Siteground Hosting Review With over 15 years of experience, SiteGround is one of the most trusted names in the web hosting industry. The company was first established back in 2004 by a group of University students in Bulgaria. The hosting provider quickly grew in popularity thanks to its great service plans and reliable data centers. Today, the company is home to over 1.5 million websites.
So, what can SiteGround offer to UK-based businesses and Internet entrepreneurs? SiteGround has a wide range of plans to suit anyone’s needs. Whether you’re starting a WordPress blog or need to host a managed retail site, SiteGround has you covered. The provider has also perfected their hosting strategy and continued to evolve with the changing market.
As with any hosting company, it’s important to understand what SiteGround brings to the table. Web hosting is one of the most important services that you will invest in. UK-based sites also have unique challenges that not every provider will be able to accommodate. In this SiteGround review, we’ll go over the advantages and disadvantages of the provider’s services.
The Pros of SiteGround
SiteGround has had several years to figure out what works and what doesn’t. As a result, the service provider does many things very well. These advantages are great for website owners, no matter how big the site is.
One of the best things about SiteGround is the uptime guarantee. Uptime refers to how often the servers are up and running. This is crucial to the success of your site. If your audience isn’t able to visit your site due to issues at the data center, your bottom line is affected.
According to the provider’s Service Level Agreement, SiteGround has a 99.9 percent annual uptime guarantee. You can rest easy knowing that the company takes the necessary steps to keep things running smoothly.
In all of SiteGround’s data centers, extra safety precautions are taken. To ensure that the servers aren’t compromised by third parties, every facility is equipped with biometric access systems. They’re also guarded by human staff, have video surveillance, and are protected with bulletproof glass. Needless to say, the servers are kept under lock and key. To prevent outages from power issues, the data centers also have their own backup generators. All of these elements work together to minimize downtime as much as possible.
Good Data Center Locations and Free CDN
Speaking of the data centers, SiteGround has servers in three different continents. In North America, there are server locations in Chicago and Iowa. In Europe, there are two data centers in the Netherlands and one in the UK. Finally, there’s a center in Singapore. The data center in London is particularly useful for UK-based sites. If you are catering to a UK audience, your visitors will have a much easier time accessing your site. While several factors contribute to connection speeds, location still plays a big role. Having your site served on a local server helps to improve the overall user experience.
If you have a global audience of visitors, you’ll be happy to know that SiteGround offers a free CDN with every account. A CDN, or content delivery network, is a series of smaller nodes that store a cached version of your site. Instead of connecting to the main server, visitors will connect to the closest CDN node. This helps to improve load times regardless of where the site is being accessed from. Plus, it helps to reduce the load on the physical server. SiteGround uses Cloudflare DNS, which is one of the most reliable CDN networks available.
In addition to fast local servers and CDN technology, SiteGround implements plenty of advanced technology to enhance connection speeds for all of your visitors. Good connection speeds are crucial these days. Most people aren’t willing to wait more than a few seconds for your site to load. If they’re having connection issues, visitors will often just visit a competitor’s website that offers better performance.
Luckily, that won’t be an issue with SiteGround. Overall, the service provider does well across the board when it comes to connection speeds. Simple tests with Pingdom show that SiteGround is able to provide consistently fast speeds regardless of location. For that, you can thank the following features.
Great performance starts at the hardware. SiteGround’s servers use SSD storage for faster load times. Solid State Drives run cool and can provide as much as a 1,000 times the input and output speeds as traditional hard drives. There are no moving parts, so they’re also more reliable. SSD storage is used for all shared and cloud hosting plans.
SiteGround’s proprietary SuperCacher system is great for loading dynamic content in an instant. It works best with sites that use WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. Essentially, the caching system saves critical information about your site in fast access memory systems. So, when people visit your site, that information is loaded from the memory system first instead of having to download data from the server.
Static content is covered too. However, it’s loaded with NGINX server technology. It comes standard on shared and cloud hosting plans.
CMS, or content management systems, are at the core of most websites. Some of the most popular CMS include WordPress, Joomla, Drupal. They’re perfect for those who want to create beautiful and intuitive websites without much coding knowledge. When you host your site at SiteGround, you can take advantage of the service’s CMS integration. All it takes is a few clicks to install your CMS. Softaculous is also available for one-click installs of your favorite scripts and plugins.
