SiteGround Review 2021 | Price, Speed & WARNINGS

SiteGround is a popular shared hosting service that offers multiple different hosting options to users, including cloud hosting, WordPress hosting, and even dedicated servers. Research has found that, overall, SiteGround comes in close to the top of the list of all web hosting companies for uptime, speed, and customer support. All plans are complete with an SSL certificate, CDN and email accounts. 

Overview and General Info:

  • Speed: 716 m/s
  • Uptime 99.99%
  • Support: Phone, 24/7 Live Chat, Knowledge Base
  • Apps: Over 500 applications supported
  • Features: Website Builder, 10GB Storage, Unmetered Bandwidth, Daily Backups, Free Email, Free CDN and SSL
  • Hosting Plans: WordPress, Shared, Reseller, Enterprise, Cloud, and Dedicated hosting plans
  • Site Transfer: Yes
  • Price: Starts from $4.99 per month, renews from $14.99 per month

SiteGround Hosting – the Pros:

SiteGround has some very attractive features to consider including above-average speeds, 99.99% uptime, and plenty of extra features that both beginners and experienced users will benefit from. 

1. Great Performance – 99.99% Uptime:

Over the past year, SiteGround has had a nearly perfect uptime performance, with a 99.99% average that puts them among some of the most reliable hosts available today. Strong uptime is an important feature to look out for when choosing a website hosting provider, since it will keep your website visitors satisfied. It means that your website is guaranteed to be working at all times, ensuring that you don’t miss out when your customers want to make a purchase, explore your content or get in touch through your website.

2. Excellent Page Load Time:

When choosing a web hosting provider, the site speed is easily one of the most crucial factors to consider. Google has conducted research to show that over half of web users do not want to wait around, and if your site does not load within just three seconds, they will leave. While there are several things that you can do to speed up your website, a slow host is a problem that you can’t do much about. Even if you compress images to lighten them or load content through a CDN to make it easier on your server, it won’t make a lot of a difference to your website if you’re dealing with a slow host. The good news is that there’s not much to worry about with SiteGround, thanks to their fast load time of 716ms. While it’s not the fastest out there, it does put SiteGround in the fastest hosting options. 

3. Great Customer Support

The customer support on offer is another key factor to think about when you choose a website host. Being able to access answers to your questions quickly and get touch with professional and friendly customer support agents is essential, especially if there is an issue with your website that you need to deal with quickly. SiteGround provides several different options for getting support. Their knowledge base can be easily used to find answers to frequently asked questions immediately or, if you need additional support, you can call or use the round-the-clock live chat service. Live chat is the most popular support option due to the convenience that it offers and, unlike some other hosting providers, there is no delay in the answers. The customer support agents are professional, friendly, and know what they are talking about. 

4. Free WordPress Migration:

DIY migration options can be hit-and-miss. Many of them are not that great and simply end up putting more pressure on the customer. However, SiteGround may be an exception to this rule with a free plugin that you can easily use for hassle-free WordPress migrations. All you need to do is log into your SiteGround hosting account where you can generate a token, and the plugin does all the hard work for you when it comes to moving your WordPress site across to the new host. While there’s a little work involved, it’s generally easy and simple to do even for beginners. Another great thing about the plugin option is that, unlike many other hosts, it allows you to migrate as many websites as you like. But if you would rather have some professional help, you can access a free migration service on the higher-tier hosting plans. A small fee of $30 is charged for each additional site if you exceed the limit of the plan. 

5. Free CDN and SSL Certificate:

An SSL certificate is crucial for any site today, with Google now actively warning users if the site that they are trying to reach does not have one. An SSL certificate helps to protect any information that is sent between the user’s device and the internet, including personal details like financial information, contact details and IP addresses. This makes it much more difficult for hackers to intercept this information compared to when a site is left unsecured. SiteGround includes a free SSL certificate with all of their plans. Another freebie that’s definitely worth getting excited about is the Content Delivery Network (CDN). A CDN works by storing large files such as videos and images on many different servers in various locations around the world. As a result, the files are stored as geographically close as possible to users, which results in them being faster to load and access. With servers spread out over three different continents, you can rely on SiteGround to keep loading times fast and keep your customers satisfied.

6. Wide Range of Features Available:

When it comes to the features that they offer, SiteGround has something for everybody. Those who are new to websites can easily install popular DIY website builders such as Weebly in just a few clicks to access a simple drag-and-drop tool for building your site without the need to code. In addition, SiteGround is also integrated with WordPress, Drupal and Joomla, allowing you to install each of these apps quickly and easily without the need for a developer.  

Advanced users and developers also have a lot of useful features with Git pre-installed on the larger plans along with phpMyAdmin, SSH, WP-CLI, and SFTP. Multiple PHP versions are available along with multi-level caching. You also have access to staging environments that you can use to prepare or test a site before publishing or adding new features.

