Friday, October 09, 2020

SiteGround Review: (Uptime, Performance, Pros & Cons)

Wondering how good SiteGround hosting is?

Is SiteGround worth your money?

Which SiteGround plan is best for you?

Find out all the details in this detailed SiteGround review.

With PHP 7.3 & free SSL Certificate on offer, SiteGround is now the best hosting for WordPress. Clearly, Siteground’s innovation and contribution to the Wordpress community hasn’t gone unrecognized.

We took things on our own hand and decided to do a detailed review of SiteGround hosting to find out if it’s worth your money.

How tough is it to find the right hosting company for yourself?

Well, it was troublesome for me at least. With insufficient funds, I could not test web hosting simply based on somebody else’s hunch. I started my blogging journey about five years ago, and when I intended to run my first self-hosted blog, I started looking for a dependable hosting service for my upcoming WordPress blog.

After spending hours on research, I narrowed down my selection to Bluehost and SiteGround.

The reason why I ousted these was the fact that I had come across terrible reviews from many professional bloggers. Later I decided to abandon Bluehost too, given it was an EIG-owned hosting company.

Who owns SiteGround hosting?

SiteGround is an independent web-hosting company which was founded in 2004. The company is based in Bulgaria and they serve users worldwide. They have Data Centers in the USA, UK, Amsterdam, and Singapore. SiteGround is quite active in the community events and they have positioned themselves as “well-crafted” hosting solutions.

It’s been over 40 months since I picked Siteground hosting, and I think it is time to share my experience with other members in this space.

SiteGround Review: The Good & Bad

Selecting a hosting service based on the features it has to offer is the ideal way to go about it. Moreover, understanding whether or not the hosting supports your platform is of paramount importance.

(I’m here sharing this review of SiteGround exclusively as a WordPress user.)

SiteGround offers cPanel, a popular web hosting dashboard. If you have ever used a hosting service, chances are you have used cPanel hosting at some instance or the other.

There are various aspects of Siteground that makes it stand out from other hosting services. Let us take a look at all the noteworthy features in this detailed SiteGround review.

Google cloud infrastructure

This is one of the underlooked feature that a lot of hosting, and reviewers are not vocal about. The server infrastructure plays a major role in how your website would perform in different geo-location.

Now, Google cloud is notoriously known for maintaining one of the fastest and most powerful networks, that means, your website will naturally be faster on SiteGround, unless you screw up with badly coded plugin or themes.

Here are some less known advantages of hosting on Google cloud via SiteGround:

  • State-of-the-art network for faster sites

  • Distributed storage for high data redundancy

  • Easier scaling and resource management

  • Multiple opportunities for new data center locations

And Strong commitment to carbon neutrality, if you someone like me, who deeply cares about the future of our environment.

Now, moving on..

What’s the response time of SiteGround?

This is another important metric that matters when deciding between two or more hosting.

SiteGround servers have an exceptional response time. For some locations like the US, the response time is as low as 1ms.

Currently, SiteGround has servers available in multiple locations such as:

  • Chicago, USA.

  • London, UK.

  • Amsterdam, Netherlands.

  • Singapore.

Just to let you know, Google cloud integration happened sometime in late 2019, and now you have the option to pick the multiple server location based on your target audience.

SiteGround Uptime and accessibility:

Apart from average time, uptime is another factor that I always consider. I have had an issue with certain EIG hosting where server resources were finished and my website was down for hours. This issue alone had cost me a lot in the form of angry customers and a portion of the site lost ranking in search.

SiteGround claim to offer 99.99% uptime and in my experience of SiteGround hosting. the only downtime was one year and 5 months back and that too for one minute.

When I dig deeper, I realized it was because SiteGround has implemented server isolation technology on their shared hosting as well. That means, one infected or hacked website will not affect other websites on the same server.

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SG optimizer plugin: (Game changer)

SiteGround offers Supercacher, a technology developed by its in-house team.

It is a mechanism that adds several layers of caching, thereby resulting in your blog loading significantly faster. No other shared hosting offers anything close at this moment, and at a price of $7.95/month, it’s an invaluable acquisition.

Free SSL Certificate

Individuals who have been part of the WordPress world for a while can vouch for the fact that an SSL certificate is a must-have for any WordPress web-hosting. Another feature that makes SiteGround stand out in the crowd is that it offers free SSL certificate via LetsEncrypt which is, by default, enabled for all new users.

PHP 7.3 support

WordPress users employ MySQL and PHP to run their blogs. The latest version of PHP is 7.3, but most web-hosting companies still offer PHP 5.6. With the SG optimizer, that’s a free plugin for the hosting users, using which you can quickly upgrade from PHP 5.6 to PHP 7.0.

To understand the degree of advantage that one small plugin can provide, understand this – with PHP 7.0 alone, the performance of your WordPress site will nearly double in comparison to PHP 5.6!

SiteGround Support and customer service

I moved on from my old hosting mainly because of the lack of adequate customer support. There were times when I waited nearly 5-6 hours to get a response to my ticket, and almost 24 hours to get my issues resolved (depending upon the problem). In contrast, on contacting the Siteground customer support, I got replies within 6 minutes! Yes, you read that right. And that, my friends, is no exaggeration.

