If you are planning to build your own WordPress website, or you are looking to migrate an existing one, you should first seek out a good, reliable hosting option. While there are plenty of hosting solutions that might seem like a great choice, we have decided to review some of those that are typically considered to be among the top ones and see if they are worthy of the name.
Today, we will be taking a look at a hosting solution known as SiteGround, which you have likely already heard of. SiteGround is a well-known solution that is used by many, but before we recommend it, let’s see if it is truly as good as it claims to be.
As mentioned, SiteGround is a very popular shared hosting provider — one which offers a lot of different hosting options. In other words, its users have a great many choices before them right from the start. These include things like cloud hosting, dedicated servers, and of course — WordPress hosting, which might be just what you are looking for.
After looking into it, we were able to confirm that one of its strongest features is its outstanding customer support, which is quick to help, knowledgeable, polite, and quite helpful. Furthermore,
SiteGround also turned out to have very fast, very stable servers, and its plans are pretty affordable.
Finally, each plan comes with some great free features, including SSL and CDN certificates, which is not always the case with hosting providers.
We will talk more about all of this in detail down below, but for now, this solution truly looks like it deserves the name of one of the best hosting solutions out there. Of course, it does have some drawbacks, but no solution out there is perfect, even though the market is pretty competitive.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at SiteGround’s strengths and weaknesses, pricing, extra features, and everything else that you need to know before choosing this hosting option.
SiteGround: Strengths and Weaknesses
Let’s start off with SiteGround’s pros, as there are quite a few of them. Fortunately, we have discovered that SiteGround checks out some of the most important boxes, including:
- Great uptime
- Excellent speed
- Top customer support
- Free site migration
- Free certificates for all plans
- Abundance of features
- 30-day money-back guarantee
As for its weaknesses, SiteGround does have a few, which include:
- Expensive renewal rates
- Monthly plans include a ‘setup fee’
- Lacks a free domain name
- Cheap plans are limited
After that, we will list its plans and prices, and you will know exactly what this solution has to offer. Let’s begin.
As mentioned, SiteGround has rather excellent uptime, and in truth, it is one of the best hosting providers out there, from this point of view.
Its uptime performance has been almost perfect during every month in the last two years. The average uptime is ranging from 99.98% to 100%, but most of the time, it sat at 99.99%.
All in all, the service has an average of 99.99% uptime, which is exceptional and very reliable. And, as you know, a reliable uptime means a reliable website, which is bound to make your site’s visitors quite satisfied.
In extent, that means that you will not miss out on any of the purchases, visits, or other types of activity, depending on what your website is all about.
As you know, speed is extremely important for websites and hosting providers. It determines how quickly your website will load. In other words, speed determines how long your site’s visitor and potential customer will have to wait before they can start viewing your site and interacting with it.
According to Google, over 53% of people will only give your site a very short period of around 3 seconds to load. If it happens to take longer, people will simply lose interest and determine that it is not worth the wait, even if they have no idea of what you have to offer.
The internet lives fast and moves faster, so you need to be able to keep up in order to stay relevant.
Now, when it comes to SiteGround, its average loading time is at around 681ms, which is quite above the industry’s average. In other words, this hosting provider’s speed is excellent, and by choosing it, you will ensure that your customers won’t have anything to complain about when it comes to opening new pages.
Make no mistake; speed is not something that you can fix if you happen to go with a slow provider. You can make it only slightly better by making your website as light as possible, by compressing images and performing similar tricks.
However, this will not help much, and if your hosting provider is slow, your site will be, too.
This is not the case with SiteGround, which is definitely among the top 10 in terms of speed.
3) Customer Service
Next, we have customer service, and we cannot stress the importance of this aspect enough. Whenever there is a problem of any kind with a website, online shop, or even products — customer service will be contacted.
Visitors will even reach out if they have a question or just due to genuine curiosity, so site owners need to be able to respond properly. In this case, of course, you are the client who might have a problem with SiteGround itself. This is nothing strange, as minor issues or confusion do happen all the time, regardless of which hosting provider you go along with.
It will probably happen on SiteGround, as well. If it happens, you need to know that there is a customer support team that you can count on, and we are glad to report that SiteGround has one of the best customer support teams we have ever talked to.
