SiteGround WordPress Hosting Review: The #1 For 15 Years With Social Media Proof – 2019

Like most people, I got tired of EIG brands (Bluehost) and migrated to SiteGround’s semi-dedicated GoGeek plan. I was instantly happy with the speed improvements (click through my site if you want) and helpful support who did the migration for me. I’m currently running their newly released PHP 7.3 which made it even faster. I rarely contact them since I don’t have hosting issues anymore, and they’ve been an outstanding silent partner the last 4 years. SiteGround was also voted the #1 host in 10 different Facebook polls and I encourage you to join the WordPress Hosting + WordPress Speed Up Facebook Group so you can get unbiased opinions on hosting.   

 

siteground logo 500

PROS

  • $1 rated host in 10 different Facebook polls
  • First host to release PHP 7.3 on October 24, 2018
  • Support is fast and super knowledgeable about WordPress
  • Ongoing security updates prevent hacked websites
  • Semi-dedicated GoGeek plan is a perfect balance between shared/dedicated
  • Free Cloudflare + Let’s Encrypt SSL in their cPanel
  • They will migrate you for free with their GrowBig plan and up

CONS

  • Running high CPU plugins can result in CPU overages, so try to use lightweight plugins and choose a SiteGround plan that supports your bandwidth consumption

Being a member of the WordPress Hosting Facebook Group I always see the same question…

“My WordPress site is slow on XYZ hosting (usually an EIG company). Who is the best host?”

I literally have screenshots of about 30 Facebook conversations where people ask about “the best hosting.” SiteGround almost always gets the most name-drops and positive testimonials.

They have amazing support and speed technology that got my site loading in 200ms in Pingdom and .5s in GTmetrix, plus tons of features you can see on their StartUp vs. GrowBig vs. GoGeek comparison chart (and they’ll migrate you for free with 0 downtime and have a 30-day money back guarantee). They’re also listed on the official WordPress recommended hosts.

I’ve been with SiteGround for 4 years and write WordPress speed tutorials for a living (my WP RocketWP Fastest Cache, and W3 Total Cache tutorials have over 700+ comments combined). Almost 3,000 people read my tutorials every day – I need to know the best host!

I included tons of unbiased social media evidence in this SiteGround WordPress hosting review… just remember that hosting is still the #1 factor in the WordPress optimization guide.

Comment if you have questions, but I think you’ll like them 🙂

SiteGround + WordPress = ❤

Affiliate Disclaimer – if you sign up for SiteGround using my affiliate link I will donate a good chunk at no expense to you. This year I donated $3,000 to feed the homeless in Denver. In 2017, I donated $3,000 to American Red Cross at Hurricane Harvey. Your support helps and I genuinely appreciate it. I try to make my reviews unbiased and backed by evidence in the form of Facebook pollstweets, and real conversations. If you don’t want to use it, here’s a non-affiliate link to SiteGround. Either way I truly believe they’re the best host and that your site will run faster/smoother… do your research on Google and Facebook groups and you’ll find most people say the same.

 

1. #1 In Multiple Facebook Polls

Here’s the Facebook poll taken by the WordPress Hosting Facebook Group. Over 350 people voted who are knowledgeable about WordPress hosting. They were also rated #1 in numerous other polls by various WordPress Facebook Groups (you can click each image to see the poll)…

Join the WordPress Hosting/WordPress Speed Up Facebook Group and see what people say:

Looking-For-New-Hosting-Provider

wordpress-hosting-question

SiteGround-Feedback-Thread

Ivica runs the WordPress Speed Up Facebook Group and ranks them #1 on his resources page. Ivica isn’t a SiteGround affiliate or is sponsored by them, he’s just been a client for many years.

WP-Speed-Up-WordPress-Hosting

SiteGround-vs.-Godaddy-Load-Time-Improvement

2. Why I Use Them

  1. They’re recommended by WordPress
  2. They use PHP 7.3 (check your version here)
  3. They use HTTP/2 servers (check your version here)
  4. Their speed technology page clearly lists what they use
  5. Free Let’s Encrypt SSL (EIG companies charge for this)
  6. My GTmetrix/Pingdom reports are great (the biggest reason)
  7. Average load time is 1.3s, giving most people instant speed improvements
  8. Ivica runs the WordPress Speed Up Facebook Group and ranks them #1
  9. Consistently #1 in Facebook polls/conversations (#1#2#3#4#5#6#7)
  10. Their semi-dedicated plan is affordable yet much faster than shared hosting
  11. They have 1-click Cloudflare activation in the cPanel (view cPanel demo)
  12. Designated WordPress support (tickets usually answered in <10 min)
  13. SG Optimizer plugin keeps your PHP updated with latest version
  14. Automatic daily backups, WordPress updates, and security updates
  15. Great eCommerce hosting
  16. Weekly security email notifications
  17. I usually get 100% uptimes but 99.99% is guaranteed
  18. Out of 50 people I referred to SiteGround in July, not 1 person cancelled
  19. I can call them 24/7 and they’re happy to answer questions (1.800.828.9231)
  20. They will migrate you for free with a 30-day money back guarantee

