Last updated on May 19th, 2018
SiteGround is a leading web-hosting provider founded in 2004 by university friends. They are based in Bulgaria with offices in the US, UK, Spain, and Italy. The company offers one of the cheapest hosting plans on the market with great performance for their entry-level plans. If you’re a WP user, then you’ll be glad to know that WordPress recommends SiteGround.
SiteGround Rapid Report
Everyone’s needs are different but here are a few pros and cons of SiteGround’s hosting plans.
- All hosting plans are built with solid-state drives (SSD) for faster performance.
- Free content delivery network (CDN) through CloudFlare.
- Free SSL certificate.
- HTTP/2 compliant.
- 24/7 technical support via phone, chat, and ticketing system.
- Storage is limited though the starter shared hosting plan comes with 10 GB, which is more than enough for new websites.
- No free domain.
- No Windows Server option.
This SiteGround review is a general guide for beginners, bloggers, or entrepreneurs that are new to web hosting and creating a website.
First things first: SiteGround has several different types of hosting plans including shared hosting, cloud hosting, and dedicated hosting.
A shared hosting plan is a good option for websites that are new or have low traffic: usually less than 100,000 user visits per month.
Cloud or dedicated hosting is for websites that have a substantial amount of traffic and for businesses with a decent amount of capital. Many bloggers and small businesses start off with a shared hosting plan.
I’ll be discussing shared hosting, as this is the most cost-effective solution for those new to web hosting.
My Personal and Unbiased SiteGround Review
I’ve heard of SiteGround for many years because I’m an avid WordPress user.
So let’s get into the hosting plans. SiteGround has 3 shared hosting plans: StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek.
The signup process for SiteGround is relatively easy but there are a few things to consider as mentioned below.
Choose Hosting Plan
You need to pay attention to the prices. A quick analysis of the prices of the shared hosting plans reveals promotional prices of 60% off. As a result, the amounts increase after the initial term.
- StartUp: $3.95/month, $9.95/month regular rate
- GrowBig: $5.95/month, $14.95/month regular rate
- GoGeek: $11.95/month, $29.95/month regular rate
It is best to get a 12, 24, or 36 month term if you want to take advantage of the reduced rate with no setup fees. At the same time, you need to be confident you’re going to need a website and hosting plan for years to come.
A bit confusing for WordPress users is that SiteGround has a separate pricing page for WP hosting but it’s the same plans as the regular shared hosting plans. The real bonus is SiteGround offers managed WordPress hosting.
As mentioned earlier, SiteGround allows you to register a new domain ($15.95/year) through their hosting plan signup process. This is a downside since many hosting plans come with a free domain. However, SiteGround more than makes up for it with multiple features on their hosting plans.
Additionally, you can bring your own domain and host it with SiteGround. In order to setup a website with your own domain from a different registrar, you’ll need to point the domain’s A record to SiteGround’s IP address.
My domain registrar is with GoDaddy. For my review, I created a demo subdomain with GoDaddy and pointed it to SiteGround. Domain pointing can be confusing for beginners but all hosting providers and domain registrars provide instructions on this process.
After paying for your hosting plan, SiteGround allows you to install and get your website up and running right away. This feature isn’t a big deal for me but for beginners it’s great.
You can skip this step and later install the website via the admin panel.
The Admin Panel
SiteGround uses cPanel for their hosting admin panel. I haven’t used cPanel in several years but it still looked familiar to me. cPanel can be overwhelming to many users because it has many options including several advanced functions. cPanel does take some time getting used to. It is best to follow the SiteGround tutorials if you are not familiar with cPanel.
Softaculous is also installed and part of the shared hosting plan. Softaculous is an auto install script that allows users to install applications with one click. This includes WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Weebly.
SiteGround Essential Features
We’ll now review the essential features that come with all the shared hosting plans. These features distinguish and give SiteGround an advantage compared to other hosting plans.
- Free Site Transfer
If you already have a website, SiteGround will include one free professional transfer. Keep in mind there are limitations to transfers. They can’t do transfers from a website builder like Wix. But transferring a WordPress website will be no problem.
- 24/7 Support
Support is provided instantly via chat and phone. Email and ticket support is usually first answered within 10 minutes. SiteGround not only provides hosting support, they also provide web support such as issues with WordPress or embedding a video on your webpage.
- Free App Installs
Many applications including WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal can be easily installed from the SiteGround cPanel.
- Free Email Accounts
If you want an email account with your domain such as firstname.lastname@example.org, you can create it for free.
- Unmetered Traffic
Unmetered traffic allows you to have unlimited data transfer. This is a great option if you start a new website that grows quickly with no additional charges.
- Free SSL and HTTP/2
A secure socket layer (SSL) is the standard data encryption process between a web server and a browser. HTTP/2 is the new performance optimization method since HTTP/1.1.
- cPanel and SSH
cPanel is an industry leading control panel for site management. This makes user site management easier for beginners. Secure socket shell (SSH) allows you to securely access and modify files and folders on the server. This is an advanced process that most users would not use.
- Free Website Builder
You can create a website using Weebly’s drag-and-drop builder.
- SSD Storage
All files and databases are stored on solid-state drives for optimal performance.
- 30-Day Money Back Guarantee
All hosting plans come with a money back guarantee but this does not include any domain fees.
- Free Auto Daily Backups
Your website is backed up every day for up to 30 days.
- Free CloudFlare CDN
The free content delivery network (CDN) will speed up your website by hosting and serving some of your files on CloudFlare’s server.
- Unlimited MySQL Databases
This is more of a marketing scheme unless you’re going to host multiple websites.
GrowBig Plan Premium Features
- Unlimited Websites
Static and dynamic data are cached for faster website performance.
- Premium Backup
Restore your website with one click if something goes wrong.
GoGeek Plan Advanced Features
- Includes Premium Features
- Fewer Users
Fewer websites are sharing the server resources allowing your website perform faster.
- Instant Backups
Create instant backups of your files and databases.
- Staging Tools
Helps test a website without going live.
PCI DSS (payment card industry data security standard) compliant server offers safe and stable transactions for merchants and consumers.
SiteGround shared web hosting is a great choice for bloggers or small businesses. If you don’t know which plan to get, just go with the cheapest plan: StartUp. You can always upgrade later.