SiteGround Review

 

Started by a group of college buddies in 2004, SiteGround has grown from the dorm room to a leading Web hosting provider. With data centers on three continents, SiteGround hosting services have an infrastructure in place to deliver premium services. Users enjoy a free domain, cutting-edge technology, and amazing customer support. The company offers WordPress and Joomla toolkits, SuperCacher installation software, and a bevy of development features. However, I have read a few SiteGround reviews that suggest the company does not deliver as premium of a service as some would like, leaving the value lacking in the eyes of many users.

Highlights

  • CloudFlare CDN – Outstanding security and top-notch performance
  • Support – Excellent customer service and knowledge base help
  • Cost – Renewal rates can be high for the value of the service

From a distance, the company looks to be doing many things very well. I decided to put SiteGround hosting through the paces to see for myself if it lived up to its premium billing. Among other things, I’ll investigate their pricing, technologies, pros and cons, and other features.

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Ideal For

For a fair price, the company provides a secure environment, advanced technology, and lots of easy-to-use tools. Because of that, SiteGround is a solid option for most online projects. That being said, even with the cutting-edge equipment and software, page load times can be a little slow for very large, complex websites. So I would stop short of recommending the company to those few outliers, feeling much more comfortable having individuals and small to medium-sized businesses use the company, instead. Based on many other SiteGround hosting reviews, other users would feel the same way.

For the individual looking to create an online portfolio or start a blog page, the basic shared SiteGround WordPress hosting package should work great. If your SiteGround blog grows a little bit and you start getting more traffic, it only costs a few dollars more a month to upgrade to the next tier. The same holds true for business and e-commerce sites. For the most part, thanks to SiteGround’s support, knowledge base, and technologies, users are able to grow their online projects with ease.

Hosting Features

SiteGround Web hosting packages are full-featured to help your business grow. Unlimited traffic, email accounts, and databases mean no anchor to hold your online project back. I like that the SiteGround security squad is available 24/7, uses the CloudFare content delivery system to keep files safe, and guarantees that their sites are up 99.9% of the time. That added confidence is comforting if you are trying new business tactics with your site, for example. With premium speed, security, and support from SiteGround, hosting problems are minimal. E-commerce, Joomla, and WordPress websites run great on the company’s advanced technology. Finally, all plans include SiteGround SEO tools to drive traffic to your website, the easy-to-use cPanel, and a 30-day, money-back guarantee.

Technology

It’s difficult to find a place to start when it comes to SiteGround technology. The company incorporates enough state-of-the-art equipment and software into its hosting platform to make every day Christmas for Web developers. Primarily, SiteGround SSH lets your IT team perform admin tasks on the command prompt without having to be directly connected to the server. E-commerce users rely on SiteGround SSL certificates to ensure the safe transfer of their customers’ credit card information. If those online retailers are adding items to their inventory, SiteGround FTP connections make it easy to upload image files to their storefronts. Finally, proactive monitoring of the company’s server technologies ensures that the whole operation runs like a well-oiled machine.

Pricing

From basic shared Web hosting to full-scale enterprise dedicated servers, there are SiteGround plans for nearly every budget and need. All plans, at the very minimum, include a free domain name, site setup and transfer, daily back up, and CloudFlare CDN. Also included is unlimited traffic, email accounts, and databases. All of this is backed by a 30-day, money-back guarantee, 24/7 tech support, and 99.9% uptime. Below are the current prices that SiteGround is offering. Any introductory deals or special promotions are not reflected. It should be noted that these are the SiteGround renewal prices, also.

 

Hosting TypeTier 1Tier 2Tier 3Tier 4
Shared Web$9.95/Month$14.95/Month$29.95/MonthN/A
Cloud$60/Month$80/Month$100/Month$140/Month
Dedicated$229/Month$329/Month$429/MonthN/A

Ease of Use

For all of the technology that SiteGround employs for the back-end of its platform, the company incorporates a lot of it upfront, too, to make for a better user experience. I found it very easy to navigate my way around. The main SiteGround user interface is a one-stop account management page loaded with simple-to-use tools like domain controls, billing and renewal information, and help-ticket tracking. From that page, the intuitive enhanced cPanel is just a click away where tons of extra features are found. Any hosting service that uses the cPanel is automatically going to score high marks for due to its sweeping usage. Having the user area mimic the feel of the cPanel simply adds to SiteGround’s usability.

Website Builder Features

SiteGround recently changed its standard website builder from Zen to Website Wizard. Even though it will be new to users familiar with more popular builders like Weebly, Website Wizard is intuitive and quite simple to use. It comes loaded with a wealth of industry-specific SiteGround templates. While industry themes are certainly handy, I find that they can sometimes stifle creativity. I personally prefer to use something like SiteGround WordPress themes, which provide a little bit more variety. That way, your site won’t look similar to your competition’s page. No matter which route you choose, the Website Wizard has more than enough tools to help you make your SiteGround domain a highly functional resource for your visitors.

Top 3 Pros and Cons

To grow from an operation run in their college dorm rooms to one of the leaders in the Web hosting industry, clearly, SiteGround has done many things the right way. It stays ahead of the technology curve by using state-of-the-art equipment and software; is hyper-diligent when it comes to data security; and educate its users with an extensive knowledge base. That is not to say that everything SiteGround touches turns to gold. There are some spots that could use a good polishing.

Here are some areas where SiteGround really impresses and a few areas where it might want to improve.

