SiteGround Hosting Review | Why moving to Siteground was the smartest blogging business decision I've ever made
It’s been nearly 3 months since I’ve migrated web hosting to Siteground. Here’s my review of why Siteground has earned its reputation.
When I started this blog in 2014, I knew I was going to embark onto self-hosted blogging terrain and I didn’t know the first thing about that world. WordPress offers a ton of sophisticated options that hosted platforms like Squarespace simply can’t even compete with in terms of creative potential. I knew I needed to either do it right or not at all and this required a wealth of new learning on my part.
If you don’t have a background in web development, design or software engineering, learning WordPress from scratch can be a little intimidating. From what I’ve learned, the best and only way to start a self-hosted site is to start with a good and reliable host.
This sounds like the most obvious statement in the world, but it’s surprisingly not at first. I made the faulty assumption starting out that all hosting companies were probably pretty good when in reality, that’s just not true.
A popular blogger years ago recommended that I go with a really popular hosting service, Hostgator. It was one of the two larger companies and still is today.
At that time, I couldn’t tell you the difference between shared or dedicated hosting, or even what to look for in selecting a hosting service. I just followed his recommendation.
But, after hosting with them for 4 years, I started experiencing a ton of problems and a web developer I reached out to said that the best company to move to was SiteGround because it’s the safest and most reliable.
My site was incredibly slow and the interface / cPanel for Hostgator is a nightmare to navigate. Additionally, you have to hunt around to even find out how to submit a support ticket to open up a line of communication.
My website started having a ton of issues. For one, it was behaving incredibly slow which wasn’t just affecting site speed for the users, but for myself.
I found creating blog posts to be laborious and much more time-consuming than it should be. Images would take forever to load and the site was insanely sluggish.
I always assumed that migrating hosting companies would be a pain in the ass, but it wasn’t. Siteground literally brought my website back to life and helped to transform the business I’m growing online.
Siteground is Officially Recommended by WordPress.Org
A SiteGround Review
Migrating hosts doesn't have to be a pain in the ass
The reason I waited so long to migrate hosts is because I thought it was going to be a pain in the ass when I was in the process of doing a lot of work on my site. Perhaps at one time, yes, but this process was crazy easy and I had no downtime at all.
One Saturday morning, I opened up a support chat conversation with SiteGround and within 10 minutes my site was fast on the way to migration. I was talking to a real person who was totally professional and they walked me through the entire process.
And even better, these messages are stored in an easily accessible message center and I always got a detailed response to any question within 12 hours.
How to Quickly Get Started With Siteground
It’s very easy to select a package. Simply select whichever plan fits your traffic needs. Also, if you exceed the GoGeek plan, they also offer cloud hosting to fit every need.
Step 1: Select a plan
Step 2: Purchase a Domain or Enter Your existing Domain
Since I already had a domain, I chose the second selection. However, I opted to transfer my domain from Namecheap in order to simply have everything in one spot. The transfer was super easy as they also walked me through a simple process of what to do on Namecheap’s end.
I definitely recommend having your domain and hosting in one spot, that way if there are any problems, you’ll only have to deal with one company to resolve the issues rather than correspond through both SiteGround and Namecheap (in my case). The domain transfer is very cheap too btw.
Step 3: Finish your purchase just like that
Again, you can’t get any easier than this. From start to finish, it only took less than five minutes to initiate my migration which is insane.
Afterwards, you’ll just pass on your prior hosting cPanel login and SiteGround will take care of everything for you.
The Interface is Intuitive & Easy to navigate
After having to use Hostgator’s interface and cPanel, in all honesty, SiteGround felt like a breath of fresh air. For some reason Hostgator’s website is clunky and just hurts your eyes.
Why make life more complicated? Design is important because good design creates efficiency and clarity which saves time and reduces stress.
With SiteGround, I was amazed at the fact that their site is easy to navigate around and in addition to this ease, their reputation is also based on the fact that they offer something rare in the hosting industry – excellent support.
SiteGround Support is unparalled
One of the most frustrating things I had to deal with when my site was having a ton of issues was not feeling like I had a team working for me to handle the problem. I didn’t have anyone in particular I felt like I could talk to at Hostgator.
I could create a help ticket and send it off and hope I could trust that someone would help me. That’s not a good feeling.
When you have a growing online business, the foundation of that business needs to be as strong as it possibly can. A reliable host really is the best form of insurance, other than backing up your site regularly.
The foundation of any business online is site security & reliable trustworthy support.
Opting for a less than par hosting company is the equivalent of setting up your business in a crime-ridden neighborhood, investing your time and money into your business, and then being surprised when your store is looted and broken into. Why would anyone make such a bad decision?
For one, hosting companies pay bloggers a decent amount of money for generating a certain amount of signups and that’s personally why I chose Hostgator in 2014. How else are you influenced?
And yes, SiteGround will pay me an affiliate commission if you sign up through my website, but, I’m not spamming these links out all over the internet trying to generate as many sales as possible.
And this endorsement is actually based on an overwhelmingly positive experience and a genuine recommendation. It’s much easier to endorse something if I truly believe in the product. This is why I never actually wrote a review for Hostgator during all those years. I could have earned $40 / affiliate signup but I just couldn’t get myself to promote the company.
SiteGround's security Sets the Industry Standard
These guys are pioneers in hosting security.
I personally use the UpdraftPlus plugin to backup my site on WordPress, but it’s just more peace of mind to know that Siteground is also running automatic backups for your site.
super fast servers, Hardware & Site Speed
Hostgator was a nightmare in terms of site speed but again, SiteGround really raises the bar here. They use various different strategies to increase site speed on their end when it comes to hardware as well as utilizing NGINX to increase server speed. On your end, they also offer free Cloudflare CDN and Supercaching services.
Siteground also customizes their servers for faster PHP performance and allows you to select from several different PHP versions to choose from. This is of course important if you’re using WordPress since it’s run with PHP.
They’re also one of the first hosts to enable HTTP/2 which is an encrypted browser connection. This is also why they offer free SSL certificates, which is awesome.
Free & Helpful Tutorials
One additional cool feature I love about Siteground is the helpful user-friendly tutorials they provide. These cover a range of topics. For example, here’s a quick and easy tutorial on How to Change the PHP Version For Your Website.
Another awesome advantage is that they offer free SSL installations. I was previously paying a 3rd party $60 a year for a certificate and other hosts usually charge even more.
After I migrated from Hostgator, I cancelled my SSL provider at Comodo and even got a refund which was nice.
If you’re building a website, starting a blog or a travel blog and your intention is to turn it into something more than an online journal, I definitely recommend going with Siteground to set up your self-hosted site. This post does include affiliate links, but hopefully you can see why I feel comfortable endorsing such an excellent company.