SiteGround is a highly-configurable managed host that puts lots of dedication into service and support.
Why Choose SiteGround?
SiteGround prides itself on being both scalable and manageable. Unlike some hosts that only concentrate on one fixed type of hosting (such as WordPress-only hosts), SiteGround provides a well-rounded variety of services, utilizing servers all over the world.
All Types of Support for All Plans
Some hosts make you pay for “support packages” or limit you to a certain type of support if you purchase a lower-level plan. With SiteGround, all customers have access to all types of support!
Everything is Managed!
Whether you’re purchasing Shared Hosting, WordPress Hosting, Cloud Hosting, or a Dedicated Server, everything is managed for you! No more guesswork and Googling how to keep your site safe!
Diverse Range of Data Center Locations
Whether your business is in Hong Kong, Canada, the US, the UK, or virtually anywhere, you can rest assured that you can choose a data center close to your customers!
CloudFlare for All!
CloudFlare, a Content Delivery Network (CDN), is included with all plans! That means that your visitors will be able to see “cached pages” from servers all around the world if they’re far away from your data center!
Unmetered Bandwidth on All Shared Hosting
You will get unlimited data transfer to and from your site(s) with any Shared Hosting plan. Note that higher-level plans, such as “Cloud” plans, usually carry a limit, but it’s much higher than almost any site would use.
SSL is crucial for maintaining a secure and trusted website and brand. Some hosts require you to go through the (very) complex process of making the SSL certificate and applying it to your site(s). No such worries with SiteGround! Everyone gets a free SSL certificate.
Solid State Drives (SSD) are a modern phenomenon that allow data to be stored, accessed, transferred, and manipulated faster than any other storage technology. All of your web storage using SiteGround is SSD-based, helping you achieve those blazing speeds you need!
Lots of Custom Tools
Although SiteGround does offer standard cPanel to all users, they’ve made a lot of custom tools to help your site load faster and for you to retain visitors, such as their “SuperCacher” tool, designed to increase page load speed, regardless of what you’re hosting!
Solid Money-Back Guarantee
Unlike some hosts, SiteGround offers a no questions asked money-back guarantee of 30 days for shared hosting and WordPress hosting, and 14 days for dedicated and enterprise servers!
From their documentation to their easy git integration (with selected plans), SiteGround is very developer-friendly! And if you aren’t a developer, they have easy-to-use tools, so anyone of any skill level can succeed with their web endeavors!
Domain Not Included
While SiteGround has plenty to offer, it does not offer domains for free with their packages, unlike some other hosts. However, you are free to purchase one.
Just as you’re checking out, SiteGround offers you several “add-ons” with aggressive marketing. Just be careful as you check out, and you should be fine!
If the plan prices look cheap, that’s because SiteGround uses “introductory pricing.” Your renewal cost will be much higher than what you pay for your first year of hosting. This is a fairly common practice.
What is SiteGround?
Botton Line: SiteGround is a “white-label” hosting service that offers a wide range of services, from small Shared Hosting to giant enterprise plans! It also offers a wide variety of server locations located around the world!
According to SiteGround, it has a 97% customer satisfaction rate. I truly hope that you are not one of the 3 out of 100 people who dislikes the service! However, the probability that you’ll like the service is extremely high!
If you would like to see real customer reviews of their services. They offer plenty of statistics to support their claims, and lots of satisfied customers have left reviews in their “Comments” section. Of course, there are a few disgruntled customers, like there would be with any host, but the vast majority of their reviews are positive!
A Major Player in the Industry
SiteGround is home to over one million domains! They will not disclose exactly how many user accounts they have, but it’s safe to say that they’re pretty invested in their services! This is definitely not just a “fly-by-night” host or reseller. SiteGround is the real deal!
Become Another Satisfied Customer!
Serving Up Whatever You Want!
SiteGround is not just a Shared Hosting provider like some hosts. While they have experts in-house on technologies like WordPress, they offer much more! You can get a full server just to yourself if you need it. You can also get a virtual server if you don’t want to spend that much money! Almost every higher-level plan is customizable, so you can truly get whatever resources you need for your business to succeed!
