SiteGround Managed WordPress Hosting Review 2017

SiteGround Managed WordPress Hosting Review

66 hours of my life I'll never get back...

If you take 23 websites x 2 hours = 66 hours, that is the estimated amount of time I wasted moving 23 of my websites from BlueHost to SiteGround.

Over a week of wasted time.  Time I could have been using to work on my business.  Time is money and this definitely cost me.​

The 2 hour migration time for each site included​:

  • Downloading each site from BlueHost
  • Creating a new account and uploading the site to SiteGround
  • Downloading the MySQL Database
  • Creating a new database and importing the downloaded MySQL file.
  • Changing the DNS Nameservers
  • Changing and reconfiguring my WordPress Caching and optimization plugins (new server with new settings)
  • and the list of fine tuning details go on and on...

Either way, you get the point.  Changing hosts can be a royal pain in the...!

Finding a good hosting company shouldn't be that hard, but unfortunately it is. What's even worse, is you don't know if a host is good until you try it. I have 23 websites hosted on SiteGround Hosting now and what I have found will make you want to switch web hosts too.  This is also the reason I am writing this SiteGround WordPress Hosting Review.

I have been creating websites, building blogs, and running apps on different hosting setups since 2003. I have dealt with the good and the bad. The great and the miserable.

Website Hosting is the single most important part of your website.

The funny thing is most people don't treat hosting this way.  Most people look for the cheapest hosting they can find. Not the best host they can find. This leads to headaches, downtime, and money lost.

You can't make money with your website if your hosting is down or you cannot run things properly.

The software and server settings your website host provides will make or break you.

What is quality web hosting? It's simple. Quality website hosting is hosting you don't have to think about. If you are worried about your hosting or something isn't running the way it should all the time, you are using the wrong host.

Problems do come up. This is the nature of running a website. When things do go wrong, you need to be able to rely on your host to help you fix it.

SiteGround WordPress Managed Hosting Review

Over the last 2 years I have either moved or started most of my Viral Marketing Blogs with BlueHost.

Along with this, I also have hosted close to a hundred auto blogs on Hostmonster hosting over the years.  Hostmonster is owned by Bluehost.

I have been asked to move sites off of both Bluehost and Hostmonster before due to the sites getting too big, taking up too many resources, etc.  About 2 months ago I was told by Bluehost I needed to move my Viral Marketing blogs.  All 23.  They said they were taking up too many resources.  I said OK and the search for new hosting began.

You can see how this would make you go crazy. One site isn't a big deal.  Even 3, but 23???​

During my search, I came across a great review on SiteGround Hosting. It was great because of the sheer honesty in the post. I said to myself, what the heck. Let's try it.

When I created my first account I felt dumb. I mean really dumb. Why? It was so easy. I have never had such an easy process for setting up hosting and getting a WordPress blog installed and live. It only took a few minutes.

It took longer for Godaddy to get my DNS switched over. It was that fast.  All the hosting that I had before now felt like a big mistake. 

If you don't want to go through what I went through, then keep reading.  In the next few minutes you'll understand why...

SiteGround Pricing & Features

They have plans starting at $9.95 $3.95 a month (using my special 60% Off Link here) and they include the following:

  • Free SSD Hard Drives
  • Free SSL Certificate from Let's Encrypt
  • HTTP/2 & PHP 7
  • MariaDB
  • Free Backups (with restoration form)
  • Up to 30GB of Disk Space (see Plan details)
  • Preinstalled WordPress upon Checkout
  • Free Website Transfers (if you are moving your site)
  • WP-CLI
  • Ability to Select your Data Center Location
  • 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 24×7 Support (Email, Phone, and Live Chat)

*I switched from Bluehost to the SiteGround Wordpress Managed Hosting GoGeek plan for most of my sites. So far, it has had everything I needed.  In fact, this specific plan comes with a higher level Wildcard SSL Certificate for Free.  This is good for running an ecommerce shopping cart, so if you are using something like WooCommerce, this is the Plan you will need.

The Good

Blazing Fast Shared Hosting

The server setup is amazing for the price. You don't see Sold State hard drives (SSD) with most shared hosts like Bluehost. You won't see the HTTP/2 and PHP 7 setup with the Supercacher setup that SiteGround has either.  In fact, Bluehost won't even show you how their WordPress Hosting is setup.  They just say its "optimized".

SiteGround's WordPress Hosting was built for speed and all of my sites page download times dropped by 2-3 seconds each. This is huge!

You won't find too many hosting services at this price point run this fast. On lightweight sites, I am actually getting under one second page load times. I am talking 600-800 milliseconds.

You will be hard pressed to find this on many other hosts. I know I wasn't getting anything like this with Bluehost. This is a top notch server setup optimized for WordPress.

