Let’s get down with a SiteGround review.
If you’re humming and hawing over finding the web hosting provider that’ll rock your socks off in 2022, you’ll be glad you stopped by.
That’s because SiteGround is like the fusion of a Clydesdale workhorse and a majestic unicorn — it’s a sturdy and reliable platform with style, grace, and creativity out the wazoo.
It’s also highly rated by bloggers, business mavericks, and eCommerce gurus alike.
And you’ll find out why in just a few minutes.
So stick around…
You might even find a sweet discount along the way.
Since then, SiteGround has exploded with over 600+ employees, 4 office locations, and now hosts over 2 million domains worldwide.
Surprisingly, SiteGround is still privately owned, a rare quality in today’s corporate-cluttered web hosting market.
As far as services go, SiteGround runs the gamut, offering:
And tons of other services, widgets, and tools we’ll cover throughout this SiteGround hosting review.
Siteground uses modern, ultra-fast data centers in 6 countries around the world:
Undeniably, SiteGround uses some impressive technology – the kind of stuff network administrators rave about at the annual IT barbecue.
So, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty about SiteGround’s Network and see why it’s so great:
Blizzard? Thunderstorm? Thanos?
SiteGround is ready for any threat.
You see, SiteGround uses redundancy routines, and multiple power feeds for all critical network components.
In other words, it’s tough to bring the network down because all essential systems have back-ups, and their back-ups have back-ups.
The net result?
Site speed and reliability are the bones of any well-to-do web hosting service.
So, SiteGround teamed up with the big guns, Google, as its leading data center partner, recognizing the importance of a fast and stable network.
And as a result, the SiteGround network is built with state-of-the-art technology, ensuring plentiful server resources and speedy connections for hosted websites.
And any commitment by web companies to consider their environmental impacts and address them with plans, policies, and programs is a positive note in our books.
SiteGround uses the Cloudflare Content Delivery Network (CDN), which helps web pages load faster anywhere in the world.
Here’s how it works:
A CDN caches website content and distributes it to delivery nodes around the globe.
Then, when users visit your website, they’re connected with the closest CDN, and your content is plunked in front of their eyeballs as fast as possible.
As of January 2022, Cloudflare has over 200 distribution nodes in 100+ countries around the world.
When it comes to the internet, speed matters.
Think about it:
How often has even a 1-second delay frustrated you?
And the mobile realm is even more vicious:
If your site loads like cold molasses flowing up a hill, people aren’t going to stick around, no matter how rich and pretty your content is.
However, when it comes to server response time, you’re at the mercy of your web hosting company.
Find a hosting provider with speedy servers.
Server response time, also known as the Time To First Byte (TTFB), is the amount of time it takes a web browser to receive the first byte of information from a web server.
And the faster the response time, the better.
So, how does SiteGround stack up when it comes to TTFB?
Let’s put this benchmark to the test:
A sample test from Bitcatcha shows:
After running several tests, the following results were realized:
SiteGround server response time is fast and satisfies Google’s speed recommendations.
SiteGround promises 99.99% uptime on all their hosted websites.
And they put their money where their mouths are, promising free service if downtime passes certain limits.
SiteGround continually tinkers with optimization.
And it’s a curiosity that pays off.
Here are a few of the innovative tools that help keep SiteGround unique, competitive, and lightning-fast:
SuperCacher is SiteGround’s custom-built caching service that enables static, dynamic, and memory-caching across all hosting plans.
In other words, with SuperCacher, your website content loads even faster.
SG Optimizer is SiteGround’s WordPress optimization plugin.
The plugin comes battle-ready with:
Note that this plugin ONLY works on SiteGround hosted websites.
Pro tip: If you decide to go with a SiteGround hosting plan, SG Optimizer is a superior (and free) alternative to WP rocket.
Available on GrowBig and GoGeek plans, Ultrafast PHP is SiteGround’s in-house, optimized PHP setup.
Now, unless you’re running a website with heavy traffic, Ultrafast PHP won’t make a huge difference in page load times.
So, achieving that level of customer satisfaction is a testament to seasoned customer support.
Here’s an inside look at SiteGround’s customer support, detailing what they do right, and also some areas where they could be better.
These guides are built with the newbie in mind, giving step-by-step instructions with clear screenshots to guide you along.
There’s no guesswork with these guides.
