This past week I decided to try out SiteGround Hosting based on recommendations I’ve seen across the web. I’ve had my eye on them for awhile, but I finally went for a GoGeek account and chose to put one of my oldest and most established blogs in their care.
The hosting plan is a little more expensive than your typical shared plan, but based on what I’ve seen so far, it seems well worth it. The site I’ve moved over is one of my higher traffic sites, with a ton of content. It has about 800 published posts and pages with nearly 28,000 comments, and a forum with nearly 10,000 posts. At one time I was unable to park the site on shared hosting due to the resource demands, but things have slowed down to where it’s only getting maybe 3,000 visits per day, so I’m now able to put it back on a less expensive shared hosting plan.
It’s one of those in-between sites where it doesn’t really require a VPS anymore, but it’s still too important to me and resource-heavy to stick on just any old shared plan. SiteGround seems like a perfect fit, and at only $13.95/mo., it is a lot less money than the $89.00 per month I had been paying previously for a VPS.
Choosing a plan
SiteGround offers 3 tiers of shared hosting: StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek. At $4 and $8 per month respectively, the StartUp and GrowBig plans are suitable for most sites, and both come with a bunch of great features. I went with the GoGeek because the servers are less populated and the hardware a bit better – allowing for more resource-intensive and higher-traffic sites, like mine.
SiteGround’s shared hosting plans are optimized for WordPress and also include some nifty features like: one-press installer, caching, and a staging area so that you can test out changes before you go live with them.
I signed up for a one year plan, and also opted in for the $1/mo. HackAlert upgrade. The HackAlert addon is a cloud-based hacking prevention, detection and mitigation service. I keep my site’s pretty well locked down, but higher profile sites are always targets for malware, and so is WordPress. Peace of mind is well worth the $1 per month, even if it never has to do its job.
Getting set up
During the signup process SiteGround asks whether you want to set up a new domain or transfer an existing one. In my case, I was moving over an existing site from a VPS of mine. If you’re migrating to them, all you need to do is input the account’s cPanel login details and they take care of the rest.
Yeah…right, I thought.
I’ve moved this particular site at least a half-dozen times over the years, with every move needing to be manually completed by me. Never once was a host able to move this site in a trouble-free manner. There was always some issue, whether it was an incompatible PHP handler, permissions issue, or some other BS.
Plus, like I said, this site is 6 years old and quite large. Unbeknownst to me, my site exceeded the allowable file size for SiteGround’s free transfer service, but support did me a solid and went ahead with the migration anyway. 🙂
A lot of hosts would have not done this. Trust me. This is a sign of a very good shared hosting provider, and one that so far seems to truly care about their customers and their reputation. I love it.
The migration process
I can’t believe it, but the move was a seamless transition. I had to restore my MX records, but that was it. SiteGround moved my entire site over with no issues at all.
I’m quite impressed with support so far
Shortly after signing up I received a voicemail from SiteGround with a real person on the other end, introducing themselves and encouraging me to call or email with any questions I may have. Seriously…who does that..?!
I’ll be sure to share more details as I continue my relationship with SiteGround, but so far they seem like a fantastic choice for shared hosting. I couldn’t be happier at this point!
2 thoughts on “Siteground Hosting: First Impressions”
Hi Craig, I came across your interesting post about Siteground. I’m a newbie but an informed newbie looking to set up a new WordPress site as we speak (using Genesis). I seem to be drawn to using Siteground’s GoGeek shared hosting (staging environment useful for me I think and enough resources to grow). I would be most interested in hearing about your experience to date with Siteground and are you still using them for the site you mentioned? ………. Alan
SiteGround is tops. The mark of a great hosting company is when you never have to contact them, which has been the case with SiteGround. I moved a high traffic site to SG, which had previously been on a $95/mo. VPS, in an effort to try and save some money. Since I’ve been with them, the site has experienced no downtime, it’s speedy and secure. I paid the extra $1 or w/e it is per month to get the extra security and I feel it’s been worth it to have the regular scans and notifications.
Early on I contacted their support a few times during and after the migration, and always they were responsive and polite, but since then they’ve just been holding it down in the background. It’s been a totally hassle-free experience!