February 24, 2020
SiteGround is a popular shared hosting provider that offers its users multiple different hosting options.
These include WordPress hosting, cloud hosting and even dedicated servers.
We’ve been monitoring SiteGround’s cheapest “Startup” shared plan for over two years now.
We paid for a shared hosting account, set up a live test site, and have been closely tracking their performance with a third-party tool to provide this unbiased, transparent review.
Overall, SiteGround hosting ranks near the top of all web hosting companies for both uptime (99.99%) and speed (681ms). Their customer support team is knowledgeable, fast, and friendly. All plans come with a CDN, SSL certificate, and email accounts.
General Info & Hosting Overview
OUR VERDICT:Reliable Host w/ Best Customer Support
SPEED:681 ms (December 2017 to December 2019 average)
UPTIME:99.99% (December 2017 to December 2019 average)
SUPPORT:24/7 Live Chat
APPS:Supports more than 500 applications
FEATURES:Unmetered bandwidth, 10 GB storage, website builder, and free email
HOSTING PLANS:Shared, WordPress, Cloud, Reseller, Enterprise, and Dedicated Servers
SITE TRANSFER:Not free
PRICING:Starting at $3.95/mo (renews at $11.95/mo)
Pros of Using SiteGround Hosting
SiteGround starts strong with 99.99% uptime, above-average speeds, and tons of extra features that are perfect for both beginners and power users.
Above-Average Load Time (681ms)
Site speed is easily the second most critical factor when choosing a host.
For starters, research by Google shows that 53% of people will leave if your pages don’t load within three seconds.
Furthermore, you can’t do much to fix a slow host. You might be able to compress images to lighten their weight. You might be able to load them through a CDN to take some pressure off your server. But once a slow host? Always a slow host.
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about that with SiteGround. It’s above-average loading time of 681ms isn’t the fastest we’ve seen, but it does place SiteGround near the top 10 at speed.
Good Customer Support Experience
We’ve been monitoring SiteGround for over two years now in total, and we’ve never had any major issues with their support.
They provide a knowledge base for customers to find their own quick answers. Otherwise, you can call in over the phone or use the 24/7 live chat.
For this latest test, we opted for the live chat option and we were connected with Vladislav in less than a minute.
Unlike other hosts, there was no noticeable delay in answers. So it seemed like he knew what he was talking about and didn’t have to look up answers each time we sent over a new question.
Free Site Migration for 1 Website
Whenever we see web hosts come out with a “DIY migration” option, it makes us a little anxious. That’s because most of them aren’t great, and they end up putting more burden on the customer.
SiteGround might be the exception to this rule, though. They’ve created a free WordPress Migration plugin that you can upload to any site.
There aren’t any long and boring walkthroughs, either. You simply generate a token from inside your SiteGround hosting account and the plugin will quickly help do the heavy lifting.
Yes, it still requires you to do a little work. But the good news is that you can migrate as many websites as you want with this option. (In comparison, some hosts that offer “free migrations” cap it after only a few, forcing you to pay after a certain point.)
If you’d rather have some professional, hands-on help, SiteGround will throw in the free service on their higher-tier plans (GrowBig and up).
If you exceed the limits on each plan, they charge a nominal fee of $30 for each additional site.
Free SSL Certificate and Content Delivery Network
Google Chrome has started actively warning people if the site they’re trying to reach doesn’t have an SSL certificate set up.
SSL helps to protect any information sent back and forth between the user’s device and the website, including personal details like IP addresses or credit card numbers. If left unsecured, hackers and others could easily intercept this information. So Chrome is looking out for web users’ best interest here.
In other words, that basically makes SSL certificates a requirement on all websites today. And thankfully, SiteGround throws these in for free on all plans.
The other bit of good news comes in the form of a free Cloudflare CDN (Content Delivery Network). CDN stores large files, like images, on many servers in different locations around the globe. This helps to make sure that the files are stored as close as possible to site visitors, making them faster to access.
SiteGround has servers spread out over three continents, which helps to keep loading times fast and provide a good customer experience.
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
SiteGround features a full 30-day money-back guarantee on all shared hosting plans. In comparison, their cloud, VPS, and dedicated hosting plans only come with a 15-day refund.
Like many other hosts, domain name fees and any other “extras” are usually not refunded. And this refund policy only applies to brand new customers. So you can’t get refunds on renewal plans.