SiteGround offers Free Website hosting Migration

Unlike other hosting companies that set you back by an amount between $49 to $149, website migration is completely free on SiteGround. If you are migrating from your existing hosting to Siteground, you can take advantage of their free website migration.

A screen such as above will greet you when you first log in to your SiteGround dashboard where you can place a request to migrate your site for free. The migration takes anywhere between 5-6 hours to complete following which your only job is to change the domain name-server.

If you want to get into more detail, here is my experience of migrating a site from HostGator to SiteGround.

Apart from the great features specified above, SiteGround also boasts of:

  • Unlimited Bandwidth

  • One click WordPress installation

  • Tech support includes WordPress experts, which means one-stop shop for hosting and WordPress solutions

  • Security at every level

  • First hosting to support PHP7

  • Offers free SSL using LetsEncrypt

  • SiteGround Hosting Plan, Pricing In Comparison To Others

Check More SiteGround Features Here

SiteGround Hosting Plan, Pricing In Comparison To Others

Siteground offers three different hosting plans to select from under the shared hosting category. Apart from shared hosting, they also have cloud hosting, dedicated servers, and reseller hosting. For a new WordPress blog, shared hosting is powerful enough to handle your website.

All of the SiteGround shared hostings comes with features such as:

  • Unlimited data transfer

  • Free website transfer

  • cPanel access

  • Free SSL

  • Free website backup

  • WP-CLI enabled (command line support for geeks & developers)

The list of features on offer gets longer as you move from a smaller plan to a higher one. I’m on the GrowBig plan which lets me host multiple websites and also allows me to use their Supercacher technology.

Which SiteGround Shared Hosting Plan Is Best For You?

To simplify the plan selection, I have listed down the plans suitable for various needs.

Startup: This plan is suitable for those who need to have only one site. A business blog or for a personal blog. At $3.95/month, it is the cheapest in the hosting industry.

Growbig: This plan is suitable for bloggers like me and you, who need more server resources. Here you can host multiple websites and get access to their Supercacher technology too.

GoGeek: This plan comes with 4 times more server resources and offers staging feature. Also, your website will be hosted on a server with limited number of websites. I would suggest this plan if you require Git/staging feature and free backup & restore.

My recommendation for you is to get at least a three-year hosting package of the Growbig plan. The link below will also get up to 70% discount! Remember, hosting discount is applicable only on the first invoice, which is why buying a 2-3 year package will save you a lot of money.

Grab Hosting From SiteGround

SiteGround 30-day money back guarantee

If you are looking for a free trial of SiteGround, then they do offer but it’s not worth your money. I have explained this in the next section.

If you just want to try, then take advantage of SiteGround 30-day money back guarantee. If for some reason you are not happy with SiteGround, here is how you can cancel your SiteGround account:

• Post a service termination request from SiteGround service area

• This should be done within 30 days of service activation.

• This feature is available only for new orders and not for renewals.

• Domain name and domain privacy are not included in cancellation and may be due upon cancellation.

SiteGround trial account:

SiteGround does offer a one-month trial account but it’s not reasonable for the pocket. They add an additional setup fees of $24.95 for a 30 days trial account which is a complete waste in most of the scenario.

As I explained above, you should rather purchase SiteGround for 1 year or 2-year package, and in case if you are not happy within the first month, simply follow the steps above to cancel SiteGround account and get a complete refund.

The servers are always live, and you can choose your server locations for all the plans as per the requirements of your website. You can select Chicago for more users from the West, Amsterdam for more users from Europe or Singapore for a more Asia Pacific-based traffic.

The robust accessibility and uptime feature is backed up by a reliable technical team that has your back covered for the worst-case scenario.

Pros and cons of SiteGround Hosting:

What’s good about SiteGround?

  • Instant customer support (live chat or ticket)

  • Free website backup & migration

  • Low pricing

  • Supercacher technology

  • PHP 7.3 hosting

  • SSD Hosting

  • Free SSL Certificate

What’s bad about SiteGround?

• Data storage is limited (20GB, 30GB), even though a regular WordPress blog doesn’t require more than 2-3 Gb disk space.

• Nothing else I can think of.

Is SiteGround worth your money?

I have tried to be fair and accurate with this review of SiteGround, but if all of this appears to a promotion for SiteGround, it is because I have the utmost respect for people who work there to keep my site live.

The technical support is arguably one of the best things SiteGround has to offer, and that makes everything – from pre-sales to resolving technical issues – easier.

I am a delighted SiteGround customer and would like you to check them out if you ever plan on starting up or shifting base. Forget regretting; you will thank me later

How to point GoDaddy domain to SiteGround?

If you have a domain purchased from GoDaddy, login to GoDaddy account.

Click on DNS in front of the domain name you own on GoDaddy

Click on change nameserver and enter the SiteGround nameserver details

Click on Save and within 15 minutes to 2 hours, your GoDaddy domain will start pointing to SiteGround account.  You can use this free tool to check the status of your nameserver change.

I would love to read about your experience with their services.

If you find this SiteGround review useful, do consider sharing it on Facebook and Linkedin.

Until next time.

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