They’re clear, detailed, and worth their weight in gold.
While knowledge bases are great, sometimes you need a good ol’ fashioned human being to help solve your issues.
Thankfully, SiteGround delivers around-the-clock customer support through a ticketing system, phone lines, and live chat.
Contacting their customer support team isn’t as easy as it once was.
Instead of being a simple button, it’s hidden in a self-serve system.
Here’s how to contact the SiteGround customer support team:
1. In the Client Area dashboard, click on the question mark in the top-right corner and select View Help Center:
2. In the SiteGround Help Center, click Contact Us:
3. Select a category that best fits your problem (Note: there are more categories than what’s displayed here):
4. Describe your issue in the text box:
5. And after you submit your inquiry, you’ll be given a self-help guide, or the option to contact customer support:
It’s a shame SiteGround buries their award-winning customer support contact channels.
That said, this customer service rabbit hole isn’t a total deal-breaker.
Web-savvy people will probably enjoy the self-serve options, but for anyone looking to speak with a representative, they’ll likely find it frustrating the first time around.
Most web hosting providers use cPanel, a control panel dashboard, to help manage your website.
The Client Area has a simple layout and is infused with eye-pleasing visuals to bolster creativity.
It’s not like the bland, boring, and confusing clinical look of other web host dashboards.
No, this one’s got some character — and the video tutorials to help you navigate SiteGround are a nice onboarding feature:
The Client Area dashboard also includes a Success Tips and Suggestions feature, providing quick links to particular services you might want to perform with your website like:
The up-to-date blog posts available on the dashboard are a homerun customer success feature too.
And these blog posts aren’t filled with thin content either.
They deliver everything from helpful SEO guides to in-depth updates about the new and exciting goodies SiteGround has been cooking up.
Site Tools is an easy-to-use, custom-developed control panel that replaces cPanel.
From Site Tools, you can complete routine website tasks like:
Like the Client Area dashboard, Site Tools is intuitive and straightforward.
Everything is accessed through a sidebar menu, so you don’t get lost searching for tools:
And tool descriptions are displayed at the top of each page, so you know precisely what they’re for (and what not to fiddle with if you don’t know what you’re doing):
You can also pin tools on the dashboard home screen for easy access:
Every tool in the Site Tools control panel is pre-set to optimal settings, but you’re free to modify them to fit your needs better.
SiteGround doesn’t skimp on security.
The only difference between SiteGround’s secure facilities and the Batcave is a suave English butler and a fancy-rocket car.
Let’s take a look at the various ways SiteGround keeps your website safe.
SiteGround keeps everything running tickety-boo with a battalion of security personnel for protecting and monitoring systems, as well as a collection of strategic digital security measures that’ll leave hackers shaking in their little booties.
Here’s just a partial list of the protocols in place:
Unless Darkseid and The Elite defeat the Justice League and lay siege specifically to the SiteGround network, your website and data are safe and sound.
SiteGround has got your back, Jack, by offering free daily automatic backups on all hosting plans.
And the best part?
It’s a one-click system.
SiteGround keeps 30 days’ worth of copies on your site, allowing you to roll back and restore in the event of a catastrophic boo-boo or malicious attack.
What’s more, with the GrowBig and GoGeek plans, SiteGround includes on-demand backups, which is like having an undo button, but for your entire website.
Like every web hosting option on the market, SiteGround has its pros and cons.
Here’s where we feel they stand out and where they fall a little short:
SiteGround operates on Google Cloud and enjoys all the benefits of its state-of-the-art global network. Not only are their servers fast, but they’re also some of the best in the world.
SiteGround automatically creates daily back-ups of your site so you can quickly restore functionality in the event of something catastrophic. GrowBig and GoGeek plans allow users to create on-demand backups.
Customer support is a big reason people gravitate to SiteGround. Whether through their knowledge base, ticketing system, or live chat, there’s always an experienced representative there to help.
Cloudflare CDN comes free with every SiteGround account. With Cloudflare CDN, any part of your website loads faster thanks to their distribution nodes spread across the world.
SiteGround provides free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates with every account. This free SSL certificate is automatically configured and renewed, leaving you with one less hassle to deal with.
With unlimited bandwidth, you’re free to host and grow almost any type of site you want without the limitations of a monthly data transfer cap.
