Editor’s Rating: 9.2 /10
Siteground is by far the best when it comes to offering support to their customers. If things get tricky, then you’ll get help fast!
Not only that, they have a great all round web host offering.
Are you looking for the best technology, features, fast servers and solid security for your website or blog?
If yes, then look no further than SiteGround. They have been in the hosting business for a decade now and can cater to most of your web hosting requirements and offer excellent customer service. SiteGround is quite popular for offering premium services.
We’ll take a look at the features offered by SiteGround in this review, as well as their hosting plans and the advantages and disadvantages of choosing them.
Features and Advantages Of Siteground
Let’s take a detailed look at the features offered by SiteGround.
Siteground has very impressive and consistent uptime levels.
10/10 for support and assistance.
WordPress hosting which has 100% compatibility with all WordPress features and plugins.
- Free Domain Name!! – There’s not many web hosting companies that give away free domain names with their shared hosting, so it’s really good that SiteGround do this as well as providing the user with high quality hosting to boot!
- Lightening Fast Installation – Install most of the popular apps available as well as CMSs in super quick time with one click installs with Softaculous.
- Extra / Hidden Fees – Siteground will charge you a fee of $14.95 if you decide to pay your hosting fee on a monthly basis. That’s why I always recommend that you pay for the full year up front to save yourself a bit of cash.
- Siteground Control Panel / Dashboard – Siteground uses cpanel which is extremely easy to use.
Performance – Speed and Uptime
SiteGround offers good speed and uptime with data centres located across five locations on three continents: Asia (Singapore), Europe (Amsterdam, London, Milan), and North America (Chicago). All plans including shared, give you the option to select the data centre that is closest to your target audience to give them faster access and load times to your website.
SiteGround offer a 99% uptime guarantee, averaged over a 12 month period. The SiteGround team continuously experiments with different configurations and keeps upgrading their hardware and server architecture for their dedicated servers. They ensure that their hosted accounts are instantly migrated to the latest hardware configurations after upgrades. This makes their server performance optimum at all times.
SiteGround offers an uptime guarantee of 99.9%, which means a very negligible down time. They are able to achieve this with the help of their custom server monitoring software.
This software monitors the status of every server in real-time and also minimises downtime by automatically resolving more than 90% of the server performance issues that come up, without human interaction.
Where and if they fail to meet that level of uptime they provide a credit to your account. The level of credit they add depends on the level of downtime experienced. The credits for excessive downtime are automatic and you don’t need to apply for them or prove your case, they monitor their own service level stringently and are very upfront with compensating for this. The credit rate is basically the cost of one months hosting for every 1% of downtime below their guaranteed level. So if you have 98% uptime, 1% below the 99% guarantee, you would be credited with the cost of a months hosting to your SiteGround wallet. Credits cannot exceed either your current contract term or 12 months, whichever of the two is shortest.
The SiteGround team continuously experiments with different configurations and keeps upgrading their hardware and server architecture for their dedicated servers. They ensure that their hosted accounts are instantly migrated to the latest hardware configurations after upgrades. This makes their server performance optimum at all times.
Siteground run NGINX rather than Apache on shared and cloud plans, and also offer this as one of the performance boosters for dedicated plans. They also provide their own ‘Supercacher’ caching mechanism built on NGINX reverse proxy, for applications like WordPress and Drupal. This can have a positive impact on optimizing website speed through memcached and Google page speed. For a further efficiency boost, SiteGround also deploy CDN, HTTP2, PHP7 and HHVM.
Many of the network monitoring and technical tools used at SiteGround have been developed in-house by its team, including a custom take on Linux containers, a bespoke backup system, custom server monitoring tools, and security features developed in-house.
Security and Backup
SiteGround’s data centres are protected by high-end security at all times. Some of the key security measures implemented at their data centres include 24×7 human security, access control, mantraps, biometrics, bulletproof lobbies, and constant video surveillance.
With SiteGround, you get a distinct mechanism that isolates various shared server accounts from one another, which prevents the possibility of a vulnerable server account affecting the entire server.
Thus, if any other site hosted on the same, shared server as yours is compromised, you need not worry, as your site will remain completely safe. The unique isolation mechanism ensures that a shared server is as secure as a dedicated server is.
In case of any hacking attempts or related vulnerability in pre-installed server software (which are always kept updated) such as PHP, Exim, security gaps are instantly identified (due to continuous monitoring) and software patches are installed to fix the issues.
Some key security measures available include HackAlert Monitoring (as an add-on for $1 per month that notifies you if your site is under attack), hotlink protection, IP address block lists, and anti-spam tools, SpamExperts and SpamAssassin.
It also provides a unique feature called ‘Leech Protect’, that lets administrators prevent users from publicly posting their secret passwords to different portions of the site.
In terms of backups, SiteGround store up to 30 backups of your website at any one time, and you can create your own manually too. Each of these are user accessible from the cPanel, so you can restore your site from a selection of backups at any time yourself. This is quite unique as most hosts don’t allow you to manually access their backups.
