The place for you to host your website. This is how SiteGround used to look when I was reviewing it back in 2019 and I mean look at this. Ads and special offers everywhere, drop-down menu hell everything just feels old and outdated.
Not what you would expect from a premium quality product.this old SiteGround design had a coming soon message lingering over my head for quite some time now, announcing that this design is about to get updated.
So, I assumed that the SiteGround engineers are cooking up something quite special.Fast forward a couple of months and this is how SiteGround looks right now.
We’ve got a nice and clean looking home screen you’ve got a control panel to manage all of your different websites from one screen, you can access the WordPress panel of each website individually or you can go to site tools and work on custom email addresses, databases see the statistics of your website.
Over all, just gorgeous easy to use, and informative if I was SiteGround . I wonder how it would go Okay so, all jokes, memes, goofs and gaffs aside having a service that looks great and is easy to use is excellent.
But it’s not essential, what you should be looking at when you’re looking for a web hosting company is actually their price,performance, features and the support that they are offering.
So let’s look at each of these aspects one by one right now. According to SiteGround, they have the best available technology to make your website faster, more secure and easier to manage.
But this is absolutely nothing new, every single web hosting company claims that they’re the fastest, they have the best technology and your websites will be fastest using their services.
And every single time I hear this claim I go like is it though is it really the fastest. So, I do my own testing, I got the most expensive shared web hosting plan from SiteGround called the GoGeek plan and I’m gonna be doing all of the performance tests using this plan.
Just for a simple control test I’ve installed a completely new Word Press installation that comes together with any SiteGround plan.
The whole process took me around three minutes the only thing I’ve changed here is the theme I change it to 2017 as I always used this one for tests.
But other than that, this is the configuration that comes straight out of the box with SiteGround I’ve used GTmetrix and Pingdom to test the loading speed of my website.
GTmetrix reported that this empty WordPress website with the default SiteGround configuration loads in 0.8 seconds.
Pingdom showed an even faster result 0.3 seconds loading time. But what does this mean? Well, it’s pretty much as fast as you can get testing just an empty WordPress website anything under 1 second is considered extremely good and anything close to 1 second is still acceptable.
But keep in mind that this is just an empty WordPress website and it’s not that hard to get these results with the moreexpensive plans.
Let’s try putting some load on my website and see how Site Ground performs then. I’ve worked on this website a bit I’ve added a lot of design elements pictures, text, backgrounds, videos. Basically, I’ve simulated an actual website.
Here’s how my website looks right now, as you can see there’s a lot more going on. I did both tests and this time GTmetrix showed a loading time of 1.8 seconds, I did the same loading speed test with Pingdom and it reported 1.2 seconds.
So, is this fast? Oh yeah this is like A+++ in terms of speed, let me show you a quick example using other web hosting providers and differently priced plans.
Here, I have an identical website but this one is hosted on Hostinger using their $1 a month plan it loads in 3 seconds according to GTmetrix,I’ve also done the same exact test with Hostgator and their cheapest plan it’s somewhere around $2 a month and my website loaded in 5.2 (4.8s actually) seconds.
So far, it seems that more money = more better If you got cash to blow and want to be the coolest kid on the block with your fast loading website and obviously shame those who can’t reach loading speeds as fast as yours go with SiteGround but as I often say on this channel speed isn’t everything.
So, I did what any good geek does and did more testing. A couple of months I’ve set up a monitor to check how often my SiteGround website goes offline in recent years website stability has improved dramatically but there are still some an omalies that happen here and there.
As you can see here in the last 30 days my SiteGround website was online for more than 99.99% of the time.
Experiencing just one instance of downtime for one minute. Okay so at this point I know what you might be thinking”oh wow these really expensive plans are actually fast and stable who would’ve thought I’m glad we did all of this testing”…
Yeah kind of, but I never take what these companies say at the base value I always want to do my own testing because often web hosting companies over promise and under deliver and in the past SiteGround didn’t use to perform all that good for me but after they upgraded to Nginx and PHP 7.3 and move to Google cloud infrastructure the impact really shows their performance went up significantly.
At the moment SiteGround plans are more expensive than most other providers they’ve always been a premium not a cheap choice when it comes to hosting starting at $6.99 a month.
If it’s hard for you to put this price into perspective 2 other excellent web hosting companies that I often recommend on this channel Hostinger and Dream host have their cheapest plans start at $0.89 and $2.59 respectively.
Making them quite a good chunk cheaper. SiteGround offers better performance so that’s why they’re charging more but which plans should you get and why aren’t cheaper options just as good.
Well,here’s the thing there’s a reason why there is no universally best web hosting company different people have different needs and the plan you get with SiteGround,or even if you choose SiteGround largely depends on what you need.
For example,when buying any plan with SiteGround you don’t get a domain name for free and by the way a domain name is your website name.
So, you’ll need to buy that separately, but you do get daily backups for free. A domain name usually cost around $8 a year daily backups usually cost around $15 to $30 a year.
In theory, SiteGround is giving you a better deal for your money by offering the free daily backups instead of a free domain name.
