July 27

SiteGround Review 2021 | Price, Uptime & Warnings

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With a range of different hosting options available, SiteGround is a popular shared hosting provider. From cloud hosting and WordPress hosting to dedicated servers, SiteGround customers can access virtually any hosting service to meet their needs. 

To test the service and create a comprehensive and accurate review, we’re relying on data from a shared hosting account used with a live test site. In addition to this, independent, third-party tools have been used to monitor performance, so you can be confident that our review is completely unbiased. 

In general, SiteGround performs well in comparison to other hosting providers and ranks highly for speed (716ms) and uptime (99.99%). Additionally, SiteGround is known for delivering impressive customer service, which should reassure new users and satisfy existing ones. As all sites come with an SSL certificate, CDN, and email accounts, you’ll have access to everything you need to get your site up and running if you choose SiteGround as your hosting provider.

Of course, every provider has its downsides and SiteGround is no different in this respect. To learn more, read on to find out everything you need to know.

SiteGround Overview

Uptime: 99.99%

Speed: 716ms

Apps: Supports over 500 apps

Hosting Plans Available: Cloud, WordPress, Dedicated Servers, Shared, Enterprise, and Reseller.

Customer Support: Phone, 24/7 Live Chat, Knowledge Base

Site Transfer: Yes

Features: 10 GB Storage, unmetered bandwidth, free email accounts, daily backup, free SSL and CDN, access to a website builder.

Pricing: Introductory offers from $4.99 per month, $14.99 per month thereafter.

SiteGround Hosting: Pros and Cons

Pros:

As you might have guessed, there are plenty of advantages associated with SiteGround, including:

1. 99.99% Uptime

Over a 12-month period, SiteGround delivered 99.99% uptime, which puts it at the top of rankings when compared to other hosting providers. Uptime is a critical metric when you’re looking for a hosting provider, as site reliability has a major impact on your success. With 99.99% uptime, your site is accessible at virtually all times, which means you’ll never miss out on an online sale or risk users defecting to a competitor’s site because yours is unavailable. 

To get a clearer idea of the uptime that SiteGround offers, look at this month-by-month breakdown:

2021

  • March – 100%
  • Feb – 99.99% 
  • Jan – 99.90%

2020

  • Dec – 99.99%
  • Nov – 100% 
  • Oct – 99.99% 
  • Sep – 99.99%
  • Aug – 99.99%
  • July – 100%
  • June – 99.98% 
  • May – 100%
  • April – 100%

2. Website Speed

When you’re choosing a hosting provider, speed is another critical metric to look out for. After all, slow loading times can increase your bounce rate. Google estimates that 53% of users will leave a site if pages take longer than three seconds to load, which means you need to have high speeds to keep your audience present and engaged.

Luckily, SiteGround offers impressive speeds, so you won’t be disappointed with this aspect of their service. With an average loading time of 716ms, SiteGround is certainly offering one of the fastest speeds out there. 

Remember – minor changes, such as compressing images or using a CDN can help to improve speeds slightly but, if your hosting provider doesn’t deliver good speeds, there isn’t much you can do about it. By choosing a provider that’s known for delivering above-average speeds, however, you can ensure your site will have short loading times. 

3. Customer Service

If you’re looking for straightforward answers to common questions, SiteGround’s Knowledge Base is likely to provide the help you need. Alternatively, you can get in touch with their customer support team via the phone or 24/7 Live Chat.

When we contacted SiteGround via Live Chat, we were connected to a rep swiftly and received knowledgeable and insightful answers to our questions. With no delay between responses, SiteGround definitely ranks highly for customer service and outperforms many other hosting providers when it comes to providing user support.

4. Free CDN and SSL Certificate

If you’re running a website, having an SSL certificate is practically essential. It helps to protect user’s information and most browsers, including Google Chrome, will warn users if they attempt to visit a site that doesn’t have an SSL certificate.

If you choose SiteGround as your hosting provider, however, you won’t have to worry as you’ll benefit from a free SSL certificate for your site. 

In addition to this, you’ll also gain access to a free Cloudflare Content Delivery Network (CDN). A CDN enables content, such as images or video, to be stored on numerous servers worldwide. This means that users can access this content from a nearby location, thus reducing loading times and enhancing their UX. 

As SiteGround has multiple servers across three continents, using a free CDN helps to keep your website speeds fast and enables users to access your content quickly.

5. Free Plugin for WordPress Migration

If you’re wary of handling your own site migration, there’s no need to use SiteGround’s free plugin for WordPress Migration. It can be used on any site, create a token via your SiteGround account, and let the plugin migrate your site for you. What’s more – you can use the WordPress plugin to migrate as many sites as you need to. This is a big advantage, as many other hosting companies only offer one free migration. 

Although the WordPress migration plugin is easy to use, there is always more help available if you need it. You can pay for a SiteGround professional to migrate your site for you or, if you sign up for a higher tier hosting plan, this will be thrown in for free. There are limits when it comes to how many sites you can migrate for free, even as a higher tier subscriber, but you can pay $30 per site for professional migration once you reach the limit.