The team is available 24/7 via phone or live chat; its members are very knowledgeable, polite, and helpful. They will not simply hit you with links that contain a wall of text that may or may not answer your question. Instead, they take time to provide you with all the details you may need, which is a big plus in our book.
Furthermore, they do not delay when it comes to answers, and if you contact them via live chat, you will actually talk to them right away, with no noticeable delays.
4) Free Website Migration
If you already have a website that you created in collaboration with another hosting provider, but you wish to migrate it to SiteGround — SiteGround has you covered.
These kinds of decisions are made all the time, and it is nothing unusual. People tend to make their site with the host that starts experiencing issues that were not there previously, or they may choose a hosting provider that is great for smaller sites, but not as good for those that experience rapid growth. Sometimes, they introduce changes that you may not be comfortable with, or something completely different might happen.
No matter the reason, if you wish to migrate your site from some other hosting provider to SiteGround, you can count on it being quick and simple. Best of all, it is free, but only for 1 website.
Furthermore, if you have a WordPress site, SiteGround offers a free WordPress Migration plugin that you can upload anywhere. It doesn’t have complicated walkthroughs, and there is only a minimum amount of work that you yourself need to do. You can use this method for migrating as many sites as you want.
However, if you want professional help, where SiteGround’s team would do all the work for you, that’s where the 1-website-limit kicks in, and each additional migration will cost you around €30.
5) Free Certificates Included
We cannot talk about SiteGround without mentioning the fact that it grants free SSL and CDN certificates with its plans. This is very important since browsers like Google Chrome tend to warn their users if they try to enter a website that doesn’t have an SSL certificate set up.
As you may know, SSL acts as a protective layer between the website and the user’s device, and it protects information that travels between the two. Without it, anyone with enough skill can intercept this data and steal information, which can include some sensitive details, such as credit card numbers, passwords, and other important data.
In other words, if your site doesn’t have SSL, it will make you and your visitors vulnerable. More than that, you won’t be able to generate traffic, as people will take Google’s warning to heart, and they simply won’t return.
Fortunately, SiteGround offers it for free with all of its plans, as well as Cloudflare CDN, which can store large files such as images, and place them on different servers, and even in different locations around the world. That way, the files will load from the server closest to your user, which will speed up the loading process, and make your site that much faster and more enjoyable.
6) Numerous Features
As we approach the end of our list of SiteGround’s strengths, it is important to mention that this hosting provider comes with a massive number of features and that they range from beginner-friendly to advanced.
No matter if you are a first-time site owner or a professional who can’t even remember how many websites you have created and owned — SiteGround has something for everyone.
It offers user-friendly website builders such as Weebly, which allows newcomers to start off their website in only a few clicks. It also features deep integrations with Joomla, WordPress, and even Drupal, all of which are quick and easy to install.
You can do it all yourself, even without previous experience, which is great for anyone who is just entering the business world.
On the other hand, if you are an experienced developer who requires some more advanced options, SiteGround will not disappoint you, either. It provides Git pre-installed on some of its bigger plans, and it features additions like WP-CLI, SSH, SFTP, as well as phpMyAdmin.
There’s multi-level caching, access to staging environments for various tests, and it even has an AI-bot prevention tool that can help you prevent attacks.
7) Money-back Guarantee
Last, but not least, it is important to note that SiteGround features a money-back guarantee for each of its plans and that it lasts for the first 30 days from the moment of purchase. In other words, if you happen to change your mind about using it, you have an entire month to request your money back.
This is a significant improvement when compared to some of its competitors, which only provide their users with a 15-day money-back guarantee.
However, do keep in mind that the money-back guarantee does not include extra payments that you may make in the meantime, such as domain name fees and other similar costs. The guarantee only includes the hosting plan itself.
With that, we conclude our list of positives that we have to report about SiteGround. As you can see, there are quite a few of them, and they are all important aspects of your experience as a website owner. Now, let’s take a look at some of the weaknesses and drawbacks that you should be aware of before joining its ever-growing list of customers.
1) Renewal Rates
While we did say that SiteGround has some pretty affordable plans, you should be aware of the fact that its renewal rates can be somewhat more expensive.
