Cloudways vs. SiteGround – The Ultimate SiteGround Fanboy Migrates To Cloudways For 2x Faster Load Times At 1/2 The Price

Cloudways vs SiteGround

When it comes to Cloudways vs. SiteGround, I have used both for years.

SiteGround’s servers have gotten horribly slow as shown in speed tests. They have gone downhill with price increases, reduced support, and unfixable CPU issues. I used them for 4+ years but outgrew their GoGeek plan (my traffic grew and I had CPU overages). I upgraded to their cloud hosting for $80/month and was still exceeding CPU even though I wrote a tutorial on it. So I added more CPU/RAM until I was paying $180/month. That’s when I decided to move to Cloudways DigitalOcean which saved me $100/month and also cut loads times in half. I have referred over 3,000 people to SiteGround – they’re garbage now and only care about money.

Cloudways is who I migrated to after SiteGround and I have a killer GTmetrix report with a <200ms TTFB. They were the fastest host in my speed test (you can use to see the speed of a $10/month DigitalOcean plan) and are highly recommended in the WordPress Hosting Facebook Group. They’re also #1 in most recent Facebook polls with a 4.8/5 star TrustPilot review. Cloudways is monthly pricing which is very rare with hosting. They also do free trials and free migrations, plus they just released Vultr High Frequency which is supposed to be even faster than DigitalOcean. There is no comparison between Vultr HF and SiteGround.

I recommend joining WordPress Hosting Facebook Group to get real, unbiased hosting opinions. The main 2 reasons people are hesitant about Cloudways is that it’s “too technical” and their support isn’t as good. But it’s actually not technical at all (I will show you) and their support is now actually very good which is why their TrustPilot reviews have been going up.


1. My Story With SiteGround

I went from SiteGround GrowBig → GoGeek → Cloud → Cloud (upgraded). I used to love SiteGround but they have gone completely downhill. Going from $14.99/month on GoGeek to $39.99 after renewals, then $80/month cloud hosting because of CPU limits, then $180/month because I was still getting CPU issues… this was insane and I can’t believe I was paying for this.

Reasons SiteGround has gone downhill:

  • CPU limits are too common and literally unfixable
  • SiteGround uses this as a way to make you upgrade
  • They discontinued live chat function without warning
  • Support has gone downhill and they’re pushing upgrades
  • Their TTFB is horrific (see my WordPress hosting speed tests)
  • Their cPanel replacement (SiteGround Site Tools) is hit or miss
  • Renewal prices are 3x intro prices and increased twice in 2 years
  • They moved all customer accounts to Google Cloud (privacy issues)
  • SG community manager is an admin of Facebook Groups (corruption)

My conclusion: SiteGround used to be great, but they’re a completely different hosting company now who are trying to milk customers for their money, even if it results in slower TTFBs, poorer service, and simply not listening to complaints in WordPress Facebook Groups.


2. Why I Upgraded To Cloudways

The Main Reasons

  • I didn’t want to deal with ridiculous CPU limits.
  • SiteGround’s cloud hosting is expensive and not even fast.
  • I saw tons of positive reviews of Cloudways in Facebook Groups.
  • The Cloudways community manager helped me with the sign up process.



3. 2x Faster Load Times On Cloudways

The graph says it all:


Even posts with tons of images load in <2s. Run this post through GTmetrix if you want.



4. Saving $100/month With DigitalOcean

What I was paying on SiteGround’s cloud hosting:


What I’m paying on Cloudways DigitalOcean:


Cloudways is a pay-as-you-go monthly service with no yearly contract. You can add more CPU, RAM, and storage as needed for additional costs. Their cheapest DO plan starts at $10/month.

Cloudways Pricing

SiteGround requires you to sign up for 1-3 years which is the period you get their discount promotional price. After this period, the price triples. You can’t add more server resources or storage unless you upgrade to an entirely new plan. So even though their plans start at $6.99 – $14.99/month, you will eventually be paying $14.99 – $39.99/month once it’s time to renew.

SiteGround Renewal Pricing 1


5. Cloudways Vultr HF Blows Away SiteGround

Cloudways just released Vultr High Frequency servers starting at $13/month.

If you know anything about hosting, it’s likely the fastest option available. With 3.8 GHz processors and NVMe storage, Vultr says this is about 40% faster than their standard hosting.

