Choosing quality hosting for your WordPress site is of utmost importance. If you choose a crappy host, your site’s performance will suffer. Don’t go with the cheapest possible hosting service you can find, but instead look for a combination of quality and affordability.
For a new website, you cannot go wrong with SiteGround shared hosting. Their support is unbeatable, and they use top-notch speed technology on all of their servers.
They offer managed WordPress hosting on all plans, have a 1-click installer built-in and will even move your entire website from your old host for free.
Plus, SiteGround has a 30-day money back guarantee, so there’s no reason not to give them a try. I highly doubt that you’d want to cancel your hosting with them, but just in case.
Included in this post, you’ll find numerous unbiased screenshots from facebook and twitter users, as well as speed and support tests which further prove how awesome SiteGround is.
Table of Contents
- Shared hosting features
- Three plans to choose from
- What people say about SiteGround
- Real tests with 12 popular hosts
- Signing up for SiteGround hosting
- Speed technology features
- Data centers on three continents
- Amazing 99.99% uptime
- 1-click Cloudflare integration
- Automatic WordPress updates
- Useful cPanel demo
- Free site migration (GrowBig & GoGeek plans)
- Check to see if your web hosting slow
- Why you should avoid EIG hosts
- All hosting plans use Solid State Drives (SSDs), which are MUCH quicker than traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDDs).
- They use the latest speed technologies, including NGINX, HTTP/2, PHP 7 and free Content Delivery Network (CDN) integration through Cloudflare.
- Free SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt SSL are provided with each hosting account.
- You can enable automatic updates, which will save you time updating WordPress core and plugins.
- Enjoy improved security with extra firewall rules.
- Enhanced stability with the latest LXC technology, automated monitoring and daily site backups.
- Amazing customer and technical support. Their staff is super knowledgeable, and go out of their way to make sure you get the help you need.
The StartUp plan has all the essential features you need if you’re just starting out, and comes with 10GB of space. Whether you are creating your first website or already have a blog, personal/business website or even small online shop online, this plan will work just fine. If you get more than 10,000 unique visitors per month, you’ll need to upgrade.
Initial promo price: $3.95 (67% OFF)
Regular price: $11.95
SiteGround’s GrowBig plan will provide you with more server resources, as well as a few premium features and 20GB of disk space. It is designed to accommodate either a single site with heavy monthly traffic or a handful of smaller sites. This plan is recommended for those of you who prefer to host all your websites in one account, and should work fine for sites with combined traffic of less than 25,000 unique visitors per month.
Initial promo price: $5.95 (70% OFF)
Regular price: $19.95
The GoGeek plan is perfect for you if your site receives a lot of traffic or is resource-hungry. You will have 30GB of space with this plan, and you can rest assured that you’re sharing server resources with fewer users, which means your site/s will perform better. The GoGeek plan is great for small to mid-sized eCommerce sites, and includes server PCI compliance. This plan is suitable for up to approximately 100,00 monthly visitors.
Initial promo price: $11.95 (66% OFF)
Regular price: $34.95
Premium features included in both the GrowBig and GoGeek plans:
- Priority technical support
- SuperCacher for improved speed
- Free backup restores
Extra premium features on the GoGeek plan:
- WordPress (and Joomla) staging
- 1-click Git repo creation
- Free backups on demand
SiteGround is awesome, but don’t just take my word for it. Take a look at all the screenshots below to see how they are highly recommended on facebook.
Facebook polls and comments
Customers raving about SiteGround’s support
Being a SiteGround customer myself, I can personally vouch for their stellar customer and technical support. It is the absolute best, hands-down. I have experience with the support teams from GoDaddy, 1and1, BlueHost and InMotion Hosting, and none of them even come close.
SiteGround’s support techs are super knowledgeable, and will help you resolve problems quickly and effectively. Check out the all the client testimonials from twitter below.
Site speed improvements after moving to SiteGround
Take a look at all the super happy people whose site speed was significantly increased when they switched to SiteGround hosting.
The tests below were performed with real accounts on SiteGround and 11 other popular web hosts: Bluehost, HostGator, iPage, Fatcow, Justhost, AsmallOrange, InMotion, WebhostingHub, Arvixe, GoDaddy, GreenGeeks and A2Hosting.
SiteGround is the clear winner in all the real tests below, including the following:
- Loading Speed
- Performance Speed
- Hack Protection
- Account Isolation
- Customer Support – Online Chat, Phone and Email
Hack Protection and Account Isolation
The signup process at SiteGround is quick and easy, but I’ll walk you through the steps just in case.
Head over to SiteGround, then click the Sign Up button.
Next, choose between the StartUp, GrowBig and GoGeek shared hosting plans. I currently use the GrowBig plan because I have numerous sites hosted on one account.
On the next screen, select whether you’re registering a new domain name or using one that you already own. Once finished, click the Proceed button.
First, enter all your personal details in the Account, Client and Payment Information sections.
Plan – Confirm the plan you wish to purchase from the first dropdown.
Data Center – Choose 1 of 5 data centers here. It’s wise to select the one closest to most of your website visitors (or potential visitors). If your site targets American visitors, choose Chicago.
