SiteGround Review

[SiteGround logo]

If you intend to start up a web site in the near future, you’ll need to find a good web hosting site to serve up your content to visitors. SiteGround has made quite a reputation for itself with its dependable, affordable shared web hosting service, so it’s definitely a name you want to check out when searching for a webhost. Speaking of names, you’ll get a free domain name at SiteGround, and it will be automatically extended with every renewal of your hosting service. Sign up to SiteGround today and begin your partnership with one of the best web hosting sites in existence.

SiteGround Overview

SiteGround was started in 2004, and in its earliest days, it was operated out of the dorm rooms of a few university friends. From these humble beginnings, the firm has grown to more than 500,000 websites hosted and more than 400 employees. Headquartered in Bulgaria, SiteGround has a truly international flavor to it and a global reach. It offers shared hosting, cloud hosting and dedicated servers.

[Map of Bulgaria with Sofia highlighted somehow]

There has been plenty of consolidation in the web hosting space for about a decade with many smaller entities being gobbled up by massive conglomerates, like the Endurance International Group. This hasn’t happened to SiteGround, so it remains independent and therefore able to respond to market needs perhaps a bit more agilely than some bloated competitors can.

SiteGround Subscription Levels

The management team at SiteGround recognizes that everybody doesn’t have the same needs and preferences, which is why this provider offers three levels of shared hosting. They’re called StartUp, GrowBig and GoGeek in order from most inexpensive to priciest. Select the right hosting plan for you, and sign up for service at SiteGround today.

Each hosting product comes with low introductory pricing for the first year. Furthermore, you’ll be protected by a money back guarantee for the first 30 days after you become a customer at SiteGround. Your service will renew automatically 15 days before the end of each term, so make sure to request a cancellation before that date if you wish to move elsewhere.

With three choices for shared hosting as well as cloud hosting and dedicated server options, SiteGround is prepared to accommodate your future growth. There are clear paths for upgrades, so you won’t have to find another provider if your website should achieve widespread appeal.

What SiteGround Does Right

No two web hosting providers do things in exactly the same way. Pricing, performance, features and free perks are just some of the attributes that differentiate from one company to another. I’ve thoroughly examined the various strengths of SiteGround to present you with some of the areas in which the firm stands a cut above most of its competitors. Peruse the information below, and then create your account at SiteGround now.

Website Speed

The low-latency delivery of content is what web hosting is all about. Security protections, developer tools and the other benefits that come with a SiteGround membership are nice, but when the rubber meets the road, speed ought to be one of your top considerations. This is because slowly loading sites really annoy visitors, and they can even lead to penalties from Google and other search engines.

[Screenshot from any speed testing site]

Fortunately, SiteGround serves up web content with speeds that are some of the best on the market today. Many reviewers, third-party testing groups and ordinary users agree: Your website guests will be treated to blazing-fast speeds if you choose SiteGround as your hosting provider.

It’s not because of random chance that SiteGround has been able to keep its speeds so high. Through the use of solid-state drives, the company is able to transfer data rapidly. This technology contains no moving parts, so it’s not subject to the physical limitations of reading data from spinning platters.

[Image representing cloud computing]

Another factor contributing to the lag-free performance offered by SiteGround lies in its use of the Cloudflare content delivery network. By caching files in multiple places around the world, this system allows pages to be sent from whichever spot is best depending on the location of the user.

Enviable Uptime Record

You probably want your readers or customers to be able to access your site at all times, and this is just what the SiteGround web hosting solution allows them to do. The organization claims to have maintained 99.996% uptime over the last 12 months:

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This handily beats the 99.9% guarantee offered by the web hosting site. Under the terms of this guarantee, you’ll receive a credit of one month of free hosting after any year during which your site suffered more than 0.1% downtime. In case the uptime of your site dipped below 99%, you’ll get an extra month free for every percentage point below 99%. This means that when you join up for web hosting at SiteGround, you’ll be able to rest easy in the knowledge that your web pages are always available.

In order to accomplish this challenging feat, the firm continuously monitors its servers around the clock to identify and correct issues before they result in system failure. Custom monitoring software reduces response times and predicts when problems are likely to occur so that the necessary actions can be taken to forestall them.

Other measures developed to handle potential technical troubles include the use of regular data backups, customized account isolation protocols and in-house modifications to the Linux kernel to make it more stable. When it comes to safeguarding customers’ files, SiteGround doesn’t believe in relying solely on standard-issue implementations developed by others.

