SiteGround review: shared hosting made better?
SiteGround might look like your regular shared hosting provider. But it actually is quite unique among the others. In this review, I’ll explain how.
This provider takes shared web hosting to the next level. It equips it with the latest technology like Google Cloud infrastructure and LiteSpeed web servers as well as in-house developed tools that can only be found in the most expensive enterprise-level hosting solutions.
Sure, it's not your regular cheap web hosting provider. But you do get a product that will allow your website to be successful in the most competitive of markets. The speed, security, and latest innovations are what keep it on top of our recommendation lists.
In this SiteGround hosting review, I’ll show you every step of the thorough testing that the provider went through to earn these praises. It's a rigorous analysis and testing that shows whether pricing, ease of use and tools, performance, security, and customer support are up to the standards.
Therefore, this review is very long and detailed. So I'll gladly give you an option to jump straight SiteGround review summary. However, the read is worth it too!
|💰 Price:||Prices start at $3.99/month|
|⚙️ Hosting types:||Shared WordPress/WooCommerce and Cloud|
|🌎 Server locations:||USA, UK, Netherlands, Germany, Australia, Singapore|
|☎️ Support:||24/7 live chat, email, and phone|
|🔥 Current deal:||Get up to 73% OFF SiteGround!|
Pros and Cons of SiteGround
- Very fast page load times
- Servers in 4 continents
- Innovative speed boosting tech
- Free daily backups
- Strong in-house security tools
- No mid-tier scalability option
- Complex pricing structure
- Free domain is not included
SiteGround video review
SiteGround shared hosting plans start at $3.99 a month and range to $10.69 a month without discounts. That’s a steep starting point, but the rest of the plans are nothing out of the ordinary. There’s also a cloud hosting plans that start at $100 a month for very large and popular websites.
|Type of hosting||Best for|
|Shared, WordPress, WooCommerce plans ($3.99/month)||Small to medium-sized websites such as blogs, business websites, and small online stores. Get up to 73% OFF SiteGround!|
|Cloud hosting ($100/month)||Large online stores, news sites, and web-based applications.|
While the options are few, they do cover the needs of the majority of websites.
Besides, SiteGround makes their shared hosting plans so powerful they can easily be used for both smaller sites like blogs and bigger online stores or other popular websites. The provider even recommends using it for reseller hosting. Meanwhile, cloud hosting is there for the biggest of websites, getting thousands of visitors daily.
As a promotion, SiteGround lowered the prices of StartUp to $3.99/month, and Grow Big to $6.69/month. GoGeek is also cheaper at $10.69/month. Enjoy it while it lasts!
My main focus today is shared hosting as I want to really make sure that what SiteGround promises is true.
All 3 shared hosting plans are equipped with free SSL certificates, email accounts, CDN, automatic backups, unlimited bandwidth, and built-in caching. The main thing that separates them is server resources and additional features.
|StartUp ($3.99/month)||One website limit and 10GB SSD storage. It can support up to 10 000 monthly visits. Therefore, it’s best for personal use (a blog or portfolio) or a very small business website meant to build your online presence.|
|GrowBig ($6.69/month)||It can host unlimited websites. For that, it gives 20GB SSD storage and a 100 000 monthly visits allowance. Additional perks include on-demand backups, staging, Ultrafast PHP setup, and a collaboration tool.|
|GoGeek ($10.69/month)||Comes with unlimited websites, 40GB SSD storage, 400 000 visits/mo, and additional perks such as on-demand backups, staging, ultrafast PHP, collaboration tool, white-label panel for clients, and priority support. It a seriously powerful option for bigger websites and is even recommended for small agencies as a reseller hosting option.|
It’s really impressive to see things like daily backups and advanced caching included even in the entry plan. Meanwhile, tools such as staging and white-label panels are rarely seen in shared hosting at all. So SiteGround earns the right to brag about itself in this regard.
Moreover, SiteGround often develops its own tools and software. Quite recently, it introduced Ultrafast PHP, which is a special PHP setup that speeds up WordPress and other PHP-based sites.
