“GoGeek” is Actually a SiteGround VPS: Review

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My Rating: 4.5/5

GoGeek is SiteGround’s “starter” VPS plan. In my VPS hosting price comparisons, you’ll see that the SiteGround VPS is presented as the GoGeek package. This is marketed by SiteGround as “semi-dedicated” hosting.

In this SiteGround VPS review, I’ll explain why the GoGeek plan is SiteGround’s replacement for a traditional VPS.

But first, here’s the best deal you can get:

SiteGround VPS Coupon: GoGeek

Duration: Minimum 12 Months
Total Discount: 66% off

SiteGround VPS also has a monthly GoGeek plan instead of charging the full amount for a minimum of 1-year. However, that will cost you an additional set up fee of $24.95 as shown here:

SiteGround VPS Trial Monthly Hosting Includes a Setup Fee

So it’s not a cheap way to test out SiteGround at all! And not surprising. SiteGround is like Apple when it comes to shared hosting.

Table of Contents:

GoGeek is SiteGround’s Starter VPS plan

GoGeek is called “semi-dedicated” hosting by SiteGround as shown in the screenshot here:

SiteGround VPS is GoGeek

While other web hosting providers give you a VPS with full root control, SiteGround figures it can satisfy all your needs with GoGeek instead.

It does this first and foremost by isolating the accounts on its servers using a unique technology called “Hive”. This makes each account essentially a separate container, and no single account can misbehave and interfere with the others. Unlike many providers, SiteGround has strict rules on resource usage as shown in the table further down.

So for all intents and purposes, you are running a VPS. A fully managed VPS in fact, complete with cPanel. In fact, it’s what I’m running WP-Tweaks on right now!

SiteGround VPS Review: Features

SiteGround GoGeek Features
Monthly Visits100,000 visitors
Disk Space30 GB
Websites AllowedUnlimited
SuperCacherStatic + Dynamic + Mecached
On-Demand BackupYes
Priority SupportYes
Professional  SiteTransferYes
PCI ComplianceYes
StagingYes
GitYes

SiteGround’s GoGeek plan comes with a whole bunch of special tools and features to speed your site, and easy development. Here’s a screenshot of them in cPanel, with a more detailed explanation below:

SiteGround GoGeek Features

VERY Low Density Servers

As the highest tier of web hosting in this category, it’s not surprising that SiteGround reserves its best and least dense servers for its VPS plans. Moving to the semi-dedicated hosting on GoGeek instantly resolved all my resource cruches, and I’m still using only about 2% of my allotted capacity!

Unlimited Visits and 30 GB Space

While the StartUp and GrowBig plans have “recommended” visits, the GoGeek plan has no such limitations. You get 30 GB of disk space, which should be sufficient for a website of any size.

Staging

But the real benefits of the VPS plan come with the additional “Geeky” perks like SiteGround staging. This allows you to make a duplicate copy of your site, and test out all your changes on the copy in perfect safety. And then when you’re done, you can “push” your changes to the live site with the click of a button.

So if you want to test out a new theme or plugin, the staging copy is the perfect place to do so. And with the SiteGround VPS plan, you can make as many copies as you want!

SuperCacher

The SuperCacher implements dynamic caching on the server level so that you don’t have to manually use a 3rd party solution to serve static pages to your visitors.

Every good WordPress site has caching. Before I switched to SiteGround, I used to have manual solutions like W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cacher. But plugins themselves slow things down. SiteGround VPS plans however, have caching built into them via the NGINX reverse proxy. This means that all caching is handled at the server level, which makes it much faster and removes any load on your site whatsoever!

The SuperCacher runs on the server, but also has a companion WordPress plugin. Here’s a screenshot:

SiteGround Supercacher WordPress Plugin

From here, you can control the settings, purge individual pages, check to see if they’re cached, and much much more.

SiteGround recently introduced a new version of its SuperCacher with an updated interface and great new features like Lazy Loading of Images, which further speed up your site.

Backups

However if you were to ask me, I would mention the backup policy as one of the true highlights of the SiteGround VPS package. You can see in my list of free backup alternatives, that SiteGround provides the most backup system of any hosting provider, with 30 days worth of data. This also includes a unique “1-click restore” feature. You have no idea how many times this has saved me in the past!

