My Experience with SiteGround (And What You Need to Know About WordPress Hosting)
During my career I’ve used many hosting companies – and I wanted to write this article about why I use SiteGround. In saying that I must admit I haven’t used every hosting company under the sun – and no I am not being paid to write this. When choosing a hosting provider you can compare against what I’ve written – this is also more of a general overview of what I think makes a good WordPress host in general).
The Support is Priceless (And Emails Don’t Cut It)
When it comes to hosting – unless you are a server whiz (in which case you’ll probably be using a Virtual Private Server) – support is priceless. Many people compare things like how much storage space a host has or the cost differences but in doing so they miss the big picture.
Put it this way – the majority of the stress (or lack of stress) that you will experience with a host has everything to do with support. Frankly I don’t know how SiteGround is able to hire such good support people and make them available at the rate that they charge.
There are 2 elements to good support – the first is the knowledgeability of the support staff and the second is the speed at which you can gain access to them. In this respect SiteGround stands out a lot for me.
One thing you should look at when choosing a host is whether they have chat support or only email/phone.
If your host doesn’t have chat support then try and call their support number and see how long it takes for them to answer you – and also what type of accent the preson has when answering.
This is not a popular thing to say – but I’m going to say it anyway. If you call your hosting support and the person that picks up has a thick foreign accent – guess what – they’re cutting corners by outsourcing their support overseas – which means they’re cutting corners in training and other aspects also. This is not always the case – but it is the case about 80% of the time – and you don’t want to take that chance.
In fairness I don’t know if the people I talk to at SiteGround are outsourced or not – but every time I have spoken to them I have gotten a positive experience and someone that speaks strong English.
Consistent Source of Backups
One other area that a host can scrimp on is the backups. For SiteGround they take a complete backup of your site files and databases every day (sometimes multiple times a day). This means I can easily revert to an old version of my site every 30 days.
This is invaluable – you may not need this all the time – but when you neeed it – boy do you need it.
Make sure you know what kind of backups your host keeps – it’s very easy for them to ignore this feature and save themselves a bunch of storage space – but not having it will create a big problem for you.
Site Transfers (and my Dirty SiteGround Tip)
So – this one is very embarrassing but I just wanted to bring it up anyway in full disclosure. The biggest complaint people have about SiteGround is that they jack their prices up after the first year. For example take the GoGeek package (their most expensive one) – at $14.95/month when you purchase over 12 months. That’s $179.40 – a fairly decent rate for hosting.
However at the end of your 12 months the rate jumps to $39.95per/month or $479.40!
That’s more than double after your first year!
However there is a way around this – at the end of my first year I simply purchased another SiteGround hosting package – then transferred my site over using their very handy SiteGround Migration Tool – and voila. I have a new site and I’ve saved $300.
SiteGround didn’t seem to mind – their migration service was easy. So if anyone is complaining about this – just know there is a simple workaround (if money is an issue for you).
So – make sure your site has consistent backups and easy access to support. These are the things that will trip you up the most.
Photos courtesy of gettyimages.com
Kosta Kondratenko is a web developer working for his company Head Studios (https://headstudios.com.au) – a wordpress agency in. He is a wordpress developer in sydney and is also an SEO expert. You can learn more by clicking here. He has over 10 years of experience and loves to write blog posts about topics happening in his industry. He’s passionate about sharing his knowledge and helping others achieve their goals. His clients include George Sten & Co criminal lawyers Sydney.