Nonetheless, not all plans will offer the same bang for your buck. So let’s do a quick analysis.
- First things first, the StartUp plan is meant for very specific use. You can host only one website and 10GB storage is not much. However, you do get exceptionally strong security and speed-boosting features. This makes it a good option for business landing pages that need a top-tier performance in competitive niches.
- On the other hand, starting with GrowBig, you get a lot more than the industry offers regularly. You’d rarely see staging and a brave claim that shared hosting will support 100 000 monthly visits easily. That’s a lot. However, 20GB disk space is a little too little, in my opinion. So this plan might be better for one small business website rather than agencies or freelancers developing sites for clients.
- The extra good stuff is hiding in the GoGeek. It has generous storage space and visitor allowance for more than a couple of sites, plus a very unusual thing that is the white-label hosting panel. What this feature does, it allows you to host your client’s website on your SiteGround account. At the same time, clients will get their own control panels and won't see the provider's branding on them. So if you’re a small agency or a freelancer, this plan looks great.
So far, mostly praises to SiteGround. However, not all is as perfect. To get the best price and the most bang for your buck, some calculations are required.
SiteGround pricing need to know
SiteGround has a seriously complicated pricing structure and to get the best one, you need to check the rate difference between billing periods. While other providers give you the best discount on the longest possible billing period, SiteGround mixes some things up.
I’ll be using the GrowBig plan for all my calculations. I think it offers the best value for the majority of people. That’s the plan I actually bought for testing as well.
What I did to get the best bang out of my buck was purchase GrowBig with a 3-year in-advance payment. This way, the monthly price will always be $17.49/mo. The total – $629.64. No pricing increases or higher renewal rates.
I know, I know, this is a big payment upfront. But generally speaking, SiteGround more than justifies its pricing. It’s on a much higher level than providers such as Bluehost or DreamHost and can be better compared to services like Kinsta or WP Engine.
But if prepayment sounds like too much of a gamble with SiteGround, several billing options are available. I put everything into this neat little table so you can compare and see which option is best for your bank account:
|Plan||Initial Monthly||Total||Renewal Monthly||Total|
|GrowBig 12 months||$6.69||$80.28||$24.99||$299.88|
|GrowBig 24 months||$14.99||$359.96||$19.99||$479.76|
|GrowBig 36 months||$17.49||$629.64||$17.49||$629.64|
At this point, it all depends on what you’re seeking. For short-term savings, the yearly plan is the best. But then you’ll face a big renewal. If paying more in advance doesn’t scare you – pick the 2-year option. Meanwhile, 3-year billing is the marathoner.
Another thing that’s important to know is your rights when it comes to money-back:
- For shared hosting, you can get a full a 30-day money-back guarantee after your account was activated. For cloud hosting plans, the period is shorter – 14 days.
- Renewals are also refundable. You’ll get a full refund if the renewal period hasn’t yet started, but you paid already. In other cases, the first month's cost will be deducted from the refund.
- Extra services like SSL certificates will not be refunded.
Renewals are rarely refunded so easily, so that's a good bonus. By the way, SiteGround payment methods include VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Meanwhile, PayPal has to be activated by the billing team, so it's not very convenient.
All in all, SiteGround has complex pricing but offers really good value for money. The tools and features included are significantly more than what other shared hosting providers offer.
Hosting management – is SiteGround easy to use?
Concerning ease of use, SiteGround managed to make quite the impression, which landed it on the top of our best web hosting list. With a native hosting control panel and an interface that is easy to use, the provider made sure that everything is effortless to find and use.
After you purchase a plan, you are sent an email with all the account details. Once you log in, you’ll be welcomed by SiteGround’s user interface, which looks like this:
It’s kinda cool that SiteGround added some tips and suggestions on the homepage. It’s brilliant for beginners. Plus, the whole design and animation are very eye-pleasing.
The bar on the top includes all settings regarding your account, websites, billing information, the marketplace, etc. Of course, you can read, so I’m not going to insist on telling you what’s in every single menu item.
