SiteGround Snapshotfrom $3.95
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Fantastic & helpful support team
- One-Click WordPress Install
- One-Click SSL certificates
- Free website migration
- Integrated performance tools
- Easy staging and Git repositories
- Limited HDD space
- Some features require more experience
- No Free domain name
SiteGround is a large, independently owned hosting company. Many hosting companies have been acquired or gobbled up by Endurance International Group. Happily, SiteGround prefers to operate independently of these types of large organisations and has done so successfully.
Our development agency has been using SiteGround for more than 5 years and we are very happy with that decision. SiteGround offers two levels of service:
- Fast & Secure basic hosting for small and medium websites, Managed WordPress, and WooCommerce optimized
- StartUp Plan – for 1 website
- GrowBig – for Multiple websites
- GoGeek – for Multiple websites with additional tools for developers
- High-performance, auto-scaling Cloud Hosting
Most websites will only need the StartUp plan.
You can make a decision on which subscription you need based on the disk space your website requires. In most cases, the StartUp plan is sufficient. You can see all of the SiteGround Hosting plans here.
SiteGround is highly recommended and we rate them at the top of our list of excellent hosting providers.
For you and your business, costs probably play a key role in the decision-making process when it comes to determining which hosting company to use. So we put this section at the top, knowing that this is probably the most important element of selecting your provider.
Until recently, SiteGround pricing was considerably higher for basic and managed website hosting. While they are still not considered the cheapest, they have aligned their prices to better compete with other hosting providers.
- StartUp Plan – $3.95/month – 1 web site
- GrowBig – $5.95/month – Multiple websites
- GoGeek – $11.95/month – Multiple websites
SiteGround is a bargain when you compare the useful features they offer for such a low cost:
- Free Website Transfer
- Web Application Firewall
- Free SSL Certificates with one-click installation
- Daily backups
- One click staging for website updates (GoGeek)
- Developers toolkit including Git (GoGeek), PHP version control, SSH and more
- Free CloudFlare CDN
If you sign up and don’t like what you find, SiteGround offer a 30 days money back guarantee.
Support and Helpdesk
SiteGround provides the best support we have experienced among hosting providers.
The SiteGround support team can be contacted via email, live chat or phone. The wait time usually takes no longer than a few seconds to reach an agent.
We had one instance a year or so ago when an Agent told us that the problem we were experiencing was due to the standard configuration that was applied to all servers and we should just learn to live with it. As the answer did not solve our problem I complained and rated the Agent poorly. In less than 8 hours I had a helpful response from a Manager and our issue had been resolved.
This is the only time we have ever had an issue.
The SiteGround support team is one of the most responsive and knowledgeable support teams we have found among the hosting companies we have tested. They have also added a personal touch. Whenever you contact an Agent, you are provided with a picture of the agent and their performance profile. It really helps with the process providing a face with the person on the other end of the chat.
If you feel more self-motivated, the SiteGround step-by-step tutorials are very well done and easy to understand.
Just to highlight how important customer service is to SiteGround, every month they post a blog article for the Top Technical Support Rep. These agents usually have a Happy Client Rating greater than 99%. But these posts show how dedicated SiteGround is to customer satisfaction.
In 2018, SiteGround achieved a 98% Client Satisfaction rate! This rate has increased for four years running. This demonstrates that their dedication to customer happiness is still the number one priority.
SiteGround operates out of 4 data centres located in Chicago, USA; United Kingdon; Amsterdam and Singapore.
The technical team has concerned itself with offering a service that operates on a high availability network, uses redundant infrastructure support and provide top quality physical security for each facility.
In our personal experience, SiteGround has fantastic up-time and has rarely been down or failed when we needed to access the server. Additional resources around the web have shown very good uptime and reliability numbers.
SiteGround is able to keep their servers operating well with their internally developed, pro-active monitoring solution. This helps their technical team to determine and fix problems before anyone knows about the issues. It also helps the team locate potential issues so that actions can be taken before any downtime is experienced.
Website performance is a big discussion point in today’s Internet. If your website loads slowly, people will not wait for it to load and will move onto your competitor’s website. We cover Optimizing Your Website performance in another post, so we will not cover that in this post.
SiteGround is passionate about implementing the best solutions to make your website faster. They do so transparently and in a manner that does not require you to hire a high paid technical resource.
Here are just a few areas where they have implemented technology that improves a website’s performance:
- SSD Hard drives for fast access to data and files
- NGINX web server for better performance
- SuperCacher for Faster loading of website resources
- CDN for better network delivery to your visitors
- HTTP/2 for faster loading of your website
- PHP7 for faster website performance
It is difficult to say with 100% accuracy how much improvement you could expect by moving your website to SiteGround. There are just too many factors that govern the results. We have found other websites that specify exact load times for websites they have used for testing. But many times, these do not reflect real-world situations and tend to mislead website owners.
In every case where we moved our clients onto Siteground, we saw an improvement of 30% to 80% in the speed of their website.
The details of why this is the case can be found in our Website Optimization articles.
System Ease of Use
SiteGround has gone to a lot of effort to make managing your website as easy as can be.
For a beginner, there may still be a few areas that are confusing or areas you are not comfortable working with. In these cases, the SiteGround technical support can help guide you through these areas.
Sometimes we have made a request for something that may seem a bit difficult for the Support Agent. But when we run into a similar issue later, the technical team has created a script to quickly rectify the situation. While these are there to be used by the Support Agents, they help us considerably to quickly resolve any issues.
We scored SiteGround very high in this area. But there are a couple of areas where they are still making things easier.
Signing Up for SiteGround Hosting
In this section, we will guide you through the sign-up process to help lower the possibility of making any mistakes along the way.
First, go to the SiteGround website and select the type of hosting you desire:
Step 1. Choose your hosting plan
SiteGround has three plans and you can sign-up for any of them. Make sure the plan you select is one that will handle your website or multiple websites.
Which one should you chose:
- The StartUp plan is perfect for people with one website that are just starting out
- The GrowBig plan is a great value for money offer, including the option for multiple websites and the SuperCacher that greatly improves WordPress and Joomla website performance
- The GoGeek plan is perfect for people with e-commerce and larger sites, or more geeky development needs like staging and GIT integration
Step 2. Choosing Domain
Here, you can choose to buy a new domain, or sign up with an existing domain you already own. Don’t forget, SiteGround offer free website transfer for GrowBig and GoGeek plans. So if you want SiteGround to transfer your existing website, make sure you have selected the appropriate plan.
Step 3. Review and Complete
Confirm that the plan displayed is the same as the plan you selected.
Also, make sure the data centre you want to use is selected. The default is Chicago, USA. If you want to change this later you will need to pay a fee.
If you are responding to a special offer, make sure you have selected a period during which your special discount will apply. So if you select 12 months, your fees for the first year will be discounted. You may want to select a longer period, if available, to optimize the discount you receive.
Also, if you are going to use the Free Website migration option, you will need to check that tickbox as well.
The only thing left is to click that Pay Now button and you are “Good to Go”!
After payment is done, you can begin to set up your website. If you need to move an existing website, they will respond to your request during the registration.
SiteGround also offers a unique tool, the WordPress Migrator, that lets you transfer as many WP installations to SiteGround as you wish in just a few clicks and with no technical skills required! The migration is seamless and runs in the background of your WordPress, transferring your content for you, without any hassle. You can read about the SiteGround Site Migrator here.