SiteGround’s GrowBig plan comes with more server resources than StartUp and lets you host multiple websites. It comes with staging (for cloning your site and testing new designs/plugins), advanced caching when using SG Optimizer (static, dynamic, and memcached), option to take a backup anytime, and a free website transfer. With their $5.95/month promotional price, this is by far the best deal out of all their plans.
- Server Resources
- Free website transfer
- More server resources = faster server
- All 3 levels of cache if using SG Optimizer (static, dynamic, memcached)
- Staging lets you clone website to test new designs/plugins with 1-click launch
- Ability to host multiple websites (but make sure you have enough resources)
- Take a backup anytime (StartUp has only 1 automatic daily backup)
- Only $2/month more than StartUp (promo price) and has much more value
- GrowBig still has less server resources than GoGeek
- CPU limits may not be enough for some large websites
- Does not come with priority support, but is still phenomenal
Deciding between SiteGroud StartUp vs. GrowBig vs. GoGeek?
SiteGround’s GrowBig plan is perfect for hosting multiple websites, one-click staging, and getting more server resources (the main speed factor in web hosting) compared to StartUp.
It actually has the best value considering you get all this for just $2 more per month. Not to mention you get an extra 10GB of storage, a backup and restore tool, and advanced caching (all 3 levels) if you plan on using SiteGround’s SuperCacher for WordPress and Joomla. I will go over each plan (plus my own experience hosting with them) in my SiteGround GrowBig review.
If you want a spoiler…
Yes, I definitely recommend SiteGround’s GrowBig plan. I’ve had multiple websites hosted on it and they all loaded in under 1 second in Pingdom with 100% uptimes in Uptime Robot. Of course, I’m also a nerd about speed optimization. I upgraded to GoGeek then eventually cloud since, but only because I rely on my website to make a living and it’s very important to me. See this StartUp vs. GrowBig vs. GoGeek comparison chart to see what’s included with each plan.
Yes, I Use SiteGround
I’ve been with SiteGround for over 2 years and have used their GrowBig, GoGeek, and am currently on their cloud hosting plan. The only reason I upgraded to GoGeek and Cloud is because I wanted my site to load faster (you get more server resources with higher plans).
Of course I was with a few bad hosts before SiteGround (Godaddy and Bluehost) but have been quite happy since the migration. I wouldn’t write a review of GrowBig if I hadn’t used it – some people just do a bunch of research but I ONLY write reviews of hosting plans I have used (and research). I also blog about site speed, so knowing the best host is super important for me, clients, and people who read my guides. I don’t want to steer them in the wrong direction.
Here’s my site which loads in under 1s (view my Pingdom report)…
StartUp vs. GrowBig vs. GoGeek
This is the same chart shown on SiteGround’s features page…
The rest of my GrowBig review goes over these features but also includes tips (outside of hosting) on making your site load faster. Especially if you run WordPress, I have tips for you.
GrowBig Is Good If…
- You want to host multiple websites
- You want more server resources (faster website)
- You want 30 daily backups instead of the 1 you get with StartUp
- You want 20GB of storage rather than the 10GB that comes with StartUp
- You want your email storage to be 2000MB instead of 1000MB with StartUp
- You want to use SiteGround’s 1-click backup and restore tool to make this easier
- You want advanced caching, even though using W3 Total Cache does a better job
- You want a free wildcard SSL for 1 year (secures your eCommere site’s subdomains)
- Your website has less than 25,000 visits/month and does not require a ton of resources
You May Want GoGeek If…
- You want semi-dedicated hosting with even more server resources
- You want staging so you can test designs/code on a demo (staging) site
- You want priority support with tickets addressed in less than 10 minutes
- You want SiteGround to provide a free backup/restore service when needed
- You want PCI compliance for your eCommerce site with prevents credit card fraud
Host Unlimited Websites
You can host unlimited websites on your GrowBig account, just make sure you don’t exceed CPU limits or your website could get temporarily shut down (this can happen with any host). This shouldn’t be a problem for most websites but I listed some tips below to help prevent it.
This actually did happen to me at one point, but I was able to quickly resolve it with the help of SiteGround’s awesome support team who helped me better configure my Wordfence plugin.
