Why I Left SiteGround: Overpriced Hosting With Long History Of Issues Covered Up By Affiliates, Facebook Groups, Legal Threats

SiteGround is good… if you’re comparing them to Bluehost/GoDaddy.

But when you compare them to ChemiCloud (faster LiteSpeed severs) or Rocket.net’s <100ms global TTFB, SiteGround starts looking a lot like Bluehost. Wait… you haven’t heard of these?

That’s because SiteGround controls many popular Facebook groups and removes bad reviews/posts mentioning other hosts. They also threaten people who write bad reviews. What you’re left with are fake reviews from Facebook admins, affiliates, and paid partnerships. That’s why you don’t hear about the 2M SiteGround domains that got deindexed from Google. Or their TTFB issues. Or how the SiteGround Optimizer plugin does a poor job with web vitals. Just look at the migration results from ex-SiteGround clients who moved to ChemiCloud and Rocket.net.

This isn’t just about performance. SiteGround went from customer-first to “bottom line first.” That’s why they discontinued free Cloudflare, cPanel, and started charging $30/site migrations and a $14.99/mo CDN. Quality of support went down, yet they now charge up to 7.5x renewals after 1 year. This isn’t just me complaining… you can look at the bad feedback on Hristo’s AMA.

But hey, if you want to pay $25/mo+ for shared hosting or $100/mo+ for cloud hosting, it’s your money. I’ve referred about 3,000 people to them. Now I’m targeting 3,000 thank you letters from people who I helped avoid SiteGround because they thought all their glowing reviews were real.

Siteground no value

 

1. Poor Specs

Notes:

SiteGround GrowBig NameHero Turbo WordPress ChemiCloud WordPress Turbo Cloudways Vultr HF (2GB) Rocket.net Starter Plan
Type Shared Shared Shared Cloud Private cloud
Server Apache + Nginx LiteSpeed LiteSpeed Apache + Nginx Apache + Nginx
Cores/RAM Not listed 3 cores/3GB 3 cores/3GB – scalable to 6/6 1 core/2GB 32 cores/128GB
Storage 20GB SATA Unlimited* NVMe 40GB NVMe – 10/11 locations 64GB NVMe 10GB NVMe
Object cache Memcached Redis Redis Redis Pro Redis/Redis Pro
PHP processor FastCGI LiteSpeed LiteSpeed FPM LiteSpeed
Resource limits CPU limits + suspensions Efficient with LiteSpeed Efficient with LiteSpeed No PHP worker limit No PHP worker limit
Database MySQL MariaDB MariaDB MariaDB MariaDB
CDN SiteGround CDN ($14.99/mo) QUIC.cloud ($.02-.08/GB) QUIC.cloud ($.02-.08/GB) $5/mo Cloudflare Enterprise Free Cloudflare Enterprise
CDN locations 176 84 84 310 310
Full page caching
Smart routing Anycast Anycast Anycast Argo/Tiered Cache Argo/Tiered Cache
Optimize images Very limited QUIC QUIC Mirage/Polish Mirage/Polish
DNS Blocked by Google for 4 days Use QUIC’s DNS Use QUIC’s DNS DNS Made Easy (use Cloudflare) Cloudflare
Cache plugin SG Optimizer LiteSpeed Cache LiteSpeed Cache Use FlyingPress Use FlyingPress
Data centers 10 1 (US) 11 44 Served from Cloudflare edge
Bandwidth or monthly visits 100k 50k Unlimited* 2TB 50GB + 250k
Control panel Site Tools cPanel cPanel Complex Easy to learn
Email storage 10GB Unlimited Unlimited x x
Major incidents TTFB, DNS, CPU issues (denies it) 2011 node outage None None None
Support C B A C A
Migrations $30/site 1 free 10-200 free 1 free + $25/site Unlimited free
TrustPilot rating 4.8/5 4.7/5 5/5 4.5/5 4.9/5
Monthly price $3.99 (1 year) $8.98 (3 years) $5.99 (3 years) $26 (monthly) $25 (1 year)
Renewals $24.99/mo (1 year) $19.95/mo (1 year) $19.95/mo (1 year) $26/mo $25/mo
Price for 3 years $659.64 $323.19 $215.64 $936 $900

 
 

2. SiteGround Optimizer Does A Poor Job With Web Vitals

It also has ongoing compatibility issues.

