Before we dive into features and uptime, let me briefly introduce this web host. You can jump ahead if you are not interested.
Building Your Web Strategy
Coming up with a website idea is not easy. Many forget that the idea is only the first step. Setting up and operating a website is a huge deal. Businesses can break if they don’t handle this aspect with appropriate care.
How will you get visitors to your new website? Are you going to advertise on Google and Facebook, or are you taking a more general approach and hope that Google will send you free traffic? There are numerous resources out there that can help you come up with your strategy.
The basis of all that work is your website, and thus the hosting service that powers it.
The Multitude of Web Hosting Companies
There is a huge number of web hosts offering just about every setup you can think of. So, have you decided on how much bandwidth and disk space will you need? Do you know your uptime requirements? How about SSDs and speed?
SiteGround is easily one of the more popular options out there today, but is it all it’s cracked up to be?
Here is a screenshot of my WordPress installation on my account.
You might have noticed that this doesn’t look like cPanel, and you are right. Somewhere in 2019 SiteGround made the move to their own platform.
Accessible Control Panel
Hosting companies usually do this do save on cPanel licensing and the results I have seen from most such efforts were terrible. But I have to admit, SiteGround did a great job at creating a replacement for cPanel. They call it SiteTools. It’s fast, easy to use and has everything cPanel had. Throughout this review I will share numerous screenshots of the control panel.
What you won’t see is that it was created with accessibility in mind. You can change the default theme to a high contrast one, making it easier to see for people with visual impairment. It also works niceliy with screen readers.
Let’s take a look at what SiteGround brings to the table, and help you determine whether or not it’s the right option for you.
Why Are We Hearing So Much About SiteGround?
As touched on above, there are hundreds of options out there when it comes to web hosting service providers. However, I have heard SiteGround mentioned more frequently than quite a few alternatives that have been considered go-to picks for years.
It certainly seems like just about every tech blogger has at least one SiteGround review posted these days! But what does it have going for it that the competition doesn’t?
Meet the Founders
SiteGround as a company was started in 2004 by Tenko Nikolov, Reneta Tsankova, and Nikolay Todorov – three university friends on a mission to take web hosting to the next level worldwide.
Their vision was a hosting service provider that was safer, faster, and featured better support than any of the existing options. SiteGround is the result of all their hard work.
Let the Numbers Speak
Today, SiteGround appears to be living up to its original potential with over two million domains hosted. Customers praise SiteGround most often for the attention it pays to site safety, staying abreast of current hosting technology and overall site speed.
Exceptional Value for Money
SiteGround is also well-liked for offering their services at price points considered to be extremely affordable in comparison to the competition.
High Uptime Percentage
If there’s one thing nearly every website owner tends to complain about, it’s uptime issues.
Uptime Is Critical
You set up your site with the hope that it will see traffic at all hours of the day. However, if your hosting provider doesn’t place a high enough priority on uptime, you’ll know about it as soon as your visitors start complaining to you about not having been able to access your site the last time they visited.
Siteground’s Uptime Record
Some companies might offer 100% uptime guarantee, but it’s very rare and it doesn’t mean you will get 100% uptime. It just means that if you notice a dowtime, they will likely reimburse you.
What I wanted to say is that downtimes happen even with the best web hosts. And I am not saying it won’t happen with SiteGround. But according to my uptime records, they had 100% uptime for months. Here is a screenshot of a 30 day period from a while ago:
It’s a pure 100%!
SiteGround is pretty confident in their performance. So much so that they are offering a 99.99% uptime guarantee and they compensate customers in case they were not able to keep their guarantee in a calendar year.
And their stats show the same picture.
Fast Response Customer Service
Tech support is something people don’t think about when they’re in the process of selecting service providers. They usually realize their mistake the very first time they try to get someone on the phone to discuss an issue.
SiteGround has the fastest response time across ALL web hosts I have dealt with. I can’t stress this enough.
Unfortunately, there are service providers that are all smiles and promises when they’re trying to attract your business but don’t care enough to deal with issues once they’ve got it. Avoid those! I am not pointing fingers out of character so that you won’t see them on Hosting Manual. I only review web hosts that I trust.
Ready to Serve 24 Hours a Day
It’s quite prominent that support at SiteGround is pretty much unbeatable! Yes, they’re great at answering your questions before you purchase a plan. But they remain equally responsive once you’re a customer.
Siteground Help Center
With the 2019 redesign, I find it a bit more difficult to find the support page. You have to click on the question mark in the top menu and then click on Contact us.
The customer support department is open 24 hours a day and seven days a week, so you’re guaranteed support at literally any time of the day or night.
The folks that run SiteGround are also well aware of how frustrating it can be to call in for support and wind up sitting on hold for a ridiculous amount of time.
That’s why they guarantee zero hold time when it comes to both phone support and live chat support!
You can even send in an email ticket and receive a response within 10 minutes max. You’re guaranteed to be able to talk to a real person every time as well – no annoying bots or automated systems to deal with.
Unique Tools for Popular Applications
I don’t know about you, but I am a WordPress guy. I tend to run all my projects on WordPress, even if it’s not strictly a blog. I guess everyone has his or her favorite tool.
SiteGround took the most popular ones and had created a multitude of handy specialized tools designed for those platforms. If you’re a Joomla or WordPress user, you’ll be even happier with SiteGround as your web hosting service provider.
Select your Application
Auto-installers support both platforms for easy startup (and a lot of others). SiteGround also features automatic updates for both to help make sure your site remains as secure as possible at all times.