Instead, I’m going to focus on some of the most common steps each new website owner takes to create and manage a successful website. I’m talking here about taking advantage of the control panel, installing WordPress, activating SSL, and creating a professional email account.
SiteGround control panel
SiteGround has ditched cPanel that the company was using up until 2020 and replaced it with Site Tools. It's an in-house developed hosting control panel – a modern and functional option that’s easy to use even if you’ve never seen any control panel before.
On the other hand, I did see many salty SiteGround reviews of grieving customers when the new panel was announced. Well, the king is dead, long live the king.
You can reach Site Tools from the management area of each individual website.
By the way, this is also a very useful interface as it has shortcuts to specific Site Tools menu items as well as WordPress admin panel login button.
I personally enjoy using Site Tools. The main menu on the left is easy to navigate, and each tool has an explanation. At the same time, you can customize it to fit your individual needs – pin the most used tools to the main screen.
Also, this is the place where you see how much disk space you are using and how many visitors entered your website.
Overall, Site Tools is no less functional than cPanel. Plus, it looks better.
Installing WordPress with SiteGround
For WordPress installation, you won’t even need to reach a control panel. And it barely even needs a description. It’s that easy. SiteGround will simply guide you through the needed steps.
You can find WordPress installation in the main dashboard as one of the tips. Alternatively, click on Websites > New Website in the main menu. This will start the installation wizard.
If you have not added a domain, you can either choose a temporary one, register new, or point an existing one to SiteGround.
At this point, you can also choose to migrate an existing website to SiteGround. It’s a free and convenient option – the host has its own WP Migrator plugin to help you smoothly change your hosting provider to SiteGround. In all other cases, simply choose a wanted app – WordPress or WordPress together with WooCommerce.
Now, all that’s left to do is simply fill in the information such as your email address and password.
Finally, you can choose to add some extra security for your website. I personally skip this one and fill security gaps with third-party tools.
Once you click Finish, it will take just a couple of minutes for the installation to be completed.
But wait, there's more.
Once the installation is complete and you reach the control panel, SiteGround launches its WordPress Starter Sites plugin that helps you set up the actual website. You'll get to choose from a number of themes and set up the most common features for an easy start.
In addition to creating a new site, you can also choose to migrate an existing website to SiteGround. It's a free and convenient option – the host has its own WP Migrator plugin to help you smoothly change your hosting provider to SiteGround. In all other cases, simply choose a wanted app – WordPress or WordPress together with WooCommerce.
Overall, the entire process is effortless. SiteGround proves itself to be a convenient WordPress web hosting that takes care of everything. You just need to select your options and think of a secure password (even that can be generated automatically). Plus, you'll be guided
Adding an SSL with SiteGround
Unfortunately, SiteGround does not activate an SSL automatically but you can easily do that from the control panel.
In fact, you have 3 options, 2 of which are free.
For some reason, I wasn't allowed to choose the basic free Let's Encrypt that you get with 99% of the hosts. But I'm not disappointed at all because WildCard SSL is free – it protects not only your main domain but all of its subdomains as well.
Premium SSL is good if you collect a lot of sensitive data from your visitors. It provides a $10,000 warranty.
In any case, select the certificate that suits your needs, choose a domain on which to install the SSL, and Activate it.
Once you’ve done that, go to the HTTPS Enforce that you'll find in the left-side menu and make sure that it’s on.
Altogether, getting your site protected with an SSL takes less than 2 minutes.
I’m not even angry that it’s not done automatically. We get to see how well Site Tools function and feel like pro developers, seemlesly clicking through the settings. Haha, I wish.
SiteGround email hosting
SiteGround has a standard control panel-based email hosting option. The process of creating a professional email address with SiteGround is just as easy as creating a new website. If not easier. All you’ll need to do is think of a name for your mailbox and generate a secure password.
To do that, simply go to the Email Accounts section in your Site Tools management panel.
The default limit of your mailbox is 512MB, but you’re free to change it anytime you want. Just press those 3 little dots by your email.
In the same menu, you can also reach your actual mailbox – it’s the Log into Webmail option.
