SiteGround is a hosting company that prides themselves in a premium and handcrafted service. They go so far as to call their approach the “Philosophy of Handcraft.”
Everything they do is dedicated toward creating unique and customized experiences for their clients. This kind of service comes with a price, so is it worth the premium price tag?
Today, in our SiteGround review, we’ll take a look at this company as a whole, followed by my personal experience, user reviews, and finally a look at their various features and plan options. Let’s get going!
SiteGround Overview (Why Choose Them?)
SiteGround was founded in 2004 by a group of IT specialists. It has been around for over ten years and provides a wide range of services. You’ll find shared, cloud, and dedicated hosting here. Today it is run by Tenko Nikolov and has over 250,000 domains, and four data centers in the US, Europe, and Singapore.
There are over 120 employees in the company. The data centers utilize CentOS, Apache, MySQL, PHP, and WHM/cPanel for the servers. SiteGround is also known for having custom software solutions for monitoring accounts and optimizing the speed of its servers.
The “Philosophy of Handcraft” that the company stands behind involves providing services that are handcrafted to the client’s needs. There aren’t any packages here that are supposed to satisfy a wide audience. Instead, SiteGround picks the hardware, server setup, and software solutions in specific combinations for each client.
They are at the forefront of the industry when it comes to improving server speed, security, and uptime. All of this begins with their data centers. These are the facts about the places where SiteGround stores their servers:
- Geographical flexibility – Servers are located on three different continents so you your website is hosted close to you.
- Partner facilities – These locations ensure there are little to no hops between you and your visitors.
- Electric Redundancies – Each data center is equipped with multiple power feeds, power generators, and enterprise-class UPS tech.
- Physical Security – Each data center is guarded by 24/7 human security, biometrics, bullet proof lobbies, video surveillance, and more.
The next aspect that makes SiteGround stand out is their speed and security. The philosophy is ever-present here with an entire Dedicated Server Operations team designed to test and tweak the server architecture for maximum performance.
Any improvements are retroactively made to both new and old users without any downtime as well. Replacement parts are stored on-site in the event of a crash. There are even entire servers kept as spares to ensure that any issues result in very little downtime.
SiteGround was among the first hosting companies to implement a software that separates accounts from one another. This ensures that a vulnerable account doesn’t pose a threat to the entire server.
Impressively, the company also writes its own security patches for Apache, PHP, Exim, and so on, instead of waiting for manufacturers to update the software.
Routine benchmark tests on the servers also ensure that everything is up to date on there as well. Outdated software poses a major threat, so SiteGround doesn’t let this happen. Moving right along, the next major differentiator is SiteGround’s uptime statistics.
For the year, the average is 99.996% uptime. For the monthly statistics, its 99.99%. How is this possible, I hear you ask? Well, SiteGround uses a proprietary downtime prevention software that monitors servers in real time. What’s more, it resolves over 90% of issues without the need for human interaction.
The final differentiator here is the customer service. Each shift is promised to be “overstaffed” ensuring that someone is always available for chat or phone support. Email tickets are answered within ten minutes, live chat and phone calls are replied to instantly.
According do an annually run customer survey, SiteGround is seeing improvements in every facet.
Each of the customer representatives also have a personalized profile so you can see who you’re talking to and what experience they have.
If you’d rather try to handle the issue on your own, there are numerous tutorials, webinars, and setup wizards that help users of all skill levels find the information they need. It sounds like they do everything perfectly, so let’s see if that’s truly the case.
My Experience With SiteGround
When I first set up my SiteGround hosting account, I received an email welcoming me to the service. The entire process was easy and smooth, but the email at the end was a huge differentiator for me. It was personalized and well written. It made me feel important and valued.
You don’t get this kind of support or personalized attention with large hosting companies, so SiteGround immediately impressed me from the get-go.
What I Liked
During my time with SiteGround, I was quickly convinced they are among the best hosts out there. The selection of features justifies the higher prices than some of the competitors.
I experienced incredible uptime statistics while using their hosting. It ranged from 99.98% to 100% from month-to-month which is outstanding.
