SiteGround was founded in 2004, so it’s a budding webhost compared to other hosts that dominate the industry. The founders are friends from college, originally maintaining the host from their dormitories and likely pushing the boundaries of acceptable dorm use. Today, they employ 140 people and host more than 300,000 domains.
- Overstaffed support with one-click escalation
- Managed Joomla and WordPress hosting
- Data centers across the world
- Publicly spoke against PIPA and SOPA
- Partnered with 10 industry-standard software companies
- Checkout process is confusing
- Restrictive money-back guarantee
Hosting Package: (Rating: 10/10)
SiteGround has an overwhelming number of hosting packages. Normally, this is a drawback because it can be confusing and sometimes unnecessary. However, they do a great job of laying out their packages and staggering the premium features and prices.
They offer shared hosting, cloud hosting, dedicated servers and reseller hosting as well as WordPress services and Joomla Services.
Under their shared hosting, you can choose from three different plans – ranging from websites for 10,000 per month visitors to as much as 100,000 visitors. Their cloud hosting comes in four different options ranging from entry level to enterprise. If you’re looking for dedicated hosting, you will have three plans to choose from.
Domain registration is included in their hosting packages, but you are limited on domains depending on which package you choose. They do, however, have plans that accommodate companies that need multiple sites and domains.
Features: (Rating: 10/10)
Each SiteGround hosting package has Essential, Premium, or Geeky Advanced features. Essential features are fairly standard to all hosts. Premium features include priority tech support, one free SSL certificate, a SuperCacher for better speed, and 30 backup copies. Accounts with Geeky Advanced features include Essential and Premium features, in addition to having fewer accounts on the same server, free PCI compliance, pre-installed Git and Staging, and “advanced hardware.”
Their Essential Features package includes things like a free domain, website builder, app installs, site transfer, email accounts, unlimited traffic, unlimited MySQL DB and free daily backups. Their Premium Features include things like priority technical support, SuperCacher for faster speeds, 1 year of a free SSL certificate and 30 backup copies.
They also have the Geeky Advanced features, which include less accounts sharing a server with you, advanced hardware, PCI compliance (for free) and preinstalled Git and staging area.
If you opt for Joomla hosting, there are special features that include things like their Essential Joomla Features (free domain, free Joomla installation, 24/7 Joomla support, free Joomla transfer, jHackGuard Plug-In, Joomla auto-updates), Premium Joomla Features (Joomla Super Cacher, 30 backup copies, priority tech support and 1 year free SSL certificate) and Geeky Joomla Features (1-click Joomla staging area, less accounts, pre-installed Git for Joomla).
Security: (Rating: 10/10)
Besides cPanel’s standard security features, SiteGround offers tutorials on how to secure email, Joomla, and other aspects of a website. They also blog about hosting security, giving technical specifications and pointing out how they do things differently. It’s common to see outsourced copy that touts the same “We’re the best!” mentality. By itself, this isn’t impressive. However, we were caught off guard by the fact that it’s the CEO himself, Tenko Nikolov, who blogs about site security.
WordPress: (Rating: 10/10)
SiteGround does offer WordPress installs and they even have a dynamic cacher for WordPress applications so that your site always runs quickly. They have specific WordPress hosting plans as well that include one-click installation, free domain names, free templates and installation, transfer of existing accounts and a guarantee you won’t have downtime with the transfer – because their in-house WordPress experts handle the transfer for you.
They also include automatic updates for your WordPress site. This is extremely important, because as WordPress updates, it is imperative that your site does too. Not all hosts will offer auto updates.
They also offer daily automatic backups for WordPress sites and there is an easy roll-back feature after you update (if you need it).
If you sign up for a WordPress hosted site, you get access to other features, including Essential WordPress features which are free domain, free WP install, 99.9 percent uptime, free CloudFlare CDN, free daily backups, free email, unlimited MySQL DB, three servers, Free WP transfers, WP auto updates, cPanel and SSH and unlimited traffic. For higher level plans, you get WordPress Premium features, which include WordPress Super Cacher, 30 backup copies, priority tech support and 1-year free SSL certificate. Lastly, you can unlock the Geeky WordPress features with a higher plan that includes one-click WordPress staging, less accounts sharing a server with you and pre-installed Git for WordPress as well as free PCI compliance.
