How is SiteGround for WordPress

SiteGround review

In today's world of web hosting, if you only know one name, SiteGround is very likely that name. Some love the company, others hate it - as with all popular online businesses, SiteGround has its fair share of happy and unhappy customers.

But most people wouldn't argue that SiteGround has done an excellent job growing their business over the past 5 years. They are the fastest growing hosting company that I have seen in a long time. Her name has been mentioned in every hosting-related social media post. At WHSR, we have more inquiries about SiteGround service than any other brand.

What is special about SiteGround? We'll find out in this review.

My SiteGround experience

The “SiteGround” brand came under the WHSR radar for the first time at the end of 2013.

We had a window of time for interview SiteGround CEO, Tenko Nikolov and a free hosting account to try.

Today I am hosting a small test site at SiteGround that is being hosted for verification purposes.

Over the years I have accumulated tons of useful information about SiteGround including SiteGround Shared Hosting Uptime Record, latency test from different countries, user feedback from social media groups and forums, and chat recordings with SiteGround's live chat support.

If you're looking for a SiteGround review that takes you “behind the scenes” you've come to the right place.

About SiteGround, the company

  • Founded in 2004 by a group of college friends.
  • The company claims to host more than 2,000,000 domains at the time of writing.
  • Services: Shared, Managed WP, ​​Managed WooCommerce, Dedicated and Cloud Hosting
  • Offices in five different countries: Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom and United States.

Important SiteGround updates

1. Significant price increase for SiteGround Shared Plans

SiteGround revised their pricing in June 2020 (more on that in Con # 2) - Shared hosting now starts at $ 6.99, $ 9.99, and $ 14.99 per month during sign up. and $ 14.99, $ 24.99, $ 39.99 per month when you renew. The same plans previously cost $ 3.95 / month, $ 5.95 / month, and $ 11.95 / month.

2. SiteGround services are not available in many selected countries

If you are based in India, Bangladesh, Egypt, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and many other countries, SiteGround services will no longer be available to you.

Yes, the company no longer accepts orders from dozens of countries. No clear reasons or official announcements were given (more on this in Con # 3).

What's in This SiteGround Review

SiteGround Hosting Plans & Pricing

Judgment and other important facts

 


 

Pros: Why We Like SiteGround Hosting

1. Extremely reliable and fast - mostly 100% host availability

I can't stress enough how important it is for a hosting provider to be consistently reliable and fast, as downtime or slowdowns in your website can have a serious impact on your overall ROI. This is why I was impressed with the SiteGround hosting performance as it is able to maintain 100% availability year after year and load relatively quickly.

SiteGround hosting performance

FYI, WHSR ratings are based in part on website performance tracking we set up on each host. Aside from a sister site set up to track host performance (HostScore), we run independent tests for each host on our own sites.

Here are the speed stats for my test site hosted on SiteGround in January and February 2020.

SiteGround speed test at Bitcatcha

Current SiteGround availability (2020)

I've always liked SiteGround because I had very few problems with it. Server reliability in particular is one of SiteGround's strongest suites in my opinion.

The following image shows the SiteGround uptime record for January and February 2020. Server performance has always been impressive to me. I have data from 2014 that shows they are consistently achieving 99.99% uptime.

Previous SiteGround Availability (2014-2019)

* Click on the image to enlarge.

Jun 2019: 100%

Jul 2018: 100%

Mar 2018: 100%

Jul 2016: 99.95%

Mar 2016: 99.9%

Sep 2015: 100%

Jun 2015: 99.99%

Jan 2015: 99.99%

Oct 2014: 100%

 

Because of the good performance, SiteGround is ours

2. Free site migration for GrowBig and GoGeek users

Get a free professional website transfer with every new GrowBig or GoGeek hosting account on SiteGround. SiteGround's support team will help you upload your website to your SiteGround server. For StartUp plan users, the broadcast service is chargeable ($ 30 for each location broadcast).

How to request a free site migration from SiteGround

The GIF image shows how a site broadcast is requested. Note that I'm using my personal account to demonstrate how to do this.

SiteGround Migrator

Alternatively, there is a DIY migration option for WordPress users - SiteGround Migrator. It's a special plugin to automate the transfer (after you've installed and entered the required details) of a WordPress site to the SiteGround hosting account.

 

3. Selection of server locations on three continents

As with all things in our world, data transmission is limited by physical limitations.

