Last updated on December 24th, 2017 at 09:16 pm
SiteGround is one of the independent web hosting providers (i.e., not a brand owned by the big corporate holding companies like Endurance International Group, etc.) founded back in 2004.
Though they are based in Bulgaria, currently serving the global hosting market. SiteGround have positioned themselves as a hosting company that offers high-quality and well-crafted web services with top-notch customer support.
They provide a wide range of hosting solutions as basic as Linux shared hosting for smaller websites to all the way to the Cloud and Dedicated servers for significantly large and growing businesses.
I recently had a couple of clients asking me about the hosting service suitable for them. I recommended them to sign up for SiteGround as I have really impressed with the quality of their service and customer support as a premium web host.
This review is my personal opinion as a customer and IM consultant with the benefits SiteGround provides, reasons to choose them as well as their downsides too.
As I have used many other web hosts earlier, I can tell you how this web host is unique from others.
Though I’m affiliate publisher for SiteGround, this entire review is completely unbiased and backed up with real experience and research.
Still, you might have many queries regarding technical specifications, customer support, performance and overall quality of service.
If you read the entire post, I’m sure that you’ll get the answers to most of your questions.
When you buy anything online or offline, what do you do? Whether you buy directly or ask your friends, family for recommendations?
Or, at least you read different reviews online from the influencers or real users of that particular product.
Am I right?
Because, when we have to purchase anything, we actually expecting the value for our hard-earned money and superior service throughout the product’s life.
Like the above, you may find a lot of online reviews recommending SiteGround while a few people may have listed some negative points.
That’s fine, but I have a different angle for reviewing any products.
You know, when a company creates a product, it’s zero without the genuine customers. It may have some unique features or lack some of them too. That’s the thing makes it different from its competitors.
There’s no “the Best” or “the Worst,” it’s just your perspective whether that particular product/service fits and satisfies your need or not, depending on your goals, expertise, and budget.
I’m taking the same approach here with this product (SiteGround).
Let’s dive in.
First of all, we will look the technical specifications for every plan of SiteGround web hosting.
What Does SiteGround Offer?
If you have visited SiteGround’s website before, you might have seen various plans from shared hosting to the dedicated servers with different unique features for each.
The super talented folks at SiteGround have designed all hosting plans to attract maximum people and to give them the best possible service.
SiteGround offers three Linux shared hosting plans. By tweaking some features, they have added Managed hosting for WordPress/Joomla and WooCommerce.
For every type of website, you’ll get a powerful and stable configuration if you decide to go with SiteGround.
Here are these all three plans for shared hosting.
SiteGround offers an entry-level plan named as “StartUp” which is suitable for the people who are just starting out.
You can host only one site with this plan that you can either build from the scratch or transfer from another web host. SiteGround will handle your site migration at no extra cost to you.
This is suitable for the sites which can get around 10K monthly visitors. However, you can also get 10 GB SSD storage (sufficient for most of the startup blogs and small websites), Let’s Encrypt Free SSL, Unmetered traffic, HTTP/2, Unlimited MySQL databases, free email accounts, CloudFlare CDN and cPanel/SSH access, etc.
Normally, this plan costs $9.95 per month, but you can avail huge 60% discount on initial purchase and buy it only at $3.95.
If you are serious about your online career and want to move ahead, SiteGround’s GrowBig plan provides even more resources where you can host multiple websites on a single hosting account which is suitable to handle ~25K visitors per month.
You can get all the basic features available in ‘StartUp’ plus some extra perks like increased web space (20 GB), priority support, SuperCacher technology to boost the site speed and solid options for backups and restore.
However, you need to pay a couple of extra bucks ($5.95) to get the GrowBig hosting plan which you can renew at $14.95 after the initial term ends.
SiteGround’s GoGeek hosting is crafted for real web geeks and developers that offers advanced features like One-click Git repo creation, WordPress & Joomla staging and e-commerce integrations like PCI compliance, etc.
Fewer accounts on servers make sure that your site will have maximum performance. Though this plan is sufficient for ~100K monthly visits, 30 GB space can be a negative point for the people who want more storage space.
However, for the low price of $11.95 it’s still a steal deal, which you can renew at $29.95 after the initial term. So, I’d suggest you buy hosting for at least a couple of years to avail massive saving.
