Siteground is a great hosting option for beginners and advanced site owners alike. It has a lot going for it and they’re a solid company overall.
- Solid, robust hosting powered by Google Cloud
- All of the features you’d need in one spot, so it is quite convenient.
- Good support
- NOT owned by EIG 🙂
- Custom control panel (no cPanel!)
- Compelling intro rate to get started
- Monthly rate goes up drastically once intro pricing expires. This then makes it a little less competitive and it can pay to shop around a bit.
- Traffic caps on each hosting plan
- Getting into a live chat with a support specialist seems a little hard to find.
I make no secret that I personally use and recommend Cloudways web hosting. That said, I do consider Siteground to be a worthy “plan B” for site owners that want the convenience of an “all in one” web host.
Siteground finds itself in the same category of bulk web hosts such as Hostgator, Bluehost, and others. Like the others, Siteground offers multiple levels of hosting, domains, email.. the whole thing. All in one spot. The difference is that Siteground is NOT owned by the same parent company as those others (EIG). This means they are a cut above the others, in my view, as I believe EIG has commoditized hosting with cheap, poor hosting.
Siteground is actually a pretty high quality web host. On the backend, they are running on the Google Cloud and this does provide a high level of speed and reliability.
For most people, you will go with either their standard web hosting offer or their WordPress managed hosting. There is essentially no difference between them and the “WordPress Hosting” is more of a positioning thing than an actual difference.
Their main plans are Startup, GrowBig and GoGeek. Each plan starts off at a pretty affordable rate of $2.99, $4.99 and $7.99 respectively. It is important, though, to pay attention to the normal rate of each plan because once your pre-paid period is up, the price goes up substantially.
Of the 3 plans, I wouldn’t recommend anything less than GrowBig. The Startup plan is only for one, single site. For just a wee bit more, you can put as many sites as you want onto the plan. You are capped on monthly visits on these plans, but that is typical of hosting on the cloud. You can always pay a little more for more traffic.
Siteground is also convenient in that they provide free CDN, free email hosting, domain management, and a pretty decent performance plugin called SG Optimizer that is designed to work with their services. Note that SG Optimizer actually now works with any web host, but it is obviously custom tailored to work beautifully with their own hosting.
Another thing I like about Siteground is that they have their own, custom control panel to manage your hosting and your sites. I much prefer this over other cheap web hosts that simply throw you into cPanel. I personally find cPanel to be highly annoying and cluttered and it is a drawback when that’s the interface you have to use. Kudos to SiteGround for being a much more user-friendly experience in that regard.
As for support, I have dealt with SiteGround support on multiple occasions on behalf of clients. I much prefer live chat for support rather than diving into documentation or talking to a “bot”. Siteground does have great documentation, so in many cases you can solve your issue that way. Getting to talk to a real human being via live chat does make you jump through some hoops, though. It can be difficult to find. But once you ARE in a live chat, they are clearly a real human being and they are actually quite helpful. You can also simply call them by phone.
Overall, Siteground is a good, high quality web host with good support. Their hosting is much higher quality than other beginner-friendly hosts overall. They have a good balance between being friendly for newbies, but also having the power to make the nerds happy. 🙂
As for price, their intro rates are compelling. However, those rates are only locked in for the length of your pre-paid period. This means you are incentivized to pay for a lot of hosting all at once. Your monthly rate goes up drastically when the pre-paid period is done.
Frankly, when you compare the normal monthly rates of Siteground, you’re often better off going elsewhere. I personally think Cloudways offers a much better bang for your buck. It’s just that Cloudways doesn’t come off as newbie-friendly (although it really isn’t that difficult at all) whereas Siteground does.
Overall, you cannot go wrong with Siteground. They’re convenient and they’re solid. But, once that intro rate expires, it might pay to shop around for other hosting. They’re still worth the money even at their normal rates, however it still remains true you could potentially get better power elsewhere for the same cost.