SiteGround WordPress Hosting Review: Slow TTFB, CPU Limits, Controlling Bad Reviews By Removing Posts In Facebook Groups

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 hosted 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.

SiteGround only has a “good” reputation because of affiliates and they moderate several Facebook Groups while removing negative posts about them. But if you join unbiased Groups like WP Speed Matters and do some research, you’ll find the truth.

SiteGround WordPress Hosting Review

SiteGround in a nutshell:

SiteGround Value

Google Trends show a large decline in people searching for them:

SiteGround Google Trends

 

1. Slow TTFB

SiteGround has a slow TTFB.

Even Backlinko’s Page Speed report showed SiteGround has one of the worst.

Backlinko TTFB Test

This has been reported many times in non-Hristo managed Facebook Groups:

SiteGround Slow TTFB

SiteGround Slow TTFB

I stopped recommending SiteGround in 2019, but Matthew Woodward and other bloggers continue to promote them, saying they are one of the fastest WordPress hosts. Who do you believe, a SiteGround affiliate, or Backlinko’s independent test? Let me know in the comments.

Here’s what happened when I moved from SiteGround:

Cloudways Shoutout

 

2. 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.

SiteGround CPU Overages

This isn’t changing any time soon:

No plans to increase inode limit

 

3. Price increased twice in 3 years

SiteGround increased prices both in 2018 and 2020.

On March 5th, 2020, Hristo (SiteGround community manager) commented on their blog:

SiteGround not aware of price increase

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.

SiteGround-Plans

 

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.

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.

 

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, just 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.

SiteGround Support Feedback

SiteGround Bad Support

 

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.

WordPress Speed Up Admins

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.

SiteGround Slow TTFB Ban

Tom SiteGround TrustPilot Review

 

7. Fixed DNS issue which wasn’t their fault

More recently, websites hosted on SiteGround’s DNS were blocked from Google. In typical SiteGround fashion, they denied responsibility then “implemented a fix” that would resolve it.

  • SiteGround on November 10: We can confirm it’s not our fault.
  • SiteGround on November 12: We fixed the issue which wasn’t out fault.

SiteGround Google bot DNS Issue

 

8. 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.

SiteGround cPanel Replacement

Here’s a video by SiteGround in case you want to explore Site Tools:

 

 

9. 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.

SiteGround Unlimited Websites

 

10. 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.

SiteGround Cloud Hosting 503

 

11. 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.

Recent Facebook polls show a large shift in people moving away from low quality hosts to Cloudways, LiteSpeed servers, Kinsta, GridPane, and A2 Hosting (click thumbnails to enlarge):

Moving from SiteGround
eCommerce Hosting Poll

 

12. SG Optimizer is copying everything from WP Rocket

Every update to SiteGround’s SG Optimizer plugin is basically copied 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.

SG Optimizer 5.6

SG Opimizer Environment Optimization Update

 

13. 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?

SiteGround Google Cloud Concerns

 

14. 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.

SiteGround Wikipedia Page

Wikipedia Closely Related To Subject

 

15. 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.

siteground trustpilot review

 

16. 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.

SiteGround-Bans-Indian-Affiliates

 

17. 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.

SiteGround Affiliate Dashboard

 

18. Why I Left SiteGround for Cloudways

After moving from SiteGround to Cloudways, load times were 2x faster and I was paying 1/2 the price. I originally switched to DigitalOcean on Cloudways but have since moved to Vultr HF.

There’s a big shift of people moving from SiteGround to Cloudways in Facebook Groups. No more weird CPU issues, high renewal prices (it’s monthly pricing), cheaper than SiteGround, free trials, and free migrations. Main con is you would need to purchase WP Rocket instead of using SiteGround’s Optimizer plugin. Otherwise, my blog has been on Cloudways since 2019.

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).

Cloudways Shoutout
2x faster load times after migrating

With SiteGround:

SiteGround-Cloud-Hosting-Sales-Receipt

With Cloudways:

Cloudways-Invoice

Lots of people are looking for SiteGround alternatives since they’ve been going downhill. I agree with Cloudways, A2 Hosting, and NameHero. Hostinger and HostGator are awful though. I would personally lean towards Cloudways Vultr HF or NameHero who uses LiteSpeed servers.

Best-SiteGround-Alternative

If you want to try them, here’s a code that saves you money: OMM25.

Cloudways Promo Code OMM25
25% off 2 months of Cloudways with code OMM25 (or use their coupons page for 30% off 3 months)

 

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.

Cheers,
Tom

About Tom Dupuis

Tom Dupuis 2017Tom Dupuis writes WordPress speed and SEO tutorials out of his apartment in Denver, Colorado. In his spare time, he plays Rocket League and watches murder documentaries. Read his bio to learn 50 random and disturbing things about him.