You know the shared environment is useful for small and growing website. Though SiteGround has managed to provide you best experience with their GoGeek plan which can handle ~100K visits, you must think to opt for the higher-level plans as your website(s) crosses that limits.
When it comes upgrading your web service, SiteGround has Cloud hosting that seems an option for VPS.
However, I would not go for SiteGround Cloud as it’s costly than a lot of its competitors and I get a better Cloud/VPS plan for a half of its starting price.
If you are a delighted customer of SiteGround and don’t want to change your host, then only host with SiteGround Cloud.
SiteGround offers four Cloud plans, or you can also create a custom plan according to your project requirements.
It’s the basic plan for SiteGround’s Cloud hosting where you can get 2 CPU cores, 4 GB memory, 40 GB SSD and 5 TB of data transfer.
This plan will cost you $80 per month with this entry-level configuration, and I a will not go for this plan.
If you want to upgrade your Entry Cloud with more resources, you can pay extra $40 per month for 1 additional CPU core, 2 GB memory and 20 GB SSD storage.
With this configuration, you can get business Cloud having 3 CPU cores, 6 GB RAM, 60 GB SSD space and 5 TB of bandwidth.
Business Plus Cloud
Business Plus plan of SiteGround’s Cloud hosting comes with decent specification. Here you can get 4 CPU cores, 8 GB memory, 80 GB SSD powered storage and monthly 5TB of data transfer.
This plan will cost you $160 per month but seems stable if you are considering it for the websites that do need a lot of storage.
Super Power Cloud
Super Power is another Cloud hosting plan by SiteGround with a monthly price of $240.
This plan offers 8 CPU cores, 10 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD space with 5TB bandwidth.
Custom Cloud Plan
Though SiteGround has four different plans for Cloud hosting, you can create a custom Cloud by choosing the resources you need.
Once you decide what configuration you need, use the slider buttons to choose resources like CPU (between 2-16 cores), memory (between 4-16 GB) and SSD space (between 40-200 GB) to create your custom plan.
This can cost you a low as $80 to $420 per month depending on the resources you want to utilize.
I’m not a big fan of SiteGround’s Cloud, but some features worth mentioning like ultra-fast platform with SSD, auto-scalable resources without rebooting, daily offsite backups, a fully managed server for various popular CMS including WordPress, Magento, Drupal, and Joomla, etc.
In addition, it offers standard feature set including WHM & cPanel, email spam filtering, and SSH access, etc.
And, you’ll also get a free domain, dedicated IP and SSL certificate to save a few bucks of investment.
If you are a web developer or agency who create and maintain websites for their clients, then SiteGround’s reseller hosting can be a solid choice for you. It’s a highly reliable service crafted to host multiple sites.
Becoming a reseller with SiteGround is easier than ever because you just need to sign up with them and purchase hosting credits.
Each credit equals 1 year of hosting which you can purchase at $49. To join this program, you need min. 5 reseller credits. However, bulk purchase for reseller credits can give you a huge discount.
You can also get special discounts on domain names and resell these services at whatever price you want.
It’s perfect for the people who don’t want to pay the monthly subscription.
If you see the technical specification, then it’s somewhat similar to StartUp plan, but if you have clients with the small projects, then it can be beneficial in a long-term.
User-friendly reseller area, 24/7 support, unmatched speed, non-branded cPanel & Private DNS upgrade for White label option (better server name branding), and advanced security are a few features can grab your attention.
And, the best thing is SiteGround’s reseller credits never expire, and you can use them anytime to launch a new account or renew the existing one.
Very few people who have a large website/super popular blog getting millions of visits per month need this kind of setup.
SiteGround seems more powerful with their dedicated servers. You can choose a data center location in any of the three major regions including United States, Europe or Asia-Pacific.
For the dedicated hosting, they have an exclusive selection of stable and high-performing hardware like Intel Xeon series CPU, DDR3 RAM, and SATA drives for storage.
And everything here is fully managed by a team of experts that set up your server, keeps its software up to date to match with the latest technology and trends, monitor your beast for 24/7 and blazing fast VIP support by real experts through chat, tickets or phone whatever you prefer.
SiteGround’s dedicated hosting has numerous features like WHM & cPanel, Softaculous auto installer. Apache/Nginx & CentOS, Exim Mail server, IP Table Firewall, and SSH Access, etc.
