SiteGround first came under WHSR’s radar in late 2013.
We were given a time slot to interview SiteGround CEO, Tenko Nikolov and a free hosting account to test with.
Today I host my personal blog, TheRealJerryLow.com, and a few side projects at SiteGround hosting.
Throughout the years I have gathered tons of SiteGround server uptime / speed test data and conducted undercover experiments on SiteGround’s live chat support (more about this in customer support).
If you are considering SiteGround – these information should be useful.
About SiteGround, the company
- Founded in 2004 by a group of university friends.
- Company claims to host more than 1,000,000 domains at time of writing.
- Services: Shared, VPS, dedicated, and cloud hosting
- Offices in five different countries: Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States.
- Data centers in three different continents: America (U.S.), Europe, Asia (Singapore).
(Quick Jump) Review SiteGround Hosting in:
SiteGround Hosting Performance
Our experience & thoughts:
SiteGround server is extremely reliable based on our years of test result. Test sites were 100% up at most times.
Unfortunately my SiteGround speed test results were not as good.
I used different tool and ran multiple speed tests on sites hosted in different SiteGround data centers. The results were mixed – Most tests at Bitcatcha return good outcomes (A or B+); tests at Webpage Test, on the other hand, were not as good (TTFB constantly below 700ms).
SiteGround Hosting Uptime (Jan 2018): 100%
SiteGround Uptime record (Mar 2017): 100%
Older SiteGround Uptime Records (2014 – 2016)
* Click to enlarge image.
SiteGround Speed Tests at Bitcatcha
SiteGround Speed Tests at Webpage Test
I was surprised by the bad results and ran these tests multiple times using different test sites. The results were quite consistent – test site’s time-to-first-byte (TTFB) was constantly above 700ms, rated as grade D – F.
Test site #1 – SiteGround GoGeek Plan, hosted on SiteGround’s Singapore Data Center
Test site #2 – SiteGround GoGeek Plan, hosted on SiteGround’s Chicago Data Center
SiteGround Customer Support
Our Experience & Thoughts:
SiteGround live chat experience
SiteGround has *the best* live chat support in the market. I went undercover to investigate the quality of hosting companies’ live chat support in 2017.
SiteGround stood out as the clear winner in this study.
SiteGround chat system worked flawlessly, my live chat request was responded in less than 30 seconds.
All my questions were solved instantly during this session.
Note that you can learn more about the person you are chatting with by viewing the staff’s profile.
In this example, I was chatting with a cool dude named Nikola N.
* Click images to enlarge.
SiteGround Hosting Features
Our Experience & Thoughts:
SiteGround offers a number of awesome speed features that you don’t usually get with other hosting provider.
SSD drives and NGINX setup are included in all shared and cloud hosting plan. All SiteGround servers are HTTP/2* enabled and come with four different built-in caching mechanism: Static, Dynamic, Memcached, and HHVM (only for Cloud).
These features are a big plus as most hosting plans by other companies at this price range do not offer similar technology.
Free site migration
With every new hosting account in SiteGround, you get one free professional website transfer.
The GIF image shows how to request a site transfer.
* Click image to enlarge.
Recommended by WordPress.org and Drupal.org
SiteGround built its own caching mechanism. Geeky SuperCacher, to speed up WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal powered sites.
Choice of server locations
SiteGround provides choice of server locations in three continents:
- America (Chicago US),
- Europe (Milan IT, London UK, Amsterdam NL), and
- Asia (Singapore SG).
Intangible features: Company cultures & business approach
While some of the hosting companies out there are happy to maintain the status quo, SiteGround embraces creativity and is constantly coming up with fresh ideas in improving itself.
This seems to make it a good place to work, which could be why the customer service team is so stellar.
The company security team’s innovative approach to a 2013’s WordPress global brute force attack is an excellent example of the company’s admirable problem solving skills.
The attack was organized, distributed and malicious, involving over 90,000 IP addresses in total. Symptoms of the attack proved to be quite problematic for users, generating an incredibly slow back end and the inability of users’ to log in, as well causing sites to intermittently go down.
The solution proposed by many other hosts in regards to this Global WordPress brute force attack entailed editing .htaccess files.
However, the SiteGround team quickly realized that this solution was only a partial fix to a broad problem and had a number of serious limitations. Basically, when a host utilizes a .htaccess rule to stop attackers, hackers can actually still reach servers and make requests. Once the requests are processes and checked they are rejected but all of this processing makes a site much, much slower, even if the brute-force attempt is successfully stopped. It also renders users unable to access their sites throughout the attack, obviously a huge problem.
Using series of unique and innovative approaches, SiteGround was able to stop hackers before they even reached servers (hence no load was caused on servers).
In result, SiteGround was able to block a staggering 15-million brute force attempts.
SiteGround Pricing: Value for Money?
Our Experience & Thoughts:
SiteGround Shared Hosting Plans
|Number of websites||1||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|SSD Storage||10 GB||20 GB||30 GB|
|Free 1 year Wild Card SSL|
|Suitable for||~10,000 monthly visits||~25,000 monthly visits||~100,000 monthly visits|
SiteGround Renewal Price
SiteGround’s price is roughly 45% cheaper on first bill – $3.95/7.95/14.95/mo. While the big price cuts look good at first, it also means that your renewal fees (the standard rate) is higher than your signup rate.
Startup, GrowBig, and GoGeek cost $9.95/14.95/29.95/mo during renewal.
Verdict – Should You Host at SiteGround Hosting?
97% Customer Satisfaction Rate in 2017
SiteGround’s annual client satisfaction survey was released in January 2018.
97.3% of the respondents were satisfied with SiteGround service; 95% would recommend the web host to a friend.
In a nutshell, SiteGround offers reasonably priced premium hosting service that is reliable, flexible, secure; and comes with stellar customer support.
- Extremely reliable – proven by years of host uptime data.
- Customer live chat support is top class in recent (July 2017) case study.
- Signup price is ~45% cheaper than your renewal fees – good deal if you don’t mind paying a little more upfront.
- NGINX, HTTP/2, built-in cache mechanism, built-in staging for Joomla and WordPress – The company innovates and adapts well to technology changes.
- Mixed results in server speed.
- Expensive renewal fees.
Order SiteGround Hosting
P/S: Is this review helpful?
WHSR is funded mainly by affiliate income – this means we only make money if you purchase via our link. If you like our work, please support us by buying via our affiliate link. It helps us to keep our site content at top quality and produce more helpful hosting review like this one. Thank you!