Joomla and WordPress super-cachers help make sure your speeds stay as high as possible. They have staging and Git support for geekier users that prefer a hands-on approach as well.
Tools for Developers
They are very active in the WordPress community too.
Superior Cloud Hosting
If you’ve been running websites long enough, you probably know what cloud hosting is. SiteGround offers some of the best cloud hosting services available today.
Specific features include ample content storage and multi-platform support. You’ll be able to access all of your data exactly when you need it no matter where you happen to be.
Regular Backups for Free
Even the most experienced webmasters make mistakes. Heck, once I have deleted the wrong database and had to manually restore my website from Google cache because I didn’t have a recent backup. You won’t have to remember to perform frequent backups yourself.
SiteGround backs up your databases for you on a daily basis.
SiteGround Hosting Plans and Backups
|Automatic Daily System Backups
|30 Automatic Daily Backup Copies
|Instant Backup On Demand
They also offer advanced monitoring to make sure that your service is always flawlessly reliable. And that 24/7 support we mentioned above? That applies to all of your cloud data as well.
Simple Account Management Panel
Not every web host can say that they offer a terrific members’ area to explore their service, but SiteGround does. They understand how important convenience is to today’s consumer. No one has the time or patience to waste hunting around for what they need.
That’s precisely why we were impressed with SiteGround’s user area. You can easily access your account and all relevant information without the least little bit of hassle. Monitor your domain, view your current billing status, and keep track of any tickets with ease.
The overall design is sleek-looking and easy to navigate as well. It’s handy when you need to check on something specific about your account quickly!
The Price is a No-Brainer
Of course, service quality isn’t the only thing you’re concerned with when it comes to building, managing, and running your website. You need reliable, high-performance services that are affordable on a limited budget – options that are just as appropriate for small business owners, independent bloggers, and startups as they are for large corporations.
If you want even cheaper web hosting, GreenGeeks is a great option.
Shared Hosting Plans
SiteGround delivers when it comes to value. Currently, they offer three different service packages to suit a variety of needs. They are as follows.
The Startup Plan
This package is exactly what it sounds like – a basic but comprehensive startup package for those that have just begun to get the ball rolling with their site. Perfect for beginners while remaining highly compatible with standard traffic volumes (up to 10,000 monthly visits)!
It’s also ridiculously affordable considering what you get for your money. (Startup packages begin at a special price of just $6.99 per month – less than most people spend on their morning cup of coffee.) Features include:
- 10GB of web space
- Four server locations
- Free Cloudflare CDN
- Support for one website including all essential hosting elements
- Full customer support and panel access
The Startup plan also comes with a 30-day money back guarantee – perfect for those just starting out and not thoroughly understanding the full scope of their needs.
Add New Site
The GrowBig Plan
GrowBig is the next tier up on the scale and it was also my choice. It’s designed for website owners looking to successfully and economically host multiple websites without the need to pay for multiple accounts. It should be enough for up to 25,000 monthly visits total. Pricing is not too friendly, starting at $9.99 per month. It also includes:
- 20GB of web space
- Lightning-fast speeds
- Free SSL certificate and HTTP/2
- Streamlined support for both Joomla and WordPress.
The GoGeek Plan
SiteGround’s go-to hosting solution lets you host multiple websites affordably without having to worry about downtime, slow load times, and other common issues.
It should be able to handle up to 100,000 monthly visits starting at rates of $14.99 per month. They sometimes run limited time discounts. Check here.
It includes additional premium features designed for advanced webmasters including e-commerce tools, other performance tools, hardware, and access to various innovative features that offer superior control.
- All standard features covered by either of the other two packs
- 30GB of available web space
- WordPress staging
Staging at SitegGround
With staging, you can test updates and changes to your site without the risk of messing up something on your live site. Freelancers will especially love this feature, since they can showcase their work and get feedback.
Quite a few customers are just getting started with running large-scale blogs, business websites, or e-commerce sites. Others have been in the game a lot longer and are looking for affordable alternatives to current services.
Both beginners and advanced users have collectively expressed a high level of satisfaction with the value, efficiency, and reliability of the GoGeek plan.
Those making the switch from another service found the transition to be seamless and exceptionally easy to make with free site transfer. If you want to migrate your WordPress site, they have a handy tool that makes the process painless.
SiteGround’s Migration Tool
You’re certainly free to start with a smaller package and upgrade your service as your web presence grows and requires more resources.
The Pros and Cons of Choosing SiteGround
- We liked SiteGround’s 100% uptime performance the most. Downtime can be a real killer when it comes to your web presence.
- Good speed is just as essential as uptime. A slow website instantly gives a less professional impression. Even a few milliseconds can make the difference between winning and losing business to a competitor. My sites always load quickly and easily without a problem (following common optimization practices).
- Contrary to other web hosts, SiteGround limits the storage space (another company who does that is Inmotion Hosting). Limited disk space can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. If your sites use a lot of disk space, it’s bad news. On the other hand, they don’t oversell their servers, so your sites load fast.
- Ultra-large sites that see hundreds of thousands of visits per month may need resources that even the GoGeek plan can’t adequately cover. Make sure you understand the true scope of your requirements when evaluating your options.
In a day and age when so many people complain of frequent issues like slow load times, bandwidth problems, and excessive downtime, it’s refreshing to see that there’s a company like SiteGround out there.
They’ve already set what’s considered to be a new gold standard when it comes to features, customer service, and flexibility. In other words, it’s easy to see why so many website owners are making the switch to SiteGround once and for all.
While Siteground offers a great service, in 2020 they went overboard with their pricing. For this reason I would recommend Bluehost or GreenGeeks as a better alternative.