siteground review

Siteground Review (2021)

In this post you’ll find out:

Is SiteGround Hosting Right For Your Website?

Every website you browse on the internet is powered by a hosting provider that allocates space on a server that allows websites to be accessible on the world wide web.

Whilst some website builders and content management systems (CMS) come with hosting included, website owners will need usually need to find their own hosting provider or use a third party such as a web designer to manage this on their behalf.

The hosting company you choose is really important as it will dictate the performance you receive and the price you pay. But with so many options available, it can be overwhelming for website owners when they start shopping around.

SiteGround has solidified itself as a high-quality website hosting company in recent years and is becoming increasingly popular with website owners and internet marketing professionals alike. That’s why we use it.

In our SiteGround review, we take a deep dive into the hosting platform; looking in detail at the aspects that matter to website owners such as price, performance, and support.

Types of Website Hosting

Broadly speaking, there are four types of hosting;

shared, Virtual Private Server (VPS), cloud, and dedicated. With any hosting, providers will usually offer packages that offer different levels of features and support.

  • With shared hosting, your website is being hosted on a server with other websites. Because the upkeep of the server is spread across multiple customers, the cost of this type of hosting is generally the lowest. However, performance and security could be impacted as a result.
  • VPS hosting, whilst still shared with multiple other sites, can offer improved performance as your website is given its own dedicated space on the server. As a result of the increased performance, the cost for VPS hosting is generally higher.
  • Unlike shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting, cloud hosting does not rely on a single server. Instead, cloud hosting utilises a network of connected cloud servers to host the website. This solution offers flexibility and scalability at an accessible price point.
  • Finally, dedicated hosting means that your website is given its own exclusive website hosting server. This option provides maximum performance as there are no other websites on the server, but will attract the highest cost.

Why Your Choice Of Hosting Company Matters

When setting up a website for your business or personal project, it can be tempting to go with the cheapest or first website hosting company you come across.

However, it pays to do your research and find the website hosting company that is best suited to your website needs.

Choosing the wrong website hosting company can result in:

  • Lower performance such as reduced uptime or slow loading speeds, both of which frustrate users and can have a negative impact on how well your website performs in search engines. Google penalises slow sites!
  • Customer service offered varies from dedicated phone lines and support agents to frustrating knowledge bases and annoying chat robots which may not be good enough for all website owners.
  • The level of security offered will vary based on the hosting provider and the packages they offer. Whilst shared hosting is usually cheaper, it can be more susceptible to attack and security can be further reduced depending on what other websites share the server.
  • Some hosting companies will offer specific packages dependent on the CMS that you are using (WordPress, Wix, Joomla, etc).
  • If a website host cannot scale with your business, you may find that you outgrow the packages they offer and will need to migrate to a new host – this can be costly and disruptive.
  • Choosing a package based purely on price can result in frustrations down the line, with extra costs for features that would have come as standard with other providers.
  • The features you get with your hosting package will vary from provider to provider.

What Is SiteGround?

SiteGround is a website hosting company that was founded in 2004 by three university students in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The platform has proved to be extremely popular and as of January 2020, provides hosting services for 2,000,000 domains worldwide and employs around 500 employees.

SiteGround caters to websites of all sizes, from single page blogs to large websites, with a choice of cloud based packages and features to suit the needs of most website owners.

The company is also popular with leading CMS and website builders, partnering with Joomla in the past to provide free website hosting for sites built on the platform, being recommended by WordPress, and partnering with popular WYSIWYG website builder, Divi.

Benefits of SiteGround Hosting

The SiteGround platform offers many benefits to website owners including:

Uptime

Uptime is an essential metric that website owners should be looking for when comparing website hosting companies. Low uptime can be frustrating for users and can impact your search engine results rankings. You should be monitoring your website downtime anyway. We use Uptime Robot.

