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Note: This post has been updated on April 6, 2021. I no longer use SiteGround web hosting and now recommend BigScoots ($).
I’ve been with SiteGround web hosting ($) since August 2016. It’s become my favorite web hosting company for a variety of reasons, and SiteGround. But I know you want to know why this company is the right one for you. Why should you trust them and how will they help you? These are the types of questions I want to answer in this SiteGround review.
In 2020, I did make a switch to BigScoots. SiteGround became too expensive for what it could offer, although I didn’t have any other issues. I have heard others have had issues with Customer Support and upgrades in recent months, but I can’t attest to that firsthand.
What is SiteGround?
Let’s start with this simple question first. I’d never heard of the company before the summer of 2016. I needed to switch from the web host provider that I was with due to speed and website uptime issues and put a message out to writers and website owners that I trusted. WordPress was suggested far more times than any other web host. If you are looking for option to get your website started, check these wordpress web hosting packages.
Based in Bulgaria, the company actually formed in 2004. They’re an independent web hosting company, serving people around the world. I’m in Canada, a business owner I know is in the UK, and I regularly read of people in the US and parts of Europe and South America choosing the company.
Being independent was important to me. While BlueHost and HostGator are well known, they’re owned by the same overhead company. That means the problems you face with one are likely to be problems with another. Plus, the overhead company has to actually care that there are problems. Independent companies are smaller. Customer satisfaction affects their bottom line, so they’re more likely to care.
Shared, Cloud, and Dedicated server options
Like many other website hosting companies, SiteGround offers ($) a range of options for their customers. The most common shared hosting is affordable and comes with three different packages. If you’re looking to host just the one website, then you can get it from $3.95 per month. I’m on the middle package since I need to host multiple websites.
For those who have a lot of traffic, there are Cloud and Dedicated server solutions. You’ll know if you need them—your website will have a lot of traffic and you should be making the money back to justify the extra costs of these types of server options.
There really is something for all business sizes, whether you are just starting or you’re a multinational corporation.
It’s all in the cPanel
The cPanel is a relatively standard control panel within web hosting servers. This is what I was used to with my last host and something that I know the likes of BlueHost and HostGator offer. BigScoots ($) also uses the cPanel.
Opting for the cPanel is beneficial for SiteGround. People will be used to it, so there’s no need to get used to new software just to organize and run a website. This means less time when it comes to the maintenance of your blog.
There is WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and more available through the cPanel when creating your site. The WordPress is the favorite and simple to use. To help you, there are blog posts and videos through SiteGround to set up whichever type of content management system you would prefer for your website.
You can buy your domain names through SiteGround (I did that with a recent one) to make it easier for migration. However, there is the option to buy a domain name elsewhere and then point it to your web host.
How you’ll benefit from SiteGround
Let’s start the SiteGround review with the positives. You want to know why you should choose this hosting company, right?
Well, the biggest benefit is the speed of your websites. As I mentioned, I had to switch because I was having problems with my website speeds. One site was taking 10+ seconds to load, which is bad for performance. I couldn’t even get into the backend of WordPress at times. As soon as I switched the site over, my site speed improved considerably. It’s no longer a cause for concern.
SiteGround makes numerous promises across its website. These promises have been tested and SiteGround does live up to them.
Part of the issues with shared hosting speeds is the amount of resources that others are taking up. SiteGround allocates a certain about of CPU. If you go over that, the company will let you know. You get an allowance for the day and for the week, making it clear that website uptime and speed are important to the company as well as to you.
I’ve been close to the maximums on the odd occasion but never over, so I can’t say what exactly happens when you do go over. From what I’ve heard, you get an initial warning and then you’ll be asked to upgrade your account.
All this works to make sure your website is always online. There are going to be times that websites go down. That’s why I never trust a web hosting company that promises 100% uptime. I will say that I’ve never had my website down—at least, not that I know of!
Another benefit that I love is the time saving element of SiteGround. This will benefit your business, as you get to use that time elsewhere.
The timesaving is gained from the beginning. When you switch host, you can instruct SiteGround to manage it all for you behind the scenes. There is a small price to pay, but it’s worth it for peace of mind. If you’re technically minded and know about migrating hosts, then you can probably do this yourself. While I could have researched it, I didn’t see the point in wasting time.
Another way you can save some time is through WordPress updates. There’s no need to go through each site one by one and update them all. SiteGround will do it all for you and will back up your websites at the same day. I still suggest making your own backup just in case, but the option is there.
Daily backups are also available through your cPanel. These are automatically done for you. Again, you should still do your own, but if your backup has failed, you can grab another.
And finally, there is the Customer Support that I just rave about all the time. While many companies are positive when you first sign up, they turn on you the minute you give them your money. They will ignore support tickets and just act as they please. They don’t really care if you disappear next year because they know there will be someone to take your place.
SiteGround doesn’t have that luxury. The Customer Support is available throughout the day and will answer tickets politely and helpfully. There is no stupid question, even if you feel like it might be.
I’ve personally had to use the Customer Support a couple of times. The answers have been quick fixes and I’ve had those answers within minutes of sending the support ticket off (I except at least 24 hours for answers, so was pleasantly surprised).
One business friend had a problem with her server, meaning her site was down for a couple of days. SiteGround worked with her constantly throughout that time to make sure the site was back up as soon as possible. The problem was a fault with them and her, but they helped her organize her side of the issue as well as making their own fixes.
There are multiple ways to get in touch with Customer Support, too. You can phone, send in a Live Chat request, or send an email. There’s always someone at the other end of the line ready to help.
So, what are the downsides?
The biggest one is cost. When you initially sign up, you will get some highly competitive pricing. And if you pay for the full year, you keep that pricing for the 12 months. BUT you will pay a lot afterward.
The plan that I’m on will go up from $7.95 per month to $14.95 per month. That’s almost double the cost that I’ve currently paid. It’s not affordable for everyone. Of course, I believe in the old saying “you get what you pay for.” When you sign up to SiteGround, you know you’re getting quality and you will need to pay for that eventually.
You’ll also need to get your Dedicated IP addresses and other usually added extras with other web hosts separately when you opt for SiteGround. There are limitations on what you can get, even with the most expensive plan. However, these limits do help to prevent too many people on the same shared server!
There are some limitations with the plans, which is a problem if you’re a website developer. However, most of us won’t have a problem. I’ve certainly not noticed an issue.
SiteGround review: Is it worth it?
SiteGround is one of the most trustworthy web hosting companies out there. Being independent is certainly a major benefit. This is a company that puts the customers first, even if it does mean limiting the plans and disk space available.
While cost may be an issue for some, you will get what you pay for. That means guaranteed almost 100% uptime, fast running speeds, and quality Customer Support. What else could you want for your website hosting.
MORE: How to confidently raise your rates in business
If you want to get a hosting plan after reading this SiteGround review, you can check out the plans here ($). I love the GrowBig plan, which one will you choose?