I highly encourage you to clone your website using Vultr HF and see the speed difference. It’s built to handle resource-hungry plugins (WooCommerce, Elementor, etc) with low latency. Vultr High Frequency was also the fastest WordPress host in my performance test (see below).


6. Cloudways vs. SiteGround Speed Tests

You can see the actual screenshots of each individual report in this post.

This was a simple Pingdom test I did to measure load times of 16 WordPress hosts. I installed the same Astra Starter Site on each hosting plan while measuring load times in Pingdom for 1 week at 30 minute check intervals. I cancelled some of them because it was getting expensive, but the Cloudways and SiteGround demos are still live (see below). Even when clicking through their pages or running your own tests, you can see a major difference in how quick they load.


Here are the other tests (I attached screenshots of the reports below). The average TTFB for Cloudways DigitalOcean was 159ms and SiteGround averaged 1164ms, a 1005ms difference.

Cloudways was significantly faster than SiteGround in speed tests
Cloudways Reports (Screenshots)

  • GTmetrix – 130ms
  • KeyCDN – 131ms
  • WebPageTest – 215ms
  • WPHPC Plugin – 157ms
  • Search Console – 205ms
  • Pingdom – 340ms
  • Data center: San Francisco, CA
  • Hosting plan used: DigitalOcean (1 CPU)
SiteGround Reports (Screenshots)

  • GTmetrix – 1100ms
  • KeyCDN – 891ms
  • WebPageTest – 1502ms
  • WPHPC Plugin – 1104ms
  • Search Console – 618ms
  • Pingdom – 2280ms
  • Data center: Council Bluffs, IA
  • Hosting plan used: GrowBig


7. CPU Limits: SiteGround’s Biggest Downfall

SiteGround’s CPU limits are pretty ridiculous. Even if you do everything to reduce CPU, you should always keep an eye on it (in your cPanel). Otherwise they will send you warnings, then shut down your site. You can reach out to support and request temporary resources, but they will push you to upgrade to a more expensive plan. It’s a cycle many people find themselves in.

I wrote a popular tutorial on reducing CPU, yet I still had them myself. I was using lightweight plugins, SG Optimizer, a lightweight theme, enabled heartbeat control, blocked bad bots, etc.


This is a huge problem:



8. SiteGround Corruption In Facebook Groups

SiteGround’s community manager is an admin of the WordPress Speed Up Group.

If you dare mention SiteGround’s slow TTFB or anything very negative about SiteGround, chances are the post will be deleted and you’ll be marked as a spammer. This happened to Gijo (admin of the WP Speed Matters Group) when he was called a spammer for mentioning SiteGround’s slow TTFB. This is nonsense and corruption. Just like I warn people about Hostinger’s fake reviews, SiteGround is also doing something shady and it’s just not ethical.

WordPress Speed Up

Hristo Pandjarov


9. SiteGround Is Unpredictable, Cloudways Is Innovative

With how much SiteGround changed in the last few years, you never know what you’re actually getting when you sign up to buy their WordPress hosting.

Cloudways actually delivers what their customers want. People initially complained about their support, so they made it better. People wanted Vultr High Frequency, so they gave it to them. Now we want LiteSpeed servers and I hope they will add this soon. Cloudways listens to their customers, SiteGround doesn’t. Instead, they do whatever they can to increase the bottom line.


10. Cloudways Support Is Getting Better, SiteGround Getting Worse

Cloudways Support – I admit, Cloudways support didn’t used to be good. But they have made a huge effort to improve support and it’s actually great now. It’s probably not the same level of support you get with Kinsta/WPX, but I would consider it as good as SiteGround (if not better).

Cloudways TrustPilot Rating

SiteGround Support – SiteGround’s support used to be great, but not really anymore. They push upsells, disabled their live chat without warning, and moved priority support from GrowBig to GoGeek (a couple years ago). All these “moves” are a clear attempt to milk money.

SiteGround Trustpilot Reviews

Conclusion: SiteGround’s support used to be better than Cloudways, but that has changed since Cloudways made a big effort to improve support, which is now better than SiteGround.


11. Features Comparison

All Cloudways features come included no matter which plan you choose. With SiteGround, GrowBig and GoGeek have more features than StartUp. For example, if you want to use all 3 levels of caching with SG Optimizer (static, dynamic, memcached) instead of just static cache, you would need GrowBig+. Staging is also only included with GrowBig+. Similar to Cloudways, as you upgrade plans, it comes with more server resources which makes your site load faster.

