SiteGround Review 2017 – 4 Reasons Why I switched to SiteGround | Covert Insider

SiteGround Review 2017 – 4 Reasons Why I switched to SiteGround

SiteGround Review

My SiteGround Web Hosting Review

SiteGround, a premium shared hosting provider that deals power pack punches.

ANNOUNCEMENT: BLACK FRIDAY SALE Ending In .....

04
Days
04
Hours
29
Minutes
15
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Note: This deal last till Cyber Monday, 28th November, 2016

In the past few weeks, I was researching intensively on which web hosting providers could provide a better match to my needs. I have read almost every existing reviews, articles and forum comments possible. All this readings are useless unless I test them out. I have shortlisted a few web hosts and SiteGround is one of them.

Shortly, in this SiteGround review, I going to share with you the very reasons why I have switched to SiteGround.

But first, let me give you a quick overview on SiteGround.

Host: SiteGround

Headquarter:

Sofia, Bulgaria

Owner:

Privately held Company

Hosting Type:

Shared Hosting, WordPress Hosting, Cloud Hosting, Dedicated Hosting

Hosting Review:

Shared Hosting

Performance

Uptime

Support

Price

Siteground has been providing more than 10 years of web hosting services since 2004 is one of the very few WordPress.org recommended hosts and Joomla official host.

As a lot of my websites are using wordpress, this does add some cookie points to Siteground.

(Up to 60% discount available right now)

However, I am looking far more than that. I will need decent performance for my websites, customer support at reasonable price.

If you are searching for a web hosting right now, hold back your decision and decide after reading my first hand experience with SiteGround.


Reason #1: The Performance+ Test

Most of the reviews that I have read seems to suggest that SiteGround does provide premium performance for shared hosting because of their active adoption of advanced technology that benefits their clients to have their websites served much more faster than most other hosting providers.

SiteGround has a 30 days money back guarantee for all shared hosting plans. This actually gives me a peace of mind and a leap of faith before I decided to migrate over to SiteGround and grind it with all the possible tests I could carry out.

I will let you decide on the the results when I put it to the ultimate tests.

Performance: ByteCheck Test

Previous Hosting Provider

CI-Before-ByteCheck

SiteGround

CI-SiteGround-ByteCheck

Great! So far so good. The ByteCheck checks out for me.

You may be wondering, how is this possible?

Well, remember the advance technologies that I shared earlier. I did some digging and apparently, SiteGround has their own proprietary site improvement tools.

One of the improvement tools is SuperCacher.

SuperCacher helps to cache your sites on four different levels. 

  1. Static Cache - 1st level of caching all static content (such as images, CSS files and many more) on your websites when enabled.
  2. Dynamic Cache - 2nd level of site improvement which create copies of your website dynamic content and stores them in the server RAM.
  3. Memcached - Memcached Technology speed up database calls and page rendering by storing data and objects in memory to reduce the number of times a database is queried.
  4. HHVM - is an open source virtual machine designed for executing programs written in Hack and PHP. HHVM adopt just-in-time (JIT) compilation approach to achieve superior performance. This is only available for Cloud Hosting with SiteGround.

For this ByteCheck Test, I have enabled only the 1st level of SuperCacher, Static Cache and there is a mark improvement in the performance.

Another possible reason for this huge improvement in performance, I suspect is the use of SSD drives for shared hosting and only a handful of web hosting providers are bundling it with their shared hosting plans.

SSD drive is the next future of drive, for it much better (1000x) input/output operations compare to regular drives. It usually costs more to buy a SSD drive than a regular drive due to its better performance.

Here's a quick video by SiteGround showing how they go beyond the norms industry practices and delivers superior sever performance that your website will load 3 - 4 times faster than anywhere else.

The next test, I am looking at is the uptime performance after my SiteGround migration. I am monitoring it through StatusCake.

    Performance: Uptime Test
    CI Siteground Uptime

    It is a tie for now. Since, I have just migrated and only have the daily uptime data available for Siteground. I will continue to monitor the uptime. As of now, I could only used the daily data to compare with my previous host. Just for the records, my previous host's uptime is pretty decent as well. 