Period – Pick the payment period for your hosting package. SiteGround’s special, introductory pricing only applies to the first invoice, so I suggest prepaying for 36 months up front. Once the time period you select is over, their regular prices apply.
Under Extra Services, you can choose whether you’d like to add the SG Site Scanner to your purchase. I don’t use this, and highly recommend securing your WordPresss site with WordFence instead.
Finally, check the box at the bottom indicating that you agree to their Terms of Service, and click the Pay Now button.
Shared hosting plans on SiteGround use the latest technologies to make sure your site is running at optimal speed. These can include faster hardware, innovative network architecture and new software solutions. They pride themselves on being among the first hosts to implement cutting-edge technology solutions.
SSD drives on all plans
All files and databases on SiteGround’s shared hosting plans are stored on Solid State Drives. SSDs provide much quicker read and write speeds than traditional HDDs (Hard Disk Drives), which means improved performance for your website/s.
NGINX server speed
They use NGINX technology on their web servers to speed up the load time of static content for all websites they host. Setup of NGINX is included in all of their shared and cloud plans, and is also available for dedicated servers as a performance booster.
SiteGround developed SuperCacher, a caching mechanism based on NGINX reverse proxy, which helps to dramatically speed up the serving of dynamic content. It also allows for increased website speed optimization through memcached. Their SuperCacher is available for all the most popular applications, including WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.
Free CDN available
Cloudflare CDN (Content Delivery Network) helps speed up your website by caching its static content and distributing it from multiple data centers. When a visitor in a certain part of the world accesses your website, Cloudflare serves them with content from the data center closest to them.
HTTP/2 enabled servers
SiteGround is among the first hosts to support HTTP/2 on all of their servers. It is the newest network protocol, and requires an encrypted connection. It significantly speeds up the loading of websites in any browser. SiteGround makes it easy for anyone to use this technology by providing free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates, and making it super easy to install them.
PHP7 and HHVM
Whenever a new technology that makes PHP executions quicker becomes available, you can count on SiteGround to promptly add it to their hosting servers. When PHP7 was introduced, they made it possible for users to use it while it was still in beta. HHVM is even faster than PHP7, but is only available on their cloud hosting plans.
The speed and stability of your website depend on the location and unique characteristics of your host’s data center. SiteGround works with the best facilities in the world, and uses top-notch hardware for their hosting infrastructure.
With data centers in multiple locations around the world, you can choose the best location to host your site close to the majority of your visitors. This will improve your website loading time and performance.
They have data centers in the following locations:
- Chicago, United States
- London, United Kingdom
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Milan, Italy
SiteGround prides itself on having the highest possible standards when it comes to their data center facilities.
Great network availability – Facilities that they partner with rely on excellent network connectivity to multiple major carriers for the best possible availability and speed.
Redundant electrical systems – They are able to prevent electrical outages by using multiple power feeds, having backup generators and enterprise-grade UPS (uninterruptible power supply) technology.
Top-notch physical security – All data center facilities are very well protected by 24/7 human security, biometrics, access control man traps, bulletproof lobbies and video surveillance.
Ever since their founding in 2004, SiteGround has been a pioneer in web hosting security solutions. They are able to effectively minimize downtime risk by using advanced, proprietary methods as opposed to more common solutions used by other hosting companies.
SiteGround’s hosting platform is built atop the cutting edge LXC technology. It is extremely efficient in its use of resources, highly flexible and provides amazing stability in the event of unexpected traffic spikes. They built their very own implementation of LXC, and in the process wrote multiple Linux Kernel patches that are now incorporated in the official Linux Kernel code.
Proactive server monitoring
Their in-house server monitoring system is extremely lightweight, and can check the server status more frequently than standard monitoring systems. Not only does it detect and fix current problems, it can foresee potential problems and effectively prevent them.
Automatic backup system and instant backups on demand
SiteGround’s custom backup system lets you quickly browse and restore data from their automatic system backups. In addition, you can create instant on-demand backups whenever you’d like, which is great if you need to make site changes.
You can easily backup certain files, folders, databases, emails or everything in your account and save numerous instant backup copies for 30 days.
If you need to restore older versions of your data, you can use their backup restore tool, which is included in their GoGeek and Cloud plans and can be added for a fee in their StartUp and GrowBig plans.
Unique anti-bot AI
SiteGround developed an extremely effective Artificial Intelligence solution that helps stop brute-force attacks. It prevents between 500,000 and 2 million malicious attempts per hour on all of their servers before they are able to reach customers’ sites. Not only does it prevent unauthorized access, but it also saves your web server resources.
Secure account isolation
Back in 2008, they came up with an efficient CHROOT account isolation for accounts on shared servers (other hosts deemed this impossible at the time). SiteGround still employs one of the best security isolation systems in the hosting industry.
With SiteGround hosting, you can activate Cloudflare quickly and easily within cPanel.
Cloudflare’s main feature is a CDN (content delivery network), which stores copies of your website files at 115 data centers all around the world.