The Cloudways features page outlines everything you get for speed, security, add-ons, etc.


And here’s SiteGround’s features page:


ServerDigitalOcean, Vultr, Vultr HF, Linode, AWS, Google CloudGoogle Cloud
Speed TestFastestVery Slow
CachingVarnish, Redis, MemcachedStatic, Dynamic, Memcached via SG Optimizer on GrowBig+
CDNStackPath (Paid)Cloudflare (Free)
PHP Version7.47.4
BackupsDaily + On-DemandDaily + On-Demand on GrowBig+
StagingYesOn GrowBig+
DashboardCustomSite Tools
Email Hosting$1/mo via RackspaceYes
# Of SitesUnlimitedUnlimited on GrowBig+
Banned PluginsNoNo
Migrations1 Free Then $25/Site$30/Site
Intro Price$10/mo (DigitalOcean) - $36.51/mo (AWS)$6.99 - $14.99/mo
Renewal PriceNo Higher Renewals$14.99 - $39.99/mo
TrustPilot Rating4.8/54.8/5


12. Cloudways Has 25+ Data Centers vs SiteGround’s 6

Cloudways has 25 data centers between all their cloud hosting providers.

Cloudways Data Centers

SiteGround only has 6 data centers (blue dots are Cloudflare’s):



13. Breeze vs. SG Optimizer

A big benefit to SiteGround is their SG Optimizer plugin which is far superior to Breeze in terms of being comparable to plugins like WP Rocket. SG Optimizer can easily replace WP Rocket, but Breeze has a long way to go and I would personally use WP Rocket when hosting on Cloudways.

SiteGround made major improvements to SG Optimizer with 2 big updates and it now includes nearly every single feature in WP Rocket (it’s as almost as if SiteGround copied them to a tee).

Breeze Features

  • Caching
  • Minification
  • Gzip
  • Database cleanup
  • Varnish options

Cloudways Breeze Plugin

SG Optimizer Features

  • Everything from WP Rocket, plus it uses server-side caching which is faster.

SiteGround SG Optimizer


14. Cloudways vs. SiteGround In Recent Facebook Polls

SiteGround used to be #1 in most Facebook polls.

But ever since June 18th when they increased prices, I don’t think I’ve seen 1 single poll where SiteGround was rated #1. In fact, most of the polls I see related to SiteGround are “alternatives to SiteGround” in which most people recommended Cloudways, DigitalOcean, and A2 Hosting.



15. Managed Hosting Makes A Difference

Cloudways is basically the middleman between their cloud hosting partners (eg. DigitalOcean). You are paying Cloudways for the “extra services and performance tweaks” (as well as support) which is not offered by their cloud providers. Otherwise, everyone would go straight to DigitalOcean because it’s cheaper. With Cloudways, managing your hosting is much easier.

Managed Hosting Poll

WordPress also recommends DigitalOcean in their optimization guide:

Digital Ocean Recommendation


16. Which One Is Best For WooCommerce?

Both Cloudways and SiteGround come with a free SSL from Let’s Encrypt.

But the major difference for WooCommerce websites is they usually require more server resources since they typically run more plugins, WooCommerce scripts, styles, and cart fragments. SiteGround’s StartUp and GrowBig plan might not have enough resources to support your site, and even on GoGeek, you risk getting CPU overages. Cloudways is best for WooCommerce since their customers don’t experience CPU issues like they do on SiteGround.

With Cloudways, you can scale server resources as needed:


With SiteGround, each plan has a set number of resources:



17. Winner: Cloudways By A Longshot

Overall, Cloudways is faster, cheaper, and support is just as good as SiteGround. Cloudways also has a better reputation in the WordPress Hosting Facebook Group.

