Best WordPress hosting review – SiteGround

The ideal solution for speed and reliability at the right price

One of the most critical elements in a website is good web hosting. If your site is down or slow all your hard work takes a hit. We all know visitors don’t wait around and you won’t impress Google either. If you’re like me you’ll have enough speed problems with too many plugins and a mountain of things to get on top of. Thankfully a few months ago I found the best WordPress hosting – SiteGround.

SiteGround-best-wordpress-hosting

Managed hosting…

In the past few years managed WordPress hosting has emerged with companies such as WPEngine that host exclusively websites powered by WordPress. Some of the benefits of managed WordPress hosting include servers optimised for WordPress and expert WordPress support – but for many site owners (including me) exclusive hosting comes at an uncompetitive price .

…for the price of shared hosting

As well as WordPress, SiteGround provides services for sites using Joomla and Drupal. But for WordPress users they’ve tailored a set of features remarkably similar to what you’d get from exclusive WordPress hosting. And most importantly they do this for a price that compares to standard shared hosting.

The 6 things to look for if you want the best WordPress hosting

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  1. Speed

    The features were impressive, the pricing was right and the reviews were excellent. I moved to SiteGround in early February – in the page speed chart the date looks like a cliff :)


    SiteGround-page-speed

    That’s an improvement of 841% ! Speed has to be one of the greatest advantages of SiteGroud. You can see the improvement in my server response time. In an instant it went from max 4831ms to 574ms response time.

    WordPress caching

    The first line of attack in speeding up WordPress is caching. Even SiteGround’s introductory plan includes static caching by default. Other plans offer the custom WordPress plugin SuperCacher as a paid option. This plugin is simple to set up and results in speeds of up to four times faster. At the moment I’m on the introductory plan but if I upgrade then this service will be a big reason.

    CDN

    All SiteGround plans include free access to CloudFlare’s CDN. This improves security, stability and above all loading speed. It’s easy to set up from within SiteGround and it can help speed up your site even further. There’s an optional upgrade that offers greater benefits still. As it happens I was already on a CloudFlare plan so I’d no need to look into this.

    SiteGround provides hosting on three different continents. This is something that many other hosts simply can’t offer. You can choose the server location closest to your website users. There are datacenters in Chicago, Amsterdam, and Singapore. You’re cutting down the distance between you and your visitors and the number of connection hops. This makes for optimal performance in terms of speed and security. So you’re visitors are happier and so is Google.

  2. Reliability

    When I moved to SiteGround speed was uppermost in my mind but other factors were important too. I used to be plagued by downtime. I would phone up support at my old host (before the midnight cut-off) to find out why my site was down and they’d ask ‘Does your site being with C? We’re doing work on that server at the moment…’.
    When you’ve had to deal with a bad host you understand it’s essential to look for reliability.

    In the past I’ve opted for hosts that saved me a few dollars a month at the expense of loading like a snail and going down time and again. It’s not worth the frustration for you or the people who click on your site.

    SiteGround-hosting

    SiteGround offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee. This is very different from the performance of my last host but I believe it’s broadly in line with what people expect. Having experienced SiteGround I wouldn’t settle for anything less. Pages load quickly and downtime is virtually nonexistent. I credit this to helping reduce bounce rate on my site and increase pageviews.

  3. Pricing like a standard web host

    Although SiteGround provides many features similar to those offered by managed WordPress hosts their plans are priced more in line with standard shared hosting. The cheapest plan from WPEngine starts at $29 per month for one site and rises steeply from there. SiteGround’s pricing starts at just $3.95 per month for hosting one website. You can host multiple websites from $7.95 per month. In the past I’ve settled for cheaper hosting but I learned soon enough that was a bad move.

    SiteGround hosting plans

    There are three plans but unless you’re a reseller or you get about 100,000 hits per month you need compare only two. (Just in case you are a reseller I’ve included details for the GoGeek plan in the grey box below.) The main difference between plans is the amount of traffic you expect.

    So if you have a single website and expect less than 10,000 visitors a month you should choose the StartUp Plan for $3.95 a month.