SiteGround servers offer excellent uptime, with a guarantee of 99.9% uptime of their servers on an annual basis. In fact, SiteGround offers refunds in the form of free hosting should their uptime fall below this figure.

Speed

Speed is becoming an increasingly important factor for website owners, with users expecting websites to load fast and search engines like Google taking speed into account as a ranking factor.

SiteGround offer a number of features to improve the speed of your website, with high-speed SSD disks, a caching system included with all hosting plans, a free dedicated WordPress speed optimisation plugin and, a pre-integrated CDN as standard.

Additionally, with the higher packages that SiteGround offers, you will be able to take advantage of Ultrafast PHP, giving your website a further speed boost. You should check your website/page speed. We use GT Metrix.

Security

Without adequate security features in place, websites are more susceptible to being hacked, taken offline, or blacklisted.

Security is a top priority for SiteGround and the company has several features and tools in place to ensure that your website is kept secure from the most common types of threats.

With all plans, your website is isolated meaning that it won’t be impacted if another website on the server is compromised. Additionally, all plans come with a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt and there is a free dedicated WordPress security optimisation plugin.

Finally, SiteGround has a team of dedicated security experts who constantly monitor software vulnerabilities and release patches; adding 300 custom rules to the Web Application Firewall to prevent vulnerabilities in the last year alone.

Support

In the event that something goes wrong with your website, it’s reassuring to be able to quickly get hold of your hosting company support team for resolution.

SiteGround has a detailed knowledge base to help you get answers to the most common queries without needing to contact support.

If you do need further help, their support team is available 24/7 via phone, live chat, or ticket system, allowing them to resolve the majority of serious issues quickly. I’ve resolved complicated issues with their help.

Should you require a higher level of support, the highest package currently available comes with advanced priority support which means you are assigned to the most experienced agents when contacting support.

Backups

Backups are an essential part of managing any website, allowing you to save a copy of your website before making changes and restore a previous version of your website if things go wrong.

With all SiteGround packages, a daily backup of your website is taken for up to 30 days back, allowing you to restore your website, files, or emails in just a few clicks. The platform has its own restore tool which makes restoring backups accessible even with limited technical expertise.

As backups are integrated with the SiteGround system, there is no need to rely on a third-party platform or plugin that can create conflicts and all backups are managed individually which makes life easier for those managing multiple sites.

Finally, for those looking for a higher level of backup functionality, the two higher plans currently offered by SiteGround include backup and restore options on demand; allowing you to create instant backups before making changes.

Ease of Use

For website owners that want to take more control over the management of their website, an easy to use platform is a must have.

With its own visual interface and intuitive Admin Panel, SiteGround is extremely accessible as a platform. The interface can be customised to only show options required and the backend is worlds apart from the usual clunky interfaces offered by website hosting companies that are built with technical users in mind.

SiteGround also integrates with the most popular CMS such as WordPress and is fully optimised for these platforms, this means that sites can be up and running reletively easily.

Despite this ease of use, the platform doesn’t compromise on functionality and offers a whole range of features to suit every website owner’s needs from personal bloggers to businesses.

Server Locations

The closer a server is located to your user location, the faster loading speeds you can expect. To keep prices competitive, many low cost hosting companies rely on servers located abroad which means your performance will be slower.

SiteGround has several data centers across 4 continents in major cities such as London, Frankfurt, Singapore, and Sydney; with more being established on a regular basis.

When setting a website up with SiteGround, website owners are able to choose between servers in America, Asia, Australia, and Europe to ensure they get the best performance based on their location and the location of their users.

Features & Applications

SiteGround offers an impressive suite of features and applications as standard with all hosting packages such as unmetered data transfer, a free drag and drop website builder, free CMS installs, free email accounts, a free shopping cart installation, and friendly site tools.

An excellent feature that SiteGround offers is the ability to add collaborators to websites, meaning that additional users can be added tp all of the websites in a portfolio; allowing users set up as collaborators to manage the account without ever having access to the master password.

