Siteground Hosting Review

A Better Overall Value Than SiteGround, GoDaddy, or WPEngine?

SiteGround is a widely known shared hosting provider that offers multiple hosting options for its users.

These include running WordPress, cloud hosting, and even servers that are dedicated. 

For over two years now, we have been tracking the cheapest collective “Startup” project for SiteGround.

We paid for a shared hosting account, set up a live test site, and used a third-party platform to closely monitor their performance to provide this impartial, open analysis.

Overall, for both uptime (99.99 percent)and pace (713ms), SiteGround is close to the top of all web hosting firms. They are knowledgeable, fast and friendly in their customer support team. A CDN, SSL certificate and email accounts are provided for all plans.

Here’s a thorough rundown of all the pros and cons.

What We Love About Siteground Hosting…

Nearly Perfect Website Uptime.

The quality of SiteGround’s uptime was almost flawless in that period. A rating of 99.99 percent makes them one of the most consistent hosts we’ve seen.

Reliable uptime such as this makes visitors to the website happy. But more importantly, it means that your site is almost guaranteed to work around the clock so you won’t miss out when your customers want to buy.

Impressive Load Time, Some Of The Best.

Site speed when choosing a host is easily the second most critical factor.

For starters, Google research shows that if your pages don’t load within three seconds, 53 percent of people will leave.

You can’t do a lot to repair a sluggish host, however. To lighten their weight, you may be able to compress pictures. To take some pressure off your computer, you might be able to load them through a CDN. But a slow host once? A poor host all the time.

Fortunately, with SiteGround you don’t have to think about that. It’s 713ms over-average loading time is not the fastest we’ve ever seen, but it puts SiteGround at pace close to the top 10.

Customer Support.

We have been tracking SiteGround in full for over two years now, and with their help we have never had any major problems.

They provide consumers with a knowledge base to seek their own quick responses. Otherwise, you can call or use the live chat 24/7.

We opted for the live chat option for this latest test and in less than a minute we were linked to Vladislav.

There was no significant lag in responses unlike other hosts. And it seemed as if he knew what he was talking about and wasn’t going to have to look up answers every time we sent a new question.

Free Site Migration Included.

Whenever we see web hosts coming out with an option for “DIY migration,” it makes us somewhat anxious. That’s because most of them aren’t great, and they end up placing the customer more burden.

However, SiteGround may be the exception to this rule. They created a free Migration plugin for WordPress that you can add to any page.

No long and boring walkthroughs are necessary either. You simply generate a token from within your SiteGround hosting account and the plugin will help with the heavy lifting quickly.

Indeed, you still need to do some research. But the good news is that this option helps you to move as many websites as you want. (In contrast, some hosts providing “free migration” cap it after just a few, requiring you to pay after a certain point.) If you’d rather have some qualified, hands-on assistance, SiteGround will throw free service on their higher-level plans (GrowBig and up).

When you exceed the limits on each program, each additional page will be charged a nominal fee of $30.

 

Free SSL and CDN.

Google Chrome, by a wide margin the world’s most popular web browser, has deliberately begun to warn people if the page they are trying to reach does not have an SSL certificate set up.

SSL helps protect any information that is sent back and forth between the device of the user and the website, including personal information such as IP addresses or credit card numbers. When left unsecured, this data can easily be captured by hackers and others. So here, Chrome is looking for the best interest of web users.

This essentially makes SSL certificates a prerequisite on all websites today, in other words. And happily, on all plans, SiteGround throws these in for free.

The other piece of good news is a free Cloudflare CDN (Content Delivery Network). CDN stores large files in various locations around the globe, such as photos, on many servers. It helps ensure that the documents are kept as close to site visitors as possible, making them available faster.

SiteGround has servers distributed across three continents, helping to keep loading times fast and providing a good customer experience.

Range Of Features, Regardless Of Your Skill Level.

SiteGround has something for everybody.

Beginners and bloggers want you to be able to install in just a few clicks popular website builders like Weebly. Weebly features a simple drag-and-drop editor that allows you to take full control of your site’s look and feel (without diving into code).

Apart from Weebly, SiteGround also has deep WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal integrations. It is possible to install each of these apps quickly and painlessly. No need to support a designer.