Cloudways Pros

  • Speeds are faster
  • They’re usually cheaper
  • Monthly payments, no yearly contract
  • You shouldn’t have to worry about CPU limits
  • Choice of 5 cloud hosts, not just Google Cloud
  • You can add server resources and storage as-needed
  • Choice 25+ data centers between all cloud hosting providers
  • Support is very helpful as reflected in their TrustPilot reviews
  • Cloudways community manager Mustaasam Ansari is very helpful

Cloudways Cons

  • No hosting option under $10/month
  • Not always as user-friendly as SiteGround
  • No email hosting (but they do have SMTP + Rackspace options)

SiteGround Pros

  • More user-friendly
  • Cloudflare is 1-click activation
  • You don’t need WP Rocket (use SG Optimizer)

SiteGround Cons

  • CPU limits
  • Very slow TTFB
  • High renewal prices
  • Frequent price increases
  • Requires 1-3 year contract
  • No plan between GoGeek and cloud
  • Their cloud hosting is complete garbage
  • Site Tools can be hit or miss if you don’t like it
  • Support pushes upgrade more than they used to


18. Getting Started On Cloudways (And A Promo Code)

Step 1: Sign up for a Cloudways free trial.


Step 2: Use promo code OMM25 to get 25% off your first 2 months.

Cloudways Promo Code

Step 3: Add a server.


Step 4: Name your app/server name, select a server (I recommend DigitalOcean or Vultr HF), then select your server size data center closest to your visitors. When done, click Launch Now.


Step 5: In Cloudways, go Servers → Manage Services, then enable the following:


Step 6: Go to Settings & Packages and upgrade to PHP 7.4, MariaDB 10.3, and install Redis.


Step 7: Request a free migration or use their Migrator plugin to move your site(s).

Cloudways Free Migration 1

Enjoy the faster load times.

Cloudways Shoutout


19. Reach Out To Their Community Managers With Questions

If you have questions before you sign up, reach out to their community managers:

Mustaasam Saleem Ansari


Frequently Asked Questions

🔵 How much does Cloudways cost?

Cloudways starts at $10-$36.15/month depending on whether you use DigitalOcean, Vultr, Vultr High Frequency, Linode, AWS, or Google Cloud.

🔵 How much does SiteGround cost?

SiteGround's shared hosting starts at $6.99/month - $14.99/month for a 1-3 year promotional period. After that period, the price nearly triples. SiteGround's cloud hosting starts at $80/month.

🔵 Is Cloudways or SiteGround faster?

Cloudways is faster than SiteGround (Cloudways is cloud hosting, and SiteGround is shared hosting). Cloudways is also faster than SiteGround's cloud hosting.

🔵 Does Cloudways provide email hosting?

No, Cloudways does not provide email hosting but has alternative services for email, like Rackspace.

🔵 Do SiteGround and Cloudways come with Free SSL?

Yes, you get a free Let's Encrypt SSL with both Cloudways and SiteGround which can be activated in 1-click.

🔵 Is SiteGround Or Cloudways Better?

Cloudways has a better reputation in Facebook Groups while there have been numerous complaints about SiteGround on a daily basis.

Get hosting from Cloudways (Winner)


SiteGround WordPress hosting review: why I left and so should you

It’s time to say goodbye to SiteGround.

They increased prices twice, servers have gotten slower, CPU overages are unexplainable, support has gone downhill, and their cloud hosting is a ripoff. Worst of all, their community manager was made an admin of Facebook groups and it’s forbidden to talk bad about them (they have become cultish). After referring about 3,000 people, I no longer recommend them.

When you search SiteGround in Facebook Groups, it’s almost all complaints. At least the ones not moderated by Hristo, SiteGround’s community manager. I’m part of 20+ Facebook Groups – monitoring them and recommending “the best hosting” is why a lot of people come to his blog.

And it’s not SiteGround.

So if you want an honest SiteGround WordPress hosting review, you probably shouldn’t use them. SiteGround has gone downhill in recent years and better, faster options have become available. I personally migrated to DigitalOcean on Cloudways. SiteGround used to be good, but it’s 2020 and they are no longer the “good at everything” hosting company they were years ago.

SiteGround WordPress Hosting Review


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.

SiteGround CPU Overages

This isn’t changing any time soon:

No plans to increase inode limit


2. SiteGround servers aren’t fast

SiteGround has a slow TTFB.

Visit 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.

WordPress Hosting Load Time Test
Cloudways DigitalOcean was the fastest host in speed tests and is who I now use/recommend

SiteGround TTFB GTmetrix

SiteGround TTFB KeyCDN

SiteGround WebPageTest

SiteGround Server Response Time

SiteGround Time Spent Downloading Page

For reference, is hosted on a $10/month Cloudways DigitalOcean plan. I encourage you to visit 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:

Cloudways Shoutout

Plus, this has been reported many times in non-Hristo managed Facebook Groups:

SiteGround Slow TTFB

You would think SiteGround’s move to Google Cloud would help, but apparently it hasn’t.


