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Your choice of web host is more than opting for the best server. There are lots of factors to consider, such as functionality, support, and whether the hosting fits your budget. In this SiteGround review, we’re going to look at everything the provider has to offer.

In fact, SiteGround offers so much that we might not be able to cover it all. It has a custom control panel, automated backups, a suite of tools developed ‘in-house’, and plenty for site owners of all stripes. What’s more, the company is known for its fantastic support provision.

Over the next few minutes, we’re going to give you a deep SiteGround review. It’s going to look at the control panel, the positives and negatives of the host, and its collection of pricing plans. By the end, you’ll have enough knowledge to make the best decision for you.

Introducing SiteGround

For the unaware, SiteGround is a leading web hosting service, in business since 2004. It looks to provide a balance between functionality, power, and price. SiteGround is recommended by both WordPress.org and WooCommerce and hosts over 2.6M domains worldwide.

siteground logo

We’ll get into the specifics of each plan later, but in a general sense, all users get “unmetered” traffic, an almost unlimited number of databases, free access to a Content Delivery Network (CDN), and out-of-the-box caching functionality. The latter two have a big impact on the speed of your WordPress site, so know that your site will be fast regardless of your pricing tier.

You’ll also get some choice plugins for your site, built by our in-house development team, to help you run your site. The SiteGround Security plugin, Optimizer plugin, and Migrator all give you essential tools to run your site, without the need for third-party solutions.

There’s more to give you, and we’ll cover those aspects throughout the rest of this SiteGround review.

Touring SiteGround’s Control Panel

SiteGround used to use a version of cPanel, although now the host has a custom control panel that looks slick and easy to use:

siteground dashboard

When you first login, you have a welcome screen full of handy tips and suggestions to make your site a success. You can access your websites, hosting services, billing information, and more along the top navigation:

siteground navigation

The first two – relating to websites and your services – will be the screens you visit most. The Services screen is where you purchase hosting, and if you haven’t done this yet, you’ll be prompted to do so:

siteground services

Once you have hosting in place, the Websites page lets you create sites – SiteGround lets you create almost an unlimited number of sites for higher tier plans. You may also want to take advantage of the WordPress Starter plugin, which offers you a selection of essential themes and plugins. Getting your site up and running can be a rapid process.

add new website siteground

Compared to the old cPanel interface, SiteTools is a breath of fresh air. The development team has worked hard to provide a dashboard that is right for users, rather than sysadmins or developers. It has a user-focused design that improves your workflow, rather than hinder it.

SiteGround’s Plans and Pricing

siteground hosting

SiteGround keeps pricing straightforward and simple. There are four types of hosting you can choose from:

You’ll notice that there aren’t the usual dedicated and Virtual Private Server (VPS) plans here. SiteGround made a switch from VPS to cloud hosting a while ago, and while hosting in the cloud is inherently virtual and private, it’s not a VPS.

siteground pricing

As for pricing, each type has three tiers, and you’ll find that the named prices here have heavy promotional discounts up front. Shared, WordPress, and WooCommerce accounts all have StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek tiers.

The pricing below is the ongoing pricing but there are very competitive introductory offers or discounts for multi-year plans that are well worth considering:

  • StartUp ($4.99 per month). This is the lowest tier, and gives you 10GB of webspace, the bandwidth for around 10,000 users, and space for one website. Though, you do get access to key collaboration tools, the SiteGround Optimizer plugin, and much more e.g. free SSL, CDN, automated daily backups and restore functionality.
  • GrowBig ($24.99 per month). You’ll find this plan has more value than the StartUp tier, as it almost doubles the bandwidth and storage. What’s more, you can store as many websites as you need. You also get staging functionality, and on-demand backup copies.
  • GoGeek ($39.99 per month). This tier gives you the full SiteGround experience and adds in support for Git repositories, white-labelling, priority support, and further resources (such as backups on demand and collaboration tools) to keep your site running smoothly.

Both the GrowBig and GoGeek tiers also include SiteGround’s Ultrafast PHP implementation. This is an in-house development that lets your site process more visitors than usual. It reduces your Time to First Byte (TTFB), and as such, helps you to increase your traffic figures.