Tips On Avoiding CPU Overages
- Use a hosting plan that can handle your site
- Monitor AWstats in your SiteGround cPanel
- Setup Cloudflare and MaxCDN to offload CPU usage
- Losslessly compress images using the Imagify Plugin
- Use Wordfence to block unwanted bots/IP addresses
- Enable hotlink protection in W3 Total Cache’s Cloudflare settings
- Avoid heavy plugins or extensions that constantly run on your website
- Install the WordPress Heartbeat Control Plugin to prevent resource consumption
More Server Resources Than StartUp
This means you’re sharing servers with LESS websites and more resources are dedicated to hosting YOURS. GrowBig comes with about 2x more server resources than StartUp. You can see this on SiteGround’s features page under “we allocate the resources you need” then hover over the “server” tab. As you upgrade plans, you get 2x simultaneous server process, 2x CPU usage, 2x inodes, etc. This is a huge factor when it comes to hosting speed. GoGeek has even more, but it’s a larger price jump whereas GrowBig is only $2/month more than StartUp…
See the features page to see how many server resources you get with each plan…
Create Demo Websites With 1-Click Staging
GoGeek comes with one-click staging which allows you to clone your website (in Joomla or WordPress) and use it to test designs, plugins, or any changes on the staging site before actually launching to your real site. This is especially nice for testing changes that are risky.
Backup/Restore Service By SiteGround Support
SiteGround GoGeek comes with 30 daily backups, a free backup & restoration tool, and the ability to request SiteGround’s support team to restore a backup if you ever need it. If you’re not comfortable with restoring your website to an earlier version, but you want a reliable team who can just in case something happens, you now have that luxury with the GoGeek plan.
eCommerce Features: Let’s Encrypt And Wildcard SSL
Free Let’s Encrypt SSL – all plans come with a free Let’s Encrypt SSL you can find in the cPanel.
Wildcard SSL – GrowBig and GoGeek include a wildcard SSL for 1 year which secures your site and it’s subdomains while giving you a site seal to showcase on your website. After the 1st year it will cost $89/year. You can view SiteGround’s SSL plans if you would like to learn more.
PCI compliance – only included with the GoGeek plan and helps prevent credit fraud by unifying payments using 12 requirements.
WordPress, Joomla, Drupal Features
WordPress – WordPress install, automatic updates, and amazing WordPress support are all included with SiteGround StartUp. Their support team is extremely knowledgeable when it comes with WordPress and has helped me fixed issues with Wordfence and other plugins. I thought I was good with WordPress but SiteGround’s support continues to impress me. View SiteGround’s cPanel demo to see tools for WordPress, Joomla, speed and mail tools, etc.
WordPress tools in the cPanel…
Joomla – 1-click Joomla installation, Joomla support, and other features with Joomla hosting.
Joomla tools in the cPanel…
Drupal – Drush, pre-installed Git, and SuperCache come with their Drupal hosting.
Optimizing For Speed: SiteGround Load Times
I was able to get my load time under 1 second In Pingdom, but I’m not the only one with fast load times on SiteGround. Their customers have the fastest load times out of many popular hosts. This is because SiteGround’s speed technology uses NGINX servers, solid state drives (SSDs), PHP7, HTTP/2 enabled servers, and a “stack” that is faster than any other host.
Activating Cloudflare in the SiteGround cPanel makes your site faster…
Using aggressive caching and Railgun makes it even faster…
If you’re running WordPress, I recommend configuring these W3 Total Cache plugin settings instead of their built-in SuperCacher. There are other better plugins and extensions you can use for caching with higher ratings, and you will likely get better results from. That tutorial I linked to (for WordPress) has been used by over 75,000 people and helped them get 100% page speed scores in GTmetrix. I would definitely check it out if you’re running WordPress.
SiteGround = #1 Host In Multiple Facebook Polls
Here’s the Facebook polls of top WordPress hosts where SiteGround was rated #1. They were also #1 in numerous other Facebook polls (and you can click each image to see the full poll)…
Conclusion: GrowBig Has The Best Value Out Of All Plans
It’s really a great value for $5.95/month. You can always upgrade to SiteGround GoGeek or Cloud, just make sure if you go with GrowBig it includes enough server resources to host your website(s). SiteGround recommends GrowBig users have ~ 25,000 visits per month but this also depends on your website. You should be able to check your current resource usage with your current host, then call SiteGround to make sure. And remember, SiteGround will migrate your hosting for free, so getting started is a matter of signing up and requesting a migration. If hope you found my SiteGround GrowBig review helpful. If you have questions, drop me a line.
Check Out My Other SiteGround Reviews