SiteGround Review

Reviewed by: Jerry Low . .
  • Review Updated: Nov 09, 2018
SiteGround Review
Plan in review: GrowBig
Reviewed by:
Rating:
Review Last Updated: November 09, 2018
Summary
SiteGround is a reliable hosting company with innovative server features and solid hosting performance. Their price is a little steep at renewal but you'll get what you paid for. We think SiteGround shared hosting is suitable for both new and experienced users who want a worry-free hosting solution.

SiteGround first came under WHSR’s radar in late 2013.

We were given a time slot to interview SiteGround CEO, Tenko Nikolov and a free hosting account to test with.

Today I host my personal blog, TheRealJerryLow.com, and a few side projects at SiteGround hosting.

Throughout the years I have gathered tons of useful information about SiteGround, including SiteGround shared hosting uptime record, latency test from different countries (U.K., Malaysia, and Singapore), users feedback from social media groups and forums, as well as chat records with SiteGround’s live chat support.

If you are considering SiteGround web hosting – this review should be useful.

About SiteGround, the company

  • Founded in 2004 by a group of university friends.
  • Company claims to host more than 1,000,000 domains at time of writing.
  • Services: Shared, VPS, dedicated, and cloud hosting
  • Offices in five different countries: Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States.

 


 

Table of Content / Quick Link

SiteGround Hosting Plans & Pricing

Verdict & Other Quick Facts

 


 

Pros of SiteGround Hosting

1. Extremely reliable – 100% host uptime at most times

I can’t stress enough how important it is for a hosting provider to be consistently reliable, since any downtime on your website can have serious repercussion on your overall ROI. Which is why SiteGround performance have impressed me as they are able to maintain 100% uptime during my testing period.

Their uptime performance have always been impressive with data dating back 2014 showing SiteGround consistently achieving at least 99.99% uptime. Basically, if you’re on SiteGround, you’re unlikely to suffer downtime any time soon.

SiteGround Hosting Uptime (July 2018): 100%

No downtime recorded for the past 30 days in July 2018. Test site, therealjerrylow.com, stayed online for 3355 hrs, 34 mins at time of writing.

SiteGround Hosting Uptime (Mar 2018): 100%

No downtime recorded at SiteGround test site in March 2018.

SiteGround Hosting Uptime (Jan 2018): 100%

The last recorded outage was November 2017. Test site went down for two minutes.

SiteGround Uptime record (Mar 2017): 100%

Test site hosted on SiteGround has not gone down in the last 30 days in March 2017.

Older SiteGround Uptime Records (2014 – 2016)

* Click to enlarge image.

Jul 2016: 99.95%

siteground uptime 072016

Mar 2016: 99.9%

siteground - 201603

Feb 2016: 100%

siteground feb 2016 uptime

Sep 2015: 100%

siteground sept uptime - site has not down for 1723 hours

Jun 2015: 99.99%

siteground uptime - june 2015

Apr 2015: 99.99%

SiteGround Hosting Uptime

Jan 2015: 99.99%

siteground uptime dec 2014

Oct 2014: 100%

SiteGround Hosting past 30 days uptime score (September 2014)

May 2014: 99.99%

SiteGround Uptime Record (past 30 days, April - May 2014)

 


 

2. Free site migration for new users

Think migration your sites is too troublesome or too difficult? SiteGround has the perfect solution for non-tech or lazy website owners.

With every new web hosting account in SiteGround, you get one free professional website transfer. The support team at SiteGround will help transfer your website to your SiteGround server.

 

How to request free site migration at SiteGround

The GIF image shows how to request a site transfer.

For detail instruction, visit this tutorial page*

* Affiliate link.

(Click to enlarge image) To initiate a site migration: Login to User Area > Support > Request Assistant (bottom) > Transfer Website.

 


 

3. Choice of server locations on three continents

 

Three server locations with SiteGround:

  1. America (Chicago US),
  2. Europe (Milan IT, London UK, Amsterdam NL), and
  3. Asia (Singapore SG).

 

SiteGround Server Locations


Like all things in our world, data transmission is limited by physical constraint.