SiteGround uses RoundCube email client, which itself is rather outdated. Nonetheless, it gets the job done. Plus, there is a convenient menu on the left added by the provider so you can set up autoresponders or forwarders.
You should keep in mind that for the email, you will be using the same server as your website. This means limited storage and that you are sharing reputation with all the other websites hosted on that server.
For this reason, free email accounts are good for casual use, such as collecting contact for submissions. For actual email marketing campaigns, you should look at paid options. Email hosting sounds fantastic in this case, like Google or Outlook.
The bottom line is that you don’t have to break a sweat about creating a professional email account with SiteGround. Not even a tiny, little drop. It should take just a few minutes, and nothing is confusing about the process. The limited storage and shared reputation kinda burst my bubble, but that’s why third-party email clients exist.
Website staging set up with SiteGround
SiteGround is one of the very few providers that include a website staging tool in shared hosting (starting with GrowBig). When available, it’s an essential feature to keep your website’s development and improvement smooth and secure. Moreover, SiteGround makes it very easy to set up.
How does staging work?
Basically, you are creating a carbon copy of your website to test out changes or make improvements. Developers often use it as the first stage – this copy is only visible to them. Once everything functions flawlessly in this staging copy, you can push all the changes to the live version of the website.
To create a staging environment, all you have to do is give it a name and push on the Create button. If you have many features you want to test out, feel free to create as many staging environments as you wish. The sky’s the limit. Or your plan storage, in this case.
When deploying the changes from the staging environment to your published website, you can choose what to deploy. You can transfer all changes or just some files, depending on what you think works best.
Overall, I think it’s one of the best tools to have in your pocket. Plus, it is so easy to use that you don’t have to be a pro developer to take advantage of it.
So, to conclude this part of SiteGround web hosting review, all I can say is that it is very easy to use. The user interface is simple and functional. No matter what you want to do, whether it’s installing WordPress or creating an email account, you’re going to have an easy time doing it.
SiteGround hosting for business
SiteGround has a bunch of useful tools when it comes to website management. But as I found out, it has some cool stuff for businesses as well. That is adding collaborators option and white-label control panel. At the same time, scalability options are pretty minimalistic.
Business management features
With these features, SiteGround is great for agencies or freelancers that are building or designing websites as a business.
For example, you can add collaborators to your account if you have several team members.
This way, everyone will get their own access to an account and a specific project they are working on. This helps with workflow and security.
Meanwhile, if you add a client, they’ll get separate access to their website and its management panel. The thing is, the control panel won’t have SiteGround branding on it. It will be completely white-label.
A small detail this could seem, it actually makes you look more professional. Plus, clients will be able to manage their own websites from then on.
One thing to keep in mind. Adding Collaborators option starts with Grow Big, while White-Label Hosting and client management is available only with GoGeek.
Altogether, these tools can definitely help your business succeed. They make you look professional, help with workflow, and add a layer of security. Great choice for a small business web hosting.
SiteGround WooCommerce hosting
When it comes to eCommerce hosting, SiteGround has something to offer. As the provider uses a powerful Google Cloud infrastructure, all its shared plans are suited for WooCommerce.
Each new WordPress installation already has a pre-installed WooCommerce plugin, which makes it that much easier to start an online store of your choice. More so, many SiteGround’s security tools like a free SSL, 24/7 monitoring, custom-made WordPress security plugin, and many more, make this provider a very good option for online selling.
I must note one thing, while the host is very secure and powerful, it does come with quite small storage (from 10 to 40GB). This suggests that SiteGround is best for smaller WooCommerce site hosting.
In short, SiteGround is a very secure, very reliable, and very fast solution for a small WooCommerce site hosting.
SiteGround cloud hosting
As the only scalability option, SiteGround offers Cloud hosting plans that start at $100/mo. The plans are based on Google Cloud infrastructure, meaning the most high-end hardware will power your site.
The Cloud hosting plans are fully managed – SiteGround takes care of the launch, setup, and software. You, on the other hand, get a functional control panel to focus on your website.