I moved on to the server speed, thinking there had to be some sort of catch. Instead, I was floored once again by the sheer quality on display. With less than 200ms load times, SiteGround is one of the fastest shared hosting providers I’ve ever encountered.
The account isolation software is also a huge plus. It adds a level of security and reliability that you would expect from a VPS hosting plan, but this feature is present in all of the shared hosting plans as well.
Advanced caching features are also offered at the shared hosting level including Memcached, SuperCacher, and even an option for Google’s PageSpeed Module which ensures your website is running at Google’s latest speed guidelines.
The on-site security is another plus for me. The cutting edge virtual security employed by SiteGround is very impressive, but they add another layer with huge amounts of physical security. Human guards, biometrics, and even a weekly “Hack Alert” message keep customers feeling safe and in the loop.
Next up is the customer service, which is out of this world! I had a few questions, and a need to test their service, so I tried calling in on a few occasions. The staff was fast to respond and always helpful.
My calls were always answered within 15 minutes, which is the industry standard. In all, this is some of the best customer service that I’ve ever encountered.
The culture of SiteGround is also very unique. They support a creative mindset and empower their employees to provide amazing service and a phenomenal product in the form of hosting. The company has proven themselves time and time again in the face of hack attacks.
One recent attack on 90,000 IP addresses was successfully stopped by the team when they stopped 15-million brute force tries to access their servers over the course of twelve hours.
SiteGround also offers amazing flexibility and scalability in the form of upgrades and other options for growth. Cloud hosting and dedicated servers are available as well if you need even more power.
Finally, the focus on minimizing distance between your hosting and its users is a great feature. With data centers in three continents, SiteGround can place your site in a location that limits the number of hops to your users.
What I Didn’t Like
SiteGround, like many hosting sites, offers a lower price for the initial term. This price goes up by 100% when it’s time to renew. The only way to avoid this is by switching hosts. That being said, the price is worth it for all of the benefits you get hosting with this company.
That’s it, there’s nothing else I could find that I didn’t like. SiteGround really is a great hosting company.
Helpful User Reviews
With a large hosting company like SiteGround, normally you’ll find a lot of nitpicky reviews and you’ll have to sift through them to find authentic and educated opinions. With SiteGround, people seem to unanimously agree that this is an amazing hosting company.
- Huge selection of features
- Rock-solid uptime (99.98%)
- Great security
- Fast and reliable customer service
- Flexible and scalable for growth
- Location-based hosting
- Higher renewal rate after first year
Here are some of the most helpful reviews I’ve received for this hosting service:
– Frank Perry
“I had the surprise that no webmaster wants to see: a blank website! I was terrified and I went to work trying to figure it out. When I realized that I couldn’t do it myself, I submitted a support ticket while I frantically tried to find something that would help. Within fifteen minutes, one of the support members made contact with me.
Not only had they looked into the issue, but they had a solution as well. Apparently the issue had to do with a third party plugin update. I would never have guessed that was the problem, but they had my site fixed within minutes.”
– Robert Barnes
“After reading this review of SiteGround, I immediately knew this was the hosting company for me. Within a few hours I was absolutely floored with the quality of the service. The startup support is, hands down, the best I’ve seen in just about any industry.
All of my questions were answered quickly, and any assistance I needed was met with enthusiasm. They even installed ZenCart for me, which is a huge time-saver. All of the tools I need are readily available and my site runs like a dream. I can’t recommend SiteGround enough.”
– Anthony Davies
“SiteGround is amazing not only because of the support that everyone raves about, but also because of their technological savvy which has helped me worry less about updates and security flaws.
Knowing that the servers, software, and even thirty-party plugins are updated makes me feel a lot safer and frees up time for me to work on my business.
There’s also something to be said about the isolated accounts technology they use on their servers. Normally this is something you wouldn’t get without a VPS hosting plan, but SiteGround offers it with shared hosting and adds another layer of security and peace of mind to the service.
I don’t know what else to say, this is the best web hosting company I’ve ever done business with.”