If you’re a designer, though, you’re lucky too.

In addition to SSH, WP-CLI, SFTP, and phpMyAdmin, you will get Git pre-installed on larger plans. They have multiple versions of PHP available to you. There is multi-level caching. And you can also have access to site testing environments to plan or check before moving into production new features.

SiteGround also promotes security by using a proprietary AI-bot detection tool which aims to snuff out new attacks before they strike. Their data reports that their servers are blocked every hour from 500,000 to two million brute-force attempts anywhere.

So you are not left alone, either, to deal with these headaches.

Uptime Is Guaranteed In Terms Of Service.

Average uptime of 99.99 percent? Okay, here is a little reason why SiteGround doesn’t fail –it would cost them millions in revenue.

Sometimes, when you dig into the terms of service of a web host, there are only bad news lost in the fine print.

We are shocked by SiteGround in a good way. We guarantee “99.9 percent network uptime on an annual basis” under their Service Level Agreement. If they ever fall below that level, you will be rewarded with free hosting months.

Money Back Guarantee

On all shared hosting packages, SiteGround has a complete 30-day money-back guarantee. In comparison, their cloud, VPS, and dedicated hosting packages only come with a refund for 15 days.

Domain name fees and any other “extras” are usually not reimbursed, like many other hosts. And this policy of reimbursement applies only to brand new clients. So on maintenance contracts you can’t get refunds.

Absolutely. For the past several years, A2 Hosting has consistently delivered top-in-class pace. Their customer support is helpful and friendly. A free SSL certificate and one free migration are included in all shared plans.

And if you run into problems whilst being a customer at any time, you can ask for a refund on the unused time prorated balance.

The only drawback is that the uptime has fallen in recent months, and renewal rates are high (and the strict terms aren’t great).

However, when you opt for the most expensive shared plan to host unlimited websites (“Turbo”), only one free site migration will still be provided to you.

What Bugs Us About Siteground Hosting…

A2 Hosting has a lot of great things going for it. Quick speeds and friendly support, however, can not compensate for everything.

We have found a few recent issues, such as dropping uptime and high retention rates that you may want to double-check before you sign up.

Renewal Rates Are A Little Steep.

StartUp, the cheapest package for SiteGround, offers a low advertised price of $3.95/month on its website.

This deal looks a little too good because it’s true. The same trick is used by almost every web host we’ve tested to date. With a small introductory rate, they catch your attention, just to double (or even triple) the price when it’s time to renew.

Of example, when you renew, the $3.95/month price would jump up to $11.95. Some packages from SiteGround were lower than $19.95 and $34.95/month respectively.

The best way to do this is to lock in as long as possible (36 months on SiteGround) and take advantage of the low price as long as possible.

Setup Feee For Month-To-Month Hosting

Not many shared web hosts authorize you to begin buying just one month. For at least a few months or a year, they also try to get you to sign up.

The good news is that you can sign up for one month with SiteGround. The bad news for these plans is that they charge you a “setup fee.”

Under current pricing, this means that you are paying the $3.95/month introductory rate plus a $14.95 one-time setup fee.

The issue, as described in the last section, is that your plan will be renewed at a higher rate after that first month.

Initially, you might think you’re getting a lot, trying out their service for just a few dollars. But the fact is that you are penalized twice (once through the set-up charge and again through the rate of renewal).

No Free Domain Name

 

In order to attract new customers, most web hosts throw in free stuff.

The low introductory rate and additional services such as email or migration are often included.

For the first year, a free domain name is almost always on that list as well.

Unfortunately, SiteGround does not do that. If you don’t already have a domain name, starting at $15.95/year, they can pay you for one from day one.

Do We Recommend Siteground Hosting?

Sure, we’re doing just that.

For a number of years now, SiteGround has provided solid uptime. And their promise of uptime means you will likely never have any major problems with downtime.

Their pace on site is also pretty good. That’s partly thanks to their servers spread across three continents and their free Cloudflare CDN account. Also on all plans, they give you free SSL.

When you take advantage of the longest possible time, pricing is great. Otherwise, faster you’re going to hit those high renewal rates. Even carry your own domain to stop another charge.