SiteGround has been earning quite a bit of buzz lately, with hosting prices that are well below the competition and an array of services that is seriously impressive in today's competitive hosting industry. I can't resist the pull of a buzzworthy host, and I decided to look further into what SiteGround had to offer. For the purposes of this investigation, I purchased the company's entry level hosting plan that is specifically targeted to individuals and small businesses.
Value for Money
SiteGround's buzz probably comes from the fact that their hosting services start at just $3.95 per month, which is impressive even among low-cost hosting providers online. For those looking to pay that fee on a month-to-month basis, the company does charge a one-time setup fee of $14.95. Because I bought one month of service to look into the company's features, this fee was charged to me. For those committing to multiple months of service, the monthly fee remains the same and the setup fee is waived.
With the entry-level plan, I got unlimited disk space and bandwidth, and was offered a free domain name. Just one domain can be hosted with the entry-level plan, but a $4.00 add-on known as the "PLUS Package" allows subscribers to host unlimited domain names and gives them access to twice as much CPU power for their hosted sites and applications.
Priority tech support is included for free for the first three months, and can be added for $3.95 per month thereafter. Backup service costs an additional $2.50 per month, while a "HackAlert" monitoring service can be added for an extra dollar per month. All told, the hosting package offered represents a really great value at both the base and "PLUS" levels, and it is currently well below many competing companies' entry-level prices and service offerings.
Performance & Reliability
Downtime can be a serious deterrent for many customers but SiteGround has impeccable performance in this area. The company promotes a robust Service Level Agreement, or SLA, that guarantees 99.9 percent uptime for every account it hosts. That commitment to service is borne out by results, with SiteGround slightly exceeding its guarantee and offering 99.903 percent uptime to customers on average.
If a subscriber is dissatisfied with their service, support, or uptime for any reason, they are entitled to a full refund of their fees within the first 30 days of their time at SiteGround. I think that's a firm commitment to customer satisfaction, and it's one that should be standard across the board.
It's worth noting that many other hosts in this particular price range rarely offer such robust uptime guarantees or money-back commitments. For this reason, customers should take note of the excellent, customer-friendly policies promoted by SiteGround that don't require compromises when looking for a price-leading hosting company.
SiteGround's customer support operation is top-notch, although I think it's worth noting that their support services are split into priority and non-priority options. Priority support tickets are assuredly resolved more quickly than those submitted by customers without the priority support package, but I didn't have time to test out whether or not this was the case.
I did have time to test the company's live chat solution, however, which was actually quite enjoyable to use. I addressed several pre-sales questions using this chat, which SiteGround offers on a 24/7 basis. The representative who assisted me was remarkably helpful and had answers to all of my questions within a few moments. That includes several tougher questions that tend to throw off the representatives at competing hosts.
In addition to highly knowledgeable support representatives available via live chat, customers can also call the company directly for their support needs via a toll-free number. The sales page at SiteGround promises that 95 percent of support requests will be resolved in less than five minutes and, given the quality of their chat product, I have no trouble believing that claim.
• Phone: 1 (866.) 605-2484
• 24/7 Live Chat
• Email: email@example.com
• Support Ticketing
Ease of use
SiteGround is extremely easy to use, making them a prefect choice for beginners - as well as for the more experienced users. I've got absolutely nothing to complain about when it comes to its control panel and user-friendliness.
• Industry-leading affordable pricing that doesn't compromise features or service in the process
• Easy-to-use website during sales and support
• Plenty of add-ons for more advanced hosting customers who need added features or support
Important to know
• Priority support does require an add-on package, and that might harm the budgets of customers seeking ultra-affordable hosting
• Unlimited domains require a $4 "PLUS" package add-on that brings the company's prices in line with the competition for more advanced hosting customers
My brief time with the hosting package offered at SiteGround
was one that I enjoyed thoroughly. All too often, people
tend to view ultra-affordable hosting with skeptical eyes.
That might be merited in many cases, but SiteGround blew
away those fears and provided a great product, a fast
server, and excellent customer support options that many
competitors simply don't offer.For the combination of robust support and affordable
pricing, I think SiteGround is a really great option for
entry-level customers or those small businesses looking to
make their first appearance online. The add-on packages are
affordably priced, as well, making SiteGround a host that
can easy grow with their customers as their needs increase.