In addition, you can get free domain name, free five dedicated IPs, MySQL 5 & PostgreSQL, Private DNS Server setup and 5 PHP versions with the dedicated servers.
Here are the different plans for SiteGround dedicated hosting.
If you are opting for the dedicated server, you can try Entry Server which costs $229 per month.
With this plan, you can get Intel Xeon E3-1230 and 4 CPU cores with 3.20 GHz clock speed (8 CPU threads/8 MB CPU Cache), 4 GB DDR3 RAM, 500 GB SATA II HDD and 5 TB data transfer.
With SiteGround’s Power Server you can get Intel Xeon E3-1270 running at a clock speed of 3.50 GHz, 4 CPU cores (8 CPU threads/8 MB CPU Cache), 16 GB DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SATA II HDD and 5 TB data transfer.
If you are going with this configuration, it will cost you $329 per month with all features and integrations available for the dedicated hosting.
Super Power Server
It’s the most powerful configuration in SiteGround dedicated hosting where you will get better 2 x Intel Xeon E5-2620 clocked at 2.00 GHz with 2×6 CPU cores (2×12 CPU threads/15 MB CPU Cache), 16 GB DDR3 RAM, 4×500 GB SATA III HDD protected by RAID 10 and 5 TB of bandwidth.
This dedicated plan is available at a monthly price tag of $429 where performance booster can be added for extra $50.
SiteGround also offers enterprise-level hosting which is custom built server as per client’s requirements. In that case, setting everything could take time because SiteGround is more quality focused.
Big media companies, large businesses, and very popular news site can use this service. And, I believe that SiteGround will never disappoint you.
Pros of SiteGround Web Hosting
Here are the pros (advantages) if you are considering SiteGround as your next web hosting partner.
Speed & Performance
Yes, I love SiteGround mainly for its incredible performance and speed.
But, how does a selection of web host matter in this case?
When somebody types in the address of your website, that request is sent to your web hosting server for the particular files requested by the user.
While there are a number of factors playing an important role in website speed and overall performance, it’s primarily your hosting server’s job to work on that particular query and send the requested files quickly and as efficiently to the visitor’s browser.
With SiteGround, I never had a single issue with website performance and speed. The people at SiteGround provide the value more than they promise.
Below I have mentioned some points so that you can understand it in a better way.
TTFB (Time to First Byte)
It’s one of the major factors that decide site speed. TTFB means how quickly the web server sends the first byte of the first file in response to a request.
Here’s the result of the website I tested out.
Though SiteGround has headquartered in Sofia, Bulgaria, it has five major data centers across three continents of the globe: Chicago, London, Amsterdam, Milan, and Singapore.
Being present globally helps them to provide their customers with reduced latency as physical distance between end user and server location matters for greater website speed.
Suppose, your target audience resides in India, then picking Singapore datacenter can be beneficial for you whereas if your site has focused towards people living in the UK, you can choose London data center to get maximum performance.
Hosting with SiteGround has an advantage of one-click CloudFlare CDN integration. You don’t have to walk through the complicated setup procedure.
SiteGround offers the basic plan for CloudFlare. However, don’t mind paying for ‘Plus’ for advanced features and enhanced security.
Allocation of Resources
Lastly, Proper allocation of resources is necessary to provide every customer with optimum performance. And, SiteGround does a solid job here too.
If you have gone through my previous article, ‘What is Shared Hosting?’, you might have learned how Shared hosting works.
As a shared hosting server shares available resources among several customers, it’s critical process to get the allocation right.
Many hosting companies set very low memory and CPU usage limits on sites to keep the throttle on performance. But, SiteGround allows quite generous allocations of resources for all users with up to date software technology so you won’t be affected by someone else’s mistake or traffic spike.
Reliability in Uptime
How would you feel when your site is down in the peak?
Especially, when a website uses a lot of resources during the traffic spike and due to lack of hardware upgrades, you can face serious issues regarding the website uptime. In case of SiteGround, you need not worry about this because it has the latest hardware and advanced technology to keep yours ahead of your competition.
Different technologies at SiteGround like SSD storage, solid content delivery network, higher CPU/memory limits, and a true expert team keeps your site up for the maximum time.
It claims to provide 99.99% uptime guarantee and I found they keep their promise. However, when your site starts using more resources, you have to upgrade to the higher level to keep your site running continuously and avoid random downtimes.
