SiteGround Hosting Review

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siteground-reviews

Best Web Hosting 2018
Best Shared Hosting, Best Managed WordPress Hosting
In my ongoing quest to find the best web hosting plans available, it’s time to take a look at another managed WordPress hosting option. SiteGround is a company that’s been around since 2004 and offers a complete line of web hosting services—including WordPress.

Important: If you’re looking for honest SiteGround Reviews, please note that I am an actual paying customer using SiteGround WordPress Hosting. Unlike other reviews out there that may be based on a free trial account, these are my actual experiences using my real live SiteGround hosting account.

WordPress Hosting Options

SiteGround has three types of managed WordPress hosting plans.

In my case, I opted for the GrowBig plan. The GoGeek plan is aimed at enterprise users. However, for those cases I’d recommend checking out WP Engine or MediaTemple if you really need that level of resources. The SiteGround GrowBig plan is a great fit for small business and personal WordPress sites that require managed hosting.

SiteGround Data Centers

SiteGround has five data centers spread around three continents—Chicago, IL; London, UK; Amsterdam, NL; Milan IT; and Singapore SG. Thus, you can choose the one closest to your visitors for faster site loading times. In addition, with SiteGround’s SuperCacher Technology, your website speed is even better.

Signing Up

Signing up with SiteGround is very easy and straight-forward. You can pay with your credit card. However, if you prefer to pay via PayPal, you can do so by contacting support. They will have you go ahead and submit the order form with the billing information left blank. Then, you’ll be given a special link to make your PayPal payment.

After completing the signup process, you’ll receive a welcome email with your login information and link to your SiteGround account area.
SiteGround Welcome Email

Your SiteGround customer account area contains all the pertinent information on your account settings. You can also navigate via the tabs to obtain support, access billing information, plus get additional services and resources.
SiteGround Account Panel My Accounts

Transferring An Existing WordPress Site

If you already have a WordPress site online with another host, you’ll be happy to know that SiteGround will actually transfer your site for free if you wish. You can also choose to move your site yourself. In my case, I elected to transfer my website on my own. I performed a new WordPress installation in my SiteGround account and imported my existing database into the newly created one at SiteGround. I then just had to copy my wp-content folder over to SiteGround—and my website was now up and running!

After installing WordPress, you’ll receive a confirmation email with your admin login details and links to tutorials and videos.
SiteGround WordPress Installation Email

SiteGround WordPress Hosting Features

In addition to SiteGround’s nicely designed account management area, you also get cPanel as your control interface. I definitely like the way SiteGround has customized their cPanel with your account management tabs available at the top. Of particular interest to WordPress site owners will be the WordPress Tools section. Here you can click on tools to install WordPress, enable auto updates, perform admin functions, enable the SuperCacher, and setup staging and GIT.
SiteGround cPanel

Better Control of Automatic WordPress Updates

A lot of web hosting companies offer automatic updates to WordPress. But here’s another area where SiteGround shines by taking things a step further. You now have much better control over your automatic WordPress updates through SiteGround’s new scheduling feature. SiteGround’s default schedule for WordPress updates is an immediate update for minor security releases and an upgrade in 24 hours for major core updates. However, you can change the scheduling for when minor and major updates take place to 24, 48, or 72 hours—allowing you more time to prepare your site for the upgrades.

You can schedule your WordPress auto updates by clicking the WP Auto Update icon in your cPanel.
SiteGround WordPress Tools

Automatic WordPress Plugin Updates!

There’s actually even bigger news from SiteGround when it comes to WordPress updates. Also included with the new Auto Update Scheduling is the ability to also have all of your WordPress plugins updated. This is a huge feature usually found only in much more expensive managed hosting plans! And, it’s another example of SiteGround’s commitment to innovation and improvements.

You can enable automatic plugin updates from the WP Auto Update scheduling area.
SiteGround Auto Update Settings

The WordPress Toolkit lets you automate tasks such as resetting admin passwords, changing domains, and moving or deleting WP installations.
SiteGround WordPress Tools Toolkit

SuperCacher for Better Website Speed

The SiteGround SuperCacher gives your website additional levels of caching functionality to make your site load faster and be able to handle more visits.
SiteGround WordPress Tools Supercacher
SuperCacher has three different levels to speed up your site:

  • Varnish Static Cache
  • Varnish Dynamic Cache
  • Memcached

I’ve written a separate post about SiteGround’s SuperCacher that you can check out here. Also, you can listen to my exclusive interview with SEO and WordPress expert at SiteGround, Hristo Pandjarov, who talks about SuperCacher and how your web hosting can make a huge difference in your website speed.

