SiteGround GrowBig Review: More Server Resources Than StartUp & Comes With Staging, Advanced Caching, Unlimited Hosted Sites

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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.

Before paying for a higher plan because you want speed improvements, follow my guide on how I got 100% GTmetrix scores which will not only improve load times and scores in GTmetrix/Pingdom, but also reduce the resources needed on your hosting account, which can save you some money.

SiteGround GrowBig

Affiliate Disclaimer – if you sign up for SiteGround with my affiliate link I will donate a good chunk at no expense to you. Each year I donate $3k to GoFundMe campaigns (2018 was to feed the hungry in Denver, 2017 was to Red Cross at Hurricane Harvey). Your support helps and I genuinely appreciate it. I try to make my reviews unbiased and backed by evidence in the form of Facebook polls, tweets, and real conversations. If you don’t want to use it, here’s a non-affiliate link to SiteGround. Either way I truly believe they are a stellar WordPress host and your site will run faster/smoother… do your research on Facebook groups + Twitter and you’ll find most people say the same.

 

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).

OMM-On-SiteGround

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)…

2019-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.

SiteGround-CPU-Limits

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.

siteground-cpu-overages

Tips On Avoiding CPU Overages

 

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…

SiteGround-Server-Resources-Comparison

See the features page to see how many server resources you get with each plan…

SiteGround-Resources-Chart

 

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.

siteground-staging

 

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

siteground-ecommerce-features

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.

Shopping Carts – SiteGround supports major shopping carts. You may also want to read about their merchant account solutions to learn about processing payments for eCommerce hosting.

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.

siteground-wordpress-features

WordPress tools in the cPanel…

siteground-wordpress-tools

Joomla – 1-click Joomla installation, Joomla support, and other features with Joomla hosting.

siteground-joomla-features

Joomla tools in the cPanel…

siteground-joomla-cpanel-tools

Drupal – Drush, pre-installed Git, and SuperCache come with their Drupal hosting.

siteground-drupal-features

 

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.

siteground-page-load-times

Activating Cloudflare in the SiteGround cPanel makes your site faster…

SiteGround Cloudflare Activation

Using aggressive caching and Railgun makes it even faster…

SiteGround Cloudflare Settings

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-sg-cachepress

Or if you like WP Rocket and WP Fastest Cache, I have tutorial for those plugins as well. Your cache plugin and hosting are the 2 biggest factors when it comes to WordPress site speed.

 

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)…

2019 Hosting Poll

View Poll

Switching To SiteGround

SiteGround Load Time Migration

Bluehost to SiteGround GTmetrix

HostGator To SiteGround

SiteGround GTmetrix

SiteGround Google PageSpeed Insights

100 Perfect Score On SiteGround

SiteGround Genesis

Speed Delivered By SiteGround

SiteGround GTmetrix Report

Reduced Load Times With SiteGround

New SiteGround Response Times

HostGator To SiteGround Migration

SiteGround Response Times On Joomla

Switched To SiteGround Hosting

SiteGround Rocket Imagify Combo

Joomla GTmetrix On SiteGround

SiteGround PageSpeed Insights

SiteGround On Joomla

SiteGround Reduced Load Times

SiteGround Speedy Hosting

New Pingdom Results On SiteGround

New SiteGround Response Time

SiteGround Response Time Improvement

View SiteGround GrowBig

 

Frequently Asked Questions

✅ How much does SiteGround GrowBig cost?

SiteGround GrowBig costs $9.99/month for your promotional period (1-3 years) then $19.95/month after.

✅ What is the difference between GrowBig and GoGeek?

GrowBig has less storage, server resources, and doesn't come with priority support or GIT. While GoGeek does.

✅ Is GrowBig suitable for ~ 25,000 visits monthly?

GrowBig is usually suitable for ~ 25,000 visits monthly, but this is a general number. It depends on your plugins, traffic, and CPU consumption of your website.

✅ Can I host multiple websites on GrowBig?

Yes, you can host multiple websites on GrowBig. Just keep an eye on your CPU usage.

✅ How do I request a free migration from SiteGround?

To request a free migration from SiteGround, open a support ticket and you will see a website transfer option. Provide SiteGround with the details of your old hosting, and they will take care of the migration.

 

Check Out My Other SiteGround Reviews

 

 

 

 

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