The verdict – SiteGround web hosting review

The web hosting services are essential for any web site, be it a simple blog or an E-commerce venture. But when you select the web hosting service provider you have to be careful. If it is a simple blog you can be lenient but if your business is dependent on your web site you cannot take it that easy; especially towards the quality of the hosting services.

You will have to check for the scalability, reliability, speed of access, pricing, technical support and the technology used. In addition to these your data should be secure. So let us look into all these aspects and find out whether SiteGround meets our requirements.

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siteground review
Reliability

This means the percentage of the time the server can be left unattended without crashing (Uptime) and in turn how reliable your web hosting service is. SiteGround claims 99.999% uptime and they even promises that if you experience more than .1% downtime (Yearly basis), they will compensate you for that. They have a dedicated team to monitor and develop supporting software for server maintenance. The SiteGround DevOps team developed software for pro-active server monitoring (checks for current issues and inconsistencies) which helps in maintaining the promised uptime. The backup system is efficient and the restore feature works faster (or SiteGround claims) than their competitors. Even though they have the shared plans each account has isolated data storage in the server.

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Data Centers

SiteGround has data centers on three continents across four locations (Chicago, London, Amsterdam, and Singapore). The data centers are supported by multiple power feeds. To stop power interruptions the UPS used are enterprise-class and the power generators are always ready.

Server technology

The technology used in the data servers plays important role in the performance of your web site. All the plans use SSD (Solid State Drive) for storage to provide the fast access. TheNGINX (Read engine x) technology is used to make the static content loading faster. This is available in all plans. The CloudFlare facility is also available (Free and Plus). You have to activate it from the cPanel and should have the www URLs. They use latest technologies like PH7 and HTTP/2 for their servers.

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Pricing

There are three plans available for shared web hosting. They are StartUp, GrowBig and GoGeek. As the names indicate they are for staring web site, growing web site and web site geeks. Let us see what all are provided in these three plans. All the plans offer you a 30 day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied; but you have to check whether there are any hidden charges that will be deducted.

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Startup plan:

This plan is for blogs, personal web sites and small business web site. If your web site is an online shop, you can use this plan if you have only a reasonable number of products. But if you are expecting more than 10000 visitors (unique) per month, this is not the plan for you. For the initial billing you will get the hosting plan for $3.95 per month, for the renewal the charge will be $9.95 per month. With this plan you get unlimited Email accounts, DBs (Data bases) and traffic. The free features that are available with a startup plan are transfer & setup, domain name, website builder, CloudFlare feature and daily backup. The web space provided will be 10 GB which is enough for a starter.

GrowBig Plan:

This is the plan for a medium user or somebody who has already made their online presence known and wants a web hosting service to craft the growth of their web site. This plan is ideal if you have multiple web sites (multiple average trafficked web sites or one heavily-trafficked web site) to host. Along with the essential features (the features they provide in the startup plan), there are some premium facilities that enables you to enhance your web site. Even though startup plan has 24/7 support, GrowBig plan gets premium support; means you will get priority. With 20GB web space; you can have 25000 visits in GrowBig plans. To ensure the speed and uptime, they use SuperCacher technology and backup up to 30 copies of your web site. Last but not least, you can get free SSL (Wildcard) certificate for one year if you are using the web site for Ecommerce. The sign up price is $7.95 per month and after that for renewal it is $14.95 per month.

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GoGeek plan:

This is for heavily visited web sites, mostly Ecommerce web sites. SiteGround claims that GoGeek users will share the machine resources with fewer numbers of users. The PCI (Payment Card Industry) security standard is met for your online shop. The unique visits expected in this plan are 100000 and 30 GB of web space is allocated. All the facilities that you get in GrowBig plan are available in GoGeek plan; the additions are the PCI compliance, Premium Backup Service, Pre-installed GIT, and staging. As a welcome gift, SiteGround give the initial billing with the price of $14.95 per month and after that the renewal price is $29.95.

Tools:

The SuperCacher technology (in-house caching service) offers three levels of caching. First level offers the static content cache and second level offers dynamic caching along with level one. The level 3 caching comes with DB query result caching (Running on Memcached) along with both level one and two caching. Startup plan has only level one caching and GrowBig and GoGeek has all three levels.
The Premium backup service is a paid service for startup plan and GrowBig plan if they want to manage their web site backup. However GrowBig plan has the Basic Backup facility so that they can select the restore point from 30 backups. The premium backup service gives you access to the restore tool, 30 latest backup copies and the professional support by the technical team.
Security: The monitoring service (HackAlert) of SiteGround notifies you of the security breaches to your web site immediately.

Technical Support:

SiteGround offers 24/7 phone, email (Ticket system) and chat support for their users.
As a final verdict I can say that for the features they offer the pricing is very reasonable even though it is not the cheapest.

SiteGround Pricing

Amit Acharya
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