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The Ritz Carlton of hosting
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SiteGround Expert Review
SiteGround is one of the major players in the web hosting industry after five years of operation and a reputation as one of the most reliable and feature-rich Wordpress hosting platforms. In our tests, we found that the company offers an intriguing combination of affordable plans and unlimited bandwidth along with a great toolkit and utilities that make it easier to set up and maintain one or multiple websites under a single plan. SiteGround also tested highly in our trials for load time and uptimes, which are vital for a reliable hosting service.
Pros and Cons
- Getting started with a new hosting instance is easy thanks to SiteGround’s quick and intuitive setup, letting you build your website faster.
- Take charge of your WordPress website management with a variety of useful tools for integrating and administering your site.
- Get the answers and help you need with 24/7 support via chat, phone, or email
- SiteGround keeps your website consistently online with above average uptimes and reliable performance.
- Make sure you have what you need with SiteGround’s generous usage limits and unmetered data transfers for all plans.
- Fast load times mean your website is on users’ screens quicker and ranking higher on search engines.
- Give users confidence in your websites with free included SSL certificates with any plan you choose
- Once you’ve set up, it can be a little intimidating to explore all the features SiteGround has to offer.
- The company’s pricing models are on the higher end of the industry’s average.
- Storage space can become somewhat limited on the smaller plan, and requires an upgrade when your website needs to scale
- Signing up is a great deal at a low price, but renewals can become costlier after the initial subscription expires.
Pricing and Payment Methods
Before creating an account, you can choose from one of SiteGround’s three plans which offer a variety of features on top of the standard hosting service. The company’s most affordable plan, StartUp, starts at $3.95 monthly and provides hosting for a single website along with 10GB of web space and the company’s “essential” WordPress features, which include a free WordPress transfer, daily backups, and unlimited traffic.
You can also choose from the GrowBig plan starting at $5.95 monthly, which features 20GB of web space and adds premium WordPress tools like SuperCacher, priority support, and free backup restores. The most expensive plan, GoGeek, costs $11.95 per month and features 30GB of web space along with all the essential and premium WordPress features in addition to 1-click staging, pre-installed Git, and PCI-compliant servers. Even with their affordable pricing, we found that SiteGround falls toward the higher end of the industry’s price range.
Regardless, we found the site gives you great value and features with any plan. More importantly, once you’ve chosen your subscription and created your account, you can start building your website almost instantly. You can create pages, posts, and other items exactly like you would directly on WordPress.
Ease of Use
SiteGround is good for both beginners and experts, although we found that the experience changes a little depending on your skill level. The service includes a free website builder (courtesy of Weebly), and you can quickly integrate a CMS, and even use SiteGround’s automated WordPress transfer if you’re simply migrating your existing website. Additionally, you can add many of the platform’s other features including SSL certificates, website staging, and building your own Git repository and connection, with a single click.
In our experience, we require services that offer a more complex and deeper functionality, and we were impressed to see SiteGround delivers. You can choose which PHP version to run, easily construct staging servers and connect multiple SQL database languages to it. We find that these advanced features, which are not necessary, can lead some beginners to break something without even realizing it. Even so, you can still get the most out of SiteGround as a beginner.
Load Times and Reliability
Our tests revealed that SiteGround performs quite reliably and with consistent uptimes. A 100% uptime rating is always preferable, but realistically, most services will have at least some minutes of downtime for updates or maintenance. Our tests for uptime span several months and track the average time websites on a hosting service are offline. SiteGround performed admirably during our trial period, keeping uptime above 99.99% while experiencing minimal service outages. On top of this above-average reliability (the industry average is a marginally lower 99.94%), the company’s load times are also impressive thanks to its SuperCacher tool, performing slightly faster than the industry average. We test websites against a benchmark over the span of several months to see how quick webpages load, on average. We were impressed to see that load times were as fast as 680ms, and on average were very responsive.
You really get value for your SiteGround subscription thanks to the many features and add-ons you get with all three plans. You can build an entire website thanks to Weebly, or easily import your existing site with automated WordPress websites. If you are looking to set up a business website, you can also take advantage of an integrated CMS, unlimited email accounts for your team, and a fully operational MySQL database.
If you need more advanced controls, you can choose from multiple PHP versions, FTP accounts, and build a Git repository, and even create a staging server for websites with a single click. Most importantly, you can rest assured that your website is safe from catastrophe with free automatic daily backups (up to 30 copies). If you prefer to be safer, you can also add a free backup restore and on-demand backups with the GoGeek plan. In addition to all this, we were pleased to see that SiteGround includes standard protections like spam filters, hardware and software redundancies, and even automated patching to help avoid security vulnerabilities.
Another big advantage in SiteGround’s favor is the availability and efficiency of its support staff. The company’s support teams are available around the clock, 365 days a year for any issue that may arise. You can contact them via phone, live chat, and email tickets available directly from the company’s website. You can also choose from support in English, Spanish, and Italian. If you signed up for the company’s GrowBig or GoGeek plans, you also have access to priority service. Overall, we found that SiteGround’s support teams were fast, effective, and able to resolve most of our pressing issues with little difficulty.
SiteGround User Reviews
Our reviews focus on giving you the broadest possible overview of a company’s services. To see what other customers are saying about the platform, read some of our top SiteGround user reviews.
Overall our SiteGround expert review found that the company’s services are ideal for a wide range of users. If you’re a beginner looking to start their first website, the integrated website builder and CMS tool can help you quickly hit the ground running. Even so, you may be better off avoiding advanced features like MySQL databases and PHP versions, which could affect your website’s performance.
On the other hand, the ability to customize your back-end to best suit your website’s needs is appealing for advanced users. Teams that have multiple developers and large builds can organize their data on Git easily to keep better version control and manage assets. More importantly, you can test new features easily and securely with staging servers.
For both beginners and experts alike, however, having automated backups, SSL certificates, and several other great features make SiteGround a top choice. While the price is on the higher end of the spectrum, SiteGround still ranks among the top options thanks to its breadth of features and reliable hosting performance.