Ah, Siteground. If you’ve been looking into web hosting lately, there is no way you haven’t stumbled across this name. Easily one of the biggest names in the world of web hosting, it can be a little hard to know where to start.
It’s mostly stayed out of the news, minus its vocal opposition to the United States bills SOPA and PIPA a few years ago (if you’re unfamiliar, it was in good company here, joining many major online companies in protest).
If it’s stayed out of the news though, it definitely has not stayed out of articles and reviews. It’s just too notable to not hear about if you’re curious about this stuff.
Of course, I can’t fully answer those questions, but I hope to at least shed some light about Siteground nonetheless.
Keep reading to learn more about my thoughts regarding this hosting giant.
If you’ve become used to me by now, you’ll know that I tend to start with the bad news first. Don’t worry though! This part is pretty short.
I think the main drawback to Siteground is that it can be a bit expensive. It’s non shared web hosting plans are kind of pricey and though it’s shared web hosting is decently priced, it’s most decently priced if you lock yourself in for a year.
Other than that, the 30GB storage allowance cap is a pretty annoying drawback. In the scheme of things, is it a minor drawback?
Other than that though, I don’t have any strong remarks. Ease of use is something I think is fairly neutral, and not quite a con, but I’ll put it here anyway—it’s easy to use, but could be a little more user-friendly for customers new to the world of hosting.
Not so bad right? Let’s get to the fun part.
For the fun part, I’ve got a little bit more to talk about.
As far as pricing goes, it’s nice to see something fairly simple and consistent with the same three tiers across the different hosting products.
Additionally, the normal shared web hosting, if you can commit to a year, is pretty affordable, or at least competitive.
Customer support is a definite plus for Siteground, as not only are the representatives responsive and informative, the online documentation in the knowledge base, tutorials, etc, is very extensive and helpful.
Finally, security is also something Siteground does well, as it seems to take an extra step in securing its users data.
Overall, a lot of strengths to talk about. You don’t need to take my word for it though—let’s go a little more in depth as to why.
Note: If you’ve read my Siteground vs. Bluehost review, you may find some of this a bit familiar. Nonetheless, let’s go over the pricing structure.
Siteground offers a lot of hosting options, from services like email hosting, to app hosting (WordPress, Joomla, etc), to normal web hosting.
The main price variation is in the main web hosting services:
Cloud hosting, for example, starts at $80.00 a month in a four-tiered system that reaches to $240.00 a month,
whereas Dedicated hosting starts at $229.00 a month for the first tier and ends at $429 a month for the third tier…um, wow.
The good news is there’s a particular three-tiered pricing structure that holds for most of the products:
Shared web hosting, the service hosting options (email hosting, PHP hosting, etc), and app hosting (WordPress, Joomla, Magento, etc).
The first is StartUp at $2.95 a month, GrowBig is second at $4.55 a month, and GoGeek comes last at $8.95 a month.
StartUp offers 1 website, 10GB of web space, is suitable for around 10,000 monthly visits, and contains the “essential” (meaning basic) features.
GrowBig offers multiple websites, 20GB of space, should be good for around 25,000 monthly visits, and awards you premium features in addition to essential features.
GoGeek also allows multiple websites, but gives 30GB of space, allows for roughly 100,000 monthly visitors, and gives “Geekly Advanced Features” in addition to premium and essential features.
Overall, Siteground’s non shared web hosting options are a bit pricey compared to what competitors are offering.
However, for shared web hosting and app hosting, I think Siteground’s pricing is not only streamlined and easy to understand, but competitive with the features it packs in.
Features matter a lot. If you’re unsure about the pricing of anything, what you get for it will probably be the deciding factor. Thankfully, Siteground has a strong package of features to alleviate some concerns you may have about the price.
*Note: the features discussed are primarily focused on the more popular shared web hosting plans, which start at $2.95 a month.
There is a 10-30GB storage allowance that turns some people off right off the bat (from StartUp to GoGeek you will be capped at 30GB).
Luckily, you get a ton of features in exchange. For both second and third tier accounts, you can host unlimited websites, and all accounts get unlimited MySQL databases.
I would like to note that Siteground has unique, company-built security tools they employ that I would consider strong features of the service (you’ll read about them soon enough, just keep it in mind), and you get SSL certification for all accounts.
Additionally, even from a first tier shared hosting account, you get a free site transfer, a drag and drop website builder, and unlimited sub and parked domains, which I thought was handy—you can go back to my other Siteground vs. Bluehost article to see how this compares to Bluehost, a top rival of Siteground. Spoiler alert: Siteground wins this one.
