SiteGround Shared Web Hosting Review 2017
In this review, we’ll take a look at SiteGround’s shared WordPress hosting. SiteGround’s shared WordPress hosting is excellent for beginners, but if you need more power, you might want to check out our review of SiteGround’s cloud hosting offerings.
Founded back in 2004, SiteGround is one of the most popular shared hosts that is NOT owned by hosting conglomerate Endurance International Group (EIG). One of SiteGround’s key differentiating features is that they offered managed WordPress hosting features on their still affordable shared hosting plans.
Keep reading to learn more about the features you get with SiteGround as well as the performance data from our real-world tests of SiteGround’s shared plans.
Overview of SiteGround Shared Hosting Features
As we mentioned, one of the major benefits of SiteGround is that even their cheap shared plans include some managed WordPress features. Here’s what you get with SiteGround’s shared plans:
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Generous storage limits. All plans use SSD for improved performance
- Unlimited websites (except for cheapest plan)
- Free domain name or site migration
- Built-in caching for better performance
- HTTP2 and PHP7
- Free SSL certificates through Let’s Encrypt
- Proactive security measures
- Automatic WordPress updates
- Automatic backups and easy restore (except for cheapest plan)
- 24/7/365 Support
In our opinion, you won’t find a better list of features on any comparable shared host. But does the real world testing data back up the cool feature list? Let’s find out…
SiteGround Shared WordPress Hosting Performance – Real Testing Data
To get a feel for how SiteGround’s shared hosting performs in the wild, we set up a test site on their Chicago data center. We looked at three key metrics:
- Time to First Byte – a basic measure of how quickly a web server responds to requests. Lower times are better.
- Average page load time – how long, on average, it took our test site to fully load. Again, lower times are better.
- Uptime – how much, if any, downtime our test site experienced.
Here’s how SiteGround’s shared hosting fared:
For Time to First Byte, our test site responded in 0.55 seconds. While not the fastest shared host that we measured, 0.55 seconds is firmly in the top third. To give some context, the fastest shared host we tested was HostGator at 0.05 seconds. And the slowest shared host we tested was Bluehost at a turtle-like 1.78 seconds.
For average page load time, our test site loaded in an average of 2.28 seconds. Once again, this was in the top third of shared hosts we tested, but not the fastest. The fastest shared host we tested was HostGator at 1.70 seconds, so SiteGround isn’t too far off the pace here.
Finally, our test site experienced near perfect uptime at 99.99% uptime. It doesn’t get much better than that – SiteGround consistently rates as one of the most reliable hosts out there.
In summary, SiteGround was not the fastest shared host that we tested. But they did consistently rank near the top in our speed tests, and their uptime was one one of the best for any of the hosts that we tested (including managed hosts).
SiteGround Data Center Locations
Your data center is the actual physical location where your website is hosted. It’s important because physical proximity can have an effect on performance. So you always want your data center to be as near as possible to your target audience.
SiteGround offers excellent data center locations on all of their plans. You can choose between North America, Europe, and Asia. That should cover the needs of most webmasters, so we give SiteGround a thumbs up here.
SiteGround Hosting Technology
In order to improve performance, SiteGround has adopted many of the latest web technologies.
First, all of their servers use SSD storage, which offers significantly better performance than older physical drives.
Second, they support both PHP 7 and HTTP2. Without digging into lots of boring technical details, we’ll just say that both of these technologies offer performance improvements over the older versions (PHP 5.6 and HTTP) used by many hosts.
Overall, SiteGround does an excellent job at incorporating the latest technologies into their hosting plans.
SiteGround Support and Knowledge Base
One thing we can never fault SiteGround on is their support. SiteGround is consistently rated as having some of the best support out there, and these ratings are backed up by our experience. Agents are available immediately via both live chat and phone. More importantly, SiteGround support agents are actually friendly and helpful.
They also have a massive knowledge base with ~1,800 articles if you prefer to help yourself.
SiteGround Shared Hosting Plans and Pricing
SiteGround offers three different tiers for their shared hosting. As we go through them, remember that the prices listed are promotional and only apply to the first billing cycle (see image for non-promo prices):
SiteGround’s StartUp plan supports one website with 10GB of space starting at $3.95 per month.
Their GrowBig plan ups that to unlimited websites, 20GB of storage and improved caching starting at $7.95 per month.
Finally, their GoGeek plan supports unlimited websites, 30GB of storage, improved caching, staging sites, and free PCI compliance starting at $14.95 per month.
Should You Choose SiteGround Shared Hosting?
We strongly recommend SiteGround’s shared WordPress hosting. It has top tier speed, excellent uptime, a variety of data center locations, and some of the best support out there.
While you can find slightly faster shared hosts, we think that, looking at the complete package, SiteGround is absolutely one of the best all around shared hosts.
Disclosure: This page contains external affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of these links we may receive a commission.
We do not receive any money for positive reviews and all opinions on this page are our own.