Over the 12 years that I’ve been working online, I’ve researched a lot of web hosts and used a handful of them as well.
From the beginning up to this point, only one of these web hosts has been consistent when it comes to generally good feedback about it’s services and I’ve found that this web host does live up to it’s praises as one of the best web hosting platforms on the internet.
I’m talking about SiteGround and in this article I’m going to be reviewing this service and what makes it such a great web host.
In the interest of disclosure, I host my websites at an all inclusive service that offers affiliate marketing education and other tools but I’ve often been asked by persons not interested in all those things, what is the best web hosting to use.
After trying some hosting sites and researching others, I have seen enough value in SiteGround to recommend it to persons who are just looking for a great, reliable and secure web host.
What SiteGround Offers
SiteGround, like many other web hosts, offers a number of different types of web hosting with the most common one being shared hosting.
Besides shared hosting, they also offer cloud hosting, dedicated servers, reseller hosting, enterprise hosting and application specific hosting (WordPress, Joomla etc).
SiteGround has three shared hosting plans and the one you choose depends on your needs.
The StartUp plan is only for if you just want to install one website and you only get an allowance of 10,000 visits per month. This plan is the cheapest at $3.95 per month discounted from the regular price of $11.95/mo.
The GrowBig plan is the most popular plan and allows you to install multiple websites. This is the plan I’d recommend if you’re doing affiliate marketing but it only lets you get 25,000 visits per month. This plan starts at $5.95 per month discounted from the regular price of $19.95/mo.
If you’re currently getting more than 25,000 visits per month and want to move to SiteGround, you’ll need the GoGeek plan as this also lets you install multiple websites but allows up to 100,000 visits per month.
The GoGeek plan starts at $11.95 per month which is discounted from the regular $34.95/month.
All plans have a minimum billing cycle of 12 months so you’ll have to pay for at least a year for the plan most suitable for you.
WordPress Web Hosting
Many web hosts are now offering WordPress web hosting since WordPress is the leading content management system used to build websites at present.
WordPress hosting allows you to have a hosting environment specifically optimized for WordPress sites. There are even web hosts like WPEngine who specialize in WordPress hosting and nothing else.
On SiteGround, choosing a StartUp, GrowBig or GoGeek plan gets you WordPress hosting that is secure, reliable and fast. The hosting is managed and comes with lots of features to help you get the most out of your WordPress website.
These features include (but not limited to):
- staging (only on GoGeek)
- daily backups (all plans)
- one-click installs (all plans)
- SuperCacher – helps speed up loading of your site (only on GrowBig and GoGeek)
- automatic WordPress updates
Compared to other web hosting services, SiteGround has a very technologically advanced WordPress product that is a step above others. Even WordPress.org recommends SiteGround as one of their “best and brightest” web hosts.
Is SiteGround a Good Web Host?
When you’re looking for web hosting, there are some factors that set a great host apart from a not so good web host.
These factors are very important when choosing a web host especially if your website is a source of income as is the case with affiliate marketers.
Things like loading time, uptime, security, customer support and affordability are important.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you should choose SiteGround.
Nothing will kill your business faster than a website that takes forever to load.
You can do everything you possibly can to speed up load times but if your web host is serving up your sites slowly then all that effort is a waste.
SiteGround has blazing fast servers which are faster than some of the leading web hosts in the industry.
Based on tests of real accounts on 12 of the most popular web hosts including: Bluehost, HostGator, iPage, Fatcow, Justhost, AsmallOrange, InMotion, WebhostingHub, Arvixe, GoDaddy, GreenGeeks and A2Hosting, SiteGround was consistently faster than all these hosts. Only one host beat out SiteGround on page loading speed but SiteGround beat all hosts on speed when the page was cached.
The industry average load speed is about 4.7 seconds. Load times for pages hosted on SiteGround are above average at 1.7 seconds. With caching, achieved by switching on SuperCacher on GrowBig and GoGeek accounts, you can get your pages to load in roughly 1.3 seconds.
Nothing can be more frustrating than trying to access your website only to get an error page telling you that the website is offline.
Imagine how this would look to visitors who may very well have their credit card in hand, trying to make a buying decision based on a review you wrote. They’ll just go to another website and forget about yours.
Uptime is important and while many hosts guarantee a 99.9% uptime, not many of them can boast that they actually maintain that. SiteGround guarantees a 99.9% uptime and has the hosting infrastructure to maintain it.
They have an in-house team that is pro-active in monitoring and detecting issues and fixing them in the shortest possible time.
When I hosted my websites at Bluehost, I always had a problem with my websites being down and outages were a common recurring issue with them. SiteGround doesn’t have as big an issue with web hosting uptime.
Security is another concern when it comes to choosing the right web hosting.
While there are a number of security plugins you can install to protect your WordPress website, a good web host will have server level security features in place to prevent your website from being exploited.
No one wants to have their website hacked or infected with malware.
In terms of security, SiteGround was the first web host to apply account isolation to a shared hosting environment. This can prevent your website from being contaminated just because you share the same server with an exploited website.