In short, here are the types of plans you can grab:
Share a server and save money!
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
Still share a server, but have dedicated resources and command line access!
Managed hosting that will take care of everything besides the content of your WordPress site!
For those with WooCommerce sites, Shared Hosting with management catering to WooCommerce!
If you want to rent a physical machine and ensure that you get the resources you need all the time, every time, look no further!
A unique offering, SiteGround will let you have your own, customized plan to allow you and your company to meet whatever needs you may have!
Ease of Use
SiteGround goes out of its way to make its features and help easy to access and use. Unlike some hosts who rely on the user to have technical knowledge, SiteGround makes no such assumption!
Easy to Navigate
SiteGround’ website is exceptionally easy to navigate. We were able to check out their plans and offerings very quickly.
Signup Process? What Process?
SiteGround knows time is always of the essence, so they made their signup process reflect that. You’ll simply go to the page of the type of hosting you’d like (i.e. “Shared Hosting”), browse plans, then hit an orange “Select Plan” button.
It’s then two additional steps: pick a domain or migrate your existing domain, and then enter your personal information. Depending on what plan you took, your site and panel may be ready instantly, or they may take a bit. Either way, it’ll usually be ready within about ten minutes.
Botton Line: SiteGround offers a “tiered system” of features with their Shared, WordPress, and WooCommerce hosting. They also offer a different set of features for their VPS and dedicated/enterprise hosting options. We’ll look at all of the features they currently offer!
Shared Hosting “StartUp” and Above Features
Easy Site Builder
No coding experience? No problem! SiteGround’s easy, custom Site Builder will let you drag and drop elements and mix in code if necessary!
SSL certificates are crucial for site security. They help build trust in your brand and ensure that your visitors’ data is not intercepted as they visit your site.
Free Unlimited Email
You can have unlimited email accounts at your own domain. Note that any attachments you receive will count towards your storage limit, so be careful with this one!
CloudFlare CDN Access
You will get access to CloudFlare’s world-wide Content Delivery Network (CDN) for free. All your content gets “mirrored,” or hosted on servers across the world, making it very easy for visitors to access it, regardless of where they are. This will also help prevent certain attacks from taking your site down!
All your sites’ content is backed up automatically every day! If something goes wrong, you can simply restore it and continue! No more nerve-wracking worries about ruining your sites!
30 Days Money Back
If you aren’t satisfied for any reason at all, you can simply email their support team or put in a ticket and say that. You will get a refund in full, regardless of whether you’re paying for hosting monthly or yearly! This is a great sign that they are confident in their services!
Note: This guarantee goes down to 14 days if you have selected a Cloud Plan or dedicated server or enterprise hosting!
“Bandwidth” is the amount of traffic that can pass in and out of your site. With all Shared Hosting plans, you won’t need to worry about it, since there’s no limit!
MySQL is a popular Database Management System (DBMS) used by lots of systems, such as WordPress. You’ll get unlimited databases and tables, allowing you to store as much as you need! This does not count against your SSD storage limit!
Secure Shell, or “SSH,” is a secured command line protocol that allows you to easily perform site operations through the terminal. For example, you can easily manage your MySQL databases and add/remove files!
Shared Hosting “GrowBig” and Above Features
If you go with a Shared or WordPress or WooCommerce Plan with “GrowBig” in the name, here are the features you can expect to get.
Free Site Transfer
SiteGround’s engineers will transfer your site and domain from your existing hosting provider for you, free of charge. This will save a lot of time and stress for you!
This is a proprietary technology developed by SiteGround that allows you to choose how to “cache,” or store, your site’s contents to make them most accessible to visitors. Lots of information on this is in the “Performance” section!
WordPress Staging Environment
Only applicable to WordPress plans of this level, you’re giving a “staging environment,” or a live server that lets you test changes before you apply them! This takes the guesswork out of WordPress development and deployment!
Shared Hosting “GoGeek” Features
Here are the features exclusive to customers of SiteGround’s highest tier of Shared Hosting.