But here’s the thing a domain name is mandatory to start a website daily backups is just something that’s nice to have. Of course if you already have a website you have a domain name, the daily backups will be like a billion times more useful to you than another domain.
If that makes sense! What I’m getting at is you shouldn’t buy a 10-seat minivan if you’re single with no kids and pretty much in the same way it’s going to be a waste to buy an unlimited web hosting plan that has website staging, backups on-demand and GITsupport if you’re just planning on hosting one website that has your portfolio on it.
That being said I would actually skip the Start Up plan entirely and if you’re planning to go with SiteGround I would look at the better plans.
Because, that’s where all of these SiteGround specific features lie and that’s where all of the value from using SiteGround comes.
If you’re going to choose a premium web hosting service like SiteGround to host your website either go all the way and use all of the premium features or just go with a cheap web hosting company.
As I’ve mentioned before Dream Host or Hostinger is a good option.The only reason I would recommend getting the startup plan is well if you’ve got cash to blow and you don’t really care about the money you just want an objectively faster website and you’ll have the ease of mind knowing that you’ll have the best product on the market right now.
What makes the Grow Big and GoGeek plans so special and premium? By paying $9.99 a month you’ll be getting all of these standard features like a free professional email box to create emails like this or like this or even this.
You’ll also get a free SSL certificate ssl certificates add a lock next to your domain and encrypt your website.
It’s a mandatory security features that you’ll definitely want and most importantly you’ll be able to host unlimited websites on one account.
So, every time you want to make a new project just buy a domain name go to your dashboard click “Add Website” and boom you’ve got a completely new website.
No need to buy additional hosting plans.But what makes these plans special and worth the increased cost besides better performance obviously are these features right here.
You get on-demand backups and backups are essentially past versions of your website and you choose which one you want to use if needed.
You know how in games before you do something really stupid you quick save and then if your idea backfires you can reload that save and try again?
Well, backups are exactly like that they’re saves of your website. You get WordPress Auto updates which do exactly what it sounds like they do update if the WordPress version and plugins on your website automatically to save you time.
Because, ain’t nobody got time to check for updates every single day. And I can guarantees that you’ll forget to install updates at one point or another.
So, doing it automatically is a great option. Next up website staging, what exactly is website staging? Well, it’s a tool that allows you to create a copy of your website make edits to the copy and then update your live website with all of the changes made on the copy version.
Because, website staging lets you make substantial changes to your website without experiencing any downtime since you’re working on a completely different version that the users don’t even see.
It’s like ~MAGIC~… It’s magical You have 2 identical websites let’s call them”Website 1″ which is your live website and “Website 0” which is a website created using this staging tool.
Users are able to visit and interact with”Website 1″ but not with “Website 0” Now, you want to change the website design of “Website 1” the way you do it is you actually make all of the changeson “Website 0” and once they’re ready you simply merge the websites together.
This way you get all of the changes and repairs done with none of the downtime and this isn’t your standard run-of-the-mill feature that comes with every single web hosting company everywhere.
This is quite rare and Bluehost doesn’t do this Hostinger doesn’t do this I know Hostgator doesn’t do this.
Dream host does but it’s a new feature it used to be reserved for developers. Now, it’s coming as a standard package for shared web hosting plans and I think this is like a huge technological step up for creating better web sites on shared web hosting plans.
Another notable feature of the grow big plan with site wealth is the ability to add collaborators to your account.
And this is mostly a tool for people could do a lot of freelance work sometimes I create a lot of websites for other people.
But I can’t really give them the login information to the backend because it’s a little bit of a security issue if there’s no collaboration tool.
Because, let’s say I have a plan that lets me host unlimited websites and I create a website for someone I host it on this unlimited plan just to be part of like one out of these 30 websites that are hosted on this plan problem is without the collaboration tool there’s only one login and password for the whole account.
So, if I gave that to one of my clients he would have access to the 29 other websites as well.
Using the collaboration tool you can give certain people access to certain parts of the account and they’ll have to use their own SiteGround account to log in and manage everything.
It’s an amazing tool if you’re a freelancer or you want for someone to take a look at your website but you don’t want to give them your login information.
Not many web hosting companies have this feature at the moment I only know Holsinger and SiteGround that’s properly utilizing this at the low cost.
But it’s definitely something that’s gonna be a lifesaver if you’re doing a lot of freelance work. but I did notice there are some “Hidden Fees” for certain features that do not come with any of the plans and the plan pricing can be confusing to some people.
For example, all of these prices that you see right here are actually promotional prices. Let’s say I buy the Grow Big plan for 12 months I would have to pay $120 upfront and I can use this plan for a full year.
But, after one year you’ll need to renew your subscription this time the price won’t be so low the $9.99 a month would turn into $24.99 a month and one year would cost you $300 instead of $120 and additional security tools that protect your websites from malware cost $20 dollars per year on top of your hosting subscription.
Also, when you’re registering your account make sure to edit which data centers you want your website to be located in. Super-important choose the data servers that are gonna be closest to the majority of your users not you.