The company has a unique feature called WordPress Launch. It’s an automated feature that can build a site from scratch in only a few minutes using the WordPress platform. If you already have a WordPress site, you can use the WordPress Transfer feature free of charge on higher-tier plans.
Other options are also available beyond WordPress. For example, new members can install Weebly. Weebly is a feature-rich website builder that uses a drag-and-drop interface for simplicity.
Those that are well-versed in development can create their own site from the ground up as well. GIT is available with higher-tier plans to help developers keep track of code changes that occur during development. Overall, SiteGround can be as simple or as complicated as you want. The CMS integration makes it accessible to novices. Yet, the in-depth tools make it a great option for professional developers as well. SiteGround also uses cPanel, which is perfect if you already have some development experience. cPanel is a popular control panel interface that’s used by many hosting providers. If you already know how to use the system, you should have no problems getting started on SiteGround.
These days, Internet users are well-aware of security threats on the World Wide Web. It pays to have some security features on your site. Not only are you protecting your best interests and bottom line, but your visitors can also get some peace of mind each time they visit your digital space.
Every account comes with a free SSL certificate. This feature encrypts the connection between your visitor’s computer and the servers to prevent sensitive information from getting into the wrong hands. With a certificate, your site will have a padlock icon on the address bar to let web users know.
At the server level, SiteGround also has some great safety measures in place. First, your server is monitored around the clock. You can check on the status of your site at any time. Plus, the system looks out for any potential issues.
Anti-Bot artificial intelligence is also available. This system helps to prevent bot attacks every hour. In most cases, these issues are taken care of before a site is even affected. Finally, there’s account isolation. SiteGround is a pioneer when it comes to isolation technology. Typically, all of the sites on a shared server are vulnerable to problems if one of them experiences a security breach or attack. The secure account isolation system quarantines the affected site to keep others on the server safe. This is a feature that not too many hosting providers offer, so it’s something that helps SiteGround stand out.
Backups of your data are a lifesaver if you ever run into trouble. SiteGround offers free daily backups with most of their plans. These backups are saved for 30 days. Accessing your data is no hassle at all. In only a few clicks, you can restore your site back to its former glory.
On some plans, SiteGround includes on-demand backups. You can make up to five backups whenever you want. It’s a great feature for those who are making big changes and don’t want to rely on daily backups alone. Depending on the particular type of hosting plan you get, some of those backups may be stored on separate servers for even greater protection.
Free Site Migration Available
Usually, when you make the switch from one hosting provider to another, you have to go through a lengthy site transfer process. It involves moving all of your data over to the new servers. If you aren’t experienced, this process could result in a lot of lost work and performance issues. SiteGround aims to make the transfer as smooth as possible. The migration feature, which comes with higher plans, is relatively simple. There is some minor work that you have to do. However, the system takes care of most of the job. The system works best with WordPress.
It’s a nice perk that can help you avoid any lasting problems. Those who want professional assistance as you make the switch, SiteGround does offer in-depth assistance. This option is geared towards larger websites that are investing in a bigger plan from SiteGround.
It should be noted that free migration tools apply to one site only. If you have more than one that you need to transfer over, you’re going to have to pay additional fees. Also, the size of your site can be no bigger than 1 GB. If it exceeds that limitation, you’ll end up having to pay the standard migration fee.
Solid Customer Support
Many people overlook support when they’re searching for the best web hosting provider. Unfortunately, poor customer support can lead to a ton of headaches if you run into any problems. Hosting can get complicated pretty quickly. Having a reliable support team on hand to answer questions can make all the difference.
Customer support is where SiteGround shines. The company has a support team that’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They can be reached in several different ways. The easiest is through a live chat function. The live chat box connects you in minutes. In most cases, you can get a response instantly.
There’s also a ticket system. The tickets are monitored around the clock, so response time is often as short as 10 minutes. Finally, there’s phone support. SiteGround has several support lines available that connect you with a real person.