 

3. 200ms Load Time + 100% Pingdom/GTmetrix Scores

My Pingdom report

Perfect-Pingdom-Report

My GTmetrix report

Perfect-GTmetrix-Report

Average load time is 1.3s…

siteground-page-load-times

1.7s load time…

Another-Happy-SiteGround-Client

1.8s load time…

SiteGround-Load-Time-Improvement

.23s load time…

SiteGround-Load-Time-Improvement

1.4s load time…

New-SiteGround-Load-Times

1.1s load time…

Fast-SiteGround-Page-Load-Times

SiteGround-vs.-Godaddy-Load-Time-Improvement

People who migrated to SiteGround…

SiteGround-Host-Migration

Sure there are other factors besides hosting, but it is #1 in the WordPress optimization guide.

 

4. Speed Technology

SiteGround’s speed technology is one of the biggest reason people choose them. They use a powerful combination of NGINX servers, SSDs, PHP 7.3, 1-click Cloudflare CDN, and HTTP/2 servers. And their SG Optimizer plugin and Supercacher will further improve load times.

SiteGround-Speed-Technology

 

5. Always The Latest PHP Version

You can always count on SiteGround to run the fastest PHP version…

Web-Hosting-PHP-Versions

Which is super important…

WordPress-PHP-Speed

All it takes is a click in their PHP Version Manager…

PHP-Version-Manager

PHP-Upgrade

Not sure what version of PHP you’re running? Use the Display PHP Version plugin

Display-PHP-Version

SiteGround’s SG Optimizer plugin also checks for new versions of PHP, compatibility with themes/plugins, and updates you to the newest version. This is SUPER convenient since most people don’t upgrade as it usually requires manual steps – but their plugin does this for you.

SiteGround-PHP-Update

That’s why most people run PHP 5 or later…

WordPress-PHP-Stats

 

6. Supercacher + SG Optimizer

SiteGround’s Supercacher and SG Optimizer plugin work together to cache your website (static, dynamic, memcache), purge dynamic cache whenever content is updated, configure HTTPS to force SSL (if applicable), and keep your site upgraded to the latest version of PHP.

Supercacher
Supercacher is just as good to other cache plugins like WP Rocket, WP Fastest Cache, and W3 Total Cache. See their cPanel demo to check out the options but this will make your site faster.

SiteGround-Static-Cache

SiteGround-Dynamic-Cache

SiteGround-Memcached

HHVM is only available on cloud hosting…

SiteGround-HHVM

SG Optimizer
This is the plugin that works with Supercacher. View SiteGround’s SG Optimizer tutorial if you want to see the plugin settings, but I think the most valuable part is the ability to upgrade to the latest version of PHP. You must use BOTH the plugin and their Supercacher (shown above).

SiteGround-PHP-Config

 

7. 1-Click Cloudflare Activation

With SiteGround you can activate Cloudflare in the cPanel with 1 click

Cloudflare-SiteGround-cPanel

Tweak Cloudflare settings to aggressive caching and minify for even faster load times…

SiteGround Cloudflare Settings

Haven’t heard of Cloudflare? The main feature is their content delivery network (CDN) which hosts your files on 150+ data centers. And since you only have 1 origin server, this reduces the geographical distance it takes your content to travel from Cloudflare’s servers to your visitors. It also offloads CPU consumption by hosting heavy files on Cloudflare servers instead of yours.

WordPress recommends this in their optimization guide

Use-a-content-Delivery-Network-CDN

 

8. StartUp vs. GrowBig vs. GoGeek

The main difference is StartUp can only host 1 website but still comes with tons of features. GrowBig includes more server resources (faster website), priority support, and 30 daily backups (instead of 1 with StartUp). GoGeek comes with even more server resources (considered semi-dedicated hosting) and you can create a staging site to test code, designs, plugins… before launching. All higher plans come with everything in the previous lower plan.

Here’s the full comparison chart

SiteGround-Shared-Hosting

Higher Plans = More Server Resources = Faster Website – SiteGround’s GrowBig and GoGeek plan include more server resources which make your site load faster (number of servers is the #1 factor in the WordPress optimization guide). GoGeek is semi-dedicated hosting and is about 4x faster than StartUp for $11.95/month, compared to a dedicated serverwhich runs $229/month or their cloud hosting for $80/month. So if website speed is important to you, I would go with GrowBig or GoGeek which include more resources. They also come with priority support, daily backups, WordPress autoupdates, and let you host unlimited sites.