The resources can go from 4CPUs, 8GB RAM, 40GB SSD, and 5TB bandwidth (for popular yet light-weight websites) to 16CPUs, 20GB RAM, 160GB SSD, and 5TB bandwidth (for the biggest and the most popular online projects).
Overall, SiteGround Cloud hosting is priced pretty much the same as dedicated servers with other providers. At the same time, you get extremely reliable infrastructure, full management, and many helpful features and tools. That being said, the value you get is very high.
No SiteGround VPS or dedicated hosting?
When it comes to scalability options for business, SiteGround tends to be... Minimalistic. You have shared hosting and Cloud hosting – that's it. There's no VPS or dedicated servers.
Such a minimalistic approach leaves an $85/mo increase in pricing if you would switch from the most expensive GoGeek shared hosting plan to the cheapest, Jump Start, Cloud hosting plan.
Pretty steep jump, huh?
I'd personally call this a con. SiteGround shared hosting plans are not exactly resource-intensive. 40GB storage with the most expensive plan fits a medium-sized online store. But if the popularity and number of products grow, you need to scale. And paying several times more is not the next step many business owners would like to take.
So a bit more simplistic VPS plans could help solve this issue.
As for dedicated hosting, it's not something the majority of users would miss. Scalable Cloud plans cover pretty much all the needs of those users that would otherwise buy a whole server.
So yes, SiteGround has no VPS or dedicated hosting. And while many people could benefit from VPS as a mid-tier option, Cloud hosting covers for dedicated pretty well.
So is SiteGround a good provider for business? Definitely yes. Especially when it comes to all the tools and features included. At the same time, scalability is pretty limited – there's no mid-tier option for businesses that are not ready to invest in Cloud.
Performance – SiteGround speed, uptime and stress testing
SiteGround is one of the fastest providers I’ve tested when it comes to shared hosting. Not only that, but it is also highly reliable and capable of handling big loads of traffic.
I’ve tested SiteGround’s performance on the GrowBig plan. Which is not even the most expensive one.
SiteGround uptime and response time
At first, I looked at how reliable the provider is. Over almost 2 months, SiteGround had only 3 outages. It's a total of 7 minutes of downtime. This puts the average uptime at a much desired 99.99%.
While the standard and SiteGround’s offered uptime guarantee is 99.9%, the actual result is much more impressive.
To put it into perspective, 99.9% would give us almost 9 hours of yearly downtime. Meanwhile, 99.99% equals to just 52 minutes. Bravo!
SiteGround speed test
For the second SiteGround test, I wanted to check how fast the provider loads an empty WordPress installation from different locations. Fast it loaded.
My website is hosted in the US, so the website speed is best there – to get Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), it took 311ms. That’s just a little bit more than a regular eyeblink. Meanwhile, London and Mumbai times were a little slower. But even they were very much okay.
How do I know that?
Google’s benchmark for LCP is 2.5 seconds. SiteGround fits into that time with some seconds to spare.
But that’s not a real website. Next up, I installed a nice theme with demo content on it. Made it pretty heavy, in fact.
And SiteGround did not flinch. LCP increased to 0.8 seconds but that’s still very fast.
In fact, I believe that’s the fastest result for shared hosting that I got this year.
And… It’s possible to make it better.
SiteGround has many tools for increasing website speed. Some of them are automatically on, while others you can set up yourself. I wondered how much faster the provider could be if I maxed out on all the optimizations.
Well… 160ms faster.
For a human eye, this number is not a big deal. But for computers, it is.
If you’re in a competitive market, every tiny little detail counts. You need those 160ms to beat your competitors in search engine rankings and overall visibility. So SiteGround is a solid choice if you're looking for a fast hosting.
On the other hand, a real person won’t care if your website loads in 1s or 1.2s. So if it’s a personal website or a local business – don’t worry about the speed that much.
SiteGround stress testing
Finally, the most important thing is how much traffic and how well a provider can handle. SiteGround promises me 25 000 visits a month on GrowBig.
To see if that’s close to the truth, I’ve sent 50 virtual users to my website. And SiteGround received them with open arms.