    The second level GrowBig plan is intended for sites with up to 25,000 visitors. But it offers premium features that may be attractive to you even if you have less visitors:

    • Free SSL certificate (an SSL certificate with GoDaddy costs about $80 a year)
    • 30 days backup
    • Priority support
    • Supercacher (faster loading speed)

    And a hosting plan crafted for real web geeks…

    The third level GoGeek plan includes all of the above plus some advanced features that may be of interest to developers. These include GIT and staging, PCI Compliance and advanced hardware.

    This plan offers a completely different infrastructure with more powerful servers and fewer users. It’s suitable for up to 100,000 visits per month so it’s perfect for many ecommerce sites.

    SiteGround-best-WordPress-hosting-GoGeek-$ (1)

    One thing about many hosting companies that nobody likes is their way of offering a low sign-up price to win new customers then charge a higher renewal price. We all know that web hosts are not the only people to use that tactic. Unfortunately SiteGround is just like all the rest in this respect. The renewal price is much higher than the original sign-up price.

    The difference with SiteGround is that it lets you ‘lock in’ that price for up to three years. Now that made a lot of sense to me so I locked in my deal straight away.

    SiteGround-UK-hosting

    I’m very pleased to say that SiteGround are running a special promotion for the UK. For once you’re better off living here than in paradise. The monthly price is a very affordable £2.75. This is the deal I grabbed when I could.

  4. Optimised WordPress performance

    If you want the best WordPress hosting SiteGround is the place to be. They’ve created their own optimised server setup with unique security and speed systems. I’ve already spoken about how their caching technology speeds up your website. SiteGround offers many other features tailored to WordPress users.

    Wordpress logo

    Automatic Updates

    When a new version of WordPress becomes available Siteground upgrades your installation automatically. I find this particularly useful for a sub-domain which is easy to forget. This way you know your site is always benefiting from the latest developments and fixes. And very importantly, SiteGround makes a backup of your site prior to the upgrade in case anything unforeseen happens, just like you would do yourself in an ideal world… Auto-Updating is normally a paid option from sites like WPEngine. If you prefer to do things manually you can simply opt out of auto upgrades (which isn’t an option with some exclusive hosts).

    Backups

    All plans include free daily backups. The introductory plan only stores your most recent backup but the other plans store 30 copies. Personally I rely on more backups than this – they’re so useful for reversing any hiccup. For this reason I recommend you set up an additional backup system. I use the free plugin Updraft Plus which connects to my Dropbox.

    Proactive security

    Security issues often arise in the WordPress community so you need a host who’s alert to potential problems. SiteGround has a reputation for taking action to protect their customers by implementing security such as a custom patch or other server-level solution. Regardless of what security steps you implement on your own site you’re still vulnerable to leaks on other sites when using shared hosting. A proactive host is the only way to keep on top of these threats. For $12 per year you can also subscribe to ‘Hack Alert’ notifications and a weekly email.

    No limitation on plugins you can use

    This is not the case with exclusive WordPress hosts like WPEngine. I was taken aback when a host I used in the past allowed only four plugins.

    One-click install of WordPress and other software – plus all the usual things we’ve come to expect

    Each plan includes the things you’d expect from any host including a free domain name and 30 day money-back guarantee.

  5. 24/7 Customer service and technical support

    I haven’t needed much support from SiteGround because their service is so reliable. I’ve contacted them several times for quick-fire questions through their online chat. You get connected to a support rep very quickly, usually immediately but never more than a minute or so.

    I’ve always found the team incredibly helpful and with expert knowledge of WordPress. As well as chat you can contact the company by phone or through their email ticketing system. Their customer service team has an average customer query response time of less than 10 minutes. Believe me I have known a lot different… If you’re looking for the best WordPress hosting you’re looking for support you can reach.

    Client Survey – better every year

    You can see in the latest Client Survey that even at these very high levels of satisfaction the figures are still rising year after year.

    SiteGround-client-satisfaction chart
    • About 98% of participants are satisfied with uptime, security, and support; 95% are satisfied with the hosting speed.
    • 95% of participants are willing to recommend SiteGround.

    I must also refer to an important part of the SiteGround ethos here. The company supports several open source software applications including WordPress, Joomla and Magento, plus corresponding tutorials and templates. They’re particularly active in the WordPress community and their enthusiasm shows. This ethical aspect may be of little importance to many users but for some people keeping the internet free is a great motivator.

