SiteGround Review 2020

Introduction

SiteGround is a hosting that started operating in 2004. Since then they have not stopped growing and now have more than 400 employees and host about 2 million domains.

They are one of the few providers that offer availability guarantees on their servers ( uptime ). On their website, they ensure that the support team is available 24 hours a day every day of the year. Also, it seems they care a lot about loading speed.

There is much to process and SiteGround promises many advantages. Is it all true?

We have done several tests and tests on SiteGround hosting that will help you decide if it is the best option for your website.

SiteGround has three plans and everyone can sign for any of them with a great discount through your affiliate link. It is also good to make a recommendation for the most appropriate plan to your audience:

  • The StartUp plan is perfect for people with one website that are starting now.
  • The GrowBig plan is a great value for money offer, including the option for multiple websites and the SuperCacher that greatly improves website speed.
  • The GoGeek plan is perfect for people with e-commerce and larger sites, or more geeky development needs like more server resources and GIT integration.

Note: Please note that for the first contract they have discounts available of up to 60%. By counting SiteGround for 3 years you can save a lot of money.

What can you expect from each SiteGround plan?

SiteGround offers 3 shared hosting plans that should fit the needs of most users. You have to be clear that all the plans have in common:

  • They do not limit the traffic that your site may receive.
  • Free domain name the first year. Then there is one € 13 a year.
  • Unlimited databases and email accounts.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • SSD disks and own cache system.
  • 24-hour support via phone, chat and email.

But of course, not all SiteGround plans are the same, so let’s look at their main differences.

StartUp: Ideal for users who have a single medium or small website and up to 10GB of space. In addition, in this plan you will have the cache service for static content that will make your website faster. You can restore your account to any of the 30 backup copies they save.

GrowBig: This is a plan designed to host more than one website and comes with 20GB of space. In addition to the cache system for static content, this plan allows you to cache dynamic content. Also, you can use its backup system on demand, and its staging functions (test environment).

GoGeek: In addition to offering more space (30GB) and servers with higher performance, you will have priority support. It comes with pre-installed Git repositories.

Note: Keep in mind that during the first period they offer significant discounts but prices rise quite a lot when you renew.

SiteGround offers unbeatable benefits and I recommend it without any reservation. It will be suitable for serious projects, if you need even more capacity later, you can hire one of their superior hostings (eg cloud or dedicated). I especially advise you to:

  • Online stores
  • Professional bloggers
  • Sites that work on WordPress
  • Large corporate sites
  • Developers and designers looking for quality and good support
  • If you are looking for functions such as Staging, Git repositories or SSH access
  • Everyone who will need higher performance solutions
  • Agencies and large teams can benefit from their user management

When not to use SiteGround hosting?

Although SiteGround adapts to many profiles, in some cases it may not be the best option:

  • You are looking for a very cheap hosting
  • You want servers with Windows
  • You need a lot of web space and you don’t have a cheap budget

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Excellent availability: SiteGround is one of the web hosting providers that offer the best availability figures, these are close to 100% (more information later).
  • Easy and intuitive to use: Its system is easy to follow and the functionalities integrate seamlessly with each other.
  • Professional support and help: SiteGround offers a very complete service (through chat, email and telephone). Your tutorials and guides are also taken care of.
  • Very fast hosting: Thanks to the hardware they implement (eg SSD disks) and the software solutions they use (eg SG Optimizer and HTTP / 2) they offer higher than average speeds.
  • Server location: When you open your account with SiteGround you can choose between servers in Europe, America and Asia.
  • Advanced Features: SiteGround incorporates options that many other hostings do not have. For example, staging, own caching or GIT repositories. Or free integrations with CloudFlare and Let’sEncypt (SSL).
  • Unlimited Traffic: They do not measure the traffic you can receive.
  • User and site management: Its new administration panel allows you to manage websites individually and efficiently manage users (eg you can give your clients or developers access to the account without having to give them your password).

