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SiteGround Review: Why Are They So Popular?

siteground review why are they so popular

In this comprehensive Siteground review, I’ll be answering the one question I’ve been asked time and time again:

What is it about them that makes them one of the most popular web hosting companies around in 2022?

The company currently ranks among the top ten largest web hosts globally and, according to Web Tech Survey, holds a second-ranked market position in the Platform as a Service field, behind only industry heavyweights Amazon Web Services.

Still, they’re hardly the only cloud hosting company out there, so what is it about Siteground that has made them the trusted host for some 974,590 websites and counting?

Drawing on my own years of experience in launching profitable websites across various hosting platforms, I put the brand through its paces to weigh up its pros and cons and answer that question once and for all.

Who is Siteground?

Who is Siteground

With three international offices and no less than six data centers located around the globe, Siteground is one of the world’s biggest independently-owned hosting companies.

This gives them the same ability to offer powerful hosting at affordable prices that you’d get with one of the major brands, without many of the restrictions that come with it.

Since it first launched, the company has spent the better part of 20 years carving out a reputation for offering super-fast WordPress hosting at prices that are far more accessible to the average user than the high rates charged by premium services such as Kinsta.

It’s an approach that has seemingly paid off well for them; Siteground are one of only three hosting companies to be officially recommended by WordPress.org, with the other two being Siteground and another of my personal favorite companies, Bluehost.

Below, I’ll dissect exactly how Siteground earned this distinction and look at whether those affordable hosting plans are really all their cracked up to be.

Siteground Hosting Review

How Much Does Siteground Hosting Cost?

How Much Does Siteground Hosting Cost

If you’ve been paying attention so far, you’ll notice that I’ve already made a big deal out of Siteground’s pricing, and that’s because they’re some of the most attractively-priced plans on the market, especially when you consider the quality of what’s on offer.

Sure, there’s a glut of “cheap web hosting” companies out there, but, as I’ve repeated time and time on this blog when you buy a cheap service, you get cheap service, and let’s face it:

When you’re trying to build a successful website, cheap is the last thing you need.

Fortunately, there’s no such problem with Siteground.

Their offerings may be at the lower end of the pricing scale, but they still offer enough resources and all-round reliability to rival their more costly competitors, such as Cloudways.

Ultimately, this makes them one of the best web hosts for bloggers on a budget, or indeed, for anyone looking to launch their first website without paying over the odds for hosting.

Siteground Hosting Plans

Siteground offers three main plans, all of which work out to be very inexpensive in terms of monthly costs as long as you pay for the full year in advance.

While annual payments are never my favorite, they do have their advantages. Namely, it means that once you’ve bought your hosting and installed WordPress for the first time, you hardly have to worry about that hosting again until it renews the following year.

Besides, even the annual rates are so attractively priced that they’d likely still be in the price range of bloggers with even the most modest of budgets.

And if you’re not happy with the service you get? 

You’ve got a whole month to change your mind as there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee applied to each of the following three plans:

StartUp – $3.99 p/m ($47.88 annually)

Allows you to install one website with the following resources:

  • 10GB storage space
  • Enough bandwidth for 10,000 monthly visits.

GrowBig – $6.99 p/m ($83.88 annually)

Allows you to install unlimited websites with:

  • 20GB storage space
  • Enough bandwidth for 100,000 monthly visits.

GoGeek – $10.69 p/m ($128.28 annually)

Allows you to install unlimited websites with the following resources:

  • 40GB web space
  • Enough bandwidth for 400,000 monthly visits.

Which SiteGround Plan is Best?

All three plans have their advantages, though each one is suitable for a different audience. 

If you’re in the early stages of learning how to start a blog and you need something simple to get you started,  the StartUp plan is your best option.

If you’re looking at running multiple small sites or you need extra storage and bandwidth to help take your existing blog to the next level, it’s the GrowBig plan you’ll want to look at.

However, if you’re ready to take on the world, drive lots of traffic to your site, and build a large-scale site, the GoGeek package is most likely the one for you.

Siteground Key Features

Along with generous bandwidth and storage resources, SiteGround also earned its unwavering popularity thanks to a host of impressive features.

Some of the highlights include:

Managed WordPress Services

All three of SiteGround’s main plans come with managed WordPress included as standard. 

This means that you get the effortless one-click WordPress installation and a handy start-up wizard that is ideal for helping you navigate your way through the setup process if it’s your first time using WordPress.

More importantly, it means that updates to your plugins and core WordPress files – save you the time and trouble of updating everything manually.

The best part is that SiteGround gives you full freedom to control your automatic updates should you wish to.

If you need time to prepare for a new update, you can use the in-built WordPress AutoUpdate feature to delay updating until you’re ready or even skip updating altogether.

Optional Domain Registration

Optional Domain Registration

If you read my guide to this year’s best web hosting companies for bloggers, you’ll probably recall that even some of the top companies in the industry don’t offer an option to register a domain name with them.