So, if you’re expecting a lot of users from the United States host in the United States because the less of the distance between the server and your customer the faster your website is going to load for that customer.
Money–Back Guarantee is the way of ensuring your complete satisfaction with the product. … If you are not satisfied with the product, then let them know within 30 calendar days of purchase, and they will give you a full refund.
If you choose the wrong data centers and want to change them later that’s going to cost you around $25 extra SiteGround advertises 24/7 chat support but I couldn’t find it anywhere at first there’s no button that pops up there is no separate support app to be found.
But there is this “Help Center” that you can reach by clicking the question mark it has a contact us button but at firstI thought is just email support.
So, I wrote to the support staff through email asking them how can I contact them through the live chat that advertised to their credit my ticket was answered in a couple of hours that’s pretty fast and this is the response that I’ve got.
To contact live chat support you have to go back tothe contact us page then select billing then select other then type in your question and the live chat shows up as soon as you click the submit button.
Definitely not the most convenient and effective way of contacting the support through chat. What I’ve noticed that some categories offer chat support some don’t you don’t really know which one is gonna be before you hit that submit button and I think SiteGround is trying to determine which problems are best solved from which channels.
And I got to say I’m not a huge fan of this. I completely understand this from a business point of view like it makes complete sense they need less staff they can answer the problems more accurately but from a customer’s point of view… I don’t really care.
If I’m paying for 24/7 live chat support I expect that live chat support button to be there on the screen at all times and it doesn’t matter if I want a glass of water I can contact the support and ask them for a glass of water it doesn’t matter that they’re not gonna give me one .
But I still have the option of contacting them at least. Anyways in my opinion, the absolute best way to test how good a support team is?
Is to actually give them a hard problem to solve. So, there’s a small chance that I have infected my website with viruses and malware on purpose then I try to break my website by uploading 30GBs of footage on it and maybeI’ve used extremely high resolution 8k images on my website to slow it downeven further.
Then I asked the SiteGround support staff to help me here’s how everything went down. What not to do on your website five-step guide.
1. You know the old saying less is more? More is more! And what we need moreand more is plugins.
So, I’ve downloaded over 200 plugins I have no idea whatmost of them do obviously.
2. You know all those mumbo jumbo optimizations these companies force on your websites? Go ahead and turn every single one of them off.
So, goodbye Nginx.. goodbye Memcached.. I want my website to be slow!
3. There’s something about my website design that just not working out for me we’re missing these 8k incredibly detailed images that I refuse to scale down because people need to experience them in their full glory!
4. I’m paying for 30 gigabytes of disk space so I’m going to use 30 gigabytes of disk space that means I’ll upload various footage on my server for safekeeping of course.
step 5 simply install malware and viruses on your website. Ok on a more serious note this is a shared web hosting plan that I’m using that means I’m sharing it withother people and if I get infected with malware there is a chance that other people will get infected as well.
And I don’t want to compromise their security because in bird culture that’s considered a dick move.
But I got the next best thing I’ve actually called up my friend I asked him to write a custom piece of code that’s gonna simulate how malwareacts I later uploaded all those files on my website and instead of being harmfulit’s more just like really annoying but I’m totally in control and it’s not going to infect other users.
So, every time he pages visited on my site you’ll see this alert if you click any of the buttons you will get redirected to this page and even if you don’t you’ll still get redirected after 30 seconds also every single millisecond the footer is loading 99999 lines of empty text to slow down the site.
This website is in pretty bad shape let’s contact the support. I’ve told them that I have no idea what’s happening to my website that’s now slow there are redirects so please help me! I’ve got a response back quite fast explaining that my website…well… is garbage and I should work on it myself.
I’ve broken my website so badly that the support agent couldn’t even perform a speed test.
Not happy with the response I’ve pleaded with them asking for any kind of advice on what should I do and I’ve got another response explaining that my website was working fine before I broke it so I should load it back up and it’ll be fine technically that was the easiest fix they were correct .
so I can’t be mad at them but they didn’t want to do anything for me they just guided me towards the fix so I could do with myself.
What did we learn from all of this? Absolutely nothing…. No but in all seriousness, if SiteGround handled this, I’m pretty sure they can handle anything you throw at them.
Overall, I really like the new SiteGround update now it truly feels like a premium product. In their 2020 update the visual style got better, ease of use got better, performance got significantly better and the only thing that I personally believed got worse compared to 2019is their support team.
But that’s large to their decision to hide the chat button why would you hide the chat button guys just bring it back. Anyways, do I recommend SiteGround?
Absolutely yes, I think there’s no one that’s gonna be disappointed if you buy a SiteGround plan right now, they’re a great web hosting company, and if you got cash to blow or just want the ease of mind that you got the best product available go with SiteGround.
But if you’re just looking for a simple website for your simple blog or a portfolio this expensive option might not be the best for you I would recommend you check out Hostinger or Bluehost.
Because chances are that they’re cheap web hosting plans will offer the exact same performance on your website because you’re not putting a lot of strain on the server.