SG Optimizer WP Rocket FlyingPress LiteSpeed Cache
Server-side caching x x
Object cache integration x x
Delay JavaScript x
Remove unused CSS x Inline Separate file Separate file
Critical CSS x
Preload critical images x x x
Exclude above the fold images By class/type By URL/class Automatic Automatic
Lazy load background images x Inline HTML lazy-bg class x
Add missing image dimensions x
Lazy load iframes x
YouTube iframe preview image x
Self-host YouTube placeholder x x x
Host fonts locally x x
Font-display: swap x
Preload links x
Bloat removal (beyond Heartbeat) x x (details) x
Lazy render HTML elements x x
Guest Mode x x x
Advanced cache control x x x
Gravatar cache x x x
Limit post revisions Delete all Delete all Keep some Keep some
CDN image optimization x x
CDN image resizing for mobile x x x
Documented APO compatibility x x x
Documentation Not detailed Good Not detailed Good
New features Infrequent Infrequent Frequent Frequent
Facebook group Join Join Join Join
CDN price $14.99/mo $8.99/mo $.03/GB $.02-.08/GB
Plugin price Free $59/year $60/year Free
Renewal price Free $59/year $42/year Free
View tutorial View tutorial View tutorial View tutorial

 
This is why you have to use FlyingPress, Perfmatters, or WP Rocket with SiteGround Optimizer to get better results. The closest thing to an “ideal setup” would be using SiteGround Optimizer for dynamic caching + Memcached, then another optimization plugin for most everything else.

LCP Issues

If you view the 4 parts of LCP, you’ll see why many SiteGround users have LCP issues. Their plugin can’t preload viewport images or remove unused CSS, SiteGround has a history of TTFB issues (40% of LCP), and their free CDN can’t cache dynamic content or resize images on mobile.

 

3. CDN Is Inferior To Cloudflare APO

Even after version 2.0, SiteGround’s CDN is an inferior product to APO. However, they discontinued Cloudflare in hopes of paying SiteGround $14.99/mo instead of $5/mo for APO.

Cloudflare’s network has 100+ more data centers (285 instead of 176 on Google Cloud), 192 Tbps transfer speeds, a plethora of features, over 3,000 employees, and decades of experience with high performance/reliability on cdnperf.com. This is what you get with SiteGround’s CDN:

Siteground cdn free vs premium

There are already complaints and you have to use SiteGround’s unreliable DNS to use the CDN.

Siteground cdn slow

 

4. CPU Limits Suspend Your Account Until You Upgrade

If you’ve been with SiteGround long enough, you’ve probably run into CPU limits.

It certainly appears something is fishy considering countless people who originally had CPU limits on SiteGround moved away and they were fixed instantly (including myself). You can find SiteGround’s CPU limits on their hosting page when you hover over the “server resources” tab.

Siteground cpu limits

Most hosts throttle your bandwidth which makes your site slow and can cause 503 errors. But on SiteGround, you have to upgrade (to add resources) or they will send you an email warning and eventually take down your website. You can wait it out, try to fix it, upgrade plans, or leave.

  • Wait it out – your website will continue to be down until your CPU seconds are reset.
  • Fix it – follow my guide on reducing CPU, but there’s no guarantee you can actually fix it and SiteGround will never blame it on their own service. They’ll probably tell you it’s an issue with caching, scripts, bots, cron jobs, or plugins. Make sure you check error logs too.
  • Upgrade – upgrading to GrowBig/GoGeek may fix it, but never upgrade to SiteGround’s cloud hosting. It’s been seen time and time again that people who upgrade to their cloud hosting still face CPU issues. When you get warnings on GoGeek, it’s 100% time to move.
  • Leave – Vultr HF, LiteSpeed, and Rocket.net are all great options to reduce CPU. Vultr HF and Rocket.net use NVMe storage (and only about 10% of traffic actually hits your origin on Rocket who offloads most of it to Cloudflare). LiteSpeed is more efficient than Apache and NGINX. Many hosts use Redis which uses memory more efficiently than Memcached.

