SiteGround was founded in 2004 with headquarters in Sofia, Bulgaria. Since then, it has grown into a well-recognized company with data centers on three continents that host over 2.8 million domains.
We’ve monitored SiteGround since 2017 and tested the web hosting company in terms of performance, customer support, pricing, and more. We’ll use that data to thoroughly review SiteGround’s features and show you whether choosing this host is a good idea.
Let’s dive into it.
An Overview of SiteGround
|SPEED:||384 ms (Jan. 2022 to Dec. 2022)|
|UPTIME:||99.99% (Jan. 2022 to Dec. 2022)|
|SUPPORT:||Knowledge Base, Phone, 24/7 Live Chat, Ticketing System|
|APPS:||WordPress, WooCommerce, Joomla, PrestaShop, Drupal, and Over 500 Other Applications|
|FEATURES:||Unlimited Databases, Unmetered Traffic, Daily Backup, at least 10 GB Storage, Free SSL, CDN and Email|
|HOSTING PLANS:||Shared, WordPress, WooCommerce, and Cloud|
|PRICING:||Starting at $3.99/month (renews at $14.99/month). May change often as SiteGround runs special offers frequently.|
Advantages of Using SiteGround
What do you look for when searching for web hosting services? Is it performance? Customer service? Page load times? Beginner friendliness?
Let’s review SiteGround’s hosting features and see what makes it stand out.
1. Near-Perfect Uptime
SiteGround had an excellent uptime of 99.99% in the last 12 months. The web host experienced 15 outages with a total of only 15 minutes of downtime throughout the year. That’s pretty impressive.
SiteGround’s worst month was March 2022, when the average uptime was 99.98%, with a total of only eight minutes of downtime.
SiteGround guarantees 99.9% uptime under its Service Level Agreement. If the host ever goes below that, it’ll compensate you with a free month of hosting.
That’s a bold promise, but there’s no doubt this web host delivers on uptime. In fact, and as shown in the chart above, SiteGround had an uptime of 100% for six months straight.
2. Many Plan Options With Low Starting Prices and Money-Back Guarantee
With the shared hosting plans starting around $3.99/month (with even bigger discounts occasionally offered), SiteGround’s introductory rates are affordable.
The two other professional plans (GrowBig and GoGeek) start around $6.69 and $10.69/month when on sale, respectively.
Each SiteGround plan includes the following features:
- Free SSL certificates
- Built-in caching
- Free Content Delivery Network (CDN)
- Automatic daily backups
- Email accounts
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Managed WordPress
The GrowBig plan also offers advanced features such as:
- On-demand backup copies
- 30% faster PHP
While the GoGeek plan offers even more:
- On-demand backup copies
- 30% faster PHP
- Staging + Git
- White-label clients
- Free private DNS
- Highest tier of resources
- Priority support
SiteGround provides other hosting options, such as WordPress hosting and WooCommerce hosting for those who use WordPress and WooCommerce to run their business websites.
The host also offers cloud hosting, which is available from $100/month for websites that require a more robust hosting solution than shared hosting.
With cloud hosting, you get a whole server to yourself — you don’t share its resources with other websites. On top of that, cloud hosting offers:
- 4 CPU Cores
- 40 GB SSD Space
- 5 TB Data Transfer
- 8 GB Memory
SiteGround also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for the shared hosting plans and a 14-day money-back guarantee for the cloud hosting plan.
Keep in mind that the refund policy only applies to new customers — you won’t get refunded if you’ve already renewed your plan.
3. Fair Server Response Time
Google recommends your server response time operate under 200 ms. But the average lies anywhere between 100 ms and 500 ms. So SiteGround’s response time isn’t perfect, but it’s reasonable.
SiteGround averaged a response time of 384 ms in the last 12 months but has gradually delivered faster loading speeds throughout the year, which adds up to a huge improvement.
For example, it recorded a response time of 343 ms in December. 2022, more than 64% faster than its January 2022 response times of 373 ms in Nov. 2022.
So, although SiteGround has some extra features like Ultrafast PHP, SuperCacher, and SG Optimizer for boosting website speed, the slower response time compared to other web hosts may become an issue if you’re in a competitive industry where page speed matters a lot.
4. Easy-To-Use Interface
Signing up for SiteGround is pretty straightforward. Once you log in, you’ll land on SiteGround’s Control Panel (cPanel), which looks like this:
SiteGround’s cPanel, called Site Tools, is easy to navigate, with each tool accompanied by an explanation, making it brilliant for beginners.
You can also pin the tools you use most to the main screen and customize it to your liking. Overall, Site Tools is simple, functional, and easy for anyone to navigate.
5. Numerous Security Features and Free Cloudflare CDN
SSL protects information sent back and forth between your website and the user’s device. If this info is left unprotected, hackers could easily intercept it.
On top of the free SSL certificates, SiteGround offers:
- An AI anti-bot system that blocks millions of brute-force threats every hour.
