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SiteGround Review – Why SiteGround is our Hosting Partner

It’s hard to find an honest SiteGround review anywhere on the web. Heck, it’s pretty hard to find honest reviews of any web hosting provider. Because of that, we get asked about web hosting a lot. The most common question is not only who we recommend for WordPress hosting, but who do we use ourselves.

Over the past year we’ve been with a managed hosting partner, but we’re in the process of making a change to a new provider. Within the next little while, all of the sites that we own will be moving to SiteGround.

SiteGround homepage

There are a number of factors that impacted our decision, and it definitely wasn’t knee jerk. We’ve been collecting data for months (almost 6), all while paying thousands of dollars to another provider, just to make sure we didn’t make any brash decisions. We were looking for a long term partner for hosting our web sites, and SiteGround has stepped up to the plate in a huge way.

We Had Our Own SiteGround Review Criteria

We went through our own hosting checklist again and again, and also took into account a number of other factors, like how this impacts our business, and what we recommend to our customers. The way we approach finding solutions for our customers isn’t going to change even a little bit. There will be times when SiteGround isn’t the best fit for our clients, and in those situations, we’ll recommend whoever best fits their specific needs. It’s how we do things around here.

So why did we ultimately choose SiteGround? Let me count the ways…

Flexibility

SiteGround Review - Flexibility
A SiteGround sysadmin warming up before writing shell scripts

The first thing we considered when putting together this SiteGround review is flexibility. This was a huge selling point for us. In a conversation with a friend a few months ago, I accidentally coined the phrase “managed to a fault.” Basically, the idea is that things can be so locked down with Managed WordPress hosting providers, that working with them can present some real challenges.

Things like lack of SSH support, and inability to make modifications to server configuration files really started to impact us as we tried to build new features for our business, streamline migrations, and do relatively simple things like using wildcard SSL certificates.

I understand that there are trade-offs to having everything managed for you. It just got to the point that those trade-offs were becoming more like roadblocks.

Support

support-coffee
The daily allowance of coffee for SiteGround support techs

We care a ton about quality support, so this is one of the areas where we knew we were going to be really tough compared to other SiteGround reviews. The issues we had at our previous provider may not have been that big of a deal if their support team had been more responsive. Based on what we’ve seen so far, we’re confident that’s not going to be a problem with SiteGround. Their support has been amazing.

I’m not sure how they do it to be honest. Over the past six months we’ve initiated a combination of 80 live chats and support tickets for ourselves, and in behalf of our clients. Here’s some support data that you might find interesting:

Live Chat

  • Number of chats initiated – 48
  • Number of issues resolved during the chat – 44
  • Average live chat wait time – 1:49 (one minute and 49 seconds)
  • Average live chat session time – 9:12 (nine minutes and twelve seconds)

When you take outliers into account, those numbers are extremely impressive, and nothing that we’ve experienced on a consistent basis with any other host.

Support Tickets

  • Number of tickets submitted – 36 (4 started as live chats)
  • Average initial response time (not auto-responder) – 5:15 (five minutes and 15 seconds)
  • Average resolution time – 11:45 (11 minutes and 45 seconds)

Keep in mind that the resolution time takes into account our response time, so if they weren’t waiting on us, it could have been even faster.

So many hosting companies are focused on the initial response time, which is important, but when issues are being resolved as quickly as they have been with SiteGround, the support experience has honestly been a real treat. Read more about SiteGround’s support.

Speed

SiteGround Speed
Unlike many web hosts, SiteGround’s performance is not sloth-esque.

SiteGround has 3 global datacenters. One in the Netherlands, one in Chicago, and one in Singapore. That kind of distribution doesn’t exist in the managed WordPress hosting space yet, and as our customers begin reaching out from different parts of the world, this is becoming more important to us. We’re setup in Chicago, which makes our deep dish pizza loving hearts even happier.

SiteGround also outperformed any of the shared web hosts that we’ve benchmarked in our comparison of the best shared WordPress Hosts. So performance isn’t just something that they take into account on their more expensive plans, they make it a priority for everyone, even the customers that are paying $3.95 a month.  That’s really important to us, considering we serve clients with a huge range of budgets.