There are also four cloud hosting plans to choose from, that differ based on the computing power under the hood. Of course, there are also different price points to match, with a range of $100-400 per month. You can also create custom plans based on your own needs.

The performance of SiteGround’s cloud hosting has a solid pedigree. It runs on the Google Cloud network, and offers auto-scaling to help keep your site optimized, no matter what the web can throw at it.

The Value of Each Plan

While you might think that each type of hosting is specified in a different way, that’s not the case. Each hosting type often has something specific to the application. For example, WordPress and WooCommerce hosting offers dedicated auto installers and updates.

woocommerce features

Though, the grunt under the hood remains the same regardless of the hosting you choose. This is a great way to give back to the user, as it gives you flexibility to create the sites you need, rather than suffer with under-equipped functionality.

You’ll also notice that while each plan has a regular price, there will often be a discount applied too. This has both positives and negatives. In fact, we can cover this in more detail next.

The Pros and Cons of SiteGround

Of course, no hosting provider will be perfect, although if it gets a lot right, those negatives don’t have as much of an impact.

In our option, SiteGround does a lot right.

Here are a few pros of using the hosting provider:

  • You have lots of power on hand regardless of the plan you choose.
  • There are lots of extra and helpful features, such as free email setup, a CDN, and free Secure Sockets Layers (SSL) certificate.
  • You get a managed hosting experience on a shared hosting budget, complete with in-house optimized technology unique to the platform.
  • Customer support is an industry leader, and is almost the top reason to choose SiteGround.
  • You can choose from six different data centers, depending on where your core traffic comes from.
  • The development team is geared towards giving you the tools you need to succeed.

These are all fantastic pros, and reads like a tick-list of needs for any site owner.

Though, there will be a few drawbacks too:

  • There aren’t the same options for hosting as other providers. This means if you need a dedicated or VPS server (rather than cloud hosting), you’ll have to go elsewhere.
  • The pricing has heavy discounts when you first make a purchase. Though, the renewal price shoots up and often means carrying on long-term with SiteGround might be prohibitive. It’s worth mentioning that this isn’t exclusive to SiteGround, as lots of hosting providers have the same business model. Moreover, the tools and features SiteGround offers are on par with other premium hosting providers, yet pricing is often much more affordable.

The business model of SiteGround is a polarizing issue. We can see how users want to see low costs throughout the time they spend with SiteGround. Though, on the other hand, the company has lots of innovative and helpful functionality. This means prices can’t stay low forever, unlike the competition.

Because SiteGround provides such stellar service across the board, the price might not be a factor. You can (of course) take your chances with another hosting provider, but you often get what you pay for over the long term.

What Makes SiteGround Different From the Competition

While we’ve gone into the unique points of SiteGround, there’s been little so far on what makes SiteGround a different proposition to any other web host. After all, equipment can change, and specifications can differ. Of course, you can read what real users have to say, but there’s more to the story.

On the whole, SiteGround offers almost constant service improvements that you wouldn’t find with other hosts. For example, the in-house development team provides custom tools for SiteGround users to help boost the User Experience (UX) and your website’s performance.

We’ve already talked about Ultrafast PHP, but there is also the SG Migrator and SG Optimizer, Artificial Intelligence (AI) that works to stop bots, the dedicated Site Tools for each site you create, and much more.

sg optimizer

In addition, you have numerous levels of support, based on your requirements and needs. There is phone support, ticketing, and live chat options (in English, Spanish, and Italian), and each one in our experience delivers optimal, fast resolutions to your queries.

It’s one of the standout points of SiteGround, and shows how much the company wants to deliver for its users. This is reflected in a client satisfaction rate of 97.7% (in 2020: https://www.siteground.com/blog/wrapping-2020/)

In Summary

While choosing a hosting provider can be a tough task, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, one of the leading providers is going to be perfect for the majority of users. After all, most site owners want top support, powerful functionality and server specifications, and the best price. SiteGround can offer all of these in one package.

On the whole, SiteGround is stable and fast, while offering you some of the best customer support of any web host. Regardless of whether you’re new to web hosting, or an experienced developer, there will be a package for you.

Are you considering SiteGround, and if so, what appeals to you the most? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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