In a test of 12 leading web hosts, including Bluehost, HostGator, iPage, Fatcow, Justhost, AsmallOrange, InMotion, WebhostingHub, Arvixe, GoDaddy, GreenGeeks and A2Hosting, only SiteGround and 4 other hosts applied account isolation the right way. 5 of the hosts were found to apply similar techniques but could use improvement while 3 hosts did not have any type of account isolation.
If you’re searching for a shared host with account isolation, check in the features list or ask a pre-sales customer service rep. Hosts with this feature are proud to say that they have account isolation.
Another area where security is important is how fast vulnerabilities get patched. Of the 12 web hosts tested, it was found that none of them patched a WordPress or a Joomla vulnerability a month after they were publicly announced. SiteGround had both vulnerabilities patched 48 hours after the public announcement of each vulnerability.
It is very important to choose a web host that cares about your website’s security so that you can have some peace of mind and not always scared of having your website hacked.
Finally, you can get SSL certificates installed on your websites for free via Let’s Encrypt. There are still some hosts that are charging for this when the web is moving towards having all websites secure with SSL.
4. Customer Support
Bad customer support is a deal-breaker for me when it comes to choosing web hosting. Hostgator after their EIG acquisition went from having great support to one of the worst customer support in the industry.
This is another area where SiteGround excels and you can see some tweets below from people sharing their experience with SiteGround customer support on Twitter.
Honestly @SiteGround customer service is the bees knees because they were able to make my site work in like 20 minutes once the ticket was finally submitted successfully. Now to spend the next little while getting everything updated on my site.
— Amanda Cross (@happyarkansan) July 14, 2018
— Bread Savage (@papasuncle) May 17, 2018
I’ve been on live chat support with @SiteGround for maybe 3 minutes for a friend’s website, and all i can say is I will be immediately switching all my sites from @bluehost simply because of SiteGround’s A+ customer service.
Not to mention the load speed is easily 3X faster.
— Brennan Flentge (@BrennanFlentge) November 22, 2017
The company has multiple support channels including phone, live chat and ticketing system. They also have an extensive knowledge base and step-by-step tutorials.
With their phone support, SiteGround picks up almost immediately with no wait time. On their live chat, they can usually resolve your issue in as little as 5 minutes including wait time. And a ticket can usually be answered in as little as 8 minutes.
These response times are very impressive as most web hosts will not answer tickets in under 10 minutes and 5 minutes may be half of your wait time just to get on a live chat.
The customer support is knowledgeable, friendly and helpful – the way customer support should be.
5. Everyone Loves SiteGround
Another reason I recommend SiteGround is because everyone seems to love this web host.
I’ve read a lot of blogs and while a lot of them recommend Bluehost for the affiliate commissions, you can usually see that the more genuine recommendations are for SiteGround or other lesser known hosts.
In the last month, I’ve seen a few recommendations for SiteGround on articles that weren’t even about web hosting. This speaks volumes to me.
Here are a few polls on Facebook that demonstrate just how much people love SiteGround over other popular web hosting.
SiteGround is just a great web host that excels in the areas that are important to persons searching for web hosting.
Pros of SiteGround Web Hosting
There are definitely a lot of pros about SiteGround. But there are some cons too so it’s not like they’re perfect or anything like that.
- Fast web hosting
- 99% uptime guarantee
- Advanced WordPress hosting product
- Account isolation protects your website
- Free SSL
- Fast customer support with minimal wait time
- Discounts of all plans
Cons of SiteGround Web Hosting
Yes, there are some things that you may not be happy with when it comes to hosting with SiteGround and here are some of them.
- No monthly billing. 12 months is shortest billing cycle.
- Not the cheapest compared to other hosting but the value is great.
- No Google Adwords credit available like on some other hosts.
How to Sign Up for SiteGround
Regardless of these shortcomings, SiteGround is a great web host and if you decide to sign up, I’ve outlined the simple process below for you.
Step 1. Choose a Plan.
You can choose from StartUp, GrowBig and GoGeek plans. Startup only allows 1 website and both of the other plans allow multiple websites. The GrowBig plan is usually the most popular choice especially if you’re doing online business or blogging like me.
Step 2. Choose a domain.
You can register a domain through SiteGround or you can choose from a domain that you already have. I don’t recommend registering a domain at the same place where you’re going to be hosting.
If you’re moving your website to SiteGround, you can choose an existing domain. SiteGround will migrate your website free of charge.
Step 3. Review and Complete.
The final step is to choose how long you’re paying for. The discount applies to any of these periods whether you choose 1 year or 3 years.
Why I Recommend SiteGround
There aren’t many web hosts that I’d recommend either because they’re just plain bad, I don’t know much about them or they’re missing a lot of what makes a web host great.
SiteGround excels at a lot of things and is my recommendation for web hosting if you’re looking for a good web host.
- Friendly, fast support
- Fast hosting
- Non EIG
- Everyone loves them
If you’re looking for web hosting then I would recommend that you try SiteGround web hosting.