One of the most critical factors that should influence your decision to opt for a hosting provider is the kind of customer service they offer. As a webmaster or blogger, 24/7, excellent customer support is necessary because you never know when you might encounter some issue that needs immediate resolution.
This is exactly where SiteGround scores heavily with a support team of highly talented technical professionals. You not only get a quick response, but they can easily handle any kind of issues with your hosting account or website.
Siteground use load balancers for their support requests, so enquiries are spread efficiently over available operators and not given a chance to bottleneck. They provide support on all issues from hosting to applications and modules, above the norm for a hosting provider. For instance, with the optimized hosting plan for Magento Community Edition, specialized Magento support is offered as part of that hosting package. Support for scripts and applications is normally redirected from a host to the third party that own the app which can result in a lot of back and forth, so this is a real added bonus. There are even free Magento tutorials in the Siteground knowledge base.
Their support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year via the ticket system, live chat or telephone support. They lend a personalised touch through the support personnel (via live chat or helpdesk) you discuss the issue with. You can view the support person’s profile, technical background, areas of expertise and interests along with years of experience.
The comprehensive self-help tutorials and knowledge base, along with SiteGround webinars provide you access to a vast pool of information and troubleshooting guides.
You get the industry standard cPanel, which gives you access to the Softaculous auto-installer, along with their custom installs for WordPress, Joomla and Magento. The cPanel is easily accessible from the general billing client area of your hosting account.
You get access to SiteGround’s SuperCacher (a web caching service) that has been specifically built on NGINX reverse proxy and developed based on Varnish and Memcached. It makes retrieving web pages faster (by storing the page on the visitor’s browser cache when requested for the first time). Thus, it reduces the load on your server significantly.
You also get WordPress and Joomla Toolkits that enables you to easily modify your domain, reset admin passwords, fix any broken permissions, secure the admin page, configure SSL and move/delete your installation.
The multitude of script languages that Siteground support include Perl, Ruby On Rails, Python (when run inside the cgi-bin folder) PHP7 including the HHVM PHP execution engine, as well as other versions of PHP.
You can even use special developer features (GoGeek only) such as WP-CLI, Site Staging, and Drush and Git integration. Overall, the SiteGround control panel and hosting account offer a pool of features that make your work a lot easier.
Various Plans and Pricing
All plans offered by SiteGround include 99.9% uptime, free domain name, and cPanel. They provide SSD storage on all shared and cloud hosting plans for ultimate speed and managed WordPress hosting on all accounts. The different hosting categories and plans are discussed below:
All shared hosting plans offer a free domain, free site transfer, free CloudFlare CDN, and unlimited MySQL DB. The SiteGround shared hosting plans are listed under:
StartUp Web Hosting Package
– at $3.95 per month with free setup (subscription for 1-year, 2-years or 3-years) or 1-month trial for $3.95 per month with $14.95 setup fee, with 1 website, 10GB web space, 1 copy of free daily backup, and 10,000 visits per month
GrowBig Web Hosting Package
at $7.95 per month with free setup (subscription for 1-year, 2-years or 3-years) or 1-month trial for $7.95 per month with $24.95 setup fee, with multiple websites, 20GB web space, 30 copies of free daily backup, 1 year free SSL certificate, priority technical support, SuperCacher for optimised speed, and 25,000 visits per month
GoGeek Web Hosting Package
At $11.95 per month with free setup (subscription for 1-year, 2-years or 3-years) or 1-month trial for $14.95 per month with $24.95 setup fee, with multiple websites, 30GB web space, 30 copies of free daily backup, 1 year free SSL certificate, priority technical support, SuperCacher for optimised speed, free PCI compliance, less accounts on server, and 100,000 visits per month
SiteGround also offers dedicated WordPress hosting, with the same plans as mentioned above but with special features for the popular CMS.
SiteGround provides auto scalable and ultra-fast cloud hosting plans based. They are suitable for any small development project or a high-scale enterprise website.
All plans include 24/7 VIP support, free CDN, fully managed servers and seven off-site backups of your account for seven consecutive days. You get all the required software pre-installed on your server along with a free private SSL, SSH access, free domain name, one dedicated IP, IP tables firewall, MySQL 5 and PostgreSQL, seven PHP versions and HHVM, Apache and CentOS, Exim mail server, WHM and cPanel, and the Softaculous auto installer.
Their cloud hosting plans are listed below:
Entry – at $54 per month (for 6-months subscription) or $57 per month (for 3-months subscription) or $60 per month (for 1-month subscription), with 1 x 3.0GHz CPU, 2GB DDR3 RAM, 20GB disk space and 5TB bandwidth
Business – at $72 per month (for 6-months subscription) or $76 per month (for 3-months subscription) or $80 per month (for 1-month subscription), with 2 x 3.0GHz CPU, 2GB DDR3 RAM, 40GB disk space and 5TB bandwidth
Business Plus – at $90 per month (for 6-months subscription) or $95 per month (for 3-months subscription) or $100 per month (for 1-month subscription), with 2 x 3.0GHz CPU, 3GB DDR3 RAM, 60GB disk space and 5TB bandwidth
Enterprise – at $126 per month (for 6-months subscription) or $133 per month (for 3-months subscription) or $140 per month (for 1-month subscription), with 4 x 3.0GHz CPU, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 80GB disk space and 5TB bandwidth
SiteGround offers some very good dedicated server hosting plans as well. With these managed premium plans, you get innovative software that boosts your server performance.
