This article was written by WebHostingAdvices.
If you have been searching for an honest review of SiteGround services, you are in the right place. Our line of work allows us to handle a lot of SiteGround websites for our clients. Based on this experience and our general knowledge of hosting, we offer you this detailed review of SiteGround.
In this article, you will learn about the origin of SiteGround, its history, and its user interface. We will also share with you the speed test results that we conducted to measure SiteGround's performance.
Additionally, we will talk about the quality of customer support offered by SiteGround, its pricing plans, and the pros & cons of using SiteGround to host your website. We will then address the most common questions about SiteGround in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section towards the end of this article.
So let us begin with a brief introduction.
SiteGround began its journey in 2004 in Sofia, Bulgaria. Starting with only the founder, Ivo Tzenov, and a few of his university friends, the company has now grown to employ 500+ employees all over the globe.
SiteGround offers hosting plans for WordPress, WooCommerce, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, and PrestaShop websites. It also provides hosting for resellers. The host is trusted by 2.8 million domain owners worldwide.
SiteGround User Interface
SiteGround has an excellent user interface that allows fast onboarding for newbies. The intuitiveness offered by the interface helps to build a website quickly even without any technical knowledge.
SiteGround also allows you to add users as collaborators to speed up your workflow. This feature is helpful for website developers, designers, and agencies with multiple resources working on the same project.
Speed Test Results
We conducted a few speed tests to measure the performance delivered by SiteGround. Before delving deeper into the test results, it is worthwhile to mention that very few shared hosting providers provide excellent stable performance, and SiteGround is among them.
1. Website speed
We performed speed tests using the online tool Pingdom and compared two WordPress websites hosted on the GrowBig plan offered by SiteGround.
Before Speed Optimization
We tested a website of a multinational company with the intermediate and most popular hosting plan from SiteGround — GrowBig.
Here is a screenshot of the test results:
The tested page contains a Revolution Slider that generally slows down the loading speed. But SiteGround stands strong despite this shortcoming, even with no initial optimization.
Now let us see how much improvement you can experience in the loading speed by using server cache or a speed optimization plugin.
After Speed Optimization
We chose a big, content-heavy website using the Divi page builder for testing this aspect. The tested page is 4.4 MB, as shown in the screenshot below.
As you can see from the test result image, SiteGround successfully loads the website quite fast despite its heaviness.
Our Verdict: Our SiteGround website speed test reveals that the host delivers good results both with and without initial optimization. You can choose to use a reliable speed optimization plugin to speed up your website loading time further.
2. SiteGround Server Response time
To test the SiteGround server performance, we again used the best-selling hosting plan from the host —GrowBig. Bitcatcha is used to measure the server response time.
Generally, the server response times delivered by many hosting providers reach the hundred mark and can go upwards in 3 digits. It is especially true in the case of the farthest data center locations.
But as seen above, SiteGround manages to deliver excellent server response times. Even for the faraway data center locations, the response time remains under 70ms.
Our Verdict: Our SiteGround server response test reveals that the host delivers exceptional performance and will offer good response time no matter where your website visitors are. You can choose any data center location with SiteGround since even the farthest one shows good response time.
3. SiteGround Uptime
Along with the website speed and the server response time, we also reviewed the uptime offered by the host. We utilized the tool UptimeRobot for testing the uptime delivered by SiteGround. Here are the test results:
As seen in the image above, SiteGround offers an excellent uptime of 100%. We have not experienced even a single downtime in the last two months.
Our Verdict: The hosting services offered by SiteGround are fully reliable. You can expect your website to remain online at all times, thereby preventing any business loss.
SiteGround Support and Customer Service
After using SiteGround hosting for such a long time on many websites, we can safely say that they value their customers. Where you might have to wait for hours to receive a response from the customer support team of other hosting providers, SiteGround does not like to keep you waiting and generally responds within minutes.
You can access their customer support 24/7 via phone, email, live chat, and online ticketing system. The host hires most of its customer service representatives directly instead of outsourcing this service like many of its competitors.
The technical support team is very knowledgeable since the host regularly trains the staff to provide you with the best experience.
Our Verdict: The SiteGround support staff are very friendly and know how to handle all kinds of queries, especially technical issues.
SiteGround offers both shared and cloud hosting plans. Let’s look at the suitability and pricing of these plans.
Shared Hosting Plan
There are three shared hosting plans with the following pricing:
This entry-level shared hosting plan is suitable for people planning to host only a single website. You can choose this plan for a small blog, local business, or a small website with limited resource needs.
|$19.99 per month
|$3.99 per month
|$9.99 per month
|$10.49 per month
This intermediate hosting plan from SiteGround is the most popular one since it serves the needs of most website owners. It is suitable for people requiring additional server resources and planning to host multiple websites from a single account.
|$29.99 per month
|$6.69 per month
|$14.99 per month
|$17.49 per month
GoGeek is the highest shared hosting plan from SiteGround. It is suitable for people with more server resource needs. Along with hosting multiple websites, receiving more space, and handling additional website traffic, you will receive priority support and staging plus git features.
|$44.99 per month
|$10.69 per month
|$24.99 per month
|$27.99 per month
From the above price lists, it is visible that the 12-month shared hosting plans from SiteGround are the most economical ones. So we would advise you to purchase a year-long hosting package depending on the features you need for your website.
