SiteGround takes a different approach to web hosting compared to most of its competitors. Like many web hosting providers, it uses a discounted introductory price (that soars upon renewal) to try to secure new customers. In addition to knocking off about 65% off the original price for your first term, SiteGround offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
You won’t find many mentions of “unlimited”—SiteGround prefers to let its users know precisely how much storage they get with each plan. The site visitors metric (10,000 monthly for the lowest priced plan) is more of an approximation, and that traffic is unmetered.
Like most other web hosts, you get a free secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate, so data to and from your site is encrypted. You’ll also get a free email address. All plans include static and dynamic caching, so your site loads quickly for users. Another bonus is that you get free daily backups, so if anything goes wrong, you can roll back to an older version of your site.
Although SiteGround is a good choice as a web host, especially if site response time is your biggest concern, it isn’t the most affordable. Also, you don’t get a free year of domain name registration, which many of SiteGround’s competitors offer.
Pricing varies by plan, type of hosting and term length. Here are the regular rate ranges.
- StartUp: $10.49 to $19.99 per month
- GrowBig: $17.49 to $29.99 per month
- GoGeek: $27.99 to $44.99 per month
- Jump Start: $100 per month
- Business: $200 per month
- Business Plus: $300 per month
- Super Power: $400 per month
The biggest differences between shared hosting plans are the number of websites you can have on one plan (StartUp only allows one, all other plans are unlimited), storage and site visitor allowances, staging feature and priority support.
Storage and Site Visitors
SiteGround limits storage and number of site visitors per plan, which is uncommon. The StartUp plan only allows 10 GB of storage, which is low compared to most other web hosts. Upgrade one level to double your web space to 20 GB, or bump it up to GoGeek, which will get you 40 GB. Although it seems stingy, these allowances should be enough for most small businesses.
You’re limited to 10,000, 25,000, or 100,000 site visitors per month, which is generous. Most web hosts won’t put a limit on site visitors, but it’s reassuring to know where the line is with SiteGround.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
All plans include a free content delivery network (CDN) feature from CloudFlare. Some of SiteGround’s competitors offer this feature as a plugin in the control panel, and it’s free to use up to a certain point. SiteGround puts a larger emphasis on speed, so it highlights the CDN and other features that increase site response times.
A CDN is a global network of servers that essentially host copies of your site, so users from all corners of the world can quickly access your site. So, if your site lives on a server in Chicago, and someone from Finland goes to your website, a CDN ensures your site loads quickly because there’s a copy of it on a server nearer to Finland.
Using SiteGround as your web host with the CloudFlare CDN can also help protect against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, thanks to the distributed traffic among other servers.
Support and Priority Support
SiteGround gets high marks for its knowledgeable support staff. It sticks to live chat and email or ticket support only, so you can’t contact anyone over the phone. However, you will be able to see helpful info about your support agent, including name, number of customers they’ve helped, and what their personal rating is.
To get priority support, which moves you into a different queue for help, you’ll have to upgrade to the highest-priced shared hosting plan, GoGeek. Priority support comes from the most experienced support agents. The line is shorter, so you get support more quickly. And you get the highest quality help.
SiteGround doesn’t offer virtual private servers (VPS) or dedicated hosting, like many of the best web hosts. It does offer cloud hosting, though. So, if you find you’re outgrowing a shared hosting plan, there’s no medium plan, like a VPS. You’ll have to move directly into a cloud hosting plan, which starts at $100 per month.
With cloud hosting, you won’t have a physical server all your own, like with a dedicated server. It’s essentially the same, though. SiteGround’s lowest-priced cloud hosting plan starts you with four CPU cores, 8 GB of RAM and 40 GB of storage. If you need more processing power, RAM or storage, you can configure that and pay only for what you need.