You can also consult with the SiteGround team about the different plans and they will suggest you the best one suited for your requirements and according to the estimated traffic.
However, for the of mid-size websites that need a stable and reliable shared hosting and don’t really need a VPS plan, SiteGround’s shared hosting provides more features and flexibility at a cheaper price than those some of the expensive managed web hosts like WP Engine and Flywheel.
Feature Set & Integrations
SiteGround offers a lot of features required for a basic as well as a growing site at a very affordable price.
For beginner websites, SiteGround offers free site migration, industry standard cPanel with simple UI, automatic backups, and a free site builder. None of the features mentioned here really stand out, but they do keep SiteGround ahead of many popular web hosting brands.
For Shared hosting, they provide a standard feature set like SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, unlimited database and free email accounts, and if you are more technically biased, then Nginx servers, PHP7, and HTTP/2 are a few things can grab your attention.
SiteGround’s developer-friendly features are really worth mentioning because a very few web hosts provide that at such unbelievable price.
SuperCacher to boost the site performance & speed, free PCI compliance, Git integration and WordPress/Joomla staging where you can modify the non-live version of your website and then push it live, etc. some features are really useful for developers and high-traffic sites like e-commerce stores.
You already know about the popular CMS WordPress and Joomla. But SiteGround does not upsell any fake ‘WordPress-specific/ Joomla-specific’ package, instead, show how their managed WordPress/Joomla hosting can drive better performance with built-in features without an extra cost to you.
These plans also offer free templates and one-click automatic installation, but you can choose the manual option too.
Another major thing while going online is the security, and SiteGround has covered this area too. One-click button for getting free ‘Let’s Encrypt’ SSL has removed the big obstacle in going HTTPS that build trust among people.
Lastly, SiteGround offers a wide range of hosting solutions as described earlier. You can choose any plan from StartUp to Enterprise hosting depending on your requirements.
And, if you really want performance-based hosting rather than cost saving, then SiteGround seems pretty impressive choice.
What does make premium web hosts apart from the ordinary ones?
The technology? No. The features? No. Pricing? No.
It’s customer support by experts who know each and everything customer is looking for.
I know most of the people buy hosting service by seeing either specifications or reviews from other users/publishers.
Am I right?
I used to do the same. When I started out and thought to move on a self-hosted blog, I was searching for cheapest domain+hosting.
And, you won’t believe that I bought it for $7.5 only.
Was it really worthful of?
Definitely not. (Though it helped me to build my first self-hosted blog and test different things at my own at such low cost.)
You may ask what can you expect from cheap hosting?
Yes, I was expecting a lot as it has 5 GB SSD storage and 50 GB bandwidth. But after using 483 MB of storage and less than 1 GB of data transfer, my site used to go down frequently.
I tried to connect the customer service many times. But, the only couple of time I got a satisfactory response.
Getting support was really a nightmare for me and at once I was thinking of quit as I’ve no such technical background.
Why am I telling these all things?
Dedicated customer support is a crucial part of web hosting package especially for who are starting and don’t know how to tweak things themselves.
With SiteGround, I have amazing experience so far. I asked to migrate the existing website of one of my client to their server and it was quick.
I have interacted with different SiteGround customer service executives on behalf of my clients (as a customer) and every time they helped me to my satisfaction.
Though I know many things, I asked a few silly questions (Yes, I did that.), everyone treated me patiently and politely. Or, you can say, they bared me for almost a half hour every time.
You may also ask, “But what about the problem?”
Yes, they solved my every issue with priority even when I asked for support as a customer of StartUp plan where they don’t have priority support.
In some cases, customer service executive did some setting that I supposed do myself like redirecting the naked web address to the WWW version, etc. For a noob, it could be a bit technical and seems time-consuming, but SiteGround support helped me there personally.
Currently, they are working on AI with their massive knowledgebase to avoid unnecessary waiting time and support queue, but it’s still in a beta phase.
SiteGround offers different channels of support like ticket, chat and US-based phone calls with an average first reply within a couple of minutes. However, I personally like Live chat which is truly impressive.
Important: Due to AI feature, you can get confused if you want to connect with their support team. Simply scroll down to the bottom and request help from SiteGround helpdesk by choosing any channel you prefer.