Advanced Priority Support
Although SiteGround “over-staffs” (hires more staff than necessary) its support to lower chances that you’ll need to wait, those who have the “GoGeek” Plan will always get the highest priority, meaning that you will likely never have to wait to get support! Resolve issues quickly with ease!
Shared Hosting does not come with a CPU or RAM guarantee. However, this plan comes with a guarantee that if there is competition for resources on the server, you will win out! That means that your site will more than likely not slow down at peak times!
Note that it is still technically possible for it to slow down, depending on the number of customers who have purchased this plan and the number of servers that have been allocated for it.
Easy Git Integration
Git is a “distributed version control” program. If you aren’t a developer, this feature is not likely to do much for you. However, they offer a “one-click git integration,” making it very easy for you to keep track of changes made to the site and have multiple developers work on it!
Highest Level of Management
Prefer to not do everything by yourself? You won’t need to! With SiteGround’s “white-label management,” pretty much anything (other than creating your core site) can be taken care of by their staff!
Managed WordPress Features
You will get all the features listed above with the corresponding (and equally priced) Shared Hosting name for each WordPress plan. However, you get more features, too! Each feature is labeled with the plan level required, if not the “StartUp” plan!
Free Installation and Migration
WordPress will be installed for you by SiteGround. If you already have a WordPress site hosted elsewhere, migration is included free of charge!
Automatic WordPress Version Updates
WordPress regularly releases version updates to patch security issues or add new features. With SiteGround, all WordPress sites will be upgraded as soon as the new version comes out, removing lots of potential security issues!
WordPress-optimized “SuperCacher” Access [“GrowBig” and Above]
As we mentioned earlier in this section, SiteGround offers its proprietary “SuperCacher” technologies. You’ll get a WordPress-optimized version to enhance your sites’ speeds!
On-Demand Full Backups [“GrowBig” and Above]
Create backups of all your sites with a single click! While you’ll get daily backups included free of charge, this is great if you’re about to make a change and want to make sure you have a clean copy of all your content!
WordPress Collaborators [“GrowBig” and Above]
You can add WordPress developers and authors to your site(s)! That makes it easy to make WordPress sites and generate content quickly with multiple staff members!
Cloud/Dedicated/Enterprise Hosting Features
Here are the features you can expect, in addition to the resources that come with the plan you choose!
Full IT Management
No need to manage your own server! Let SiteGround pros handle updates free of charge! Every level of the server is fully managed, although you are also allowed to do your own management if you’d like.
Always Guaranteed Resources
Unlike Shared Hosting, there are resources dedicated just to you! Even if you aren’t currently using them, nobody else will be allowed to use them!
Instant Resource Scaling
If your site goes viral, you can instantly scale resources up to handle additional demand! Great for online shops that have “rush hours” to not lose business!
Free Additional Panel Accounts
You can make new logins for colleagues free of charge. That means that everyone involved in your business can have their own accounts! No more cumbersome sharing of single accounts to manage your site(s)!
SiteGround offers several add-ons that are marketed at checkout. Here’s a look at what you’ll be offered along with pricing!
If you choose to register your domain using SiteGround, you’ll be offered “domain privacy” at checkout. This means that your name and address are hidden so that if someone performs a “whois” query, or essentially looks up who owns your domain, they won’t get your phone number and address. You’ll be out $12.00 for the first year and $24.00 per year for the following years.
This feature is another custom tool by SiteGround that will monitor your website(s) for malicious activity. It will identify security breaches early, usually before too much damage can be done. It would be nice if this were included, as many hosts do include this. If you elect to purchase this feature, you will pay a flat $19.80 per year. The cost is fixed, and there is no discount for the first year.
Botton Line: SiteGround has both excellent speeds and excellent uptime, allowing users of all levels to be confident that their site will remain accessible, and customers won’t be lost due to low speeds or latency (i.e., “lag time”).
SiteGround has two different “uptime guarantees,” which made it a bit confusing to figure out. Displayed on this page, they claim to have a 99.99% uptime, which is excellent. However, when I dug a bit more deeply, I found the actual uptime guarantee, which still isn’t bad, but it is not 99.99%!
