If you’re on the market for a WordPress host, you may have heard about WordPress hosting called SiteGround. While there are many providers available out there, SiteGround is a very popular hosting service that offers its clients a variety of hosting options.
Site Ground not only offers users WordPress hosting, but also cloud hosting as well as dedicated servers for those with a bigger need. It’s a big decision to choose your hosting provider, so we’ve created this SiteGround review to help make it a bit easier.
SiteGround is a truly competitive option, delivering its users some of the best uptime (99.99%) and speeds (716 ms) in the industry; this will give your WordPress site a nice advantage. All plans include a CDN, SSL certificate, as well as email account.
In addition, we found their customer support team to be knowledgeable, pleasant, and timely in their responses.
That said, there are some other considerations to keep in mind, and we’ll dive into the pros and cons of this popular hosting provider in our SiteGround review. Let’s get started!
General Info & Hosting Overview
SiteGround Review rating: 5/5 stars
A provider that could be considered a cheap WordPress hosting solution, SiteGround is robust with benefits and features. Here are some primary categories and our findings:
- Speed: 716 ms
- Uptime: 99.99%
- Apps: 500+ applications are supported on Site ground
- Features: Free email, free CDN, free SSL, daily backup, 10 GB storage, unmetered bandwidth
- Hosting Plans: WordPress, cloud, shared, enterprise, dedicated services, and reseller
- Site Transfer: Yes
- Support: 24/7 live chat, phone, knowledge base
- Pricing: intro prices starting at $4.99/mo
Pros of Using SiteGround Hosting
As you can see from our overall SiteGround review, they rank in at 5 stars, which is optimal. SiteGround offers users almost 100% uptime, incredibly fast speeds, and many additional features that will satisfy both beginners and advanced users alike.
1. Good Performance – 99.99% Uptime in Last 12 Months
SiteGround is one of the most reliable WordPress hosting providers in terms of uptime with a near-perfect reporting of 99.99%, which is stellar. This means that website visitors won’t be surprised by a site that is down and will always have a positive user experience.
More importantly, your site will always be up and running, never missing out on a visitor that is ready to make a purchase.
Our Siteground review found the following uptimes as of July 2021:
- July 2021: 100%
- June 2021: 100%
- May 2021: 100%
- April 2021: 100%
- March 2021: 100%
- February 2021: 99.99%
- January 2021: 99.91%
- December 2020: 99.99%
- November 2020: 100%
- October 2020: 99.99%
- September 2020: 99.99%
- August 2020: 99.99%
With such a long standing track record of reliable uptimes, our SiteGround review is confident in saying this is a big pro of the provider.
2. Above-Average Load Time (716 ms)
SiteGround also delivers in the way of load times, and this is one of the most important factors when choosing a WordPress host. Because we live in a world of instant gratification, even a small delay of 1 second can impact what your visitor decides to do.
Research from Google suggests that if your site doesn’t load between 1-3 seconds, 53% of people are likely to leave; if the load time goes from 1 second to 3 seconds, the chance of a bounce increases by an astounding 32%.
What’s more, there’s only so much you can do when your host is slow and it’s a difficult problem to fix. You can adjust a few things on your end, such as your image size, caching, and using a CDN to load images and media, but it really won’t make much of a difference if the host is providing slow speeds.
Thus, we took speed seriously in our SiteGround review and the good news is that they delivered. They have an above-average loading time of about 716 ms that they offer their clients, and while it’s not the fastest we’ve seen, it is definitely a pro of the SiteGround service.
3. Good Customer Support Experience
Even if you’re looking for cheap WordPress hosting, it’s important to choose a solution that offers some elements of support, and SiteGround can offer you that. There is an expansive knowledge base so customers can find their own information or solutions as they need.
If that doesn’t work for you, you’ll be able to chat with someone via live chat 24/7 as well as call in to their phone support line. SiteGround was responsive both via chat as well as phone, making their support services effective.
Overall, the support staff for SiteGround is knowledgeable about their products and services and can offer you support in terms of billing, sales, and technical inquiries. We categorize their level of support in the pro section of our SiteGround review for these reasons.
4. Free WordPress Migration
Perhaps you started your WordPress site with a previous host and are considering migrating your site to one that better suits your needs. This process should be as easy as possible. SiteGround doesn’t do the migration for you, per se, but they do offer a seamless transition method to help you.
SiteGround has created a free WordPress plugin called SiteGround Migrator to help you transfer your WordPress site to their hosting services. How does it work?
You’ll visit your SiteGround hosting account and generate a token; once you have the token the plugin will do the rest of the work, making things smooth and seamless. You’ll still have to do a little work, but it’s still manageable even for beginners.