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.



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 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.

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

Hristo Pandjarov

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.

WordPress Hosting Facebook Group Corruption


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.

SiteGround cPanel Replacement

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

Bring this back!

SiteGround cPanel


8. 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


9. 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 DigitalOcean, 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.

2020 Hosting Poll

VPS Cloud Hosting WooCommerce Poll

SiteGround Alternative

Hosting Recommendations Facebook

Elementor Hosting Poll

WordPress Hosting Suggestions

SiteGround Alternative Beginners

VPS Cloud Hosting Poll


10. 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


11. 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


12. 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


13. 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


14. 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


15. 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.

No more weird CPU issues, no renewal prices, pay-as-you-go monthly pricing, cheaper than SiteGround, free trials and free migrations, etc. They just need to improve their Breeze plugin.

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.


With SiteGround:


With Cloudways:


If you want to try them, here’s a code that saves you money: OMM25 (or get started here).

Cloudways Promo Code


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 2020?

Not a chance. The company is going downhill and the amount of complaints about them in Facebook Groups continue to increase.


SiteGround GrowBig Review: More Server Resources Than StartUp & Comes With Staging, Advanced Caching, Unlimited Hosted Sites

Deciding between SiteGroud StartUp vs. GrowBig vs. GoGeek?

SiteGround’s GrowBig plan is perfect for hosting multiple websites, one-click staging, and getting more server resources (the main speed factor in web hosting) compared to StartUp.

It actually has the best value considering you get all this for just $2 more per month. Not to mention you get an extra 10GB of storage, a backup and restore tool, and advanced caching (all 3 levels) if you plan on using SiteGround’s SuperCacher for WordPress and Joomla. I will go over each plan (plus my own experience hosting with them) in my SiteGround GrowBig review.

If you want a spoiler…

Yes, I definitely recommend SiteGround’s GrowBig plan. I’ve had multiple websites hosted on it and they all loaded in under 1 second in Pingdom with 100% uptimes in Uptime Robot. Of course, I’m also a nerd about speed optimization. I upgraded to GoGeek then eventually cloud since, but only because I rely on my website to make a living and it’s very important to me. See this StartUp vs. GrowBig vs. GoGeek comparison chart to see what’s included with each plan.

Before paying for a higher plan because you want speed improvements, follow my guide on how I got 100% GTmetrix scores which will not only improve load times and scores in GTmetrix/Pingdom, but also reduce the resources needed on your hosting account, which can save you some money.

SiteGround GrowBig

Affiliate Disclaimer – if you sign up for SiteGround with my affiliate link I will donate a good chunk at no expense to you. Each year I donate $3k to GoFundMe campaigns (2018 was to feed the hungry in Denver, 2017 was to Red Cross at Hurricane Harvey). Your support helps and I genuinely appreciate it. I try to make my reviews unbiased and backed by evidence in the form of Facebook polls, tweets, and real conversations. If you don’t want to use it, here’s a non-affiliate link to SiteGround. Either way I truly believe they are a stellar WordPress host and your site will run faster/smoother… do your research on Facebook groups + Twitter and you’ll find most people say the same.


Yes, I Use SiteGround

I’ve been with SiteGround for over 2 years and have used their GrowBig, GoGeek, and am currently on their cloud hosting plan. The only reason I upgraded to GoGeek and Cloud is because I wanted my site to load faster (you get more server resources with higher plans).


Of course I was with a few bad hosts before SiteGround (Godaddy and Bluehost) but have been quite happy since the migration. I wouldn’t write a review of GrowBig if I hadn’t used it – some people just do a bunch of research but I ONLY write reviews of hosting plans I have used (and research). I also blog about site speed, so knowing the best host is super important for me, clients, and people who read my guides. I don’t want to steer them in the wrong direction.

Here’s my site which loads in under 1s (view my Pingdom report)…



StartUp vs. GrowBig vs. GoGeek

This is the same chart shown on SiteGround’s features page

SiteGround GrowBig Plan Features

The rest of my GrowBig review goes over these features but also includes tips (outside of hosting) on making your site load faster. Especially if you run WordPress, I have tips for you.