UPDATE: And in 2018, SiteGround continues to amaze with their website speed and performance. In our recent speed testing, SiteGround produced some of the best site loading times that we’ve ever seen. The combination of their continuing innovation and improvements to their hosting platform, along with their SuperCacher technology, and because they always strive to provide the latest PHP versions, SiteGround has posted some amazing results.

Below is a sample of our SiteGround speed testing results for all three regions of the U.S.
siteground-speed-test-results

Data Backup and Restore

SiteGround also has one of the best automated daily backup and restore features. Your website data is automatically backed up each day, and you can choose to restore from the past 30 days. To restore your data or manually create a backup copy, just go into your cPanel and scroll down to the Backups Manager section.
siteground-backup-manager

UPDATE: Good News—especially for GoGeek hosting plan customers! SiteGround has now improved their already excellent data backup and restore features. Now, in addition to automatic daily backups, you also have the option to create on-demand backup copies whenever you wish. It’s a great safety feature to use, for example before you update your themes and plugins. With the new backup feature, you are allowed to create 5 instant on demand backup copies of your data—in addition to your automated backup copies that are created for you.

Instant on demand backups are available free with SiteGround’s GoGeek hosting plan. It’s also available for StartUp and GrowBig hosting plan customers, but you’ll have to pay extra fees. However, there is good news for StartUp plan customers as automatic daily backup is now included with all hosting plans.

Customer Support

I have to say that SiteGround’s customer support has been great. Their live chat support response time is excellent and all of the support staff I’ve dealt with have been able to answer questions and take care of any issues in a friendly and prompt manner. Below is a sample screen shot from one of my chat support sessions.
SiteGround Live Chat Support Sample

The training that SiteGround’s customer support staff receives is very extensive—and it’s very evident from the outstanding responsive support I’ve received over the years. I specifically asked about the support team when I spoke with SiteGround’s Chief Operating Officer, Reneta Tsankova. She explained that all new support team members have at least 2 to 4 weeks of training before they even start talking to clients. They then start helping customers under the supervision of a mentor who can help them out. The training goes on for about 3 to 6 months until the support agent is ready to assist clients on their own.

Video: 5 Things I Like About SiteGround

Here’s a video I did highlighting the top 5 things I like about SiteGround Hosting:

More SiteGround Reviews

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SiteGround vs InMotion
SiteGround vs WP Engine

SiteGround’s Innovation and Improvements

Besides excellent service and support, what really distinguishes SiteGround from other web hosts is their continued commitment to innovation and improvements in technology. In the years that I’ve been a SiteGround customer, I’ve witnessed numerous improvements and upgrades each year. Here are just a few examples:

Upgrade to Entire Shared Hosting Platform

SiteGround has rebuilt their Shared Hosting platform using Linux Containers (LXC Technology). It’s allowed them to offer resource efficiency and greater stability during traffic spikes. For more details, you can check out my article on SiteGround’s Shared Hosting Major Upgrade.

New In-House Backup and Recovery System

With SiteGround’s new backup and recovery system, they are able to restore an entire server’s data more quickly and efficiently. While it isn’t a common occurrence to have to restore an entire server, if the situation does happen, website downtime is greatly reduced with the new system. See my article here on SiteGround’s In-House Backup and Recovery System.

Unique Artificial Intelligence Anti-Bot System

And, SiteGround has also developed their own artificial intelligence system that blocks up to 2 million brute force attacks per hour. The attacks are stopped at the server level before they reach customer’s websites.

Recommendations

As I’ve said before in the past, not all WordPress users are going to need a managed hosting plan. In fact, there are some excellent web hosting plans from companies like Bluehost, DreamHost, and Web Hosting Hub (to name just a few) that include WordPress and are perfectly capable of handling many kinds of WordPress websites. However, if you prefer to have a hosting plan specifically tailored to WordPress and that performs most of the maintenance tasks associated with WP, then I would definitely take a look at SiteGround. They have provided some excellent WordPress tools along with great hosting services that have been beneficial to me.

Click Here for More Details on SiteGround’s Managed WordPress Hosting