This means that you have to then go to a reputable domain registrar, buy a web address from them, and then deal with the sometimes complicated and often tedious process of connecting your new domain to your hosting company.

This is why I was so glad to see that SiteGround is one of the few major independent hosting services who do also operate as a domain registrar.

Prices start at $17.99 per year for .com and .us domains, with .org, .net, .biz and others starting at $19.99 per  year.

While this may not seem incredibly cheap compared to some of the first-term special discounts you’ll find offered by other registrars, it’s roughly what you’d pay after those first-term deals expired, meaning you’re certainly not paying over the odds.

Perhaps more importantly, buying your domain name and hosting together allows you to manage everything in one place.

It also means that your web address will automatically be synced to your account, making it much easier to set up your site.

Free Domain-Based Email

Closely related to my last highlight, having an email address based on your domain ([email protected], for example) can make a major difference in presenting a professional appearance for your blog, website, or overall brand.

This is especially important if you’re planning to engage in email marketing, as subscribers are far more likely to trust a domain-based email address than one from a generic service such as Gmail.

Again, this is where SiteGround comes into their own as they’re not only one of the few independent hosting services to offer this service at all, but also one of the only ones who offer it at no extra cost.

This means that, instead of relying on [email protected], for example, you can quickly set up a [email protected] email address and either access it via a web browser or your favorite email client.

100% Energy Match Guarantee

Eco-conscious website owners will no doubt appreciate the fact that SiteGround uses Google Cloud as their primary data center partner.

Why is this good? Because Google Cloud matches 100% of the energy, they consume with renewable energy and remain committed to being carbon neutral.

If you want to minimize your own carbon footprint when it comes to hosting your site, or if you simply want a little bit of added credibility to appeal to an environmentally-aware audience, this will surely appeal.

Developer ToolKit

For the most part, I tend to think of SiteGround as being a great choice for beginner to intermediate level bloggers and website owners, though that’s not to say that developers and more advanced users have to miss out on those low-cost hosting plans.

If you sign up for the GoGeek package, you’ll also have access to a complete developer toolkit, including:

  • PHP version control
  • Multisite SFTP key for easier management of multiple websites
  • Git integration
  • 30% faster PHP implementation for faster page loading speeds.

Users on both the GoGeek and the GrowBig plan also have access to staging tools, while the GoGeek plan also serves as an attractive proposition for agencies as you can use their white-label tools to hide SiteGround’s branding and present your clients with your own logo and color scheme when they login to manage their sites.

Other Key SiteGround Features:

Along with all of the above, all SiteGround plans also include:

  • Free SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)
  • Free WordPress migration tool
  • Free daily backups
  • 30 x backups saved at any one time
  • WP-CLI and SSH
  • Unlimited Databases
  • Unmetered traffic
  • NGINX-based static and dynamic caching enabled by default
  • Add multiple users to your account.
  • Managed WordPress security
  • Free staging tools
  • Collaboration tools for working across multiple sites.

Siteground Performance and Reliability

Siteground Performance and Reliability

So far, it’s hard to deny that SiteGround does an excellent job at packing in all the features both beginners and experienced users alike could need to successfully launch and grow their websites.

However, once those sites are live, what really matters is how well they perform.

Nobody wants a slowly-loading website. In fact, In fact, one study found that website conversion rates decrease by around 4.42% for each second it takes to load a site. In contrast, a second survey discovered that 70% of consumers use page speed as a factor when deciding whether they’re willing to buy from an online retailer.

In other words, if you’re going to have any chance of success at all, performance matters.

Fortunately, you’re in good hands with SiteGround.

When I used Pingdom to run page speed tests on my own SiteGround-hosted blog, a 1.8 MB page loaded in just 497 milliseconds, or 0.497 Seconds if you prefer.

Siteground Performance and Reliability review

There’s no getting away from it; that’s exceptionally fast and should mean you’ll have no problems getting your pages to load quickly on your user’s browsers.

Part of this lightning-fast loading is due to SiteGround’s partnership with Google Cloud, which puts next-generation server technology to work to deliver maximum speed and reliability.

This is combined with the use of NGINX Direct Delivery, an innovative caching system that loads resource-intensive assets such as images and videos faster.

Finally, SiteGround also offers its own SiteGround Optimizer tool, which gives you the freedom to pick your preferred PHP version and tweak and fine-tune all of the core performance-related settings until they’re right for your site.

How Secure is Siteground Hosting?

How Secure is Siteground Hosting

There are a host of excellent security plugins for WordPress, but even the best of them take time to learn how to set them up and use them.

That’s no doubt another reason why SiteGround is so popular, as WordPress hosting users can also enjoy managed WordPress security, ultimately taking care of most things on your behalf.

Of course, this sounds great, but it wouldn’t be much of a benefit if a hosting company offered to look after your site security and then did a worse job than you could do yourself.

The good news is that this isn’t the case with SiteGround.

