SiteGround is a web hosting service that is crafted with care. This is what I read in the title of SiteGround website. Compared to other web hosting providers they have a unique way of business representation.

I mean their philosophy: Handcrafted philosophy.

SiteGround claims that they pick their technology right from hardware to software solutions themselves in order to provide a reliable web hosting service to their clients. Their philosophy page shows that they are ready to stretch beyond the standards and provide a better solution based on their own experimentations and knowledge.SiteGround Review - The Ultimate Review of SiteGround Web Hosting for WordPress

That’s something unique that I see in SiteGround’s business compared to other web hosting providers that are more similar to each other. The philosophy is kind of little sentimental to me and it makes sense as well being a SiteGround user.

Yes, currently, BlashO is hosted on SiteGround.

I almost came into blogging around 2007 and I am a WordPress enthusiast. I had tried so many web hosting services almost everything right from Host Gator, Blue Host, Dream Host. Earlier I had a lot of niche websites on various topics, I had created almost 30+ blogs using WordPress.

After a long break, today, I am settled down with BlashO.

When I see that there are a lot of existing web hosting providers in this world, there are certain things common among them, they always claim that they are the best and they always use the top class Technology.

However, only when you really go and use the service you will know what are their real pros and cons.

There is no one provider in the world who will be having all only pros or only positives. Any hosting service has its own advantages and disadvantages. Of course, it’s the same for SiteGround as well, however, when I use their service I find that they have a lot of advantages than the disadvantages.

Today, I am going to write a detailed review of SiteGround covering each and every aspect of the web hosting service. I want this to be an ultimate guide for the WordPress users and what I really want to do is show you what is there inside SiteGround hosting account especially the WordPress hosting.

It’s purely about my personal opinion, what I feel about the SiteGround service. It is not about I am trying to push their service by making only favorable statements about them.

This is my own perception of how SiteGround hosting is and how it is helping me to run BlashO as a passion.

Web Hosting Requirements for WordPress Installation.

For WordPress blog, here are the minimum requirements for any web hosting provider.

  • You need PHP, WordPress recommends Version 7 or greater
  • My SQL version 5.8 or greater.
  • It is good to have HTTPS support.

That’s simple.

These are the requirements of any web hosting provider in order to run your WordPress blog. Almost every web hosting provider has all these minimum requirements satisfied for you.

However, its all about choosing the best solution available in the market.

Siteground is one of the best providers that is officially recommended by wordpress.org and you also can check here.

Without thinking anything about it you can simply go for it as it is already recommended by WordPress.

SiteGround claims that they are engineered for speed and built for security and handcrafted for WordPress.

Introduction to 3 different web hosting plans.

Let’s get into the details of hosting plans available.

There are three plans available in SiteGround:

  • StartUp plan
  • GoBig plan
  • GoGeek plan

As of today, I am using the GoGeek plan for BlashO.SiteGround all available hosting plans

These 3 plans are easily comparable and they have almost all similar or essential features. They vary in terms of performance, customer support and advanced features. If you are a beginner to start a blog then StartUp plan is well enough.

In case, if you want to host multiple blogs or already owning a high traffic blog then you can either go for the GoGeek plan.

To make the review simpler and more precise I’m going to explain each and every aspect of the SiteGround features.

Web Hosting Performance and Page Loading Speed.

Now the most important aspect of web hosting is that the performance of the server. Because it directly affects the loading time of your blog.

After the Google’s algorithm change for considering the page speed as one of the ranking factors, we all run behind a page speed.

It’s extremely important for you to have a web hosting provider that help to load the pages as fast as possible to the users.

Apart from search engines, it also enhances the user experience and it directly affects the performance of your business in terms of conversion and sales. Why because people love pages that load faster as they can find the information they want as quick as possible.

If you read any of the reviews around the web about SiteGround, the most important thing that I found is that everyone speaks about page speed. They claim that SiteGround provides a faster service when compared to other web hosting providers.