- A proprietary WordPress security plugin to secure your website from brute-force attacks and common malware.
- A real-time monitoring system that checks the server status after every 0.5 seconds.
- A custom web application firewall (WAF) to protect the hosting environment and websites from emerging vulnerabilities.
SiteGround also provides a free Cloudflare CDN for all shared plans. A CDN stores large files on many servers in multiple locations worldwide. So, when someone visits your website, they’re connected to the nearest CDN, which delivers your content to them as fast as possible.
6. Free Daily Backups
SiteGround has daily automated backups for all websites, regardless of the plan. It stores each backup for 30 days on the shared hosting plans and seven days for SiteGround’s cloud hosting plan.
That means in the worst-case scenario, you’ll only lose the changes you’ve made in the last 24 hours.
To access the Backup Restore solution, go to Site Tools > Security > Backups.
You can also create up to five on-demand backups for free with the GrowBig and GoGeek plans. However, if you’re on the StartUp plan, your only option to create a single on-demand backup comes with an additional fee.
The web host also stores and distributes the backups in multiple data centers for increased security and redundancy. So even if a copy is destroyed, there’s a backup still available.
7. Free Migration for WordPress Sites
If you already have a website, you don’t need to worry about the scary process of switching your website to a new host. SiteGround’s WordPress Migrator plugin makes it easy.
With the plugin, you can transfer unlimited websites from almost any host to SiteGround for free. You simply generate a token from within your SiteGround hosting account, and the plugin will do the heavy lifting for you.
Just go to Site Tools > WordPress > Migrator.
If you want to save yourself the time and hassle of migrating a website yourself, you can request SiteGround’s migration services for $30/website.
8. Top-Notch Customer Support Team
SiteGround’s support team is fantastic. The team can usually resolve the most complex issues in about 15 minutes.
The host’s 24/7 support offers contact through a ticketing system, phone support, and a live chat channel.
We decided to test them through the live chat option and connected to a customer support agent within a minute. We then got the answer to our question in less than four minutes.
SiteGround also provides a knowledge base where customers can find quick answers. The help widget on every page takes you to the help center, where you can find a lot of information in tutorials and articles.
The web hosting provider also has a podcast where it has uploaded various audio files explaining different tech concepts. However, the podcast rarely gets updated, as the last uploaded file was in April 2021 at the time of publishing this SiteGround review.
Disadvantages of Using SiteGround
There’s no doubt that SiteGround has robust benefits and features, but no web host is perfect. Let’s look at what SiteGround doesn’t do so well.
1. Renewal Rates Are Much Higher
SiteGround pricing plans are relatively low for the first year, but renewals for hosting and domains are often way more, which can be an unwelcome surprise. For instance, the cost will roughly triple once the initial 12-month billing cycle discount ends.
For example, a $3.99/month sale rate for the StartUp plan jumps to a whopping $14.99/month when you renew. And the GrowBig and GoGeek plans hike up to $24.99 and $34.99/month, respectively.
If you’re confident your business can stand the test of time, it’ll benefit you to lock in that intro pricing as long as possible. Still, if your business fails, you can use that hosting to pivot to another idea.
Just keep that in mind when choosing SiteGround as your web hosting solution.
2. The StartUp Plan Has Low Storage Space
You only get 10 GB of SSD storage with the StartUp plan. That’s relatively low, especially if you have a large ecommerce website with lots of data.
If you hit that limit quicker than expected, you may need to upgrade your hosting plan much sooner than planned.
- Ease of Signup: Straightforward, one-page sign-up process.
- Control Panel and Dashboard: cPanel.
- Domain: Free domain name for one year, then the price jumps to $19.99 per year.
- Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, PrestaShop, Drupal): Simple installs for CMSs and popular apps using Softaculous.
- Money-Back: 30-day and 14-day money-back guarantees.
- Account Activation: Instant activation for shared server. Cloud server takes up to a minute.
- Payment Methods: All major credit cards plus alternatives like Wire and PayPal through help chat.
- Hidden Fees and Clauses: Domain name is free for the first year but renews for $19.99/year. Professional website migration services cost $30 per website. Single on-demand backup at an additional fee for the StartUp plan.
Do We Recommend SiteGround?
Yes, we do.
As you can see from our SiteGround review, this hosting provider has delivered excellent uptime and an easy-to-use interface. On top of that, SiteGround has excellent customer service and a range of plans that suit small and medium-sized businesses and large online stores.
The host also offers free Cloudflare CDN and free SSL certificates on all plans. So that’s a plus.
However, SiteGround’s pricing plans are not particularly attractive in the long run. After a good introductory rate for 12 months, your renewal rates are considerably higher. The rates almost triple even on the introductory plan when you choose the 24-month plan ($9.99 instead of $3.99). So that gives you only a year of service before hitting those high renewal rates.
Still, the introductory offers allow you to try out SiteGround’s web hosting for a while at low risk while deciding if it is a long-term option for you.