For example, its cheapest plan costs only €3.95 per month, according to the site’s advertising. However, you may be forgiven if you think that this sounds just a bit too good to be true.
This is a trick that is quite common in the industry, and it represents a way of capturing your attention and raising your interest.
Don’t get us wrong, this price is entirely true — for the first payment.
However, when the time comes to renew your subscription, you will have to pay three times as much — €11.95 per month. And that’s only for the cheapest one, while others can go considerably higher.
This is a trick that all hosting services use, and the best way of dealing with it that we can recommend is to take the long-lasting deal, which is currently a 36-month long plan that comes with a similar, low rate.
2) A Setup Fee
Another thing that you may want to know before you start building or migrating your website with SiteGround is the fact that it does something that not many other hosting providers do — it lets you buy only one month, even when you are only just starting.
Most others would try to get you to pay for several months in order to get you hooked and ensure that you will get used to their service, and simply keep paying later on.
SiteGround doesn’t do that, which is good.
So, why are we talking about it in the cons section? Because of the setup fee that accompanies these plans. In other words, while you will pay a low price of $3.95 when you purchase its free plan, you will also have to pay a setup fee that costs $14.95. And, as mentioned before, that doesn’t mean that you will simply keep paying $3.95 for the following months.
Instead, you’ll be greeted by the renewal fee, which really only creates an illusion of a cheap service at SiteGround.
If money is not an issue for you, then feel free to dismiss these cons as nothing more than a bit of an extra charge, as the rest of the service is definitely worth the money. However, if money is a problem, then you should know about this before you take the deal.
3) A Domain Name Is Not Free
As you may be aware, a lot of web hosting services include free domain names to help their new customers start off without feeling like they are being drained out of as much money as they have. Instead, they would offer a free domain name that you won’t be charged for during your first year with the service.
Unfortunately, SiteGround doesn’t offer any such deal. If you are making a new site and you don’t already have a domain name, you will have to pay as soon as you pick one, and it will cost you €15.95 per year. While not a terribly huge cost, it might be a bit much right at the start, so you should be aware of this con as well.
4) Cheap, but Limited
Finally, the last issue that we had with this service is the fact that its cheapest plan (which is not so cheap, when you count the domain name, setup fee, and renewals) also feels pretty limited, even though it might seem like a good deal at first.
When you take a look at its features, you will quickly start noticing that what it offers is not exactly that great.
The cheapest plan only gets you a single site, 10GB of space, and 10,000 monthly visitors. The plan does have unlimited traffic, but performance will suffer if the site reaches the limitations mentioned above.
In other words, it should be a pretty good (albeit expensive) solution for small websites, but if you are planning for a lot of traffic, you should definitely keep these limitations in mind, and simply go for a bigger plan, or for a cheaper service.
SiteGround Pricing and Plans
As you can tell, the cons are not really flaws with the service, and they mostly revolve around money. This is hardly surprising, as SiteGround offers one of the best services out there, but in order to enjoy its benefits, you need to be willing to pay.
The site knows that first-time users are not likely to pay high prices, which is why it tends to use tricks such as the ones mentioned above.
However, if you had experience with cheap services, you will know that paying extra goes a long way and that is quite worth it in exchange for the benefits you get.
With that in mind, here are the plans and prices that SiteGround has to offer:
Web hosting / WordPress hosting / WooCommerce hosting
- StartUp plan — $3.95 per month
- GrowBig plan — $5.95 per month
- GoGeek plan — $11.95 per month
- Entry plan — $80 per month
- Business – $120 per month
- Business Plus – $160 per month
- Super Power – $240 per month
- Based on clients’ needs
- Entry server — $269 per month
- Power server — $349 per month
- Super Power Server — $729 per month
In the end, do we recommend SiteGround? The answer is yes. The service has a lot to offer, whether you are looking for a great number of features, ease of use, or rock-solid, fast servers. It comes with a number of benefits, as we have described above, in detail.
However, good service doesn’t come cheap, or at least not as cheap as it may seem at first. This is something that you need to be aware of if you are looking to start working with SiteGround, but we believe that it is definitely worth the money. The rest, as always, depends on your own preference and available resources.
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