a specialized WooCommerce hosting package for such ecommerce sites.

Speaking of which, my advice is - go for the GoGeek plan. Although it’s the costliest plan in all shared hosting packages, GoGeek is specially optimized for ecommerce.

SiteGround
Rating: 5.0 - Review by

Davis Porter

Davis Porter is a B2B and B2C ecommerce pundit who’s particularly obsessed with digital selling platforms, online marketing, hosting solutions, web design, cloud tech, plus customer relationship management software. When he’s not testing out various applications, you’ll probably find him building a website, or cheering Arsenal F.C. on.