You can see the difference in server resources on SiteGround’s features page

SiteGround-Server-Resources-Chart

Here’s how many come with each plan…

SiteGround-Resources-Comparison

StartUp – cheapest plan sufficient for hosting 1 website with little traffic. Better than most $3.95/month plans from other hosts but lacks server resources (for speed), storage, priority support, and the helpful backup restoration tool (though you still get 1 daily backup). 99% uptimes and no internal server and other hosting-related errors from my own experience.

  • All essential features
  • Host 1 website only
  • ~ 10,000 Visits
  • $3.95/month
  • 10GB Space
  • Lacks server resources

GrowBig – host multiple websites with nearly 2x more server resources than StartUp (resulting in faster load times). Double the storage space, priority support and staging. Includes 30 daily backups, backup restoration tool, and advanced caching for SG Optimizer.

  • All essential features
  • Host unlimited websites
  • ~ 25,000 Visits
  • 30 daily backups
  • Priority support
  • Backup & restoration service
  • WordPress special cache
  • $5.95/month
  • 20GB space
  • 3 levels of SuperCacher
  • Wildcard SSL certificate
  • About 2x server resources
  • About 2x email resources
  • Best cost/value ratio

GoGeek – semi-dedicated hosting and is about 4x faster than regular shared hosting plans. Perfect for people who want a super fast website but don’t want to pay $80/month for cloud hosting. Includes staging (for testing before launching), unlimited restores by SiteGround’s support team, and e-Commerce features like 1 year free Wildcard SSL and PCI compliance for credit card fraud protection. GoGeek includes all features of GrowBig plus everything below:

  • All essential features
  • Host unlimited websites
  • ~ 100,000 Visits
  • 1 click WordPress Staging
  • Premium Backup & Restore
  • SG-Git for repo creation
  • WordPress special cache
  • $11.95/month
  • 30GB space
  • Free PCI Compliance
  • Pre-Installed Git
  • About 3x server resources
  • About 3x email resources
  • Fastest shared hosting plan

 

9. Cloud Hosting

SiteGround’s cloud hosting is primarily for larger websites that have high traffic or need the ability to autoscale resources so your website doesn’t run slow or shut down during traffic spikes. It comes with 2 CPU + 4GB RAM which can make your site even faster than on dedicated hosting. The isolated resources give you better speed, uptimes, and security, and I wrote a full review of SiteGround’s cloud hosting if this is the hosting plan you’re looking at.

SiteGround-Cloud-Hosting-Plans

Isolated Resources – instead of hosting your website on 1 single server, your website is hosted on unlimited machines. This means your website won’t be effected by ANYONE else’s (eg. if they overclock their server on shared hosting). And since cloud hosting simulates a dedicated server, more resources are dedicated to hosting your website, making it load faster. There are many benefits of cloud hosting but you can sum it up into performance, reliability, scalability (autoscaling), and security. Plus you have a much less chance of getting CPU overages especially if you use autoscaling in the SiteGround cPanel to compensate for traffic spikes…

siteground-cloud-autoscale

 

10. Dedicated Servers

I have never used SiteGround’s dedicated servers but they have them for $229/month. This is for high traffic sites needing a lot of resources and am sure it makes your site ridiculously fast. I just honestly don’t have experience with it (so I won’t give an opinion) but if it’s like any other SiteGround plan I’m sure it’s legit. Maybe when I reach 10,000 visitors/day I’ll give it a whirl 🙂

siteground-dedicated-servers

 

11. 5 Data Centers

When you sign up for SiteGround you will choose to host your website in 1 of 5 data centers: Chicago, London, Amsterdam, Milan, or Singapore. Choose the one that’s closest to your visitors (to reduce the geographical distance it takes for your content travel). SiteGround’s data centers use redundant storage so your website should never go down due to electrical problems. This was quite the problem with Bluehost when they experienced a network outage which caused tons of outages on their shared, VPS, and dedicated plans. Fortunately SiteGround is all about taking preventative measures BEFORE an issue happens.

SiteGrounds-Data-Centers

 

12. Support

SiteGround is undoubtedly setting the standard for support. Their team is SUPER helpful with WordPress (they also participate in tons of WordCamps) and have actually tweaked my Wordfence settings when I was having issues. Tickets are usually answered within 10 minutes especially if you have their GrowBig and GoGeek plan which come with priority support. And if you’re currently hosted somewhere else, SiteGround will migrate you for free.

