Finding a good, experienced and trustworthy web host for your website is one of the hardest things to do. Though there are a lot of web hosts that claim they are the best at what they do, it is not always true. Again, there are many factors to consider when choosing a web host and especially true if you are WordPress user.
So, let me share my experience with SiteGround and if they deliver what they promise.
SiteGround Review – Features
No matter who you are, if you are a beginner or a pro while choosing a web host, you should always see if the target web host meets your specific needs. In my case, since I love and use WordPress, I always go for a web host that meets WordPress specific needs like speed, security, premium support that know their stuff, automatic backups and easy restoration, etc. So, here are some of the best SiteGround features every WordPress user will love.
1. One-click WordPress Installation
Not everyone is proficient in installing WordPress manually. So if you ever need, SiteGround has an awesome and simple setup wizard that guides you with installing WordPress. Installing WordPress using the SiteGround’s setup wizard takes no more than a few clicks. It’s just that easy. Of course, if you want to, you can always install WordPress manually without any hiccups whatsoever.
2. Performance and Speed
For any website, speed and performance are a huge concern. To get the best possible speed and performance, SiteGround uses top-tier servers, extensively tested configurations with SSDs for storage. Moreover, SiteGround has four data centers in 3 different continents. The good thing is, you can actually select which datacenter you want while signing up. For increased speed, SiteGround offers server side caching and even stores MySQL databases on a different disk for faster performance. On select plans, MySQL databases are stored in SSDs and in other plans, the databases are stored in SAS hard disk drives.
To top it all, SiteGround cooked their own plugin called SuperChacer with three levels of caching for a solid and dynamic caching. This plugin works great with WordPress and Joomla.
3. Top-notch Security
When it comes to security, SiteGround always stays top in terms of protecting the shared hosting users. Typically, if one site is hacked in the shared hosting space then it sometimes makes all the sites on the server vulnerable due to how they are configured. But, SiteGround uses a unique “chroot mechanism” to isolate each account to its own directory. This ensures even if a site on a shared hosting space is hacked or infected, other accounts or sites on the server won’t be affected.
The good thing is, even if there is a vulnerability found in software like WordPress, SiteGround will immediately patch it on the server level without leaving users to fix it on their own. Moreover, SiteGround also offers various features like spam prevention, anti-hack systems, power redundancy, hardware redundancy, etc.., to compliment their existing security systems. Watch the below video to get a basic idea on how SiteGround takes measures to protect your website.
4. Automatic Daily Backups
Daily backups are an important part of any website as they help us restore the website to a known good state in the event of hack attacks, database corruption, etc. Though there are several WordPress backup plugins to backup your website to cloud services, having an in-home solution is the best. The good thing about SiteGround is they do daily backups of your site and you will have access to 30 backups to choose and restore from. To restore the backup, you can use their backup restore tool.
Moreover, on select plans like GoGeek, you can actually request the SiteGround support staff for unlimited manual professional restores.
5. WordPress Staging
For WordPress specific hosting in SiteGround, the cPanel provides you with all the tools necessary tools to stage your current WordPress site. In case you don’t know, a staging environment is kinda like a test site where you can test new plugins, configurations, themes, etc.., before applying them to the main production site. The good thing about the SiteGround’s staging environment is you can actually develop an entire website and when you are done with the development, you can move it to the main domain with just a click or two.
6. 24×7 Support
When it comes to web hosting, 24×7 support is the one thing that you should never ignore and SiteGround excels at this part. Yes, I’ve personally tested them and I’m not exaggerating their support. You can reach SiteGround support through phone, chat, and email.
As the first test, I manually installed the WordPress site, configured it and even added some dummy content. After that, I logged into my FTP account, opened the
.htaccess file and replaced everything in it with random letters. As you can tell, this action will break the site.
To resolve the issue, I contacted the SiteGround support through the live chat. I explained my issue to the support staff and they fixed the issue in just a minute.
Of course, the problem itself is nothing major but the important thing is they fixed the issue without asking too many technical questions, a big thing for many WordPress users.
As for the second test, I wanted to move one of my test sites to a temporary domain. After the successful transfer, I wanted to change the domain name. That way, I won’t have any downtime on the test site. So, I created a new database and uploaded all the WordPress files. Then started a live chat session to ask if the SiteGround support staff can import the database and change the domain name in the database to match the temporary domain. This action helps to see if the site transfer is successful or not.
To my surprise, they actually complied my request without a second question. Did the tasks I asked for in just a minute or two and everything worked as it should.