– Jason Faulke
SiteGround Hosting Plans and Features
Like any large hosting company, SiteGround offers a huge list of features. Boiling it all down, these are the top reasons why you’ll choose this company:
- 4 Data centers in three continents (USA, Asia, and Europe)
- Free domain for the first year
- Managed WordPress hosting
- Extremely configurable servers
- Account isolation technology
- Custom fixes/security patches
- Up-to-date server software
- 99.99% uptime
- 24/7 live chat and phone support
- SuperCacher and Memcached support
- Google PageSpeed Apache module
These are just the big ones. There are plenty of other features as well that you would never expect from a hosting company, let alone with the shared hosting plans on offer.
Shared Hosting Plans
In total, there are three shared hosting plans:
This first plan starts at $6.95 per month and supports one website, 10GB of space, and support for 10,000 visitors per month. You’ll also get all of the features you know and love from a company like this:
- Free domain
- Free setup and transfer
- Free website builder
- Free daily backup
- Free CloudFlare CDN
And of course, the features listed above are included.
The next tier of hosting starts at $9.95 per month and offers support for multiple websites. It also has support for more traffic on a monthly basis. With this plan you’ll get priority support and increased caching resources for ultimate speed. With a free SSL certificate for the first year, you’ll be good to go.
The ultimate form of shared web hosting comes in the form of GoGeek which is $14.95 per month when you first start.This is for hardcore websites or online businesses. The hosting provided here is on instances which have less sites per server.
For eCommerce websites, this is a great solution as it allows for a larger product line and includes server PCI compliance. All of the features you need and want are present and accounted for here as well.
The reseller hosting service that SiteGround provides is designed for those who are maintaining customer websites on a longer-term basis. It is designed to provide high-quality web hosting that will increase your revenue.
Resellers receive a discount when purchasing accounts in bulk, along with deals on domain names as low as $10 per year. There’s a huge margin for profit as well, seeing as how you can sell the services for whatever rate you decide.
The process involves three steps in total:
- Purchase reseller credits (1 credit/year of hosting) (5 credits to start)
- Activate hosting accounts
- Enjoy all the features SiteGround provides
Cloud hosting is catching on as a new way to provide scalable hosting solutions for users. SiteGround offers four cloud hosting options:
$60 per month gets you a 3.0 GHz CPU, 2GB DDR3 RAM, 20GB of disk space, and 5TB of bandwidth.
$80.00 per month grants you 2 3.0 GHz CPU cores, 2GB DDR3 RAM, 40GB of disk space, 5TB bandwidth.
- Business Plus
$100 per month earns you 2 3.0 GHz CPU with 3GB of RAM, 60 GB of disk space, and 5TB of bandwidth
This plan offer 4 3.0GHz CPUs, 4GB of RAM, 80GB of disk space, and 5TB of bandwidth.
SiteGround provides high-class servers that are set up and managed by experts for their dedicated hosting users. There are three levels of dedicated hosting:
- Entry Server
- $229 per month
- Intel Xeon E3-1230 CPU
- 3.20GHz clock speed
- 4 CPU cores
- 8 CPU threads
- 8MB CPU Cache
- 4GB DDR3 RAM
- 500GB SATA II HDD
- 5TB Bandwidth
- Power Server
- $329 per month
- Intel Xeon E3-1270 CPU
- 3.50GHz clock speed
- 4 CPU cores
- 8 CPU threads
- 8MB cache
- 16GB DDR3 RAM
- 1TB SATA II HDD
- 5TB Bandwidth
- Enterprise Server
- $429 per month
- 2 x Intel Xeon E5-2620 CPU
- 2.00 GHz CPU Clock Speed
- 2 x 6 CPU cores
- 2 x 12 CPU threads
- 15MB cache
- 16GB DDR3 RAM
- 4 x 500GB SATA III/RAID 10 HDD
- 5TB Bandwidth
Our Final Verdict
Boiling it all down, there’s a ton of great value when you finish reading this SiteGround review. With incredible customer support, great features, and phenomenal performance, there’s really not much to say except that this is the hosting for you. The only real downside is the price, but it’s justified by the quality.
Do you host your site with SiteGround? Let us know in the comments!
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