A careful read of their Service Level Agreement (SLA), the actual guarantee for uptime is 99.90%! That’s still excellent, especially for a host that has so many offerings. Also included is one of the best guarantee backings if you do not get at least 99.9% uptime out of all the hosts we’ve reviewed: if you get between 99.00 and less than 99.9% uptime, you’ll get a free month of whatever plan you’re on. For every single percent less than that of uptime in a month, you will get another free month of additional hosting!
As you can see, SiteGround takes a lot of pride in its uptime! They even have an uptime checker for your site! That’s the first time I’ve seen such a tool from a host. Another important note is that this guarantee does not only apply to higher-tier plans. If you have a SiteGround account in good standing, you qualify!
We found that, on average, SiteGround has a response time of 700ms and a solid backbone, which is plenty fast for search engine rankings and keeping customers!
Pretty Slick Response Time!
When we look at the “speed” of a host, we have to consider two factors: the response time (how long it takes to show up to the user) and the server speed (the amount of data that the server can transmit per second). We’ve already established SiteGround has an excellent response time, but let’s dive into their speeds.
...And Blazing Load Times!
Speeds are influenced by three things: the client’s (site user) connection speed, which is not under SiteGround’s control, the server’s raw connection speed (although on Shared Hosting, this may vary depending on demand, since all resources are Shared), and optimizations performed by the host.
Where are the Data Centers?
SiteGround has a variety of data centers, using servers on 10 Gbps ports around the world. Their data centers are in the following locations:
- Chicago, IL (United States)
- Iowa (United States)
- London (United Kingdom)
- Amsterdam (Netherlands)
- Eemshaven (Netherlands)
In addition to their raw data center connection speeds, they also partner with CloudFlare, a Content Delivery Network (CDN). That means that it has hundreds of servers all over the world that “cache,” or temporarily store, all the data on your sites. That means that even if you pick a data center in the United States, a visitor from China will still be able to view it!
In order to help further speed up the connection, some higher quality hosts engineer methods to make page loading times even faster, regardless of connection speed! Fortunately, SiteGround is one of these hosts!
They use Solid State Drives (SSD), which ensures that all data stored can be accessed and processed as quickly as possible. It is much faster than older storage mechanisms. They also take advantage of the latest PHP releases. This will be especially helpful for WordPress customers, as WordPress is based on PHP.
SiteGround also pre-caches commonly accessed pages on your site so that visitors can hit them as fast as possible.
The “SuperCacher” (only available on plans above “StartUp”) is a proprietary technology developed by SiteGround, intended to let users make their sites load as quickly as possible. Depending on your site’s content, you can choose one of these three “SuperCacher” settings:
This option places all of your content in the RAM of the server. That is the fastest possible way to serve content if most of your content is “static” (i.e., not a web application).
This is the best option for users who are hosting web applications. It’s also the best option for WordPress users. The technology behind it is complex, but it essentially caches the output of PHP processes (the HTML) and drops it in the server’s RAM, increasing dynamic delivery speeds.
This is best for sites with tons of content and data. It is intended to put database content into the server’s RAM. Large sites like YouTube and Facebook use this!
With all of these speed optimizations combined with a CDN and a great server backbone, there should be very little to worry about when it comes to performance, regardless of the type of site you’re hosting!
Botton Line: SiteGround does their part when it comes to server-side security. They also provide software and site-specific assistance with their managed hosting plans. However, users on unmanaged plans must do their own work to prevent security issues!
PHP Vulnerabilities? Nope!
One of the biggest security downfalls are sites using older versions of PHP that have known vulnerabilities that get exploited. With SiteGround, you won’t need to worry about that! The moment that new PHP patches come out, SiteGround applies them.
Some hosts do allow “legacy” PHP versions. While this may appear to offer more flexibility, it actually is a huge liability for other customers, as this is how many Shared Hosting servers get infected! SiteGround is protecting you by not allowing these older versions!