Tech support doesn’t stop with live assistance. SiteGround also has an intuitive knowledge base as well. It’s great for do-it-yourselfers who want to figure things out on their own. You can find step-by-step guides, in-depth tutorials, webinars, and more.
The Cons of SiteGround
No hosting provider is perfect. Despite all of the good things that SiteGround does, there are some areas where they can improve. The following cons may not affect all users. However, it’s important to consider these possible issues and how they can affect your site before you make the jump.
Limited Storage Capabilities
The biggest gripe that people have with SiteGround is the lack of unlimited storage options. Digital media is more important than ever. Thus, websites are getting bigger and bigger. Many hosting providers understand this and offer unlimited or unmetered storage capacities. SiteGround, unfortunately, does not. All of their plans have storage caps. This includes the highest tiers and dedicated hosting plans. Granted, the company does offer some generous storage options once you start to look at the more expensive plans. However, they’re all still measured and capped.
Like storage space, there are some bandwidth limitations on all plans. Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that goes in and out of the server. Every time someone visits your site, data is downloaded. Even if it’s not a direct download of a file, bandwidth is required to view content. Bandwidth caps are starting to go out of style in the web hosting industry. However, SiteGround has yet to follow this trend and does things a bit differently.
Technically speaking, the provider doesn’t limit the amount of bandwidth you can use. According to the SiteGround.com, it’s unmetered. However, the company does limit how many visitors you receive. This can be beneficial in some instances. For example, you can display data-heavy content without having to worry about it affecting your bandwidth cap. Though, you do have to worry if you experience a spike in traffic.
On the highest shared hosting plan, you’re limited to approximately 100,000 monthly visits. Once you surpass that limit, the performance of your site may be throttled.
Another thing we’re not too crazy about is some hidden fees you might encounter. Like most hosting providers, SiteGround lets you choose how you want to pay for your web hosting services. You have the option to pay monthly, annually, every two years, or every three years. The price points are different based on how you want to pay. For example, if you choose to pay for three years of service upfront, your monthly costs go down significantly.
The hidden fees come in when you decide to pay on a month to month basis. During your first month, you will have to pay a one-time setup fee. This isn’t charged if you pay in bulk. It’s only applied to month-to-month plans.
So, you’ll have to pay for your first month of service plus and additional £9.60 setup fee. It might not be a big deal for some. After all, it only applies to the first month of service. However, it does increase your initial investment. SiteGround advertises a very low monthly price. If they have a special going on, the price for first time members appears even lower. Then, that hidden fee during the checkout process comes as a surprise.
Higher Renewal Rates
Another thing that you should be wary about is the introductory prices. Like most hosting providers, SiteGround is all about getting new members in the door. They advertise very low prices to new customers. Depending on the type of promotion they’re offering, you might be looking at only a few pounds for a month of service.
These prices only apply to the first term you sign up for. So, if you sign up for only a month of service, you’ll be paying a much higher price when you renew your plan the next month. It’s not a small increase by any means. Depending on your plan, you might end up paying three times as much as the introductory offer!
Hosting is meant to be a long-term investment. So, it’s important to consider the regular rates you will be paying in the future. If you’re looking to get the best deal up front, stick with long-term plans. You can easily lock in your cheaper introductory rate by paying for three years of service at one time.
No Free Domain
It’s a bit of a bummer that SiteGround doesn’t offer a free domain name during your first year. This is pretty common among hosting providers to get new customers. SiteGround customers will have to pay for their domain registration from day one. Prices start at £14.95, so make sure to factor in this additional cost before you sign up.
SiteGround Hosting Plans
SiteGround has several different types of hosting. Within each variation, there are also a few different tiers, allowing you to get the right service for your needs. Here’s some quick information about what SiteGround has to offer.
Shared hosting is ideal for those who are just getting started with their site. As the name would suggest, your site is stored on the same server as multiple other sites. All the sites share the resources of the server. To prevent resource hogging, each plan does have storage and traffic limitations.
All shared hosting plans take advantage of cPanel for simplicity. They also have access to Softaculous and can be used with platforms like WordPress, Joomla, Magento, and more. You also get unlimited MySQL databases, unlimited subdomains, SSD storage, and more.
