Updated: 24th Apr, 2018
I avoided writing an exclusive review of web hosting because there are so many people who are writing web hosting reviews.
But this is most sought after question of my readers & fellow bloggers – they want to know the cheap and best hosting provider company and most of the hosting reviewer are publishing misleading reviews.
“Best” is subjective word and it means different things for different people.
For me, the best hosting should provide me speed, reliability, security and a great customer service.
I consider cheap as something that can help me save my precious time.
I would pay more to buy a simple to use tool that does my job well, rather than buying a tool that comes with a lots of useless features and make my work complex.
The primary job of a web hosting is to provide the reliability and speed, keeping the overall cost low for managing the traffic.
In this context, I am going through the details of Siteground hosting and compare it with popular hosting companies like Bluehost and Hostgator.
Select Your Favorite Section
- Migration from Godaddy to Siteground
- Comparison of SiteGround prices with Bluehost and Hostgator
- Customer Care Experience (BlueHost Vs. SiteGround Hosting)
- Website Speed and Performance
- Free Let’s Encrypt SSL with SiteGround hosting plans
- Myth about SiteGround’s limited capacity to handle large traffic
- How to Start Website with SiteGround
Migration from Godaddy to Siteground
I purchased my domain from Godaddy and hosted on their so called managed servers. The cost of hosting was Rs. 1200 ($20) apart from the domain cost.
Godaddy is good for buying domain and worst for hosting websites. I faced a lot of issues related to website performance even at 5000 monthly traffic. Sometimes plugin stopped working, the website’s admin panel was very slow and Godaddy sucks at their customer service.
What can you expect if you are paying pennies for the service. Godaddy is good for websites where people don’t expect any growth in traffic. A static website of a few pages can be hosted on Godaddy but not a growing blog.
I was sort of stuck in the range of 5K to 10K monthly traffic.
Then I shelled out $179 from my pocket and bought GoGeek hosting from Siteground.
It was not a random decision because I don’t spend money where it’s not required.
I did my own analysis and asked some real bloggers who recommended me Siteground.
Since my website traffic started increasing, migration to Siteground kicked off the growth really fast.
Of course there were many other factors involved (The impact of previous work + New improved content), but migration to Siteground played a major role in increasing & supporting the traffic.
Comparison of SiteGround prices with Bluehost and Hostgator
All three companies provide hosting at same price on the regular basis.
$3.95 per month for the basic plan in which you can host only single website.
Bluehost regular discounted pricing
But here is one catch.
They do not disclose until you are ready to make payment. The discounted pricing is applicable only if you buy their hosting for 3 years or more.
Hostgator regular discounted pricing
The similar kind of pricing terms for hostgator are available.
They also play similar trick to try to lock you for a long term contract without giving you any clue until you are ready to buy.
Interesting information about their parent company
I came to know that both Bluehost and Hostgator are brands of same company Endurance International Group (Below Snapshot is from this link)
No matter if you buy hosting from Bluehost, Hostgator, iPage or Bigrock – The money is going to the same company.
The same company is also the owner of digital marketplaces Mojo Marketplace and ResellerClub.
Soon you buy the hosting they will try to upsell the products from their marketplaces. If you ever bought BlueHost you might have experienced how they sell themes, plugins, services from Mojo Marketplace.
Regular Discounts on SiteGround
You will get similar pricing on SiteGround as you get for Bluehost and Hostgator.
Without any trick to lock you for the long term.
The pricing is same whether you like to buy for 12 months, 24 months or 36 months.
Why they are not trying to lock you for the long term pricing?
Because they provide you the best possible hosting experience and you won’t regret paying full price for the hosting once your initial term is complete.
If you trust on my words and their services, then only go with 36 months, because it’s your benefit to lock 60% discounted prices for 36 months. They won’t trick you like Bluehost and Hostgator.
Till now we have covered Customer Service and Pricing, now we will focus on Security and Speed and Reliability.
Customer Care Experience (BlueHost Vs. SiteGround Hosting)
Let me share what happened with Neha’s blog.
Last year, Neha also migrated her blog beinghappymom to Siteground on my recommendation.
Now it was time to renew hosting and she was hesitant to pay $162 for her GrowBig plan. She was looking for hosting deals on Black Friday and bought Bluehost hosting at a discounted price.
She contacted Bluehost over chat to migrate her website, here was the response.
She waited for 10 minutes and then someone appeared to help her moving her blog to Bluehost.
Whenever I contacted Siteground, I got someone over chat in less than 3 minutes.
When you try to contact customer service of SiteGround they give you option to post ticket or Chat.
You can quickly chat with their customer care executive and if the issue is not resolved then they post your query as a ticket and relevant staff member can take care of your issue.
It’s not a single time, but I got my issues resolved multiple times from SiteGround which were not even issues related to hosting.
For example, read my interaction with Siteground customer care when my 301 redirects stopped working on one of my websites CreditFrog and I was getting 404 Errors.
Within 30 minutes, I got the resolution even though the issue was present in the plugin that I was using for 301 redirects.
I am extremely satisfied with their support team. I feel like if I have outsourced my technical issues to Siteground. It’s cheap to get such a high quality support by spending less than $200 per year.
Anyways, I was talking about when Neha decided to move away from SiteGround and contacted Bluehost to migrate her website.