  6. Scalability

    I’ve moved sites twice before and however organised I thought I was things do go wrong. On one occasion the migration team managed to lose all my social share figures. It’s very difficult getting people to accept responsibility for something like that when they all say it’s impossible to happen.

    SiteGround hosting

    The lesson I learned is to move somewhere good and stay there. Despite my bad experiences with other migration teams I entrusted my move to SiteGround who carried it out quickly and without a single fault. Set-up & Transfer is free. It’s all taken care of so don’t worry if you don’t have tech skills.

    In every host I’ve moved to I’ve always looked for room to grow but I think I’ve finally found it. As your site grows you can scale services to meet your needs perfectly. SiteGround makes it easy to upgrade from shared hosting to cloud hosting or dedicated servers.

    Multiple Domain Hosting

    The introductory plan (which I’m on) allows you to host a single website. That’s perfect for keeping down costs. All their other plans allow you to host an unlimited number of sites. This is what I’ll need when I organise a portfolio of niche sites. Most managed WordPress hosts don’t offer this flexibility, so bear this in mind if you’re still actively developing your business.

Of all the hosts I’ve been with over the years this is the first time I can say I’ve had only good experiences. The sole negative I could come up with is that there are even lower-priced shared hosting plans available elsewhere, but with nothing like the speed and reliability you get from SiteGround.

If you’re looking for the best WordPress hosting and a great host you can trust I highly recommend SiteGround.

Donald

I’ve written this review to share my experiences of being a customer with SiteGround. The post does include affiliate links and if you make a purchase I’ll make a small commission for the referral. So if you do purchase from here I’d like to say thank you, I really appreciate it.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
SiteGround hosting
Author Rating
5
  • Hi Donald,

    I’m running my own mini-series on WordPress Web Hosting at the moment so this article got me interested!!

    I’ve heard a lot of good things said about SiteGround, so its good to hear that you can recommend them too. Their pricing is certainly attractive and compares with other Shared Hosts.

    I’ve followed them in the Facebook Group for WordPress Hosting and can vouch that they are active in there too. It seems like they have a good customer focus and attitude which is very important to set them apart from the competition.

    Cheers
    – David

    • Hi, David,

      I’m so pleased to see that you’re impressed with them too. Thank you for vouching for them. I have to say I’m quite taken aback at how good they’ve been, I am so used to a different sort of host. I suppose everyone’s had a few bad ones but I had a consistent run.

      Good luck with the web hosting series.

      Thank you for commenting!

  • Hey Donald,

    Last year when I was looking to move to a new hosting company I seriously considered SiteGround. My issue was that I needed more space and their prices for their VPS services were way out of my ballpark. Had I just needed shared hosting though I would have jumped on them in a second.

    I spoke to someone on the phone if I recall correctly and they really spent some time with me helping me figure out which package I would need for my particular services. I hated that after all of that I couldn’t go with them but I do think very highly of them, their company and I know a few others that use them and are very happy with them as well.

    I appreciate you sharing your experience with them too because I think that’s really important for anyone who is looking for a new hosting service as well.

    Great share Donald and I’ll be sure to share this one too.

    ~Adrienne

    • Hi, Adrienne

      Thanks for the thumbs up. They have been quite a dream for me so I’m really quite pleased to recommend them.

      As I was planning this post I looked around at what hosts other bloggers were using and it seems that nearly everyone I know uses SiteGround. I think they’ve all got their own reviews and none of them will touch my post with a barge pole :)

      Of the people who don’t use SiteGround I’m surprised at how many have their own arrangements with hosting companies – I can think of Carol now but there are a few others. I’m guessing some people will just be in a different league :)

      Thanks very much for dropping by!

  • Prakash

    Nice write-up. SiteGround along with https://www.rosehosting.com are my favorite web hosts.

    • Hi, Prakash, thanks for commenting. I haven’t heard of the other one you mention, they don’t look to have anything to do with WordPress?

  • Hi, Carol, glad to see you getting into the swing of it again. Hope you’re feeling better.

    SiteGround does get good review all round. As a customer it adds to the feeling of having made a right decision :)I

    I know you’re set up with your own hosting arrangement so I appreciate you taking the time here.

    Enjoy the rest of the week!