SiteGround Review: Pros, Cons, Performance, Security & Is It Worth It?

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We’ve tested numerous hosting services from WordPress Hosting providers to Website Builders over the years. It’s now time to review one of the most praised hosting companies for their incredible customer service, SiteGround, and see how it stacks up against the competition.

About SiteGround

SiteGround is a web hosting company that was created in 2004 by three university students in Sofia, Bulgaria. Tenko Nikolov started out as a technical support agent at SiteGround back in 2004. Today, he’s the CEO of the company and one of the masterminds behind its success.

Over the past decade, SiteGround has grown to over 500 employees spread across four offices in the United States, Spain, London, and Bulgaria. SiteGround is now widely known as one of the biggest web hosting companies in the world with over 2 millions domains hosted as of March 2019.

Pros & Cons of SiteGround

Even though SiteGround is currently one of the biggest web hosting companies in the world, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s one of the best. Here are all the pros and cons of SiteGround and why they matter.

Pros

  • Great uptime: SiteGround guarantees at least 99.99% monthly uptime.
  • Performance: SiteGround is equipped with SSD drives, custom software and integrates with Cloudflare’s free CDN which makes their websites extremely fast.
  • Easy to use: SiteGround’s backend is really intuitive and easy to use.
  • Excellent support: That’s what they’re the most known for, they offer great support and assistance.
  • Server location: You can choose to host your website on their servers in America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
  • Advanced features: SiteGround has many features that other hosting providers don’t have. For example, they offer free integration with Cloudflare’s CDN and protection against hacking.
  • Unlimited traffic: Many hosting providers will limit your traffic, SiteGround doesn’t mesure it.
  • Collaborators: You can add collaborators to the different websites you own without having to share your credentials with them.
  • Security features: SiteGround has many security features that other hosting providers don’t have. For example, they isolate all accounts, so if your IP neighbor is vulnerable, you won’t be affected. They also offer SSL encryption and 2FA for your SiteGround account.
  • Affordable prices: All their web hosting plans start at $6.99 a month for one website or $9.99 for unlimited websites. Either way, it’s extremely cheap for everything they offer.
  • Free SSL with all plans: You can use Let’s Encrypt to add SSL to any of SiteGround’s plans for free.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee: They have a 30-day no questions asked money-back guarantee.

Cons

  • Price: SiteGround prices aren’t especially high but they’re not the lowest either. Starting at $6.99 per month (then $14.99), it’s way more expensive than Hostinger for example which starts at $1.99 per month (then $3.99).
  • Migrations: If you need a SiteGround agent to take care of your website migration, they’ll charge you $30 for that. It’s a better idea to use a free WordPress migration plugin for that.
  • Database size: Even though it says “Unlimited Databases” on their plans, each database is limited in size and this can cause issues on some websites.
  • Storage size: They also limit the storage space for their plans. The maximum you can get is 40gb of storage on their “GoGeek” plan which costs $14.99 per month (then $39.99).
  • Setup fee for monthly billing: They charge a $14.95 setup fee if you choose the monthly billing. But they won’t charge you the setup fee if you sign up for a longer period.


SiteGround Performance & Uptime

The most important thing to look at when choosing a hosting provider is performance. That’s one of the only things you won’t be able to change if you’re not happy with what you get.

Why does page speed matter?

Page speed matters for many reasons. First, it’s an important factor that Google uses to rank websites. They want users to have the best experience possible and, if a website takes too long to load, it can frustrate users.

It’s also important to have a fast website because even if you’re able to rank on Google, no one’s going to come back to your website if they have to wait 10 seconds each time they click on something.

Datacenter Locations

The first thing that can affect the performance of a website is the datacenter location. If you’re trying to access a website hosted in China and you live in the United States, it will take way longer for the website to load than if it was hosted in your city.

That’s why it’s important to host your website where your target audience is. Fortunately, SiteGround offers multiple datacenters around the world. Notably, in the United States, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Singapore and Australia.

