SiteGround 2017 Review - Speed, Security, Support & Price.. This Host Has It All?!

print screen of the siteground website for our siteground review

The SiteGround.com Website

We've been hosted with SiteGround for a pretty long time now, and that is why they're our number #1 most recommended host.

The support team is actually based in the US, in comparison to most hosts using outsourced virtual assistants from South East Asia with fake names/pictures.

Each server is individually optimized for speed and security.

And to top it all of... The pricing isn't going to break your site's budget anytime soon.

Warning: During points of this point, I make super nerdy points.. For those that don't have a technology/sys admin background, just trust in my opinion around those techy words and not the words themselves.

SiteGround Advantages

My experience with web hosting services over the years has taught me one vital thing: When choosing a provider, your primary consideration must be SUPPORT, RELIABILITY, and PERFORMANCE. Any imperfections in these areas will undermine the performance of your entire website. Having a solid foundation for your website can only be achieved through a great host. However, the process of locating a great web hosting company can be daunting. However, this review should be a prime example of one of the best web hosts currently on the market.. And our #1 most recommended host. 

Things To Consider Before Choosing A Host

​Before you go ahead and buy any hosting package, there are several things you need to consider first.

Your Needs

The first things you should consider are your specific needs. Are you new to website creation or are you an expert looking to switch to a better web hosting solution? What’s your budget? Do you want to develop a "small" blog or create a heavy duty site such as an e-commerce store? These are all questions you ought to have answers to, even before taking the time to search for a host.

To make the process of conceptualizing your specific website needs simpler, I will summarize the most vital features you need to consider in relation to your possible hosting needs.

Service Specialty: Most shared hosting services only cater to your needs if you intend on creating a simple blog or small site. If you're wanting to create a larger site or one that receives a ton of traffic.. Then you'll need to get either a larger package or your own server - Either VPS or dedicated.

Technical Specifications: Features to look for include RAM, processing power/useage limits, and disk space. Simple blogs need fewer quantities of these tech aspects whereas heavy-duty sites need more.

Client Support: Must have reliable 24/7 client support over multiple levels of communication such as toll-free calling, online chat or email communication/tickets. Also, ensure that the client support department is not outsourced to another country or company.

User Interface: Must be easy to understand and navigate. This will decrease the amount of time and effort when upgrading package plans, or when modifying or updating your site’s content.

About SiteGround Hosting

Founded in 2004, SiteGround is a well-known hosting company that has over a decade of experience in offering top-notch hosting solutions to individuals and companies worldwide. The service promises to offer a wide spectrum of hosting solutions characterized by cutting-edge tech innovations, great developer features, superior performance and reliable client support. Compared to other popular web hosting service providers I have used in the past, SiteGround’s almost perfect average uptime (approximately 99. 98%) sets it apart as it is well over the current industry standards.

In addition, the site offers 3 different web hosting plans / packages, namely, “startup”, “growbig”, and “gogeek” for the average customer. The “Start-Up” plan is a great choice for newbies in website creation, the “GrowBig” plan provides an excellent choice for those who grow their website, and the “GoGeek” plan is specially crafted for those wanting an affordable solution for larger sites. In short, each SiteGround packages make a great fit for those with or without technical expertise and provides room for the future growth of your website.

​They also offer several cloud, reseller, VPS and dedicated server packages for those with more specialist requirements/needs.

Initial Pros 

  • Exemplary Customer Support Services
  • Implementation of unique in-house technology solutions
  • Outstanding Speed and Performance
  • Built-in features & speed optimization for WordPress and Joomla

Initial Cons 

  • Pricing (can be assumed to be slightly expensive if service quality, performance and reliability are ignored)
  • Has default CPU limitations, which can mean larger bursts of traffic can have your site go down for up to 24 hours - Easily removed via live support though, and very hard to reach.

SiteGround Review

Now let's get into the specifics of the host, and cover every aspect of it in detail - We'll be running tests throughout.