    The next test that I am going to share with you is the Page Speed test that I did before and after the SiteGround Migration using GTmetrix.

    Performance: PageSpeed Test

    Previous Host

    SiteGround - Page Speed Before migration

    SiteGround

    SiteGround - Page Speed after migration

    We can see a slight improvement in terms of the PageSpeed score,YSlow score. Notably, the page load time is essentially halved with less requests.

    Overall, after the SiteGround migration, my website has experienced better performance in terms of page loading, quicker first bytecheck and maintaining the uptime.


    Reason #2: The Live Chat Support Test

    All sales start with a conversation and the Live Chat was the immediate tool available on site for me to follow up with SiteGround on some of my concerns while migrating my sites. 

    I wish I could have took a screenshot of the Chat queue in front of me. There was about 26 people ahead of me and I thought to myself alright, this is going to be a long long wait and if I didn't get in by 15 mins, I will need to check SiteGround another day.

    I was in for a great surprise! My chat was picked up by Momchil, SiteGround Senior Customer Representative in barely under 2 minutes. It does remind me of the better days in Hostgator (pre-EIG) where responses were as quick as SiteGround.

    Impressive!

    Considering the number of people ahead of me and my previous experience with Hostgator (EIG) that could take more than 30 - 60 minutes for similar queue size.

    Hopefully, SiteGround will continue to maintain this golden standard.

    From my conversation with Momchil, I have found out that it is always good to get the latest complete information from SiteGround directly especially for specific details and case. Some of the information circulating around is outdated.

    For example, I read it somewhere that SiteGround only do cPanel migration for up to 1 GB.

    After clarification with Momchil (awesome guy!), SiteGround provides free migration service of site or cPanel migration with no limitation of size.

    Now if you are thinking of migrating your current websites. This is definitely a strong point for you. I know of some hosting providers that easily charges $90 and more for migration. This is definitely good news for matured large websites.

    #Siteground Web Hosting #Review 2016 - Why I switched to SiteGround and what it costs me?

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    However, not all are rosy with SiteGround if you decide to try them out. There are a few limitations that I have found out and Momchil has been openly honest about it.

    Memory Limitation

    For example, there is a physical memory limit of 768MBs for GrowBig hosting. I was enjoying 1024MBs with my previous host. This may not be enough for a handful of people. It will be good to check what is your usage with your current host and decide if this is good enough for you.

    Even though, Momchil did mentioned that the system is adjusted in such a way that it won't actually let you exceed it. I have my reservation though. It could go either ways if you think about it and since my usage is comfortably below the current limit. Let's see how it goes. 

    Active Process Limitation

    In the cPanel, after getting my access, I noticed that the allowed running processes are just 20 for GrowBig. This seems to be an unusually low and restricted limitation for a mid-tier plan that has been imposed by SiteGround.

    If you are looking at SiteGround as a potential host, I would advise you to double check on your current process usage first. For example, if you are using IMAP connections with your email client, make sure that your running processes are still within the limits.

    I spoke to another representative about this issue as whenever my processes exceed 20 (due to the IMAP connections). My WordPress sites are down. "How to GrowBig?" Isn't this an irony?

    I questioned the low limitation and requested for a reasonable higher limits of probably 100 for a mid-tier plan like GrowBig (the limits that I was enjoying with my previous host).

    I will keep you updated when the representative get backs to me on this.

    Overall the Live Chat experience was awesome, professional and no salesy talk. I recommend that always talk to their representative first if you have any unique or specific concerns before starting your purchase. At the end of the day, the most important is all about getting your concerns answered and issues resolved.


    Reason #3: SiteGround Price Litmus Test

    With the awesome support that I am experienced thus far, the important question now lies with the price. Is the price justified for the improved in performance (which I have no clue but based on reviews)?

    Well I can safely tell you now after testing it out myself that it is definitely worth it after even if you just go for one annual payment now. That doesn't give you the reason not to to do your own site tests as well. ?