When your website is hosted closer to your users, it will load faster for them (as the data and user requests travel shorter distance).

Faster site load time equals to better user experience. Better user experience often equals to higher online customer conversions.

It’s, therefore, important to host your website close to your users.

At SiteGround, users are given a choice of five server locations when they sign up:

  1. Chicago, United States
  2. Milan, Italy
  3. London, United Kingdom
  4. Amsterdam, Netherland
  5. Singapore.

This allow users to host their website close to their audience.

We did some latency tests for United Kingdom and Malaysia / Singapore websites in 2017/2018. Based on our test results, SiteGround is best for websites targeting audience living in these regions.

Latency Tests from United Kingdom

Web Host Server Location Response Time
(from UK)
Speed Rating
Bitcatcha W.P.Test
SiteGround London 34 ms 351 ms A+
FastComet London 20 ms 161 ms A+
PickAWeb Enfield 35 ms 104 ms A
HeartInternet Leeds 37 ms 126 ms B+
HostingUK London, Maidenhead, Nottingham 41 ms 272 ms A
FastHosts Gloucester 59 ms 109 ms A
TSOhost Maidenhead 48 ms 582 ms A
eUK Host Wakefield, Maidenhead, Nottingham 34 ms 634 ms A+

 

Latency Tests from Malaysia / Singapore

Web Host Server Location Response Time
(from Singapore)
Speed Rating
Bitcatcha W.P.Test
SiteGround Singapore 9 ms 585 ms A
A2 Hosting Singapore 12 ms 1795 ms A
Hostinger Malaysia 8 ms 191 ms A+
Exabytes Malaysia /Singapore 19 ms 174 ms A
Vodien Singapore 7 ms 107 ms A
IPServerOne Malaysia 12 ms 215 ms B+

 

 


 

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

 

If your website is built on  either WordPress or Drupal, SiteGround will be a great fit for you since it is recommended by both WordPress.org and Drupal.org.

You can expect plenty of optimizations in terms of server resources and performance for those using WordPress or Drupal.

“Just like flowers need the right environment to grow, WordPress works best when it’s in a rich hosting environment.” – WordPress.org.

 


 

5. Free let’s Encrypt Standard & Wild Card SSL

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

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 to any of your domain names.

How to Install Let’s Encrypt SSL (FOC) at SiteGround

Standard Let’s Encrypt SSL is free with all hosting accounts and auto-installed to all domains with SiteGround.

To check your free standard Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates at SiteGround, login to cPanel > Security > SSL / TLS Manager > Certificates (CRT).

Starting from March 29, 2018, all SiteGround customers can get a free Let’s Encrypt Wildcard SSL – which makes the subdomain setup process much easier.

* Click image to enlarge and see installation guide.

To install Let’s Encrypt Wildcard SSL, login to cPanel > Security > Let’s Encrypt.

With the standard FOC Let’s Encrypt SSL, users need to install a separate domain certificate for each subdomain.

With Wildcard you can secure them with a single certificate.

Click “Get Wildcard” to activate your free Let’s Encrypt Wildcard SSL at SiteGround.


Premium EV and WildCard SSL at SiteGround

Note that SiteGround also offers Premium EV and Wildcard SSL certificate through GlobalSign for users who need them.

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

To order a premium private SSL, login to your client area at SiteGround > Extra Services > Wildcard SSL Certificate > Click “Get”.

 


 

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

SiteGround built its own caching mechanism. Geeky SuperCacher, to speed up WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal powered sites.

See SuperCacher configuration tutorial*.

* Affiliate link.

Activate SuperCacher from your SiteGround cPanel dashboard.

 


 

7. Save 60% on your first bill

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

Given that the standard pricing for SiteGround runs at about $9.95/mo for their StartUp plan and $14.95/mo for their GrowBig plan, a 60% discount on either of them is absolutely a great deal.

After discount price for SiteGround Shared Hosting

SiteGround GrowBig plan at $5.95/mo for first year customers.

Save 60% on your first SiteGround invoice.

 


 

8. Very positive feedback from other SiteGround users

A search on the web shows that plenty users have had positive experiences with using SiteGround as their host. With customer satisfaction improving yearly, SiteGround has taken steps to ensure their users are treated well.