*One important note. With the GoGeek plan you also get the full features of the SiteGround Supercacher. With this tool you do not need another caching plugin. It really works well and can crank up the speed of your sites.

The other plans also have Supercacher caching features, but they don't give you the full compliment of features you need for maximum speed. You will still need to use a WordPress caching plugin with those lower tier plans to achieve optimal speeds.

WordPress Ready

The entire server setup is WordPress optimized. When you create your account, you can install WordPress instantly.  This is one of the Steps in my "How to Start a Blog" guide and SiteGround has made it incredibly easy.

Here is how account setup goes.

First, you create your account and pay for the package you want. There are 3 packages to choose from.

  • Startup (is $3.95 per month, but you can only have 1 domain)
  • GrowBig ($5.95 per month, Unlimited Sites)
  • GoGeek (this is what I use) ($11.95 per month, Unlimited Sites)
SiteGround Pricing Options for their shared Managed WordPress Hosting Plans

Once you pay for your account and complete checkout, you can choose to have WordPress "Pre-Installed" on your account.

The process after checkout looks like this:

Siteground WordPress Installation

After that all you have to do is fill in your WordPress Admin information and password, select a theme if you want, click the Next button and you are done!

Your WordPress site will be live even before you have changed your domain's nameservers to ​SiteGrounds'.  If you choose to register a free domain with Siteground, it could be setup and ready even faster.

It is so easy anyone can do it.

Free SSL and HTTP/2

SiteGround uses the free Let's Encrypt SSL Certificate for it's Free SSL option.  This is good for a blog, but if you plan on running an commerce site, I suggest getting a higher level certificate.

That being said, they have integrated Let's Encrypt in to their service. When you setup SSL for your blog, this will amplify your site's speed and security at the same time.  With the HTTP/2 protocol which works in tandem with your SSL Certificate, your site will get an instant boost in speed.  

I was actually surprised by how much of a difference it made and I am still working through the process of changing all of my sites to SSL (https).  With the speed boost I am getting from the SSL- HTTP/2 setup I now consider it a must and with SiteGround, it has been easy.

The other thing you must remember is the SEO benefits you get right away from this setup.  With both SSL and site speed being Google Ranking Factors, this is a set of features​ you will want no matter who you host with.

Free CDN

While they advertise this as a Free CDN, what they really have is an integration with Cloudflare.  Cloudflare is a free can service which also provides a high level of DNS optimization and multiple levels of caching, magnification, and security.

The integration is smart and it works well.  I just don't like the fact they advertise it as a Free CDN when its not.  While this isn't "Bad", it just rubs me the wrong way a little.  Regardless, I use it along with MaxCDN and my sites are rockin'!

24/7 Support​

There are not too many shared hosts with the level of support you will get from SiteGround.  

Their support is live 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

They have Email, Live Chat, and Phone support all day, every day.  Plus, I haven't had a support ticket wait time of more than 30 minutes since I started with them.  In fact, most times I get a response in 10-15 minutes.

Where do you get support like that?  Almost nowhere and this is one of the big reasons I recommend SiteGround.​

*NOTE: While the GoGeek plan says it can handle up to about 100K visits per month, I have found that it exceeds that by a great deal.  I have several sites in the 100K plus category on the same account and haven't been asked to move them.  I was asked to move 3 sites which were all hitting in the 200K per month range and SiteGround helped me with the upgrade and migration to the new servers for Free.  That is great hosting!

The Bad

In the big scheme of things I haven't found anything I don't like about Siteground.  I can't say their is anything "bad" per se.  Once your sites are setup and running, there isn't much to gripe about.  

I have used support for migrating sites over to SiteGround and had a few tweaks done for running special software, but beyond that I can't say anything negative after I setup and created my accounts.

On the front end, I am not a big fan with the Annual pricing setup​ and I know it can turn off some beginners with a small budget.  That being said, if you are starting out with one website, $47.40 for a year's worth of Managed WordPress Hosting is just plain awesome.

Conclusion​

Starting with a good host can save you tons of drama, work, and time.  I can't stress enough how much of a drain on you doing something like this can be.  Especially if it happens when you are in the middle of doing something big with your blog or business.

There is nothing more important to the life of your business than a good host and you don't want to learn this lesson the hard way.​

Plus, If you want blazing fast speeds and incredible page load times for your WordPress blog, then Siteground is definitely for you.  The SSL optimized and WordPress optimized setup here is off the charts for the price.  

The resources and CPU power you get for such a low price is hard to beat.  Couple that with insane 24/7 Email, Live Chat, and Phone Support and you have a best in class hosting option for your WordPress sites.