This is all about what I have experienced and maybe the positive side of SiteGround whereas you can find various negative or 2 Star/3 Star reviews too.
It’s all about your experience and how will you get treated as a SiteGround’s customer.
But the following example will clear the picture how they treat negative reviews and how much they care about their customers.
Additionally, here are a few things that indicate the culture & processes of customer support and I like the most.
SiteGround’s support team is responsive and transparent across a range of channels including phone. And, I think that they have invested a lot in customer support monitoring and their employees as most of the people out there are put to interact with the developers and web geeks who possess high expertise in this field.
Like excellent performance in customer support, SiteGround does the really nice job by investing a lot to support the web communities.
Developing and maintaining communities like WordPress and Joomla is not an easy task that requires a lot of volunteer hours and huge financial support. And SiteGround is one does that impressive job.
They have attended, sponsored or spoke at more than 400 community events worldwide, though they are from Bulgaria.
It indicates how they love their customers and want to create a deeper culture and strong relationship with them in a long-term.
According to me, these all things definitely put their customer support in a pros column.
Transparency in Service
SiteGround does not make fake claims about their service and present as it is.
“But how can you say this?”
Let’s take an example.
In web hosting industry, you can find the monthly rental starting at Rs.49 (less than a dollar) but at the checkout page, it goes almost double as its initial price.
This happens because many other hosting providers display the monthly rental prices very low but shaded with the long-time tie-ups which are worthless for the people who are serious about their ventures.
Suppose, you are a blogger actively producing contents or running an e-commerce website, any start-up plan is sufficient for a year, and after that when the site starts growing, you need to switch the higher-level plans mostly the Cloud or VPS.
In such cases, the money invested in that particular web hosting is wasted unless you have any side projects like micro-niche websites.
Many web hosts hide that and try pulling more money from customer’s pocket. But SiteGround clearly displays it’s pricing and renewal cost after initial term ends.
SiteGround does not increase the pricing even you change tenure. (Unless you purchase web hosting for a month only where you need to pay setup fees extra. However, they offer huge 60% off on their shared hosting plans to cut down your initial cost for entering in IM business/blogging.)
Same thing happens for disk space and bandwidth which is claimed to be unlimited by various small and big brands whereas SiteGround has shown how much SSD storage and bandwidth they provide. (Though they claim unmetered data transfer for shared hosting, they also have mentioned how much websites and visitors that particular plan can handle without any major problem. E.g. With StartUp plan (shared) you can host only one website, and it’s sufficient for ~10K visitors.)
When you sign in your hosting account, you can find all technical details with ease. How much CPU/RAM your website(s) are using, your IP address, nameservers, INODE usage, etc. everything can be monitored at a single dashboard.
They have also said that their GoGeek plan will have fewer accounts on the server so you can get better performance. Simple sign up process and navigation throughout the hosting account is completely noob-friendly.
Yes, they have many services to upsell but everything is kept clear and transparent.
Many local business or country/language specific blogs have their major target audience a single country. At the same time, you may not know when your blog will grow and start getting international traffic.
That’s the reason, SiteGround has focused globally to cater both types of customers.
Though they’re from Bulgaria, which is neither a major technical hub nor a famous English-speaking cultural place, they have five data centers across the world to provide better service to their customers.
It makes them able to compete with many hosting companies owned by big Corporate Holdings like EIG and go beyond the mark.
Their website also shows how professional are they. Clear navigation, all important links like different plans, knowledgebase, affiliate, etc. to the homepage, one-click contact, and acceptance of multiple currencies like (USD, EUR, AUD, GBP), etc. all things makes them stand globally.
The hosting industry is supposed to be US-centric, but the sudden rise in internet users & online publishers from Asian counties especially India, has opened a market for hosting companies.
And, if you are thinking to buy web hosting, SiteGround is really worth recommending.
Genuine Affiliate Program
Affiliate marketing is the most common thing in web hosting industry. Many web hosts pay decent commission to their affiliate publishers for driving sales for them (or, sometimes the leads), but very few of them have a good reputation as an affiliate program.
I know affiliate marketers/bloggers work hard to drive affiliate sales but how would they feel if the particular web host denies paying their commission?
That’s why finding a web host that provides excellent products and customer support with a decent affiliate commission is a crucial part of the blogging business.