Performance Speed

The main reason why performance speed is a vital criterion to consider when selecting a web hosting service, is because it determines the amount of traffic your website will get. Most users expect the pages they wish to access to load in less than 3 seconds. More often than not, 40% of users will opt to abandon your site if they wait for more than three seconds for your site to load. Needless to say, this is the main reason why I have switched from one web hosting service to another over the years - As most hosting companies tend to get slower as their customer base grows.. 

However, out of the multiple web hosting services which promised to deliver quick and efficient server performance but did not, my experience with SiteGround has been truly refreshing. I have been enjoying an average page loading time MUCH quicker than most sites out there:

A print screen of us speed testing this page.

Editor Note: This page was tested prior to any sort of plugin/code speed optimization was used for this site. If we were to reduce file sizes, use image compression and various other techniques, we'd likely get an even quicker load time.

Customer Support

Customer support is super essential to the efficient running of your website. Sure, furfing the internet for tutorials might be an option for fixing minor website and code errors, but when it comes to unexpected server errors, however, you can’t waste valuable time and money (you have paid for the service) waiting for your website’s colossal failure. In such situations, you can lose valuable traffic, sometimes permanently! Reliable customer support, particularly those characterized by quick response times, should never be undermined. This was another reason why I switched from my previous web hosting service provider.

a print screen of the 3 options that siteground offer for customer support

SiteGround’s customer support can only be described as amazing as it has proven to not only be reliable, but also quick and efficient. They offer 24/7 client support over multiple levels of communication, including support ticket submissions replied in the form of emails, toll-free calling and instant chat. What is especially attractive about the client support email communication is the fact that I have never received an automated response to any of the queries I have submitted via a support ticket - Which SO many hosting providers do to cut costs. Also, the client support department is not outsourced to another country or company, which means the person who you will communicate with actually knows what they are talking about when providing solutions to your specific problems. SiteGround’s tech support team also frequently create and update free knowledge based articles and customized tutorials which will keep you up-to-speed with any significant web intel. The size and depth of their knowledge base is extremely impressive by most standards.

Data Centres

The specific location of a web hosting service provider’s data center directly affects their ability to offer reliable hosting services. The closer the data center is to your actual physical location, the faster your upload performance will be. SiteGround has a total of 3 global data centers in 4 locations, namely: Chicago, Singapore, London and Amsterdam. Essentially, this means that the site places your website’s performance as their priority, regardless of the package you are paying for or your physical location. Personally, I had issues with previous web hosting services which adhered to data retention and privacy laws. My experience on SiteGround so far has taken care of this concern, as I simply opted to implement the site’s advanced option which allows its users to select services from any of the four data center locations - I chose the European data center which has worked perfectly for me to date, as I am based in the UK.

Resource Allocation and Security Technologies

The key problem with most shared web hosting services is that they limit the hosting resources available to you. Furthermore, if an account belonging to a user sharing the same server as you is compromised security-wise, the entire server (including your website) can also be affected. Now here’s where this SiteGround review will catch your attention.

SiteGround prides itself as a web hosting provider with unique technologies that solve this specific problem. SiteGround’s shared hosting services encompass a unique server isolation system that works to prevent any server vulnerabilities from taking down the entire network of users connected to it. Rather than have typical VPS hosting, they have developed a cloud container platform which features containers numbering in the thousands - I know, I did say at the start that I get a bit techy in this review.

A print screen of the security features offered by SiteGround.

Through this technology, you stand to gain the benefit of enjoying their system’s downtime prevention mechanism, in which server issues are quickly detected and resolved. My previous service provider needed at least 20 minutes to detect a server issue and an additional 20 to react and resolve it.. All manually. SiteGround’s unique software, however, does this process in real-time. Almost all of the performance issues I have experienced as a user on the site has been instantly detected and resolved automatically.