Ease of Use: (Rating: 8/10)
Compared to the hosting companies out there, SiteGround is remarkably user-friendly – and that’s always appreciated. They offer numerous Website Tutorials – including WordPress specific tutorials. If you need help setting up your domain or even working with SSH, they have in-depth tutorials on their site as well. When you examine other user experiences, they have an excellent rating for ease of use too – so it’s not just us thinking they are simple.
They also feature a lot of one-click installations, auto updates, auto backups and free expert-handled site transfers – which is impressive considering how affordable they are. Their tech support is also extremely helpful.
Reliability: (Rating: 10/10)
SiteGround likes being dependable and unlike other discount web hosts, SiteGround lives up to their promises. They have excellent uptime and they promise 99.99 percent uptime to their customers. You can also check their server status at anytime through your account portal if you want to know if there is a down server.
SiteGround has server locations on three different continents and their locations include Chicago, London, Amsterdam and Singapore. They use high-end physical security, enterprise-class electricity redundancy (so units never lose power), and they have strategically placed their server locations for maximum connectivity. Also, their data center locations spread out ensures your site gets a data center that is within close proximity.
On SiteGround’s website you can even tour their data centers via photos – a nice feature.
Help and Support: (Rating: 10/10)
So far, SiteGround is the only host that’s promised to respond to support tickets quickly. Their first response time is 10 minutes, whereas other hosts will keep a customer waiting for 24 to 48 business days, if not longer. SiteGround swears by overstaffing, leaving support staff to literally wait for someone to call. Even better, they have a “one-click escalation” button, which is exactly what it sounds like. When you’re not happy with a customer service rep, simply click a button to speak to a supervisor.
Most important is chat – and we get that. Their chat is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and you will be connected quickly – of course, you may have to wait in a queue. Not all companies offer chat and this is an important help feature, because most of us don’t have time to deal with email or wait on the phone to get our issues resolved.
SiteGround has three shared hosting plans to choose from, which include:
- StartUp: 1 website, 10GB web space, up to 10,000 visitors per month and the essential features package. Starts at $3.95 per month for introductory and $9.95 per month after that.
- GrowBig: Multiple websites, 20GB web space, up to 25,000 visits per month, all essential features and all premium features. Starts at $7.95 per month for introductory and $14.95 per month after that.
- GoGeek: Multiple websites, 30GB web space, up to 100,000 visits monthly, all essential features and premium features and the geeky advanced features.
There are four cloud hosting plans, which include:
- Entry: 1x 3.0GHz CPU, 2GB DDR3 RAM, 20GB disk space, 5TB bandwidth. Starts at $60 per month.
- Business: 2x 3.0GHz CPU, 2GB DDR3 RAM, 40GB disk space and 5TB bandwidth. Starts at $80 per month.
- Business Plus: 2x 3.0GHz CPU, 3GB DDR3 RAM, 60GB disk space, and 5TB bandwidth. Starts at $100 per month.
- Enterprise: 4x 3.0GHz CPU, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 80GB disk space, 5TB bandwidth. Starts at $140.00 per month.
There are three options for dedicated servers in the United States, which include:
- Entry Server: Intel Xeon E3-1230 CPU, 4 CPU Cores, 8 CPU threads, 3.20Ghz CPU clock speed, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 500GB SATA II HDD, 5TB bandwidth. Starts at $229.00 per month.
- Power Server: Intel Xeon E3-1270 CPU, 3.50Ghz CPU Clock Speed, 4 CPU Cores, 8 CPU threads, 8MB CPU Cache, 16GB DDR3 RAM, 1TB SATA II HDD, and 5TB bandwidth. Starts at $329.00 per month.
- Enterprise Server: 2x Intel Xeon E5-2620 CPU, 2.00Ghz CPU clock speed, 2 x 6 CPU Cores, 2 x 12 CPU threads, 15MB CPU Cache, 16GB DDR3 RAM, 4x 500GB SATA III/RAID 10 HDD and 5TB bandwidth. Starts at $429.00 per month.
There are three WordPress hosting plans to choose from, which include:
- StartUp: 1 website, 10GB web space, up to 10,000 visits per month and Essential WordPress Features. Starts at $3.95 per month.
- GrowBig: Multiple websites, 20GB web space, up to 25,000 visits per month, Essential and Premium WordPress features. Starts at $7.95 per month.
