SiteGround is a solid host with impressive features, excellent performance and consistently fast speeds. With 53% introductory price discounts, stellar service and proprietary features, we’d have to say that we absolutely LOVE Siteground. Learn more.
September 29, 2020•
Those of you familiar with Bitcatcha may notice that we seem a little biased towards SiteGround, and you know what?
You’re absolutely right.
If you ran as many tests and did as many comparisons for web hosting as us, you’d probably be biased too.
Pro of SiteGround:
Con of SiteGround
SiteGround’s Plans & Features
How Does SiteGround Hold Up Against The Competitions?
We’ve tested numerous web hosts since Bitcatcha was formed, and with every test we’ve run so far, SiteGround bested the competition in terms of speed and value. It’s pretty awesome that they’ve risen to compete with industry giants, considering the company was founded by a few friends working out of their university dorm rooms in Bulgaria during 2004.
Today, SiteGround has data centers in 6 countries, services more than 2,000,000 domains worldwide and has over 500 (and growing) people under their employment.
They have amassed many accolades and various sites have sung praises about them, but I would say that their biggest recognition of achievement to date is to be affiliated and endorsed by WordPress. In their WordPress’s own words, SiteGround is “one of the biggest and brightest of the hosting world”.
But web hosting isn’t the only thing the founders of SiteGround are passionate about.
The people on top believe that happy employees lead to happy customers (I can attest to that – they’ve got excellent people handling their live chat), so they’re continuously striving to keep the workplace happy, and it shows – people love working for them, as evidenced by their rave reviews on Glassdoor.
It’s a company that’s equally passionate about their staff, products and customers!
What about the data? What’s the uptime like? How do they compare against the competition?!
Yes, we know what you’re here for – it’s time to get the proverbial ball rolling and talk about why SiteGround is an excellent web host!
I feel inclined to say that we’re a little biased towards SiteGround. We host Bitcatcha.com with them, and we’ve created 5 test sites hosted on 4 of their data centers specifically to track their performance. We’re so pleased with the results that we’ve moved all our sites over to them. Visit SiteGround.
If you’re new to web hosting, you need to understand this: speed is king.
According to thinkwithgoogle, you’ll want your site to load under 1 second because the probability of users bouncing when site load speed takes 1 – 3 second is a whopping 32%.
Google has also mentioned that Core Web Vitals will soon be part of their ranking criteria. Basically, your pages will be ranked based on 3 aspects – Visual Stability, Loading, and Interactivity. Out of the 3, the latter 2 are highly dependent on speed!
SiteGround understands this very well and they’ve done their homework, using a slick combination of software and hardware to keep sites light and speedy!
First up, SiteGround keeps their user’s web pages speed by using SSDs in all their servers. If you’re unfamiliar with SSDs, they’re basically hard drives that can deliver data really fast – up to 30% faster than regular HDDs.
They also had the foresight to move their PART of their infrastructure to the Google Cloud Platform.
Updated in August 2020: We have received confirmation that ALL their data centers are already on the Google Cloud Platform! This means that ALL of their users old or new will get to reap its benefits, such as:
SiteGround’s servers are actually 100% green, and they’re constantly carrying out activities and looking for ways to keep the planet healthy!
SiteGround uses strategic software deployments to ensure that site load speeds stay snappy and quick, all the time at all the places.
Cloudflare is utilized to improve content delivery to users all over the world. They’ve got the largest number of connections (over 100) to internet exchange points worldwide. When a user visits your website, the data is drawn from the closest exchange point to them, resulting in buttery smooth content delivery, and very quick loading speeds!
Your visitors are happier, and you’ll rank better on Google. A win-win situation for everyone!
They’ve also optimized their caching systems with their very own SuperCacher!
It offers 3 types of caching systems, which are Static Cache, Memcache, and Dynamic Cache, enabling your site to handle up to a freakin’ 100x more hits and boosts its loading speed by up to 4x faster!
What this does is that it stores data in the system’s RAM, allowing them to access the requested information in a quicker way and sending that information to screens using the most efficient route possible.
If the previous paragraph is completely lost on you, don’t worry about it – all you need to know is that this can improve your speed by up to 40%.
Last but not least, they keep all their software up to date.
How does this affect speed?
Outdated software runs the risk of being incompatible with their freshly updated peers, causing unnecessary slowdowns, and issues and premature obsoleteness. By keeping everything updated, SiteGround keeps everything running like clockwork, helping servers run faster!
Server response time is literally a measure of how much time a server takes to respond to a request before it starts delivering content to screens. A good server response time should keep up with the aforementioned Web Vital Metrics.