And, SiteGround does not disappoint you on this front too. When a visitor signs up through your affiliate link and purchases any of the SiteGround’s web hosting plan as a new customer, you receive affiliate fees for that sale.
It has a robust system to track every affiliate sale, so you don’t have to worry about your commission. SiteGround also notifies you in real time when a new sale is generated, and at the time you get paid.
As SiteGround offers 30-days money back guarantee, your affiliate commission is on hold for 30-90 days depending on the hosting duration.
However, most of the people buy hosting for at least one year, you may receive your affiliate commission within 30-40 days after the purchase date.
To avoid the abuse of the affiliate program, SiteGround team manually review every sale and pays their affiliates on time.
You can get $50 with low volume that can increase up to $125 if you make more than 21 sales per month which is pretty awesome.
However, adding the multi-tier or recurring commission and increasing payout for the top tier plans could definitely attract more publishers to them.
SiteGround provides all essential marketing tools like standard affiliate link, web banners in different sizes and customized links to promote on your blogs/websites. And, it’s one of the few web hosts that provide training to their affiliate publishers and offer priority support.
According to me, it seems a legit affiliate program that really pays off.
Cons of SiteGround Web Hosting
I don’t want to keep you in the dark by telling just pros and recommending it for getting the affiliate commission. Like other web hosts, SiteGround also has a few disadvantages.
Remember, the pros and the cons depend on goals and priorities. E.g. for a person starting out cost-effectiveness may be the first priority while achieving zero downtime and page loading time less than 2 Sec. is a goal of an e-commerce website where they mind adding some extra bucks in their hosting charge.
Did you get it?
If you are considering to start an online business/blog and confused to choose the best web host, then kindly consult an expert in this field.
If you need more help, then you can contact me. I’ll be glad to assist you.
For now, here are the limitations that you can find while using SiteGround’s web hosting.
Overall Pricing Point
Currently, thousands of web hosting companies are competing to grab customers, and low pricing is one of the tactics to attract more people. However, some brands focus on quality & performance, latest technologies, and support and try to give a complete package.
And, SiteGround is the second type web host focusing more on quality of service rather than pricing.
Comparing web hosts based on pricing is difficult as comparing a commuter bike with the sports bike because all companies in the competition have their USP.
When I review any web hosting, I treat myself as a customer. As I care my money (Almost everyone does the same), I prefer to choose the service that provides value for money.
And, when I used their service, it seems a bit expensive for renewals. The high-end plans like Cloud hosting and dedicated servers may not be useful for you if you have a lesser percentage of ROI where you only depend on ad networks. However, it completely depends on the niche, type of website, quality of content and visitors, and mainly conversion ratio, etc.
In addition, SiteGround has some points that I don’t like personally. The first one is that they have stopped providing free domain name with their shared hosting packages.
And second thing is that SiteGround upsells the features like performance booster with their top tier plans that they could provide in the hosting package.
Limitation on Resources
I have discussed in the Pros section that how SiteGround allocates resources among all websites so you won’t get affected by ugly neighborhood. But, it can be a disadvantage for some people who need more resources at an affordable cost.
Let’s take an example,
For a typical WordPress site/blog, approx. 2-3 GB disk space is more than enough, but for the rich media sites like Photography/Video blog or social networking sites which need more storage space, SiteGround would not be a perfect solution.
Moreover, with limited space, the cap on monthly visitor count & INODEs for all shared hosting plans, it’s not a right choice for the website in the niches like news and viral stories, etc.
SiteGround’s StartUp plan can host only one website and it can be another limitation for the people who want to start two different websites but have tight on budget.
I’m going to explain a bit more about the monthly visitor cap. You already know that SiteGround does excellent arguments for capping the resources (or whatever they cap) to provide you more reliable service.
But, heavy spamming and botting that uses proxies could empty your resources where you either need to upgrade to the higher tier or wait till next month arrives by staying on the same plan.
Though SiteGround has active spam/bot filtering, there are a few cases happened before. To avoid such scenario, consult with SiteGround experts immediately if you start getting sudden traffic spike without cause.
However, if you have got featured on a popular website or one of your article has got viral, in such cases, SiteGround will not suspend your account unless you are touching to the maximum limits.
When a company enters the market, they define their target audience and then try to expand out the complementary areas.
Most of the web hosting companies focus mainly on large userbase i.e. small businesses, startups, and niche bloggers and then expand their sales to higher tier like upselling the VPS. Dedicated servers or making people to transfer their website by providing some unique features, etc.