SiteGround’s servers run on “Apache,” which is free software designed to host sites and take up minimal resources. Their page just says, “runs on Apache servers under suExec.” For most users, this jargon would not be familiar.
So, to break it down, they are using a secure and open-source server. The server typically runs sites as the “root,” or main/administrator account that has access to everything. However, “suExec” allows them to run it under a less privileged user on their Apache server. That means that even if someone somehow gains access to their Shared and Managed servers, they would not be able to steal information!
In short: this gives you a lot of peace of mind!
Server IPS and IDS
SiteGround uses an IPS and an IDS. What are these? They are acronyms, standing for “Intrusion Detection System” and “Intrusion Prevention System.” These are pretty much server versions of antivirus software you probably have on your home computer.
The only difference between the two is that the IDS only detects threats and alerts administrators to them but does not act on them. The IPS takes information from the IDS and then acts accordingly, blocking attacks and hacking attempts.
SiteGround uses a special program called “ModSecurity” on its Shared Hosting servers. This is an open source application that acts as a Web Application Firewall (WAF). That inserts additional security, protecting sites from a lot of common attacks, even if the code behind them is vulnerable, including SQL injection, XSS attacks, and more.
SiteGround’s security documentation might be difficult to understand for those not in the cybersecurity field. Hopefully our explanations helped you learn exactly how your sites are protected! They have further information available in their Knowledge Base for those who are curious.
It’s important to note that they will more intensively monitor the security of managed WordPress sites than they will for sites on their standard Shared Hosting. If security is a major concern (i.e. if you are using eCommerce), it would definitely be a better idea to go with the slightly more expensive managed hosting to avoid attacks.
SSL certificates are key to site security. They both protect your brand and the data being transmitted and received by your site. An SSL certificate can be the difference between a perfectly secure site and theft of key data!
Thankfully, SiteGround provides all customers with a free SSL certificate! This is a huge benefit! SiteGround does not actually install the SSL certificate for you. However, they do offer a free tool via cPanel that allows you to take advantage of this free perk (and you definitely should).
Like we mentioned, SiteGround has articles about security in their Knowledge Base. However, we wanted to make a special note about them. While some of the articles get convoluted, they offer a lot of SiteGround-specific tutorials on important aspects of keeping your site safe. If you’re a “DIY” person, you should take advantage of these free resources!
SiteGround's Pricing and Plans
Botton Line: SiteGround offers a diverse range of plans and prices. Unlike some hosts who only offer higher-end managed plans, SiteGround offers complete user choice in their wide range of plans. Let’s take a look at the types and prices of their plans!
Blogs, Small eCommerce Sites, Hobby Sites
If you fall into any of these categories, we strongly recommend you check out SiteGround’s Shared Hosting plans. Depending on your needs, pick one of the three pre-made plans below! Note: Hosting a WordPress site? Look at the next section!
“StartUp” Plan (currently $6.99/mo, renews at $14.99/mo)
Best plan for those just starting out with just one site! You can expect to be allowed to host one website, 10 GB SSD storage, which amounts to approximately 10,000 site visits per month.
“GrowBig” Plan (currently $9.99/mo, renews at $24.99/mo)
If you have a growing number of visitors, this one is for you! You’ll grab unlimited websites (but not unlimited domains), and 20 GB SSD storage, which will net about 25,000 site visits per month.
“GoGeek” Plan (currently $14.99/mo, renews at $39.99/mo)
The best of Shared Hosting offered by SiteGround, best for those who don’t need the resources of a VPS but need a sizeable amount of them! Again, you’ll have the opportunity to host unlimited websites (but not unlimited domains) and 30 GB SSD storage, which will give you about 100,000 site visits per month.
WordPress Sites (All Sizes)
SiteGround offers an impressive range of plans for WordPress sites only. This group of plans includes lots of freebies geared towards those hosting WordPress sites of any size (look in the “Features” section for more). Here are the “full-service WordPress” plans:
“StartUp WordPress” Plan (currently $6.99/mo, renews at $14.99/mo)
Great for those just beginning with WordPress! You can expect to be allowed to host one website, 10 GB SSD storage, which amounts to approximately 10,000 site visits per month.
