Thinking of using SiteGround? Don’t.
They’re not the hosting company they once were. If you look at everything they’ve done since 2019, it’s clear they’re only interested in increasing profits, not looking out for their customers. If you’re currently hosting on SiteGround, chances are you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Backlinko’s TTFB test shows they have one of the worst, CPU overages are often unfixable, price increases, reduced support, and their cloud hosting isn’t much better. They have also become unethical by threatening people who write bad reviews, banning Asian accounts, and removing negative posts in Facebook Groups moderated by their community manager, Hristo.
I’ve used their GrowBig, GoGeek, cloud hosting, and even upgraded CPU/RAM on cloud. Like a large amount of people in Facebook Groups, I got tired of high renewal bills and a mediocre TTFB. So in 2019, I moved from SiteGround to Cloudways (currently using the Vultr HF plan).
Search “SiteGround” in Facebook Groups and you’ll likely see a ton of complaints. At least the ones not moderated by SiteGround’s community manager. Because like all other negative things mentioned about SiteGround, they will do everything in their power to get it taken down.
So if you want an honest SiteGround WordPress hosting review, don’t use them. SiteGround went downhill in recent years while faster, cheaper, and better options have become available. The people who still use SiteGround’s hosting are likely the same people who have never used any other cloud hosting before. Because once you leave SiteGround, I’m sure you won’t go back.
The downfall of SiteGround
- CPU limits are unfixable
- SiteGround servers aren’t fast
- Price increased twice in 3 years
- Renewal prices are way too high
- Support is nothing like it used to be
- SiteGround corruption in Facebook Groups
- cPanel replacement “Site Tools” is hit or miss
- Attempts to limit number of sites on each plan
- SiteGround’s cloud hosting won’t fix CPU limits
- No longer the highest rated host in Facebook polls
- SG Optimizer is copying everything from WP Rocket
- Forcing customers to support the big G on Google Cloud
- SiteGround’s Wikipedia author is closely related to the source
- TrustPilot reviews are from customers directed from SG support
- Suspending Affiliates Accounts From Asia
- Saying goodbye to SiteGround as a super affiliate
- Why I Left SiteGround for Cloudways
SiteGround in a nutshell:
1. CPU limits are unfixable
SiteGround’s CPU limits are brutal and usually unfixable.
They use it as a way to upgrade your plan but they never, ever, ever take accountability. When this happened to me, I went from $14.95/month GoGeek to $80/month cloud but was still getting CPU overages. Even after increasing CPU/RAM and paying $120/month, my website was still slow on SiteGround. And yes, I blocked bad bots, disabled heartbeat, and my website was at near or perfect 100% scores in all testing tools: GTmetrix, Pingdom, PageSpeed Insights.
This has been reported an endless amount of times in Facebook Groups.
But how many times has SiteGround managed to fix the problem? I couldn’t find anything.
This isn’t changing any time soon:
2. SiteGround servers aren’t fast
SiteGround has a slow TTFB.
Even Backlinko’s Page Speed report showed SiteGround had some of the worst TTFBs.
Visit stgrndserver.com to see for yourself. This is a SG GrowBig account I setup to test TTFB and speeds across various tools, while also comparing them to 15 other hosting plans. All use the exact same environment: same Astra Starter Site, plugins, SSL, no cache plugin, no CDN.
For reference, cwdoserver.com is hosted on a $10/month Cloudways DigitalOcean plan. I encourage you to visit stgrndserver.com and compare them in terms of speed. Even just by clicking through the pages, you can see a clear difference. The admin area is also much faster.
Here’s what happened when I moved from SiteGround:
Plus, this has been reported many times in non-Hristo managed Facebook Groups:
You would think SiteGround’s move to Google Cloud would help, but apparently it hasn’t.
3. Price increased twice in 3 years
On March 5th, 2020, Hristo (SiteGround community manager) commented on their blog:
Yet 3 months later on June 18, 2020, they did it.
Will SiteGround increase prices again? Nobody knows, apparently not even SiteGround. But if you signed up for 2 or 3 years, don’t expect prices to be the same once renewal prices kick in. In fact, don’t count on anything to be the same with how many unwanted changes they’re making.
4. Renewal prices are way too high
When you pay for SiteGround, you only get the intro price for 1-3 years.
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.
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.
5. Support is nothing like it used to be
The most frustrating part is they give 0 warning when something changes. And it changes a lot.
- Don’t want to migrate to Google Cloud? Deal with it.
- Live chat suddenly gone from new interface? Deal with it.
- Removing PCI compliance from the GoGeek plan? Deal with it.
- CPU too high while they’re holding your website hostage? Deal with it.
- Having problem pushing your staging site to the live server? Deal with it.
- Signed up for a monthly plan but you now want the promo prices? Deal with it.
They have made it very clear. Don’t contact their support and keep upgrading your plan. SiteGround’s support used to be one of the best in the industry, but that completely changed.
It’s funny, back in 2018 when they increased prices and moved priority support from GrowBig to GoGeek, I had a hunch this was going to be a new era for SiteGround, and not in a good way.
6. SiteGround corruption in Facebook Groups
I always thought the WordPress Speed Up Facebook Group was a great place for getting unbiased hosting opinions, until I saw Hristo (SiteGround community manager) was an admin.
Why is Hristo an admin for Facebook Groups? Come on admins, that is 100% corruption.