If your website is hosted closer to your users, it will load faster (as the data and user requests travel shorter distances).

A faster website load time equates to a better user experience. A better user experience often equates to higher online customer conversions.

It is therefore important to host your website close to your users.

At SiteGround, users can choose between six server locations when they log in:

  1. Chicago and Iowa, USA
  2. London, UK
  3. Amsterdam and Eemshaven, Netherlands
  4. Singapore.

This enables users to host their website close to their target audience.

We ran some latency tests on England and Malaysia / Singapore websites in 2017/2018. Based on our test results, SiteGround is best for websites that target audiences who live in those regions.

UK latency tests

Web hostServer locationreaction time
(from Great Britain)
Speed ​​measurement
BitcatchaWPTest
Site groundLondon34 ms351 msA +
FastCometLondon20 ms161 msA +
PickAWebEnfield35 ms104 msA.
HeartInternetLeeds37 ms126 msB +
HostingUKLondon, Maidenhead, Nottingham41 ms272 msA.
FastHostsGloucester59 ms109 msA.
TSOhosthymen48 ms582 msA.
EuK hostWakefield, Maidenhead, Nottingham34 ms634 msA +

 

Latency tests from Malaysia / Singapore

Web hostServer locationreaction time
(from Singapore)
Speed ​​measurement
BitcatchaWPTest
Site groundSingapore9 ms585 msA.
A2 hostingSingapore12 ms1795 msA.
HostingerMalaysia8 ms191 msA +
ExabytesMalaysia / Singapore19 ms174 msA.
VodienSingapore7 ms107 msA.
IPServerOneMalaysia12 ms215 msB +

 

 

4. Officially recommended by WordPress.org and Drupal.org

If your website is based on either WordPress or Drupal, SiteGround is for you as it is recommended by both WordPress.org and Drupal.org.

 

5. Encrypt SSL support: Easy SSL installation and updates

Security is essential for a website as it not only protects against hackers and malware, but also tells your users that their data on your website is safe.

SiteGround offers free Let's Encrypt and Wild Card SSL when you sign up with their web hosting plans, and it's surprisingly easy to install on any of your domain names.

How to review and install Let's Encrypt SSL Certificates at SiteGround

To show you how Let's Encrypt SSL is installed at SiteGround, I would like to take you to my personal account. What you see below is SiteGround Hosting User Dashboard.

Let's Encrypt the Wildcard SSL Support

From March 29, 2018, all SiteGround customers can receive a free Let's Encrypt Wildcard SSL, which makes setting up the subdomain much easier.

Standard Let's Encrypt SSL Against WildCard SSL

With the standard FOC Let's Encrypt SSL, users must install a separate domain certificate for each subdomain.

Wildcard allows you to secure them with a single certificate.

Private SSL (Premium EV SSL) at SiteGround - purchase & installation

SiteGround also offers Premium EV and Wildcard SSL Certificates through GlobalSign for users who require them. To purchase your private SSL, just log in and go to "Add Services" (see picture).

The Premium Wildcard SSL Certificate costs 90 ++ for 12 months. The EV SSL certificate costs $ 499 ++.

 

6. Advanced server speed technologies (SSD, HTTP / 2, NGINX and more)

All SiteGround shared hosting websites include:

  • Full SSD storage,
  • HTTP / 2-capable servers,
  • Easy Cloudflare CDN implementation and
  • Different caching mechanism with SiteGround SuperCacher

These features make it easy for users to optimize the loading speed of their website.

 

7. SiteGround New Users Promo: Save 60% on your first bill

When you sign up with SiteGround, you will receive a 60% discount on your first bill for one of the hosting plans.

Since the standard price for SiteGround is around $ 14.99 / mo for the StartUp plan and $ 24.99 / mo for the GrowBig plan, a 60% discount for either of them is absolutely a bargain.

After the discount price for SiteGround shared hosting

 

8. Very positive feedback from other SiteGround users

An internet search shows that many users have had positive experiences with SiteGround as their host. As customer satisfaction improves every year, SiteGround has taken steps to ensure that users are treated well.

SiteGround was voted top in Facebook Closed Groups

Over 97% customer satisfaction rate in 2017 & 2018

SiteGround's annual customer satisfaction survey was published each January (through 2018).

In 2017, 97.3% of those surveyed were satisfied with the SiteGround service. 95% would recommend the web host to a friend.

In 2018, 98% of those surveyed were satisfied with the SiteGround service.

