Founded in 2004 by a few college students, SiteGround has gradually evolved into a medium-sized hosting provider who claims to offer different platforms to suit various needs. The SiteGround review aims to present a full and unmodified picture of its services.
The review is focused on pricing, purchasing security, ease of use, uptime, speed, and technical support. The following overall rating is based on what we got throughout the reviewing process.
Plans & Pricing
SiteGround offers three fully scalable web hosting plans which are named as StartUp, GrowBig and GoGeek, each priced at $9.95/mo, $14.95/mo and $29.95/mo regularly. Currently, the company is offering a 60% discount with the StartUp plan and a 50% discount with the other two plans to boost orders. Accordingly, the special price for each plan drops to $3.95/mo, $7.95/mo and $14.95/mo.
Frankly speaking, the original prices are too expensive but the discounted prices are acceptable. Payment term can be monthly or annually and a free domain name is offered to those who choose an annual billing circle. Not that the 1-month term requires additional $14.95 setup fee.
A 30-day money back guarantee is available, which means customers can try a plan for 30 days and cancel services if they are not satisfied. Payment can be made only through credit card, which is not good because of potential risks of automatic billing.
The name of each plan suggests its targeted users. The StartUp plan is crafted for web starters, GrowBig for growing businesses and GoGeeks for web developers or skilled users. That explains why the plans offer varied features. We’ve made a table here to demonstrate their differences.
|Disk Space||10 GB||20 GB||30 GB|
|Free SSL Certificate|
|30-Day Backup Copy|
Apart from these differences, all plans have plenty essential features in common. For example, all of them offer unlimited data transfer, email accounts and databases. More similar features are listed below-
- cPanel for flexible site management;
- Free CloudFlare CDN for fast performance;
- SSH access for secure data communication and remote configuration.
To be fair, the StartUp plan is affordable but offers too limited resources; the other two plans come with more friendly tools but charge too much. In a word, the plans are not very cost-effective.
Uptime & Speed
The company creates a unique downtime prevention tool that keeps real-time monitoring on the server status and resolves performance issues automatically. That’s why it dares to make 99.999% monthly uptime guarantee and 99.996% annual uptime guarantee. According to our research, most SiteGround users haven’t experienced serious downtime on their plans but its uptime did fall below 99.9% someday in April, 2014.
As for speed, the company locates its servers in altogether three data centers in Chicago, Amsterdam and Singapore so that users can select the nearest location for fast loading speed. The data centers are equipped with redundant electrical systems and UPS technology. But the company does not say who the data center provider is.
These measures are supposed to deliver fast performance, and the reality presents us a similar picture. We tested its speed by Pingdom, and the server response rate was more than 600ms, which is not very outstanding but still good.
SiteGround creates tutorials, Webinar series and setup guide for users to read at their convenience. As for official support, the company promises to reply tickets within 10 minutes and respond to live chat and phone instantly.
Our tests show that the responses for tickets are not that fast, averaging about 30 minutes for the 3 tickets we created for test. The professionalism of the support representatives is OK.
In conclusion, SiteGround can be a choice for small business but improvements need to be made in terms of cost-effectiveness and speed. So we do not highly recommend it to our readers for now.
For people looking for more cost-effective solutions, we recommend them the following three companies who prove to deliver excellent performance and outstanding customer services.