SiteGround has been in existence for nearly 10 years now, and have become widely known and accepted in the industry for pushing the technological boundaries that make them one of the fastest, most reliable and secure web hosting providers around. For that reason (among others) you will find that SiteGround is our top recommended hosting provider. In fact, no other host we have reviewed comes close in terms of technical ability, features and performance. At the last count in 2012 SiteGround had well over a quarter of a million customers, and has recently even been recommended on the Google blog for their adoption of latest hosting technologies. They are a fast growing web host, and we suspect they will become much more widely known in the public eye over the next couple of years. Indeed, 2013 seems to have been a very proactive, and productive year for them. Not only did they employ an addition 35 employers, but they revamped their hosting plans and refreshed their website and branding. But there is more… they have sponsored 20 events globally (and counting), and given 9 talks at events such as WordCamp and JoomlaDay.
If something goes wrong you need to know that someone will be on hand to help you out. Accidentally deleted your site? No problem. Messed Up your WordPress install or trying to work out a .htaccess 301 redirect but cannot get it to work? No problem. SiteGround have some of the most helpful, and fast support technicians we have seen. If you sign up, just ask them a quick query… we guarantee they will respond within a few minutes minutes. It is that fast. But it is not just about speed here. They are fanatical about WordPress, Joomla, and even Magento among many other talents. They have the technical ability to help you out, and if required can be hired to carry out more intensive technical work too. Simply the best and fastest support you will ever find at a web host.
SiteGround have one of the best uptime figures going. They never have problems with their data centers, or have technicians make “mistakes” that cause downtime. If anything sets SiteGround apart it is their reliability (well, there are many things that set them apart, but lets not get distracted). A screenshot of their publicly displayed uptime figures are shown below: One of the reasons SiteGround’s Up-time figures are so great is that they have built custom server monitoring software that can automatically resolve 90% of issues without human interaction. SiteGround track their servers in realtime, not 1-5 minutes like other hosts. Furthermore, whilst other hosts can take time to react to the downtime you can see how SiteGround’s system can mean vastly less downtime. Of course, the problem with “advertised” uptime figures, is that you have no way of knowing whether they are telling the truth, or if it is just a marketing ploy.
You can see the results of our own monitoring of various sites hosted at SiteGround below:
We will be updating these figures approximately once per month, and you can see above the daily, weekly and monthly up-time figures, as well as the sample size (no. of sites we track) above. The latest snapshot was taken on the 17th June 2014. Please bear in mind that checks are made at 5 minute intervals. This means a simple 10 second downtime to reboot a server can show up as up to 5 minutes of downtime. However, this is accurate enough for our purposes.
One of the most sought after things people look for in hosting is for their site to be fast. We gave SiteGround a spin with a standard theme we got off Themeforest, which although may be a little more bloated than we are used to seems to provide a very good test to guage the speed of the server. We optimized the site using the inherent Supercacher available at SiteGround, W3 Total Cache as well as CloudFlare. We removed all third party scripts (social shares analytics) as we wanted to test just the server, not third party scripts that are loaded from other site. You can see the result of the test below. Not bad eh?
For all the features you get with SiteGround the price is pretty incredible, especially with the discount on your first invoice with our coupons.
Whilst the GrowBig plan, and GoGeek plan are more expensive that other hosts, this is because not only does SiteGround increase Bandwidth and Disk Space with each plan, but they increase CPU usage as well. This means that their GoGeek plan is more akin to a semi-dedicated solution, and even then with all the developer features and other functionality it still represents incredible value in comparison to the competition.
SiteGround Review Summary
- Great Uptime – SiteGround boast an impressive 99.99% uptime, which is impressive by anyone’s standard.
- Great Support – Not only is their support incredibly fast, but they are knowledgeable too..
- WordPress & Joomla Specialists – SiteGround have servers specifically optimized for WordPress and Joomla Sites, making them run faster with less load on the server.
- Great server security – SiteGround have developed special server software that isolates each account, so that your site doesn’t suffer when another has been compromised. Not only this, when threats occur they are extremely quick to react to ensure the security of your site by applying fixes at the server level.
- Unlimited bandwidth and clear usage policies –With all of SiteGrounds’ caching technologies and with Cloudflare CDN you will find even a busy site will have no difficulties exceeding their resource limits. Furthermore, you can clearly monitor your CPU usage on the cPanel dashboard so you always know exactly where you stand.
- CPanel – We highly recommend using a host that uses cPanel, as it is the most common administration interface for website hosting. The biggest benefit is that if you ever need to move your site to a new host it makes it incredibly easy, as most hosts will carry out the task for you free of charge.
- Free Domain – Whilst we love Namecheap to host our domains, who is going to pass up a free domain?
- Free CDN – Cloudflare is integrated at the cPanel level, so with just one click you can enjoy all the benefits of this technology, significantly speeding up your site. A Content Distribution Network distributes copies of your site to servers across the world which reduces latency as people viewing request copies locally. It also reduces the strain on the server, and has some other neat security features as well.
- Fast websites with Advanced Caching – SiteGround uses their own specially developed Caching technology that they call “SuperCacher”. This stores fully built copies of pages (rather than dynamically built from database queries), and increases the speed of your site significantly. You will need to sign up for their GrowBig plan for this at $7.95 for all 3 levels of caching, but to be honest, the GrowBig plan is worth it just for all the additional features you get with it (30 days backups, premium support, Free SSL, and all 3 levels of caching).
- SiteGround WordPress and Joomla Tools – These tools are available on all plans and you can read more about them here. In essence they allow you to carry out some simple site management tasks with a single click.
- Developer Features – Their advanced developer features are available on their GoGeek planread more about them here.
- NO Ruby on the Rails – If you are looking for Rails, their shared hosting is not the place. Sorry.
- Hosting at a Premium – You certainly get what you pay for… a high quality premium product that comes at a small additional cost. Just make sure you sign up for as long as possible to make the most of the initial discount.
SiteGround is a rock solid web hosting company. Not only do they offer great value for money, but their servers run well and their technical support extremely good. Every question has been answered quickly and with a solution. Often tech supports only refers you to a FAQ or KB page, or are simply not reading properly your question and information which results in more frustration and waste of valuable time. But not with SiteGround! And that is, on its own, extremely valuable when you manage websites and have busy days. It’s very nice to see they are always trying to enhance and add more benefits to their hosting services. Definitely a hosting company that i would recommend to any company or web developer!