Aside from 24/7 VIP customer support, you also get a choice to select any of the three data centre locations for your dedicated server. You also get the same software pre-installed on your dedicated server (as with cloud hosting servers) with the only differences being that you get 5 dedicated IPs instead of just one along with a private DNS server setup.
The three SiteGround dedicated server hosting plans are listed under:
Entry Server – at $229 per month (1-month subscription), $223 per month (3-months subscription) and $217.50 per month (6-months subscription) with $99 setup fee, Intel Xeon E3-1230 CPU, 3.20GHz CPU clock speed, 4 CPU cores, 8 CPU threads, 8MB CPU cache, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 500GB SATA II HDD and 5TB bandwidth
Power Server – at $329 per month (1-month subscription), $320.67 per month (3-months subscription) and $312.50 per month (6-months subscription) with $99 setup fee, Intel Xeon E3-1270 CPU, 3.50GHz CPU clock speed, 4 CPU cores, 8 CPU threads, 8MB CPU cache, 12GB DDR3 RAM, 1TB SATA II HDD and 5TB bandwidth
Enterprise Server – at $429 per month (1-month subscription), $418.33 per month (3-months subscription) and $407.50 per month (6-months subscription) with $99 setup fee, 2 x Intel Xeon E5-2620 CPU, 2.00GHz CPU clock speed, 2 x 6 CPU cores, 2 x 12 CPU threads, 15MB CPU cache, 16GB DDR3 RAM, 4 x 500GB SATA III/RAID 10 HDD and 5TB bandwidth.
You can kick-start your own white-labelled hosting company with the reseller hosting program offered by SiteGround. The fees are as low as $42 per year (if you order 11 credits, where one credit equals one year hosting).
To be a part of this reseller program, you can buy five credits at $45 per credit initially and get all the benefits of a reseller hosting account. You are entitled to a non-branded cPanel along with a Private DNS upgrade to enable better server name branding.
Custom-Made Enterprise Hosting
The custom made hosting packages are plans that are tailored specifically to a clients needs. They are not ready made ‘off the shelf’ plans and as such pricing will differ on a case by case basis. Siteground take the time to discuss and identify the clients needs then craft the infrastructure based on those needs. This could involve cloud public or private configurations, whatever the client needs. You could have versions of your site available simultaneously in different physical locations if your audience is global so to make sure load time and latency are as low as possible. A customer in Europe would connect to the site hosted on a European Server and a U.S. customer visit the site based on the U.S. server.
These custom hosting solutions are scalable and based on Linux containers. Being an enterprise solution, they need to be scalable and able to handle peaks and spikes in traffic, as this type of solution is certainly not for a small business or website. The hosting infrastructure is fully managed allowing you to focus on your business while Siteground focus on the hosting in the background.
A customized enterprise solution does not come cheap. Unlike the ‘off the shelf’ ready to go hosting plans, these solutions are tailor made and for that level of service there is of course an added value and therefore a higher price. This type of solution should be researched amongst competitors as part of a normal ‘request for quote/proposal’ process to make sure you get the best solution for you, that meets or exceeds exactly what you need, with room to grow.
- This host is an integral part of the WordPress and Joomla community as it regularly attends and sponsors events every year, and even talks at such events
- SiteGround offers a unique pool of advanced features such as SuperCacher (to reduce server load and quick web page access), server account isolation technology (to ensure none of the other sites hosted on a shared server are impacted if one of the sites is facing security issues), and toolkits for WordPress and Joomla
- You get ‘Google Page Speed Apache module’ for a 2-click, automatic application of site speed best practices as per Google suggestions
- Like most hosts, SiteGround offers a money-back period of 30 days
- The fact that this host manages to monitor its server so well with great security measures, creates a sense of security and high reliability among its users
- It does not offer a monthly subscription for shared hosting plans. There are month-to-month plans available on some of their packages, but these usually come with an additional setup fee.
- There is no provision for unlimited storage or bandwidth with SiteGround hosting plans, which you can get with some other hosts.
- The prices of various hosting plans offered are higher compared to other popular hosting service providers (who do not offer the same amount of features, which may not always be required)
The Final Verdict
The amount of features on offer by SiteGround may make you think that they are great value for money. However, a closer look shows that this hosting provider is great for individual webmasters and small businesses whose sites are more prone to security attacks, as opposed to medium to large businesses.
SiteGround holds your hand and makes hosting and server maintenance a seamless activity to help you out though. If you don’t care about unlimited bandwidth or data storage capacity, then, SiteGround is definitely worth a try! They might not give you unlimited storage, but they do give you SSD storage, on every package, including shared hosting packages.
Have you used SiteGround’s hosting services? What were their best features and major disadvantages as per your experience? Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!
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