They also have a unique approach to speed, which allows us to take advantage of a lot of the benefits of managed hosts, like PHP caching, and reverse proxies, but still allows us to tweak configurations, and have full SSH access. They use “boosters” for WordPress, which is essentially a supplemental add-on that gives that extra important boost for speed and scalability.

It’s the best blend of pre-configured WordPress performance, while still giving us the ability to do our own thing, that we’ve been able to find anywhere.

Real People

SiteGround People at Work
SiteGround has some really cool employees! (Yes, that’s really their office)

Beyond everything else, everyone who we’ve worked with and spoken with at SiteGround has been extremely approachable, and has always taken the time to answer questions. They named us one of their preferred WordPress partners a few months ago, and that level of trust goes a long way with us. We never really felt like “part of the family” with our current provider, and SiteGround has gone out of their way to build a great partnership which we plan to keep for a long time down the road.

Wrapping Up

If it isn’t abundantly clear already, we’re really big fans of SiteGround around here. They’re extremely fairly priced, have the tools you need to run an amazing website, and a support team to help you when you run into any issues. Check out their Grow Big Plan and sign up today. It’s perfect for budding entrepreneurs and small businesses.

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22 Comments

  1. Nicky

    I have been using SiteGround for past 6 months. So far its been perfect.

    1. Their hosting packages are amazingly affordable.
    2. Easy wordpress installation
    3. Fantastic cPanel interface
    4. Amazing support experience

    SiteGround is perfect for startups, so I would highly recommend SiteGround to all the new bloggers & webmasters

  2. Alvin Cosio

    Siteground for me is the #1 hosting company right now. Their customer support is very knowledgeable and very accomodating. keep it up…

  3. Vinod

    It’s one of the well-researched review about SiteGround I came upon. You guys actually initiated chats and tickets to see their real response time, It’s great! Thanks for the info 🙂

  4. Keith

    I am moving away from Arvixe now ASAP. My site has been down for the most part for the past 4 days. They did away with phone support. Their only support now is email and a chat window. The chat window take on average more than 2 hours for someone to respond. I can’t pronounce the person’s name who did respond the one time out of 5 attempts I made. I assume they fired their domestic support and outsourced it to an extremely incompetent foreign entity. Arvixe is killing my podcast and blog. I am moving away ASAP so I am researching in emergency mode right now. I heard the parent company EIG owns MANY other providers. researchasahobby.com did a post on how bad their service is and the long list of web host providers they own.

    1. Ryan Sullivan

      Hi SRP there’s a good chance the GoGeek plan would support that much traffic but would depend on several different factors. If the site is using quality code then that shouldn’t be a problem at all! Thanks!

  5. Juston Smith

    Thank you so much for this review. I just moved over to Siteground and am really excited. I have been with BlueHost less than 2 months and the service has been awful. I’m flabbergasted that WordPress endorses them. I’ve literally had support agents hang up in my face, and when trying to get in touch with a higher-level manager I’ve consistently been told to email “feedback@bluehost.com.” The emails have yet to be returned within a week’s time, and when they are, they’re also always routed down to the lowest level of support the company even offers. Again, I’ve delt with crappy hosts before, but such service from a company endorsed by THE most popular CMS in the world? Surreal. I’ve quite literally only seen/read good things about Siteground, so I’m really excited. Your review helps a lot, too. Thanks again!

  6. Deb

    When many bloggers recommend Blue Host, Siteground hosting plans, I found an Indian company providing hosting plans as per my need. Before that I have tried Godaddy, hostgator, Bigrock for several blogs, but it was not at a satisfactory journey. When a site grows large then the real problem starts with hosting and I think at that time people differ with the best hosting plans.

  7. Kristi

    Thanks for all of the information, Ryan! After reading what you wrote about SiteGround, I was enthusiastic about exploring it as a viable option for my own up-and-coming site…and subsequently bummed to realize that it probably won’t work for me. I am going to be launching a yoga blog with several lengthy videos (eg, between 2 and 60 minutes each), tons of photos, and likely a forum, and the maximum storage capacity appears to be 30 GB.