We used our proprietary server speed checker (the one and only speed checker in the world as of this date #shamelessplug) to check our site’s server response time.
|US (W)||US (E)||London||Singapore||São Paulo|
|56 ms||3 ms||98 ms||229 ms||138 ms|
|307 ms||222 ms||141 ms||1 ms||103 ms|
This is the result of the site you’re on right now (www.bitcatcha.com) hosted with SiteGround Cloud with the datacenter in Chicago.
Looking at the chart, it’s very clear that the countries closest to the the server’s location (US West, US East, London, São Paulo, Canada, Germany) reaped the most benefits, while Australia and the Asian countries were slightly slower.
With a worldwide average of 129.8 ms, SiteGround Cloud performed well beyond our expectations! Just make sure to pick the datacenter closest to your target market for maximum impact.
How about the speed for their signature shared hosting options?
We’ve got your back.
We’ve created test sites on their Singapore, US, London and Sydney data centers as well, so you can monitor and check out their performances for yourselves.
We’d like to reiterate that the following server speed tests were performed on test sites hosted on SiteGround’s shared hosting plan.
|US (W)||US (E)||London||Singapore||São Paulo|
|211 ms||215 ms||180 ms||3 ms||351 ms|
|66 ms||95 ms||70 ms||240 ms||168 ms|
This Singapore data center tested very well globally at 159.9 ms, being especially speedy around the Asian region. They’re a little slower in the US (211 ms from the West and 215 ms from the East) but are still considerably fast!
|US (W)||US (E)||London||Singapore||São Paulo|
|68 ms||33 ms||96 ms||233 ms||181 ms|
|243 ms||203 ms||165 ms||29 ms||118 ms|
Businesses targeting audiences from US and Canada will be more than happy with the US data center’s excellent speeds! 68 ms from US West, 33 ms from US East, and a whiplash inducing 29 ms in Canada. It’s also the fastest data center with a global average of 136.9 ms!
|US (W)||US (E)||London||Singapore||São Paulo|
|138 ms||86 ms||4 ms||179 ms||212 ms|
|292 ms||250 ms||223 ms||87 ms||16 ms|
Made to cater to European markets, SiteGround’s London data center ain’t no slowpoke with a global average of 148.7ms! They’re obviously fast in London with 4 ms so users around the region will get to enjoy quick loading sites with them.
|US (W)||US (E)||London||Singapore||São Paulo|
|158 ms||233 ms||295 ms||94 ms||330 ms|
|192 ms||3 ms||135 ms||238 ms||290 ms|
Last but definitely not least, we’re looking at SiteGround’s newest data center, all the way down south in Sydney. Built to ensure Aussies get their fair share of speed, the servers certainly do their job really well with blink-and-you’ll-miss-it speeds in Australia and the surrounding region – 3 ms in Sydney.
They’re also quite fast in Singapore at 94ms! They’ve got the slowest global speed out of all their data centers averaging at 196.8ms, but that’s still plenty fast!
With SiteGround, we’re guaranteed a 99.99% uptime.
We’ve been tracking SiteGround’s uptime since 2014 to put that guarantee to the test, using UptimeRobot to check on our site every 5 minutes (with self-updating counters, see below). Up till today, SiteGround hasn’t failed us yet!
Uptime since 14 December 2016
Uptime since 1 June 2020
Uptime since 21 June 2020
Uptime since 12 December 2020
Uptime since 13 July 2020
Now, if you don’t want to get into SiteGround’s technical wizardry, you can skip to #4: SiteGround as managed WordPress host. However, If you’re keen on finding out how they’re able to get these sorts of results, here’s what we found out:
SiteGround uses their own technology and handcrafted solutions to predict, avoid and reduce downtimes, such as:
For more on these, continue here.
As mentioned in the intro, SiteGround is one of WordPress’s highly recommended managed web hosts. This award isn’t easy to come by; they had to get through thousands of support, security, and speed tests to earn that recognition.
With that recognition comes certain privileges that other hosts are not privy to, such as:
SiteGround is ranked #1 in our Managed WordPress Hosts list!
Great customer support is a testament to a web hosts’ credibility, and SiteGround’s support team certainly exceeds expectations.
The team is extremely capable and very well prepared to handle even the most complex issues. They’re required to undergo a training boot camp, and they’re given frequent feedback and evaluation on their work in order to keep them on top of their game.
Let’s have a look at what their customer service has to offer.
If live chat doesn’t work or if you just prefer to talk over the phone, just give em a call. You’ll never have to wait longer than 5 minutes to connect to someone, and then you’ll get a reply within 10 minutes of issuing a ticket.
If you give them permission, they can even access your system and help you remotely!
