Stop Using SiteGround (One Of The Only Bad Reviews Left Since They Threaten To Sue People And Censor Facebook Groups)

Siteground review 1

After referring nearly 3,000 people to SiteGround as an affiliate, I’m going to tell you why you should never use them again (and if you’re wondering why you don’t see more bad reviews about SiteGround, it’s because they censor Facebook Groups and also threaten to sue people).

Why they’re bad (TLDR): it’s shared hosting on SATA SSDs, their cache plugin does a bad job with core web vitals (see this table), and SiteGround’s CDN only has 14 PoPs with many lacking features, along with a history of TTFB issues. SiteGround denies/censors people who talk about these issues, like SG Optimizer’s ongoing compatibility issues or when their DNS got blocked by Google for 4 days. Instead, they come out with a “fix,” then want to be praised. Don’t fall for this.

Now here’s my story:

I left SiteGround after paying about 4x in upgrades to fix CPU limits (about the same time they started having TTFB issues, reducing support, and covering up bad reviews with lies & threats).

Since moving which instantly fixed CPU/speed issues, I shared my experience on my blog. SiteGround started by terminating my affiliate account. Then they sent a cease & desist letter referring to a non-disparagement clause found in their TOS which I’ve seen other affiliates get threatened for (they wanted me to remove all mentions of SiteGround from my blog, which I obviously didn’t). They police several Facebook Groups like WordPress Hosting + WordPress Speed Up which their community manager and affiliates are admins for. They use this to ban people who speak out, promote their hosting, while failing to disclose they work for SiteGround.

If you’ve read my blog or about page, you know I’m all about transparency first, affiliate commissions second. I was one of SiteGround’s first super affiliates and used to recommend them. Now, the hosting industry has gotten even more corrupt between all the paid blogs and “unbiased” Facebook Groups run by hosting companies themselves. More people should know the crap they’re covering up. I encourage more people/affiliates to ignore SiteGround’s threats.

I listed some alternatives hosts below (and yes, they’re aff links). But regardless whether you use my aff links, please for the love of all that is holy, leave SiteGround. They are so unethical.

 

1. Censorship

How hard is it to post a bad SiteGround review without getting flagged, banned, or sued?

View the screenshots and you can decide yourself.

Siteground affiliate program terms and conditions
SiteGround’s affiliate TOS includes a non-disparagement clause in section #9
Siteground cease desist letter
They use this to threaten people who say negative things about them
Siteground legal
Source: Reddit
Hristo admin of wordpress speed up
SiteGround’s community manager and affiliates are admins for several major Facebook Groups
Siteground bans in facebook groups
SiteGround bans people who speak out about them
My siteground trustpilot review
Bad TrustPilot reviews are flagged
Siteground optimizer flagged reviews
Bad reviews for SiteGround Optimizer are flagged for no legitimate reason

This is the reason you don’t see more bad SiteGround reviews and why they’re glorified in Facebook Groups. It’s complete deception and I will never support any company that does.

 

2. Slow TTFB

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

 

3. CPU Limits

If you’ve been with SiteGround long enough, you’ve probably run into issues with CPU seconds are were forced to upgrade.

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

Siteground cpu limits leave

Siteground cpu limits database full

Siteground cpu limits attacks

Siteground cpu dance

 

4. SG Optimizer Lacks Features With Compatibility Issues

SiteGround Optimizer is good for caching (dynamic, file-based, memcached, Cloudflare full page caching). But it is not good for core web vitals.

That’s why if you use SiteGround Optimizer, you should only use it for caching then use a separate plugin like FlyingPress to handle everything else (make sure file-based caching is only enabled in 1 plugin). Perfmatters also addresses most lacking features in SiteGround Optimizer.

