I started this website in July of 2010, which means I’ve been using a web host for almost four years. Aside from a few months when my friend Andrea from Nuts and Bolts Media was offering a hosting service, I’ve generally been dissatisfied (or “pissed off” if we’re talking bluntly) with my web host.
I’ve had quite a few because when I get unhappy I switch. I’ve even tried one company twice thinking for some reason they would have gotten better since I left the last time. In every case I’ve been frustrated and disappointed. That is, until now.
For the last month or two I’ve been using Siteground to host my multiple websites, and I can finally say I’ve found a host I love. I have a few criteria that I look for in a webhost:
- My websites load quickly (most important)
- If I need support, I can get it fast and they are helpful
- Prices are reasonable
Here’s how Siteground meets all of that criteria and then some.
In the spirit of full disclosure, links to Siteground are affiliate links and I do receive a commission on any sales. However, all my previous hosts offered affiliate links and I never used them (aside from Andrea’s discontinued service) because I didn’t really love the product. Well, I do love this product so I’m recommending it wholeheartedly.
Websites Load Quickly
A lot of people with WordPress websites spend a lot of time trying to optimize the site for speed. They download plugins like WordPress SEO and configure them for the most optimal caching solution, and they might host files or images with a service like Amazon S3 for fast, reliable access to large files.
However, none of that stuff matters if you have a slow web host. If it takes 3 or 4 or 8 seconds for the host to respond (which was happening frequently with my old hosts), then your readers will be waiting and some of them are going to leave before anything even loads.
Since I’ve moved to Siteground, I’ve consistently found wait times for the server response to be 1 second or lower. Some people would say 1 second is bad, but keep in mind this is a cheap, shared host. If you want server response times of 100-200 milliseconds, you’ll need to pay more than $3.95 per month.
The key is the sites CONSISTENTLY have wait times at 1 second or less. I actually found Siteground after reading this article comparing WordPress hosting companies. You really aren’t going to find faster hosting at this price.
Siteground Support is Amazing
When I was with my other bad hosts, I’d have to wait 8-10 seconds for my site to load. That wasn’t acceptable so I’d try to initiate a chat session with support to understand the problem. That means waiting 20-30 minutes until someone was available, and then having support tell me “You have too many plugins,” which is complete BS.
I haven’t had to ask Siteground for support on slow loading times because my load times have been great, but I have needed support on a variety of other issues.
And each time I initiate a chat session I am connected instantly. I get people who know what they are doing and understand my problems and how to help. I also have a button on the chat window that says “Not happy with this chat? Escalate to a manager.” or something like that. If I’m not getting the service I need, I can easily talk to someone else to solve my problem.
This is by far the best web host support I’ve ever encountered.
The Price is Great
Their smallest plan is just $3.95 a month for a single website. I have multiple websites and host a few sites I don’t own, so I used their GoGeek plan which is $14.95 a month and is a great deal in my book.
Their plans do include free website transfer, so if you have been thinking about moving but don’t want to deal with the hassle of moving your site, their experts will do it for you.
Bonus Feature: Staging
I was simply looking for a web host that met all my criteria. What I found with Siteground was one that met all my criteria and also includes a fantastic additional benefit: staging. Note: this benefit only applies to the GoGeek ($14.95/mo) and better plans.
When one of my sites needs work I really don’t want to do the development on the live production copy of the site. However, it’s a big pain to manually create a staging or development copy of the site and database for tinkering. Then, when I’ve finally made the changes I want, I have to copy/paste them to the original site. Not fun.
With Siteground, they have a one click option to create a staging copy of any of my sites. It takes about 20-30 seconds and the site is ready for me to go to work. Then when I’ve made the changes I want and I’m ready to implement them on the live site, there’s no copy paste. I just click a button and move the staging copy into production. And of course they create backups at every step in case a mistake is made and I need to roll it back.
This has saved me so much time and headache, this service alone is worth the price.
Siteground Hosting Rocks
That’s the bottom line here. I can’t tell you how much headache moving to Siteground has saved me. If you have a website and you’ve been experiencing any of the frustration I used to have, I strongly recommend giving Siteground a try.