  • Earlier, When I was using Godaddy shared hosting, the page speed was pretty good not so bad with them.
  • However, when I enabled SSL the performance degraded to a greater extent and when I called Godaddy customer care they asked me to upgrade to a higher plan so that they can take care of it.

I was not convinced by that answer and hence I decided to look for another shared web hosting service.

Do you know?

Today, BlashO is loading at the speed of around 1 second.

Yes, you read it right, BlashO loads in approx. one second.

You can see the below Pingdom captures:BlashO - blog loading speed one second only

Yet another Pingdom capture shows ~1 second load time:Proof on loading time

3 Levels of Server-side Caching (SuperCacher)

Siteground offers three levels of caching (SuperCacher).

  • Level 1: Static caching
  • Level 2: Dynamic caching
  • Level 3: Memcache

Static page caching is the method of keeping the result of a PHP page pre-loaded and quickly serve it to the user instead of executing the PHP page every time. PHP execution time directly affects the loading time, by caching the content statically, the pages are delivered faster from the server without any PHP execution.siteground level 1: static cache

Dynamic cache is the method of keeping the required data cache and giving it immediately to the user instead of requesting for it every time. This is achieved using the NGINX server technology.siteground level 2: dynamic cache

The third level of cache is the Memcached. This is a method of caching the object data, API calls and instead of every time executing it on the backend server, it quickly serves the data from the cache and thereby improving the performance of backend. For example, it won’t read the data from the disk everytime instead it will be directly read from the main memory and served as a faster response.siteground level 3: memcached

The advantage of SuperCacher is that you don’t need any other WordPress cache plugin like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache.

Simply, you can uninstall all those plugins, if you are using SiteGround hosting.

One-Click Integration of Google PageSpeed Technology

Apart from all these 3 different types of cache technologies SiteGround also offers you the Google PageSpeed service for free.

  • PageSpeed is a technology developed by Google that helps to optimize the content of your blog.
  • PageSpeed creates various kinds of optimized resources of your blog right from images-to-scripts and helps to reduce the blog loading time.SiteGround Google PageSpeed Settings

However, you can either enable SiteGround SuperCacher or Google PageSpeed. When you enable PageSpeed, you can’t enable SuperCacher.

  • At BlashO, I have tried both of these technologies and currently, I have enabled Google PageSpeed in order to achieve faster delivery of content and reducing the load time of pages.

With all these page speed improvements, even the loading time per page is also reduced below 1 second.

The below screenshot shows the proof from Google Search Console, this is the time spent by Google to download the pages at BlashO. You can see the load time reduced from the end of Oct.Google average time to download pages got reduced

SiteGround SG Optimizer WordPress Plugin.

I also installed (developed by SiteGround) their SG Optimizer plugin for WordPress which is also listed in the official WordPress directory here.SiteGround WordPress plugin - main page

Once installed, you can enable or disable all the levels of cache directly from the WordPress dashboard.

This plugin also supports database level caches and it caches the database query results as well.

This is one of the special things I found in SiteGround and this plugin also helps to purge the cached content, in case, if you change any content in your blog – for example, when you add a new blog post, it automatically takes care of updating the cached data.

It also closely works with the Cloudflare system and updates the cache according.SiteGround WordPress plugin - cache settings

The plugin helps to force HTTPS settings directly from the WordPress dashboard.SiteGround WordPress Plugin - HTTPS settings

Using the plugin, you can also pick a version of PHP for your blog.SiteGround WordPress plugin - PHP settings

Worldwide Data Centers & Cloudflare Free Content Delivery Network (CDN).

Further, SiteGround offers content serving from 5 different data centers (in 3 continents) around the world. They have the server hosted in USA, Asia-Pacific, Europe that means you can choose where to host based on the nearest location of your target country.

For example, when you target the users from India, it is good to have your servers hosted on Asia-Pacific data center which leads to faster delivery of content.SiteGround data centers

SiteGround is also integrated with Cloudflare, the free CDN service. Cloudflare free plan has most of the essential features to serve content faster & also, to secure your blog from malicious traffic/attacks.