Siteground cpu usage limits

Siteground cpu limits joke

Siteground cpu limits leave

Siteground cpu limits database full

Siteground cpu limits attacks

Siteground cpu dance

Litespeed apache cpu usage

 

5. Their Cloud Hosting Isn’t Worth $100/mo

I’ve used it.

It’s overpriced, slow, and doesn’t fix CPU limits. I even added more cores/RAM and was still getting CPU issues (plus my site wasn’t crazy fast after doing it). There are better cloud hosts especially when you compare their technology and number of cores/RAM you get for the price. If you’re getting CPU limits on SiteGround’s GoGeek plan, do not upgrade to their cloud hosting.

Siteground cloud hosting cpu limits

 

6. Google Blocked SiteGround’s DNS For 4 Days

Below is SiteGround’s response when their DNS was blocked from Googlebot for 4 days.

In classic SiteGround fashion, they claimed no responsibility by saying “there is no blocking on our end.” But then 2 days later, they came out with a fix. SiteGround never advised customers to move to an external DNS. Many websites dropped in rankings or even disappeared from Google completely, resulting in a lot of lost time/money for customers. Feel free to look it up on Twitter. And to use SiteGround’s new CDN, you have to use their DNS. Is that a risk you’re willing to take?

 

7. History Of TTFB Issues

Backlinko’s 2019 TTFB test showed SiteGround had the slowest TTFB of all hosts tested.

Backlinko ttfb test

When SiteGround moved to Google Cloud, they originally used one of Google’s lowest tier machine families (N1). Yet on their blog, they said “using [Google’s] service will result in high speed for our clients’ websites.” Another false claim since their TTFB actually got much slower.

Google cloud machine families

SiteGround later moved to N2 in 2020 and is still using this machine family to date. While N2 is an improvement, it’s still a “balanced” machine family and isn’t as fast as the C2 machine family used on Kinsta and Elementor’s Cloud websites (although I don’t recommend those either for other reasons). SiteGround will deny their TTFB is slow, but independent people say otherwise:

Siteground fluctuating ttfb

Siteground slow ttfb

Siteground slow ttfb left

 

8. Controls Facebook Groups And Makes Legal Threats

The WordPress Hosting, WordPress Speed Up, WP Beginner, and WP Rocket Users Facebook Groups are all run by SiteGround’s employees or brand ambassadors. Hristo is even an admin for the WordPress Speed Up group. This is the only reason SiteGround is promoted everywhere.

Hristo admin of wordpress speed up

You’ll also see admins banning people and removing comments when other hosts are recommended, or if you speak negatively about SiteGround. They order other hosting companies to “disclose your relationship” yet the same admins pretend to be “SiteGround customers” by recommending them everywhere and acting like support agents, all while not disclosing their own relationship. Please, join the WP Speed Matters Facebook group instead.

Siteground bans in facebook groups

Siteground affiliate program terms and conditions
SiteGround sends cease and desist letters to people who write bad reviews, using an an NDA from their TOS
Siteground legal
This Reddit forum is just 1 case

Siteground hristo ama promotion

 

9. Renewals Are 6-7x After 1 Year

In the old days, you got the cheaper intro price for 3 years, plus they included a free migration.

They raised prices twice (once in 2018 and in 2020). Now you only get the intro price for 1 year and migrations cost $30. Prices got higher and the value of their service dropped significantly.

Upon renewal, monthly pricing increases from $6.99 to $14.99 (StartUp), $9.99 to $24.99 (GrowBig), and $14.99 to $39.99 (GoGeek). Yearly, that’s $179.88, $299.98, and $539.98. So if you’re on SiteGround’s hosting now, expect a large bill once your renewal prices come into play.

Siteground renewal pricing 1

If you can’t read it, it says:

The special initial price applies for the first invoice only. Once your initial term is over regular renewal prices apply.

Here was my bill for their cloud hosting after upgrading from CPU limits:

Siteground cloud hosting receipt

 

10. Harder To Move Away From Site Tools

Whether you like Site Tools or not, some hosts will charge you to move from it.

It was released weeks after cPanel increased prices and there were many complaints of bugs and missing features. It also didn’t roll out to some clients until over a year later.  SiteGround is quick to replace something when they increase prices – but expect you to stay when they do it.

