Why use SiteGround for hosting your website? Truth is Siteground is one of the best web hosting companies i have ever come across and by the end of this SiteGround Review article you will have all the reasons to sign up with them and trust that you are going to get nothing but the best experience for all the time your website will spend on their server. Many people have recommended it, and not just people but professional bloggers you can trust. Even WordPress recommends it as one of the best hosts you should use for their platform. You can click here to confirm.
SiteGround began it’s operations in the year 2004 and currently handles over 600,000 domains world-wide. It provides shared hosting web hosting plans, cloud hosting web hosting plans and dedicated servers for all your dedicated hosting needs. SiteGround currently has servers and data centers in 4 countries (US, UK, Netherlands and Singapore) and uses CentOS, Apache, PHP, MySQL and WHM /cPanel for its servers. The company has also come up with custom software to help in account isolation, monitoring & reaction, not forgetting speed-optimization of its servers. SiteGround has headquarters in Bulgaria.
Plans & Pricing
SiteGround is very cheap compared to other hosts BUT again expensive in the long run basing on what it has to offer. The last time i purchased web hosting from them, i spent approximately $47 (Start Up Plan) which is quite satisfactory since i don’t expect the site i purchased the web hosting space for to hit anywhere close to 5000 monthly page views. However, if you look at their GrowBig plan and GoGeek plan, you realize the prices are way high basing on the resources you are going to be allocated BUT again it’s a fair play! Why? Because there is no such thing as unlimited web hosting space or unlimited bandwidth. These are marketing ploys adopted by web hosting companies to get more clients but in actual sense, they don’t exist. You will be asked to upgrade your shared hosting package or worse get your website suspended when it exceed the limit of your plan. SiteGround lays it all out clear for you so you know when you need to upgrade or when you need to downgrade.
There are currently three shared hosting plans on their server; The StartUp plan, The GrowBig plan & the GoGeek plan. The StartUp plan is the cheapest of all and will cost you $3.95 / Month for one website, 10 GB Web Hosting Space and give you up to 10,000 monthly hits. The GrowBig plan comes in second at $7.95 / Month and will let you host multiple websites, award you 20GB of Web Hosting Space then limit you to 25,000 monthly visits. The Biggest shared plan is the GoGeek plan that costs $14.95 / Month and lets you host multiple websites on your account, award you 30GB Web Space and limit you to 100,000 monthly hits. So what does this have to say? You probably need Cloudflare installed on your server to ensure you only get real visit and not hits from robots. Good thing is SiteGround has all these features pre-installed on their server only that you need to configure them manually.
What Technologies does SiteGround use?
One thing i have liked about SiteGround is their ability to use the latest technologies on their server and always keep updating it in case of any changes or innovations. But why is it important to use the latest technologies on a server? What you should know is website performance often gets better with the kind of technology used on a server. Once you get your website hosted on SiteGround, you will immediately notice a huge boost in it’s performance even with the fact that your on a shared server platform. Below are some of the major technologies that SiteGround uses to power it’s web servers.
NGINX – A big percentage of shared web hosting providers still use Apache web server to host websites which works but is outdated. If you haven’t heard about NGINX (Engine X) then you should know that it’s far better at serving static content and way faster compared to Apache. Another thing i also like about NGINX is that it consumes far less memory irrespective of the requests it’s handling implicating usage of memory is not high.
Solid State Drives (SSD Storage) – Most shared hosting companies still use the old regular storage drives (HDD) which offer less speed and fail often. Solid State Drives are built for high speed and claimed to be much stronger and have the capacity to increase IO processes (Input / Output operations) compared to the old regular HDD. The companies that have adopted solid state drives to power their servers have gotten good responses from their clients. SiteGround uses Solid State Drives on all their shared hosting plans which is a good deal for any client.
PHP7 – Who wouldn’t want to run their PHP sites using the latest version of PHP (PHP7)? PHP7 is so far the latest version of PHP that allows extremely fast PHP executions but you can only take advantage of it if your web server supports or runs it. Fact is some web hosting companies are still stuck on PHP 5 and a number of them won’t let you switch between PHP versions from your control panel. On SiteGround, you can easily choose the version of PHP you wish to run on the server using the PHP version manager.
HTTP/2 Enabled – The HTTP 1.1 network protocol is outdated and the HTTP/2 is here to patch it up. It’s an update to the old HTTP 1.1 network protocol and is designed to increase page load time of websites in browsers. However, HTTP/2 needs an encrypted connection to function, reason why SiteGround provides a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate on any web hosting plan that is purchased.