Server Performance

Now, location isn’t everything. You could be living next to a datacenter, if the servers aren’t fast your website will still take time to load. So, are SiteGround servers fast?

Well, they’re consistently faster than average. WPBeginner ran some test on a website they hosted with SiteGround and the results are pretty good.

They used Pingdom’s website speed test tool to run tests and here’s the result they got:

According to Pingdom, the website took 0.6s to load and was faster than 95% of the websites they tested. This is a really good result and guarantees that SiteGround’s servers are fast.

They also used a tool called LoadImpact to test how SiteGround servers would respond to traffic. The tool sends up to 100 users gradually to see how the server responds to increased traffic.

SiteGround loadimpact test results

The blue line is the number of users and the green line is the time it takes for the website to load. The server slowed down a little bit when it reached 50 users but quickly recovered and kept getting consistent load times after that.

That’s a really good result and it shows that SiteGround servers are extremely fast.

Uptime

It’s great to have a fast website but something crucial is uptime. If you can load your website in 0.5s but you can only access your website 80% of the time, it’s not really useful to have fast loading times.

Again, uptime is an area where SiteGround excels. They guarantee to have at least 99.99% uptime every month or they will compensate you financially.

WebsiteToolTester used StatusCake to measure the uptime of SiteGround’s servers. The higher the uptime, the better.

SiteGround Uptime Test 2019/20

As you can see, they consistently get at least 99.99% uptime with only two months dropping at 99.89% or 99.85%. That’s really good and if you factor in that they would compensate you financially for those drops, it’s totally worth it.

WPBeginner also tested the uptime on their own website and they got 100% uptime over the last 24 hours.

SiteGround uptime test results

SiteGround Security & Sites Backups

It’s great to have a super-fast website that’s available at least 99.99% of the time, but what about security and backups? Are SiteGround’s servers secure?



Account Security

SiteGround offers great account security. They offer 2-factor identification for extra security and it’s really good. If you enable 2FA on your account, your username and password won’t be enough to hack into your account.

Someone would need to physically have your phone in order to hack into your account and it makes SiteGround extra secure (if you enable 2FA).

Site Backups

Many hosting providers won’t offer any kind of site backups with their plans for free. Most of them try to make more money selling you this as an extra.

SiteGround doesn’t. They offer daily backups on all their plans and you can ask them to restore one of the last 30 backups if anything happens. Additionally, if you have the GrowBig or GoGeek plans, you have the option of creating and accessing backups on your own.

Protection Against Hacking

SiteGround has a unique isolation system which prevents your website from being compromised if someone else on your server has been hacked.

That’s really useful because there’s no way to protect yourself against that with other hosting providers and SiteGround offers it for free with all their plans.

SiteGround Features

SiteGround also offers many features that other hosting providers don’t have. All of those features are free and even if you don’t use them, it’s still an extra.

Cloudflare Integration

I think that the most useful feature SiteGround offers is Cloudflare integration. Cloudflare allows you to host your website on their content delivery network (CDN).

Basically, it means that Cloudflare will host a version of your website across all their datacenters and deliver your website from the nearest datacenter to the users. So, if someone’s in the United States, they will get the website from the nearest US server and if someone else is in France, they will get the same website from the nearest server in France.

That’s really useful because it decreases dramatically website load time, helps your website rank on Google and creates a better experience for your users.

WebsiteToolTester also tested how using Cloudflare impacted the performance of its website and here are the results:

pasted image 0 1
Before using Cloudflare
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After using Cloudflare

As you can see, the website loaded in 2.79s with Cloudflare vs 3.2s without it. The performance grade of the website also went from 80 to 92.

Cloudflare also makes your website more secure by protecting you against DDoS attacks.

Free SSL from Let’s Encrypt

With SiteGround, you can also get free SSL encryption for your website using Let’s Encrypt. SSL is crucial on a website because it makes it more secure and Google is now ranking websites with SSL higher.