Other Security

Of course, every web hosting service provides security features for all its users. However, SiteGround goes the extra mile of providing you with tools such as SpamAssasin, IP address blocklists, SpamExperts, hotlink protection and Leech Protect. I hardly worry about my website being compromised or hacked.. And even if I am using a rogue plugin/piece of code, SiteGround's built-in protection generally blocks any executions.

Other Features

If you are one of the technically biased individuals who are keen on web hosting specifics, SiteGround is bound to impress you with its ability to provide unlimited email accounts and user databases. Moreover, if you have an existing website that is currently being hosted by another provider, SiteGround will provide the benefit of allowing you to transfer your account/s for free. If you are a newbie in website development, you can enjoy the site’s free provision of domain names and site builders for a year.

What’s even better is the fact that SiteGround’s “SuperCacher” (customized backup software) will allow you to receive daily backups which take only an hour. This is a huge contrast to most of the web hosting services I have had the displeasure of purchasing that took almost an entire day to run and preserve any modifications I made to my website! This technology is available in four options, namely, static, Memcached, dynamic, and HHVM caches.

The static cache option is available to all clients using the site’s services regardless of their purchase plan/package. It retains all of your website’s static content including javascript files, images, CSS on the server's RAM. This is beneficial because whenever a visitor to your website requests for information regarding your website via their browser, your static content is sent directly from the server’s RAM, which is much quicker memory than the HDD/SSD. This reduces your website’s page load time drastically.

In my experience, SiteGround’s WordPress hosting offers the most advantages to newbies in website creation and management and is even more valuable to professionals in the field. This is due to the fact that the site will oversee the installation of your WordPress through its uniquely created hosting services for the WordPress niche. SiteGround’s WordPress hosting service will grant your website with automated daily backups, enhanced security, staging, page caching, faster load times and most importantly, frequent system updates for all of your automated content management - Which further bolsters security.

Lastly, the site has an extremely user-friendly interface characterized by free and easy "one-click" installation processes for add-ons and upgrades. SIteGround’s all-inclusive user interface applies a custom version of cPanel, which is simple to learn even for users with limited website creation and management skill sets. If you are a newbie, SiteGround’s IU is guaranteed to offer you the ease and comfort you need to get started.

Alterantives To SiteGround

If you happen to already be with SG and have had a bad experience or simply didn't find what you were looking for.. Then here's 2 other hosts I can recommend that should be a bit more up your alley.

WPEngine

If you're looking for THE best, fastest and most secure host specifically for WordPress sites only.. Then WPEngine is the way to go. They're conclusively (from our testing) the best WordPress host on the planet. 

The only downfall WPEngine has is their pricing, but if you're willing to pay the extra few bucks per month for the best.. Then this is the host to go with.

Read Our WPEngine Review | Visit WPEngine

DreamHost

DreamHost is well renowned for being one of the oldest hosts on the market, and specifically created for the blogging/blogger market. It is used by masses of bloggers all over the globe, owing to the fact that its greatest features include reliable speed and security at an extremely affordable price of $4.95 monthly. However, the site does not offer a site builder for WordPress, which makes it more difficult for beginners to use. 

Read Our DreamHost Review | Visit DreamHost

Conclusion

All round, SiteGround is our #1 most recommended host for a reason...

It's got a well-built network, fantastic customer support, revolutionary & unique technology, great security measures and you simply get what you pay for. 

The ONLY downfall for us is the requirement to get a yearly subscription plan, with no monthly payment options. Aside from that, it's a truly fantastic host and should be the pinnacle of what every other hosting company on the market strive to be.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
SiteGround Web Hosting
Author Rating
5

About the Author

Though I don't like to reveal my personal identity, I've been a sysadmin for the better part of a decade. Those days however, are now behind me, as I run my own consultancy firm, specializing in speed optimization, penetration testing and system management. This blog is a personal project of mine, so that I can share my own opinions, feelings etc.. without ever having clients phoning me up screaming down the phone. Enjoy!