SiteGround promises 99.99% uptime. And if it falls below 99.99%, you’re given a month of hosting for free and an additional 1 month of free hosting for every 1% below 99% uptime.
SiteGround pricing is comparable to other web hosting providers. However, if you opt for the month-to-month billing cycle, the prices take a significant jump – about 3 times as much.
SiteGround offers super-fast SSD storage, but that space is limited based on your hosting plan:
Although SiteGround delivers top-shelf customer support, reaching a representative isn’t as easy as it once was. Instead of a simple button, there are multiple pages you’ll need to click through before prompting live chat or ticketing options.
SiteGround has a web hosting option for just about everyone.
Here’s the scoop on what they offer:
See a hosting solution that tickles your fancy?
Then let’s break these down:
Shared hosting plans mean that you’re sharing server resources with other websites.
In other words, you don’t have a dedicated server.
As a result, shared hosting plans are recommended for websites that don’t expect heavy traffic loads, like personal or smaller business websites and blogs.
SiteGround offers 3 types of shared hosting plans:
2. A Managed WordPress Hosting Plan: a shared hosting plan with WordPress and the SG Optimizer plugin pre-installed
3. A Managed WooCommerce Hosting Plan: a shared hosting plan with WordPress and WooCommerce pre-installed
Each of SiteGround’s 3 shared hosting plans (listed above) has 3 pricing tiers:
Let’s break them down:
Pricing: $14.99/month or $4.99/month when billed annually
Ideal for low-traffic websites with 10,000 monthly visitors or less.
Pricing: $24.99/month or $7.99/month when billed annually.
GrowBig is recommended for low-traffic websites with around 25,000 monthly visitors or less.
GrowBig includes everything from the StartUp plan plus:
Pricing: $39.99/month or $14.99/month when billed annually.
Recommended for websites with around 100,000 monthly visitors or less.
GrowBig includes everything from the StartUp and GrowBig plans plus:
Cloud hosting is recommended for websites that generate large amounts of traffic and need the extra firepower from dedicated servers on the cloud.
But, unless you have an existing high-traffic blog/online business or plan on scaling your website extremely quickly, it’s not likely you’ll need the cloud hosting plan.
That said, let’s review the options and pricing:
Price: $100.00 – $2090.00/month
SiteGround is fast, friendly, and constantly improving its services.
Really, there are only 3 red marks against SiteGround:
Despite all that, SiteGround is still an over-delivering innovator in the web hosting industry.
Sure, it might not be as cheap as other web hosts.
But the extra goodies SiteGround delivers, like a free SSL, CDN, caching tool, and WordPress optimization plugin, are built into that monthly cost.
What’s more, the state-of-the-art technology used in their network, and award-winning customer support, emphasize the commitment to speed, quality, and customer success SiteGround promises.
Not too shabby, SiteGround.
I’m glad you made it this far!
Keeping in the spirit of giving away freebies, we’ve got a special one for all Smart Blogger readers:
A few years ago, they might have been comparable, but SiteGround leveled up in a big way.
With the adoption of the Google Cloud infrastructure and different performance-enhancing tweaks like ultra-fast PHP, SiteGround is a superior choice to GoDaddy.
Also, SiteGround’s Client Area and Site Tools dashboard are straightforward to navigate, unlike the confusing labyrinth that GoDaddy uses.
BlueHost is owned by web hosting mega-giant, EIG, a company known for purchasing hosting companies and reducing the level of quality.
Having said that, Bluehost’s shared plans are cheaper and offer unlimited space.
SiteGround has a better network (in terms of uptime and speed) and is a privately-owned company, meaning they have the flexibility to innovate as they see fit.
It ultimately comes down to superior quality (SiteGround) versus better pricing (Bluehost)
Although HostGator is cheaper, SiteGround is faster, more reliable, more secure, and has far better support.
Unfortunately, HostGator is also owned by EIG.
Whether you’re an experienced webmaster or a newbie ready to get their feet wet, you’ll find something to love about SiteGround.
It isn’t perfect (no web host is), but SiteGround fares far better than the competition.
So, if you’re looking for a web host with the right fusion of power, simplicity, and a pinch of creative magic, we suggest you take SiteGround for a spin.
The post SiteGround Review: Still the Best (or Not-So-Good) in 2022? appeared first on Smart Blogger.