We categorize this as a SiteGround review pro because it makes the process very simple and doesn’t make you do everything on your own. What’s more, you can migrate as many sites as you like using their migrator plugin, no additional fees or caps whatsoever.
5. Free SSL Certificate and Content Delivery Network (CDN)
As technology develops, it’s more and more important to use a protected site and Google Chrome, along with other web browsers, will alert (and even prevent!) users from visiting a site that doesn’t have a proper SSL certificate configured.
The purpose of SSL is to safeguard personal details such as IP addresses, credit card information, and more when a user is visiting a website; it protects information that is sent between the website and the users’ device.
Without this SSL protection, hackers can easily intercept the data, putting users and their sensitive information at risk. Not having the proper SSL protection can hurt not only your website visitors but also your reputation.
Our SiteGround review finds that you’ll have access to SSL encryption on all plans available, keeping your site responsible and your visitors safe.
In addition, you’ll get the free Cloudflare CDN (Content Delivery Network) which will help make your website easily accessible around the world. The CDN stores large files on a variety of servers in different global locations so that visitors can access your page quickly no matter where they’re based.
With servers across three different continents, it makes them a cheap WordPress hosting option that delivers a lot of value in making your website accessible on a global scale.
We also want to highlight a newly announced feature in this SiteGround review, known as the SiteGround Security plugin. This will give your site even more protection against malintent and it’s completely free, even if you don’t use SiteGround as your web host.
6. Beginner-to-Advanced Features Available
No matter if you’re a beginner or an advanced user reading this SiteGround review, we can assure you that you’ll find scalable features that you can make good use of on SiteGround.
Popular website builders such as Weebly can easily be installed for those beginners and bloggers, allowing you to access a drag-and-drop editor that makes creating a solid website simple and straightforward, no coding required.
Other SiteGround integrations aside from Weebly include WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. All three of these apps, among others, can be installed in minutes with no help from a developer or a website manager.
If you do prefer to use coding and advanced features, however, this part of our SiteGround review is especially for you.
You’ll be able to have SSH, WP-CLI, SFTP, and phpMyAdmin alongside Git on bigger plans, and they all come pre-installed. Multiple PHP versions are also available to you, as well as multi-level caching. Finally, you’ll be able to test out your new features before you publish them through staging environments.
If you’re a client managing multiple sites, you’ll now be able to use a single SSH key for multiple SFTP access, and this was just released at the time of writing this SiteGround review.
7. 99.99% Uptime Guarantee
As we saw in our earlier SiteGround review section, uptime certainly isn’t a problem for the platform, but just in case you’re still worried, they offer you a 99.99% uptime guarantee. They take their uptime very seriously which is why they’re one of the most reliable cheap WordPress hosting platforms.
SiteGround guarantees this 99.99% uptime on an annual basis, and if they break that uptime guarantee, they’ll make it right through free months of hosting. So, how is uptime calculated?
First off, scheduled maintenance or emergency maintenance are both exempt from this uptime calculation. Also, anything that you do to cause downtime for your site is also exempt, including things like installing applications that don’t work or violating terms.
8. 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
SiteGround offers a complete 30-day money-back guarantee on all shared hosting plans to offer you that additional peace of mind if, after reading this SiteGround review, you’re not 100% convinced.
Certain things such as domain name fees and other purchased extras or add-ons may not be eligible for refund, a practice that is common among all cheap WordPress hosting, and even the more expensive options.
Keep in mind— if you’re a repeat or renewal customer, this doesn’t apply to you. It only applies to brand new plans.
Cons of Using SiteGround Hosting
Now that our SiteGround review has dug into phenomenal features like 99.99% uptime, quick loading speeds, features for all skill levels, as well as a secure platform, it’s time we take a look at any drawbacks of SiteGround.
These are some of the elements that didn’t wow us during our testing period of SiteGround.
1. Higher Renewal Rates
While there are cheap WordPress hosting options through SiteGround, their prices are so low that they cause a little suspicion, and after we looked at the fine print, we saw what was happening.
The cheapest plan available, StartUp, offers a $4.99/month rate (at the time of this SiteGround review) that they claim is discounted from $14.99/mo. While this is a good price for now, it isn’t going to last the whole time you host with them.
That “discounted from $14.99” will come back once you’ve finished the first invoice period (1 year). This isn’t something that is exclusive to SiteGround though; this is a common practice among all WordPress hosting providers.
There may also be additional fees such as domain registration, domain privacy, and SG site scanner that you need to pay when you sign up. If you have your own domain already, you won’t have to pay for this domain registration.