[Image of a data center]

Choice of Data Centers

As befits its international scope and worldwide reach, SiteGround operates multiple data centers. They’re located in widely separated areas of the globe, allowing for better performance according to the requirements of each individual client. There are four such facilities, which are housed in:

  • Chicago, Illinois
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Singapore

Each center contains redundant electrical infrastructure, including generators, allowing them to weather local utility outages and natural disasters without compromising server integrity or operation. There’s also physical security present, which includes human personnel and biometric systems. The company boasts of “access control man traps” and “bullet proof lobbies,” which sound like they come straight out of a James Bond movie.

When you turn to SiteGround as your web hosting site, you’ll get to indicate which data center you want your websites to be hosted on. Make your decision based upon the expected geographical distribution of your users, and you’ll be able to cater to their convenience by improving page loading speeds even beyond SiteGround’s winning everyday performance.

[Picture of a chatbox or telephone or other customer service related item]

Customer Support

If you should encounter a concern that you want to reach out to SiteGround about, then you’ll be glad to see that there are multiple avenues of support present. You can place a telephone call, launch a live chat session or create a support ticket. You’ll get to connect with a human being instantly through telephone or live chat, and SiteGround states that you’ll get an answer within 10 minutes through the ticketing system. All of these support channels are available 24/7, which is no less than you would expect from a firm that has customers in many countries and time zones.

Besides just asking questions strictly related to hosting service, you can also inquire about other topics as well. The staff members at SiteGround have a broad range of knowledge and experience related to content management systems, applications, plug-ins and a variety of other subjects.

If you’re keen on expanding your own personal skill sets, then you’ll find the knowledge base a handy resource. Articles are listed in categories, like “cPanel,” “SSL” and “Search Engine Optimization,” letting you browse to the documents that you’re most interested in. There are tutorials on how to use WordPress, Magento and other popular programs. Be sure to check out the video lessons if you’d rather see the information presented in audiovisual form.

[WordPress Logo]

Easy WordPress Management

WordPress may be the most widely used content management system on the internet today, so it certainly merits your attention if you plan on creating websites. Originally designed as a blogging platform, this software has grown over more than a decade to become a fully featured tool for crafting not just blogs but also e-commerce stores, corporate pages and almost every other kind of website.

When you become a customer at SiteGround, you’ll get to employ sophisticated tools for making your WordPress experience go more smoothly and effortlessly. This starts with one-click installation through the cPanel interface. Going forward, all security patches and updates will be automatically applied, sparing you the hassles of making sure that your installation is up to date. The security team will even stay alert for threats and try to keep your instance of WordPress safe with tailored web application firewall rules. No-cost, daily backups of your WordPress files give you the peace of mind you deserve.

SiteGround has coded and deployed what it calls a SuperCacher that works with WordPress to make your dynamic content show up more quickly in users’ browsers. Unfortunately, this SuperCacher isn’t available with the basic StartUp package but only with the two higher tiers of service. Those who opt for the high-end GoGeek hosting plan will also get to use a staging area where they can preview changes to their WordPress pages before altering their live websites.

SiteGround’s familiarity and competence in handling WordPress hosting have caused to list it as a hosting partner, one of only four companies so honored. The firm also takes pride in the special features it offers for Joomla and other CMSes, so there’s plenty for you to look forward to even if you decide that WordPress isn’t for you.

[cPanel logo or screenshot]

Well-Arranged cPanel Interface

When you buy web hosting service from SiteGround, you’ll be able to control all aspects of your account through the well-renowned cPanel interface. This web hosting control panel is the most popular such program available because it contains powerful functionality combined with a clean user interface.

Within cPanel, it’s a breeze to purchase additional services, install applications with a single click, manage your databases, and conduct all other tasks that are vital in keeping your site functioning well. SiteGround has made certain additions to the standard cPanel in order to expand its utility and present the information in the most convenient way to customers.

Corporate Culture

Although they can’t be measured in gigabytes or milliseconds, the corporate values of a web hosting organization will have an impact on its employees and therefore on the service they extend to customers. SiteGround maintains a relaxing work environment with game rooms, company vacations, short Friday hours and many other perks for its personnel. Evidently, execs at SiteGround believes that a happy worker is a productive worker.

It’s not just a party every day at SiteGround’s offices however. The firm invests heavily in making sure that its workforce is competent and prepared to meet the complex needs of clients. This includes comprehensive training, often consisting of one-on-one sessions between junior employees and more senior supervisors. All managers are promoted from within, leading to a cohesive team structure.

Whatever the company is doing, it seems to be working. According to a survey that SiteGround ran at the end of 2016, it scored a 96 percent customer satisfaction rate for the year with 95 percent of clients rating the firm as better than other webhosts that they’ve used.

