I am very hesitant to ever endorse a web hosting company. The reason is the relationship usually starts out strong and then something happens and I am forced to move to another host. SiteGround is the 4th web host I’ve had this year. After leaving Site 5, a few people have asked me how SiteGround is working for me.
I moved this blog to SiteGround’s GoGeek plan almost 2 months ago. GoGeek is their highest level of shared hosting, which they list as having advanced hardware. The 3 metrics I care about on web hosting are:
- Customer Service
As far as I can tell and according to the control panel, this blog has been up 100% of the time. Bluehost and Arvixe couldn’t go more than a day or two without the server crashing.
Let me start by saying that WordPress is not a fast application. It is a content management system written in scripting code that hosts a mess of plugins that may or may not work together. Then there are themes and widgets. For what you get in ease and functionality, you give up some speed. I’m OK with that up to a point. Although what I consider acceptable speed will change over time, right now 3-second page loads are my line in the sand. Anything longer makes me nervous. Anything shorter impresses me.
SiteGround has done what I didn’t think was possible. With their SSD (Solid State Drives) and WordPress optimization, I am getting sub-1-second page draws! This is on the shared GoGeek plan.
Before I went on my trip, I ran this speed test.
Under 1 second. I thought it might be a fluke, so I ran it again this morning. This time from a Dallas server.
Holy Toledo! 0.7 seconds for WordPress! That is smoking fast. And I am not even using a CDN (Content Delivery Network).
I needed help setting up a remote SQL connection on a Sunday evening. They were very responsive. I went back and forth with them until the problem was solved.
Early Report Card
So far everything is going great with SiteGround. In fact, I am considering moving INeedCoffee.com over to SiteGround for the speed benefits. Having all my sites with one host makes me nervous, but sub-1-second page draws on WordPress is the Holy Grail for performance.
The one caveat I have is they pre-select a Hacker scan add-on on the order form. Unless you want it, uncheck the box. I didn’t notice it and accidentally signed up for it. When I noticed it the next day, I tried to get my money back. They gave me credit instead of money. It was only a few dollars, so I wasn’t concerned. Plus if this level of service keeps up, I’ll be using those credits on next year’s hosting.
** UPDATE: I’ve been so impressed with Siteground that I opened a 2nd account and moved INeedCoffee.com there.
** UPDATE March 2021: Siteground has gotten huge. And with their success, the quality of service has dropped. The servers are still fast, but I can no longer recommend their support.