The hosting provider manages security at the server and firewall level, remaining constantly vigilant for vulnerabilities in WordPress and adding scores of new custom firewall rules each year to prevent those vulnerabilities from being exploited.

Elsewhere, SiteGround uses a powerful spam protection tool from SolarWinds Spam Experts to protect your inboxes.

This is in addition to those automated daily backups I mentioned earlier, with GrowBig and GoGeek users also being able to take advantage of advanced backups.

This allows you to create up to five manual backups at one time and even set your backups to be saved in a different geographical location to prevent any problems that could arise from power outages or Acts of God in a single location.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention that all SiteGround plans come with a free SSL certificate, which is invaluable for encrypting any data sent between your user’s browser and your hosting server.

Since many companies are still charging extra for this essential feature, it only helps to make SiteGround’s plans an even better value-for-money proposition.

How Easy is it to Use Siteground Hosting?

I mentioned earlier that SiteGround is one of my top web hosting recommendations for those who are new to building and growing their own website.

That isn’t just because the company’s WordPress hosting plans are better suited to bloggers on a budget and new startup sites; it’s also because it takes almost no effort to launch your site with them.

Here’s how it’s done:

1. Head to SiteGround.com and click View Plans.

Head to SiteGround.com and click View Plans.

2. Select your preferred plan and click Get Plan.

Select your preferred plan and click Get Plan.

3. Next, register a new domain name or add a domain name you already own to your account

Next, register a new domain name or add a domain name you already own to your account

4. From there, simply add your account and payment details, choose any optional extras such as domain privacy and malware scanning, and checkout.

From there, simply add your account and payment details,

5. To set up your website, log in to your new account and go to Websites – New Website.

To set up your website, log in to your new account and go to Websites - New Website.

Image courtesy of SiteGround.com 

6. After that, select ‘Existing Domain’ to set up a website on the domain name you just added to your account earlier.

After that, select 'Existing Domain' to set up a website on the domain name you just added to your account earlier.

Image courtesy of SiteGround.com 

7. On the next screen, click Start New Website.

On the next screen, click Start New Website.

Image courtesy of SiteGround.com 

8. From there, select WordPress and enter your chosen login credentials for your site.

From there, select WordPress and enter your chosen login credentials for your site.

Image courtesy of SiteGround.com

9. With all that done, SiteGround will automatically install WordPress for you.

With all that done, SiteGround will automatically install WordPress for you.

You can now access your site at any time by clicking any three of the options on the post-installation screen or simply by going to yourdomain.com/wp-admin.

Siteground Customer Service

Siteground Customer Service

Part of what makes SiteGround such a popular choice among novice website owners is that its customer support is second to none.

The company employs specialist WordPress experts who are not only extremely knowledgeable, but respond quickly and remain friendly, polite, and helpful, even if it’s taking a while to help you fix a rookie mistake.

The best part is that all three plans make customer service available 24/7/365 via a ticket system, live chat, and even the phone. This is especially good news for those on the entry-level StartUp plan as other WordPress hosting services  tend to limit phone support to those on the higher-priced premium plans, whereas others (WPX Hosting, for example)

Siteground Hosting Reputation

Siteground Hosting Reputation

So far, I’ve told you that SiteGround is affordable, easy to use, performs well, and is super affordable, but still, that’s just my opinion.

So what do others think?

Siteground Hosting Reputation review

The company is currently classed as Excellent on Trustpilot, with over 10,000 reviews earning them a rating of 4.7.

Siteground Hosting Reputation comments

Most of the praise for SiteGround is for the same things I’ve just praised them for, mainly great support and quality, high-performing servers.

Meanwhile, those who do criticize the company focus on issues such as developer-level tools not functioning as they should.

Siteground Hosting Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Free managed WordPress solutions make it ideal for beginners
  • Comes with free Cloudflare CDN (Content Delivery Network) to improve page loading speeds
  • Phone support is available even on the lowest-priced plan. 

Cons

  • Though great for startup sites, the relatively limited bandwidth and storage allocations are likely to make SiteGround an unattractive option for large sites and developers.
  • Malware scanning is only available as a premium add-on despite being important for security.

Why Are SiteGround So Popular? My Final Verdict

If you’ve read this entire SiteGround review, then I hope I’ve left you in no doubt as to why they remain one of the most popular hosting companies on the web.

Their combination of attractive pricing, beginner-friendly features, top-rated support, and blazing fast load speeds certainly makes them a tough one to beat, at least for beginner to intermediate website users.

The truth, however, is that while SiteGround does attempt to cater to advanced users, web developers, and design agencies, there are better options out there for those types of users, with WP Engine being one of my top hosting picks for agencies.

Finally, I should also point out that while SiteGround makes it super easy to install WordPress, beginners will still need to navigate their way through the process of building their site.

To help you with that, I’ve put together this guide on how to set up a WordPress blog that you may find helpful.

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