    SiteGround Price Plan

    For me, the GrowBig is a good match for my current websites needs and at that promotion price, it is not difficult to make a decision with all the added performance and support that comes along with it that other hosts are not able to match.

    If you are a beginner and looking to start your first website, I will strongly recommends to go for GrowBig Plan if you are comfortable of skipping just one Starbucks drink a month in exchange for a better and value for money plan.

    The reason is, because once you have your first, you have your second and third website. GrowBig allows you to do that and it comes with additional premium features such as the SuperCacher, the daily backups and many more.

    With the current promo price, it is good deal in term of performance, support and hardware compare with other hosts that I have researched thus far.

    Do note that the price will revert to the regular price once the promotion ends.

    Here another great tip for you, you are able to locked in promo price for up to 3 years.

    (Up to 60% discount available right now)


    Reason #4: SiteGround After Sales Support Test

    SiteGround Support

    Migration was fully hands off from me. I just need to provide the necessary details and SiteGround advance tech support team will do the full migration for me. 

    Inititally, I was wondering when will the migration starts since I purchased the GrowBig plan on a late Friday and guess probably, migration will starts on Monday. Since some hosting providers do charge for weekend migration or only provide free migration services for weekdays.

    My concerns was unfound as SiteGround has overstaff its tech support on 24/7 shifts. After preparation on Saturday, my migration was good to go on a Sunday. SiteGround provide reasonable updates on the progress of migration.

    However, it will be better if they could ask their onboarding customer when do they prefer to do their migration as there could be an ongoing scheduled updates or posts to the sites and this could affect the integrity of the websites after migration.

    So don't make the same mistake as me, talk to SiteGround support and arrange for a migration schedule.

    The whole migration from preparation to completion took roughly about about 2 days during the weekend.

    It is very common for web hosting companies to say that the migration will be seamless and your site will be in ready condition once your site has been transferred.

    Always Do Your Back Up

    As a precaution, it is always better to do your own necessary backups first and at least keep your existing host for at least a month in case of any major issues where you will need to revert back to your old host or retrieve data. 

    As expected always, there are some minor configuration issues or website issues due to migration that need immediate attention and remedies.

    This is the time where I test the support tickets extensively, and the response thus far has been quick, great and awesome.

    My experience with SiteGround ticket-based support responses ranges from receiving a reply between 15 minutes to an hour. It depends on largely on the issues that I have raised which I find acceptable since tech support need to investigate based on the information provided.

    One of the highlights was an issue that requires a new seperate migration of CovertInsider.

    The tech support was able to response pretty fast, get on top of it and the turn around was within a day. Most of the issues got resolved (by Dimitar who goes the extra mile) and there is a remaining minor issue that is probably due to how Thrive Content Builder managed its content templates.

    If you will probably need to take note if you are using this awesome content builder and for those who wondering what is it, well this is one of the secret tools that I used to create such an awesome content for your reading pleasure.

    Overall experience with the SiteGround Support has been wonderful. If you are a beginner or even an experience website owners who value and need reliable support. SiteGround should be on the top of your list.


    Current Price Plan Offers

    In addition, SiteGround as an official recommended host by WordPress.org, all the shared hosting plans includes dedicated support for WordPress sites.

    SiteGround WordPress Tools
    SiteGround offers 3 types of shared hosting plans:
    SiteGround Price Plan

    The StartUp plan is a great fit for beginners who decided that they need only 1 website to be host by SiteGround.

    Majority of the people (including me) will go for the GrowBig plan. This is truly the plan where you unlocked all the prized features of Siteground at an awesome promo rate with a good balance between the features and price.

    The GoGeek plan is cater towards owners with matured websites that has decent heavy website traffic and needed the extra features that a normal user won't need.

    To add on, all the plans comes with a free domain and free Let's Encrypt SSL Certificates.

    This page shows every features details of these 3 plans, and the differences.

    StartUp: $3.95/mo - Recommended for beginner with a single site only.

    GrowBig: $7.95/mo - Recommended for beginner or experienced with or planning to have multiple sites.