150 thoughts on “SiteGround WordPress Hosting Review: Slow TTFB, CPU Limits, Controlling Bad Reviews By Removing Posts In Facebook Groups

  1. Hi Tom
    i should have read this before I bought a 3 years plan

    initially it was all good until I felt my site got slower and slower, support got worse and started answer huge texts in 2 seconds (clear indication for text expander support) and lastly they tried to make delete my review in wp org.

    so – is https://www.cloudways.com/en/pricing.php?id=262128 still an option you recommend?

    managing several sites and in need of a developer friendly host who knows what honesty and a name from action and not name from long gone times is

    aporeciate the input

    1. Sorry for the late reply Beta. Yes, Cloudways is a good option. RunCloud and GridPane are good too.

      That sounds like SiteGround, they threatened me if I didn’t delete this post too. They’re being exposed and I’m glad to be part of it.

  2. siteground is a horror show – the number of screw ups technically, advice, migrations – i swear they are attrocious.These include slow speads, odd caching issues, SG optimiser clashes …lots..decreasing stats and cpanel functions, way too strict cpu limits, failed migrations, upgrades, downgrades and migration to new cpanel. You know they force you to update WP versions as soon as they come out – you have to ask them nicely not to – theres such an over stepping of control – they’re like the stasi now. i dont know why im still there… Been on shared grow big for a few years – horrible time-wasting experience. recommendations for VPS pls…

    1. Can’t say I can give I recommendation on VPS since I’ve never used one. I personally use Cloudways DigitalOcean. For VPS, you might want to post a question in the WordPess Hosting Facebook Group and get feedback there (sorry). Agreed on everything you said about SiteGround.

  3. I am unhappy with siteground for two reasons: slow pagespeed and bad customer support.
    Problem: I still have a contract with them for 2,5 years. Any suggestions?

      1. Thank you so much! I will probably migrate my website to cloudways in that case. Too often I have to go through pagespeed optimization and the lack of customer service will only cost me more time (money) if I stick with siteground. Thanks again!:D

          1. I just moved too. Your post helped me realize I wasn’t crazy and my site wasn’t the worst site in the world. They pointed fingers at me while they were the ones with issues. They convinced me to get a developer from their partner perks and ended up paying 200 plus dollars for things I had already done like optimizing the database and deleting trash comments.. I was pisssed..my last week with them was spent watching the statistics and every spike caused a 500 internal server error (every 5 mins during high traffic) my traffic dropped by 1000 visits and was on a constant decline.

            I read your post and it gave me the courage to leave. I felt bullied towards the end at shiteground, so many fingers pointed at me and my poorly designed site. I am now using cloudways and I am finally able to get some rest and peace of mind. I keep waiting for a 500 internal server error and high cpu usage (the stuff of nightmares) but they haven’t come yet…It will take me some time to get back to the most important thing, which is working on my content because of the horrible experience.

            Please avoid shiteground. They are horrible, Terrible!!

          2. It’s crazy how many stories you hear like this now. What they were in early 2019 compared to now is unbelievable. Have to wonder what conversations went on in upper management to turn them into such a horrible company. Congrats on moving.

  4. I agreed 100% with you Siteground, is no more a viable option. they really was in the past, I’m changing to A2, from Gogeek to Turbo Boost, price is near the same but with better support ( like old days Siteground ) and a much faster nvme environment, with a much better Unlimited  RAID NVMe Storage 2 cores 2GB Website Staging, and the old fashioned Cpanel who all loves, Not this %$%^ site tools who is useless, BYE BYE siteground you are to greed to have me as a customer

  5. SiteGround has always been most of those things that you correctly criticize: expensive renewals, CPU limits, mediocre speed and support. I bet when Cloudways makes changes to their recurring affiliate program, you’ll equally become a righteous anti-Cloudways superhero.

      1. Not convinced at all, Tom. If it was all about a better price tag, better support and better performance, you could really benefit from e.g. WPMU DEV or ServerPilot. But those two only offer account credit, not cash. Cloudways instead pays handsomely.

        1. That’s fine. BunnyCDN only has account credit, still recommend them as well as GridPane who doesn’t have an affiliate program. Cloudways is a usually a solid choice for people regardless of commissions.

          1. Thanks for your replies. Cloudways is definitely better than ANY shared hosting. Regarding referrals, bunny.net’s commissions pale in comparison with those of Cloudways ($1 vs $30-$50+) and GridPane is a platform for large agencies (certainly not the readers of this website).