What i like about SiteGround
There are so many benefits you will get from hosting with SiteGround. I’ll try to list some of them below but unfortunately i won’t broaden this section so much because i don’t intend to keep this article extremely long (though it’s already long). SiteGround
Is affordable – SiteGround is very affordable and with just approximately $47 you can have a website running on their StartUp shared plan.
Is fast – The fact that their servers are powered by Solid State Drives (SSD) makes the sites hosted on it perform far better in terms of speed. Sites hosted on SiteGround have showed extremely great page load times basing on various speed tests conducted by top PR firms.
Is honest – If you have had web hosting providers promise you unlimited resources (mainly web space and bandwidth) then you have to know this is nothing but a marketing ploy adopted to attract new customers to the company. If you carry out a deep research (Looking into Terms of Service) you will realize these web hosting companies have their limits all laid on a fine print. SiteGround promises you the exact resources you will be using per shared plan.
Provides excellent support – The customer care support is just excellent and for all the times i initiated a live chat session i didn’t stay for long before i got worked upon. They also support a ticket system that is very responsive and won’t keep your query waiting for long.
Gives free Let’s encrypt ssl – Unlike other ssl certificates, Let’s Encrypt provides secure socket layer certificates to website owners for free and you don’t need to pay any annual fees to renew it because they are renewed automatically! These ssl certificates are absolutely free and don’t need any validation emails or dedicated internet protocols to install. The winner is all popular browsers trust them too.
Uses modern technology to power their servers – I explained this earlier on and i guess you managed to look at some of the modern technologies that SiteGround uses to power their servers.
Has a PHP version manager – You are able to choose among the versions of PHP you intend to use on your server. SiteGround currently supports up to PHP7 and is always updated implicating in another version of PHP got released today they would install it in no time. Some web host don’t allow you to switch PHP versions on your server.
Offers automatic daily site backup – SiteGround will backup your site for free each and every day implicating in case any thing goes wrong on your server you always have a fresh backup copy of your website to retrieve.
Has nearly 100% up time – Why nearly 100% and not 100%? Fact is no web host will give you 100% up time as they claim. The difference is in the amount of time your website will be off in a month. With SiteGround, you might only experience a few minutes of downtime in a month which is a fair deal. Good thing is they promise you 99.9% up time guarantee and not 100% like other web hosts do.
Has multiple Server locations – You can easily choose the server location you intend to host your website on. It’s always recommended to host your website near your visitors and SiteGround makes that easy for you.
What i don’t like about SiteGround
Despite the advantages, SiteGround also has a few limitations BUT when i tried to weigh the advantages and disadvantages, i realized the advantages are way many compared to the disadvantages which makes it all a good deal for hosting a web site.
Limitations on Plans – SiteGround has several limitations on shared hosting plans which might not be what you expect or want. You might want a shared hosting package that will guarantee you at least 100,000 hits or even more for a starter package which SiteGround won’t offer to you. Their biggest shared plan (GoGeek) that costs $14.95 / Month limits you to only 100,000 monthly hits which is quite expensive to some people.
Old Interface – SiteGround’s control panel interface looks to be outdated which might not be liked by some users despite the fact that it has most of the tools and software every user will need of a control panel. See photo of interface below;
Lack bigger shared plans – If you are planning to start or migrate a website that attracts over 100,000 monthly visitors then SiteGround might not be the best web host for you as they lack bigger shared plans. You can only upgrade to their Cloud Hosting platform which is quite expensive both in the short and long run.
Fact is SiteGround offers very good customer service and strong security but it lacks a couple of features that top rivals offer. With their shared plans, it’s way clear SiteGround trying to position itself as a web hosting provider for small websites (businesses) which is a good marketing ploy. Their services, right from the limitations on server resources to support resources, are mainly focused on small businesses that have less time or don’t really bother so much about Website skills. If you hope to get a few numbers of hits to your site daily and you don’t care so much about unlimited resources (storage and bandwidth) i would definitely recommend you try out SiteGround. In case you intend to migrate to their server then you can take advantage of their free website migration services.
Pheeew! I thought i would keep this SiteGround Review article to a maximum of 800 words to keep it brief for my readers but seems i just had a lot to write. Truth is when you host on SiteGround, the benefits are endless BUT as your sites begin growing in traffic i recommend you try other options like WP Engine or BlueHost because the resources on SiteGround might limit you. Alternatively, if you can afford $80 plus a month for their Cloud Hosting services then you can as well upgrade to that. I have hosted on SiteGround for quite a good number of years and i haven’t had any problems with them. I mainly host my small Tour & Travel websites that drive less traffic on it and that’s how i have managed to sustain myself on their server.