They asked her to pay $149 for website transfer service. Read the chat below.
She was thinking of saving money on hosting renewal and they asked to pay additional $149.
Siteground offers one website transfer FREE of cost with their plans. For additional website transfer they charge just $30.
I think Siteground understand their customer needs. They know that most of the bloggers are non-technical and moving away from a bad hosting to SiteGround. So they help in moving website to Siteground free of charge.
Then Neha cancelled the newly bought Bluehost account and gladly paid $168 for another amazing year with SiteGround.
1 Hack to Save Renewal cost of SiteGround
You should lock-in 60% discounted price for 3 years when buying hosting from SiteGround.
There are 3 options to choose the hosting plan of Siteground
- Startup Plan – Good for a single website/blog
- GrowBig Plan – Good for multiple website hosting
- GoGeek Plan – Good for a growing business if you need to handle large traffic on a single website
I suggest you to pick GrowBig hosting because you can host multiple websites on a single hosting account.
You can start one main website and keep experimenting with a few blogs/websites without worrying about buying new hosting account every time.
I have 3 different accounts on SiteGround.
- GoGeek Plan for CashOverflow alone (handling about 2,00,000 monthly traffic)
- GrowBig Plan on which multiple websites are hosting (StartupKarma, PluginHackers, TravelBuffer and a couple of experimental websites)
- Startup Plan on which CreditFrog is hosted because I want to keep it separate from other experimental websites
Neha runs her business separately on BeingHappyMom and she has a separate GrowBig plan.
Website Speed and Performance
When my website startupkarma.com was hosted on Bluehost, I used to get alerts of service down.
If you want to track the uptime of your website then enable Jetpack Monitor service, it’s a free feature by Jetpack plugin.
Normally you won’t know for how much time your website was down. With the help of Jetpack you will receive email alerts.
8 Minute downtime is very high. This impacts your website SEO negatively and you will lose money if your website is down.
I rarely get alerts of website down after migrating to SiteGround.
Free Let’s Encrypt SSL with SiteGround hosting plans
Google made it compulsory for all websites to use SSL. Your SEO traffic will go down if your website URL is not starting with https.
You have to shell extra money to buy SSL certificate from BlueHost or Hostgator and the same is provided FREE of cost with SiteGround hosting.
It’s very easy to enable for SSL.
Go to CPanel -> Security -> Lets Encypt
Install SSL certificate for all the website that you have hosted on GrowBig/GoGeek hosting.
And Enable HTTPS
You can see that I have hosted multiple websites and enabled HTTPS for all of those. Any non-technical person can install SSL through Siteground.
Myth about SiteGround’s limited capacity to handle large traffic
I read at a few places that Siteground allows only 25,000 sessions on GrowBig plan and max 100,000 sessions on GoGeek plan.
I love the transparency of SiteGround: that they mentioned on their website that GrowBig hosting is suitable for approximately 25,000 monthly traffic.
But they meant to say that SiteGround will allow 25,000 CPU cycles per month (that no other company disclose).
If you use a SEO optimised theme, Enable Caching and Use CloudFlare then the same hosting plan can accommodate more than 100,000 monthly traffic.
My website cashoverflow.in serves more than 200,000 page views every month and following is CPU usage stats.
Due to caching and CDN, most of the traffic is not even hitting Siteground’s servers.
My website is using just 62% of allowed capacity of servers.
So I don’t have to worry till I start getting more than 300,000 monthly traffic on my website. However, these numbers may change as per your website’s optimisation.
Look at the weekly bandwidth stats from CloudFlare, 34GB out of total 41GB has been served from the cache.
Means, Siteground has to serve only 6.95GB, that is just about 17% of total bandwidth.
Note: You will get similar benefits with CloudFlare no matter where your website is hosted.
The good thing about SiteGround is that they provide integration with CloudFlare by default through their login panel. You can easily find that option under MyAccount -> Information & Settings. In case of doubt, contact their blazingly fast customer support team.
See the last 24 hour stats (taken on 23rd Dec, 2017) of CPU usage from SiteGround’s Cpanel.
My website is using less than 50% of the allocated resources.
You can go ahead and use GrowBig hosting for multiple website to cater more 25,000 monthly visits. Siteground will send you notification if your server usage is near the threshold limit.
How to Start Website with SiteGround
SiteGround gives you option to Install WordPress with a single click.
It’s extremely simple.
You can start your new website in a few clicks.
Here is the video for taking first step
I don’t want to go through all the steps because I have explained everything in detail
There are better options available if your website is hitting more than 400,000 monthly traffic. You should go for a cloud hosting or VPS server in that case.
For all other needs, I loved the support and servers of SiteGround till date.
Here is the link to get SiteGround hosting (60% Discount will be applied automatically)
There is only one problem with SiteGround,
that they accept only Credit Cards. You can try using your debit card if that is enabled for international transactions.
I am happy to answer your queries if you have any doubt regarding website hosting.
Disclaimer: I will earn a small commision when you buy SiteGround hosting using my links. You won’t get charged extra, in fact you will receive 60% discount if you buy SiteGround hosting using my special link.
I am recommending only one hosting company because that’s what I am using and loving. Don’t want to promote each and every product that pays me commision.
Note: I am not sharing any affiliated links of BlueHost or Hostgator. And I will not earn any money if you decided to buy hosting from Bluehost or Hostgator.