This explains why it’s basically forbidden to talk bad about SiteGround, especially their slow TTFB. Many respects to Gijo Varghese (admin of the WP Speed Matters Facebook Group) who called out SiteGround’s slow TTFB, but the admin called him a spammer and deleted the post.
It’s not just one instance; plenty of people have been banned from these Facebook Groups for simply addressing their concerns about SiteGround.
7. cPanel replacement “Site Tools” is hit or miss
SiteGround was quick to replace cPanel with Site Tools once cPanel’s price increased.
The irony of this all… SiteGround does everything they can to increase their bottom line (replacing cPanel), but they expect customers to stay with them when they increase prices?
Some people like Site Tools, but a lot of people don’t.
Here’s a video by SiteGround in case you want to explore Site Tools:
Bring this back!
8. Attempts to limit number of sites on each plan
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.
9. SiteGround’s cloud hosting won’t fix CPU limits
SiteGround’s CPU limits are designed to make you upgrade, but even if you upgrade to their $80/month cloud hosting, chances are you will still have CPU limit issues. This happened to me, as well as many other people in Facebook Groups. No matter how good or bad SiteGround’s starter plans are (StartUp, GrowBig, GoGeek), their cloud hosting is a total ripoff at $80/month, because you will probably need to upgrade CPU and RAM to $120+/month to avoid CPU issues.
10. No longer the highest rated host in Facebook polls
SiteGround used to be the highest rated host in many Facebook polls.
But if you look at recent polls, it’s usually Cloudways Vultr HF, not SiteGround. I have been keeping track of Facebook polls for a long time and I can tell you this… there is a huge shift of people moving from SiteGround to other cloud providers that are faster, cheaper, and better.
11. SG Optimizer is copying everything from WP Rocket
Heartbeat control, database cleanup, and prefetching external domains were all things I suggested to SiteGround to make their plugin more comparable to WP Rocket. Thanks for the credit Hristo! As long as you know you’re simply copying WP Rocket’s features, it’s all good.
12. Forcing customers to support the big G on Google Cloud
Without any warning, they migrated their customers to Google Cloud servers.
“But we have strict contracts” they say. “And we follow GDPR” they say. “Your information is still protected” they say. But they don’t give you a warning (let alone an option) to not use Google Cloud. For customers who care about privacy, this sudden announcement is a slap in the face for anyone trying to avoid big G. This isn’t what we signed up for, but we have no choice?
13. SiteGround’s Wikipedia author is closely related to the source
To add to the fishiness, the author of SiteGround’s Wikipedia page is related to the source, meaning a SiteGround employee is telling someone what to write, or are doing it themselves.
14. TrustPilot reviews are from customers directed from SG support
Most people writing SiteGround’s Trustpilot reviews are directed here by their support.
You can tell because of the amount of people mentioning how good their support is. This isn’t terrible (Hostinger actually hires employees to write fake reviews and pose as customers) but that’s why SiteGround’s TrustPilot reviews are good (4.7/5) and I wanted to give you a heads up.
15. Suspending Affiliates Accounts From Asia
SiteGround suspended affiliate accounts from many Asian areas: India, New Zealand, Singapore, Philippines, and others.
This hurt for a lot of affiliates – it was sad to see so many members of the Bloggers Passion Facebook Group (mostly Indians) hurting financially after SiteGround cancelled their affiliate accounts. Even if you don’t do affiliate marketing, consider how it affected other people’s lives.
16. Saying goodbye to SiteGround as a super affiliate
Well SiteGround, we’ve made a lot of money together over the years, 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 are only interested in profits, and that is apparent when you ditched cPanel, increased prices, moved priority support to GoGeek instead of GrowBig, and enforced strict CPU limits to make people upgrade. Fix your issues and I’ll change this review.
17. Why I Left SiteGround for Cloudways
For me, Cloudways DigitalOcean was 2x faster and 2x cheaper.
There’s a huge shift of people moving from SiteGround to Cloudways in Facebook Groups.
Here’s the Facebook review in case you want to read (most hosts don’t even have Facebook reviews enabled, so I’m glad they’re transparent). Mustassam is the community manager for Cloudways and was great in helping me move (who is NOT an admin for any Facebook Groups).
Load times and TTFB are faster than ever.
Lots of people are moving from SiteGround to Cloudways (click thumbnails to enlarge):
If you want to try them, here’s a code that saves you money: OMM25 (or get started here).
Conclusion: A Weight Off My Shoulders
Well, I feel much better after writing this SiteGround WordPress hosting review.
I’m committed to making sure my readers are steered in the right direction and seriously appreciate everyone’s support over the years. Let me know what you think in the comments.
Does SiteGround have a slow TTFB?
There have been complaints about SiteGround's slow TTFB in Facebook Groups. Higher SiteGround plans include more server resources, but with their pricing, you will likely get a faster TTFB and pay less with other cloud providers.
Why are SiteGround's prices so high?
SiteGround increased prices twice, once in 2018 and once in 2020. They have also made numerous 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 profits.
How do I fix CPU usage limits on SiteGround?
Optimize your site in GTmetrix, disable WordPress heartbeat, and block bad bots from Wordfence. However, many times you can't fix high CPU on SiteGround no matter how hard you try, and they will prompt you to upgrade while holding your website hostage.
What happened to SiteGround's good support?
SiteGround made a company-wide decision to increase profits even if it means worse service for customers. This is apparent by their ongoing actions.
Is SiteGround a good choice in 2021?
No. The company is going downhill and the amount of complaints about them in Facebook Groups continue to increase.