What’s important here is the blue line, which represents speed, and the grey line that represents visitors. That blue line should stay as flat as possible.
Flat it stayed. There was one bump, but overall, SiteGround did not care that I put major pressure on its servers. It remained as fast with 50 visitors on the site as it was with 0.
But are 50 visitors a lot?
Well, let’s say that there were 50 visitors on your website every single minute, and they kept changing. Some come in, some come out. That would mean 10s of thousands of monthly visits. So I think this test shows that SiteGround can handle more than its promised 25 000 visitors per month.
I can only give the host A++ for performance. It passed all of my tests with ease.
What makes SiteGround hosting fast?
SiteGround is capable of showing one of the best performance results because it has a very strong technology behind it.
Server location choice
One of the first things that’s important when it comes to speed, is making sure that the server on which a website is hosted, is close to the visitor. If it’s not – latency adds up and makes page loading times way longer.
SiteGround covers the majority of the world. You can pick a server from 6 locations – the US (Iowa), Europe (UK, Netherlands, Germany), Singapore, and Australia.
SiteGround uses the most powerful Google Cloud server infrastructure, so you know you get the best hardware available in the market today. It's the behind-the-scenes setup that helps the provider stay on top of its game and avoid any technical issues associated with running your own servers.
When purchasing, pick the server that’s closest to your target audience. Meanwhile, if your audience is global, you can also set up Cloudflare Content Delivery Network (CDN) directly in the Site Tools.
It will cache your website to a server network around the world. This means that you’ll be battling latency by having copies of your website on servers all over the world.
Newest technology and software optimizations
Web hosting technology is constantly evolving, and it’s nice to see that SiteGround implements the newest updates as soon as they are secure. Some of the examples that your website will be using are the newest PHP versions, HTTP/2 and QUIC, TLS 1.3, and OCSP Stapling.
SiteGround also combines Apache (as a web server) and Nginx (as a reverse proxy). This allows using the best of both technologies to speed up the communication between the server and the visitor’s browser. That’s because such a setup allows caching content as well as balancing loads.
In-house speed solutions: Ultrafast PHP and custom MySQL setup
For GrowBig and GoGeek plans, SiteGround introduced a custom PHP setup which they named Ultrafast PHP. For all plans, a customized MySQL setup is also implemented.
According to the provider, this works to make websites faster and ensure high server security. One of the main areas of improvement is initial server response time, which can be improved by up to 30% with the new PHP setup.
Another feature to boost speed is a customized MySQL setup. It fixes the issue of slow MySQL queries, boosting the speed even further.
While I would otherwise be skeptical about such claims, the performance testing results do speak for themselves. SiteGround showed significantly better performance results than its competitors.
SuperCacher and SG Optimizer
SuperCacher is a 3-layer caching tool which you’ll find in your control panel under the Caching menu option. It combines:
- NGINX Direct Delivery caches the static website content such as images.
- Dynamic caching stores your website’s HTML in RAM instead of converting PHP to HTML every time someone wants to visit the website. This saves resources such as CPU and makes the website load faster.
- Memcached caches the results from database queries to RAM. This way, commonly used database information is accessible faster, reducing page loading times.
NGINX Direct Delivery and dynamic cache are activated by default while you can opt-in for Memcached on your own in Site Tools.
This is where the SG optimizer plugin comes into play too.
SG Optimizer plugin is automatically added to all WordPress installations. It allows you to manage cache settings directly in your WP admin dashboard as well as gives you a bunch of useful tools. These include automatic image optimization, lazy loading, and code optimizations – basically, all the frontend speed boosting solutions in one place.
The combination of these 2 has a proven track record in making websites faster and are very easy to use. In fact, most of the optimizations are done automatically.
The bottom line is that SiteGround’s performance is pristine. The uptime is better than guaranteed, and it loads websites very fast. Not to mention that the provider didn’t lose face when I loaded up my website. I made it hard on purpose, but SiteGround jumped through all the hoops. Plus, we got to see that all of the cool speed optimizations actually work.