SiteGround VPS Pros and Cons

Here’s a quick overview of the upsides and downsides of the GoGeek plan from the perspective of a VPS.

Pros

  1. VERY low density servers
  2. Full access to all SiteGround tools like Staging, SuperCacher, Git etc
  3. Far higher limits on CPU seconds and script executions
  4. Free one-click backup and restore. 30-days backup
  5. Completely managed with cPanel, malware monitoring, updates etc
  6. Premium support

Cons

  1. Not a “true” VPS. No root access
  2. Limitations to what software you can install
  3. Even though accounts are isolated with HIVE technology, it’s still shared resources after all

In short, the only real limitation to the SiteGround GoGeek package is that it’s not “really” a VPS. As SiteGround says, it’s semi-dedicated hosting.

Is it Good Enough for VPS Hosting?

Most people need VPS hosting for the extra power. Not because they actually need root access. From this point of view, the SiteGround GoGeek “VPS” plan is more than good enough. I’ve been running multiple high traffic sites on a single SiteGround VPS plan for years, and I’m still well below my limits.

You also get full SSH access, along with private and public key generation via cPanel, so you can even manage your server from the command line if you want. However, if you require root access for specific applications, the ability to perform low level operations on your server, then this SiteGround VPS plan is not for you.

Bottom line:

  • Need more power? – GoGeek is your choice
  • Need root access? – You’ll need “true” VPS hosting

Can I Downgrade my SiteGround VPS?

Since the VPS plan is basically GoGeek, no – you can’t upgrade or downgrade your SiteGround VPS.

However, you can upgrade or downgrade your SiteGround cloud hosting account whenever you want. You just need to log into your panel and make the change. In addition, you won’t have any downtime while you do this, since the resources are flexibly allotted on the fly.

Since a lot of people confuse cloud hosting with VPS hosting, this is the answer that makes the most sense for this question.

SiteGround Dedicated Server vs GoGeek

If the SiteGround VPS is “semi-dedicated”, how is it different from the regular SiteGround dedicated servers? Well, the latter is a full fledged machine that you have all to yourself. You can select the specifications, RAM, CPU, and storage of your system and SiteGround will specifically build it for you.

Note that this is not the same as SiteGround cloud hosting. With cloud hosting, you’re not getting a separate machine. Instead, they give you a “virtual” machine with resources drawn from several servers. In addition, it’s fully managed with cPanel etc – the usual SiteGround software. You can read my beginners’s guide to the difference between cloud and shared hosting, since there’s so much confusion about terminology these days.

On the other hand, a dedicated server from SiteGround is your entirely. It’s not in the same league as the SiteGround VPS plan.

SiteGround VPS = Apple: Focus on the User

I’ve often called SiteGround the Apple of the hosting world. While other providers go all the way with detailed packages, the SiteGround managed VPS plan is nothing but the GoGeek plan. Just like Apple has just a few iPhones at a given time, SiteGround uses its three plans for almost everything. Namely:

  1. StartUp
  2. GrowBig
  3. GoGeek

Here’s a SiteGround VPS coupon code to get 66 % off the GoGeek plan for the first billing cycle.

SiteGround figures that anything you want to do with a VPS, you can achieve with the GoGeek package. Now you might say that’s not true. That a real VPS  will allow you to install your own software, give you root access to the server, and allow you to manage it the way you want. And you would be right.

However, just like Apple focuses on the end task instead of the method, SiteGround feels that its managed VPS plans are better for the user, since they remove the hassle of taking care of your own server. It also probably reduces the number of support requests from people messing up their configurations!

SiteGround Datacenter Locations

SiteGround is one of the only web hosts with data centers across the globe, and not just in the US and Europe. As of now, you can host your SiteGround VPS in one of four locations:

  1. Chicago, US
  2. Amsterdam, NL
  3. London, UK
  4. Singapore

The Singapore presence is really awesome, because it’s really rare to find a host with datacenter locations in Asia. In addition, Singapore is a great place to host your site if you have Asian clients.

Do I Get Root Access to SiteGround VPS?

Much like Apple, SiteGround tries to manage everything for you. Their philosophy is that you don’t need root access to your server, because you have all the tools to do without it. So unless you purchase a SiteGround dedicated server, you’re not going to get full root access to your installation.

