SiteGround: Everything You Need to Know
SiteGround is one of the many web hosting companies you’re likely to come across as you begin researching which provider will work best for your needs. The company was founded in 2004 and they presently host over a half-million domains. In addition, SiteGround consistently ranks as one of the top hosting providers out there. To make it easier for you to get a good idea of what the company can provide for you, including their services, technology, and more, we’ve put together a guide that covers just about everything you need to know about SiteGround. If you’re new to web hosting, you might want to take a look at our Website Hosting Tutorial for more information on important terms to know, different kinds of web hosting, and more.
SiteGround has data centers in four countries: the United States (Chicago), Singapore, Italy (Milan), Netherlands (Amsterdam), and England (London).
This is an important thing to take into consideration as the geographic location of the data center you choose will impact how quickly your website loads for visitors. The closer a website visitor is to your hosting company’s data center, the faster your site will load for them. If your website users experience a slow loading time, the more likely they are to navigate away from your page. Furthermore, when your site loads quickly, this improves the user experience (UX), which plays a part in search engine optimization (SEO).
Their data centers have been outfitted with redundant electrical systems in order to prevent power outages. Each center has 24/7 human security along with other security measures like video surveillance, bulletproof lobbies, and biometric devices.
SiteGround uses a number of technologies to ensure that the sites they host run as fast as possible. Among them are solid-state drives (included on shared and cloud plans) that run up to a 1000-times faster than regular drives. NGINX servers work to decrease the loading time of your site’s static content. The HTTP/2 and PHP7 enabled servers as well as the Cloudfare Content Delivery Network makes your content more accessible and speeds loading times across the globe.
SiteGround advertises a monthly uptime of 99.999% and a yearly uptime of 99.996%. Most online reviews of SiteGround report similar numbers in terms of uptime, although there are few aberrations out there. In order to maintain these high percentages, the company established their own backup system in 2015, which helps to drastically reduce resort times. They also created their own in-house server monitoring system that immediately addresses problems and acts proactively if upcoming problems are detected. Linux containers technology (LXC) provides stability during unanticipated spikes in traffic. Secure account isolation technology works to ensure that one account on a shared server cannot affect the others. Finally, SiteGround utilizes anti-bot artificial intelligence to prevent brute force attacks.
SiteGround offers 24/7 support via live chat, telephone, and an online ticket system. You’ll get an instant response if you look to get support on live chat or over the telephone and a response within 10 minutes if you submit a support ticket. In order to ensure that you get the fastest assistance possible, SiteGround notes their support shifts are all overstaffed so that wait times are minimal. Their website features a number of tutorials and webinars as well as a setup wizard that’s designed to simplify the hosting account setup process.
Contracts & Payments
Contracts with SiteGround last from one to three years and automatically renew at the end of each term. You can cancel your contract within the first 30 days to get a full refund (with the exception of certain services like domain names, third-party services, cloud or dedicated hosting, and others). Frequently, SiteGround advertises prices that are discounted from regular rates. Upon renewal of your contract, monthly prices will go up to the regular price in most cases. Payments can be made via credit or debit cards. Alternatively, you can pay with PayPal but you’ll need to get in touch with support to get the necessary information to do so.
Available Types of Hosting
SiteGround offers hosting services for everyone from beginners to experienced professionals. Off the numerous reviews online, there seems to be a general consensus that SiteGround’s features and backend are easy to use for all levels of web developers. The variety of available hosting plans ensures that bloggers to large companies will have the utilities they need for a wonderful website experience.
At the time of this writing, the three available shared hosting plans from SiteGround varied in price from $3.95/month to $11.95/month. (These noted prices are discounted from the regular rates of $9.95/month to $29.95/month. They may vary based on which contract term you choose.) All three plans come with their Essential Features, which include free website transfer, a site builder, 24/7 support, unmetered traffic, daily backup, and free email accounts. If you need a domain name, registration currently costs $14.95 a year. Their StartUp Plan (limited to one website) is ideal for small businesses, blogs, and other personal websites that anticipate no more than 10,000 unique visits per month and require no more than 10 GB of web space.
The mid-tier plan, called GrowBig, is perfect for those with multiple websites or one website with heavier traffic. It comes with 20 GB of web space and it’s suitable for up to 25,000 visits a month. This plan comes with Premium Features, which include priority technical support, one year free of Wildcard SSL, 30 backup copies, and the SuperCacher to increase your site speed.
