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now on with the content….
Are You On the Fence?
You may be on the fence about SiteGround. Maybe you’ve done some research and you’ve found this post hoping to find some unique information about SiteGround that will help you pull the trigger. I’ve been there. I chose SiteGround, and I haven’t looked back.
If at any time during or after reading this post you have any questions or hesitations about going with SiteGround, feel free to reach out to me directly (here) or by leaving a Comment at the end of this post. I would be glad to answer your questions and help you make the right decision for your website hosting needs. I may have affiliate links in this article, but I wouldn’t recommend something I don’t wholeheartedly support and use myself.
Also, you can always reach out to SiteGround’s excellent Customer Service with your pre-sales questions.
Why Trust Me?
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems, and I have been working in IT since 2007. My third IT job was with a web hosting company — where I am still currently employed — so I have direct experience with the administration of web hosting systems.
In addition to my professional IT career experience, I have been working on my own side-projects since around 2013 (and some before that). I have built sites in PHP from scratch using Dreamweaver, and I have done a lot of work using WordPress as the platform.
I have worked directly with the following shared hosting companies either directly through my own personal experience or indirectly through my professional career working with customers who are transitioning services away from these hosts:
- IX Webhosting (no longer in business)
- Network Solutions
The Pros for SiteGround
- BEST Customer Support I’ve had with any shared hosting company I’ve ever dealt with
- Custom built tools (Site Tools) with security & speed in mind
- Custom built caching tailored for WordPress
- Site Tools allows you to collaborate in ways cPanel can’t
- They’re distributed across the world using the Google Cloud infrastructure (rock solid up-time)
These are all just things I’ve noticed and like about SiteGround in my years with them so far (started hosting with them around 2017).
The Cons for SiteGround
- They raised prices the last two years in a row with little or no warning (this is not actually THAT bad…I’ll explain why later)
- …I’m really having trouble coming up with negative things to say about SiteGround. I’ll keep trying and maybe I’ll update this post when/if I think of some…
Now I’ll go through each of the Pros and Cons in a little more detail if you care to read on. Otherwise, if you’re ready to get started with SiteGround hosting, click here or click the banner below:
If there was one thing about SiteGround that I would say was the deciding factor for me, it was their Customer Service. It’s so quick and easy to get in touch with a live person. I have never had to wait more than 2 or 3 minutes (it’s usually less than a minute) to chat with someone. They also have phone and email support options, but I’ve found Chat to be the easiest and quickest time to resolution.
In addition to the speed and ease of contact with Customer Service, the technicians I have worked with are always very knowledgeable about their products and services. I can only think of one or 2 cases in 3 years that they have had to escalate to a more senior tech, and when they did, the issue was resolved with excellence and good communication.
Many times, I have received help for issues that are more WordPress-related than SiteGround-related, but the technicians still take a look and give me very helpful information.
I could go on and on about their top-notch support, but I think you probably get the point. Seriously, they’re one of the best in this area.
Security and Speed
I had to glance back at their website here to see the exact technical terms for how their shared hosting is done, but in essence, they have a lot of custom-built solutions that focus on usability, security, and speed. They have a custom implementation of Linux Containers with Apache as the web server and Nginx as a reverse proxy. SiteGround also stays on the cutting edge of newer faster technologies and protocols like HTTP/2, TLS 1.3, OCSP Stapling and QUIC.
One of my favorite things about their most recent update is that they no longer use the cPanel platform in their hosting environment. They developed their own proprietary hosting management tools called Site Tools. Site Tools puts your sites into their own hosting areas so you don’t have to work with add-on domains like you did with cPanel. SiteGround is focusing on the “site” instead of the hosting “account”.
This is unlike anything I’ve seen with any other shared hosting company. Since it’s still relatively new, I’ve only dealt with it on a surface-level, but from what I’ve seen so far, I give it 2 thumbs up! This further increases security and usability for administrative tasks.
Their website does these topics better justice than I am, so just check them out here.
Advanced Caching (WordPress)
Another thing that led me to choose SiteGround is their WordPress caching plugin, SG Optimizer. This plugin allows you to turn on and manage the different levels of caching available to your site (through your hosting plan) right from your WordPress Dashboard. These caching and optimization mechanisms are built-in to your hosting account, and they are tailored for SiteGround’s system and WordPress.
There are 3 categories of optimization:
- Environment Optimization
- Frontend Optimization
- Media Optimization
These 3 types of optimization give you a lot of control over how your site is cached and sped up, and you will see noticeable results from these enhancements. For some of the changes, you’ll need to check your site to make sure things still load the way you want them to. If there are any problems, you have the option to exclude files from caching, and of course, you always have access to SiteGrounds rock star Customer Support team.
I won’t go into too much more detail on how these work and what they do, because I think the categories are mostly self-explanatory, but you can contact me or Comment below if you have any specific questions or concerns.
Site Tools for Collaboration
This is one of SiteGround’s newest features, and I must say, I am excited to use this. I haven’t had an opportunity to collaborate on a site with someone yet (hit me up if you have a project you want to work on together), but supposedly Site Tools has a collaboration piece built-in that allows you to give developers and designers access to your site(s) without giving them FULL access to your hosting account or creating and managing FTP accounts.
SiteGround’s Site Tools beat cPanel hands down, and the collaboration option is just the icing on the cake!
SiteGround recently underwent a massive migration from their own data centers to Google’s world-wide distributed cloud hosting platform, Google Cloud. This gives SiteGround access to massive amounts of bandwidth, fast SSD storage, and this no doubt gives them savings that they can invest in research and development for ways to make their hosting service the best on the market.
I can imagine that one of the most profitable “savings” is that they are offloading the administrative management tasks like replacing bad hard drives, power supplies, and network cables. This frees up the SiteGround admin and dev teams to innovate instead of maintain equipment. They already have a sterling history of innovation and early adoption, so I can only imagine what the move to Google Cloud will do for them going forward.
My only negative experience with SiteGround has been that they have slightly increased their prices each year that I have been with them. When this has happened, I think it would have been a softer blow if they have notified their customers before the increase. Nobody’s perfect, and I still love SiteGround.
One more thing I’ll say is that SiteGround is clearly adding value and innovating in the shared hosting space, so I guess that makes the small price jump an easier pill to swallow. Plus, they only increased it by $30 or $40 per year on the plan I was on.
There are many more features and great things to say about SiteGround, but I didn’t want to just reiterate what they have on their sales pages. I wanted to present to you, from an existing customer’s perspective, what some of the best features are from SiteGround. These are not only my favorite features, but also some of their main differentiators with other hosting companies.
Let me know in the Comments below if you have any questions or need any additional guidance on choosing the best hosting provider for your website needs. I’ll do everything I can to help, and I will get answers to your questions if I don’t know them.
If you like what you’ve read here and you’ve decided to purchase hosting with SiteGround, please consider doing so using my affiliate link below. It helps me create helpful content for you here.