I don’t write many posts just to rave about products and services. In fact, I don’t write many reviews at all because I prefer to teach my readers about code, which is why a large majority of my posts are tutorials. However, on occasion, I do like to share my experiences with various products and services that I try, and that I feel would be helpful for other WordPress users, website owners, etc. In this post, I want to rave about my hosting provider, SiteGround.
When I first started out in this business, my very first website was hosted on a basic, shared hosting plan with HostGator. That plan served me well for quite a while, and I still have it today, if only because I’ve been too lazy to migrate some family/friend websites. Overall, I’ve been content with the service from HostGator because it’s cheap, the support has been competent when I’ve need it, and they’ve never left a bad taste in my mouth. Granted, the performance is not fantastic, especially for larger sites, but I feel as though I’m getting what I pay for, and I’m fine with it.
A while ago, I made my first dive into the “premium” WordPress hosting sea. When I decided to go with a higher quality host, the first provider I tried was Media Temple, and, well, that was very very bad.
After the Media Temple nightmare, which lasted about 4 months, I eventually decided to go with SiteGround, a company I’d heard a lot of good things about. This time around, I did some serious due diligence; I read a bunch of reviews, comparisons, etc. In all, I looked into Pagely, WP Engine, Synthesis, and a number of others. Factors I considered were reputation, technical specs, price, etc. After my experience with Media Temple, one of the things I researched most about these companies was their support. I don’t need hosting support often (very rarely), but, when I do, I want and expect the support people to know what they’re talking about.
Not having used all of those hosting providers, I’m not going to compare them. Instead, I’m only going to tell you what sold me on SiteGround.
Here’s where I was very cautious. When I signed up with Media Temple, they held themselves out to be WordPress experts. During my time with them, I knew more about WordPress than every tech I spoke with. Therefore, I really looked into the hosts I was considering to see if they were really “experts.” The thing I liked about SiteGround is that I’d heard a lot about them from within the WordPress community. Also, when you look through their website, it’s clear that their focus is on content management systems, especially Joomla! and WordPress.
SiteGround checked off my basic requirements and preferences, such as email, unlimited installations, backups, cPanel, and even simple integration with CloudFlare CDN. Then, with their higher plans, they also offer 30 days of backups, a premium caching system. With the GoGeek (my plan), you also get 1-click WordPress staging, pre-installed Git, and fewer accounts on the server.
- SiteGround no longer offer cPanel, and instead uses Site Tools, their own custom-built dashboard;
- The 30 days of backups and the premium caching system is now offered on all plans.
This one isn’t something I could fully test out until I’d been using them, but I made sure to test it out during my first month. I’ve now been using SiteGround for over a year, and they continue to make me a happy customer every time I need help. This is a major winning point in my book because I can get good performance from a lot of hosts. My Media Temple experience gave me a tremendous appreciation for quality support, and I get that from Site Ground.
Regularly, my GoGeek plan from SiteGround is $29.95 per month. Cheap? No. Expensive? Relative to cheap hosting plans, maybe, but not in my opinion. However, when you sign up, you get a 50% discount, which is locked in for the amount of time for which you sign up. I signed up for two years, which means I got this 50% discount for two years, saving me $358.80 over those two years. If I could go back, knowing that I’d be as happy with SiteGround as I am, I’d do the maximum three years they permit. The features and support are absolutely worth the $29.95 per month, so locking in the deal of $14.95 per month is a steal.
Oh, and if you’re looking for cheap, their basic plan is $9.95 per month, and is currently discounted on signup to $3.95 per month.
If you’re in the market for a new host, I fully recommend SiteGround.