The StartUp hosting plan is designed for a single website. You cannot host more than one site or exceed 10,000 visitors a month. It includes 10 GB of storage space and includes a Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate. It also has a basic version of the SuperCacher system, unlimited email accounts that are 2,000 MB in size, Cloudflare CDN, and more.
£2.95 a month
£8.95 per month
With the GrowBig plan, your storage space doubles to 20 GB. You can also receive up to 25,000 visits every month. SiteGround allows you to host an unlimited number of sites as well. Additional perks include on-demand backups, the ability to add collaborators, 4,000 MB email inboxes, and more.
£4.95 a month
£14.95 per month
Finally, there’s the GoGeek Plan. This option has all the bells and whistles. You get 30 GB of storage space and 100,000 monthly visits. There’s also the most advanced version of the SuperCacher system, priority support, pre-installed GIT, and large email accounts of 6,000 MB.
£8.95 a month
£24.95 per month
If you’re already using WordPress, a managed hosting plan from SiteGround may be what you’re looking for. These plans are specifically catered to work with WordPress websites. In fact, it’s officially recommended by WordPress because of its simplicity. The difference between a WordPress hosting plan and a standard shared plan is that many of the finer details are taken care of already.
Core updates to WordPress and changes with plug-ins are handled by professionals. Plus, you get better security features, and focused maintenance services, among other things. Instead of dealing with the small details, you can focus on the growth of your site.
Typically, hosting providers charge more for WordPress plans because they require more resources. However, that’s not the case with SiteGround. All of the WordPress hosting accounts are priced similarly to the shared options.
Like with the shared plans, the StartUp tier includes 10 GB of disk space and 10,000 monthly visits. You can only host one WordPress site. However, you do get unlimited email accounts that are 2,000 MB in size. The plan also includes daily backups, automatic updates, and Cloudflare CDN.
£2.95 a month
£8.95 per month
The middle-tier WordPress plan from SiteGround has some great advanced features. You can take advantage of a WordPress-specific caching system and free site migration. There’s also the addition of WordPress staging. This is a one-click feature that makes a live copy of your site in a non-public environment. There you can make changes to the code and experiment with different plugins without causing any permanent changes to your live site. The limitations include 25 GB of storage space and 25,000 monthly visits.
£4.95 a month
£14.95 per month
The GoGeek plan offers advanced priority support and pre-installed GIT. This plan also includes all of the features as the previous plan. With this plan, you get 30 GB of disk space and up to 100,000 monthly visits as well.
£8.95 a month
£24.95 per month
Cloud hosting is a unique service that has been growing in popularity in recent years. It’s very similar to dedicated or VPS hosting. You get a bit more control and are guaranteed a certain amount of resources. However, rather than having your site stored on a single physical server, your data is spread throughout many servers across the globe. The resources you use are pulled from all of these servers for impressive performance.
This is a great hosting option for those who need a scalable plan. Because cloud hosting isn’t limited to a physical server, you can modify your plan to get more resources whenever you need. Like WordPress hosting, cloud hosting is completely managed. All of the small details are handled by the professionals so that you can focus on creating the best site for your audience.
All of the cloud plans include some notable extras. First, you get your own dedicated IP address. This ensures that you aren’t blacklisted due to the actions of a site that you share an IP address with. Next, cloud accounts have private DNS services. You can even customize the name of your DNS. Finally, you can create sub-accounts. This is a great option for resellers who want to provide access to individual clients while still having control over resource management.
The Entry plan includes 2 CPU cores with 4 GB of memory. It also has 40 GB of SSD space and a bandwidth cap of 5 TB.
£48.00 a month
This plan is ideal for companies that need a few more resources. It’s considered to be the best option for businesses that are making the switch to cloud hosting. The plan includes 3 CPU cores, 6 GB of RAM, 60 GB of storage, and 5 TB of bandwidth.
£72.00 a month
Business Plus Plan
The Business Plus plan takes things a step further by increasing resources across the board. It has 4 CPU cores, 8 GB of memory, 80 GB of storage space, and 5 TB of bandwidth.
£96.00 a month
Super Power Plan
If you want a premium cloud hosting experience, the Super Power Plan has you covered. It’s the highest tier than SiteGround offers. With this plan, you get 8 CPU cores, 10 GB of memory for fast loading speed, 120 GB of disk space, and 5 TB of bandwidth.