They have a global CDN with around 101 data centers around the world so that your content will be served from the nearest data center.

  • It improves page loading time by minifying the JavaScript, CSS and HTML content so that the content size will be reduced by removing the unwanted comments and white spaces from the source code.
  • It supports asynchronous JavaScript loading.
  • It supports SSL, HTTP/2 integration for better performance and security.

HTTP/2 has reduced the latency when compared to the earlier version of HTTP protocol thereby enabling faster performance.

It also supports push method where all of the content will be pushed to the browser instead of making the request one-by-one from the browser. It’s like serving the full buffet on a single plate.

Instead, of the browser fetching each and every component of the page individually, everything will be pushed together to the browser, in a single shot thereby quickly delivering the content from the server-to-user.

I guess, push method is not enabled by default – I am yet to explore more about it.SiteGround Cloudflare Settings Page

Integrating Cloudflare with your hosting account is pretty simple, you don’t need to change any DNS settings or anything.

  • For my case, I just pinged SiteGround customer care through their live chat and I made sure that the Cloudflare settings are done properly for my blog.
  • Their support team was so helpful.

In fact, when I faced a 504 error problem with Cloudflare, I contacted SiteGround customer support through live chat and got the issue resolved in few minutes.

I was extremely happy with the response from their support team.

As mentioned earlier SiteGround uses SSD storage technology in order to perform a faster read-write operation on their servers. Apache is a widely used PHP server. And NGINX is becoming widely popular nowadays.

However, in case of SiteGround they claim that they have used both the Apache and NGINX service in order to ensure the higher performance of their shared web hosting servers.

WordPress specific Features of SiteGround.

When it comes to WordPress hosting SiteGround has a lot of built-in features that help to easily manage a WordPress blog.

  • You can install WordPress directly from the SiteGround’s Cpanel.
  • There is an automatic upgrade feature also so that you don’t need to worry about the latest releases of WordPress. When enabled it through Cpanel it automatically upgrades your WordPress without your intervention.
  • Looks like SiteGround has some security features enabled especially for WordPress plugins and they make sure that if any issues are found they will directly apply the fixes, I mean server level fixes.This helps to keep your WordPress blog secure.
  • Also, I am not sure what kind of plugin level security they offer. I believe this must be something do to with their server setup.

Support for WordPress Staging & GIT Repository.

Staging is a feature that helps to create a reliable or fault free development environment for your blog.

  • For example, if you want to do some critical change on your blog, you can stage it then do the change test it and finally, do the deployment.
  • Once you deployed, it automatically creates a backup of the previous version so that if anything is broken by your recent change, you can easily rollback to the previous version.

Learn how to use Staging on your hosting account.SiteGround Staging

This advanced feature helps especially for those people who want to do a lot of customized development or coding for their blog.

Secondly, it also supports Git Repository.

That means you can version control your WordPress data over the configuration files stored on the server. Using Git, you can create a Repo of your WordPress directories, do code changes as you like and finally, version it.SiteGround GIT Repo

The advantage of Git is that it versions each change that you do on your blog and later point of time, you can compare the differences between the versions and restore it back to a particular point.

Basically, Staging and Git are essential for those who want to do a lot of “customized development using the WordPress system”.

Automatic Backup & Restore of complete hosting account (database, files, emails).

Backup is mandatory for any hosting account.

Since you dedicate a lot of hard work for your blog and if something breaks – you will be completely lost.

There comes the backup restore option – by which you can simply rollback to a previous working version of your hosting account.siteground backup manager

With SiteGround, you can completely backup everything right from WordPress databases, files as well as emails (of all the email accounts).

The GoBig & GoGeek plans have the backup restore feature for 30 days that means you can restore your WordPress blog back to the place within 30 days anytime. This is a must feature for a WordPress blog in order to automatically create backups or you can also manually download a full backup of your site.SiteGround create backup

There are a lot of WordPress plugins available to perform backup and restore operations, however, with SiteGround you don’t need to rely on any such plugin.

