Is SiteGround Hosting Still Recommended For Websites?
So, 3 weeks ago (at time of writing) I wrote a SiteGround Hosting Review asking whether the package they provide was as good as they make it out to be. At the time of writing that post I’d only been using a week or so. Which means I’ve now been using the just over a month.
In that month or so I have been an utter pain in the backside for SiteGround support staff. I’ve had various problems – most of my own making. There’s been a couple of occasions that weren’t of my own making, but in every single case their support staff have been spot on.
SiteGround Support staff have been exemplorary in every single case I’ve dealt with them. They’ve answered my dumbest of questions with finesse and professionalism.
On the occasions where there’s been something broken, they’ve fixed it literally within minutes. I thought InMotion Hosting had good support. SiteGround support is every bit as good. Which, for the price, is not much short of a miracle.— Steve Brown, beardeddragonsrock.com, most-useful.com, macuseful.com etc.
Many people agree that a reasonably significant ranking factor for websites on Google is the speed with which a page loads. There’s many many factors that come into play there, but one that can make a massive difference is the speed of your hosting provider.
Fortunately, since joining SiteGround I’ve had only 1 time where the site hasn’t responded quickly. And it turned out that it was probably my fault.
Turn Off WordPress Cronjobs
Cron jobs are automated tasks that have to be run to keep things up to date and operating properly. They can take some time to process though, particularly in my case. I was using UpdraftPlus to backup my WordPress sites. In fact, I’d even paid to upgrade my Google Drive account to 100GB to accommodate the backups.
WordPress can run on all sorts of systems. Cron is only available on UNIX based (Linux/MacOS) systems. So, to get around this, WordPress runs “cron jobs” occasionally when a person visits a page on your website.
There’s 2 problems with this – and SiteGround has it covered. The first problem is if the website is very quiet, then the job may not run when it’s supposed to. When it does run it may take a lot longer to finish as it may be some time since it last run.
The second problem is that even if it’s run regularly, there may be jobs that inherently take a long time to complete – such as backups. If you’re the visitor to the website that triggered that job, you’ll get bored waiting for it to complete. A lost visitor.
SiteGround gives in depth instructions on How To Replace WordPress Cron with UNIX Cron which improves reliability of scheduled tasks and your website.
Generally speaking CloudFlare with SiteGround has been largely flawless. But I did have a strange problem whereby CF couldn’t communicate properly with SG through the ‘RailGun’ option. CloudFlare RailGun is meant to provide a very quick way of the two servers speaking to each other.
Unfortunately it seems a little temperamental and as such I’ve turned it off on my SiteGround plans. I still use CloudFlare, but not the RailGun option. This was another of those very swift responses from SiteGround Support that helped me solve that one.
Save More Money By Switching To SiteGround
I’m talking about the ability to stop paying for a subscription backup service. Daily backups of files, database and all your e-mails are provided free of charge with SiteGround. I’ve stopped using UpdraftPlus – which has premium options – since it’s not needed any more.
I’ve not found any provider that provides full site backups for free except SiteGround. I’m not exactly sure how many days of backups they provide, but I’ve got 30 days backed up in my account. My suspicion is that I am now at the limit. But 30 days is more than enough. I used to save 14 days on my UpdraftPlus account.
If you run multiple websites this could save you very nearly the same amount as SiteGround itself costs. If your sites require an upgrade to Google Drive in order to store them, and a subscription to a premium backup tool, you could easily be looking at $4.00 per month or more. That means SiteGround is almost free 🙂
SiteGround Versus InMotion Hosting Versus WealthyAffiliate Hosting (SiteRubix)
If you search the site, you’ll see that some time ago I recommended WealthyAffiliate’s Hosting service. This review has since been updated because it only took a few weeks for me to realise that whilst it all appeared spectacular on the surface, it quickly became apparent that my demands were more than WA Hosting could cope with.
By contrast, InMotion Hosting had no problems dealing with my requirements through the VPS setup I had. But that had its downsides too. Notably I don’t want to be involved with keeping a Linux server up to date and secure. I’d rather someone else took care of that aspect. InMotion Hosting do offer WordPress hosting but it’s quite expensive for a few sites.
SiteGround on the other hand offers the best of everything. No problems with my demands on my site. No restriction on the number of sites I can run. And ridiculously cheap.
Just in case you’re wondering, the biggest problem I had with WA’s SiteRubix hosting was that it wouldn’t allow outbound connections from the server. This meant that much of JetPack’s functionality was crippled and some of the plugins I used with WooCommerce also wanted to initiate outbound connections to import products automatically. It took me a long time of chatting with WA’s technical support to get to the bottom of – and couldn’t effectively be resolved due to their restrictive security settings. Given that I was only with WA for the hosting (I viewed the affiliate stuff as an added nicety that I didn’t need so it became expensive if I wasn’t using the hosting).
My Verdict On SiteGround After 1 Month
It should be fairly obvious that I’m personally very happy with SiteGround. I didn’t think there would be any competition for InMotion Hosting but it turns out that there is. Admittedly I’m on the cheap discounted sign up period. But I signed up for 2 years so I’ve got some time to get the sites making some money before I have to pay again 🙂
In fact, I was happy enough with SiteGround that when they offered to increase my plan from GrowBig to GoGeek I decided it was worth it. They gave me a 50% discount which of course made it more worthwhile than it would perhaps otherwise have been. But still – that discount was applied for the remainder of the term I signed up for. So GoGeek ended up costing me half what it would have. And it was cheap before that!
I’m very happy with SiteGround – I was very very very skeptical of moving my websites away from InMotion Hosting (because they’ve always been excellent) but the cost differential was worth taking a punt on.
I’m glad I did.
The box above contains an affiliate link and I will get paid a small commission if you sign up. If you’d prefer I didn’t get paid for recommending you, that’s perfectly fine – just Google SiteGround Hosting and go via Google instead. If you do click the link and sign up, it doesn’t change the price and I very much appreciate it. I’m not saying these things to get you to buy – I’m saying them because they’re actually legitimately true. You can see who hosts this site by clicking here and looking for the NameServer line…
If you’d prefer to check out InMotion Hosting I can also definitely recommend them. I was with them for years and years. They’re more expensive than SiteGround for WordPress Hosting but do offer more bespoke packages than SiteGround. Their technical support is also excellent and the speed of their servers is just as good. It’s only the price that made me switch – and I’m not disappointed 🙂