“GrowBig WordPress” Plan (currently $9.99/mo, renews at $24.99/mo)
If your WordPress site is more established but not high-traffic, this plan is excellent! You’ll grab unlimited websites (but not unlimited domains), and 20 GB SSD storage, which will net about 25,000 site visits per month.
“GoGeek WordPress” Plan (currently $14.99/mo, renews at $39.99/mo)
If you have a big WordPress site or a big eCommerce store, here’s your plan! Again, you’ll have the opportunity to host unlimited websites (but not unlimited domains) and 30 GB SSD storage, which will give you about 100,000 site visits per month.
Larger eCommerce Sites, Forums, High-Traffic/High-Resources Sites
If you need terminal access (command-line access) to a Virtual Private Server (VPS) so you can run Linux commands to support your hosting endeavors and need way more resources than SiteGround’s Shared Hosting plans offer, you’ll need to bump up to their “Cloud Hosting” plans!
“Entry” Plan (currently $80.00/mo, renews at same price)
For those who need entry-level VPS resources. Expect 2 CPU Cores, 4 GB RAM, 40 GB SSD storage, and 5 TB traffic in and out of your site(s).
“Business” Plan (currently $120.00/mo, renews at same price)
For those who would like a slight resource upgrade but not go all out just yet. Get 3 CPU Cores, 6 GB RAM, 60 GB SSD storage, and 5 TB traffic in and out of your site(s).
“Business Power” Plan (currently $160.00/mo, renews at same price)
Excellent plan for those who need reliable hosting, but not top-tier hosting. Expect to get 4 CPU Cores, 8 GB RAM, 80 GB SSD storage, and 5 TB traffic in and out of your site(s).
“Super Power” Plan (currently $240.00/mo, renews at same price)
The flagship VPS of SiteGround, this plan is for those who need lots of resources but don’t need a dedicated server. With this plan, you’ll get 8 CPU Cores, 10 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD storage, and 5 TB traffic in and out of your site(s).
Giant Sites & Domains
Need more than any of these plans have to offer or just need a domain? Check out their dedicated server and enterprise hosting offerings!
Domains require a hosting plan with SiteGround.
SiteGround's Customer Support
Botton Line: SiteGround has an extensive variety of Customer Support options. Unlike some competitors, all of these support options are available to all customers. However, their support technicians are not experts in specific technologies (i.e., WordPress).
SiteGround advertises that they “overstaff” all of their support shifts so that there is very little chance you’ll need to wait for support! They also have some very unique options.
24/7 Live Chat
You can expect to get technical support around the clock for any technical issues your site(s) may be having! This chat is accessible from your user control panel.
You can file a “ticket,” which is essentially an internal email. This is great for those advanced issues that are hard to explain over chat. They offer a guaranteed response time of ten minutes! That’s an excellent guarantee; most hosts offer a turnaround within a day or two!
Instant Phone Support
If your site issue is difficult to explain over text or ticket, they offer phone support that they say has a very small waiting period, if any. This is available for technical and pre-sales support!
SiteGround has a Knowledge Base of average size, if you’d like to try a fix yourself. However, it doesn’t stop there! They have a cool webinar series, or video tutorial series on how to troubleshoot sites to help you become the best webmaster you can be!
New Customer Support
If you’re a new customer, they have created a custom wizard designed to help you get acquainted with all the resources you now have access to! No more guessing how to do things!
This is easily the best array of support options I’ve seen out of any host I’ve reviewed (and I’ve reviewed a lot!). Most hosts will offer some baseline type of support, like chat or ticket support. However, SiteGround seems to place an unusual emphasis on support, making this an excellent option if you think you might need help during any portion of your hosting experience!
SiteGround is a very promising host for eCommerce sites, blogs, forums, and pretty much anything else!
They seem to have covered all of the bases you’d expect from a solid host: a wealth of data centers, great customer satisfaction, a large amount of managed services, and plenty of features!
Their prices are in the average range, as well, so there isn’t a reason not to recommend SiteGround.