Review SummaryUpdated: July 12, 2020
- 24/7 Customer Support
- Quick Site Setup
- Tailored WooCommerce and WordPress plans
- Lots of included value (Free CDN, Email, SSL, Site Transfer)
- Daily Site Backups on most plans.
- Global Data centres to choose from.
- Plans include slightly less storage across than most.
Shared Hosting Review
Best for Portfolio and Basic websites
SiteGrounds’ shared hosting plans follow a traditional tiered structure, providing a solution for most customers and ensures scalability for those who are just starting. They can be a good starting point for new customers, coming with most of the essentials to get your site live. Such as a one-click app installer, Weebly drag & drop site builder (freemium service), free ‘Let’s Encrypt’ SSL certificates, email accounts, and 24/7 customer support.
For customers looking to host a basic blog, business site, or small eCommerce store, SiteGrounds included disk space is adequate, with plans scaling from 10GB to 30GB, respectively. These types of sites generally require less than 10GB of storage, including software and plugins, and is the typical level of storage you’ll find offered from most hosts. If you’re planning on hosting multiple sites, you’ll want to keep in mind that your 20GB-30GB of storage is shared across them.
What’s more, utilizing Solid State Drives (SSD) over Hard Disk means you’ll get the best disk performance available on the market for this type of hosting, and it keeps SiteGround inline with most of the top providers. On top of this, you’ll also be able to choose to host your site on one SiteGrounds data centers across the U.S., Europe, and Asia-Pacific region, which is an excellent piece of flexibility, not all hosts offer.
Furthermore, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of hosts offer ‘unlimited’ storage, which contrasts to SiteGrounds more traditional, capped amounts. While ‘unlimited’ does sound more appealing and flexible, these offers always come with a usage limit or fair usage policy that restricts the amount of disk space your site(s) can utilize. You’ll even want to checkout SiteGrounds fair usage policy for their ‘unlimited’ MySQL Databases, Bandwidth, Email Accounts, and Websites on all plans.
In terms of which is better, this can vary from site to site. However, customers who value a bit more transparency in the number of resources they can utilize may be better off opting for plans with more transparent disk space limits.
One thing we like about SiteGrounds plans is that they come with an unlimited number of free email accounts for each of your domains and provide you up to 2GB, 4GB, and 6GB of email storage, respectively. This is better than some hosts which use your allocated disk space as part of your email storage. You’ll be able to activate your email accounts easily via cPanel. Although, you will have to choose a preferred email platform, such as Horde (best used if you access email via mobile a lot), RoundCube (best for web-based productivity), or SquirrelMail (simple, minimalists email client).
Speaking of storage, we’d be remiss to mention that Siteground does offer relatively less storage across all plans, compared to competitors at a similar price point (SSD and unlimited bandwidth plans)., which brings us to our next point, SiteGrounds pricing.
SiteGrounds price point is one of the most significant downsides to their otherwise decent shared hosting service. Why? Despite offering the lowest discounts for new customers, renewal prices are at the higher end of the price scale and, as we mentioned, provide less overall resources than other providers. What’s more, Startups $0.33 discount is only applicable to three-month term options. Unfortunately, this slightly deceiving pricing strategy is common with some hosts.
This also doesn’t take into account users who will be registering a domain on sign up, which adds an extra $15/year to their hosting. It’s quite common to find a free domain with shared hosting across the market, even if only for the first year. With SiteGrounds high pricing and lack of free domain (which some hosts only charge $8-$12 per year for), again provide a significant downside to their otherwise decent offering. So, where’s the silver lining? We’d have to say likely in the customer support and performance.
SiteGround provides a range of 24/7 customer support channels for customers, including phone, live chat, and a ticket system. For premium plans, you’ll also get free site migration, which is a nice bonus that most hosts do offer.
Another thing SiteGround does similar to most competitors is that their support team is outsourced and based in Asia. While this isn’t always a bad thing, some customers may prefer in-house solutions to avoid the rare miscommunication. Overall, SiteGrounds support team can provide technical support for most troubleshooting and setup support, even advertising a five minute resolve time for critical issues. What’s more, the Geeky plan also comes with Priority queue support.
You’re also provided a range of features free that assist with server maintenance and security. These being automated daily backups, which some hosts make you pay for. Plus, anti-spam for email and anti-hack firewalls/malware protection, which are quite standard across the industry.
Finally, SiteGround also offers pre-installed content management systems with their eCommerce hosting plans (same resources as shared plans). With your choice of WooCommerce, WP-eCommerce, VirtueMart, Magento, and more to help new customers get their site set up fast.