Our experience with SiteGround’s customer support has always been pleasant and effective. We have never finished a live chat session unhappy or with a problem unsolved!
SiteGround’s Cloud and shared hosting options come with daily backup, so you won’t have to worry about starting from scratch due to loss of data.
The daily backups are done automatically, so we can go along our business without having to spend time backing up the data ourselves.
With their shared hosting, you’ll enjoy data backup for the past 30 days. If you want to revert to a change you made 23 days ago, you can easily do so within a few minutes via Site Tools.
Backing up data from a cloud hosting account is considerably more difficult, with many web hosts completely foregoing the service. SiteGround bravely offers account-rewind up to 7 days. To us, that’s pretty damn impressive!
The daily backups can be used as an option for disaster recovery as well, and the restoring process is absolutely free of charge!
If you submit a ticket, they’ll help you sort things out and your site should be restored within 15 minutes if there are no drastic complications.
We don’t like change.
As a matter of fact, I find that most people don’t deal well with change.
So when we heard that SiteGround was getting rid of cPanel and replacing it with their own custom Site Tools, we freaked out a little, not gonna lie.
Turns out, we freaked out for nothing because it so happens that we LOVE Site Tools.
One of the biggest problems when it comes to interface design is that more features create more confusion, which defeats the purpose of creating these tools in the first place.
Site Tools solves this problem by designing the interface with efficiency in mind – they wanted to make it faster to find and do whatever you need.
Right off the bat, you’ll see that Site Tools implements the commonly used side panel on the left. This allows users to easily access and navigate all the features that Site Tools has to offer (as opposed to cPanel where you actually need to know what you’re doing).
Installing WordPress is a breeze with this interface. Head on to DashBoard, WordPress, Install and Manage, then follow the on screen instructions.
Other important features like setting up email accounts are easily done too with Site Tools. Head on over to the email tab and you’ll find everything you need to set up a new email, no fuss no trouble.
Users that already know what they’re doing and know exactly what they’re looking for will appreciate the ability to pin certain functions at the top of Site Tools for quick access. This makes it even faster and easier for you to do what you want to do, without the hassle in navigating through menus!
The team at SiteGround has designed their interface so that you can do whatever you need to do in 3 clicks or less. They’ve also made sure that most things that can be done in cPanel can be more efficiently achieved in Site Tools.
Honestly, after using Site Tools, I find myself not missing cPanel at all!
SiteGround has 6 state-of-the-art datacenters around the world, namely in Iowa (US), London (UK), Eemshaven (NL), Frankfurt (DE), Singapore (SG), and Sydney (AU).
Naturally, countries that are closer to the datacenters get to enjoy SiteGround’s speed in all its glory.
You can check out which datacenter is closest to your target customers over here.
Theoretically, your customers would have a less than ideal experience, dealing with slow response times, which isn’t good for business.
But, don’t fret.
SiteGround is still extremely fast in countries without data centers, as proven in our detailed server speed test results.
For example, look up point #2 earlier in this article and check out the response time from Canada – a rocking 29 ms with the server located all the way in the USA!
Results pinged from countries like India (66 ms) and Japan (70 ms) also tested well, proving that SiteGround’s speed is consistently quick across the globe. In other words, SiteGround is fast EVERYWHERE.
All you have to do is select the server closest to your region, and let SiteGround do its job.
Remember, that they’ve got 6 excellent data centers spread across 4 continents.
Just make sure to pick a data center that is nearest to your target customers!
SiteGround is a web host that takes pride in their service and quality, and they are known for many things… However, discounts and price cuts aren’t one of them.
Even during Black Friday, SiteGround doesn’t offer much in terms of discounts.
This is why we think that their introductory price with 53% off is an amazing deal, considering the services you’ll enjoy.
If you’re serious about hosting your website with SiteGround, we recommend subscribing for 3 years to optimize their introductory price, maximizing your savings.
After all, if you’re not happy with their service for any reason whatsoever, you’re allowed to cancel your subscription and get your money back within 30 days, so it’s totally risk free!
Now that’ve we’ve gone through that comprehensive list of SiteGround’s pro’s, I think it’s only fair that we have a look at…
As amazing as SiteGround’s features and services are, the web host isn’t without its drawbacks. For example, their shared hosting options are limited so you’ll only get a certain amount of SSD space for the plan you signed up for, such as:
If you require more resources, you have no choice but to upgrade to the next tier.
You may get to enjoy 53% off the price tag as a new user but once your subscription ends, you’re going to have to fork out the full price (Starting from $14.99 to $39.99 per month) to renew your contract, which obviously offends most people.