You can also use a lot of different security features for your site, with SiteGround’s proprietary tool that uses an AI-bot to try and detect and prevent new attacks before they hit. According to their data, they block around 500,000 two million brute-force hacking attempts on their servers every hour.

7. 99.99% Uptime Guarantee:

SiteGround’s reliable uptime average of 99.99% is guaranteed not to drop, since it would cost the hosting provider a lot of money. They guarantee a network uptime of 99.99% on an annual basis, meaning that if they drop below that limit, they will offer you some free hosting in compensation. Bear in mind that there are some conditions when it comes to how the uptime is calculated, including exemptions for any emergency or scheduled maintenance. In addition, SiteGround does not take any responsibility for anything that you do that directly causes downtime such as installing apps that don’t work or exceeding resources. A major external attack on the system that causes downtime may also be exempt from the guarantee. 

8. 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee:

All of SiteGround’s shared hosting plans offer a full 30-day money-back guarantee. Bear in mind that this refund policy does not apply to renewal customers and, like many hosts, extras like domain name fees are not usually included in the refund. 

SiteGround Hosting Cons:

SiteGround offers an impressive service with a high uptime guarantee, excellent loading speeds, reliable customer support and a wide variety of apps to suit users of all levels. However, before you sign up, there are also a few drawbacks to using this hosting provider that are worth considering. 

1. Higher Renewal Prices:

StartUp, which is the cheapest plan offered by SiteGround, offers a price of $6.99 per month on their website – which can seem a little too good to be true, probably because it is. Almost every web host uses this same trick when it comes to pricing, by using a low introductory rate to catch your attention only to seriously raise the price when the renewal time comes around. With SiteGround, $6.99 is raised to $14.99 per month when you renew. Their other plans increase to $24.99 and $39.99 per month, so it’s important to make sure that you’re aware of the higher renewal price before signing up. The best solution to this is to lock in for the longest possible term of 36 months when you sign up to make sure that you are getting the renewal price for as long as possible. 

2. Limits on the Cheapest Plan:

At first glance, SiteGround’s prices for their cheapest plan are compatible with what’s offered by the competition. However, the features offered don’t completely line up. For example, you only get one website and just 10GB of space designed to handle around 10,000 monthly visits. Although the plan also features unmetered bandwidth, or unlimited traffic, performance will suffer if you’re getting close to the limits. While this might not be an issue for smaller sites, you can expect to face the need to upgrade if your site gets bigger. 

3. No Free Domain Name:

Many web hosts throw in a number of free features to attract new customers, which often includes a low introductory price, migrations, email and more. One of the most popular options is a free domain name for the first year, which SiteGround unfortunately does not offer. If you do not have a domain name already you can purchase one through SiteGround starting at $15.99 per year for a .com name. 

Pricing, Hosting Plans and More:

SiteGround has three shared hosting plans available:

Startup Plan:

  • Price: From $4.99 per month
  • Websites: One
  • Storage: 10GB
  • Email accounts: Unlimited
  • Other features: None

GrowBig Plan:

  • Price: From $7.99 per month
  • Websites: Unlimited
  • Storage: 20GB
  • Email accounts: Unlimited
  • Other features: Speed-boosting caching, on-demand backup copies, add collaborators, staging environments

GoGeek Plan:

  • Price: From $14.99 per month
  • Websites: Unlimited
  • Storage: 40GB
  • Email accounts: Unlimited
  • Other features: Priority support, white label clients, ultrafast PHP

More Info:

  • Domain: No free domain, prices start from $15.95 yearly
  • Signup Ease: Very easy signup with a one-page process
  • Money-back: 30-day guarantee
  • Payment Methods: Credit cards, access other payment option via chat
  • Clauses and Hidden Fees: Higher renewal rates
  • Upsells: A few, but not very pushy
  • Account Activation: Very quick, get started almost straight away
  • Dashboard and Control Panel: cPanel
  • Apps and CMS Installation: Quick and easy installation using Softaculous

Do We Recommend SiteGround?

Yes. We listed it in the top 3 of our Canadian and Australian review pages. SiteGround is a highly recommended web hosting provider due to the features and service that they offer, particularly when it comes to their uptime guarantee and the fact that they have consistently delivered excellent uptime over the years. In addition, they offer an above-average site speed thanks to servers that are located around the world in combination with a free CloudFlare CDN account. A free SSL certificate is offered on all plans to help keep your website secure, and the pricing is reasonable, especially if you take advantage of the longest term when signing up to get the introductory price for longer, and avoid your plan hitting the higher renewal rates for as long as possible. While domain names are not free, you can easily use your own domain purchased elsewhere with SiteGround to save money by shopping around. 

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