One of the most notable perks in having your website hosted by SiteGround is site load performance. Website traffic is directed to 4 of their data center locations around the globe, with servers configured and optimized with Linux containers (LXC) for flexibility on variance with traffic spikes and sudden visit behavior. They also utilize web server technologies such as Apache and NGINX applied for load balancing, monitoring, and traffic management.
When it comes to file storage and database access, Sitegrounds SSDs provide quicker input and output operations and significantly speed up performance. All customers are also offered free access to Cloudflare’s content delivery network (CDN) services. Which utilizes content caching to make your sites load faster through server distribution, and also provides site protection, through malicious traffic identification and filtering.
Moreover, Premium plans can also stage WordPress sites and make changes with production-level modifications, automatically creating backups on the staging level. Meaning developers can work on websites upon development, which can then be turned over into production as soon as tweaks and adjustments are completed.
Customers also have to access pre-installed Git in their servers, excellent for creating website repositories. If you have experience using GitHub, you’ll find SG-Git, SiteGround’s visual Git interface an excellent tool for creating repos for applications like WordPress, Joomla, and Magento. Through it, you can access, download, and edit multiple local branches even when you’re a fresh developer with basic coding skills, with ease.
While SiteGround provides a decent web hosting solution, coming with most of the essentials, you’ll need and a level of 24/7 customer support, that’s better than most. However, most customers may not find enough value to justify their high price points.
Cloud Hosting Review
Best for High traffic websites with global traffic.
Plans and Pricing
SiteGrounds cloud platform is one of the most scalable on the market. It comes with all the availability you’d expect, such as SSH & SFTP access, a Dedicated I.P., cPanel, automated daily backups, and a decent level of customer support.
Starting at $80/month, the platform is best utilized by growing, high traffic sites and provides a good starting point for resources with 2CPU Cores, 4GB Memory, 40GB SSD, and 5TB data transfer.
One limiting factor of these plans, for some customers, may come in the fact that 5TB data transfer is the maximum limit for bandwidth. Moreover, we’d be remiss to mention that you can find cheaper hosting plans on the market that provide more resources, and there’s no mention of priority support included with plans either. That said, SiteGrounds plans site at about the industry average in terms of value for money and stand out with their flexible resource configuration options.
SiteGround’s Custom Cloud lets you call the shots, with the ability to mix and match your resources when it comes to CPU, Memory, and SSD space. With the settings fixed at the Entry Plan by default, you can configure your cloud and check how much it costs. You’ll also have the option between their four data centers for your primary server, with servers in the U.S., U.K., Singapore, and Europe.
This level of configuration is one of the best on the market, with virtually unrestricted combinations of hardware allocation. Many plans on the market are either pay-as-you-go or the usual tier restricted. With Siteground, plans can be upgraded or downsized at any time. With the potential to maximize your cloud server up to 32 cores, 128GB of RAM, and SSD space of up to 1TB, so long as your budget allows.
Speaking of price, plans come with no setup fees, and the cost for additional resources is only slightly more expensive than other hosts. Another aspect customers may appreciate with SiteGrounds cloud plan is there are no overage charges per gigabyte.
We would have liked to see O.S. and cPanel configuration options as well, which some competitors do offer. Though, this isn’t as needed when you consider SiteGrounds target market for this plan is high traffic blogs or eCommerce stores.
Another great feature you’ll typically find with most good hosts is Autoscaling. AutoScale automatically allocates extra resources if required, ensuring optimal performance in case of any traffic spikes. Autoscale steps in when memory or CPU load goes to about 75% (allowing just enough time for changes to kick in), with server resource modifications applied with no delay.
Moreover, real-time monitoring through activity spikes detectors work every 5 seconds, and the tool can also be configured for your own preferences. Providing you the option to control the number of CPU cores and RAM to be added in the event your server receives irregular traffic load. What’s more, all plans also include free Dedicated I.P. and DNS services, letting you customize your server’s N.S. name, and up to 7 Offsite backups of your databases.
Overall, there’s not much to take away from SiteGround for their Managed Cloud plans. Resources are highly configurable and make for a significant upgrade if you’re already a customer. While we like some aspects of the plan, there are some areas where it falls short against competitors, namely in price and additional hosting services.
SiteGround Server Performance
To test SiteGround’s hosting performance we used a few Pingdom reports. Over the span of a year, Pingdom’s probes (located across North America) performed daily checks, on a basic website (less than 100KBs) hosted on SiteGround’s shared server environment. Additionally, there was no throttling added to these checks, so slower response times can be expected for 3G or 4G connections.