Pros

  • Support: Count on ridiculously quick help-ticket response time
  • Multiple Data Centers: Built-in redundancy ensures 99.9% uptime
  • Security: Proactive monitoring keeps your data safe

Cons

  • Customer Support: Staff could be better trained to provide instant assistance
  • Google Ad Words: Other providers include them, but SiteGround does not
  • Storage: Limited space on basic plan may force users into higher tier

Customer Support

SiteGround customer service is very good and has the potential to be absolutely amazing. I have seen a few reviews that knock individual staff members for having to escalate simple issues. Aside from that, I see no reason why users would not receive an over-the-top customer experience. The first thing that jumps out about SiteGround support is that it does not keep users waiting. The company overstaffs all shifts 24/7 so that they can respond to help tickets within 10 minutes and are instantly accessible via phone and live chat. Additionally, SiteGround has an in-house issue tracking process and performs load balancing for incoming requests. Another interesting fact about the company is that there is a dedicated SiteGround contact team for application-specific help. Having a group of experts available to assist with proprietary and third-party tools is an added customer service bonus.

Coupons, Discounts & Promotions

As with many hosting providers, the company offers special pricing from time to time. The best SiteGround discount is for its shared hosting plans. Current savings are 50 to 60 percent off the regular price. I was looking for SiteGround coupon codes on the Web and found more than a few. However, I was unable to verify their validity with the company. As with most third-party deals, if the price looks too good to be true, it probably is. I will say, though, that the company provides a great deal of technology and support with its hosting plans. They are a solid value, as-is. If you can find a discount above and beyond that, even better!

Free Offers

Aside from the typical free features that are included with its hosting packages--like unlimited email, site transfers, easy-install applications, and a domain name--there is not anything else that SiteGround gives away. I scoured the Web for free trials and found none that I could confirm with the company. One in particular promised a free month of SiteGround hosting. However the link simply directed me to the company’s shared hosting plans. SiteGround users can take advantage of free offers from some of the company’s affiliates, though. Some of its hosting plans come with 30 free days from third-party applications. So, be on the lookout for those.

cPanel

I really appreciate the fact that the SiteGround control panel is the industry standard cPanel. The company incorporates so much great technology into what it does, it seemingly would have been very easy to create its own control panel. Instead, users get to enjoy the intuitively organized, easy-to-use SiteGround cPanel. This is basically like getting a brand new HDTV and still getting to keep the same remote control that you have been used to for years. As cPanel users know, one SiteGround cPanel login provides access to account management tools, email settings, Web builders, databases, and other developer and administrative permissions and areas.

VPS Hosting

For users looking for added flexibility and security beyond what come with shared hosting from SiteGround, VPS is not an option. The company does not offer VPS hosting. However, SiteGround cloud hosting is fairly reasonably priced and delivers the same fundamental benefits of VPS hosting. If your online project is outgrowing its shared hosting quarters, I suggest looking into the SiteGround cloud as a potential solution.

Shared Hosting

Oozing with technology, SiteGround shared hosting plans are a fantastic value—at their special introductory prices. The regular price is a solid deal; but, saving 50 to 60 percent off is amazing! All plans come with free domains and site transfers, app installs, and email accounts. All SiteGround pages allow unlimited traffic and support unlimited MySQL databases. SiteGround technology promises 99.9 percent uptime, daily backups, and SuperCacher optimization. All of this is backed by SiteGround’s 24/7 support and a 30-day, money-back guarantee.

Dedicated Hosting

For customers who really want to take advantage of SiteGround’s cutting-edge technology, dedicated hosting is the way to go. Building, storing, and running your online enterprise on a SiteGround dedicated server will provide you with the power and control that you need. I like the fact that there is an option to select one of three data centers so that you can position your server closer to your visitors. SiteGround dedicated hosting plans are equipped with an exclusive selection of high-performance hardware; are managed and monitored around the clock; and are backed by 24/7 VIP customer support.

Cloud Hosting

I am a huge fan of cloud hosting. The benefits of speed, scalability, redundancy, and economics make it an ideal hosting option for medium to large Web projects. SiteGround cloud hosting provides those same benefits on the company’s advanced technological infrastructure. With data centers on three different continents, SiteGround’s cloud is completely contained under the company’s umbrella. There is no fear of contamination from third-parties or outsourced servers. All cloud hosting plans are fully managed and are run on the Linux platform with solid-state drives. SiteGround’s cloud resources are auto-scalable to adjust to traffic spikes; secured with daily backups; and packed with tools, plugins, and other features.

Email

The email features from SiteGround Hosting packages are fair. Users receive unlimited email addresses and can create mailing lists, forwards, and auto-responders with their SiteGround email settings. Most other hosting providers offer at least these same features. SiteGround webmail also comes standard with all hosting plans, making checking email from your hand-held device a snap.

If you demand more email features than that, I recommend the company’s email hosting plans. For about $4.00 a month, users receive a full-service business email package. Features include professional SiteGround email setup, server-level optimization, email-specific support staff, and integrated third-party solutions. Your regular SiteGround login can also be used to access your email hosting account, making it simple to manage both aspects of the business.

Conclusion

After conducting my own investigation and reading other SiteGround Web hosting reviews, I have to say that the fundamental features and benefits for users are consistent. Additionally, some of the same flaws have been mentioned by multiple reviewers. The basic SiteGround WordPress hosting review is going to be generally positive. The technology, service, and security that the company provides work great for a customer running a WordPress site. Users with more complex sites may find fault with details such as slow page load time or minimal SEO support. SiteGround is a good company and an impressive Web hosting option. However, I think they fall shy of being able to use the term “premium.”

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