Siteground site tools

 

11. Declined Support

I laughed when I noticed SiteGround’s support was some of their top Autocomplete results because they’ve made it overly difficult to find. Can’t even find their phone # on their website.

SiteGround’s support has gotten worse because:

  • It’s more difficult to reach.
  • Unwillingness to help fix CPU limit issues.
  • They added a long “scope of support” disclaimer.
  • They previously disabled live chat for people who use it too much.
  • They cut off entire countries from support when they were busy running sales.
Siteground support google autocomplete
SiteGround hid their support, so now people people are using Google

 

12. Attempted To Limit # Of Websites

In another attempt to increase their bottom line, SiteGround limited the number of websites you can host on each plan. This backfired and made a lot of people leave them. Although they eventually reversed this, it’s just another sneaky thing they tried to get customers to pay more.

Siteground unlimited websites

 

13. Removed Service In Unprofitable Countries

SiteGround suspended accounts from India, New Zealand, Singapore, Philippines, etc.

This hurt a lot of affiliates – it was sad seeing so many members of the Bloggers Passion Facebook Group (mostly Indians) hurting financially after SiteGround canceled their affiliate accounts. Even if you don’t do affiliate marketing, consider how it affected other people’s lives.

Siteground suspends indian accounts

 

14. Unsanctioned Migration To Google Cloud

A while back, SiteGround moved customers to Google Cloud without warning.

Many people were hesitant to host their websites with one of the biggest data harvesting companies in the world. But SiteGround pulled out their excuses on how they follow GDPR, their information is still protected, blah blah blah. The bottom line is they didn’t give a warning (or an option) not to use Google Cloud. This isn’t what they signed up for, but there’s no choice.

Siteground google cloud concerns

 

15. 4 LiteSpeed/Cloud Hosts That Are Better Than SiteGround

ChemiCloud – faster LiteSpeed hosting, faster NVMe storage, and a perfect 5/5 star TrustPilot rating with several reviews of people who either moved or were about to purchase SiteGround. No need to buy a premium cache plugin since you’ll use the free LiteSpeed Cache which does a better job with web vitals. QUIC.cloud’s CDN is also faster (and often cheaper) than SiteGround which you can configure using my tutorial. And you’re much less likely to have to upgrade from CPU limits since LiteSpeed is more efficient and they don’t have strict limits. It’s cheaper, faster, and scalable since you can add CPU cores/RAM using their Turbo+ Boost add-on if traffic grows. NameHero is very similar but they cost more and only use NVMe storage in their US data center. Hostinger/GreekGeeks have many scam reports if you look at their TrustPilot reviews or Reddit.

Chemicloud gtmetrix reportWhich web server do you use recommendLitespeed cache litespeed serverLitespeed litespeed cache quic. Cloud
Chemicloud vs sitegroundChemicloud pro feedbackChemicloud speed ui supportSiteground vs chemicloud comparisonWhich web server do you useLitespeed on litespeed serverLitespeed cache vs. Wp rocket

 
Scala’s Entry WP Cloud plan – a more powerful shared/hybrid LiteSpeed hosting plan with no limits on CPU cores/RAM, dedicated resources, isolated environment, and a server firewall. You still get NVMe storage (but only in their US data center) and Redis. Also has a near perfect 4.9/5 rating on TrustPilot with people who moved from SiteGround. Unlike ChemiCloud/NameHero, Scala uses a custom built SPanel which uses less resources with more functionality than cPanel.

Scala hosting gtmetrix report

Cloudways – similar to Rocket.net between cloud hosting, NVMe, MariaDB, Cloudflare Enterprise, and they use Redis Object Cache Pro. However, their Cloudflare Enterprise costs $5/mo and doesn’t have APO, they use PHP-FPM instead of LiteSpeed’s faster PHP, support is worse, and they were acquired by DigitalOcean who raised prices. Still faster than SiteGround (including SG’s cloud hosting) and I was using the Vultr High Frequency plan before Rocket.net.