Usually, most hosting companies sell SSL as an extra for a monthly fee, but SiteGround offers it for free using Let’s Encrypt. That’s something to take into consideration because it can save you a lot of money.

One-Click Apps

Like most hosting providers, SiteGround offers “One-Click Apps” on their plans which makes it really easy to create new websites or to install SSL for example.

Softaculous gives you access to over 400 applications which can all be easily installed and expand your website’s functionalities.

The GoGeek plan also gives you more advanced features like one-click git repo creation.

SiteGround Customer Support & Help

SiteGround is known to have one of the best customer support in the industry. They offer 24/7 phone, live chat, and ticket based customer support.

Most of the time, the phone and live chat support responses are instant and emails are answered within 10 minutes.

They also offer a 30-day no questions asked refund policy. If, for any reason, you’d like to have a refund before the 30-day mark, you will get it. In addition to that, they offer compensation if your website uptime ever drops under 99.99% which is nice to have.

SiteGround also offers a large collection of helpful articles with screenshots, videos, tutorials, and guides if you prefer to fix your issues yourself.

SiteGround Hosting Plans & Prices

The customer service is great, the performance is perfect and there are lots of useful features available for free. So, what about the prices and plans they offer?

Web, WordPress & WooCommerce Hosting

If you’re looking to create a website using SiteGround, whether you take Web, WordPress or WooCommerce hosting, pretty much the same plans are available:

StartUp Plan

The StartUp plan costs $6.99/mo. (then $14.99/mo.) and offers the following:

  • 1 Website
  • 10 GB Web Space
  • ~ 10,000 Visits Monthly
  • Unmetered Traffic
  • Free SSL
  • Daily Backups
  • Free CDN
  • Free Email
  • Managed WordPress
  • Unlimited Databases

GrowBig Plan

The GrowBig plan costs $9.99/mo. (then $24.99/mo.) and offers the following:

  • Unlimited Websites
  • 20 GB Web Space
  • ~ 25,000 Visits Monthly
  • Unmetered Traffic
  • Free SSL
  • Daily Backup
  • Free CDN
  • Free Email
  • Managed WordPress
  • Unlimited Databases

GoGeek Plan

The GoGeek plan costs $14.99/mo. (then $39.99/mo.) and offers the following:

  • Unlimited Websites
  • 40 GB Web Space
  • ~ 100,000 Visits Monthly
  • Unmetered Traffic
  • Free SSL
  • Daily Backup
  • Free CDN
  • Free Email
  • Managed WordPress
  • Unlimited Databases

Cloud Hosting

If you need something more powerful than shared hosting, SiteGround also offers scalable cloud hosting.

Entry Plan

The Entry plan costs $80.00/mo. and offers the following:

  • 3 CPU Cores
  • 6GB Memory
  • 40GB SSD Space
  • 5TB Data Transfer

Business Plan

The Business plan costs $120.00/mo. and offers the following:

  • 4 CPU Cores
  • 8GB Memory
  • 60GB SSD Space
  • 5TB Data Transfer

Business Plus Plan

The Business Plus plan costs $160.00/mo. and offers the following:

  • 5 CPU Cores
  • 10GB Memory
  • 80GB SSD Space
  • 5TB Data Transfer

Super Power Plan

The Super Power plan costs $240.00/mo. and offers the following:

  • 9 CPU Cores
  • 12GB Memory
  • 120GB SSD Space
  • 5TB Data Transfer

Is SiteGround the right choice for you?

Well, it depends. SiteGround offers one of the best user experience, the best customer support in the industry, extremely fast hosting, consistent uptimes, and lots of useful features for free.

So, if you want to start or migrate your website and don’t have a specific budget, I think it’s a great option! You’ll get the best servers in the industry with the best customer service at a fair price.

However, if you’re trying to start your website on a budget I’d recommend looking at other hosting providers like DreamHost or Hostinger that offer plans starting at $1.99 per month. The performance won’t be as good but you will save money and you can still migrate your website when you have more money.



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