    GoGeek: $14.95/mo - Recommended for the experienced or advanced who need advanced featured.

    4 Global Data Centers that meet your needs
    SiteGround Data Centers

    After deciding on the plan you need, SiteGround offers 4 global data centers for you to choose from with no additional charges. 

    • Chicago, United States - Recommended for South America, North America, Africa
    • Singapore - Recommended for Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific
    • Amsterdam, Netherlands - Recommended for Europe, Russia
    • London, United Kingdom - Recommended for Europe, Russia

    This is often unheard of in the WordPress Hosting and my recommendation is to host your sites where most of your visitors are from. If the majority of your readers are from Europe. You should choose either London, UK or Amsterdam, NL as your preferred datacenter.

    You shouldn't go wrong with above guidelines. If ever you have a change of mind  within the first five days, I was told that it will be free to relocate the data center. However, it is best that you speak with a customer representative for the latest updates.

    Notes: To get your desired plan at the price mentioned above, you need a special link that offers the discount. If you're looking for that link, here's one:


    SiteGround Simplified

    The Pros & Cons of SiteGround


    PROS

    • Superior Fast Performance.
    • Better hardware i.e. SSD Drives. 
    • Incredible Uptime
    • Professional, efficient and hyper responsive support via live chat.
    • Knowledgeable tech support with quick turnaround and response to ticket-based support.
    • Free domain, SSL and 1-Click auto installers for common softwares such as WordPress and Joomla.
    • Free Daily backup
    • Pro-active server monitoring for vulnerabilities and performance.
    • Up to Date Anti-Hack System
    • SuperCacher, Account Isolation and Google Pagespeed module
    • ​Promo price locked in up to 3 years
    • 30 Days Money Back Guarantee
    • 4 different global data centers

    CONS

    • Basic plan allows only one website hosting
    • Better quality but mid and high-tier plans are still slightly more costly than competitors
    • Restrictive Limitation (Memory, Process) for mid-tier and high-tier plan.

    SiteGround Review - Final Notes ..

    Host: SiteGround

    Final Rating

    Headquarter:

    Sofia, Bulgaria

    Owner:

    Privately held Company

    Hosting Type:

    Shared Hosting, WordPress Hosting, Cloud Hosting, Dedicated Hosting

    Hosting Review:

    Shared Hosting

    Performance

    Uptime

    Support

    Price

    My Verdict: My decision to move to SiteGround proves to be a good and logical one that matches my current needs. There are some issues that are resolved along the way and some eyesores (limitations) still lingering around.

    Overall, my websites are now much happier and loading faster because of SiteGround's SuperCacher at its first level. Imagine if I enabled all 3 levels, it will be an interesting case study.

    I get awesome and almost instantaneous dedicated support at a reasonable price.

    While, it may not be the cheapest option around but definitely when it comes to quality, you have one of the best in the business yet at a reasonable price.

    I prefer to pay a little bit more to know that I have a great support behind me anytime when I encounter pressing issues and reasonable allocated resources. I am sure experienced readers will agree with me on this.

    You can't really go wrong with SiteGround since it is an official recommended host by WordPress.org and Joomla official host. However, SiteGround has  ample of room for improvement to be the next web hosting titan.

    Even if you have average observation, you should have noticed that SiteGround is actually offering unheard of heavily discount promotion at a price point usually offers by inferior web hosting providers. They are competing with them at the very same price yet with better quality infrastructure, support and performance.  

    If you are thinking about going with the SiteGround hosting, now is the great time to do so by visiting www.SiteGround.com and buying a plan at a discount rate.

    Life is all about seizing the chances when it presents itself because it will likely never happens again.

    ANNOUNCEMENT: BLACK FRIDAY SALE Ending In .....

    04
    Days
    04
    Hours
    29
    Minutes
    15
    Seconds

    Note: This deal last till Cyber Monday, 28th November, 2016


    Your Turn..

    I love to hear your thoughts, questions or experiences with SiteGround. ?
    Share your comments with me in the box below.

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