 

9. Great customer support

SiteGround charges a premium for their hosting services. If you compare SiteGround to other hosting providers, you can see that they charge 80-200% above the market price.

However, most SiteGround users choose to stick with them for the long term. Why?

I believe customer support is one of the main reasons. Getting help from SiteGround is always easy - be it via live chat, email, phone, or through its 4,500-page knowledge base and tutorials.

SiteGround has the best live chat support available

I did a survey earlier and spoke to 28 hosting companies about their live chat system. SiteGround has proven to be the best in terms of waiting time and my personal satisfaction.

Praise to the SiteGround support team

How to contact SiteGround support

In 2018 there was a short time when you could no longer use live chat to resolve your technical or billing issues with SiteGround. This is no longer the case in 2019.

The image below shows how to get help from SiteGround.

 


 

Disadvantages of SiteGround hosting

1. The uptime guarantee does not cover failures in the event of DDoS

With SiteGround it should be noted that you must pay attention to the details in your Service Level Agreement (SLA) when guaranteeing availability. In many cases, web host uptime guarantees avoid some aspects like natural disasters etc.

SiteGround, on the other hand, goes a little further by not allowing downtime from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, hacking attacks, and other similar events. This is not entirely common and it wonders how little trust the company has in its network.

It is true that DDoS attacks are very difficult for many companies (especially for smaller ones). Because of this, they often partner with large content-deliver networks like Cloudflare to mitigate the problem.
The inclusion of that is that their SLA is a little unsettling.

In fact, SiteGround does not cover emergency maintenance, hardware or software errors that can be fixed within an hour. The addition of this clause is just plain mean for them, to be honest.

 

2. Significant price increase for shared hosting

Siteground recently increased the starting prices for their shared hosting plans by a significant amount. In fact, it has more than doubled in some cases. New prices start at $ 6.99 and go up to $ 14.99 per month.

Given their quality of service, the price increase is not entirely unreasonable. However, for most simple website owners, they are a little out of reach. For example, static, low-traffic business websites, personal blogs, or possibly portfolio websites.

If your website falls into these type of categories, I recommend looking for cheaper options such as InMotion Hosting (starting at $ 3.99 / month), Hostinger (starting at $ 0.99 / month), TMD Hosting (starting at $ 2.95 / month) and instead ScalaHosting (from $ 3.95 / month).

Read this article by Jason to learn more: 10 Cheaper Alternatives to SiteGround.

3. Strange availability of services

Although at first glance nothing is wrong on the order form, a new user of SiteGround may find something unusual. When selecting a country of residence, an error message is sometimes displayed - depending on which country has been selected. Apparently, SiteGround is limiting the availability of services for unknown reasons.

This is not limited to just one or two countries, but a fairly extensive list of countries appears to be excluded from filing. For example Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Malaysia and many more.

 


 

Pricing: How Much Does SiteGround Hosting Cost?

SiteGround shared hosting pricing

membershipStartupGrowBigGoGeek
Number of websites1UnlimitedUnlimited
SSD storage10 GB20 GB40 GB
Free site transferYesYesYes
SuperCacher
Priority support
WordPress & Joomla Staging
Instant backup
Account collaborators
Joints CARE is for~ 10,000 monthly visits~ 25,000 monthly visits~ 100,000 monthly visits
Registration price$ 6.99 / mo$ 9.99 / mo$ 14.99 / mo

 

* Prices were updated in June 2020. For best accuracy, see SiteGround's official website.

 

SiteGround Cloud (/ VPS) hosting pricing

entrybusinessBusiness plus
CPU cores234
Storage4 GB6 GB8 GB
SSD storage40 GB60 GB80 GB
Bandwidth5 TB5 TB5 TB
Registration price$ 80 / mo$ 120 / mo$ 160 / mo

 

* For best accuracy, visit SiteGround's official VPS hosting website.

 

 


 

Alternatives to SiteGround

Customers often compare SiteGround to Hostgator and InMotion Hosting as their hosting plans are very similar.

Data from Google Trends shows that BlueHost is the most popular brand among the three. In second place, SiteGround has the most regional interests in Russia and Italy. Third-place InMotion Hosting is popular in North America and India.

Features and Pricing - SiteGround has the highest cost, but has some advanced hosting features (dedicated caching mechanism, NGINX, HTTP / 2, full SSD storage, Google Cloud infrastructure, etc.) that the other two don't. We will further compare their features and prices in the tables below.