My hosting journey the last few years was SiteGround → Cloudways → Rocket.net.
SiteGround sucks and I have the only bad review because they threaten to sue people who write bad reviews and ban you from Facebook Groups if you speak out about them (slow TTFB, CPU limits, declined support, DNS getting blocked by Google… you name it). Aside from being completely corrupt, SiteGround’s Optimizer plugin is awful for core web vitals and SiteGround’s CDN only has 14 PoPs. Besides SG Optimizer’s caching, these are both pretty useless compared to other (more powerful) cache plugins + CDNs. At the end of the day, SiteGround offers shared hosting with slow SATA SSDs and ridiculous renewal prices after 1 year. It’s not worth your time.
Rocket.net is smaller but has a perfect TrustPilot rating where you’ll find several people who moved from SiteGround to Rocket.net and posted their results. Not 1 of SiteGround’s 10,000+ TrustPilot reviews shows anyone who moved from Rocket.net to SiteGround. Their hardware is much faster with 32 cores + 128GB RAM, NVMe storage, Redis, and LiteSpeed’s PHP. Their CDN (Cloudflare Enterprise) also blows SiteGround’s CDN out of the water, and so does their support. You can do a before & after test in SpeedVitals and see for yourself. The results do all the talking.
|Hosting Type||Shared/cloud||Private cloud|
|Cores/RAM||Not listed||32 cores + 128GB RAM|
|Storage||SATA (but more)||NVMe (but less)|
|CDN||SiteGround CDN||Cloudflare Enterprise|
|Cache Plugin||SiteGround Optimizer||x|
|DNS||SiteGround DNS (previously blocked by Google for 4 days)||Cloudflare|
|Limits||More bandwidth, but low PHP workers (CPU limits)||Less bandwidth, but no PHP worker limits|
|Support||Much worse & declined in recent years||Best support you’ll find? Talk to Ben Gabler|
|Dashboard||Site Tools||Mission Control|
|Price||Cheap for 1 year, but very high renewals (about 5x)||Usually more, but monthly pricing and $1 your first month|
|Facebook Feedback||Corrupt (controls Facebook Groups and bans / threatens people who speak negatively)||Excellent & ethical (they don’t pull any BS like SiteGround)|
1. Hosting Type – Rocket.net Is Private Cloud Hosting
Cloud hosting is faster than shared, so Rocket.net already has an advantage.
Since SiteGround’s cloud hosting is arguably worse than their shared hosting, what are you comparing? SiteGround’s shared hosting to Rocket.net’s private cloud hosting? Or are you comparing SiteGround’s cloud hosting (which is slow, expensive, and horrible) to Rocket.net?
2. Cores/RAM – Rocket.net Has (A Lot) More Resources
All Rocket.net plans have 32 cores + 128GB RAM.
SiteGround doesn’t list this on their shared plans, but their lowest cloud hosting plan only includes 4 cores + 8GB RAM (and still doesn’t use NVMe). Plus, it starts at a whopping $100/mo.
3. Storage – Rocket.net Uses Faster NVMe SSDs
While SiteGround uses SATA SSDs (even on their cloud hosting), Rocket.net uses faster NVMe SSDs. Here’s a test they did using the WP Hosting Benchmarks plugin which you can try as well.
4. CDN – Rocket.net’s Cloudflare Enterprise vs. SiteGround’s CDN
First off, it has 270+ PoPs while SiteGround’s has 14. It also has powerful features to improve TTFB, security, and reduce server load. SiteGround’s is way too bare bones, lacks many speed features, and barely does anything for security/CPU usage. Rocket.net’s CEO (Ben Gabler) was also StackPath’s Chief Product Officer and has extensive experience with CDNs. You should do a before & after test in SpeedVitals (or KeyCDN) to measure the results of your CDN’s global TTFB.
|SiteGround CDN (Paid Plan)||Rocket.net’s Cloudflare Enterprise|
|Argo Smart Routing||x||✓|
|Price||$7.49/mo||Included with hosting|
5. Cache Plugin – SG Optimizer Does A Poor Job With Web Vitals
SiteGround’s Optimizer plugin is good for caching, but horrible core web vitals.
If you use it, you would want to enable caching in SiteGround Optimizer, disable all other settings, then use FlyingPress (or WP Rocket) which better handles core web vitals. Plus, SiteGround Optimizer has a history of compatibility issues which their support often blames on third-party themes/plugins. Another bad SiteGround product, yet they claim it’s a great plugin. Rocket.net doesn’t have a cache plugin, so I also recommend using FlyingPress on their hosting.
|SG Optimizer||WP Rocket||FlyingPress|
|Remove unused CSS||x||Inline||Separate file|
|Host fonts locally||x||x||✓|
|Preload critical images||x||x||✓|
|Fetchpriority resource hint||x||x||✓|
|Lazy render HTML elements||x||x||✓|
|Lazy load background images||x||Inline||Helper class|
|Exclude above the fold images||By class||By URL||By number|
|Add missing image dimensions||x||✓||✓|
|YouTube iframe preview image||x||✓||✓|
|Self-host YouTube placeholder||x||x||✓|
|CDN (beyond Cloudflare)||SiteGround CDN||StackPath||BunnyCDN|
|Dynamic caching||Premium||x||Vary cache|
|CDN image optimization||✓||x||✓|
|CDN image resizing for mobile||x||x||✓|
|Documented APO compatibility||x||✓||✓|
6. DNS – Rocket.net Uses Cloudflare DNS, SiteGround’s Got Blocked
Rocket.net uses Cloudflare’s DNS which is a performant/reliable DNS of dnsperf.com.
