SiteGround Shared Hosting Review

A list of web hosts I recommend and details about my methodology can be found on my web host recommendations page.

I receive a commission when I refer customers to SiteGround. Details about the relationship can be viewed on my transparency page.


Summary

SiteGround’s cPanel-based shared hosting destroys the competition in terms of performance. SiteGround also offers unusually good customer support and a user-friendly experience. That said, SiteGround’s services are expensive. Those with sensitive budgets may want to consider lower-price alternatives like Namecheap.

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Performance

Performance data I’ve collected from test sites with SiteGround and other popular web hosts can be viewed here.

Uptime

Section written on 8/13/2019
In the last 3 months, my SiteGround test site was down for about 3 minutes. This corresponds to an exceptional uptime of 99.998%. Only one of the 11 other hosts I evaluate had a similar uptime over the last three months.

Speed

Section written on 8/13/2019
SiteGround has performed exceptionally well in my ongoing speed tests. In my main test, SiteGround outperformed all of the other 11 hosts I evaluate. The main test assesses how quickly full pages load with request originating from Chicago. The main test is likely biased in SiteGround’s favor, since SiteGround has a data center in Chicago. However, SiteGround appears to have unusually good load times in my secondary tests from other cities.

User experience

I’ve found SiteGround’s user experience to be great. Signup is easy, the knowledge base is detailed, and adjusting billing information is straightforward. SiteGround is less aggressive about upselling than most hosts.

Pricing

SiteGround’s shared hosting is expensive compared to most of the competition. The cheapest plan starts at $11.95 per month ($3.95 per month for the first billing cycle). Billing cycles of 12, 24, and 36 months are offered. Single month plans can be purchased for an additional setup fee of roughly $15-$25.

In addition to limiting upselling, SiteGround offers free, automated SSLs through Let’s Encrypt.[1] Accordingly, the average, total price paid for SiteGround’s shared services is probably similar to the base price of the hosting services. The same probably cannot be said for services that engage in more aggressive upselling.

As a general rule, I don’t recommend purchasing a domain from the company you host with. With SiteGround, domains are fairly expensive—providing even more reason to use an alternate registrar.[2]

Expand the section below to see plan offerings and rates.

Pricing details
Last updated on 2/8/19. Pricing information could be inaccurate or out-of-date.

SiteGround offers three shared hosting plans:

#1 – StartUp

  • $11.95 per month / $3.95 per month on the first billing
  • 10 gigabytes of disk space
  • One domain
  • SiteGround describes the plan as being appropriate for ~10,000 visits per month

#2 – GrowBig

  • $19.95 per month / $5.95 per month on the first billing term
  • 20 gigabytes of disk space
  • Unlimited domains
  • SiteGround describes the plan as being appropriate for ~25,000 visits per month
  • Free backup restores

#3 – StartUp

  • $11.95 per month / $3.95 per month on the first billing term
  • 30 gigabytes of disk space
  • Unlimited domains
  • SiteGround describes the plan as being appropriate for ~100,000 visits per month
  • Free backup restores
  • Extra features like on demand backups and WordPress & Joomla website staging tools

On all plans, billing terms of 12, 24, and 36 months are offered. Single month plans can be purchased with an additional setup fee ($14.95 for the StartUp plans, $24.95 for GrowBig and GoGeek plans).

Sourced from SiteGround’s Hosting Features page. More details about the differences between plans can be found there.

Support quality

SiteGround offers amazing customer support. I don’t have such a positive view of any other mass-market host’s support.

Support is available 24/7 via live chat, tickets, and phone.[3] My my experience with the support team is pretty limited, it’s been extremely positive.[4]

It’s a bit hard to get a read on how other consumers feel about SiteGround’s support due to issues with selection bias and conflicts of interest involved in online reviews, but I get the feeling that a lot of other consumers find SiteGround’s support to be unusually high-quality. CodeinWP’s 2018 hosting survey resulted in a rating for SiteGround’s support quality that was substantially better than ratings received by other mass-market hosts.[5]

Organizational competence

I don’t have any serious concerns about SiteGround’s professional competence. The company has been around for about 15 years.[6] I’m not aware of any serious issues or scandals in its history. The company is fairly large with several hundred employees.[7] The company publicly opposed the SOPA and PIPA bills.[8] That opposition probably made sense from a purely business perspective, but it’s still something I appreciate.

Footnotes

  1. See SiteGround’s SSL page. An archived version of that page from 3/11/2019 shows that Let’s Encrypt SSLs were being offered at no cost.
  2. As of 3/17/2019, a .com domain name from SiteGround costs $15.95 per year. SiteGround’s “Domain Names” web page is archived here.
  3. On 3/17/2019, SiteGround listed 24/7 support in all of these modes on its support page (archived here.
  4. For example, I had multiple plans with SiteGround and intended to cancel one of these plans at the end of its billing cycle. I accidentally let it renew for an additional year at a cost of over $100. Per SiteGround’s terms, the sale was final. However, when I reached out to support they gave me a full refund with no questions asked. At that time, I’m nearly confident SiteGround couldn’t have known I intended to get involved in web host evaluation.
  5. When I say “mass-market host”, I’m excluding premium hosts that offer WordPress-specific hosting solutions. SiteGround received a 4.7/5.0 rating for overall support. InMotion was the next-best, mass-market host with a rating of 4.2/5.0. The web page with results is archived here.
  6. The first snapshot of the website I could find in the Wayback Machine was taken on 3/24/2004. Whois records show a creation date around that time.
  7. “SiteGround is one of the largest independently owned hosting companies with more than 400 employees and growing.”
    From SiteGround’s “about” page on 3/6/2019.
  8. “SiteGround clients are invited to embed a special stamp on their websites created by the company for the needs of the campaign and to spread the word against SOPA and PIPA in their social media channels.”
    From the blog post “SiteGround involves customers in a ‘Stop Censorship’ Campaign” (archived here).

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