£144.00 a month
Designed for large corporations and sites with significant traffic, dedicated hosting plans have a lot to offer. Rather than sharing resources with other webmasters, you get an entire server all to yourself. As an established web hosting company, SiteGround uses the latest and greatest in server technology.
The dedicated servers are all capable of providing you with impressive performance. Plus, SiteGround uses proprietary software to ensure that your connection speeds are as high as possible. As always, these plans are managed by SiteGround. They take care of the setup and will monitor your equipment around the clock. The company also performs updates regularly to keep things running smoothly at all times.
All of the plans include a dedicated IP address, Cloudflare CDN, and installers for various CMS and plugins. With a dedicated hosting plan, you also have access to VIP customer support. The support team will take care of your issues quickly. They can also perform equipment reboots and diagnostic tests whenever you need them.
Entry Server Plan
With the Entry Server plan, your site is stored on a server that has a 3.20 GHz CPU clock speed. You also get 4 CPU cores, 8 CPU threads, 16 GB of RAM, 480 GB of storage, and 10 TB of bandwidth.
£195.00 a month
Power Server Plan
The Power Server plan gives you access to a server with 3.50 GHz of CPU clock speed. The plan maintains the CPU cores and threads from the previous option. However, memory is bumped up to 32 GB of RAM. You’re also getting 960 GB of disk space.
£255.00 a month
Super Power Server Plan
Finally, there’s the Super Power Server. This plan takes advantage of two powerful SSD servers. Each has 2.00 GHz of CPU clock speed. There’s also 6 CPU cores and 12 CPU threads with each server. In total, the plan includes 64 GB of RAM and two SSD that can hold 960 GB each. The disk space has a RAID 1 configuration for protection.
£525.00 a month
This plan is very similar to the standard WordPress hosting plans. In fact, it has the same tiers, pricing structure, and features. The main difference is that it’s focused on building an online retail store. WooCommerce works with WordPress and is catered to small businesses. It’s an ecommerce platform that has many shopping-related features, such as a shopping cart, payment processor, and more. With one of the WooCommerce plans, you can take advantage of dedicated technical support, a completely managed ecosystem, one-click WordPress installation, and free migration.
Last, but certainly not least, there’s Enterprise hosting. These hosting plans are completely customizable. There is no pricing available on the website because SiteGround creates a plan that’s designed for your unique needs. The bespoke service is great for larger companies that need more resources than what the stock plans provide. When you sign up, you’re connected to a personal account manager that will help you get up and running in no time.
SiteGround’s Money-Back Guarantee
If you’re worried about taking the plunge and signing up for a SiteGround hosting plan, you’ll be happy to know that the company does provide a money-back guarantee. For all shared hosting plans, the provider has a standard 30-day money-back guarantee. Most web hosting companies offer this. If you decide that you aren’t happy with what the plans have to offer, you can request a full refund. As long as you’re within your first 30 days, you shouldn’t encounter any issues at all. Just contact SiteGround’s support team to make a request.
The same applies to cloud or dedicated hosting plans. However, you’re limited to a shorter 15-day guarantee. There are also some caveats that you need to be aware of. First, the guarantee does not apply to renewals. You must make the claim during your first 30 or 15 days of having an account. Secondly, the domain registration fees are not refunded. If you happen to get a free domain during a promotional period, you may even have to pay for that fee upon cancellation. The good news is that you’re free to take that domain name with you to another hosting provider.
Is SiteGround Right for You?
As you can see from this hosting review, SiteGround is an excellent option for UK-based website owners. The company has a long history of providing reliable performance and great features to millions of customers.
With their guaranteed uptimes and fast connection speeds alone, SiteGround outperforms many of their competitors. Thanks to the company’s numerous hosting options, you won’t have a hard time finding a plan that’s right for you. While the company does have some notable faults, those issues do not affect your overall performance. If you are looking for a plan that offers unlimited storage and no traffic limitations, you might want to consider other providers. However, if top-notch connection speeds, great security features, and general reliability are your main priorities, SiteGround may be what you’re looking for.