SiteGround voted as top in Facebook Closed Group “WordPress Hosting”

SiteGround tops poll in 2016.
(source)


SiteGround tops the poll again a year later in 2017.
(source)

97% Customer Satisfaction Rate in 2017

SiteGround’s annual client satisfaction survey was released in January 2018.

97.3% of the respondents were satisfied with SiteGround service; 95% would recommend the web host to a friend.

Read official survey report here.

Based on company’s internal survey, SiteGround has managed to improve customers’ satisfaction rates for the third year in a row in 2017.

 

 


 

Cons of SiteGround Hosting

1. Mixed results in our server speed test

Results for SiteGround speed performance were sort of a mixed bag when I tested it. Using Bitcatcha, SiteGround network and servers performed well for regions such as the U.S., or the Europe but in areas such as Singapore or Japan was not as good.

Webpage Test results didn’t fare as well as TTFB (Time-To-First-Byte) was an abysmal 1.735ms on Singapore data center and 759ms for Chicago data center.

SiteGround Speed Tests at Bitcatcha

siteground feb 2016 response speed
Test site hosted at SiteGround shared hosting (America data center) performed well in United States, Europe, and India.

Test site #1 – SiteGround GoGeek Plan, hosted on SiteGround’s Singapore Data Center

Test site hosted on SiteGround Singapore data center: TTFB – 1,735ms. Site owner prefer to remain anonymous.

Test site #2 – SiteGround GoGeek Plan, hosted on SiteGround’s Chicago Data Center

Test site hosted on SiteGround Chicago data center: TTFB – 759ms.

 


 

2. Instant backup not available for StartUp and GrowBig

If your website goes down, having an instant backup is absolutely helpful. However, SiteGround does not offer any instant backup for their StartUp and GrowBig plans. It’s only on their GoGeek plans that they include instant backups, which you can use at any time.

Instant backup is available for StartUp and GrowBig but will require you to pay a fee to use its services. If having an instant backup is important to you, I recommend paying for that extra service to give you a peace of mind.

 

 


 

3. Hosting price increases after first bill

While the pricing for signing up with SiteGround is quite attractive, after the first bill it reverts back to the regular pricing for its hosting plans.

Because of that, SiteGround might not be the best choice for those who are on a tight budget. However, it should be noted that increasing the price for renewals or after the first bill is not uncommon for most budget hosting provider.

SiteGround shared hosting plans, namely Startup, GrowBig, and GoGeek; cost $9.95/14.95/29.95/mo on renewal.

Your SiteGround plans renew at this regular rates.

 


 

4. Live chat support no longer available for technical or billing issues

SiteGround live chat support was the best in 2017.

But that’s history for now. You can no longer use live chat to solve your technical or billing issues with SiteGround in 2018*.

Users are encouraged to search SiteGround’s 4,500 pages of knowledge Base and Tutorials (which, to be honest, quite helpful) for “instant help”; or, lodge a support ticket (Go to: Dashboard > Support > Request Assistance from Our Team > Contact Us) to get help from a real person.

* Credit: Tip from Josh Broughton from Sofa King Creative – I wasn’t aware that SiteGround has changed their live chat support system.

 


 

SiteGround Hosting Plans & Pricing

SiteGround Shared Hosting Plans

Startup GrowBig GoGeek
Number of websites 1 Unlimited Unlimited
SSD Storage 10 GB 20 GB 30 GB
Free Site Transfer Yes Yes Yes
SuperCacher
Priority Support
WordPress & Joomla Staging
Instant Backup
Suitable for ~10,000 monthly visits ~25,000 monthly visits ~100,000 monthly visits
Signup Price $3.95/mo $5.95/mo $11.95/mo

 

 

SiteGround VPS Hosting Plans

Entry Business Business Plus
CPU Cores 2 3 4
Memory 4 GB 6 GB 8 GB
SSD Storage 40 GB 60 GB 80 GB
Bandwidth 5 TB 5 TB 5 TB
Signup Price $80/mo $120/mo $160/mo

 

Hosting company prices change over time. For best accuracy, visit: https://www.siteground.com/

 

 


 

SiteGround Head-to-head Comparison with Others

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

Data from Google Trends shows that Hostgator is the most popular brand among the three. Ranking at second, SiteGround has the most regional interests in Russia and Italy. InMotion Hosting, placed third, are popular in North America and India.