- GoGeek: Multiple websites, 30GB web space, up to 100,000 visits per month, Essential, Premium and Geeky WordPress Features included. Starts at $14.95 per month.
Joomla hosting is similar to WordPress and includes three plans:
- StartUp: 1 website, 10GB web space, and up to 10,000 visits per month. Essential Joomla features included. Starts at $3.95 per month.
- GrowBig: Multiple websites, 20GB web space, up to 25,000 visits per month, Essential and Premium Joomla features included. Starts at $7.95 per month.
- GoGeek: Multiple websites, 30GB web space, up to 100,000 visits per month, Essential, Premium and Geeky Joomla Features included. Starts at $14.95 per month.
Starting Monthly Price: $3.95
# of Domains: 1 to Unlimited
Money Back Guarantee: 30 Days
Disk Space: 10GB - 500GB
# of MySQL Databases: Unlimited
Data Backups: Daily
Unique IP Address
Optimized Wordpress Hosting
# of Email Addresses: Unlimited
Email Storage: 500MB per mailbox
1-Click App Installs
Custom Cron Jobs
Dedicated SSL Certificate
Shared SSL Certificates
Help and Support
Who is This Host Best Suited For?
SiteGround offers a variety of packages, prices and features to suit just about any web hosting need. Whether you have a blog, personal website or you’re a developer, their robust package offerings and features are perfect. Plus, they have excellent reliability, which means you don’t have to worry about your site going down.
What we Like about SiteGround
Overstaffed Support with One-click Escalation: SiteGround isn’t afraid to pay more for better customer satisfaction. They promise to answer the phone and respond to live chats “instantly.” In addition, their tickets receive a reply back in under an hour. Considering the hundreds, possibly thousands of people they speak to each day, this is no small feat.
Managed Joomla, WordPress, and Magento Hosting: Most major webhosts are catching the drift and offering managed WordPress hosting. However, SiteGround goes two steps further by offering Joomla and Magento hosting. The staff are even trained to know the intricacies of Joomla and Magento plugins.
Data Centers across the World: SiteGround has data centers in Chicago, Amsterdam, and Singapore. Their strategically-chosen locations allow for the best connectivity. Customers can choose the closest data center to their primary visitors.
Publicly Spoke against PIPA and SOPA: Unlike Go Daddy, which spoke in favor of SOPA, and the plethora of webhosts that remained silent on such an important issue, SiteGround openly rejected both PIPA and SOPA. They created plugins for their customers to use and also display their solidarity against the bills. Perhaps even more helpful, they explained the issue to their customers and how it would affect them. SiteGround took more action in favor of protecting the Internet than did most companies.
Excellent Pricing: Compared to other hosting plans out there, the shared and cloud hosting as well as WordPress hosting from SiteGround is very affordable – making them ideal for startups, bloggers and companies.
Partnered with 10 Industry-standard Software Companies: SiteGround is partnered with the following companies:
- Spam Experts
- Open Classifieds
What we Don’t Like about SiteGround
Checkout Process is Confusing: SiteGround’s stated price is promotional, but the duration of that promotion is not easily found. Our best guess is that it lasts until the end of a contract (12 to 36 months), and then it’s renewed at double the original price.
Upon navigating to the checkout page, you’ll find that all extra features have been selected for you, raising the total by $48. If you planned to purchase the Startup package, this doubles the total. In addition, “Premium Support” is checked but it’s only free for the first three months. After three months, it’s billed at $3.95/month. This process could easily be made less of a hassle. It’s also disappointing that the company is relying on customers’ forgetfulness to sell add-ons.
Restrictive Money-Back Guarantee: SiteGround’s money-back guarantee has more fine print than we’ve seen before. It’s a standard 30-day guarantee that excludes the cost of domain registration and optional add-ons. However, it’s restricted to shared hosting packages. Dedicated, semi-dedicated, VPS, and cloud customers aren’t eligible for refunds.
In addition, when your account inevitably automatically renews at double the original price (because you forgot to cancel and negotiate a better deal elsewhere), the money-back guarantee doesn’t apply.
SiteGround’s satisfaction rates speak for themselves: more than 90% of customers report that they’re “satisfied” if not “very satisfied” with the company’s packages and support. Other webhosts have more lenient money-back guarantees and less confusing checkouts. If you can navigate past these hurdles, it should be smooth sailing for 12-36 months.