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. All I can say is AGREED. As a blogger, I originally found Siteground to be super helpful and faster than any other basic hosting like GoDaddy or Blue Host, but over the past 2 years or so I’ve noticed things slip and tech support wasn’t really tech support anymore it was “I’ll create a ticket for you.” Finally we continued to have a problem that we couldn’t get to the bottom of. I know enough to be dangerous and knew the code my site was spitting out had clues to the issue but they wouldn’t even talk to me about it, I was willing to admit that it was “our” problem, I just needed a little help to move in the right direction to fix it. Nothing.
    Obviously, that was the last straw for us. We found a platform (Bigskoots) that actually manages WordPress and works as a partner to dig into problems without asking, and helps even if it ultimately turns out to not be server related.
    Unfortunately, we had to leave Siteground with 8 months left on our contract, but we had no choice, downtime = losing money.

  2. Had so many issues with a very simple WP and Elementor website on Siteground TTFB was terrible using there caching and it didnt agree with WP-Rocket, so moved it to Namecheap shared cheapest hosting EVER and it works fantastically TTFB is brilliant

  3. Well written review with supporting technical details, infact its the first Siteground review which is negative with lots of supporting things to explain whats the problem with SG. Till date I just come across of the affiliate reviews for siteground which hardly shows the other side of the story.
    This shows how important it is to have a good hardware, resource limited, good technical assistance to help customers. I don’t say there is a prefect host around but daily we need to learn and try to evolve for what customer require. As a hosting provider our-self we try to give preference to customer requirement to the best possible limit we can.
    You review is truly a learning experience of us as well to understand and improve on the aspects we are lacking.

  4. We have had nothing but problems with Siteground recently. We transferred a domain to them that we simply wanted to manage in the same dashboard, and learned quickly that if you don’t buy hosting for each domain you park with them, Siteground provide NO ABILITY to redirect or forward that domain. Now we have to wait 60 days to transfer to another service provider. We have written a complaint to Siteground about the lack of visibility into this – almost all service providers we have used provide you the option to manage your domains with forwarding, masking, and redirects regardless of hosting platform.

    We have decided to leave Siteground and migrated our site overnight to another hosting service, we, however, cannot get our EP CODE from Siteground now. We have requested our EP Code four times from Siteground today and their customer support team has a different answer each time. “We will send it manually,” “We will get it to you in the next 24 hours,” “We will update the support ticket with the EP code shortly.”

    They have an extensive push through all of their digital channels to increase their ratings and reputation online. The customer support is very quick and responsive but we cant help but feel there is some delays in assisting us due to complaints filed and a review on Trustradius.
    We are filing a complaint with ICANN shortly if not resolved.

    1. OOf, that sounds frustrating. Seems like every single thing revolves around money with them now. Hope you can get that code but wow, talk about taking something hostage.

  5. Hey Tom. i just had to drop a note. I just tried to sign up and they have some weird verification thing. Perhaps others are talking about it. This has to be costing them like 90% of the clickthrough. I tested your site and its so fast. Might want to mention the verification email and process. I really had to look for a way to do anything after I clicked off the page that had the email. I literally had to recreate a new account to get back there. When trying to sign in it say to send a chat but that is not loading. Yes, i checked my browser adblocker too. Their system just puts you into a forever loop. Anyways i had to find an article about it and find this email: av@cloudways.com Now I am waiting to hear from then to see if I can have an account. Wow! Your site was that fast though… :-)

    1. Yes I’ve heard about verification problems. I’ve been really focused on getting my office setup to do more YouTube videos (coming soon) but will add a note about the verification trouble. I wasn’t aware it was still a problem.

      Yeah! Site is faster than ever now since moving from Elementor to Gutenberg and getting on that Vultr High Frequency. Had some help from WP Fix It who helped in the process.

  6. Hi Tom,

    Thank you for your genuine review. Seriously I am seeing one negative review about SG for the first time. I always wonder why everyone is so happy about SG, and no one is making any bad reviews. It was so surprising that there were no such reviews too. In all the reviews, the SG’s uptime and load time were always ahead of other hostings.

    But now only I saw something different, and thanks for sharing with us.

    1. SiteGround will do anything to prevent people from writing a bad review even if it’s true. Everyone used to be happy (for the most part) a couple years ago, not anymore. They just want commissions.

  7. I’m really happy I found this. I’ve been soooooo unhappy with SiteGround for the last year or so in particular. I have an issue right now and I cannot even find out where/how to contact them. I’m stuck in a loop on their useless support pages. Just absurd. Definitely time for a switch.