This backup feature is automatically enabled, if you face any problem with your WordPress blog, then you can just go and restore to the working copy.SiteGround restore backup

With GoGeek plan, their support team is ready to help you for doing the restore operation.

WordPress Commandline Access & Support for WordPress specific Issues.

Siteground also has Wpcli installed that means you can directly install/uninstall plugins, themes directly from the command line.

This feature is only for advanced users but Wpcli is available pre-installed in every shared hosting plan.

They also say that they are ready to help the user with any WordPress related issues.

  • For example, I faced a double redirect issue on my WordPress blog.
  • I quickly took that issue to SiteGround’s support people, I contacted them through live chat and they were able to quickly solve the issue for me.

Again, I am completely satisfied with their support team.

Because, when you face an issue with your blog “there is someone ready to help us”.

Yeah, you can find them a lot of free information to fix the issues but when there are people around you to help you then it is more advantageous for us, it gives more confidence, right?

Linux Containers (LXC), Resource Isolation & Other Security Features.

SiteGround uses operating system based virtualization technology (the Linux containers).

The SiteGround Linux containers help to create an isolated environment for running Linux processes. The advantages are that the resources can be scaled up or down anytime and helps to handle a sudden spike in traffic.Linux containers

Siteground is also using an Anti-bot Artificial Intelligence (AI) system that helps to stop brute force attacks against their servers. Their data says they’re able to stop around 2 million brute force attacks per hour.

  • One of the impressive thing about SiteGround is that they have chrooted accounts. Chroot (Change root) is nothing but a Linux technology that helps to isolate one user’s root directory from another user’s root directory – for higher security.
  • For a shared web hosting account, it is important to have the one user should not affect the performance of other users and this can be achieved through Chroot. This helps to enable secure account isolation for each user account.

Siteground also supports let’s encrypt (free SSL service) and you can easily enable by a single click. You don’t need to do any installation and configuration in order to enable SSL certificates, in fact, once installed it will be renewed automatically every year without your intervention.

SiteGround also supports different versions of PHP right from the old 5+ to the latest 7+ versions.

  • One good thing, you can choose the version of PHP that you want to use on your blog. Since WordPress recommends the latest version I am always keeping the latest version of PHP.
  • The SG Optimizer plugin is also having a setup page to configure the PHP version.

They also support other scripting languages like to Perl, Python – in case, if you want to do any programming stuff on your web server, it will be helpful to you.

Like any other web hosting, they also support SSH and SFTP for remotely accessing your content hosted on the server.

Being Transparency about the Features & Limitations.

One of the great thing about SiteGround is that they are completely transparent.

I am not trying to push you to buy SiteGround hosting, however, just take a look at their hosting plan page.

They have a lot of data explaining what are all the major difference between the available 3 plans. And surprised to see the data which explains how much of database memory is reserved per plan, how much number of processes execute per minute, how many emails are delivered, the attachment size etc.

They have shown data to such a micro-level.

I just collected all those data and put it down for you – so you can take a look at how the resource allocation is done for each plan. This is called transparency.

StartUp Plan: Resource Usage & Limitations

  • Simultaneous Server Processes: 10
  • Simultaneous Connections from Single IP: 10
  • CPU Seconds / Program and Script Executions: 1000/hour, 10000/day, 300000/month
  • Average Process Execution Time per Day: 2 seconds
  • Shared Service CPU Usage: No more than 20% for a period longer than 10 seconds
  • Server Memory per Process: 768 MB
  • Inodes: 150,000
  • Minimum Cron Job Interval: 30mins
  • DB Size: 500 MB
  • DB Table Size: 250 MB
  • DB Queries: Up to 10% of Server Resources
  • Mailbox Size: 2000 MB
  • Email Sends per Hour: 400
  • Recipients per Email: 40
  • Attachment Size: 50 MB
  • Emails Received per Minute: 20
  • Undelivered Mail Retry Time: 11 Hrs
  • Suitable for 10K visits per month

