Is SiteGround Too Expensive? Is it Worth it?

NOTE: I’ve officially switched my recommendation from SiteGround to NameHero Hosting. Despite being unpopular, I stand by my choice. Among other reasons, SiteGround renewal costs were simply too high. Here’s why I no longer recommend SiteGround.

SiteGround is a lot more expensive compared to the other big names in hosting. It might not seem that way when you look at the prices on their shared hosting page, but that’s because they have deep discounts. Once the first billing cycle is over, you pay the full price of the hosting which can come as a major shock if you’re not prepared for it. So is SiteGround too expensive?

For the most part, yes.

NameHero: $2.69/m

The best SiteGround alternative.

Table of Contents

Huge Price Increase

For a long time, I recommended SiteGround even though it was a lot more expensive. But they recently increased their prices by almost 50%, and this forced me to change my opinion. Other web hosts like NameHero hosting offer the same features, but at a much-reduced price.

I might even have been willing to forgive SiteGround’s price increase if they hadn’t also gotten rid of cPanel. cPanel changed its licensing structure to make web hosting more expensive. So I could understand if some wanted to increase their prices (though not by as much as SiteGround did). The problem was that SiteGround got rid of cPanel and replaced it with a custom interface. The new interface isn’t worse as such. It’s just different from what we’re used to. And since so many web hosting tutorials and workflows are based on cPanel, it’s a downgrade.

The double whammy of increased prices and the removal of cPanel made me revise my opinion of SiteGround’s value proposition.

The Best SiteGround Alternative is NameHero

There are many contenders for the spot, but I think NameHero is the best SiteGround alternative. It has all the same features, including dynamic server-caching, thanks to the LiteSpeed webserver, daily automatic as well as on-demand backups, free malware scanning, and more. Here’s a NameHero coupon to get you started:

70% off on NameHero hosting:

You can check out my extensive SiteGround vs NameHero comparison for a side-by-side look at the features. I myself have migrated over to NameHero, so I’m dogfooding my advice!

SiteGround IS More Expensive

If you look at the table of prices between the three major hosting providers, you’ll see that SitGround is the most expensive of them all:

Shared Hosting Pricing
Web Host
Basic Price
Hostgator $2.64/m
SiteGround $3.99/m
Bluehost $2.95/m

And that’s after the discounts. Once you start paying full price, SiteGround costs almost double. As you can see from the Hostgator coupon code page, it has plenty of different discounts. But with SiteGround, you’re stuck with the standard deals and not much choice. Their 70% discount on GrowBig offers pretty phenomenal cost savings, but when you start paying full price, you have to ask yourself if it’s worth it.

NameHero: $2.69/m

The best SiteGround alternative.

So what makes SiteGround so special? What do they offer in return?

1. Shared Hosting Account Isolation: More like a VPS

All web hosts oversell their servers. It’s how they’re able to keep costs so low – the assumption that not everyone will use their web hosting resources to the max. And it works for the most part. The problem is that you’ll often face slowdowns because of someone else misbehaving on your server. Maybe they’re running a long, intensive database script, or doing some CPU-heavy work. As a result, your account will suffer. Even though web hosts try and dole out resources equally, it doesn’t always work. This is a major drawback of shared hosting in general.

SiteGround tries to minimize the effect of this.

SiteGround utilizes what it calls “Hive” technology to essentially isolate accounts from each other. This way, shared hosting with them becomes a lot more like a VPS. Indeed, their GoGeek plan used to be marketed as a VPS in its own right. In addition, SiteGround is much more transparent than others about their shared hosting limits, right down to the number of CPU cycles and script executions.

With such account isolation, comes a higher price for hosting. Because it’s not vanilla shared hosting anymore. It’s low-key VPS hosting.

But a Real VPS is MUCH Faster

I’ve learned first hand, that a genuine VPS has much faster performance compared to SiteGround’s GoGeek plan. I moved from GoGeek to a NameHero VPS with 2 GB RAM and 2 CPUs for the same price. And the difference is like night and day. A genuine VPS with dedicated resources beats out any shared hosting that SiteGround can offer, regardless of how much they try and dress up their shared hosting as “semi-dedicated” servers.

So if you want a VPS, I strongly suggest you get the real thing. Yes, SiteGround has benefits like managing your backups, but there’s no substitute for the power that a VPS brings to your website.

2. Customer Service

I tell you this – you don’t appreciate good customer support until you need it. And that becomes a “make or break” moment. If you look at the cost breakdowns for shared hosting, you’ll see that customer service forms the biggest chunk of expenses. This is why SiteGround is on my list of hosting providers with the best customer support, along with Liquid Web.

SiteGround takes particular pride in the quality of its support reps. My experience with them since 2014 has been nothing but top-notch. Once my Let’s Encrypt certificate expired because of an obscure issue regarding wildcards, and the customer rep on live chat was able to fix it immediately within 5 minutes. It was an awesome demonstration of how good their support is.

The amount of training and recognition that SiteGround provides to its staff goes way above and beyond that of any other shared hosting provider. It’s the single biggest reason for their increased hosting costs, and for a serious business, it’s well worth it in my opinion.

3. Value Added Features That Would Cost You Elsewhere

SiteGround provides a bunch of services for free that would otherwise cost you a bundle of money, were you to purchase it from somewhere else as a service. Backup is one such service. For example, if you purchase CodeGuard with Hostgator, it can cost you a cool $100 a year just for 5GB! But SiteGround provides automatic backup and restore at no charge for all their accounts. This is why they’re on my list of free alternatives to CodeGuard.

Another example is SiteGround’s dynamic caching. Through their “SuperCacher” module in cPanel, SiteGround allows you to switch on the caching of dynamic HTML pages. This results in a massive boost to your server responsiveness since it doesn’t have to generate fresh pages from scratch each time someone visits it.

Other web hosts provide server caching as well, but rarely with a regular shared hosting plan. Hostgator for example offers dynamic caching with their WordPress hosting plan, which is a bit more expensive than their regular shared hosting.

Other value-added features like staging, give SiteGround the edge when factoring in the total cost of ownership of a website.

NameHero Has all the Above Features at a Lower Price

As great as the above features are, it doesn’t necessarily justify SiteGround’s higher prices. NameHero has all the above features and even a few more like free malware security scanning. NameHero also has integration with QUIC.cloud, which can take your dynamic page caching to the next level by storing your content on POPs around the world.

NameHero: $2.69/m

The best SiteGround alternative.

Bottom Line

So yes, SiteGround has a lot of features in return for their super-high prices. For a long time, I didn’t mind. But eventually, they pushed me over the top, and now I don’t recommend them anymore. It’s a pity because they truly are a first-rate host, and I hosted with them for over 7 years, starting in 2014. But now it’s time to move on.

About Bhagwad Park

I've been writing about web hosting and WordPress tutorials since 2008. I also create tutorials on Linux server administration, and have a ton of experience with web hosting products. Contact me via e-mail!

Comments

  1. I agree, Site ground is way too expensive! They lure you in with low prices then on renewal it’s triple the price.
    It’s a tiring strategy and I won’t be returning back to them either.

    Reply

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