In fact, you even get basic ecommerce software with a StartUp account, and a lot of features for developers. Oh, and you get unlimited email accounts for even a basic account, whereas most competitors will put have a cap for the entry level packages.
Ultimately, the stack of features is too numerous to list, as it should be, but there are a lot of features to justify those storage limits (if they’re a big deal to you) with a good amount of additional features for each tier upgrade.
Why do I say that? Aside from normal customer service options like phone support, Siteground provides extensive resources and documentation, extensive even for a hosting company.
There’s a set-up wizard for account set up you’ll encounter, but there’s also a webinar series, step by step tutorials, and a “knowledge base”—basically hundreds of FAQs and help articles.
Meanwhile, it doesn’t slouch on the people it employs either: live chat and 24/7 phone service are available for instant replies, and sending in tickets will usually give you a response in a few minutes. When you’re in contact with a representative, you’ll see their information—name, experience, special strengths, etc.
Though anecdotal evidence can only get you so far, I personally found the live chat very responsive.
When you request a live chat, you need to enter an email and username (if you are not a current customer) and your question, though I was annoyed by the fact there’s a character limit for your question. Soon after, a chat page will open and you should have a response.
After you finish your discussion, you’ll have the option of getting a transcript of the conversation sent to your email, which I thought was pretty unique and highly useful in case you forget what was discussed.
Overall, Siteground has very strong customer support and I rank it as one of Siteground’s winning traits. Extensive online documentation as well as responsive and helpful representatives really give Siteground strong customer support functionality.
Ease of Use
Look, ease of use is something I rarely have to comment on. This is because strong user-friendliness is an industry gold standard. Just about every online service, even non-hosting services, intentionally design themselves to be easy to use for the average person.
So ease of use is something I talk about mostly as a way of noting if a company is falling below the standard. If not, I don’t really have anything to say.
Thankfully with Siteground, I don’t have anything to say.
The website builder that’s included has taken points from other popular website builders and is pretty intuitive.
Everything else involved in managing your accounts is very easy and straightforward.
I’m sure that some people will have some issues here and there with technical terms, especially if they’re new to the hosting world, but mostly it should be pretty easy to navigate, especially with such strong customer support.
It’s not that Siteground is exceptionally easy to use, and in fact it could probably be a little more user friendly, but overall I can’t imagine anyone having too much difficulty with it either.
Security and Reliability
Security is everything and something almost all of us with an online presence need to be concerned with if we are not already. This is especially the case for people looking into hosting services.
I’m happy to say that Siteground is very strong when it comes to security.
Siteground has a 99.99% uptime, so you don’t need to worry about your site going down. I guess that’s also industry standard, but hey, it’s still pretty nice.
Siteground gets a plus because they innovated secure account isolation for web hosting, so it seems reasonable to me that 10 years later, they should still have some of the strongest isolation among hosting services.
Siteground uses Linux containers and makes a special note of the fact that patches they made to Linux Kernels were incorporated to the official Linux Kernel code—so it’s safe to say the tech is pretty up to date.
Their server monitoring is allegedly faster and more routine than typical server monitors, and though they’ve been criticized for back-up features many users found lacking, in 2015 they implemented their own backup system that seems to be a big improvement. They’ve also got an anti-bot AI for brute-force attacks.
Full disclaimer, I’m not a security expert. Nonetheless, it does seem to me that Siteground has a team that really works on its defenses, strong ones that the company is quick to name on their website, and that makes me feel much more at ease with Siteground.
Ah, so here we are at last—the concluding section! Let’s dive right into the wrap-up.
Pricing is bit mixed, as the non-shared hosting is on the pricier side and even the shared web hosting is on the pricier side depending on how long you’re committing. That aside, if you get the popular one year deal, you’ll be paying competitive/lower prices.
Features are a plus for Siteground, with a strong suite that is distributed well across the three main pricing tiers, though the storage limits on all tiers are exceptionally annoying.
Customer support is a definite strength with such extensive documentation online and the additionally helpful representatives on live chat, email, and phone support.
Ease of use is something mostly neutral—it’s not hard to use, but could be a bit easier for more novice users.
Overall, I think Siteground definitely deserves its spot as one of the top hosting options.
It is not excessively expensive, at least not for most popular options, and offers a very strong package that should leave most people, whatever their range of technical ability, feeling satisfied.
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