Why I Left SiteGround And So Should You (All The Reasons Why I Moved)

Don’t use SiteGround, and don’t upgrade your plan to fix CPU issues.

I’ve already been through the wringer with them and am part of several Facebook Groups where I hear the same stories over and over. It’s usually about moving away because of their expensive renewals, exceeding CPU seconds (especially on cloud hosting), or just a slow TTFB.

Over the years, SiteGround came out with many (what they call “improvements”). But if you look at independent forums, they’re usually not improvements at all. Instead, they’re mostly an attempt to make them profit. Replacing cPanel with Site Tools, banning Asian accounts, limited the number of websites on each plan (which they’ve since reverted), hiding support and adding a long “scope of support” disclaimer, and increasing prices so they can provide a “better service.”

But my biggest complaint about SiteGround is they won’t admit when something is their fault. Even when their DNS was blocked by Googlebot for 4 days, they never advised customers to move their DNS and claimed “there is no blocking on our end.” Yet 2 days laters, they came out with a fix. Not to mention their community manager/affiliates are admins for several Facebook Groups and use this to promote their services while removing negative posts about their brand. It’s bullshit to put it bluntly and I encourage you to not feed into SiteGround’s unethical agenda.

I’ve used their GrowBig and GoGeek plan, thought upgrading to their cloud hosting would fix CPU issues (it didn’t) and ended up adding even more CPU/RAM until I found myself paying $180/month. Like most people in FB Groups, I moved to Vultr High Frequency. I use Cloudways (aff link) which cut load times in half and instantly fixed CPU issues while paying half of what I was. But even if it’s not Cloudways, there are many better/faster alternatives than SiteGround.

Siteground wordpress hosting review

 

1. My Story With SiteGround

If you want to know the truth, I used to be a super affiliate for SiteGround.

I’ve referred thousands of people to them and yes, I made a good amount of money as an affiliate. Everything was going fine until I had a Skype meeting with their affiliate manager in 2019. She informed me of SiteGround’s plans to increase prices and position themselves as a “higher quality host.” Even admitting they cut several countries off from support and would shortly block them completely because they weren’t bringing enough revenue. When I brought up my concerns, it was like talking to a brick wall. So I nodded my head and ended the meeting.

The next day, I immediately started changing my hosting recommendations (starting with this post). As time went on and SiteGround made more “changes” from their plan, I updated more and more posts and steered people away from SiteGround to hosts like Cloudways/NameHero.

SiteGround didn’t like this, threatened me (claiming I was in violation of section #9 of their affiliate TOS which basically says they can revoke your right to use their name). I refused since what I’m saying in this review is true, backed by evidence, and ya know… freedom of speech. As a blogger, you can imagine what it’s like to remove the content you spent hundreds of hours on.

I’ve used SiteGround’s GrowBig/GoGeek plan, and finally their cloud hosting before leaving. SiteGround terminated my affiliate account and I’ve removed all their affiliate links on my blog. I continue to speak out about not only the issues I’ve had, but other issues that get “covered up.”

Sources

 

2. Slow TTFB

SiteGround’s TTFB reportedly got slower after moving to Google Cloud.

There are many types of GC machine families. SiteGround originally moved to N1 in 2020 but moved to N2 later that year (some hosts like Kinsta use the higher performance C2 machines). Even in the beginning, SiteGround claimed “using their service will result in high speed for our clients’ websites.” But conversations in Facebook Groups say otherwise, even after SiteGround moved to the improved N2 machine family. When Gijo from WP Speed Matters called them out on their slow TTFB, he was called a spammer. There are several other reports of people getting banned from Facebook Groups when they post something on SiteGround and their slow TTFB.

Backlinko ttfb test
Backlinko’s PageSpeed Test

Siteground-slow-ttfb

Siteground bad ttfb

Siteground slow ttfb

Cloudways shoutout

 

3. CPU Seconds Force Upgrades

One of the biggest cons of SiteGround (and the reason many people leave) is their CPU limits which you can find on their hosting page when you hover over the “server resources” selections.

Siteground cpu limits

Some hosts throttle your bandwidth which makes your site slow and can cause 503 errors. But on SiteGround, you have to upgrade (to add more resources) or they’ll send you email warning and eventually take down your website. From here, you can wait it out, fix it, upgrade, 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 are both great options to reduce CPU. Vultr HF uses faster NVMe storage with high CPU clock speeds. LiteSpeed is more efficient than both Apache and Nginx. Cloudways and NameHero also use Redis/MariaDB/PHP-FPM on their cloud hosting and uses memory more efficiently than SiteGround memcached/MySQL/FastCGI.

Siteground cpu limits cloudways alternative

Siteground cpu limits move

Siteground cloud hosting 503 errors to wpx

Siteground cloudways cpu usage

 

4. Cloud Hosting Won’t Fix CPU Issues

Like many people, I made the mistake of upgrading from GoGeek to SiteGround’s cloud hosting thinking it would fix CPU limits.

I was getting more CPU spikes and 503 errors after upgrading to cloud than I was on GoGeek. No worries, just scale your server to add CPU/RAM (pay more) and it will eventually get fixed.

You can get nearly the same amount of CPU/RAM on Cloudways Vultr HF (aff link) for the same price. Or look into NameHero’s managed cloud hosting (aff link) which uses LiteSpeed and has 8 CPU cores + 8 GB RAM for around $50/mo instead of $100/mo on SiteGround which also gives you 4 less cores. Between the bad reviews, not fixing CPU issues, and overpriced CPU/RAM, their cloud hosting has little value. Don’t fall for the trap if you’re having CPU issues on GoGeek.

