SiteGround Review – the best hosting deal in 2020

I use the SiteGround GrowBig hosting plan to host a number of WordPress sites, and I think it is the best plan currently available from any hosting provider.

SiteGround offers three shared hosting plans:

Siteground Hosting

All SiteGround plans have these features in common:

  • hosted on Google Cloud Platform servers, for extreme reliability
  • use SSD storage for faster access to files and databases
  • include free daily backups,
  • include free SSL certificates so you can use HTTPS
  • include free integration with Cloudflare CDN
  • include unlimited webmail accounts for your domain
  • include 24/7 fast support
  • include 100% Renewable Energy Match
  • include simple WordPress installation and control
  • include a free WordPress optimization plugin which includes caching, front-end compression of javascript and CSS files, and more
  • include a 30-day no-hassle money-back guarantee, so you can try out the service and see the performance for yourself with no risk

Which SiteGround hosting plan is the best value?

The StartUp plan is the least expensive SiteGround hosting plan – it costs less than $50 US per year, and allows you to host one web site. This is a great plan for a single blog but does have limitations as discussed below.

The GoGeek plan is great value when you are hosting many high-volume client sites, but the cost of almost $144 US per year makes it a bit expensive for most people.

The GrowBig plan only costs about $20 US per year more than the StartUp plan, but allows hosting unlimited domains, and even for one site, it has features and higher usage limits that make it worthwhile. If you have friends or family who would like a website, or are thinking of spinning up multiple websites yourself, then this is the plan for you!

What are the differences between the SiteGround Hosting plans?

The GrowBig plan is the best overall value, but let’s see some of the important differences from the less expensive StartUp plan and the more expensive GoGeek plan:

LimitsStartUpGrowBigGoGeek
Websitesoneunlimitedunlimited
Disk Space10GB20GB40GB
Number of files150,000300,000450,000
DB max size500MB750MB1GB
Email size2GB4GB6GB
Cache static filesYYY
Cache dynamic pagesNYY
Cache DB resultsNYY
One-click staging siteNYY
Est. max page visits10K/mo25K/mo100K/mo

A typical WordPress blog site has around 8000 files, and uses around 400MB. As you can see, even the StartUp plan gives you plenty of resources. I currently have seven WordPress sites running on a GrowBig plan, and am not close to any limit.

The last row in the above table is not a fixed limit – it’s an estimate of the number of site visits per month that could be supported with excellent performance on each plan.

One-click Staging site

The ‘One-click staging site’ is an interesting and useful facility – if you are going to do any serious maintenance to your site, such as install a new WordPress version or install a new plugin, you can quickly and easily create a complete copy of your ‘production’ site into a subdomain, like https://staging.your-domain.com. You can then perform the maintenance on the staging site, test it, and if it all looks good, deploy the staging site back to production. This can save you from expensive and embarrassing outages.

Why pick SiteGround to host your WordPress website?

The list of features that are shared by all SiteGround hosting plans show many reasons why SiteGround is a good choice for a hosting provider, But I believe that SiteGround has two big advantages:

SiteGround hosting runs on Google Cloud

Starting in 2020, SiteGround now runs all new shared hosting accounts on Google Cloud servers, so you get very high performance and very reliable hosting. SiteGround offers hosting on four continents, but for North America, the Google data center used is in Iowa, which gives excellent results anywhere in the US or Canada, particularly when paired with the integration with Cloudflare CDN.

SiteGround optimization plugin

When you create a new WordPress site on SiteGround, it includes an optimization plugin that will speed up your site. The default settings on this plugin are great for compatibility with existing sites, but when your site is running you can tweak the settings to get faster performance. With GrowBig or GoGeek plans, you can enable more aggressive page caching and SQL caching, and on the front-end, you can minify and combine javascript and CSS.

Migrating an existing WordPress site to SiteGround

If you already have an existing WordPress site on another host that allows you to install plugins, then you can use the option to migrate the entire site very easily. If your site is on WordPress.com or another host that does not allow you to install plugins, then you cannot use the ‘auto migrate’ option, so you need to set up a new WordPress site on SiteGround, and use export/import to migrate the page and post content from your existing site.

For a step-by-step guide to using the auto-migrate plugin, see this post

For a step-by-step guide to migrating a site where you cannot use a plugin, see this post