Siteground to cloudways shoutout

Siteground vs cloudways vultrCloudways to siteground adminSlow ttfb siteground
Wp engine to cloudways switchSiteground to cloudways dns issueSiteground to cloudways cpu usage

 
Rocket.net – if the fastest hosting means fastest TTFB, Rocket.net averages <100ms globally. And with TTFB affecting 4/6 user metrics in PSI, this can lead to a huge improvement in core web vitals as people have seen a 500% faster TTFB (and 200% – 450% faster LCP). The reason Rocket.net is faster is because both their hosting + free Cloudflare Enterprise have better specs + features compared to SiteGround, Kinsta, Cloudways, and 100ms is also 4x faster than WPX. If you have an international audience or WooCommerce site, you’re not going to beat Rocket.net’s performance. Their hosting is easy, it’s $1 your 1st month, and they have awesome support with all 5/5 TrustPilot reviewsunlimited free migrations. This is why I use & recommend Rocket.net.

Siteground to rocket. Net

Keycdn global ttfb
KeyCDN measures TTFB in 10 global locations
Omm pagespeed insights
Your hosting/CDN are the 2 main TTFB factors and affect all these

Siteground to cloudways to rocket. Net 2Rocket. Net no competitionKinsta to rocket. Net migrationRocket. Net vs kinstaKinsta to rocket. Net ttfb redisRocket. Net is amazingRocket. Net trustpilot review

Rocket. Net vs siteground commentSiteground to rocket. Net post 2Rocket. Net facebook review 1Moved to rocket. Net vs sitegroundRocket. Net positive reviewBluehost to cloudways to rocket. NetRocket. Net vs cloudways vultr hf trustpilot review

SiteGround has more reviews, but most of them are coming from Bluehost, GoDaddy, and HostGator. You won’t find 1 review of someone who switched to SiteGround from ChemiCloud, Scala, or Rocket.net if you search SiteGround’s 11,000+ reviews (which are solicited by support).

Chemicloud trustpilotScala hosting trustpilot
 
Cloudways trustpilotRocket. Net trustpilot
 
Namehero cloudways rocket. Net
ChemiCloud for shared LiteSpeed, Scala or Cloudways for cloud, Rocket.net outperforms them all

Yep, these are affiliate links. But it would be a lot easier for me to tell you how “great” SiteGround is than to steer you somewhere else. I’m trying to be honest and I’m also open to your feedback/questions if you need help: tom(at)onlinemediamasters.com.

 

Bye SiteGround

I’d probably be close to $1 million if I still recommended them.

I was getting $150/sale with SiteGround. As of writing this, I get $50/sale with ChemiCloud. The difference is people are happy with them since you’ll only see 1 sale got declined. If changing recommendations means less money, so be it. That’s why my blog got popular in the 1st place.

Siteground total affiliate commissions

 

What’s Your Experience With Them?

If SiteGround works for you, by all means keep using them. But even if their service was good, there’s no way I would support a company who acts like the police, makes a mess, then covers up their tracks with misinformation. The hosting/affiliate marketing space is bad enough as it is.

Avoid siteground

Cheers to the truth,
Tom

 

Does SiteGround have a slow TTFB?

There have been numerous complaints about SiteGround's slow TTFB in Facebook groups, but many of these posts are deleted since many FB groups are moderated by SiteGround.

Why are SiteGround's prices so high?

SiteGround increased prices twice, once in 2018 and once in 2020. They have also made several changes to cut costs and increase their bottom line, such as disabling live chat and moving priority support to GoGeek. SiteGround is simply trying to increase their profits.

How do I fix CPU usage limits on SiteGround?

Disable WordPress heartbeat, block bad bots, looks for slow queries and error logs, configure a solid cache plugin, offload resources to CDNs, and be careful when using WooCommerce and slow page builders on shared hosting. However, many times you can't fix CPU usage on SiteGround and they tell you to upgrade while holding your site hostage.

What happened to SiteGround's good support?

SiteGround hid their support in the dashboard and added a long scope of work disclaimer to reduce the level of support compared to what they used to offer.

Is SiteGround a good choice in 2023?

My opinion is no. The company is going downhill and the amount of complaints about them in Facebook Groups has increased. They call their changes improvements, but independent forums say otherwise.

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218 Comments...

