SiteGround Review: Affordable Managed Hosting for WordPress
Looking for a SiteGround review before you make the plunge and host your website there?
SiteGround is WPLift’s recommended WordPress hosting company. It’s also where WPLift is hosted and where I, a freelance writer, host all of my personal websites.
The fact that we both use SiteGround should give you an idea that we believe in it as a service and aren’t just posting this SiteGround review for affiliate commissions.
If you’re interested in getting a look at real performance and uptime data for SiteGround, as well as a discussion of some of the features that make SiteGround so great for WordPress users, keep on reading our SiteGround review.
SiteGround Review: Why We Like SiteGround In A Nutshell
We’re going to dig into all of this in more depth. But given that Daan hosts WPLift at SiteGround and I host my personal websites at SiteGround, I think it’s safe to say that both of us are fans.
Here are some of the broad reasons why we like SiteGround:
- You get managed hosting features for shared hosting prices. Automatic WordPress updates, server-side caching, and staging sites are some of the helpful features you get access to.
- The performance is amazing for the price. My portfolio site consistently loads in under 1 second on the mid-tier SiteGround plan. For the money, I don’t think you’ll find anyone better.
- SiteGround uses the latest technologies. Many shared WordPress hosts are struggling to catch up with new technologies. SiteGround, on the other hand, gives you performance-enhancing techs like PHP 7, HTTP/2, SSD, and more.
- SiteGround gives you free SSL. Given how Google is pushing HTTPS, it’s awesome that SiteGround lets you install a free Let’s Encrypt certificate with just a few clicks.
A Look At The Specific Features That You Get With SiteGround
The above were some of the broad strokes that we like about SiteGround, but here are the actual features that you get when you go with SiteGround WordPress hosting:
- One-click WordPress install, including helpful site wizard to pre-install WordPress for you
- Free site migration if you’re currently hosting elsewhere
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Automatic updates for core WordPress software
- WordPress-specific security
- WP-CLI preinstalled
- Dedicated WordPress special cache (only on GrowBig plan and above)
- One-click WordPress staging (only on GoGeek plan)
- Datacenters on three different continents
- PHP 7
- Isolated hosting – your site is secure even if another site on the shared server gets hacked.
- 24/7 support – SiteGround has some of the best support in the business and you never need to wait around to get in contact with someone. Higher tier plans also get even better support.
- Free Let’s Encrypt certificates
Real Data: SiteGround’s Performance and Uptime
This SiteGround review isn’t much help without a look at actual performance and uptime, right?
Features like automatic updates and free SSL aren’t much use unless they’re backed up by reliability and quick page load times.
As I mentioned, I host all my personal sites at SiteGround, so I have plenty of real data to pull from here.
Here’s a look at how my portfolio site performs on SiteGround hosting:
826 ms ain’t too shabby! Now, I put a lot of work into speeding up my site. But even with optimization, you don’t get under one second load times on a working site without quality hosting.
SiteGround Uptime Statistics
Ok, under one second load times are great, but only if your site is consistently available to load that fast.
That is, how does SiteGround fare when it comes to uptime?
Well, they advertise 99.99% uptime. But let’s not take them at their word…
Here’s the actual data for my SiteGround account over the last 30 days, thanks to Uptime Robot:
And here’s a look at the last 6 months thanks to Updown.io:
So…not quite 99.99%, but still pretty dang good. There’s not a single month that dipped under 99.9%. And most months were only a couple minutes off that 99.99% ideal.
As far as affordable WordPress hosting goes, you won’t really find much better. And we’re not the only fans out there recommending SiteGround, many large WordPress blogs share our opinion.
SiteGround Helps You Pre-Install WordPress
You know how most WordPress hosts advertise some type of one-click autoinstaller?
Well, SiteGround does offer a WordPress auto-installer – but they also make things even simpler with their website setup wizard.
The first time that you sign into your account after signing up at SiteGround, you’ll see a popup like this:
All you need to do is choose the option for Get WordPress preinstalled on this account and, after entering a few details, you’ll have a working WordPress site ready to go right away.
SiteGround Offers Amazing Support
SiteGround offers 24/7 support via:
- Live chat
Because I live in Vietnam, I haven’t had a chance to take advantage of their phone support, so I can’t comment on that.
But I have used the live chat support several times, so I can say that:
- I’ve never had to wait more than 5 seconds to start speaking to a live chat operator
- SiteGround’s support staff are always friendly
- Each time that I’ve contacted support, they’ve fixed the problem that I was facing
Seriously – SiteGround’s support is some of the best in the business, especially when you consider the price point.
A Look At The SiteGround Dashboard
SiteGround uses cPanel for its hosting dashboard, which is fairly standard for shared hosts.
If you’re not familiar with cPanel, here’s what it looks like at SiteGround:
cPanel is nothing special. Nor is it as nice as some of the premium managed WordPress hosts with custom dashboards. But, it’s totally functional and on par with pretty much all hosts in SiteGround’s price range.
Beyond the cPanel dashboard, SiteGround also offers a My Account area that includes links to the dashboard area of all your sites, which is a nice touch:
All in all, though, there’s not really anything special about SiteGround’s dashboard. It’s just a good old-fashioned cPanel workhorse…
SiteGround Staging Site Feature
Staging sites allow you to create a duplicate development version of your WordPress site so that you can test out changes and new plugins/themes in a safe environment.
This feature is only available on the top GoGeek WordPress hosting plan. But if you pay for that plan, you’ll get a new Create Staging Copy button inside the non-cPanel part of the SiteGround dashboard area:
I’m only on the GrowBig plan, so I’ve had to resort to manually creating a staging site. But I’ve definitely considered upgrading to the GoGeek plan specifically for the staging site feature.
How Much Does SiteGround Cost?
SiteGround offers three WordPress hosting plans:
- StartUp – starts at $3.95 per month – good for one website with basic features. Beginning WordPress users are totally fine to start with this plan.
- GrowBig – starts at $5.95 per month – good for unlimited websites with some advanced features
- GoGeek – starts at $11.95 per month – good for unlimited websites with all advanced features
As with all hosts that use promotional prices, those prices only apply to the first billing cycle.
So which SiteGround plan should you choose?
The StartUp plan is fine if you’re a casual user who only needs to host a single website and is on a strict budget.
However, if you can swing it, I think the GrowBig plan actually offers the best overall value. Some reasons are:
- You can host unlimited websites.
- SiteGround adds another two layers of caching to improve your site’s performance.
- You get priority support.
All that for a few extra bucks per month!
And finally, if you plan to make lots of changes to your site, having a staging server is really nice. For that reason, you might want to spring for the GoGeek plan because it’s the only one that offers staging.
Should You Use SiteGround To Host Your WordPress Site?
Unless you’re running a massive, high-traffic site that needs performance-oriented WordPress hosting that runs $100+ per month, I don’t think you’ll find a better option than SiteGround. I know I couldn’t.
The only option that comes close is A2 Hosting. But for the money, SiteGround’s combination of:
- Fast page load times
- Steady uptime
- Amazing support
- WordPress-specific features like automatic updates
All work to make it the best WordPress hosting option at its price point.
What did you think of this SiteGround review? Are you a fan of SiteGround? Or do you think you know a better host? Let us know in the comments!