SiteGround-Support-Convo

Fastest support in the industry…

siteground-tickets

 

13. Security

SiteGround uses Linux containers and account isolation to prevent other websites on your server from effecting yours, plus ongoing patches and security monitoring. Of course you should change your generic Admin username and install a plugin like Wordfence, but SiteGround will do their part. Their development team constantly makes sure your site isn’t affected by threats which (if your site has ever been hacked) you know how important it is…

SiteGround-HTTPoxy-Update

Here’s how SiteGround protects your website (listed on the features page)…

siteground-wordpress-security

Weekly emails letting you know your site is secure…

SiteGround Security Alerts

 

14. Uptime (Actually 99.99%)

SiteGround has outstanding uptime technology that is actually 99.99%. If you’ve ever experienced internal server errors, bad gateways, connection failures, and other messages when your site goes down, you shouldn’t get this with SiteGround. I use Uptime Robot to monitor my uptimes which are at 100%. They use Linux containers, server monitoring, secure account isolation, etc. Other WordPress hosts say 99.99% but fail to deliver. Not SiteGround.

uptime-robot

Check their Facebook Page and you’ll see customers love these updates…

SiteGround-Security-Updates

 

15. Automatic WordPress Updates

Set SiteGround to automatically update WordPress core/plugins in the cPanel

SiteGround WordPress Autoupdates

 

16. eCommerce Features

siteground-ecommerce-features

Shopping Carts – SiteGround supports all major shopping carts. You may want to read about their merchant account solutions to learn about processing payments for eCommerce hosting.

Free Let’s Encrypt SSL – all plans come with a free Let’s Encrypt SSL in the cPanel.

Wildcard SSL – GrowBig and GoGeek include a wildcard SSL for 1 year which secures your site and it’s subdomains while giving you a site seal to showcase on your website. After the 1st year it will cost $89/year. You can view SiteGround’s SSL plans to learn more about these.

PCI Compliance – GoGeek includes PCI compliance (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) which prevents credit card fraud by unifying payments using 12 requirements.

 

17. cPanel Demo

If you’re not currently hosted with SiteGround and want to see a cPanel demo, this will help you explore the different options once you purchase a SiteGround plan. You will find many features I’ve gone over including Cloudflare CDN, autoupdates, autoinstallers, staging, backups, email, WordPress tools like their SuperCacher plugin, and plenty of other features.

SiteGround cPanel

 

18. Free Migration

SiteGround will migrate you for free and while it’s impossible to guarantee, there should be absolutely 0 downtime – you don’t have to wait until Sunday. I did this when I was with Bluehost (and have done it for many clients) and never had a problem. The migration was done within a few hours with no technical issues. So yes, I have full confidence in their technicians.

Their support tickets include an option to request a website transfer

SiteGround-Website-Transfer

 

19. Low Cancellation Rates

As a SiteGround affiliate, I can see how many people cancel after signing up – it’s about 10%. Just to give you an idea WP Engine’s cancellation rate is 21% and HostGator is around 60%.

SiteGround-Reversal-Rates

 

SiteGround is recommended by WordPress

siteground-recommended-wordpress-host

 

21. The Problem With Bluehost, HostGator, EIG Companies

Did you know Bluehost, HostGator, iPage, Site5, HostMonster, and tons of other hosting companies are owned by the same awful firm (EIG)? Here’s the full list but EIG is infamous for acquiring companies, firing employees, and completely ruining companies by downgrading hardware and packing more customers on the same server. Great for EIG profits, not for you.

List-Of-EIG-Brands

 

22. How To Tell If Your Hosting Is Slow

Server Response Time – run your site through Google Page Speed Insights to see if reduce server response time shows in your report. Google recommends a response time of <200ms.

Reduce-Server-Response-Time

TTFB – time to first byte measures the responsiveness of your web server (hosting). Run your site through bytecheck.com and ideally it should be <500ms, however <200ms is even better.

Time-To-First-Byte

You can also check TTFB in the GTmetrix Timings tab…

GTmetrix-TTFB

 

23. A+ Feedback On Facebook And Twitter

If you actually spend the time reading these Facebook conversations, the decision is clear.

Here are just a few of them…

Feedback-On-SiteGround

Godaddy-vs-SiteGround-vs-InMotion

HostGator-vs-SiteGround

SiteGround-vs-Godaddy-Thread

SiteGround-vs-Godaddy-vs-HostGator-vs-Dreamhost

SiteGround-vs-Godaddy-vs-HostGator

SiteGround-vs-Bluehost-Facebook-Thread

Compliments about their support from Twitter…

SiteGround-Support-Testimonials

View SiteGround’s WordPress Hosting

I hope you found my SiteGround WordPress hosting review helpful! If you have any questions feel free to drop me a line in the comments but I tried to cover as much as I could. I really do love SiteGround (I just bought my SiteGround t-shirt the other day) so ya, I’m kind of obsessed.

See Also: How I Optimized My WordPress Site To Load In 200ms

Cheers,
Tom

About Bas Martens

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