SG Optimizer WP Rocket FlyingPress
Server-side caching x x
Delay JavaScript x
Remove unused CSS x Inline Separate file
Critical CSS x
Preload critical images x x By number
Exclude above the fold images By class By URL By number
Lazy load background images x Inline Helper class
Fetchpriority resource hint x x
Lazy render HTML elements x x
Add missing image dimensions x
YouTube iframe preview image x
Self-host YouTube placeholder x x
Host fonts locally x x
Font-display: swap x
Preload links x
CDN (beyond Cloudflare) SiteGround CDN StackPath BunnyCDN
CDN PoPs 14 60 93
CDN Tbps N/A 65 80
Dynamic caching x x
CDN geo-replication x x
CDN image optimization x
CDN image resizing for mobile x x
Documented APO compatibility x

 
There are also constant compatibility issues which support constantly blames on other themes/plugins (you can check the support threads yourself). In other words, it’s not stable.

 

5. CDN Only Has 14 PoPs

SiteGround’s CDN only has 14 PoPs while other CDNs like Cloudflare have a much larger network of 270 PoPs (or QUIC.cloud’s 75 PoPs). Which is already a huge disadvantage for SG.

Furthermore, you have to use SiteGround’s DNS to use it, which remember, was previously blocked by Google. And do you really think SiteGround’s CDN beats Cloudflare’s APO with Mirage/Polish for image optimization? Or QUIC.cloud’s HTML caching with HTTP/3? Cloudflare has 2,440 employees with 10+ years in the industry, how about SiteGround? Just think about it.

Siteground cdn
SiteGround CDN PoPs
Siteground cdn free vs premium
SiteGround offers a free/premium version

 

6. Their Cloud Hosting Is Awful

I’ve used it.

It’s overpriced, slow, and doesn’t fix CPU limits. I even added more CPU/RAM and was still getting CPU issues (plus my site wasn’t crazy fast after doing it). There are way better cloud hosting options than SiteGround. So once you outgrow GoGeek, I would leave immediately.

Siteground cloud hosting cpu limits

 

7. 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?

 

8. High Renewals + Price Increases

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

In case 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 (can’t believe I was paying this):

Siteground cloud hosting receipt

 

9. 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 got too busy.
Siteground support google autocomplete
SiteGround hid their support, so now people people are using Google

 

10. Harder To Transfer Away From Site Tools

Whether you like Site Tools or not, it ain’t cPanel. And if you decide to leave SiteGround, your new host may charge you to migrate everything from Site Tools.

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.

 

11. 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

 

11. Removed Service In Unprofitable Countries

Good business decision or bad ethics?

SiteGround suspended accounts from many Asian areas: India, New Zealand, Singapore, Philippines, and others.

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.

 

13. Forcing Customers To Use Big G

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

 

14. TrustPilot Reviews Are Funneled From SiteGround Support

SiteGround is a classic example of why you shouldn’t always believe Trustpilot reviews. Even though they have a 4.7/5 star rating, most reviews are solicited by their own support team. This is pretty standard, but it’s also why you should take most TrustPilot ratings with a grain of salt.

Siteground trustpilot review

 

15. Saying Goodbye

Well SiteGround, we’ve made a lot of money together, but your company has gone completely downhill in so many ways and I honestly hope the near 3,000 customers I referred to you leave like I did. You’re full of shit and every person I convince to leave you brings a smile to my face :)

Siteground total affiliate commissions

 

16. SiteGround Alternatives

Here are better alternatives:

Namehero cloudways rocket. Net
NameHero for shared, Cloudways Vultr HF for cloud, Rocket.net outperforms both
SiteGround NameHero Turbo Cloud Cloudways Vultr High Frequency Rocket.net
Hosting type Shared Shared Cloud Private cloud
Cores/RAM Not listed 3 cores + 3GB 1 core + 1GB 32 cores + 128GB
RAM (GB) Not listed 3 1 128
Storage type SATA NVMe NVMe NVMe
Storage (GB) 40 Unlimited 32 10
Object cache Memcached Redis Redis (Pro) Redis
Server Apache + Nginx LiteSpeed Apache + Nginx Apache + Nginx
PHP processing FastCGI LiteSpeed FPM LiteSpeed
CDN SiteGround CDN QUIC.cloud Cloudflare Enterprise Cloudflare Enterprise
CDN PoPs 14 73 270 270
Full page cache Paid Coming soon
Argo smart routing x x
Load balancing x x
HTTP/3
WAF
Image optimization Limited
Compression Brotli Brotli GZIP Brotli
CDN price Freemium $.01 – $.04/GB $5/mo Free
Cache plugin SG Optimizer LiteSpeed Cache Breeze x
CPU limits Common Average Average None
Email hosting x x
Major incidents Google blocked DNS for 4 days 2 day outage None None
Migration $30/site Free Free Free
Renewals Very high High Monthly Monthly
TrustPilot rating 4.6/5 4.6/5 4.6/5 4.9/5
Specs View specs View specs View specs View specs

