Siteground Hosting Review
So you need a website for your business, but searching for Web hosting leads you to a long list of hosts, which one to choose? The choice can be difficult. Siteground offers shared hosting along with dedicated and virtual server plans without overly technical jargon. If you require mid level Web hosting then you're safe to sign up with Siteground.
Siteground offers a 30 day cancellation policy from the day your credit card is charged. Not the longest period but it's decent.
Siteground Shared Web Hosting
Siteground offers a one month trial period for a $24.95 setup fee. When I ran my test Siteground ran a promo / coupon code for the trial for $3.95 and a setup fee of $14.95. Included in the promo was three free months of premium support, normally costing $3.95 per month.
Other than the one month trial, you will have to choose from one, two or three year contracts.
The cheapest plan is the Startup plan, at $9.95 per month. Startup plan includes one website with 10GB storage, supports about 10,000 visitors per month, unlimited email and Cloudflare support.
The next plan up is the GrowBig plan for $14.95 per month. This plan supports a slightly larger website with about 25,000 visitors per month. Features include support for multiple websites, 20GB storage, unlimited emails, Cloudflare support, free SSL certificate for one year and retention of up to 30 backups.
The next plan is called GoGeek, starting at $29.95 per month. Ideal for larger websites and claims to support about 100,000 visitors per month. Supports multiple websites, 30GB storage, unlimited email, Cloudflare support, one free SSL certificate for a year, retention of 30 backups and a Git repository. GoGeek plan also offers better server hardware and fewer users per machine, reducing the chances of another website causing server problems.
It should be noted that backups are not free and cost $2.50 a month.
You can specify which Siteground data centre you want to use, US, Europe or Singapore. Europe would be ideal for those who are concerned about privacy retention laws. The default location is the US.
Siteground offers Linux based VPS hosting, starting at $60 per month. If your website needs more power or has high traffic volumes then you should consider going this route. There are four different levels of VPS offered, so you can scale appropriately.
Siteground's premium server is called Enterprise, starting at $140 per month. Enterprise offers 4GB of RAM, 80GB storage and 5TB of monthly bandwidth.
Dedicated Web Hosting
Siteground offers a wide range of dedicated servers which can be configured many different ways. You can specify different levels of RAM, CPU, RAID and storage types. Plan fees range from $229 per month to $429 for premium servers. Servers can be configured with up to 16GB of RAM, 2TB storage and 5TB of bandwidth.
Currently Siteground only offers Linux based dedicated servers.
My Experience With Siteground
Siteground lacks a website builder, but does offer plenty of useful tutorials and wizard based guides. During my first login a wizard popped up and assisted me with generating my website and installing Joomla. The whole process took me less than five minutes. Creating the content was still left up to me but getting the framework up and running was a breeze.
The wizard offered a bunch of useful templates, such as a wiki based site through Site Software, a forum using phpBB3, or an online shop using Prestashop, CSCart or Magento. WordPress is also supported and be set up in a few clicks. If your website falls into one of these categories it's much easier to just use the wizard with the appropriate template and software.
Siteground offers managed WordPress hosting. Siteground installs WordPress for you and tweaks security setting to suit your needs. Siteground also takes care of daily backups and automates the updating of plugins.
A self hosted WordPress site makes creating content easy. After your set up you can create pages, posts and galleries with a few clicks.
You can also set up a non-managed WordPress site. I tried it out by clicking the WordPress icon, found in the advanced control panel. WordPress is managed through Softaculous, a third party application used by Siteground. Siteground also supports the Clef plugin, allowing users to login to WordPress using their phones instead of the usual username and password combo.
Siteground has a very similar layout to Bluehost's, meaning it's easy to navigate and find what you need. You can create an unlimited number of email addresses.
During my initial site setup I could have used Siteground's wizard tool to install several e-commerce applications, such as Prestashop, CSCart, or Magento. You can install any of these, after the fact, trough the AutoInstallers icon. There are about 30 other options offered through the Softaculous manager, including Zenekart, Showare, OpenCart and Axis. I used Magento's drag and drop feature to create a snazzy looking store front. You can install more specific software too if you don't need the whole package, such as just a shopping cart or just a billing application.
Siteground has some unique options to help keep your website investment safe. An add on called HackAlert Monitoring, for $1 per month, will alert you if your site is under attack. In addition, Siteground offers SpamAssassin, SpamExperts, hotlink protection and IP blocking. Siteground offers another unique security feature called Leech Protect. This feature lets admins prevent users from posting their passwords to sections of the Web site. Also if you want a SSL certificate you will have to be part of the Grow plan.
Siteground seamlessly integrates with Cloudflare, offering free performance and security enhancements. Cloudflare can be used with almost any host, but few hosts integrate the Cloudflare setup procedure to make it easier for newcomers.
Siteground has risen from obscurity as they focus on customer service and do it well. They have a large library of wizards, articles and tutorials. Direct support is done through a ticket system, 24/7 telephone support and live chat. You will be hard pressed to find another host which offers such a robust support network.
I put Siteground's online chat support to the test and was surprised how fast someone starting helping me. The help delay counter isn't in minutes, but rather how many people are in front of you. I waited about two minutes for a rep to start working with me. I asked about differences in the optimized WordPress hosting and regular hosting. Surprisingly there is no difference, it was explained that the WordPress hosting is just targeting users looking for WordPress related hosting.
I called the help phone line at about eight in the evening on a weekend. I asked the rep how to import my WordPress setup into Siteground. The help desk person was patient and walked me through all of the steps.
Siteground is a strong contender for small business hosting. Compared to other hosts Siteground is fairly Spartan when it comes to features and resources. However, if you are not tech savvy then their simplistic design will be a welcomed sight compared to other geek-centric layouts. Strict monthly bandwidth limits and storage restricts may be a turn off for some.
Siteground has some of the most unique options to keep your site safe. Being a small business makes you an easier mark for would be hackers. Siteground's security features can help keep you safe at a reasonable price. When you're ready to expand you may need to look elsewhere.
Disclosure: the reviews here are unbiased, be it good or bad. But if you do buy something the linked company pays us a commission. This helps keep the site ad free, thanks.