GoBig Plan: Resource Usage & Limitations

  • Simultaneous Server Processes: 20
  • Simultaneous Connections from Single IP: 15
  • CPU Seconds / Program and Script Executions: 2000/hour, 20000/day, 600000/month
  • Average Process Execution Time per Day: 2 seconds
  • Shared Service CPU Usage: No more than 20% for a period longer than 10 seconds
  • Server Memory per Process: 768 MB
  • Inodes: 300,000
  • Minimum Cron Job Interval: 30mins
  • DB Size: 750 MB
  • DB Table Size: 250 MB
  • DB Queries: Up to 10% of Server Resources
  • Mailbox Size: 4000 MB
  • Email Sends per Hour: 400
  • Recipients per Email: 40
  • Attachment Size: 50 MB
  • Emails Received per Minute: 20
  • Undelivered Mail Retry Time: 11 Hrs
  • Suitable for 25K visits per month

GoGeek Plan: Resource Usage & Limitations

  • Simultaneous Server Processes: 30
  • Simultaneous Connections from Single IP: 20
  • CPU Seconds / Program and Script Executions: 4000/hour, 40000/day, 800000/month
  • Average Process Execution Time per Day: 4 seconds
  • Shared Service CPU Usage: No more than 20% for a period longer than 10 seconds
  • Server Memory per Process: 768 MB
  • Inodes: 450,000
  • Minimum Cron Job Interval: 30mins
  • DB Size: 1000 MB
  • DB Table Size: 500 MB
  • DB Queries: Up to 30% of Server Resources
  • Mailbox Size: 6000 MB
  • Email Sends per Hour: 800
  • Recipients per Email: 80
  • Attachment Size: 50 MB
  • Emails Received per Minute: 20
  • Undelivered Mail Retry Time: 11 Hrs
  • Suitable for 100K visits per month

The visits per month restriction are based on Inode execution.

  • Inode is nothing but a record of information about a resource (for example, access to a file or a folder etc.) and they have limitations based on the number of inode executions.

Because for a user, it is must to know that what are all the limitations of the system.

Generally, most of the web hosting provider doesn’t provide all such micro-level data. For a simple WordPress blog, all these data are no matter going to help but the kind of transparency is great.

This kind of transparency creates more confidence over SiteGround.

Simple-to-use Cpanel Interface.

Cpanel is a dashboard where you can find everything about your web hosting account.

  • You can add/manage domain names.
  • You can backup your blog and restore it.SiteGround Cpanel Demo
  • You can manage all your email accounts.
  • You can see all the files hosted on the server using a File Manager.SiteGround cpanel details
  • You can do all the configurations, all the installations, add new services/applications to your web hosting package.
  • You can see a lot of statistics about your web hosting account right from the number of visitors, server memory usage, server CPU usage, server execution speed, uptime – everything you can see inside the Cpanel.siteground cpanel features

Basically, Cpanel is the place where you can find every data about your web hosting account – its simple-to-use.

Web Space and Unmetered Bandwidth.

The most important thing is a web space available for your hosting plan. The StartUp plan gives you 10 GB of space whereas the GoBig Plan gives you 20 GB of space and the GoGeek plan gives up to 30 GB of space. This is the amount of storage allocated to a single account.

Siteground uses SSD storage technology for all these three plans. SSD is nothing but a solid-state storage device which doesn’t have any mechanical components in it.

If you see the traditional Hard Drive storage technology it will be a mechanical disc spinning and the heads will be moving over it in order to perform a read or write operation on the disk. That kind of Technology is outdated long back and almost every hosting provider is using the SSD based storage. That means the data stored on the server will be operated faster. This gives more performance to the server.

The data transfer is unmetered that means you can transfer any amount of data to/from the web hosting server to the users.

SiteGround is worth for it as there is no restriction on the amount of data that you transfer.

Considering the blog growth, day-by-day the amount of data that you transfer will be increasing, especially, if your blog loads a lot of images, for sure you need an unmetered feature.

Note: Almost every hosting provider is offering this unmetered or unlimited bandwidth feature.

E-mails, Domains, Sub-Domains & MySQL Database.

