It’s hard to find an honest SiteGround review anywhere on the web. Heck, it’s pretty hard to find honest reviews of any web hosting provider. Because of that, we get asked about web hosting a lot. The most common question is not only who we recommend for WordPress hosting, but who do we use ourselves.
Over the past year, we’ve been with a managed hosting partner, but we’re in the process of making a change to a new provider. Within the next little while, all of the sites that we own will be moving to SiteGround.
There are a number of factors that impacted our decision, and it definitely wasn’t a knee jerk. We’ve been collecting data for months (almost 6), all while paying thousands of dollars to another provider, just to make sure we didn’t make any brash decisions. We were looking for a long term partner for hosting our web sites, and SiteGround has stepped up to the plate in a huge way.
We Had Our Own SiteGround Review Criteria
We went through our own hosting checklist again and again, and also took into account a number of other factors, like how this impacts our business, and what we recommend to our customers. The way we approach finding solutions for our customers isn’t going to change even a little bit. There will be times when SiteGround isn’t the best fit for our clients, and in those situations, we’ll recommend whoever best fits their specific needs. It’s how we do things around here.
So why did we ultimately choose SiteGround? Let me count the ways…
The first thing we considered when putting together this SiteGround review is flexibility. This was a huge selling point for us. In a conversation with a friend a few months ago, I accidentally coined the phrase “managed to a fault.” Basically, the idea is that things can be so locked down with Managed WordPress hosting providers, that working with them can present some real challenges.
Things like lack of SSH support, and inability to make modifications to server configuration files really started to impact us as we tried to build new features for our business, streamline migrations, and do relatively simple things like using wildcard SSL certificates.
I understand that there are trade-offs to having everything managed for you. It just got to the point that those trade-offs were becoming more like roadblocks.
We care a ton about quality support, so this is one of the areas where we knew we were going to be really tough compared to other SiteGround reviews. The issues we had at our previous provider may not have been that big of a deal if their support team had been more responsive. Based on what we’ve seen so far, we’re confident that’s not going to be a problem with SiteGround. Their support has been amazing.
I’m not sure how they do it, to be honest. Over the past six months, we’ve initiated a combination of 80 live chats and support tickets for ourselves and on behalf of our clients. Here’s some supporting data that you might find interesting:
- Number of chats initiated – 48
- Number of issues resolved during the chat – 44
- Average live chat wait time – 1:49 (one minute and 49 seconds)
- Average live chat session time – 9:12 (nine minutes and twelve seconds)
When you take outliers into account, those numbers are extremely impressive, and nothing that we’ve experienced on a consistent basis with any other host.
- Number of tickets submitted – 36 (4 started as live chats)
- Average initial response time (not auto-responder) – 5:15 (five minutes and 15 seconds)
- Average resolution time – 11:45 (11 minutes and 45 seconds)
Keep in mind that the resolution time takes into account our response time, so if they weren’t waiting on us, it could have been even faster.
So many hosting companies are focused on the initial response time, which is important, but when issues are being resolved as quickly as they have been with SiteGround, the support experience has honestly been a real treat. Read more about SiteGround’s support.
SiteGround has 3 global datacenters. One in the Netherlands, one in Chicago, and one in Singapore. That kind of distribution doesn’t exist in the managed WordPress hosting space yet, and as our customers begin reaching out from different parts of the world, this is becoming more important to us. We’re set up in Chicago, which makes our deep dish pizza-loving hearts even happier.
SiteGround also outperformed any of the shared web hosts that we’ve benchmarked in our comparison of the best-shared WordPress Hosts. So performance isn’t just something that they take into account on their more expensive plans, they make it a priority for everyone, even the customers that are paying $3.95 a month. That’s really important to us, considering we serve clients with a huge range of budgets.
They also have a unique approach to speed, which allows us to take advantage of a lot of the benefits of managed hosts, like PHP caching, and reverse proxies, but still allows us to tweak configurations, and have full SSH access. They use “boosters” for WordPress, which is essentially a supplemental add-on that gives that extra important boost for speed and scalability.
It’s the best blend of pre-configured WordPress performance, while still giving us the ability to do our own thing, that we’ve been able to find anywhere.
Beyond everything else, everyone who we’ve worked with and spoken with at SiteGround has been extremely approachable and has always taken the time to answer questions. They named us one of their preferred WordPress partners a few months ago, and that level of trust goes a long way with us. We never really felt like “part of the family” with our current provider, and SiteGround has gone out of their way to build a great partnership which we plan to keep for a long time down the road.
If it isn’t abundantly clear already, we’re really big fans of SiteGround around here. They’re extremely fairly priced, have the tools you need to run an amazing website, and a support team to help you when you run into any issues. Check out their Grow Big Plan and sign up today. It’s perfect for budding entrepreneurs and small businesses.