 
I use Rocket.net with their free Cloudflare Enterprise and you can test my TTFB in SpeedVitals, GTmetrix, or click through my site. Both their specs/CDN are better than mainstream hosts. For example, all plans have 32 cores + 128GB RAM, NVMe storage, LiteSpeed’s PHP, and Redis. Their Cloudflare Enterprise is automatically configured with powerful features to improve TTFB/LCP like full page caching, image optimization, HTTP/3, prioritized routing, and Argo Smart Routing.

Omm pagespeed insights
TTFB is 40% of LCP, the #1 speed factor, and improved through your host/CDN
Keycdn global ttfb
KeyCDN and SpeedVitals measure TTFB in multiple global locations
Rocket. Net trustpilot review
They have a perfect TrustPilot rating and you can find several people who posted results

Kinsta to rocket. Net migration

Moved to rocket. Net vs siteground

Rocket. Net positive review

Rocket. Net facebook review 1

Rocket. Net vs kinsta

Kinsta to rocket. Net ttfb redis

Rocket. Net woocommerce elementor
Try Rocket.net for $1, request a free migration, then retest your TTFB

I was previously using Cloudways Vultr High Frequency who also has Cloudflare Enterprise, NVMe storage, and Redis Object Cache Pro. However, Rocket.net has a lot more CPU/RAM with no limits on PHP workers (CPU limits). Plus, Rocket.net’s support is likely the best you’ll find if you reach out to Ben Gabler and his team. The main benefit of Cloudways is they allow more storage/bandwidth, but I can tell you the jump from Cloudways to Rocket.net was a nice boost.

Siteground to cloudways shoutout

Siteground vs cloudways vultr

Siteground alternative 2021

Cloudways to siteground admin

Slow ttfb siteground

Wp engine to cloudways switch

Siteground alternative 2020

Siteground to cloudways dns issue

Siteground to cloudways cpu usage

For shared hosting, I recommend NameHero. They use LiteSpeed servers which means you’ll use LiteSpeed Cache + QUIC.cloud CDN (arguably the fastest setup on a budget). It’s similar to Hostinger/A2 with LiteSpeed and cPanel, but you get more CPU/RAM and support/uptimes are better which is reflected in their TrustPilot reviews. I generally recommend their Turbo Cloud plan for $7.38/month which includes 3 cores + 3GB RAM and faster NVMe storage. The main con is their data centers are only in the US/Netherlands. If your visitors aren’t close to there, make sure to setup QUIC.cloud which has HTML caching (ideally the paid plan which uses all 73 PoPs).

Litespeed vs nginx vs apache
LiteSpeed is faster than Nginx/Apache (and more efficient with less chance of CPU spikes)

Litespeed cache litespeed server

Cpu cores on litespeed hosting plans

Namehero vs siteground feedback

Ram on litespeed hosting plans

 

What’s Your Experience With SiteGround?

I’m genuinely curious, leave me a comment and lmk.

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.

Someone’s gotta stand up to them even if it means threatening to get sued. Luckily, all the proof is here for you to see.

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 2022?

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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198 Comments...

  1. Soon they’ll be under investigation of money laundering and illegal sponsorship of political parties in Bulgaria/ I hope so/..Just to mention, they’re in close connection with NEXO / who are under investigation in US and Bulgaria/to influencing political landscape in Bulgaria, by donating huge amounts of money to two political parties DB and PP , which are basically political projects of one of the biggest oligarchs in Bulgaria Ivo Prokopiev.

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