With any web hosting, your site is hosted on a single server in one location (let’s use Chicago for this example). If someone in Japan visits your site, all of your website files are accessed on your origin server in Chicago. Naturally, your site will load more slowly for a visitor in Japan than one in Milwaukee or other area relatively close to Chicago.
Cloudflare’s content delivery network helps solve this problem by serving your visitors with stored copies of your site files at a data center closest to them. So, the visitor in Japan will access your site from a data center in Asia, as opposed to one on the other side of the globe.
Using a CDN also effectively reduces CPU consumption by hosting large files on Cloudflare’s servers instead of your web server.
You can speed up your site even further by using Cloudflare and W3 Total Cache together.
Another great feature of SiteGround hosting is automatic updates for both WordPress core and plugins. This can save you a bunch of time, especially if you maintain numerous sites.
To activate this feature, you’ll first need to log in to your cPanel account.
Next, click on WP Auto Update in the WordPress Tools section.
Then, click on Autoupdate settings on the right side for the site you wish to manage.
Finally, you will be able to set the update frequency for both major and minor WordPress core, as well as plugins.
Simply click the dropdowns next to each section and choose which options you want. I recommend choosing Immediate for both WordPress core updates, and Yes for plugins.
Platforms – SiteGround supports all major eCommerce platforms, including the following:
- WP eCommerce
- Zen Cart
- and more…
In addition, they have various merchant account solutions to help you process payments securely.
Let’s Encrypt SSL – All shared hosting plans come with a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate, a must-have for any site which needs to process payments securely. You can easily install your SSL certificate with a few clicks in cPanel.
Wildcard SSL – You can easily install a Wildcard SSL for $90/year, which you can use to secure your site and any subdomains as well. It will even give you a shiny seal you can proudly display on your site. Check out all of SiteGround’s SSL plans to learn more.
PCI Compliance – SiteGround’s GoGeek plan includes Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, which helps prevent credit card fraud, cracking and other security threats and vulnerabilities by unifying payments with 12 requirements.
If you don’t currently have a site hosted with SiteGround, you can see what different options are available using their cPanel demo.
Here, you will find numerous features, including:
- Auto Installers
- Backups Manager
- WP Auto Updates
- Site Improvement Tools
- WordPress Tools
- and more
Are you wondering how you’re going to move your site from your old host to SiteGround? Well, if you choose either the GrowBig or GoGeek plans, SiteGround will migrate your website for free.
If you have the StartUp plan, they will move your site for a small fee.
I used their free migration service for one of my clients, and it was quick and easy.
You can request a transfer by logging in to your account and clicking on the Support tab.
Then, go to the bottom of the page and expand the Request Assistance from our Team box by clicking the plus sign.
Then, go to the Advanced Technical Services section in the middle and click Transfer Website.
To initiate a site transfer, follow the steps below:
Select Category – This should default to Website Transfer.
Select Account – Choose the account to which you’re transferring your site.
Where do you transfer from? – Select whether you’re transferring your site from another host or from another SiteGround account.
Choose the type of web hosting panel you used to manage your account with your previous host:
- Other control panel
Then, enter your cPanel or ftp URL, username and password, as well as your old hosting company from the dropdown.
You can also add some extra information in the box at the end if you’d like.
Choose whether you’d like to be notified and check the box to agree to SiteGround’s terms of service.
Finally, click the Submit button.
Head over to Google PageSpeed Insights. Then, enter your website URL to see if reduce server response time shows up in your report.
If it does, it means one of the following two things:
- Your hosting company uses outdated, slow technology.
- Your hosting plan does not include enough server resources.
To fix this, you need to either upgrade your plan, or better yet move your site to SiteGround. As mentioned earlier, they use PHP7, Solid State Drives, and NGINX + HTTP/2 server technology.
Endurance International Group is a publicly-traded company with a habit of acquiring hosting companies, laying off employees and totally ruining them by using crappy hardware and crowding servers with as many hosting accounts as possible.
They own countless hosting providers, including the following well-known ones (some of which used to be great):
- A Small Orange
- Unified Layer
Check out the screenshot below for a full list of hosts to avoid.
Personal story: I nearly took on a project to help a woman transfer her website with 100+ blog posts from TypePad (also owned by EIG) to a WordPress site hosted with BlueHost.
I had a simple question, and tried to get an answer through BlueHost’s online customer support chat. What a nightmare!!!
The support tech (term used loosely) I chatted with never even attempted to answer my question, but instead pasted “I’m sorry for the delay” over and over. I finally asked him to stop, and please try to answer my question.
I gave up after about 25 minutes, and told my client that I’ll pass on the project. Doing any tasks with sites hosted by BlueHost takes way too much time, and it’s not worth the hassle. I also strongly suggested to my client that she move all her websites elsewhere if she cares about their performance.
See some more BlueHost horror stories here.
I hope this SiteGround shared WordPress hosting review has provided you with all the information you need to make an educated decision when choosing a web host for your site. Please know that I only recommend quality products, and completely stand behind any company I am affiliated with.
What is your experience with SiteGround? Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below.
If you found this post helpful, please share it and spread the word!
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