Yearly Server Performance:
Average Response Time
Data shown as monthly Uptime averages for a basic Siteground website
Server performance can affect all aspects of your site. Case studies have consistently found that customer wait times (page load and response times) directly affect everything from SEM, revenue, and traffic growth. By a lot too, here’s just one example:
For Mobify, every 100ms decrease in homepage load speed worked out to a 1.11% increase in session-based conversion, yielding an average annual revenue increase of nearly $380,000.
No matter your plan, SiteGround.com provides backup and security features that offer peace of mind to its users, no matter the scenario. To keep its optimal uptime promise possible, SiteGround has deployed multiple power feeds, procured its own power generators, and even invested in enterprise-level UPS technology to avoid every possible scenario of power loss. As for hardware failures, Siteground keeps entire spare servers and replacement parts on-site, easily accessible for use positioned to be up and running with minimal reaction time, making hours of downtime cut down to mere minutes.
SiteGround also covers contingencies for user-triggered downtimes such as traffic spikes by using Linux Containers (LXC). Their DevOps team built both virtualization and automation so that changes in their Linux Kernels are done efficiently, making command executions, such as upscaling servers during unexpected high load times, done 100% faster compared without the LXC.
A.I. anti-bot detection system
In the background, SiteGround also implements its smart A.I. anti-bot detection system that sifts and blocks brute-force malicious traffic attacks even before it reaches the customer’s website. These deployments would never be possible without server monitoring that’s just as responsive when it comes to anticipating sudden spikes or checking server health conditions.
Aside from the fact that SiteGround personnel are manually monitoring 24/7, they chose to deviate from the conventional built-in cPanel monitoring that usually reacts within a 5-minute delay, which is unsatisfactory by many measures. With the help of 1H’s Guardian Monitoring System, server-related overloads and outage issues are fixed in a fraction of a second upon detection. Now have the automated reaction system coupled with an LXC, and you’ll never experience server-related downtimes again.
ModSecurity and WAF
Protection from hackers within SiteGround’s perimeters are done almost daily the moment vulnerabilities are announced, with protective rules implemented on the same day with the help ModSecurity that’s installed in all their servers. New rules are consistently added to their Web Application Firewall (WAF) that protects their servers and applications, including, but not limited to, WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. Their DevOps also protects sites from DDOS attacks through firewall countermeasures, along with intuitive service connection monitoring. Your website is protected by having PHP 7 scripts implemented with all the latest security fixes in place, with Apache in a chrooted environment running everything in the backend.
Email Protection with SpamExperts
With a free email account across all SiteGround plans, they also offer spam protection that’s free of charge. SolarWinds SPAM Experts provide professional-level email security that’s updated to detect even the latest threats. It also allows users to manage their filters, check on email traffic statistics, and even integrate protection behavior based on incoming and outgoing emails. But what makes it unique is the resource efficiency that runs in front, and not within the email infrastructure.
Regular site Backups
In case you’re worried about mishaps on your website during development or creation, SiteGround presents a backup service that’s consistently storing account data daily. Everything’s backed up to their hosting servers for seven days, up to 30 days, accordingly. With a user-friendly Backup Tool accessible via cPanel, you can choose to restore files, folders, databases, and even emails in just a few clicks. Though this feature is freely available to only GrowBig and GoGeek plans, those who have the basic StartUp plan can add this service by going to the cPanel and enabling it from the Backup Manager section.
There’s also an On-demand Backup service that can save your website, essential during those build-up and development stages. GrowBig and GoGeek customers can enjoy the said feature with no additional charge where they can create backups up to 5 at a time. StartUp account holders can still experience this time-saving feature for a single, one-time use purchase.
Customer Support Review
SiteGround’s multiple levels of support are a frequent topic of conversation in their reviews, with many users expressing their satisfaction with how problems are handled and great overall user experience. Whether through live chat or over the phone, SiteGround works to connect to friendly and accommodating agents that resolve first-case concerns with an outstanding 90% resolution rate. They also deploy a helpdesk ticketing system that’s responded to an average of 15 minutes per email. This helps both the customer and the agent to get back and resolve complicated technical concerns, in case time falls short or there are interruptions in between.
Siteground offer free site migration support for all customers.
Siteground’s phone support team promises an average wait time of 2 minutes.
Siteground offer ticketed support, which can be accessed via the Control Panel.
Siteground offers Live Chat support for billing, sales, and technical support.
Tutorials & Guides
Siteground offer a rich knowledgebase filled with technical articles and startup guides.
Siteground offers free priority or managed support on most premium plans.
Siteground does not have a dedicated community forum for customer support and troubleshooting.
Siteground does not mention offering customer support across multiple languages.
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