    Everything I’ve come across seems to agree that storage is overrated UNLESS you intend to post a lot of videos (ahem)…and judging by what my iPhone says about my videos’ file sizes, I’m worried about having to jump ship once I’ve exceeded the capacity because there is no room to grow.

    Do you know if there is another viable, “reasonably” priced option out there? I was about to go with Arvixe (and likely still will), as the price and storage are right, and PC reviews it highly. But…thanks for your help!

    1. Ryan Sullivan

      Hey Kristi,

      You bring up a good point about video. I actually wouldn’t recommend storing any video files on any hosting account, as they’ll be way too large (storage), and also be served very slowly. It’s much better to go with a third-party video provider like Vimeo or YouTube, and embed those videos into your website. Then you won’t be taking up any of your storage space, and will also be serving the videos to your viewers much faster. SiteGround is likely still a great option for your what need. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Ceny

    Hi Ryan!

    Thanks for your information. I’m looking for a web host that suits best my wordpress blog. It’s about restaurants and tourism of my country. I don’t know too much about hosting and services; I just want a web host that has a nice price (my budget isn’t big) and has space for my pictures. I hope my blog could growth quickly but it takes time. I was looking SiteGround and HostPresto. Could you recommend one for me? Thanks for your help!

    1. Ryan Sullivan

      Hey Ceny,

      SiteGround seems like it would be a great fit for what you want to do. Their “GoGeek” plan has extra storage for your photos, so that’s probably a great place to start. Let us know if you have any other questions!

      1. Ceny

        Thanks for the fast response! As I said, I don’t know about services needed or this kind of information. Im reading a lot trying to learn tips and to choose the web host that suits best my blog. I want a beautiful page with nice space for pictures and tools I can use to perform my site. I have my blog with wordpress.com and I couldn’t install pluggins and things like this. This is one reason I want to move on!

  9. PieOnPot

    Hello Ryan – a quick question, are you still using SiteGround or have you switched providers since this article? I ask, as a few “Who Is Hosting” checks show your website is hosted by “Amazon Web Services”.

    1. WP Site Care

      Hey There. We actually weren’t hosting on SiteGround even when we wrote this article. Our site is hosted at Pagely, but we still stand firm behind everything in this article. They’ve been a great partner for us, and for most our clients, the pricepoint and services at SiteGround are a good fit. Hope that helps.

      1. Dan

        Thanks for the good article. I am wondering if you could elaborate on what you mean here, given the first paragraph of the article. That first paragraph makes it sound like this site is hosted (or will be hosted) with Siteground (“…all of the sites that we own will be moving to Sitegorund,” among other comments). I assume the managed host you were not happy with is not Pagely. Where do things currently stand with regard to you hosting, and do you have any posts talking about why you are where you are, or why one should move from Siteground to Pagely, etc.?

        Thanks!

      2. Ryan Sullivan

        Hey Dan,

        We still really love SiteGround, and do have sites hosted there. The main reason we have wpsitecare.com hosted at Pagely is purely due to performance and the ability to scale. Since the time we wrote this article, Pagely announced that they were moving to an Amazon Web Services platform which was very attractive to us in terms of performance. I’d still give the customer service edge to SiteGround, but our team doesn’t have a need to contact support very often. We just wanted the fastest platform available.

        That said, SiteGround just introduced a cloud platform host of it’s own, so we’re looking into that closely again ourselves haha. Things with hosting change so quickly, but I have no qualms recommending SiteGround and Pagely both as excellent providers. I hope that helps!

  10. Z.

    This is pretty convincing, as is the promotional material on their site. I used Bluehost in the past (seems like everyone has) and was mostly happy with it.

    This time around I have been using Arvixe after having done what I thought was adequate research. The short of it is that it has been terrible with many server errors and a lot of downtime. Not to mention a severe lack of addressing my issues by their support staff. A lot of thanking me for my “patience” with very few results.

    The cruel joke is now I get Arvixe ads alongside my Facebook feed proclaiming 99.9% uptime. If only it were true…

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