Siteground shared vs cloud hosting

Siteground cloud hosting problems

Siteground cloud hosting 503 general problem

Siteground to cloudways support

 

5. High Renewals + Prices Increase

You only get the cheap intro price for 1 year then it renews at about 3x the price.

Most shared hosts offer intro prices for 1-3 years and renews at about 2.5x the price. SiteGround increased prices in 2018, 2020, then switched intro prices from 3 years to 1 year. Do you really want to buy hosting if you’re going to leave in a year? I don’t see the value either.

Siteground no value (bad review)

Siteground renewals leave

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.

Monthly bill after upgrading CPU/RAM on SiteGround:

Siteground-cloud-hosting-sales-receipt

Downscaling on Cloudways with faster load times and no CPU issues:

Cloudways-invoice

 

6. Support Is Nothing Like It Used To Be

I laughed when I saw SiteGround’s support was some of their top Autocomplete results because they’ve made it difficult to find. There’s no phone number on their website either.

SiteGround’s support has gotten worse because:

  • It’s more difficult to reach.
  • They use CPU limits to push upgrades.
  • They disabled live chat for people who use it too much.
  • They cut off entire countries from support when they got too busy.

Siteground support feedback

 

7. Hristo And His Team Run Facebook Groups

It’s a shame what’s going on in these Facebook groups.

Hristo is an admin for the WordPress Speed Up group and SiteGround’s affiliates are also admins for several other groups. It’s basically forbidden to speak negatively about SiteGround or the post could be removed and you may get banned. SiteGround also gets special treatment.

When someone is struggling with SiteGround’s CPU limits, they’re quick to jump in and help with detailed recommendations. When someone needs a hosting recommendation, they say how happy they are with SiteGround without disclosing they’re an affiliate. I hate to compare them to Hostinger, but they used to do the same shit and were banned – but not SiteGround.

This is why I recommend joining the WP Speed Matters Facebook Group since it’s not moderated SiteGround and their affiliates. The admin is Gijo Varghese from WP Speed Matters who also happened to be called a spammer when commenting about SiteGround’s slow TTFB.

Wordpress speed up admins

 

8. The Are Better Cache Plugins Than SG Optimizer

SiteGround’s Optimizer plugin is OK, but there are much better cache plugins out there (specifically FlyingPress and LiteSpeed Cache).

I switched from WP Rocket to FlyingPress and noticed a huge improvement when clicking through my posts (I assume it’s because the caching is more aggressive). And no, I’m not an affiliate for FlyingPress – I just saw great results with it which was recommended to me by WP Johnny. LiteSpeed Cache is obviously a great option, but you have to be using a LiteSpeed host.

These plugins are constantly updated so it’s hard to tell how each version will impact your scores/load times. But there’s a reason SiteGround Optimizer only has a 4.4/5 star rating on WordPress while LiteSpeed Cache is 4.8/5. FlyingPress and WP Rocket are premium plugins not listed in the WordPress repository, but both have a solid reputation. A benefit of LiteSpeed Cache and SG Optimizer is they use server-side caching. These all do a decent job of addressing core web vitals, but my recommendation is FlyingPress or LiteSpeed Cache. Take it or leave it.

WP Johnny has a nice FlyingPress tutorial or you can use my LiteSpeed Cache tutorial. I also have a SiteGround Optimizer tutorial but that obviously means you’ll have to use SiteGround.

Litespeed cache plugin

 

9. No Accountability When Google Blocked Their DNS

Here’s 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.

 

10. Site Tools Is OK, But It’s Launch Wasn’t

Site Tools is alright, but how they released it was a disaster.

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 feedback

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

 

 

11. Attempted To Limit The Number 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

 

12. Suspending Accounts From Certain Countries

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 canceled their affiliate accounts. Even if you don’t do affiliate marketing, consider how it affected other people’s lives.

Siteground-bans-indian-affiliates

 

13. Forcing Customers To Use Big G (Privacy Concerns)

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

“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 big slap in the face for anyone trying to avoid Big G. This isn’t they we signed up for, but there’s no choice?

Siteground google cloud concerns

 

14. TrustPilot Reviews Are Customers Directed From 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

 

15. Saying Goodbye To SiteGround

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

Tom siteground trustpilot review

 

16. SiteGround Alternatives

There are better options than SiteGround (aff links):

I don’t recommend A2 because uptimes are bad, only higher plans use LiteSpeed, and you get less RAM on some plans compared to NameHero. Hostinger uses LiteSpeed but you still get more CPU/RAM on NameHero with better support/uptimes. EIG brands are obviously a big no. I also wrote a detailed Cloudways review and NameHero review which are both solid choices.

Siteground alternative 2021

Siteground alternative 2020

 

Conclusion: A Weight Off My Shoulders

Well, I feel much better after writing this.

I hope other SiteGround affiliates think twice about recommending them. Obviously there are still people who are happy with SiteGround’s service – I would be interested to hear your story.

Drop me a comment and let me know what you think of them.

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.

Cheers,
Tom

About Tom Dupuis

Tom 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.

152 thoughts on “Why I Left SiteGround And So Should You (All The Reasons Why I Moved)

  1. 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: [email protected] 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 :)

  8. 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

  9. 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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