Cons

  • Price: Personally I think SiteGround offers good value for money, but it is true that it is not the cheapest on the market.
  • Long contracts: If you do not want to pay for the installation you will have to hire SiteGround for 12 months or more.
FEATURES RATINGS COMMENTS

Easy to use

5/5 SiteGround offers a simple system to register new users, you will only need an email and choose a password.

The SiteGround backend continues without problems, it is intuitive and you will not find yourself lost in any of its pages or subpages. They have their own administration panel which, in my opinion, is much more useful than the old cPanel.

Domain names

Yes They include the free domain name (the first year) in all their plans, this is a good detail. You can create unlimited subdomains.

It is possible to add more domain names. Keep in mind that with the StartUp plan you can only have one website.

E-mail

5/5 They offer unlimited email accounts. In addition, you can connect your email service with other services such as Gmail.

Space limit per account: 2GB Startup, 4GB GrowBig and 6GB GoGeek.

Databases

4/5 You can create unlimited databases, but these may have a maximum size of 500 MB in the StartUp plan, 750 MB with GrowBig and 1000 MB with GoGeek. If you need more you can hire a cloud hosting, these have no limit.

Applications

5/5 It is possible to install many applications using Softaculous, its automatic installer included in your system. Among other apps are WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Prestashop, Magento, AbanteCart and many more.

Webspace limit

4.5/5 The StartUp plan comes with 10 GB of web space, the GrowBig package has 20 GB, while GoGeek offers 30 GB of webspace.

Monthly data transfer limit

5/5 It has no data transfer limit.

Secure FTP and FTP accounts

5/5 You can create as many FTP accounts as you need. Secure FTP connections SSH and SFTP are also possible.

Where are your servers

5/5 They have several data centres on 3 continents: specifically in Chicago, Iowa, Amsterdam, London and Singapore.

Security aspects

5/5 They isolate all accounts, so if there is a neighbour on your server that is vulnerable, it will not affect you.

Through Let’s Encrypt you can add SSL encryption in any SiteGround plan.

Server speed

5/5 They use SSDs and their speed is very good, few hostings exceed it. The GrowBig and GoGeek plan offer caching for dynamic content as well, this will greatly improve the speed of your page if you use Joomla or WordPress. Check our latest speed tests. In addition to all this, they use the latest technology such as NGINX Direct Delivery and Quic to increase the speed of their servers.

Server availability

4.5/5 SiteGround servers offer superb availability. In fact, they will return part of your monthly fee if it falls from 99.9%.

In more than 3 years of uptime tests, they never dropped 99.98%.

Backups

5/5 They make daily backups, you can request that they restore one of the last 30 in case of urgency.

With the GrowBig and GoGeek plan you will have more options to create and access your own backups. You can create a maximum of 5 manual copies per site.

CDN (content delivery network)

Yes Although it is not included directly in your plans, you can integrate CloudFlare in one click. Also remember that CloudFlare offers a free plan.

Server performance

4.5/5 They use PHP, you can choose between PHP 7.4, 7.3, 7.2, 7.0, 5.6. It is possible to use MySQL and PostgreSQL to manage the databases.

In shared hosting, you will have a PHP memory limit of 768M. If you need more you will have to hire cloud or dedicated hosting.

Money back and guarantees

Yes They promise to have availability times greater than 99.9% and will compensate you financially if they do not comply.

They offer a 30-day money back guarantee.

Help and Support

4.5/5 You can contact them by live chat, phone or email. Our experience with your support was very positive.

They also have a lot of help materials and easy to follow guides.

Global rating

4.6 / 5

I love SiteGround, its speed is very good and its availability figures excellent. But keep in mind that you will need some budget.

Final thoughts

In 2019, SiteGround moved from its old (and good) cPanel administration panel to a more modern one. I have to say that I am very fan of the new system, since it is intuitive and visually more attractive than cPanel.

I’m a regular user of cPanel, so I thought I would miss it, but the truth is that in a couple of hours I got used to the new SiteGround panel.

In addition to the new design, the improvement that I like most is that now every website you have is managed independently; that is, each one has its own administration panel. This has advantages if you have a couple of projects hosted on SiteGround (because, for example, you can make a backup of a single website, without forcing you to copy all of your accounts).