In this competitive era, SiteGround has focused mostly towards freelancers, web geeks and developers/agencies where they can get long-term business by providing developers friendly tools and integrations.
But most of these features are just to showcase for a normal user and do not appeal to the general audience.
For an example,
SiteGround’s GoGeek plan offers WordPress staging area and Git Repo creation. Though the features mentioned here are incredible, an average person building a website or even some developers or small agencies will not use these features for their clients.
Missing Windows Server
If you are a fan of the Windows OS, SiteGround is not for you. They haven’t left room for Windows server and are focusing more on Linux based managed hosting solutions.
For me, it does not make any sense as their current web hosting service meets my expectations and requirements. But, if anyone wants to run Windows specific applications and needs some additional functionalities, he/she must move to another web host.
Very Few Freebies
Most of the people opt SiteGround for their quality service and customer support by the experts.
But, I think it’s not sufficient to lure customers.
It provides free SSL by Let’s Encrypt, free WordPress templates and Site Builder but none of them stands out as the range of bonuses that other hosting brands offer like Google AdWords credits, Facebook ad credits, premium WordPress themes as a complimentary gift or free credits for graphics, designs, and images, etc.
Recently, SiteGround declared that you need to pay for WildCard SSL which was previously free for 1 year with their GrowBig and GoGeek plans.
Nowadays, almost every web host come with bundled freebies, unfortunately, you won’t get that all by signing up with SiteGround.
Custom WordPress Install & Link Schemes
When you sign up for SiteGround, it offers automatic WordPress installation which contains a published page that includes SiteGround’s feature and general tips with the link back to their WordPress resources.
I think if SiteGround could use WP admin dashboard instead of general post to publish the note which would be visible to the website owner only and not the visitors.
But, if you look closely, then you’ll notice some exact-match anchor text on that particular page and it’s crawlable by the search engine bots.
Search engines like Google use links and the anchor text (i.e. the visible text of the link) to judge the website relevancy and content authority.
But, some people tried to abuse this factor, so Google announced such type of link schemes as a breach of their content quality guidelines.
In 2012, Google also released an update for its search engine algorithm called Penguin that looks for the signals manipulated as an anchor text and devalue them. And, the sites that aggressively spamming this technique may also get penalized.
Linking to the relevant and high-authority websites is useful in search engine optimization, but the injecting links without prior approval of site owner is spam.
Almost every theme developer and agency use this tactic to endorse themselves. You may find the link to the respective website when you look at the footer area. However, these links are known to the site owners/ admins.
But, SiteGround’s automatic WordPress installation that publishes a custom article is definitely not useful from the SEO point of view. It adds a risk of participating in a link scheme unknowingly if you don’t delete that page.
Though SiteGround may argue that the published page can be easily deleted, it’s true that the most website owner/admins have no idea about it as many of them are noobs or having lack of proper knowledge of SEO.
Here are a couple of points you must look for.
- You’re open to the penalty by Google if you don’t delete the SiteGround’s default published page because it’s a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
- SiteGround uses their customer website for SEO without a clear mention/disclosure that decreases the trust in them as a customer compared to other WordPress hosting services.
So, to save yourself from further instances, delete that page immediately if you have an automatic WordPress install or you can do manual install too from your hosting cPanel.
Till here, I have discussed the pricing, pros, and cons of SiteGround web hosting. Now, the main question arises whether you should go with SiteGround or not.
Should I Buy SiteGround Web Hosting?
According to me, nothing is a perfect and when it comes to choosing a good web hosting service as a customer or a consultant, I always try to get a VFM package that suits to my/client’s objectives.
So, it’s really important to think over what type of site(s) you’re going to have, your requirements, estimated monthly traffic and budget you can spare on hosting service.
As an affiliate, I could be biased to ask you to choose this hosting but when I put myself in the shoes of the customer, I can say the SiteGround team has proved themselves as an amazing web hosting company.
It’s recommended and you can definitely go for it.
SiteGround Web Hosting Review
Product: SiteGround Web Hosting
Rated 4.8/5 stars
Great web hosting solution for almost everyone with excellent customer support and cutting-edge technology. A bit expensive but worth every penny you invest.
Reviewed by Ankit Main on 10th December 2017