SiteGround Review: The “Apple” of Shared Hosting

I have a confession. This SiteGround review 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.

If web hosts were smartphones, SiteGround would be Apple. Simplified plans, premium hosting, and a bunch of tools that “just work”.

Let’s get right to it.

My Rating: ★★★★★

SiteGround Review – Pricing like Apple

Their hosting plans start out with really low discounts. They have several deals – each of which functions like a SiteGround discount 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:

GreenGeeks Coupons
(Click Below)🡇
Old Price ($)Discount Amount (%)
Lite $2.49/Mo + Free Domain! $10.95/Mo 77%
Pro $4.95/Mo + Free Domain! $15.95/Mo 69%
Premium $8.95/Mo + Free Domain! $25.95/Mo 66%
GreenGeeks WordPress Hosting
Ecosite Lite $2.95/Mo + Free Domain! $9.95/Mo 70%
Ecosite Pro $5.95/Mo + Free Domain! $14.95/Mo 60%
Ecosite Premium $11.95/Mo + Free Domain! $24.95/Mo 52%

Note: While some of these plans may seem expensive, they’re nothing compared to Liquid Web, which has true premium hosting!

Get the Biggest Discount!

Need to make a decision fast? Click below for the maximum discount today:

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

Frequently Asked Questions:

SiteGround Hosting Review – Customer Service

Webmasters are pretty passionate about SiteGround. Take a look at some of these polls: each of them recommends SiteGround as the No. 1 choice far ahead of the others:

Poll 1:

SiteGround Number One in Poll

Poll 2:

SiteGround Poll Number 2

Poll 3:

SiteGround Poll Number 3

SiteGround Review – 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.

I’ve often called SiteGround the “Apple” of hosting providers. Their choices are limited, but solid. If you want more options and more choices, then I suggest InMotion hosting. You can read my comparison of SiteGround vs InMotion here.

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

People often ask why SiteGround costs more than other hosting providers. In the linked article, I’ve shown why this is the case – features, customer service, and reliability. But what we should remember is that SiteGround has always been a pioneer in the field of web hosting technology. They adopt features long before the competition. What we regard as basic options today – SSD, SSL certificates etc, were implemented by SiteGround for free way before any of the others.

Here are three examples of when SiteGround was way ahead of the curve compared to traditional web hosting companies like Hostgator, or Bluehost.

3 Things SiteGround Did Before Anyone Else

1. Free SSL Certificates

It’s only recently, that web hosting companies have started offering free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates. To the point where in today’s world, no one needs to pay for SSL anymore! But it wasn’t always this way. It was only in July 2018, that Hostgator finally started offering SSL certificates for free. Until that time, they were very expensive and lucrative product. In fact, GoDaddy still doesn’t support them via a cPanel plugin!

SiteGround however, was at the forefront of this and started offering free Let’s Encrypt certificates as early as February 2016. This was after the Let’s Encrypt beta came out just two months earlier in December 2015. So right off the bat they were seeing the trends and working to come out ahead.

And now when Google finally made it clear that non-HTTPS websites might face a ranking penalty, all the major web hosts scrambled to offer free SSL. But always remember that SiteGround was there first, before anyone else.

2. SSD Drives

In October 2015, SiteGround enabled SSD drives for even its shared hosting services. When you consider that large hosts like Hostgator still use HDD drives for file storage, you can get an idea of how far ahead SiteGround was at the time.

Bluehost announced that they’ll be moving to SSD hosting in August 2017. That’s almost a full two years after SiteGround’s announcement. I’m sure you can imagine that such a step isn’t easy, or cheap. It requires a lot of guts to invest heavily in resources – especially at a time when SSD drives were a lot more expensive.

But the number 1 priority for SiteGround was the speed and reliability of their services, and so they delivered.

3. The QUIC Protocol

As of this writing, SiteGround is the only hosting provider to offer QUIC. It’s an upgrade to the existing HTTP/2 protocol and allows simultaneous file transfers over separate UDP connections. In fact, even Internet behemoths like Cloudflare still have the features as “waitlisted” as shown here:

Cloudflare's QUIC Waitlist
Cloudflare’s QUIC Waitlist

QUIC allows for lots of files to transfer even when the Internet connection is degraded, thereby improving throughput. It’s bound to massively increase the browsing experience of visitors – particularly those in countries where Internet connections are not as reliable.

So basically, visitors from Africa, including hubspots like Morocco and Egypt will benefit from this. Even those living in India will see significant reductions in their web page loading speeds.

Honorable Mention: Linux Containers

I should mention that SiteGround started using Linux containers for their shared hosting services as early as 2015. The implications of this are vast. It means that shared hosting customers can no longer seriously impact others on the server, and it allows them to have their own dedicated resources.

In fact, this blurs the line between shared and VPS hosting. In my GoGeek review, I classify SiteGround’s GoGeek plan as an entry-level VPS. And it’s true! With huge dedicated resources, what you have is not shared hosting, but something else altogether – closer to a VPS.

SiteGround has been at the forefront of emerging web technologies in more than one instance. And they’re still doing it. It’s a good hosting company to stick with, because you know they’re always looking out for you. I personally use SiteGround for web hosting, and I don’t mind the higher cost because of the reliability, quality, and customer service.

But they also implement new stuff way before their competitors. And if your website is a crucial part of your business, you’ll appreciate the competitive advantage!

SiteGround Customer Service Details

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

Here’s the SiteGround customer service phone number: 1.800.828.9231

They’re also available via SiteGround 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.

Does SiteGround Oversell its Servers?

All shared hosting providers host multiple accounts on the same server. SiteGround is the most transparent about it, and has strict limits on the number of seconds of CPU time each account can use. Each account also has limits on the number script executions and processes – both for a 24 hour period, and for a 2-hour period.

In fact, SiteGround shared hosting is more of a VPS than seen anywhere else. They also use a specialized “Hive” technology that isolates each account from the other. So even if one account on the shared server gets hacked, and its permissions are compromized, the attacker can’t mess up your installation.

I personally use SiteGround for this shared hosting, and frequently get notified by the “mod_hive” module that someone has been trying to post an invalid comment on my blog. Here’s a screenshot:

SiteGround mod_hive

These are notifications – not warnings. They go something like:

“mod_hive matched URI” [filename] with match [number]. It means that someone is trying (and failing) to post comments to my blog. The same will hold true for login forms (except that I’ve hidden mine!).

The lesson is that yes – SiteGround hosts multiple sites on each shared server. However, these accounts are very well protected from each other, and there’s no way that a single compromised account will impact you. Along with the “VPS” like nature of their web hosting, and clear account limits, SiteGround is the closest you will ever come to true VPS-like isolation on a shared host.

SiteGround Review 2020 – 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 SiteGround StartUp 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!

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!