In addition, it allows you to add users to the administration panel, assign them different permission levels and associate them with specific web pages. As you can imagine, this is very advantageous for large teams and agencies, since it allows them to give access to their customers.

In my opinion, backups (along with performance and support) are one of the most important features of hosting .

It is true that you could connect your website to another platform that makes backups (such as UpdraftPlus in the case of WordPress), but in my opinion, having this integrated into the hosting is more efficient and easy to manage.

So I have analyzed the SiteGround backup system in-depth and for me, it is the best within its price range (WPEngine, for example, is better, but also quite more expensive).

This is what I liked:

  • The backup system is fully integrated with the SiteGround system, so you don’t need to use any external system that can create conflicts.
  • The backup copies of each website are managed separately, so you can make a backup of one of your sites without your obligation to do so for everyone who is hosted on SiteGround.
  • It gives you the option of making backup copies on demand, ideal for programmers who edit code or when you want to update the system or plugins. Before doing this, you can generate a backup and stay calm.
  • Backups are useless if you cannot restore them easily and efficiently. With SiteGround you will only need a couple of clicks for this.
  • Finally, the possibility of making backup copies and restoring them on demand is included in the GrowBig and GoGeek plans without the additional costs charged by other platforms for similar functionalities (worse, in fact).

There are a couple of things that could be better; For example, it has a limit of 5 manual backups per website (if you reach that limit, you will have to delete one of the old ones) and there is no way to download the copies, you can only restore them.

Keep in mind that advanced backup features (create and restore them on demand) are only available with the GrowBig and GoGeek plans. If you have contracted the most basic plan, SiteGround will make daily backups and save those of the last 30 days, but to restore them you will have to contact the support department.

I was struck by how well SiteGround talks about its own support service, and its promises of availability and speed.

After years of trying it, I think it offers very good benefits. The loading speed is one of the best I’ve seen in shared hostings.

The SiteGround support team is fast, efficient and enjoyable – many competitors fail here. Also, if you are looking for the best technology, SiteGround offers much more than the average (eg Git or Staging).

It is clear that it is a web host that has a medium-high price, it will not be for projects with low budget. Although its advanced features (eg backup on demand or GIT) are very useful, they are not available with all plans, consider it before choosing your plan.

Check out:

In this section, you can find a summary of the most technical tests and tests we have submitted to the SiteGround hosting.

One of the benefits of SiteGround is that it brings a pre-integration with the CloudFlare CDN. This is one of the most popular CDN services and they have a free account that you can use. It must be said that the free plan has some limitations, but this can improve our loading speed significantly.

In our test, we have tested how it loads the same web page with the CDN activated and without it. Our test website is located on a server in England and we want to see how it loads from a further geographical point. Therefore, we have decided to do load tests from the US, specifically in Dallas. For this, we used the free Pingdom tool.

SiteGround is a good host, so we see how despite not using the CDN we get acceptable results. The total load time was 3.20 seconds, we loaded 1.2 Mb and received a score of 80 out of 100. But will these results be improved with a CDN?

Repeating this test with the ClopudFlare CDN activated in its free version on the same test page, we see how the loading time improves by almost half a second. In turn, the size of the uploaded files is the same and the final score that our upload speed receives improves by 12 points.

Therefore, if you are going to use SiteGround for your website, it can be very useful to activate the CloudFlare CDN. Even in its free version, it will help improve the performance of your website.

Through StatusCake we measure the availability (uptime) of the servers we test. The fewer interruptions the better, it is advisable to have availability figures greater than 99.95%.

The availability results we have obtained (for 1 year) with SiteGround are impressive, better than the industry average.

It must be said that SiteGround will return part of your money if its availability figures fall.

In our tests, SiteGround was the fastest and most consistent hosting. As you can see in the test we have done with GTmetrix, Pingdom and Webpagetest, the test page loaded fast and with a note.

The results are almost unbeatable and very satisfactory. That’s why we believe that SiteGround is one of the fastest hostings we’ve tried. If your project requires a hosting that offers good speed, SiteGround is an option that will not disappoint.


Also published on Medium.

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