Why I No Longer Recommend SiteGround

Update: To prove my point, SiteGround increased its prices again. I now recommend NameHero instead, but this further proves that SiteGround is out of touch with customers.

SiteGround was my favorite web host for a long time. I used to call it the “Apple” of the hosting world due to its focus on customer service and its non-compromising prices. However, after the cPanel changes and the discovery of alternate hosts like KnownHost and NameHero, I can no longer recommend SiteGround as my preferred web host.

Here are my top reasons why I’ve stopped recommending SiteGround, and how a host like KnownHost is better.

1. SiteGround Removed cPanel

2019 was a tough time for web hosting. The year cPanel introduced its licensing changes and started charging on a “per account” basis instead of “per server.” This increased the hosting costs for everyone and led several hosts to raise their prices or place caps on their reseller plans.

At around this time, SiteGround introduced its new interface that excluded cPanel. While it was probably in development for a long time, the timing was coincidental. It was clear that they didn’t want cPanel eating into their margins. Here’s a screenshot of what the new interface looks like:

The New SiteGround Interface without cPanel
The New SiteGround Interface without cPanel

But they didn’t have to do this. Many web hosts have not moved away from cPanel, and budget providers like Hostgator have eaten the higher costs or managed their reseller pricing to account for the changes. SiteGround is not a low-margin provider, their prices are higher than average, and there’s no excuse for not giving users access to cPanel.

NameHero Still Uses cPanel

My recommended alternative to SiteGround is NameHero. In addition to matching SiteGround’s features, it continues to use cPanel and has a LiteSpeed web server with better long-term pricing.

Here’s a coupon for 75% off on NameHero

2. SiteGround Discounts are Misleading

Every web host promises high discounts for the first billing cycle – SiteGround isn’t unique. But their renewal prices are so much higher than their discounts that it’s crazy. The SiteGround renewal for the popular GrowBig plan costs $300 – a massive sticker shock to those unprepared.

Newcomers to web hosting are hit particularly hard by this sudden reversal. The SiteGround discount is so deep that it fools people into thinking that the service costs a lot less than it does. And it’s not just the discounts. SiteGround’s prices are elevated on an absolute dollar value, so customers get a double whammy of deep discounts and higher prices.

If you don’t believe me, check Google for the number of Quora and Reddit threads by shocked customers who received their first renewal bill from SiteGround. You don’t see this same level of surprise for other web hosts.

3. SiteGround’s Plans Are Inflexible

SiteGround uses the same plan for everything. For example, their “semi-dedicated VPS” service is nothing but the GoGeek plan in disguise. Similarly, they claim to have reseller hosting, but it’s just the same GoGeek plan. Their “cloud plans” are expensive managed VPS offerings.

They don’t offer root access and use the same managed services for all their customers. They don’t advertise a “VPS” for this reason, even though they come close to calling the GoGeek plan a VPS.

4. No Staging on the StartUp Plan

It’s disappointing that SiteGround doesn’t offer staging on the StartUp plan. Staging is beneficial when you want to test significant changes on your site and don’t want to risk trying it on the live version. It’s a fantastic feature that replicates all your databases and files and allows you to pretend to be working on the actual site. If you’re satisfied with your changes, you can “push” them to the live site with a simple button click. Staging is an indispensable tool for all developers.

But SiteGround staging is only available for GrowBig and GoGeek plans. For the price they charge, I think SiteGround should let StartUp plans have staging, and holding back this feature sours me on SiteGround, particularly considering the premium they charge.

5. No On-Demand Backups for StartUp Plans

SiteGround offers automatic and manual backups for its GrowBig and GoGeek plans. However, the basic StartUp package doesn’t allow you to create backups on demand. If you’re making a big change to your site, you can’t take an immediate backup to restore if something goes wrong. Your only option is to rely on the automatic daily backup system, which means you lose any changes you have made to your site.

By contrast, KnownHost uses the JetBackup cPanel plugin for all plans, and everyone can take snapshots of their entire account and restore them if something goes wrong. Here’s a screenshot of JetBackup:

NameHero's Backup Allows Snapshots on All Plans
NameHero Backup Systems

Learn more about NameHero’s free backup options.

Two Alternatives to SiteGround

The two best alternatives to SiteGround are NameHero and KnownHost. You can read more about them in my full in-depth article on SiteGround alternatives.

KnownHost

Though not as cheap as NameHero, KnownHost also offers all the features that SiteGround is famous for. Unlike SiteGround, it has free malware scanning and removal.

9.7

★★★★★

  • Free backups and restore
  • LiteSpeed web server
  • Inbuilt server-side caching
  • Free malware scanning
  • Free IPV6 address
  • Free domain privacy

More Info

NameHero.com

9.9

★★★★★

  • LiteSpeed web server
  • Much cheaper than SiteGround
  • Server-side caching
  • Free backups and restores
  • Free malware scanning & removal
  • Free domain name

$2.24/m

$8.95/m

Expert Review:


Unlike SiteGround, NameHero offers on-demand backups on all their plans, including the cheapest. Using the LiteSpeed web server, it matches SiteGround feature for feature, including server-side caching with ESI includes. You also get free malware scanning and removal for which SiteGround charges you extra. It’s far cheaper than SiteGround, starting at $2.24/m. Here’s the complete NameHero coupon page to get you started. You can also read my full NameHero vs SiteGround comparison.

Disk Space

Unlimited

Data Centers

US and Europe

Webserver

LiteSpeed

Domain Name

Free for 2+ years

Bottom Line

After years of trying various providers, I’ve received a better perspective of what I want from web hosting. SiteGround has some great features and customer service. But it’s no longer enough. Their renewal prices are high, they’ve ditched cPanel, and they don’t offer some key features that I’ve come to demand from my hosting service. Hence my change in recommendation.

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. Interesting that someone else has quit SiteGround. I have also stopped using it due to them dropping cPanel. Shame really as I thought the support was decent.

    Reply

  2. I have written literally more than 8 times about them ditching the cPanel in between yet they don’t budge an inch.
    Support is good BUT it comes with a price and a lot limitations.Their minimal INODE thing is not at all tolerable.
    Misleading Price discounts. Please don’t waste your TIME. Money you can always earn.

    Reply

  3. As a long time Siteground customer I decided to move my sites to another hosting company. Pricing increased dramatically the last few years and they dropped all, except WordPress, CMS support tools. (I have several Joomla sites.).

    Reply

  4. Thanks for the write up
    I’m non tech but have used SG for 3 years now (their cheap 3 year discount is over now) and c-panel gone- so I’m leaving SG.

    This review notes that Cloudways is decent
    https://onlinemediamasters.com/siteground-wordpress-hosting-review/#alternatives

    What would you recommend ? Namehero or Cloudways?

    I do basic business sites, some standard ecommerce (nothing huge) and mainly writing/ blogs (like Ghost/Medium article style sites)

    Reply

    • I would personally choose NameHero because of the LiteSpeed webserver. Cloudways doesn’t offer caching until the higher-tier plans…

      Reply

      • Hi Bhagwad. I don’t now *anything* technical about hosting but I’m trying to learn the basics.

        I don’t know what caching is. All I know is like to build basic sites, learning e-commerce and more complex-is sites.

        Hence need reliable hosting with cpanel

        Reply

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