Since everything is fine and dandy, I contacted SiteGround’s support staff again and requested to change the temporary domain to the main domain name. Again, they complied with my request and changed the domain name in the database. With that, I have my site successfully transferred without any hiccups or downtime.
Of course, the SiteGround support staff saw that I haven’t utilized the free transfer option and recommended me to use it. Free website transfer is a great option for many WordPress users who got stuck with a web host just because they don’t know how to safely transfer a WordPress website.
7. Freebies on Signup
This is one of the best things about SiteGround. When you signup for the first time, you will get a free domain no matter what plan you choose. Moreover, on GrowBig and GoGeek plans, you will also get a free SSL certificate for one year. As I said earlier, if you want to transfer your existing website to SiteGround then the support staff will take care of it for free. All you have to do is submit a request for free transfer from the control panel.
SiteGround Review – Which Plan to Choose?
SiteGround offers three different hosting plans namely, StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek.
StartUp plan is more suitable for blogs or websites that use fewer resources and has low traffic, much like personal blogs or portfolio sites. As SiteGround states, this plan is a good match for websites that gets approximately 10,000 hits or visits per month. This plan is perfect if you are starting a new website or to test how things work in SiteGround.
On the StartUp plan, you can only host one website.
GrowBin plan is the second level and has more resources than the StartUp plan. With its increased resources, it is more suitable for websites which approximately gets 25,000 hits or visits per month. Compared the StartUp plan, GrowBig plan users will have access to SiteGround’s premium features like WordPress special cache, 30 days premium backup solution, priority support, free SSL certificate, etc.
On the GrowBig plan, you can host however many sites you want to host.
GoGeek plan has all the features of StartUp and GrowBig plan and even has more premium features. Moreover, on this plan, you will get more robust hardware and fewer users per server.
Some premium features include but not limited to support of staging environment, PCI compliance, priority support, premium backup and restore service (if needed, SiteGround support staff will manually restore your site), Sg-Git for WordPress, SSD storage of MySQL databases, etc.
This plan is more suitable for business websites or bigger sites which receive approximately 100,000 hits or visits per month.
On the GoGeek plan, you can host however many sites you want to host.
Note: though SiteGround shows approximate visits per month on every plan, it is not a hard limit.
The good thing about SiteGround is after choosing the initial plan if your website grows and needs more resources and power then you can always upgrade your account with just a click or two.
SiteGround Review – Quick User Interface Tour
As I said before, when you sign up for SiteGround, no matter what plan you choose, you get a free domain. This saves you some bucks. Moreover, you can also choose which datacenter you want while signing up.
After signing up, log in to your SiteGround account. Here, under the “My Account” tab, you will find all the necessary details like your cPanel username, FTP details, account IP address, Name Server details, etc.
Under the “Extra Services” tab, you will find all the extra services. Those services include but not limited to, SSL certificate, premium backup service, HackAlert Malware Monitoring, etc.
If you choose the GrowBig or GoGeek plan, you are eligible for a one-year standard alpha SSL. You can redeem your free SSL certificate by click on the button “Get Free” next to “Standard Alpha SSL.”
To login to your account cPanle, just click on the button “Go to cPanel” in the “Information and Settings” tab and you will be taken to the cPanel where you can manage all your websites, domains, and other settings.
Install WordPress in SiteGround
1. In the cPanel, you can install WordPress with just a few clicks using the auto-install script. To do that, find “Auto Installers” category and click on the link “WordPress.”
2. The above action will take you to the auto installer screen, simply click on the button “Install” and follow the on-screen instructions. You will have your new WordPress site installed in no time.
3. After installing the site, you can see the installed site(s) under the “Installations” tab on the “My Account” page.
4. You can login to your new website using the URL
In case you are wondering, here are few things that you should do after installing WordPress for the first time. Also, follow the best security practices to secure your WordPress installation.
One of the best things provided by SiteGround is the WordPress Toolkit which can be accessed both from the cPanel and the “My Account” page.
The WordPress Toolkit has all the necessary tools to do stuff like one-click admin password reset, IP address restriction, fixing file permissions, moving installation, configuring SSL certificate, etc.
SiteGround Review – Conclusion
If you are looking for a quality web hosting with features that compliment the WordPress ecosystem then you should definitely try SiteGround. Of course, SiteGround is a little bit pricey. But, the price is well worth if you consider all the things like security, speed, and premium class support. Go see what plan suits your needs. Don’t forget to get 50% off on any of your SiteGround hosting plans.
That’s all for now and if you are using or consider using SiteGround for your website then do share your thoughts and experiences in the comments form below.