Now that I have made the switch I can say with confidence that I made the right pick.  My sites are faster, more secure, and I don't have to worry about anything.  All I have to worry about is running my sites and not my hosting.

This is what good hosting is supposed to be.​

I highly recommend using SiteGround Managed WordPress Hosting.  If you have any doubt in this review whatsoever, it is easy to confirm.  You don't have to take my word for it.  Test it yourself for 30 days.  If you don't like it they will give you a full refund.

*Note: I only touched on a few of the great features you get with these hosting plans.  I recommend looking at all the SiteGround WordPress Hosting plan features to see which plan fits you the best.

Either way, if you need high quality hosting with great support and excellent speed, then get started with SiteGround Managed WordPress Hosting now.​

*The review above is a true recommendation of a product I have tested and currently use.  Please help support this blog by clicking the affiliate link above if you are interested in Siteground Hosting.

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Mike Johnson
 

Mike is a Wordpress Power User and Developer with over 40 Plugins, Themes, and Wordpress tools authored by him and his team. Mike is also the creator of some of the most powerful Blogging and Internet Marketing training available on the web with titles such as the Auto Blog Blueprint, Profit Marketer, and much more!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 10 comments
Paul Tipping - February 12, 2017

Great information Mike, I have seen a number of good reports on Siteground and think I will seriously look at them!

Reply
    Mike Johnson - February 12, 2017

    If you are coming from the world of Bluehost, Hostmonster, and Hostgator; SiteGround Hosting will make a world of difference in your site’s performance.

    Reply
Keld Frantzen - February 13, 2017

Hey Mike

Great Post, what about security.

Reply
    Mike Johnson - February 13, 2017

    They use a lot of server side security measures and have a firewall and use Mod Security directives to keep your account secure. The SSL Certificate helps, but they also rely on Cloudflare’s security enhancements which are enacted at the DNS level which is the best way to implement security for your site. WordPress plugins are great, but they are WordPress specific, not server specific.

    Here is what the SiteGround site says about the subject:

    By default, we have set all servers to use the latest PHP 7 version with the latest security fixes.
    We are running Apache in chroot-ed environment with suExec.
    We have sophisticated IDS / IPS systems which block malicious bots and attackers.
    ModSecurity is installed on all of our shared servers and we update our security rules weekly, thus protecting our customers from the most common attacks.

    I hope this helps answer your question.

    Reply
Mark Krusch - February 14, 2017

Hi Mike:
Excellent article!
Would you mind sharing what hosting plan you chose for those sites that were receiving more than 200k visits per month? Just curious as to what you decided to go with for the higher traffic sites.
Thanks!
-Mark

Reply
Paul - February 18, 2017

Your email gave me a shock at first, I thought you’d had a problem with Siteground and were moving away from it. It’s good to know that’s not the case.
But about 2 years ago I started using Siteground because of a recommendation of yours, and you said you were using them at the time – how come you have all your sites on BH if you knew SG was better 2 years ago?
Welcome back – I agree with everything in your post – but what made you leave?

Reply
    Mike Johnson - February 18, 2017

    The bulk of my sites have always been with Bluehost or Hostmonster since about 2005-2006. Previously I only had 2 test sites and 4 client sites on SiteGround and I based my recommendations off of their performance. I think I made a brief recommendation based on that back in September 2015. If you look at the Auto Blog Blueprint for instance, you can see in the Web Hosting section that I had recommended Hostmonster, BlueHost, Site5, Hostnine, and Liquid Web since I had experience with all of those hosts. I only really focused on SiteGround for their hosting performance for WordPress specifically as I described above.

    2 years ago I didn’t have a reason to leave BlueHost en masse like I did now. I still have around 50 auto blogs on Hostmonster which have been there for 10+ years.

    I use a lot of different hosting for different reasons. For example, this site, GetStarted.net, is now hosted on A2 Hosting. I moved it on February 6th from Liquid Web. I had planned on staying with Liquid Web since I have been with them for over 5 years, but I changed on a whim to try something different. Once I have been with them over a month I will write a review on my experience here with them too.

    I have a lot of sites man. LOL.

    Reply
Darrell - February 19, 2017

I was looking at testing Siteground last year but because of the yearly billing I decided to go with Veerotec. I like Veerotec and their tech support is really good, no complaints yet. However, I picked up the Startup plan after reading your blog post to test it with a new domain. It will be very interesting to compare the two hosting companies on site speed etc.
Thanks Mike,I appreciate your insight on Siteground.

Reply
    Mike Johnson - February 19, 2017

    I have never heard of Veerotec. I would be interested to hear how they compare after a month or so. There are a lot of good hosts out there. It is very hard to test them all. I am always open to finding a better option.

    Thanks!

    Reply

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