There’s also the GoGeek plan that’s best suited for resource-heavy websites, those that get a lot of traffic, or medium-sized e-commerce sites. This plan comes with 30 GB of website space, up to 100,000 monthly visits, Premium Features, and Geeky Advanced Features. These advanced features include a server with fewer accounts, WordPress and Joomla staging, free PCI compliance, and one-click Git repository creation.
If it turns out that an entire server all to yourself, there are three plans available. Each plan comes with VIP support, full server management, the preinstallation and maintenance of all the software you need, 5 TB of bandwidth, and Intel Xeon processors. Plan prices, at the time of writing, range from $229 to $429 per month.
The Entry Server includes 4 CPU cores, 8 MB of CPU cache, 8 CPU threads, 4 GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 500 GB SATA II HDD. If, however, you choose the top-level plan, Super Power Server, you’ll get 2-6 CPU cores, 15 MB of CPU cache, 2-12 CPU threads, 16 GB of DDR3 RAM, and 4-500 GB SATA III/RAID 10 HDD.
If cloud hosting is more up your alley, SiteGround offers four different plans as well as the ability to create your own plan. With cloud hosting, SiteGround will preinstall and maintain all the hardware you need. You’ll also get VIP support, offsite backups, auto-scalable resources, 5 TB data transfer, and more.
Plans run from $80 to $240 per month (at the time of writing). The Entry plan includes 2 CPU cores, 4 GB of memory, and 40 GB of SSD space. The Super Power plan, the top-level plan, includes 8 CPU cores, 10 GB of memory, and 120 GB of SSD space.
If you’re a web developer who maintains client websites, the reseller hosting program might be a good option for you. Resellers can join the program by purchasing 5 reseller credits, which cost from $42 to $49 per credit. Each credit is good for one year of hosting. The more credits one buys, the cheaper those credits are. This pricing structure makes it easier for resellers to take control of their profit margins. Reseller accounts come with 10 GB of web space, free email accounts, daily backups, unmetered data transfers, white label cPanels, and more. With this program, you may also be able to take advantage of discounted domain name prices.
Should you find yourself in need of a more personalized approach, SiteGround can create a customized hosting infrastructure for your needs. As you might expect, this type of hosting comes with perks like personal account managers, a customized onboarding process, and technical support provided by their highest level of tech professionals.
Content Management System Services
If you plan on building a website with the help of a content management system (CMS), SiteGround can provide you with tools to help get both WordPress and Joomla sites up and running. Plans for these services are just like those offered for shared hosting plans. In addition, you can take advantage of their one-click install feature and auto-update, which ensures that you always have the latest version of WordPress or Joomla. These both have built-in caching mechanisms, called the SuperCacher, which accelerates the loading of dynamic content and optimizes website speed.
Should you encounter any issues during the setup process, the SiteGround support professionals have advanced expertise in both of these systems. In addition, SiteGround offers a large variety of WordPress themes and Joomla templates so you can get started as quickly as possible. Both WordPress and Joomla have recommended using SiteGround, which obviously speaks well to their platform.
In order to get a thorough understanding of how SiteGround performs, we sifted through hundreds of recent online reviews and put together a list of the most common positives and negatives that customers experienced.
In the vast majority of reviews, customers rave about SiteGround’s support staff. Some of the most common compliments include how quickly they’re able to speak with someone, how helpful they are, the speed with which any issues are resolved, and the benefits of working with support professionals who are cross-trained.
Customers also commended:
- The quality of SiteGround’s servers
- High uptime percentage
- The value they get with all the resources and features
- Fast loading time
- Server response time
- The ability to choose their data center location
- The ease of website setup and the available setup tools
- SiteGround’s WordPress integration
- The company’s reliability
- The fact that SiteGround is more globally oriented than US-based companies
- Daily backups
- The free site transfer service
While many of the reviews we read were positive in nature, there were some complaints that came up repeatedly. One of the most common issues was with the limited data storage on shared hosting plans, which can present a problem for websites that have a lot of images or video. On a similar note, SiteGround has limited resource usage – essentially a monthly allowance of CPU seconds per account. A number of customers took issue with this limit as their site would be put on hold if they went over that limit.
Other common complaints included:
- No availability of Windows-based servers
- Not enough transparency when it comes to payments or billing. Specifically, some customers stated that they were not aware of the existence of a setup fee for monthly billing (which can be eliminated with the selection a longer billing period). Some felt that it was not made clear that their monthly price would go up after their initial contract expired. And others did not feel like billing issues or add-on charges were sufficiently explained.