SiteGround Cloud Hosting Plans
SiteGround offers four cloud hosting plans:
The entry-level cloud hosting plan is suitable for people with minimal resource needs.
|$100 per month
|$95 per month
|$90 per month
|$90 per month
This cloud hosting plan offers double the SSD space provided by the “Jump Start” plan. It is ideal when you require an optimal cloud experience.
|$200 per month
|$190 per month
|$180 per month
|$180 per month
This cloud hosting plan is suitable for people looking for advanced website performance.
|$300 per month
|$285 per month
|$270 per month
|$270 per month
The biggest cloud hosting plan offered by SiteGround is suitable when you require large server resources.
|$400 per month
|$380 per month
Pros & Cons of SiteGround
Now that you are aware of the performance and prices offered by SiteGround, let’s discuss the pros and cons of using the services provided by the host.
Pros of SiteGround
SiteGround hosting comes with the following benefits:
Free Daily Automatic Backups
SiteGround offers free backups with all its shared hosting plans. It automatically creates daily backups and maintains up to 30 copies of your data so that you can quickly restore your lost data in case of an emergency.
SiteGround takes security very seriously and maintains a custom Web Application Firewall (WAF) to protect your website from hack attacks and malicious code. The host also regularly adds new security rules to prevent your site from emerging application vulnerabilities.
Additionally, SiteGround protects your website through their site scanner addon, their WordPress security plugin, and a custom-developed AI anti-bot system to block all kinds of security threats. All in all, your website is fully secured from online attacks.
Free SSL Certificate
All shared hosting plans offered by SiteGround come with Standard SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) pre-installed on your website. It secures the data transmitted through your site. The host offers free Standard and Wildcard SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt.
Great Site Speed
SiteGround provides excellent page loading times and server response times, which is rare in shared hosting plans. The host can efficiently handle content-heavy websites and deliver superb results even from the farthest data center.
Free Website Migration
SiteGround offers free automatic migration for WordPress websites via the WordPress Migrator plugin. You only need to install this free plugin and generate a token to start the migration process from within your SiteGround account. The host offers unlimited free website migrations through this plugin.
If you do not like this DIY route, you can choose the professional migration service offered by SiteGround. It will cost you $30 per website and all the headaches of migration will be borne by the host's experts. You do not need to install any plugin for this service.
Suitable for Beginners and Advanced Users
SiteGround offers an extremely simple and user-friendly interface that is easy to understand for beginners. Despite its simplicity, it also offers all the features that are useful for advanced users. It will save you both time and effort when creating and managing your online portfolio.
Multiple Data Center Locations
SiteGround's data centers are spread across four continents. It is a perfect choice for website owners all over the world no matter which continent they belong to. The available data center locations are:
- IOWA, USA
- London, UK
- Eemshaven, Netherlands
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Singapore, Asia
- Sydney, Australia
From the above 6 data center locations, pick the one that is closest to your target audience.
It is worthwhile to mention here that SiteGround also uses Cloudflare CDN to further improve your website speed and performance so that you offer a better experience for your website visitors.
SiteGround offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to let you try its hosting services without any risks. If you do not like their services for any reason, you can exercise this right within 30 days of signing up with the host.
Please remember that SiteGround can only refund the price paid for its hosting services and not the amounts paid for any third-party services. So if you registered a new domain during the signup process, you will not receive a refund for that amount.
Cons of SiteGround
Now that you know the benefits, let’s have a look at the drawbacks attached to SiteGround hosting.
High Renewal Rates
Though the initial promotional prices offered by SiteGround are very competitive, the renewal hosting rates are higher. You will have to pay higher monthly prices once your initial term expires.
No Free Domain
Unlike many of its competitors, SiteGround does not offer a free domain with its long-term hosting plans. Currently, you will have to pay $17.99 per year for a .com domain when purchasing a domain with SiteGround hosting.
Limited Disk Space
While a few of its competitors offer unlimited storage, SiteGround provides limited disk space with its shared hosting plans. Even their biggest hosting plan comes with a cap of 40 GB.
SiteGround is a trustworthy hosting provider with an excellent user interface, good website speed, and exceptional server response times. It comes with competitive pricing and stable performance for your website.
The availability of multiple data center locations, 24/7 fast and responsive customer support, and high security make SiteGround a suitable choice for many website owners. We would also like to mention here that SiteGround is the official recommendation of WordPress and Envato (ThemeForest)
Here is a screenshot from the official WordPress website:
Here is another one from the Envato Market:
SiteGround FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
After this detailed and honest review of the SiteGround hosting, it’s time to answer some common questions:
Does SiteGround offer a free domain?
No. SiteGround was offering a free domain with its hosting earlier but not anymore. At present, you will have to pay $17.99 per year for getting a .com domain with your hosting plan. So, we would advise you to purchase a domain at a cheaper price from some other domain provider and point it to your SiteGround hosting.
How much is SiteGround a month?
When you are starting your online journey, you can choose the entry-level shared hosting plan from SiteGround at just $3.99 per month. Later, you can upgrade your resources with a larger hosting plan as your website grows.
Which is better: SiteGround or Bluehost?
SiteGround is better than Bluehost in terms of performance and customer service. You will receive a faster website and much better support from SiteGround. However, Bluehost offers a free domain with its hosting plans for the first year, which might be an advantage for a beginner on a tight budget.
Does SiteGround use cPanel?
No. SiteGround was using cPanel in the past but not anymore. The host replaced it with its custom panel with a powerful set of Site Management tools that are more intuitive and offer better functionality.
About the Author
WebHostingAdvices' mission is to provide readers with quality information to find a web host. They compare the best and most influential hosts in the world and offer a web hosting analysis and ranking to help readers find the web host that best fits their project and budget.