  1. I completely agree. I used them for years then with the change in support (everytime I knew more than the “WP expert”).
    While looking for another host I was paying Monthly and it was over 80 euros.
    Were good in the beginning but not anymore, Im trying Greeengeeks, who are okay and still have Cpanel rather than SGs crap “Site Tools”.
    Ill have a look at your host…

    Reply
  2. Yeah ok don’t approve my comments. Google my name sometime. I might just talk about this site how one sided it is bc compared with wpjohnny atleast I was able to comment like I’m not necessarily on anyone’s team. Look at this long url, this long scroll of a page, and you play rocket league & you reject my comments. yea ok. serial killer documentarys weird. I like having 2 peoples sites some what similar in comparison to talk about. Johnny’s def wins . Everyones entitled to their opinion and I believe I’ll start outranking.

    Reply
    • I’m in the middle of moving and you just left your comments earlier today. I’ll approve them but may not get to responding to everything until later.

      I get a lot of spam so yeah, I look over and approve them first to make sure it’s not spam, not because I don’t approve comments from people who disagree with me. Sheesh, quick to jump to conclusions.

      Reply
  3. My conclusion was right just for some reason some sort of staging thing is broken. – just like else where I’m not impressed with staging. Seems much more accurate to just back up tons of times lol. So glad they fixed it. Siteground isn’t that bad. I really didn’t wait THAT long. Wpmudev was literally stuck for days and became broken unhelpful. Still though Interested in hostinger non vps and vps option both look good. 0.o if anyones the 1# at being the worst its wpmudev

    Reply
  4. This makes me real nervous 0.o Siteground made out as if I discovered Wpmudev. I have a very particular issue going on right now that Wpmudev gave me hell about resolving, let me tell you, I am so mad with wpmudev I went all out and purchased some of their domains, proud owner of wpmudev.io which I think they wish they had.. I’ll do something good with it hopefully rank higher than them, they literally transferred my main domain over to another account regardless of all ownership info pointing to me and it being renewed up to 2027; such sketchy business.. so I’m unable to transfer it off….All stemming from lack of Nginx technical support; IDK how a host is allowed to legally do this?. Found your site while randomly searching after hours went by my issue still isn’t resolved with SG. IDK why I’m so surprised. Similar problem but very different. I guess even when it comes to resolving technical staging / back up / restore errors…… that takes 5+ hours, asking myself why. What’s the hold up. Honestly if there’s any host that resolves this stuff within an hour I am sold. Fresh wordpress fresh, plugins already deemed no issues by previous host, & I logged in to see SG has deactivated some like they are clueless trying to debunk this. No factory reset/ w/e resolves this if its similar at all some how with not even being caused the same way thru hidemywpghost plugin. I should have never tried doing staging with already knowing what the plan is, guess it’s just for those trying things. I’ve seen nothing but issues with staging. Xfered staging over to main thing with specific plugins not even added yet all like cautious yet this still got messed up and staging’s xfer did it.
    You know. I had no issues with wpmudev until they had such problems resolving the technical website breaking thing it was that problem +++ unable to create users or generate passwords and unable to drag rearrange menu items. + I realize now being with SG how slow they were, everything is much smoother here.
    I’m so tired of stressing about hosts and very technical issues. & your site makes me fear SG might be capable of pulling the same wpmudev crap with such poor lack of service – yeah great sales chat service but what about afterwards. Honestly is there any actual insurance or protection against such companies if they straight up decide they feel like ignoring you and keeping your properties hostage? & Imagine asking this question under a lawyer group or on quora……. I honestly feel like there is some problems that are so rare and unheard of that the world is so easy to brush it off & mod it / not even acknowledge it as if its not a problem. Sorry your problem is so bad It doesn’t exist, this never happened. IDK.
    Sorry SG if you swiftly resolved it.. I wouldn’t be here.

    Reply
  5. Siteground is absolutely the worst provider on the planet. There’s a reason why Bulgarians are hated by the rest of Europe — just saying. Their culture encourages criminal corruption and scumbaggery at every level and these guys are the worst scumbags I have ever dealt with in my life — they are horrible human beings, and they don’t speak English well enough to even communicate the rules of their website and they are just plain EVIL. Stay as far away from them as you can get.

    Reply

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