  6. I was really really pleased with Siteground and dealt with their first price increase by streamling my website and moving down a tier on their pricing system… I was SHOCKED when they put up their pricing AGAIN – for no good reason i could see – in fact, if anything, i had noticed that their support seemed *a little* less responsive than in the past… I didn’t want to leave but their prices were just untennable for me, in the middle of Covid, even more so…I found new hosts who are just fine so far and who are also eco-friendly, and payed about half of what I would have paid for 1 year with Siteground but or 3 years!!! ( initial price… will go up after 3 years… )

  7. Hi, Tom
    After reading your blog I switched from siteground to cloudways digital ocean server. Because my growbig plan is going to expire and the renewal price is too high.
    And I am happy that I switched.
    I saw a drastic change in my website performance and loading speed.
    Now it loads under 2 secs with 90+ scores in google pagespeed insights.

  8. Thank you for a very honest review.

    I’m from Asia and I recently tried to sign-up a client through their affiliate program. It didn’t go through.

    I have a 3 year contract with SG. I’m now on my 2nd year. I won’t be renewing.

    SG is not the same anymore. In 2 occasions I wrote technical support. I didn’t get any help and my tickets were deleted.

    Sadly. My site is down again for the 3rd time this year. I don’t know why and I don’t expect any help from technical support.

    I think they have more clients than they can handle.

  9. I just paid a year’s fee to host SG,If you want to switch to cloudway, does that mean you wasted 10 months of SG fees. . .

  10. I have read some good reviews from Namehero users. Did you check them out when looking for a new hosting company? If you have an opinion on them, I would like to hear it.
    I am concerned about the changes going on at SG, so I am looking for hosting options.
    Thanks for your straightforward articles.

    1. Honestly haven’t tested them beyond a simple TTFB/load time test. But from what I understand and have read in threads, it’s good budget hosting and uses LiteSpeed but is still budget hosting and likely not great for running resource-hungry tasks like WooCommerce, heavy themes, plugins, etc.

  11. Hi Tom, It is really an informative content. However, I don’t have that much complaint against SG, except their high renewal price. And I am looking for a change. I have a travel blog with US audience 15k pageviews which is increasing. Please suggest which one should I choose? Cloudways vultr HF or digital ocean?

      1. Just want to share one thing. I used to get 1.5-2.4s for TTFB. I use Siteground(hosting) & Ezoic(ad service). I contacted with Ezoic support team to increase site speed. They made some changes in caching. Surprisingly, my TTFB is now around 300-500 ms.

  12. I am reading this review as SiteGround just stopped supporting the Asian region, specifically the Philippines. I also heard they stopped support in India (with a very mature IT landscape??), New Zealand, Singapore, and the rest of Asia. Currently leaning a lot towards Cloudways, as it’s what I use for test servers making websites before handing the website over to clients, but I’ll still need to do more research.

    1. Yep, I personally refuse to support such an unethical company. I moved my site to Cloudways awhile back and refer all my readers to them. Others are moving to A2, etc but they’re not as good IMO.

      1. Just wanted to say I moved one of my client sites to Cloudways, and using WP Fastest Cache and your tips on speeding up in Cloudways, it’s much faster than SiteGround! Though, there is the chance I didn’t optimize my site for SiteGround, I am happy with Cloudways for my small business clients. Hope they will be impressed with their sites speeds because of me.

  13. I have been coming to the same conclusion. When I started with them years ago the customer service was great. But, sadly, not any more. I appreciate the review of Cloudways. Def moving in that direction.

  14. I moved to SG initially (from Bluehost actually) as it was recommended by all the affiliate marketers and review websites. Support was pretty good, but I sometimes got 5xx errors which was a bit worrying. Now they just shut down my website for high resource usage caused by one of my plugins without any prior notice to fix the problem.

    I’m considering moving to Cloudways (or maybe Kinsta). Which plan do you recommend for sites with 10-20k sessions a month? Also, do you recommend Digital Ocean because it has the best infrastructure or because it’s the cheapest option vs Linode and Vultr? Thanks!

  15. After reading this, looks like cloudways indeed the best hosting now

    Cloudways seems good now but they are small compare to others.
    How we know if they grow big enough they won’t “change”.
    And they ask passport ID information for sign up an account ?
    Do the background check
    their office based on Malta Spain Pakistan, CEO from Pakistan also
    Not being racist but it’s doesn’t look safe…

    1. The changes they have made are actually good… adding Vultr High Frequency servers, improving support, etc. We don’t know the future but their history has been focused on making legit improvements without raising prices, cutting back support, etc. Even if they’re based out of Pakiston, they have an excellent reputation in Facebook Groups. Many hosting companies based in the US have done terrible things, so I wouldn’t judge a host based on their location. Yes, sometimes they ask for passport ID which can be a hassle, I think it’s for security/verification.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.