SiteGround is by far my favourite hosting company (I use them frequently, this site is hosted with them) for a multitude of reasons even though I only found them earlier this year.
Since the day I started using them my experience has been excellent on all fronts, from technical setup and site migration, to using their backend for buying a dedicated IP, setting up email and installing SSL. Everything works well and the times I contacted support it was easy and they were helpful – especially when they moved this site from another host in 12 hours.
Site Ground was founded in 2004 by a group of friends studying together in University, and is based in Sofia, Bulgaria although they now have employees located all over the world. At present, the company hosts close to 1.8 million domains, has over 400 employees and according to their site deals with 1,500 tickets, 1,000 phone calls and 3,000 live chats each day.
Below you’ll find my in-depth review of SiteGround.com that covers everything you need to know about the web host including pros, cons, plans, included features and much more.
Let’s cut to the chase – here are the main reasons I like SiteGround
- They offer an excellent free website migration service (that I’ve used) allowing you to seamlessly transfer your sites to them using professional developers
- You get an incredibly amount of extras for a very fair price – everything from one-click WordPress installs to easy SSL setup, a free CDN from world-renowned Cloud Flare, as well as their own proprietary server side caching technology that makes your website incredibly fast (which is totally essential for SEO these days)
- Super easy to deal with. I’ve had to contact their support team 3 times since I joined for various reasons, and always heard back within 24 hours (but usually in under 3)
On the con side, the main gripes I have with Site Ground include
- Somewhat geared towards developers. They offer a lot of advanced tools that may not be useful to people looking to just plug in their domain and get a site going.
- A bit of a loss leader on their cheapest plan. It’s a great price, but I really recommend you use at least the GrowBig Plan since it comes with all the unlimited extras
- The hosting packages include an “optimal” amount of visitors they support. While they say this isn’t a restriction and just a suggestion, it seems likely that they would want you to upgrade if you ended up exceeding the recommended amount by a lot.
What do SiteGround hosting plans cost?
Hosting packages start with introductory pricing from as little as $3.95/month for shared hosting all the way up to $240.00/month for their best cloud hosting package. Below I’ve created some tables that let you easily see the different options available on SiteGround.com:
|SiteGround Hosting Plans Comparison →||Start Up||Grow Big||Go Geek|
|Introductory price per month||$3.95||$5.95||$11.95|
|Regular price per month||$11.95||$19.95||$34.95|
|Unlimited domains & websites||✗||✓||✓|
|Web space included in plan||10gb||20gb||30gb|
|Essential features included||✓||✓||✓|
|Premium features included||✗||✓||✓|
|Advanced features included||✗||✗||✓|
As you can see from the table above Site Ground offers three basic packages for their hosting plans that can be tailored to your needs depending on what type of website you want to host.
One of the great things about Site Ground is that you can lock in the introductory pricing for up to 36 months when you join, which amounts to huge savings over the term of the hosting plan.
For example, on the Grow Big plan it would cost approximately $214.20 for 3 years of hosting vs. $550.20 if you only took the introductory pricing for 1 year then went to regular pricing for years 2 and 3. Because they offer this generous discount up front, it makes sense to buy the full 3 year term no matter which plan you end up choosing as it will save you a ton of cash.
Let’s take a look in more detail at the different types of plans offered and what they include:
First off, let’s look at what SiteGround bundles in its’ essential, premium and advanced features since this is the main differentiating factor between the plans and pricing that they offer.
Essential Features (included in all plans):
- Website builder
- SSL & Https
- Email accounts
- Daily backup
- Free Cloudflare CDN
- Unmetered traffic
- cPanel and SSH
- Unlimited MySQL
- 24/7 customer support
- 30 day money back
Premium Features (included in GrowBig & above):
- Free professional site transfer
- Complimentary backup restores
- Priority customer support
- Server level caching for speed
Advanced Features (GoGeek plan only):
- Free on-demand backups
- PCI compliant servers
- WP & Joomla staging environment
- One-click GIT repo creation
Which One Do I Recommend?
Overall, Site Ground includes a lot of great tools in all their plans, but personally I recommend getting the Grow Big plan since it includes some additional features like free site transfer and super fast caching that make it easy to move to them and have a fast website.
There isn’t really a reason to get their GoGeek package unless you are a developer (in which case it’s great), but for your average run of the mill blog or eCommerce site Grow Big should be more than sufficient to handle everything you need to do.
What else do I need to know about Site Ground hosting?
- Site Transfers – perhaps one of the coolest features offered by Site Ground that I haven’t seen from many other hosts is free website transfers. This is available on Grow Big or above plans and is a great way to switch to them without a hassle (which usually prevents people from changing hosts). The way it works is simple, you sign simply signup and request the transfer via their website. Once you have given them all the important details (CMS type, desired settings, etc) they will either get you to install a handy plugin to help them get the files they need, or do the transfer for you manually 100% free of charge.
- Super Cacher – another awesome features that comes with Grow Big and above accounts is Site Ground’s own proprietary web caching tool called Supercacher. This tool is automatically enabled on all sites hosted there and can be managed from your cPanel account, and the results are truly impressive as I’ve discussed below in site speed.
- Uptime – Site Ground offers 99.99% up-time for all of their customers, something that’s offered by many hosts but not always followed through on. I wholeheartedly believe Site Ground’s claim since they offer an entire page dedicated to it and even let you check your website in real-time to see if there are any availability issues. Some of the technology they use to ensure they meet this uptime promise include Linux containers, pro-active monitoring of all their servers, artificial intelligence to guard against bots, as well as secure account isolation to improve redundancy and keep their clients websites live.
- Site Speed – this is perhaps the most glowing feature of Site Ground, they are serious about speed and it shows when you use them as your host. According to our test on Google’s site speed tool, this site (BetterHost.com that’s hosted with them) has a 100% score for desktop and a 97% score for mobile, so essentially perfect by all accounts. This is done by leveraging their Supercacher, as well as other technologies they offer including SSD storage, NGINX servers, HTTP/2 and PHP 7.
- Customer Support – as I mentioned earlier in the review, SiteGround.com offers support via live chat, a ticketing system and by telephone. I’ve only dealt with them a handful of times, but every time I did they were knowledgeable, courteous and answered my questions very quickly. Judging by the other reviews of them on the web, I think it’s safe to say they are industry-leading when it comes to customer service.
Wrapping it all up – is Site Ground a good web host?
To put it simply – yes! They are my favorite host in the industry for so many different reasons, but here are the absolute top 3 reasons why:
- They have a great mid-level package (Grow Big) for under $300 for 3 years
- An absolute ton of features included in their packages making hosting a breeze
- Very helpful staff that you can tell take pride in their jobs and love the company
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