6. Uptime Guarantee

Many hosting providers like to brag about the uptime they offer but, when you read the small print, you’ll often find that they actually guarantee a relatively low uptime. This puts you in a difficult position if you sign up expecting a high level of uptime, only to find that your site is inaccessible a lot of the time. 

Fortunately, this won’t be a problem with SiteGround. They guarantee 99.99% uptime over an annual timeframe in their Service Level Agreement and, if they fall below this, you’ll be given a free month’s hosting in return. 

However, do bear in mind that emergency or scheduled maintenance doesn't count as downtime and anything the account holder does that causes downtime won’t count either. If a cyberattack occurred, it’s unlikely that this would breach their 99.99% uptime guarantee either, so there are loopholes to look out for.

Despite this, SiteGround’s guarantee is more generous than many other hosting companies and their track record of actually achieving an average of 99.99% uptime is reassuring too!

7. Novice-to-Advanced Features

SiteGround can be a great choice of hosting provider, regardless of whether you’re new to managing websites or you’ve run your own sites for years. The range of features available ensures that beginners and experienced site owners can access everything they need. 

For novices, integrating website builders, like Weebly, makes it easy to drag and drop site elements without having to learn or use code. SiteGround is also integration-ready for Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress, so there are plenty of options that can be set up quickly. 

For more experienced site owners and developers, higher-tier plans include pre-installed Git, as well as WP-CLI, SSH, phpMyAdmin, and SFTP. Additionally, developers can access staging environments to test features before making them live and multi-level caching is also available. 

In today’s climate, online security is a major issue and SiteGround provides you with an AI bot prevention tool to help thwart potential cyberattacks. According to the hosting provider, they block between 500,000 to 2 million brute-force attempts every hour, which highlights just how effective their proprietary prevention tool is. 

8. Money-Back Guarantee

For new customers, a 30-day money-back guarantee on shared hosting plans provides peace of mind. If you’re not happy with the service, you’ll be able to request a refund within this timeframe, so it’s easy to try SiteGround’s hosting options without worrying about wasting your cash. 

Like most hosting companies, the cost of any extras, such as domain name fees, aren’t typically included in the money-back guarantee and you won’t be able to get a refund on renewals either.

Cons

Although SiteGround has plenty of benefits, there can be some drawbacks too, such as:

1. Increased Renewal Prices

Like most online service providers, SiteGround welcomes new customers with low-cost introductory offers, only to increase the price if you decide to renew. Currently, their StartUp plan is available for $6.99 per month but, upon renewal, it more than doubles to $14.99 per month. Similarly, higher tier plans increase to $24.99 and $39.99 upon renewal. 

However, the benefits associated with SiteGround can certainly be worth the price tag. If you want to keep costs as low as possible, you might want to consider signing up for a long-term subscription. When you sign up for 36 months, for example, the monthly rate remains relatively low, which gives you access to significant savings.

2. Paid-For Domains

Although most hosting providers offer new customers a free domain name when they signup, this isn’t something that SiteGround currently provides. If you don’t have an existing domain name, you will need to select and pay for one to get your site up and running. When you do this via SiteGround, you can access .com domains from $15.95 per year. While this may put new customers off, it’s important to weigh up the other benefits that SiteGround offers when deciding whether the lack of a free domain name is a dealbreaker 

3. Limited Features on Low-Cost Plan

If you sign up for SiteGround’s cheapest plan, you’ll get 10 GB of web space for one site and unmetered bandwidth, which equates to unlimited traffic. You’ll be able to handle around 10,000 site visits each month with these features but, if you start to get near these limits, you can expect your site’s performance to suffer. 

While this won’t be a problem for relatively small sites with limited users, you might need to upgrade to a higher-tier plan if you want to optimize performance as you start getting more site visitors. Although this may not be an issue when you’re first starting out, it is something to be aware of if you want to grow your online presence. 

SiteGround – Quick Facts

There are three types of shared hosting plans available with SiteGround: StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek

Signup Process: Super simple, just a one-page signup option.

Account Activation Required? Yes, but very quickly completed.

Free Domain? No, but domain names are available for $15.99 per year.

Dashboard and Control Panel: cPanel

Hidden Fees? Renewal prices are higher than introductory offer rates.

Money-Back Guarantee? Yes, 30-day money-back guarantee for new customers.

CMSs and App Installation? Popular CMSs and apps can be installed via Softaculous. 

Payment Options: Credit card, although other payment methods are available via Live Chat. 

Is SiteGround Recommended?

Yes. There is a reason we ranked it in the top three in both our best Canadian hosting review and our best Australian hosting review. Although there are inevitably some downsides with any hosting provider, SiteGround overcomes these with reliable 99.99% uptime, fast speeds, and excellent customer support. While renewal rates are higher than introductory prices, there are ways to keep costs low. You can cut the cost of your plan by choosing a longer subscription, for example, and using an existing domain name means you won’t have to purchase another. By doing so, you’ll benefit from a great hosting package, impressive service, and relatively low prices. 


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