SiteGround uses their own DNS which was blocked by Google for 4 days, causing sites to get deindexed from Google and lost customers quite a bit of money/rankings. SiteGround denied their was ever a problem saying “there is no blocking on our end” and never advised customers to move to an external DNS. However, they came out with a “fix” just 2 days later. SiteGround denied there was even a problem, blamed Google/Amazon, then announced then they fixed it. You have to use SiteGround’s DNS if you want to use SiteGround’s CDN, so good luck with that.
7. PHP Processing – Rocket.net’s LiteSpeed PHP Is Faster
While neither use LiteSpeed servers, the PHP processing from LiteSpeed is much faster and should result in a performance boost. Just another reason Rocket.net outperforms SiteGround.
8. Limits – CPU Seconds vs. Bandwidth Limits
Rocket.net has low bandwidth/storage limits (50GB bandwidth and 10GB storage on their lowest pan). However, they don’t limit PHP workers while pretty much every other host does.
SiteGround has more bandwidth/storage but have one of the worst CPU limits of any host. Which basically means if your site is using too many resources (from traffic, high CPU plugins, etc), SiteGround will not just throttling your bandwidth but they will actually take down your site until your monthly limits reset. It’s one of the biggest complaints about them and there have been many reports that something as simple as a Wordfence scan can overload the server.
This happened to me and I eventually had to upgrade from their GrowBig plan to GoGeek, to cloud hosting, then add even more CPU/RAM until I was paying $180/month. So I basically jumped from $15/mo to $180/mo. This is SiteGround’s way of getting more money out of you.
9. Data Centers – Rocket.net Has More (But Does It Matter)?
With Cloudflare Enterprise and features like full page caching + Argo Smart Routing, using a specific data center on Rocket.net hardly has a difference as Ben explains in the video at 11:37.
However, it usually does with SiteGround considering their CDN network only has 14 PoPs and only the paid CDN plan has full page caching. With data centers, Rocket.net has the advantage.
10. Email Hosting – Not Included With Rocket.net
Cloud hosts usually don’t have email, so SiteGround wins this category. But it’s recommended to keep your web & email hosting separate and use a third-party service like Google Workspace.
11. Support – Rocket.net Wins Hands Down
While support is usually something you have to experience, I can tell you Rocket.net’s support is far, far better than SiteGround’s.
Ben even hops on chat + support tickets sometimes because he likes being on the frontline to make sure everyone’s happy. They will go out of their way to help you improve core web vitals and always take user feedback into consideration. SiteGround’s support used to be good but it seems like since 2019, they started cutting costs… reducing support was one of those decisions.
12. Dashboard – Mission Control vs. Site Tools
Both dashboards are easy tbh. However, it’s worth noting that there were a ton of complaints about SiteGround’s Site Tools since it seemed to be released prematurely with a ton of bugs and missing features (and just weeks after cPanel increased prices, so they were probably in a rush).
13. Migrations – Free On Rocket.net, $30/Site On SiteGround
Rocket.net offers unlimited free migrations and sends you a demo of your site before it’s launched, so you can review everything and make sure it’s OK. SiteGround used to offer a free migration, but now they charge $30/site. Also keep in mind the support at Rocket.net is more experienced (often with 10 years of hosting experience) compared to SiteGround’s technicians.
Don’t forget to benchmark results!
14. Price – Each Have Different Models
Of course Rocket.net is more expensive, they’re obviously better! It gets more expensive if you need additional bandwidth/storage which is probably the main reason people have to upgrade.
But SiteGround ain’t cheap either. After 1 year, renewals jump about 5x the initial price. This means at $25/mo, you’re comparing their GrowBig plan to Rocket.net which is incomparable. Plus, you’ll probably want to use something besides SiteGround’s CDN which is an extra cost.
15. TrustPilot Rating – Rocket.net’s Is Higher
Rocket.net is smaller because they don’t do aggressive marketing like SiteGround. They also don’t infiltrate Facebook Groups and hire FB admins who pretend to be customers when they actually work for them. As of writing this, Rocket.net has perfect 5 star reviews across the board.
16. Facebook Feedback – SiteGround Controls Facebook Groups
First off, Hristo is an admin for the WordPress Speed Up Facebook Group.
Secondly, the same group of people (“Freelancers Tools”) control many popular Facebook Groups and are SiteGround’s brand ambassadors. They give special priority to SiteGround by:
- Banning people who speak bad about them.
- Promoting them by doing things like tagging @everyone to SiteGround’s AMA.
- Recommending them constantly without disclosing they’re affiliated with them.
- Acting like a second line of support by helping people if they’re hosted with them.
Rocket.net doesn’t do any of this BS. Their reviews aren’t paid and they don’t bribe Facebook admins to recommend them over other hosts. Furthermore, they don’t have to pay anyone to censor bad reviews because there basically are none. SiteGround essentially pays for reviews.
Winner: Rocket.net (obviously).