Like any other hosting provider that respects itself and its customers, SiteGround takes security seriously. To that effect, the provider has multiple safety features designed to protect its servers as well as all websites hosted on them.
SiteGround is in your face with how well it handles security, so I decided to see what’s the fuss about. Oh, boy, I wasn’t disappointed. The provider doesn’t stop at free WildCard SSL certificates. Here is what it offers:
- Real-time monitoring system – the server status is checked every 0.5 seconds.
- A custom web application firewall (WAF) – SiteGround adds new rules every year. Hundreds of them. This helps to protect from the emerging application vulnerabilities.
- An AI anti-bot system – designed to block millions of threats every single day.
- SiteGround Security plugin – it protects from common attacks such as brute force, common malware, and other issues, known all too well for the WordPress community.
Moreover, all websites enjoy daily automated backups. You can restore your website with a single click. Plus, you have the freedom of choosing what to restore:
- All files and databases
- Just files
- Just databases
The backups are distributed and stored in different data centers for increased redundancy and security. So even if one copy is damaged, there's a perfectly well backup still available.
Another notable security feature is that all plans deliver free Cloudflare accounts. You can set up Cloudflare yourself, but SiteGround integrated it into your Site Tools. That makes it easier to set up. Please don’t underestimate Cloudflare’s importance. It protects your website against DDoS attacks. When your website’s content is distributed to multiple servers worldwide, the original IP is masked. The feature analyzes traffic and blocks anything malicious, as well.
Also, Cloudflare can boost your website's speed a bit.
One thing that I didn’t appreciate about SiteGround’s security approach is that it makes domain privacy a paid option. And it ain’t cheap. You have to pay $12 for the first year, and it costs $24/year to renew. A lot of domain registrars out there don’t even bother to charge for domain privacy. If you’re from Europe, however, you don’t have to worry about it. Not for most TLDs, anyway.
Generally, I was happy with SiteGround’s security features. There’s a lot of them, and you can actually see that the provider is fixed on taking care of its servers. Domain privacy is an extra expense, but you win something, you lose something. Overall, the most essential security features are there and strong. And for that, SiteGround is on top of our secure web hosting list.
Customer support – will SiteGround help me?
SiteGround offers customer support via multiple channels. The live chat, phone support, and helpdesk tickets are available 24/7. There is also an extensive knowledge base, a help widget on every page of your account control panel and Site Tools, and a smart AI chatbot.
I read a lot of SiteGround reviews, and they all said that SiteGround’s customer support is excellent. That, combined with a couple of Stevie Awards for customer service and the provider's claim of 97.7% customer satisfaction rate in previous years. Of course, I wouldn’t believe it, so I decided to give it a go myself. I’m a doubting Thomas like that.
The first thing I noticed was that SiteGround prefers you to use the help widget. It’s on every page, after all. The widget takes you to Help Center where you'll find a ton of information in articles and tutorials.
Of course, you might want to contact an actual person instead of reading countless tutorials.
This is where it can get a little tricky.
You see, due to the high demand for customer support, SiteGround tries to optimize its processes so that everyone can get help in the most efficient way possible.
Therefore, you won’t be able to simply open a live chat window and ask a question. No. First of all, you’ll need to specify the area of your interest and see if the Help Center has an answer. If not, a field to enter your question appears.
For some categories, questions go straight to the ticketing system. For others, you can choose a live chat or phone call option. No way of knowing which option you'll get. I was lucky this time.
As per usual, I went with live chat and was immediately connected to the agent.
The agent was very fast and friendly. He also tried his best to solve my issue. You see, using VPN, I managed to buy my plan from Europe's version of SiteGround and now wanted to change my currency to USD.
Unfortunately, that’s not possible to do automatically. I was advised to simply register a new account and contact the agent again for the transfer.
Seems fair. I really liked how fast I was offered a solution.
So while I was quite skeptical of all that mingling with the Help Center and entering my question in a random text box without knowing the future outcome at first… SiteGround support proved to be very efficient and fast. And that’s what we’re looking for.