However, you can get SSH shell access. It’s a simple matter to generate the public and private key combinations. You can read my complete tutorial on how to get SSH access on SiteGround. But the permissions you get are for a regular user – not root.

Does SiteGround Docker Work Properly?

Given that all of SiteGround’s hosting is completely managed, the answer is no – you can’t run Docker properly on a SiteGround VPS. Yes, you can get SSH access and connect remotely via a shell, but Docker requires advanced permissions that SiteGround VPS doesn’t provide.

This is one of those instances where you need a “true” VPS instead of the GoGeek solution offered by SiteGround. In this case, you’ll need to purchase a SiteGround dedicated server.

SiteGround SSL is Free

SiteGround was one of the first web hosting providers to provide free SSL, and they continue to do so today. You can install Let’s Encrypt certificates on all your domains and subdomains. And that includes wildcards! Meaning one wildcard domain certificate will cover all subdomains as well.

Warning: If you’ve changed your nameservers away from SiteGround, then the Let’s Encrypt certificates won’t renew automatically! I learned that the hard way. So if you’ve moved your DNS name servers to Cloudflare for example, make sure that you install the regular Let’s Encrypt certificates and not the wildcards.

No SiteGround Windows Hosting

All of SiteGround’s services run on Linux. This means that if you need Windows hosting, then SiteGround isn’t a good fit for you. Even their dedicated servers are fully managed, which means they run on Linux/CentOS.

SiteGround VPS Limits

Here’s a list of the SiteGround limitations for all their plans, including GoGeek:

StartUpGrowBigGoGeek
Number of Websites 1 Unlimited Unlimited
CPU Seconds 1000/hr
10000/day
300000/month
(7 minutes/hr)
2000/hr
20000/day
600000/month
(14 minutes/hr)
4000/hr
40000/day
800000/month
(18.5 minutes/hr)
Script Executions 1000/hr
10000/day
300000/month
(416/hr)
2000/hr
20000/day
600000/month
(833/hr)
4000/hr
40000/day
800000/month
(1111/hr)
Inodes 150000 300000 450000

You can read about how to check those limits and an explanation of the terms used on this post here. While it’s true that on a regular VPS plan, you can choose to run whatever you want, there are practical limits on what you can do, given your memory and CPU limitations. And the GoGeek plan attempts to replicate those limits in a managed environment.

Can I Get a Refund on SiteGround VPS?

SiteGround has a 30-day money back policy for all its regular hosting plans, and that includes the GoGeek package. The SiteGround cloud plan refund on the other hand, is just 15 days.

What is the SiteGround SLA?

Here’s the complete SiteGround Service Level Agreement. Here’s a quick summary:

  1. Guarantee of 99.9% uptime
  2. Between 99% and 99.99% = 1-month of free hosting
  3. 1-month free hosting for every additional 1% loss of uptime

However, the downtime doesn’t include scheduled maintenance, and any other failures that are your fault. For example, if you overuse your VPS limits and your site goes down, SiteGround wont’ be responsible for that. Neither are you covered if your site gets taken down by a DDoS attack, or hackers.

So go through the SLA carefully using the link above before raising a request and claiming downtime compensation.

SiteGround WordPress VPS: How Many Visitors on GoGeek?

Let’s use my own site as an example. As of this writing, I get around 500 visitors a day. That’s 15,000 visitors a month. And this is what my SiteGround GoGeek usage looks like:

GoGeek Resource Usage

That’s just 2.5% of my allowed usage. Extrapolating broadly, it means that my plan can currently handle 600,000 visitors a month! So if you’re looking at whether you need more than the SiteGround “VPS” plan, ask yourself how many visitors you really expect. If it’s less than the above number, then you can safely choose GoGeek.

Security

SiteGround also takes its WordPress security very seriously. They utilize LXC Linux containers and secure account isolation. This means that even though it’s technically shared hosting, it’s more “VPS” like, where other customers on the same server can’t negatively impact you.

They also monitor your site for suspicious activity, and use their Hive technology to notify your of errors like this:

SiteGround WordPress Security with mod_hive

They also sit between your site and hackers who try and use bots to break into your site. This means that your site never has to even deal with these bots, meaning that you conserve your server resources. When you’re the target of a concerted DDoS attack, you can thank SiteGround for it!

