Looking for a place to host your new website? SiteGround (opens in new tab) is a web hosting provider mainly positioned at small- and medium-sized businesses. But what does it offer to creatives?
In our SiteGround review, we discuss whether it could be the best web hosting option for your needs by evaluating its pricing, features, and customer support.
SiteGround: Plans and pricing
Though SiteGround splits its plans into web hosting, WordPress hosting, WooCommerce hosting, and cloud hosting, most of these options ultimately come down to three main plans: StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek. Plans must be paid annually. Domain names cost extra too, ranging between $15.95/year and $45.95/year, depending on the TLD (e.g., .com, .co.uk, .expert, etc.) that you choose.
StartUp costs $14.99/month, with a discounted price of $6.99/year for the first year. This supports one website, with 10GB of storage and 10,000 visits per month. You get the Weebly drag-and-drop site builder, one-click install of WordPress, and unlimited email addresses. E-commerce shopping carts such as WooCommerce and Magento are available.
Move up to the $24.99/month GrowBig plan for double the web space and an unlimited number of websites. Your sites will load more quickly, and you get a staging feature for WordPress websites. This means you get a second WordPress site that you can test features on before putting them live on your main website.
Finally, the $39.99/month GoGeek plan doubles your web space again, speeds up code performance, and includes more server resources for bigger websites.
SiteGround is one of the most expensive web hosts that we’ve tested, but it balances things out by offering features such as e-commerce even on the StartUp plan. Other web hosts often keep these features for their most expensive plans so their headline rates seem better.
SiteGround: Key features
SiteGround is a particularly versatile web host. Even if you get the cheapest plan, the only major limitation is the number of visitors that you can have each month. Otherwise, the features on offer are impressive, so you’ll never feel boxed in at SiteGround.
Like most website hosts, SiteGround has hosting for WordPress, a popular content management system. You can install it using a one-click installer in the management interface.
For most hosting companies, that’s the extent of the WordPress support, but SiteGround’s dashboard includes extra features for WordPress management. An AutoUpdate feature updates WordPress and your plugins, and there are tools for transferring your WordPress website to and from other hosts.
If you use WordPress on SiteGround, it comes with WooCommerce pre-installed. WooCommerce is an e-commerce plugin for WordPress that turns your site into a store. You can accept payments through PayPal, BACS, and credit cards. You get a free SSL certificate (so your visitors know that their transactions are secure), daily backups, and an anti-bot system that blocks security threats and website attacks.
Staging is a feature where you work on a draft copy of your website before putting any changes live to your primary site. It’s good for sites that need to be available 24/7 with no downtime. The GoGeek plan also includes support for Git, which is a system popular with web application developers that you can use to download and work on multiple versions of your website offline.
SiteGround uses its own website administration panel for site management. It’s designed for people who know their way around website hosting; you get phpMyAdmin for administering MySQL databases, PostgreSQL, domain management, backup management, FTP management, and a host of other features. The emphasis here is more on website development, so it best suits those who like to tinker with the inner workings of their website.
You can still use SiteGround as a host for a content management system like WordPress or a web builder like Weebly. The SiteGround dashboard includes one-click installers for around 30 popular apps, allowing you to quickly get your site started.
SiteGround has 24/7 live chat, phone, and ticket support. If you choose the most expensive GoGeek plan, you get priority ticket support from the most experienced agents. In our testing, it only took around 10 minutes to get replies to support tickets, even without the priority support option. Similarly, we found the phone support agents to be courteous and knowledgeable.
If you enjoy finding answers for yourself, SiteGround is a good option. The knowledge base and tutorial sections on SiteGround.com are teeming with information. Most articles are supported with screenshots or step-by-step guides.
SiteGround: A top website host for creative professionals
SiteGround stays out of the web hosting battle for the lowest rate around, instead offering you relatively pricey plans that have few restrictions. It’s a website host that we recommend to website designers, coders, and developers who like to know how their websites tick.
Another reason to choose SiteGround is if you know that you want to create an online store. Even SiteGround’s cheapest plan includes e-commerce support. If your store takes off, there’s ample room for expansion.
If you don’t want to touch a line of code, it’s still possible at SiteGround by installing Weebly, for example, but there are easier and cheaper options out there if you’re not interested in SiteGround’s advanced features aimed at developers.