These features mean that website owners can hit the ground running and get their website live without needing to spend on additional platforms and packages as would be required with other website hosting companies.

For those that require additional functionality, SiteGround has three packages with a varying level of features included.

Emails

Whilst most businesses will choose to use a dedicated email provider such as Outlook or Gmail, integrated email accounts with hosting packages can be extremely beneficial, particularly to small businesses with a limited budget.

SiteGround offers complimentary email services for all customers that allows unlimited custom email accounts with up to 10 GB of account space, this means that business owners can have a professional email such as admin@your-site.co.uk without the usual cost incurred.

The email service comes with additional features such as email forwarding, aliases, and a web-based mail client that allows for monitoring of emails on the go as standard; making it a feasible alternative to a more expensive business email account.

Domains

Domain management is an important feature of website hosting that can be beneficial to protect a brand name or create a subdomain for another area of the website or a development site.

With all SiteGround packages, website owners can create unlimited subdomains under their main domain name, these can be used to better organise their website creating subdomains such as blog.your-site.co.uk.

Additionally, SiteGround allows for unlimited parked domains pointing to the main domain. Parked domains protect the brand by registering different top level domains such as .co.uk, .net, and .com.

However, it’s important to note that SiteGround does not offer a domain name in its plans, unlike some other popular hosting companies. When hosting a website through SiteGround, a domain will need to be purchased and managed by a specialist provider. We use Crazy Domains.

Pricing

For many website owners, value for money will be one of the key driving factors when making a decision about which hosting provider to go for.

Whilst it may not be the cheapest on the market, SiteGround offers a selection of packages to suit the needs of all websites, with basic packages starting from a few pounds per month.

Although they offer some tempting introductory offers, remember they are only introductory. When your renewal is due it can come as a bit of a shock!

Unlike other hosting providers, SiteGround doesn’t take the amount of traffic your website receives into account; although their basic package may not be suitable for very large websites.

Additionally, all SiteGround plans come with a 30 day money back guarantee, meaning customers can get a full refund if they are not satisfied with the service they have received.

Website Migrations

When website owners already have a website hosting provider in place, the thought of the hassle involved in switching providers can be enough to put them off shopping around.

Fortunately, migrating from one provider to another has become significantly easier in recent years and many providers now offer a low-cost migration service for those that do not have the technical expertise to manage the process themselves.

To help make the switch, SiteGround offers a free WordPress plugin that will do all the heavy lifting for you. Alternatively, you can use their professional migration service and one of their team will do it for you – this service costs £20 per site at the time of writing.

If you are thinking about switching providers, remember to check the terms and conditions of the contract you are currently in; it may be that you cannot make the switch until your contract is over without incurring a fee.

Reviews

Previous customer experiences are an unrivalled way of seeing how the service provided by a company compares to what they state on their marketing material.

As well as being held in high regard by impartial experts such as WPbegginer and Neil Patel, SiteGround is trusted by professionals such as web developers and has great reviews from customers

On TrustPilot, SiteGround has an average rating of 4.7 stars, with 92% of their 9000+ reviews being 5 stars. In comparison, Bluehost (another popular provider) has an average rating of 3.2 stars, with just 35% of their 1,700 reviews being 5 stars.

Are There Any Negatives?

Of course, like any platform, there are some drawbacks of the SiteGround platform. One of the key considerations with SiteGround is that there is a limit on web space with all packages.

At the time of writing, the highest standard package available through SiteGround offers 40GB of web space, meaning that it is suitable for up to a respectable 100,000 visits per month.

Whilst this will not be a consideration for most website owners, those who manage very large or popular websites will need to keep this in mind when comparing website hosts.

Discover The Benefits of SiteGround Today!

We have been using SiteGround for many years to host customer websites, as well as our own, with exceptional results such as fast loading times and superior uptime.

To find out more about the benefits of SiteGround hosting and see if it’s the right option for you, get in touch with us today!

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