WATCH: SiteGround Review
I recently moved two of my websites to SiteGround—a web host that offers affordable monthly hosting plans. One is an online store, and one is a blog.
On SiteGround, you can launch a website for as little as $3.95 per month. So far, I am happy with the service I am getting, so I will provide you with an extensive SiteGround review to help you decide if this is the right web host for you.
Our topics for today are:
- What is SiteGround
- What services can you get from SiteGround?
- What are the benefits of using SiteGround?
- Who should use SiteGround?
- What plan should I pick?
- What help and support can I expect from SiteGround?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Let us dive in!
What is SiteGround?
SiteGround is a web hosting company. It manages servers, which you rent, so you can run a website. To be able to use the hosting service, you need to know how to use a content management system, which, in this case, is WordPress.
A web host is a company that stores all your website files, and “serves” these files to the user. Anyone who attempts to access your website shall be pointed to SiteGround, and SiteGround will show the user your website through the user’s browser.
SiteGround offers a complete suite of anything that you will ever need to launch a successful website—from hosting to SSL to backing up your files, you can get it all from here.
SiteGround has been around since 2004, and it is headquartered in Sofia, Bulgaria. It is host to more than 2 million websites globally. It does not only service huge companies—even small and medium-sized businesses can get their websites up and running on SiteGround
What services can you get from SiteGround?
SiteGround offers a multitude of services. I will discuss only those that a blogger or an online entrepreneur needs to build a store.
With SiteGround, you can choose from various hosting plans with varying perks. The company offers dedicated web hosting, shared hosting, and cloud hosting. If you are a blogger or if you want to build an online store, you should pick a shared hosting plan.
There are several types of shared hosting, so I am going to discuss the differences.
The WordPress Hosting service is a plan where you can build your website through WordPress, but it is hosted by SiteGround. What this means is that once you have purchased this service, you need to install the WordPress CMS inside SiteGround to start building your website.
The WooCommerce Hosting, on the other hand, is for people who want to build online stores in the WooCommerce platform but do not want WooCommerce to host their websites.
No matter which of these two shared hosting services you choose, you can turn your website into a store by installing the WooCommerce plug-in.
What I bought is the Grow Big WordPress Hosting service, which I paid for the entire year. This plan allows me to build unlimited websites in just one plan.
SiteGround also offers corporate hosting plans where the servers are not shared. They are much more costly and are better used if you have big businesses like Amazon.
If you want to be a reseller, you can create your own brand of hosting services and resell the hosting services of SiteGround. This service is called Reseller Hosting.
Apart from hosting services, you can buy your domains from SiteGround as it is also a domain registrar. To be able to buy a domain on SiteGround, you first need to sign-up for a hosting service.
From there, you can head on to Services > Domains then buy a domain of your choice. If you want, you can also transfer an existing domain from one registrar to SiteGround. In my case, I host all my domains in GoDaddy.
While SiteGround offers a domain service, it does not have as many extensions as GoDaddy. If there is a domain name you want that is available on SiteGround, then, by all means, take it.
After purchasing your domain from SiteGround, you can add an email service for as little as $0.33 per month. In my opinion, you definitely should get this service to make your business professional.
If you use free email services like Yahoo! and Gmail, no one is going to do business with you, most especially so if you are selling something online. Free emails are for job applicants and scammers, not for bloggers and entrepreneurs.
Here are some of the email service features from SiteGround:
- An email with your domain name
- Free emails
- High security
- Spam management and automated controls
- Integrated with various webmail clients
- 24/7 support
- Going back to hosting, SiteGround offers a one-time migration of one website from your current host. You can avail of this service if you buy the Grow Big Plan. There is no free migration if you only buy the Start-Up Plan.
Succeeding website migration costs around $30.
What are the benefits of using SiteGround?
I chose SiteGround for several reasons. While I also used BlueHost in the past, I can say that these two companies stand toe-to-toe against each other.
If you want to learn more about BlueHost, you can read my review here: BlueHost Review: Is this affordable host the best for you?
Now, on to the SiteGround features and benefits.
Build an unlimited number of websites if you are at least in the Grow Big Plan.
20 GB Web Space
This is a shared space between your websites. If you need more in the future, you need to purchase extra storage space.
25,000 Visits Monthly
This is just a minimum. I asked SiteGround what would happen if I hit 100,000 visitors per month, and I was told that no extra charges will apply and that no bandwidth issue is going to occur.
Free WP Installation
You can ask the SiteGround support team to install WordPress for you if you do not know how to do it.
The WordPress platform used on the hosting service is WordPress.ORG or Gutenberg. It is a free and open-source content management system, which SiteGround updates automatically should there be any.
Your website will not get traffic if it does not have an SSL certificate. Browsers and even search engines are now warning users if a site has no SSL. As such, a reader will not go to your website, thinking that it is a malicious site.
You can program the SiteGround hosting service to do a daily backup of all your files. If anything goes wrong and your website gets wiped out, you can restore your website to its original condition.
CDN stands for content delivery system. It is a system where your website files are stored in various places around the world, making it easier to serve users globally. Can you imagine if your website files are hosted in the US, and your user is in China?
Many computers and networks have to talk to each other before reaching your files, making your website slow. With CDN, your files are cached, so if a user from India tries to access your website, the server closest to India is the one that will serve your website content.
On-demand Backup Copies
Apart from the daily backup, you can do a manual one yourself. All backups are stored for 30 days only.
Free Professional Site Transfer
You can migrate one website to SiteGround for free with the Grow Big plan. Succeeding migrations will cost you $30 each.
If you want someone to manage your site, you can add a user and limit his capabilities.
