SiteGround Cloud Hosting is Really Their VPS Offering!

If you search SiteGround’s packages for VPS hosting, you won’t find any. Instead, you’ll find their cloud hosting plans, and their incredibly good “GoGeek” plan. The truth is that SiteGround cloud hosting is the substitute for VPS hosting. In fact, SiteGround blurs the line between VPS and shared hosting. In this article I’ll explain why they choose to call it “Cloud hosting”, and how they differentiate themselves from the competition.

A VPS That’s Called Siteground Cloud Hosting

SiteGround seems allergic to the word “VPS”, but if you look at their plans, you’ll see that many of them are VPS packages in all but name. Here’s a list of SiteGround discounts, with detailed links to detailed reviews on all SiteGround plans.

GoGeek is a Beginner VPS

In fact, SiteGround advanced shared hosting plan GoGeek, is nothing but an entry-level VPS package. They themselves refer to it as “semi-dedicated” hosting. Each account has dedicated resources, with strictly enforced limits, CPU seconds, and script executions. Plus, customers get access to the most advanced features, as well as priority customer support.

Cloud Hosting is SiteGround’s “Full-Fledged” VPS Solution

While GoGeek is basically “VPS Lite”, their cloud hosting plans are full on VPS packages. You can see in this screenshot, that you can even configure your own server from the checkout screen:

SiteGround cloud hosting allows you to select the CPU, RAM, and SSD space
Select the CPU, RAM, and SSD Space with SiteGround Cloud Hosting

So you’re allowed to choose the server configuration in terms of CPU, RAM, and SSD space. What is this if not a VPS? If it looks like a duck…!

Here’s a price comparison between SiteGround’s cloud hosting and Hostgator’s VPS plan:

SiteGround vs Hostgator Cloud/VPS Prices
Basic Advanced Premium
SiteGround Cloud $80/m $120/m $160/m
Hostgator VPS $89.95/m $130/m $160/m

Of course, the big difference is that Hostgator gives you massive discounts on your first billing cycle. But the actual costs of the two are almost exactly the same!

So Why Not Just Call it a VPS Instead of “Cloud”?

SiteGround’s distaste for the word “VPS” might stem from the fact that they view the term VPS as superfluous in today’s day and age. There was a time when the standard progression of hosting was like this:

Shared hosting -> VPS Hosting -> Dedicated Server

In the old days, a VPS meant literally splitting up a dedicated server into tiny virtual machines. This had several limitations like:

  1. Unable to increase the resources beyond those of a dedicated server
  2. Inability to reallocate resources on the fly because of other accounts
  3. Inability to switch out hardware, make changes etc without disrupting the entire machine

But with today’s virtualization technologies, there’s no need for a VPS to be restricted to a single machine. The resources can be sourced from a pool of available hardware and can be increased or decreased at any time.

Different companies use the words “cloud hosting” in various ways. For example, the Hostgator cloud plan is basically an upgraded form of shared hosting. They too allow you to adjust your resources in real time. But it’s not meant to replace VPS hosting, or dedicated servers.

SiteGround’s Cloud (VPS) is Managed

Another possible reason why SiteGround isn’t willing to use the word “VPS”, is that it conjures up images of managing your own VPS server, updating the software, and dealing with all the security issues of a real server.

While most VPS providers today offer managed services, they also allow you to choose a “bare metal” setup where you do all the hard work yourself. Siteground’s philosophy is quite different. All of their plans are managed. While you have shell access, there are limits to what you can do on your server. SiteGround believes that managing a cloud or VPS hosting package should be as easy as managing a shared hosting plan.

SiteGround takes care of your servers, updates the security, the firewalls, and the software. You don’t need to do anything. The SiteGround customer service is amazing, and is one of the key selling points of the platform.

Because of all this, they’ve probably decided to stay clear of the whole “VPS” terminology and instead focus on keeping their plans clear, and easy to understand.

Bottom Line

SiteGround’s cloud hosting plans are VPS packages in all but name. Starting with their GoGeek plan, the VPS-like nature of their hosting is clearly apparent. Cloud hosting allows you to choose your server’s resources, and run it just like a managed VPS plan.

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!