Finally, the $4.99/mo is only available when billed annually. If you want to pay for your SiteGround hosting monthly, you’ll be looking at $19.99 for the StartUp plan, and even more for the other plans.
While our SiteGround review recognizes that this happens with all the main hosting providers, we wish Site ground had been the exception and not the rule.
2. Limited “Cheap” Plan
Regardless of the pricing debate, there’s no denying that the pricing and features look good on the StartUp plan at first glance.
However, our SiteGround review examined them in detail, and they were a bit basic. While you will get a lot of free features, like daily backup, SSL, migrator, auto-updates, and free email, there are some downsides, including a mere 10,000 monthly visits and only 10GB of web space.
This won’t be a problem if you’re just beginning to build your site and your web traffic, since you won’t be close to those numbers. If your site is expanding or becoming bigger, you may want to choose a more advanced plan.
3. No Free Domain Name
Unfortunately, you won’t be getting a free domain name with SiteGround. Some services, such as BlueHost, will throw in the domain name for the first year. If you don’t already have a domain name and want to work with SiteGround, you’re looking at an additional $17.99/year (at the time of writing this SiteGround review).
SiteGround Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts
SiteGround has three WordPress hosting tiers and these are the costs and highlights:
This section of our SiteGround review will tackle some of the most frequently-asked questions to help you make your decision.
- Does SiteGround include a free domain? No; you need to have a domain already purchased or buy one through them for $17.99/year (at the time of this SiteGround review).
- Is it easy to sign up for SiteGround? Yes, it’s incredibly easy. You can follow the simple 3-step process to sign up for SiteGround in minutes.
- Does SiteGround offer a guarantee? Yes; 30-day money-back guarantee on new plans.
- What payment methods does SiteGround accept? All major credit cards
- Are there any hidden fees with Site ground? Renewal fees will be higher than advertised price and you must pay annually to access the lower rate.
- Does SiteGround offer apps and integrations? Yes, SiteGround offers expansive apps and integrations for both beginners and advanced users.
Do We Recommend SiteGround?
Yes, our SiteGround review absolutely recommends SiteGround. All three plans have something for everyone and provide excellent value for WordPress hosting.
SiteGround has a stellar reputation for solid uptime and they fortify it with an uptime guarantee. Downtime can cause huge issues for your site, so this is an important factor.
Next, their site speed is fast and effective and they also make use of Cloudflare CDN to increase access points. You’ll also get SSL for free across all plans.
Finally, while their pricing model has some caveats, it’s overall a cheap WordPress hosting solution and you can save some serious bucks if you purchase the longest term plan at the discounted rate. If you bring your own domain name, you’ll save even more.
Best Siteground Alternatives
Still wondering what other options are available for cheap WordPress hosting that provides you the best services possible?
The following three options are widely recognized as the best WordPress hosting providers and give SiteGround a real run for their money. Let’s take a quick look at each of them.
Bluehost is probably the most comparable service to SiteGround as they offer many of the same features. A popular option among beginners, you can use Bluehost to access cheap WordPress hosting at only $2.95/month (at the time of this SiteGround review). You’ll also get a free domain when you sign up (if you don’t already have one).
Bluehost also has some of the highest uptimes and site speeds out there, making it a very attractive option. They offer their own built-in drag-and-drop site builder which allows beginners to get their site designed and running within 30 minutes. You can opt out of this as you set up your account if you’re an advanced user.
Known as the industry leader in managed WordPress hosting, if you're looking for the most comprehensive solution available for starting or growing your website, WP Engine is a great alternative.
WP Engine offers you an expansive suite of site building and management tools that will allow you to seamlessly build the best user experience for your website visitors. Some of the outstanding features of WP Engine include:
- 99.99% uptimes
- Integrations with Google, CloudFlare, AWS, HubSpot, and many more
- Tools for developers, design, and management
- Fully-managed global CDN and SSL
- 38% faster loading times over other hosts
- 24/7/365 support
- Auto Migration
- and more
This is a SiteGround review, but we highly recomment WP Engine as a powerful web hosting solution.
The last alternative our SiteGround review will offer up is Kinsta, another well-respected WordPress hosting solution. Kinsta is a high-quality hosting provider that is focused on driving incredible speeds, bulletproof security, and framework that is constantly evolving with the time.
Kinsta can offer you many valuable features, including:
- Regular uptime checks
- Automatic scaling
- 24/7 Support
- 99.99% uptime
- and more
Not only that, Kinsta offers you a wide range of pricing and plans so that they can meet the needs of diverse clients and what their WordPress site requires.