Features and pricing wise – SiteGround has the highest cost (especially during renewal) but they provide some advanced hosting features (custom built cacher, NGINX, HTTP/2, built-in WordPress cacher, etc) that the other two don’t. We will compare their features and prices further in the following tables.

Comparison on Google Trends (see it live here). Also read Tim’s article on SiteGround vs BlueHost vs InMotion Hosting.

SiteGround vs InMotion Hosting

InMotion Hosting is a popular hosting company with more than 15 years of business track record. I have been using them since 2009 (this site you are reading is hosted at InMotion Hosting).

You can learn more about the InMotion Hosting plans in my review here.

Features SiteGround InMotiong Hosting
Plan in Review GrowBig Power
Websites Unlimited 6
SSD Storage?
Free Site Transfer
Server Locations United States, Europe, Asia. United States only – East or West Coast
HTTP/2 and NGINX
Money Back Guarantee 30 Days 90 Days
Signup Price (36-mo subscription) $5.95/mo $4.49/mo
Renewal Price $14.95/mo $8.99/mo
Order / Learn More SiteGround.com InMotionHosting.com

 

SiteGround vs Hostgator

Hostgator Inc. was founded by Brent Oxley in his college dorm back in 2002. The company grew from a one-man operation to one with hundreds of employees over the years; and was ranked 21st (year 2008) and 239th (year 2009) in Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Company. In 2012, Brent sold the company was sold to Endurance International Group for, unofficial figure, $225 million.

Learn more about Hostgator service in my review.

Features SiteGround HostGator
Plan in Review GrowBig Baby Plan
Websites Unlimited Unlimited
SSD Storage?
Free Site Transfer Within first 30 days after signup
Server Locations United States, Europe, and Asia United States only
HTTP/2 and NGINX
Money Back Guarantee 30 Days 45 Days
Signup Price (36-mo subscription) $5.95/mo $5.95/mo
Renewal Price $14.95/mo $9.95/mo
Order / Learn More SiteGround.com HostGator.com

 

 


 

Frequent Asked Questions about SiteGround

Does SiteGround have a money-back guarantee?

Yes. SiteGround has a 30-day money-back guarantee.

You can cancel your service within the first 30 days and you will receive a full refund. The money-back guarantee does not cover domain names, cloud or dedicated server hosting.

Does SiteGround offer CDN?

SiteGround support CloudFlare CDN in all hosting plans.

What is SG Site Scanner?

SG Site Scanner (previously called HackAlert) is powered by Sucuri and is a premium malware detection and early warning system to help protect your site and costs $19.80/year.

To add SG Site Scanner, login to SiteGround user dashboard > Add Services > Get SG Site Scanner.

Siteground fair usage policy

You can use the control panel to check whether your website uses excessive server resources.

To monitor your account resource usage, login to SiteGround dashboard > Support > Resource Usage Status.

Should you exceed the bandwidth, they will limit your service and will charge a fee for additional usage.

* Click to enlarge image.


 

Should You Host at SiteGround Hosting?

Is SiteGround one of the best hosting providers today? It’s hard to say as it all depends on what you need for your website.

As for me, I believe that SiteGround is great for those who want a premium and reliable hosting service that’s priced reasonably and offers good support via email ticketing.

The downside are 1) Siteground’s renewal price falls on the pricier side and can be considered a bit of a ripoff; and 2) technical and billing support are no longer available via live chat. If pricing and lack of live chat support are okay for you, then SiteGround is definitely a go.

Quick Recap: SiteGround Review

To recap, here’s the pros and cons of SiteGround again.

 

Who should host at SiteGround?

We recommend SiteGround to new to advanced bloggers and business owners who are looking for a worry-free hosting solution.

 

Back to top


 

Order SiteGround Hosting

Click: https://www.siteground.com/

 

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