SiteGround hosting review – the final verdict
Putting everything together, I can say that SiteGround is in a league of its own. It excels in every major department – ease of use, performance, security, and customer support. At the same time, the price reflects the quality accurately.
If you didn’t have the time to sift through my way-too-long SiteGround review or want to refresh your memory, here’s a quick summary:
|Feature||Premium hosting for business|
|Pricing||SiteGround prices start at $3.99/month. It offers good value for money with many advanced website management tools, strong security, and great performance.|
|Ease of Use||In terms of ease of use, SiteGround doesn’t disappoint. Even if you’re a beginner, you’ll have all the support you can get. Creating a website and installing WordPress is a few clicks away. So is setting up a professional email account. You should not experience any difficulties whatsoever.|
|Performance||When it comes to performance, this is where SiteGround shines brighter than all our futures. It scored 99.99% uptime, loaded my fully built website in under a second, and handled 50 visitors at the same time with ease.|
|Security||As far as security is concerned, SiteGround is not playing around. The provider implements several security features meant to protect your website. SSL certificates, DDoS protection, and daily backups are counted in.|
|Support||Live chat, phone, and helpdesk tickets are available 24/7. The knowledge base, help widget, and AI chatbot are helpful too. The not-so-fantastic part is that it takes you a while to locate the live chat option and the toll-free phone number.|
So who do I recommend SiteGround to?
SiteGround's shared hosting is best for business websites, freelancers, and small agencies. Especially those who need to beat competitors in every department – the provider has all the tools and top-level performance to help you out.
Who I don’t recommend SiteGround to:
If you are going for a small personal site, SiteGround might be too much for you. After all, you don't buy a huge truck if you'll drive it alone daily in crowded NY streets, right? It's getting the right kind of service for personal needs that matters. That’s why I picked out a couple of alternatives that offer different services at different price points.
Alternatives to SiteGround
SiteGround might be great but that doesn’t make it great for you. If you have different needs or requirements for a hosting provider, I would recommend looking at Hostinger or Bluehost
Hostinger is a much cheaper alternative to SiteGround that still manages to deliver great performance. The prices start at $1.39/month.
While the pricing difference is obvious, Hostinger is not much slower than SiteGround, when it comes to performance. What you do sacrifice though, is advanced website management tools – Hostinger is easy to use but doesn’t have as many features.
When it comes to functionality, SiteGround and Bluehost are almost on the same level. It’s just that Bluehost is way cheaper with the starting price of $2.95/month.
Bluehost focuses on WordPress hosting and includes many helpful features such as staging. It’s one of the best providers to start an online business. It's a good option if you don't require top-tier performance.
Is SiteGround a good hosting company?
Yes, SiteGround is good as a hosting company. It comes with a lot of useful features like caching, in-house developed security tools, and its performance is one of the best I’ve ever seen.
Why is SiteGround expensive?
SiteGround can seem more premium-priced when compared to other providers. However, SiteGround uses a very powerful Google Cloud platform and offers many in-house developed features, that increase the price.
Is SiteGround good for WooCommerce hosting?
Yes, SiteGround is a good choice when it comes to WooCommerce. All provider's shared hosting plans are eCommerce ready and pack enough power to run small-to-medium-sized online stores.
What are the best SiteGround alternatives?
While SiteGround is a reliable and powerful hosting provider, there are quite a few good alternatives, like Hostinger, Bluehost, HostGator, Liquid Web, or Cloudways, that might either offer lower prices or even more resources.
Does SiteGround offer white label hosting?
Yes, SiteGround does offer white-label hosting. You can get this service with its GoGeek plan specifically.
Does SiteGround offer VPS hosting?
SiteGround does not offer VPS hosting. You can only choose between shared and cloud hosting when choosing this provider.
Does SiteGround use cPanel?
No, SiteGround doesn’t use cPanel. Not anymore, at least. It has its own native control panel, Site Tools, which is intuitive and easy to use.
Can I pay SiteGround with PayPal?
Yes, you can pay SiteGround with PayPal, even if the option is not listed among the accepted methods of payment. However, you have to contact the Sales Department via the live chat option if you want to use PayPal as a means of payment.