There are more benefits to using SiteGround, which you may need in the future, such as dynamic caching and staging.
Who should use SiteGround?
In my case, I have been tinkering with web hosts, WordPress, and WooCommerce for more than five years. SiteGround is easy to use, and I have a firm belief that even a beginner blogger or e-commerce enthusiast can do it.
SiteGround is for people who:
- Want flexibility in building their website
- Want an affordable hosting service
- People who need quick customer support
- Bloggers who may need to put up several blogs in the future
- People who want a single system where they can run their website or multiple websites
I now have three websites with SiteGround, and I am happy with my decision. In the next section, I will show you the three websites that I manage.
Three Websites I built with SiteGround
In a span of a few months, I built three websites with SiteGround. Two of these were originally hosted in WordPress.Com, but that hosting service proved to be really costly. There are so many limitations to WordPress.Com, as opposed to WordPress.ORG.
With WordPress.Com, you cannot even install plug-ins unless you upgrade to a Business Plan. With SiteGround, you only need one plan to build multiple websites, and you can use WordPress and install as many plug-ins as you want.
For these three websites hosted on SiteGround, I use the following:
- WordPress – my content management system; it allows me to create pages and blog posts
- WooCommerce – my product management system; it allows me to launch products and charge buyers
- Elementor – my web-building software; I pay $99 per year to be able to use a drag-and-drop web-builder, so my website does not look like a “me too” website
Aaron Mathew Ang
This is my website as a freelance writer. I sell my services to bloggers who need web content. I also write eBooks that they can use as a lead magnet for their email subscription campaigns.
For more info, visit my freelance writing website. You may find interesting deals for your blog. I have been a writer for over a decade, and have helped several bloggers rank their blogs on the first page of Google SERPs.
Just Keep Shippin’
This is the blog where you are reading this post. It is a blog dedicated to e-commerce.
If you want to see the tools I recommend for building a successfully monetized website, check out my recommended tools page.
Teacher Chay Tutorials
I made this website for my cousin, a tutor, who was impacted by COVID-19. Now, she is offering tutorial classes online. For more details about her services or to check out the SiteGround website I built for her, visit Teacher Chay.
SiteGround Pricing: what plan should I pick?
Now, there are three main plans that you can choose from. These plans are:
- Start-up – $3.95 per month; one website with 3GB of space
- Grow Big – $5.95 per month; unlimited websites with 20 GB of space
- Go Geek – $11.95 per month; unlimited websites with 40 GB of space
Here is a snapshot of the SiteGround pricing matrix:
My recommendation is the Grow Big. It is the plan I am using, and I am happy with it.
Important note: the prices shown above only apply on your first purchase. After the plan is over, you will be charged the following:
- Start-up – $11.95 per month
- Grow Big – $19.95 per month
- Go Geek – $34.95 per month
All of these are charged annually, not monthly.
My mistake was I only purchased the Grow Big $5.95 per month for one year, when I could have bought it for three years at $5.95 a month. Now, after my first year of hosting has expired, I will start paying $19.95 per month.
Believe, me, you need to buy the three-year plan. You will need it to ensure your blog is not costing you a lot as you build it over time.
If you buy the Grow Big 3-year plan, you will only pay $5.95 x 36 months = $214. At this rate, you have a guaranteed hosting plan for three years, and you can build an unlimited number of websites!
But of you pay it monthly, you are spending roughly $240 per year, compared to a one-time payment of $214 for three years.
Next, buy an Elementor package. I first bought the basic Elementor package at $49 per year. In less than a month, I upgraded to the second tier at $99 per year so I can create two more stunning websites.
Three months from now, I will be upgrading to the $199 Elementor plan as I plan on building three more websites for my wife and me.
What help and support can I expect from SiteGround?
SiteGround offers four types of support systems: ticket, chat, email, and phone.
I do not use the phone service due to the cost, but I often use email and chat support.
I rate the service with 4.5 out of 5 stars. The chat support is quick, but sometimes, they are not qualified to answer technical questions. They have to create a ticket on your behalf.
The email service is great. I expect to get an answer within 24 hours, but most of the time, it takes only six hours or less. Sometimes I even got responses in less than an hour.
SiteGround Review Summary
I have been with SiteGround for a few months. I am happy with its service, and my websites have never been down. Even the propagation time took less than a day, as opposed to the expectation of 72 hours.
Customer support is also superb and responsive, so I highly recommend this web hosting company. I also love the speed of my website as SiteGround has what is called SG Optimizer. With this tool, you can execute the recommendations of Google Analytics to make your website faster.
One more thing has to be put to the test: bandwidth during high traffic. If my blog ever gets to a 100,000 views per month, I will be able to see how SiteGround is going to perform.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does SiteGround offer a money-back guarantee?
SiteGround offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for shared hosting plans, which I do not think you will use.
Will I be charged monthly?
No, SiteGround charges annually. Buy the Grow Big plan for three years, or at least two years, so you can save a ton of money. Do not make the same mistake I made where I only bought a one-year plan.
Is my SiteGround login the same as my WordPress?
No, they are different. SiteGround is your web host, but WordPress is your content management system. You can log-in to our WordPress admin even if you do not go through your SiteGround account.
How many websites do I get with SiteGround?
For the Start-up plan, you only get to build one website. This is why I do not recommend it. Whether you are a blogger, dropshipper, affiliate marketer, or e-commerce operator, you may need to put up at least two or three websites at the same time.
The internet gives us limitless possibilities to earn money, and it is best to build several websites at the same time because of—well—time.
It takes time to build traffic, so it makes sense to build several at once and grow your organic traffic as time passes by.
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