  8. Hi Tom. Thank you for writing this review. Having been a Site Ground customer for a few years (and not for much longer thank goodness) i would like to say that I cannot agree more .Your review is spot on and totally accurate. I also despise SiteGround. If you want to know what is wrong with SiteGround (from my personal experience also) just read Tom’s review . If you have any kind of website that you care about in the slightest avoid SiteGround like the plague .

    1. And I didn’t even mention the whole limiting websites fiasco for new customers.

      Posted from the WPCrafters Facebook Group:

      We got some good news..based on our “data” we realised its not good business practice to rip people right off and because we couldn’t get away with it to the extent we wish we could, we have reverted our pricing plans back in a desperate attempt to stop the bleeding.

  9. Interesting review, and I see many of the comments here mirror your sentiments.

    I’ve been a SiteGround user for 1 year now and (luckily) share very little of the problems people are listing here.

    I’m on their shared hosting, GoGeek.

    For starters, speed and TTFB. I’m looking at the TTFB of a long how-to manual with loads of elements, and get a TTFB of 117ms in GTmetrix. I tested another page (product overview round up) and it has a TTFB of 181ms. These scores should look even better I assume on their cloud hosting.

    My websites are having GTmetrix and Lighthouse scores which are 97(%)+.

    I must say that one thing that has started to irk me a bit is their customer support. They’re making it harder and harder to get a hold of them, even though I feel they are still as fast and helpful as in the beginning. But having to click thru 4-5 pages to end up in their live chat for sure works on my nerves.

    On top of that, taking away a bunch of payment methods is pretty absurd. Cost savings must have been a big motivation here as well.

    Re Cloudways, a friend of mine switched to them because he thought SiteGround was getting too expensive. His website has 100s of thousand of visitors a month. While he indeed ended up saving money, he said he saw 0 performance increase after the switch.

    Even though I for the most part can’t really find me this review, I do appreciate the no holds barred approach. It’s one that more bloggers should take. :)

    1. That’s interesting and thanks for sharing. SiteGround can work for some people. Above all, I just get irritated when an issue arises, they are totally defensive about it and will justify their decision at all costs. Glad your TTFB is good and hopefully they treat you well. Tried to make this review as honest as I could.

  10. i am using siteground. It is quite expensive, costing me 480 usd for 2 years, which means 20 usd per month.
    Their optimizer is a trap. If buyer uses tagdiv newspaper theme, uninstalling the optimizer will make error(A big X in navigation & search bar), which makes users hard to change the hosting company.
    I consider to change to Hostinger.
    But to be honest, I have used siteground for 4 years, 0 time server down, very quick live chat response, web speed is quite good with cloudflare APO.
    I just can’t stand with the Optimizer plugin and high price.
    salute to you to say good bye to 90% of affiliate income for telling the truth.

    1. Hey Emily,

      Yes, I’m no longer an affiliate for them and started promoting Cloudways instead, so I guess I’m still a “sellout” but I just don’t think SiteGround is the best option anymore. They’ve done some pretty shady things and although I’ve never had that happen with SG Optimizer, I wouldn’t be surprised.

      As for Hostinger, if you talk about unethical, they are at the top of the list. As I show in my Hostinger review, they have a track record of doing shady things (posing as customers, reviewing themselves, voting for themselves in FB polls, and even copied my entire site and changed hosting recommendations to Hostinger). I will never recommend them :/

      1. Crazy to hear they copied your entire site. I will watch your review. If really consider to change, hopefully uses your affiliate links. Thx a lot, big help.

  11. Thank you for your review. I used Siteground for a few years but dropped them about 4 years ago because they kept going up in price and I wasn’t happy with their support team. I am with another company right now but I am checking out Cloudways thanks to your post.

    1. There’s some good cloud hosting options out there, Cloudways is definitely one. Not sure who you’re currently hosted with but glad it’s not SiteGround :)

  12. I had Siteground for a while, site was fast, cpanel was easy to use. Then over some time my site became unbearable slow, down to 20s loadtime and support told me there was nothing wrong and refused to try to change serverlocation

    Changed to cloudways, paying less, and site went to 2-3s loadtime……

    FU Siteground for lying to me. You guys are POS

  13. Thank you very much Tom for this review. In fact we were with Verio. Then Endurance took over and it was awful. After careful research back in 2016-17 Siteground was very good.
    Some recent changes such as the increase in price change and the migration to Site Tools have left me wandering about my situation.
    I will see how things evolve in the next few months. cloudways definitely seems to be a good alternative if they can assist for the migration.

    1. Hey Balil,

      Yes, some people are still happy with them but a lot of people left too. Above anything else, they have become unethical and constantly defend themselves instead of being open minded on some of the complaints going around. If they work for you, stay on them. If not, Cloudways is a good alternative.

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