Special WordPress Support

From personal experience, I can confirm that the SiteGround staff are extremely knowledgeable about WordPress. As shown above, they have special WordPress tools like the SuperCacher plugin, the SiteGround WordPress Migrator, and staging. All of this indicates a superb proficiency with the technical intricacies of WordPress.

And it’s not just the tier II technical staff either. Even the first contact customer service representatives are fully capable of handing most WordPress related problems. They hand the issue over to the next level of support stuff only when it’s really complex.

SiteGround Cloud Hosting is the GoGeek Upgrade

What if you find yourself needing more than GoGeek, but don’t want to plunge into dedicated servers yet? Well, that’s what the SiteGround cloud plan is for.

You can see from my page on cloud hosting price comparisons, that SiteGround is the most expensive of them all. And it’s not surprising considering that the cloud plans are an upgrade to the VPS or GoGeek plans. There’s no limit to how big your site can get because you choose how many resources you want. Specifically, these three:

  1. CPU – from 2 cores to 32 cores
  2. Memory – from 4GB to 128 GB
  3. SSD Space – from 40 GB to 1 TB

True cloud hosting means you can adjust your resources in real time and pay only for what you use. SiteGround’s cloud plans offer that freedom, and you should consider upgrading to those when your GoGeek plan is no longer big enough!

SiteGround VPS Customer Support

GoGeek customers get top of the line customer support. I’ve personally been using it for years, and the response has been amazing. A few days back, there was a configuration problem with my Let’s Encrypt certificates. With Live Chat, they were able to fix the problem in literally less than 5 minutes.

SiteGround prides itself on its qualified staff. Good customer support is expensive, and they don’t skimp on this. They’re available 24/7, and even their first tier support staff are extremely well informed.

In the rare even that the Live Chat reps are unable to help you then and there, they open a ticket for you so that the more skilled technicians can take care of the problem. They have a notification system that lets you know by e-mail whenever a support staff has responded to you, and they are fully capable of making any changes to your installation.

This level of customer support for GoGeek has saved my ass several times in the past when my site was down for some reason or the other. The good news is that their backup tools are so good that you often don’t even need to contact SiteGround in the first place!

SiteGround VPS vs Others

Because of its unique nature, this plan differs from others who provide the similarly named hosting packages.

SiteGround VPS vs Hostgator VPS

Here are the features of the Hostgator VPS basic plan called Snappy 2000:

FeaturesHostgator VPS (Snappy 2000)
Monthly Price $29.95/month
Full Root Access Yes
RAM 2 GB
Cores 2 Cores
Disk Space 120 GB
Dedicated IPs 2 IP Addresses
Bandwidth 1.5 TB

Hostgator’s VPS plans are much more expensive compared to the GoGeek plan. Hostgator’s VPS starts with 2 cores and 2 GB RAM. They’re actual VPSs – meaning that you get an autonomous machine on your own. At checkout, you can choose whether or not you want to include cPanel as shown here:

Hostgator VPS with cPanel

Opting out of cPanel reduces the price a little bit, but not by much in the larger scheme of things. Without cPanel, they call it “semi-managed”, and it includes full root access.

On the other hand, Hostgator VPS doesn’t have all the tools and features of SiteGround’s GoGeek plan. You’ll have to create the custom solutions on your own.

SiteGround VPS vs Bluehost VPS

These are the Bluehost VPS features for the Standard (basic) plan:

FeatureBluehost VPS (Standard)
Monthly Price $18.99/m
Cores 2 Cores
Disk Space (SSD) 30 GB
RAM 2 GB
Bandwidth 1 TB
Dedicated IPs 1 IP
Root Access? Yes

Like the Hostgator VPS plan, this is a fully featured autonomous machine. And though it’s not explicitly mentioned in the Bluehost features page, all VPS plans include full root access with cPanel and WHM.

But it’s not a “bare metal” installation either. It comes with cPanel and WHM access. So it’s more of a “managed VPS” solution – and therefore might not be so much more different than the SiteGround VPS plan!

So unless you specifically require root access, you should still consider the GoGeek package.

Bottom Line

The GoGeek Plan is SiteGround’s “semi-dedicated” hosting. From here, you can upgrade either to the cloud plans, or go full on with dedicated hosting. I recommend the cloud to start with, since they manage everything for you, and running a dedicated server is quite a hassle. But till then, the SiteGround GoGeek plan should give you everything you need from VPS hosting!

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!