Furthermore, SiteGround made the unpopular decision to raise their prices recently after moving to the Google Cloud Platform, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing.
It shows that SiteGround is dedicated to delivering good value and experiences to their customers, but unfortunately, speed and resources don’t come free.
As web builders ourselves, we feel that it’s really quite unfortunate that SiteGround increased their prices so much. We felt that their prices were slightly on the high side before, but with this price revision they’ve put themselves in the premium category!
However, as purveyors of web hosting services, we have to say that this price increase is a necessary move. SiteGround is just doing what any self-respecting company should be doing – looking for ways to constantly improve themselves.
If the cost of improvement is price, then so be it. At least they’re providing the kind of value they WANT to provide for their customers.
If you want to enjoy more savings, it’s advisable to max out the subscription term as a new user, so you won’t have to pay the renewal prices so soon!
SiteGround has plans to cater for all users, from small businesses to enterprise clients. Let’s have a look at what they have.
SiteGround’s Cloud hosting option is an ultra-fast fully managed service that comes with 24/7 VIP support. If you’re in the market for cloud hosting, their plans range from $80 – $240 a month. (Bitcatcha.com hosts with their cloud plan.)
Updated in August 2020: SiteGround has stopped offering dedicated hosting.
You’ll also get to enjoy reseller hosting or enterprise hosting if those are more up your alley. The plans don’t come cheap but it comes with exclusive benefits you can’t get anywhere else. Basically, you get what you pay for!
Although SiteGround offers a wide range of hosting options for different purposes, we personally feel that their shared hosting option is good enough for 85% of the websites.
We were quite curious to find out how SiteGround would fare against Hostinger when it comes to server response times, so we pitted their test sites from US, Europe and Singapore against each other.
Check out the results below.
Look at that beautiful comparison. SiteGround and Hostinger’s response times from their US data center are neck and neck, with SiteGround gaining a slight advantage from most countries, resulting in them being slightly faster (6.2 ms faster, to be exact) at 136.9 ms.
However, we’ve got to note that at 143.1 ms, Hostinger’s US data centers are nothing to scoff at!
SiteGround takes the lead with their London data center, besting Hostinger in most countries except for Germany, Canada and São Paulo. With a global average of 148.7 ms vs Hostinger’s 165 ms, SiteGround’s London data center wins with a larger margin here.
Looking at their Singapore data centers, SiteGround seems to perform better in most countries as well, except for Germany, Canada, São Paulo and US West. Hostinger failed to catch up to them with a global average of 175.8 ms vs SiteGround’s 159.9 ms.
From all the tests performed, it’s quite clear that SiteGround consistently came out on top, although not by much.
This is probably due to SiteGround’s implementation of their Supercacher, speed enhancing software, unique server setups, and hosting their infrastructure with Google Cloud. However, we’ll need to keep in mind that Hostinger put up quite a fair fight, trailing just slightly behind at a much lower introductory price.
With both companies providing exceptional value in different ways, the biggest factor between these 2 giants would be their support, and even then, they’re both equally good in their own ways.
We’re pitting SiteGround against Kinsta because the latter are Managed WordPress specialists, yet the former is one of the WordPress recommended hosts. Interesting innit?
Let’s find out why.
To do this properly, we first need to select the plans with similar price ranges so that we’ll be making a fair comparison. We’ll be looking at SiteGround’s GrowBig plan, which is regularly priced at $24.99/mo, against Kinsta’s Starter plan, priced at $30/mo, as they’re the closest to each other.
Both are fantastic providers, and they each have their fair share of pros & cons.
Kinsta is made to cater for specialised needs, such as high performance WordPress sites or massive e-commerce businesses running WooCommerce.
SiteGround is tailored for professional micro-businesses to enterprise level behemoths, with all sorts of functionalities available, while being an amazing WordPress host!
I think it’s clear by now that SiteGround is by far our favourite web host.
Speed is the most important thing to us because it directly correlates to sales, and SiteGround has continuously exceeded expectations.
They’ve created tools and optimised their servers to increase server response times and decrease loading speed.
Thanks to their features like the Supercacher (which can increase loading speeds by 40%), PHP7 implementation and moving their infrastructure to the Google Cloud Platform, they’re able to efficiently deliver data to screens across the globe.
Their support team is top of its class, and they work very well with WordPress as a managed WordPress host.
You won’t have to worry about a thing when you host with SiteGround. Just pick a hosting location closest to your target market, and let them handle the rest.
With our substantial experience with SiteGround (5 test sites, remember?) and numerous interactions with their support, we can confidently say that you can’t go wrong hosting with SiteGround. We highly recommend them, especially for those of you serious about your website!