[Image of a present]

Extra Goodies

SiteGround does its best to provide a lot of freebies on top of its secure and dependable hosting products. When you purchase web hosting service from SiteGround, you’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of several free assets offered to keep you happy. They include:

1. Free Domain Name

As a new customer, you can obtain a no-charge domain for your site from SiteGround. Any domain you receive for free upon opening your account will also renew at no charge to you when the appropriate time arrives.

2. Free SSL Certificate

Secure socket layer is a technology that keeps communications between your website and its visitors private. It’s rapidly becoming a must-have element of any successful web presence, and Google even gives a search boost to pages that use it. Ordinarily, you have to pay a yearly fee to obtain an SSL certificate, but you’ll get one without any additional payment required for a year as part of your SiteGround web hosting account.

3. Free Site Transfer

If you already have a website at another web hosting provider, you can have it, along with its domain name, transferred to SiteGround for free. You can choose to handle the transfer yourself or receive assistance from support. If your existing host uses the cPanel interface, then your whole account, including settings and emails, can be migrated over; otherwise, only your files and databases will be moved to your new account. There’s a limit of one site transferred for free.

4. Website Builder

Although it’s not as sophisticated as products available from some other web hosting companies, SiteGround does have a drag-and-drop website builder supplied by Weebly. It allows you to combine text, images, videos, forms and other elements to make good-looking web pages with no coding experience required. It generates responsive pages, meaning that users will be able to conveniently access your content from their mobile devices.

SiteGround Weak Points

In spite of all the advantages of SiteGround as a web hosting site, there are a few minor quibbles that you might wish to think about before you join up at Siteground for shared web hosting. I don’t feel that any of these drawbacks are deal-breakers by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s my duty to tell you about them here.

[Image of a stop sign]

Plan Limitations

Regardless of the level of service you choose at SiteGround, you’ll be able to run unlimited databases, and there’s no hard limit on the amount of traffic to your site. However, your storage space is strictly limited: to 30 GB with GoGeek, 20 GB with GrowBig and a paltry 10 GB with StartUp. To add insult to injury, StartUp customers can only host one website on their account at a time.

Most new sites should fall comfortably within the 10 GB limit; however, certain types of media, like videos and uncompressed photos, can cause your storage requirements to become much higher. In any case, this cap on the size of your files might hinder your growth going forward. It’s perhaps understandable that SiteGround wishes to restrict the resources used by customers with the cheapest service package, but it’s nearly unconscionable that the firm’s top-of-the-line shared hosting service, GoGeek, still offers only a relatively small amount of disk space.

There’s another method by which SiteGround limits your resource consumption, and it doesn’t really advertise this fact too openly. The number of CPU cycles consumed by your account is strictly tracked, and if you use too many in a month, then you might find your hosting service suspended. This isn’t entirely under your control because the amount of CPU cycles used will depend, at least somewhat, on the number of hits your pages get and what users do while browsing. There are a few steps you can take to reduce processor time required, but these aren’t immediately apparent unless you’re already familiar with how servers work.

[Picture of a dollar bill]

Pricing Idiosyncrasies

There are lower-cost shared hosting plans available at other sites, but most of them don’t quite offer the same features and security that SiteGround does. For what you get, opening up a SiteGround account is a pretty attractive value proposition.

However, this only applies if you purchase a plan for a year or longer. If you elect to buy only one month at a time, then you’ll be charged a setup fee, which is several times more expensive than the monthly rate for a 12-month or longer package.

Focus on the Power User

The hosting services provided by SiteGround come with a wealth of tools and settings that advanced users will undoubtedly appreciate. On the other hand, some of this potential will likely remain untapped by less tech-savvy customers. An example of this is the Cloudflare CDN, which is available to all clients free of charge. You must manually activate it in the cPanel, though, which means that if you don’t know about it, you’ll be missing out.

On the whole, this is only a small point against SiteGround. While it would be nice if there were more hand-holding for newbies, they can get help if they really need it by contacting support.

SiteGround Summary

Today’s web hosting landscape is pretty crowded and competitive, which can make it a chore to identify the best web hosting sites. Hopefully, you’ve read enough about SiteGround by now to realize that it’s a stellar webhost for your new website.

With three levels of shared hosting service, you have the opportunity to select the one that’s best for the size and characteristics of the site you’re planning to create. There’s a clear upgrade path for you as your traffic volume increases. You may even outgrow SiteGround’s shared hosting and progress to one of the four fully managed cloud hosting services that are offered. At the high end, SiteGround provides three tiers of dedicated server hosting, which will be great for you if your website turns into a major internet destination.

SiteGround offers a painless, flexible solution to aspiring webmasters. Check out SiteGround web hosting today.

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Arlie Wall

Los Angeles based web developer with over 15 years experience with helping people start and grow their blogs.