SiteGround Review 2018 – Features and Customer Service

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I have a confession. This hosting review of SiteGround is biased. I’ve been a customer for years now, and I’ve stuck with them throughout. I love the unique features they bring to the table like staging, the SG cache plugin, the WordPress Toolkit and the backups. So let’s get right to it.

My Rating: ★★★★★

SiteGround Review 2018 – Pricing

Their hosting plans start out really cheap. They have several deals – each of which functions like a SiteGround coupon code – only you don’t need to activate any of them. They’re applied automatically to the first year of your subscription period. After that, the renewal price is the full undiscounted amount. That bit’s important, so I’ll say it again:

There are no SiteGround renewal discount coupons!

For quick reference, here’s the complete list of hosting prices that many SiteGround reviews won’t give you. It’ll allow you to compare plans and pick one that’s right:

Service Type Basic Plan Advanced Plan Premium Plan Super Premium
SiteGround Logo
Shared Hosting

(See all Shared Hosting Deals)
$3.95/month
$11.95
67% off
$5.95/month
$19.95
70% off
$11.95/month
$34.95
66% off
SiteGround Logo
WordPress Hosting

(See all WordPress Hosting Deals)
$3.95/month
$11.95
67% off
$5.95/month
$19.95
70% off
$11.95/month
$34.95
66% off
SiteGround Logo
Cloud Hosting

(See all Cloud Hosting Deals)
$80/month $120/month $160/month $240/month
SiteGround Logo
VPS Hosting (GoGeek)

(See all VPS Hosting Deals)
$11.95/month
$34.95
66% off
SiteGround Logo
Dedicated Hosting
$269/month $349/month $729/month

You can also compare SiteGround vs other hosting provider’s pricing here:

  1. Cheapest yearly web hosting – vs SiteGround
  2. SiteGround WordPress vs Others – Compare prices
  3. Compare SiteGround VPS plans with Others
  4. Compare SiteGround Cloud Hosting Plans with others

SiteGround Review 2018 – Plan Structure

Compared to other hosting provider’s SiteGround’s hosting plans are simplicity itself. They don’t confuse you with a ton of options and confusing names. For their shared and WordPress hosting, they have just three tiers:

  1. StartUp
  2. GrowBig
  3. GoGeek

They use the same plan structure over and over. In fact, there is no SiteGround VPS server plan! Instead, the link you see to VPS servers in the table point you to the GoGeek plan, which is suitable for 100,000 monthly visits. Any more than that, and you’ll need a dedicated server. It’s actually a managed VPS solution that they call “Semi dedicated hosting”. It indicates that the GoGeek plan will provide you with the same performance of a VPS. Quite a boast!

This SiteGround hosting review will show off some of the features available to not just the GoGeek plan, but others as well.

Who Owns SiteGround?

SiteGround is one of the few hosting companies not owned by EIG or GoDaddy. SiteGround is owned by a team of partners, of whom Tenko Nikolov is the CEO. So the total managing partners are:

  • Tenko Nikolov
  • Reneta Tsankova
  • Niki Todorov.

They have offices in 5 locations around the world:

  1. Madrid, Spain
  2. Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
  3. Plovdiv, Bulgaria
  4. Sofia, Bulgaria

SiteGround Customer Service Review

In all the years that I’ve hosted with SiteGround, I’ve had excellent customer service.

Here’s their customer service phone number: 1.800.828.9231

They’re also available via live chat through the “Support” of their dashboard. Here’s how to get to it. After logging in, click “Support” at the top like this:

SiteGround Customer Service

This will take you to a page with documentation, where you can search for answers to specific questions etc. If you scroll right to the bottom, you’ll see the following message:

“Our support team is available to you 24/7 via phone, chat or ticket. Proceed to contact us here”

Click this, and a pane will open up asking you to select the kind of problem you have. Let’s say I’m unable to access the site:

SiteGround Review Customer Service

On the next page, you’ll be asked to describe your problem. In a few words explain what the issue is. Let’s say I’m facing a bad gateway error:

SiteGround 502 Bad Gateway

Now when you continue, you’ll see a bunch of options appear below. Choose “Post to Chat” to begin your chat session with customer support! We can’t have a SiteGround review without discussing the customer service. And from what I can see, it’s pretty good.

SiteGround Review 2018 – Geek Features!

This is the interesting part! SiteGround’s geeky plan (but not limited to), have a bunch of tools to make your life easier.

SiteGround Staging

First among them, is the staging area which you can find in cPanel. It allows you to create a working copy of your site that you can make changes to, and then push to live when you’re satisfied that everything’s working properly.

So let’s say you have a major new update, or a new WordPress theme has just come out, or a more recent version of a plugin is available. You need to ensure that none of this breaks your site and that all your plugins and themes are still compatible. To do this, click the staging button in cPanel and you can create a copy by selecting the installation you want to work on:

And you’re done! Now you can make changes without fear of your site crashing down. And when you’re satisfied with your changes, you can push them out. As easy as 1-2-3.

SiteGround Backups

Even the basic StartUp SiteGround plan has auto daily backups. This means that worse case scenario, you can always use the “1-click restore” functionality to bring your site online again. The GrowBig and GoGeek allow you to take 30 system backups including instant backups with GoGeek. Your data will always be safe.

SiteGround Supercacher Review

Every CMS like WordPress has a “caching plugin”. I’ve personally experimented with W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, and a bunch of other solutions including CloudFlare! But since I switched to SiteGround, I’ve been able to replace all of them. The Supercache option is available in cPanel. Here’s what it looks like:

SiteGround Supercacher

You have three levels of caching. One for static content, one for dynamic content, and one for Memcached content that reduces the number of queries to the database. There’s also a SiteGround supercacher plugin called SG Optimizer which you install as a regular plugin on your site, and it coordinates these functions with the SiteGround servers.

With supercacher installed, you don’t need to muck around with any other caching solutions!

Let’s Encrypt Free SSL

SiteGround offers free SSL through the ubiquitous “Let’s Encrypt”. Though this is a SiteGround review, you can use this tutorial to install an SSL certificate using Let’s Encrypt with any hosting provider who supports the cPanel plugin.

Joomla and WordPress Toolkit

The inbuilt toolkit in SiteGround’s cPanel allows you direct access to WordPress and Joomla installations. From there, you can carry out administrative tasks like resetting the password to recover from a broken installation and even delete WordPress entirely! Sometimes you can solve pricky problems with not being able to access your WordPress backend by just resetting from cPanel.

Always view the Server Status

The “Support” tab in the SiteGround’s dashboard also allows you to view the server status constantly. So if your site is down and you’re wondering if the problem is with you or with your host, a quick check here will resolve your confusion. Many times I’ve had an issue with my site, only to check here and realize it’s an installation problem. So no need to go around calling customer support asking them if their servers are working.

I said at the beginning that this was a biased SiteGround review. However, I’ve tried to be as unbiased as possible when discussing the features and customer support. And of course, the prices speak for themselves. Is it cheap? Not after we take away the initial discounts. But I’ve found them to be solid, and reliable. That’s got to count for something!