There are restrictions on the number of domains especially for the startup plan (you can host only one domain) and there is no limit for the other plans, you can host any number of domain names.

Similarly, there are no limitations on the number of my SQL database installations. For all the three plans, you can create an unlimited number of my SQL databases on their server.

That’s one of the interesting features, in fact, many of the hosting providers are having restrictions on it.

However, for a single WordPress installation, you will be using only one my SQL database at a time.

Even for the StartUp plan, if you have multiple MySQL databases installed there is no use of it because you are limited to one domain name. However, you can install multiple WordPress blogs using the same domain name (in folders or sub-domains).

  • However, for the GoBig & GoGeek, you can host an unlimited number of domains and have an unlimited number of MySQL database installed in the backend. Basically, you are given more freedom to create any number of WordPress blog in these two plans.

When it comes to email, most of the web hosting providers don’t allow to create more than one email ID.

  • With SiteGround, you can create any number of email ids free of cost. There is no restriction on the number of email ids you can create, for example, you can create like support @ blasho.com or admin @ blasho.com etc.SiteGround e-mail accounts

They also have integrated email clients like horde, Roundcube, SquirrelMail.

  • I tried all these 3 clients and finally, I settled on Gmail integration.
  • Because I personally don’t feel comfortable to use a third party email client.
  • So I configured the Gmail to work with SiteGround email service so that I can send and receive emails directly using the Gmail + handy mobile access.

All these 3 plan supports unlimited subdomains and parking domains.siteground domains

Subdomains are something like support.blasho.com or cdn.blasho.com. Like this you can create any number of subdomains, there are no restrictions on the count.SiteGround sub-domains

Similarly, you can create any number of parking domains – parked domains are something like blasho.in or blasho.net – all those points to blasho.com.

When compared to essential features of SiteGround: I see the advantage in the higher plans (GoBig, GoGeek) you can host any number of domain names and create any number of my SQL databases with unmetered bandwidth.

Quick Customer Support & Yes, they “Care” for us.

Customer support is one of the most critical parts of any business. Its all about how they are ready to take care of their customers. In case of SiteGround, as of today, I don’t find any difficulties in contacting them.

They have different types of support system like Live chat support, Ticket based E-mail support, Phone support.

SiteGround claims that they respond with the first reply within 10 minutes.SiteGround - first reply within 10 minutes

It is not just on the paper, I can see it in action too.

I contacted them for multiple things:

  • First of all, for free site migration they did the complete migration process in less than 30 minutes. BlashO is not a small blog, it has 10k+ images and 700+ blog posts. I was much worried about moving the huge blog’s content from Godaddy – I shared my Godaddy login details with SiteGround’s support team – they did all the migration work without any issues + no downtime.
  • I also faced 504 error from Cloudflare and I contacted them through Live chat – they were able to resolve the issue within 15-20 minutes.
  • Similarly, I was facing double redirect issues because of some configuration issues with my htaccess file – I raised a ticket and they responded in few minutes and also, resolved the issue without any feel of delaying.
  • For all the above cases, they responded immediately and by seeing their response, I felt confident on them that they will resolve the issue.

Like any other hosting provider SiteGround offers a 30-day money back guarantee – it’s similar to Bluehost.

That means if you don’t like their service within 30 days of your purchase, you can get your money back.  Always your purchase will be guarded by this guarantee and you can proceed to choose a plan without any hesitation.

Get 60% Off on SiteGround

I hope this SiteGround review is helpful to you in order to take a decision. As stated earlier, I have shared my own experience about SiteGround and my own opinion about the technologies they use in their shared hosting plan especially the WordPress hosting.

Also, please let me know your experiences and opinion about SiteGround by leaving a comment. It may be helpful to some other WordPress users.

Don’t forget to share this article on your favorite social network.

Thanks for all your support.

2017-12-03T09:19:32+00:00

About the Author:

I love-to-code, passionate-to-write, an upcoming author and WordPress enthusiast. I am the one who strongly believes in the Power of Mind. Connect with me @Twitter.

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