GrowBig Is Good If…

  • You want to host multiple websites
  • You want more server resources (faster website)
  • You want 30 daily backups instead of the 1 you get with StartUp
  • You want 20GB of storage rather than the 10GB that comes with StartUp
  • You want your email storage to be 2000MB instead of 1000MB with StartUp
  • You want to use SiteGround’s 1-click backup and restore tool to make this easier
  • You want advanced caching, even though using W3 Total Cache does a better job
  • You want a free wildcard SSL for 1 year (secures your eCommere site’s subdomains)
  • Your website has less than 25,000 visits/month and does not require a ton of resources


You May Want GoGeek If…

  • You want semi-dedicated hosting with even more server resources
  • You want staging so you can test designs/code on a demo (staging) site
  • You want priority support with tickets addressed in less than 10 minutes
  • You want SiteGround to provide a free backup/restore service when needed
  • You want PCI compliance for your eCommerce site with prevents credit card fraud


Host Unlimited Websites

You can host unlimited websites on your GrowBig account, just make sure you don’t exceed CPU limits or your website could get temporarily shut down (this can happen with any host). This shouldn’t be a problem for most websites but I listed some tips below to help prevent it.


This actually did happen to me at one point, but I was able to quickly resolve it with the help of SiteGround’s awesome support team who helped me better configure my Wordfence plugin.


Tips On Avoiding CPU Overages


More Server Resources Than StartUp

This means you’re sharing servers with LESS websites and more resources are dedicated to hosting YOURS. GrowBig comes with about 2x more server resources than StartUp. You can see this on SiteGround’s features page under “we allocate the resources you need” then hover over the “server” tab. As you upgrade plans, you get 2x simultaneous server process, 2x CPU usage, 2x inodes, etc. This is a huge factor when it comes to hosting speed. GoGeek has even more, but it’s a larger price jump whereas GrowBig is only $2/month more than StartUp…


See the features page to see how many server resources you get with each plan…



Create Demo Websites With 1-Click Staging

GoGeek comes with one-click staging which allows you to clone your website (in Joomla or WordPress) and use it to test designs, plugins, or any changes on the staging site before actually launching to your real site. This is especially nice for testing changes that are risky.



Backup/Restore Service By SiteGround Support

SiteGround GoGeek comes with 30 daily backups, a free backup & restoration tool, and the ability to request SiteGround’s support team to restore a backup if you ever need it. If you’re not comfortable with restoring your website to an earlier version, but you want a reliable team who can just in case something happens, you now have that luxury with the GoGeek plan.


eCommerce Features: Let’s Encrypt And Wildcard SSL


Free Let’s Encrypt SSL – all plans come with a free Let’s Encrypt SSL you can find in the cPanel.

Wildcard SSL – GrowBig and GoGeek include a wildcard SSL for 1 year which secures your site and it’s subdomains while giving you a site seal to showcase on your website. After the 1st year it will cost $89/year. You can view SiteGround’s SSL plans if you would like to learn more.

Shopping Carts – SiteGround supports major shopping carts. You may also want to read about their merchant account solutions to learn about processing payments for eCommerce hosting.

PCI compliance – only included with the GoGeek plan and helps prevent credit fraud by unifying payments using 12 requirements.


WordPress, Joomla, Drupal Features

WordPress – WordPress install, automatic updates, and amazing WordPress support are all included with SiteGround StartUp. Their support team is extremely knowledgeable when it comes with WordPress and has helped me fixed issues with Wordfence and other plugins. I thought I was good with WordPress but SiteGround’s support continues to impress me. View SiteGround’s cPanel demo to see tools for WordPress, Joomla, speed and mail tools, etc.


WordPress tools in the cPanel…


Joomla – 1-click Joomla installation, Joomla support, and other features with Joomla hosting.


Joomla tools in the cPanel…


Drupal – Drush, pre-installed Git, and SuperCache come with their Drupal hosting.



Optimizing For Speed: SiteGround Load Times

I was able to get my load time under 1 second In Pingdom, but I’m not the only one with fast load times on SiteGround. Their customers have the fastest load times out of many popular hosts. This is because SiteGround’s speed technology uses NGINX servers, solid state drives (SSDs), PHP7, HTTP/2 enabled servers, and a “stack” that is faster than any other host.


Activating Cloudflare in the SiteGround cPanel makes your site faster…

SiteGround Cloudflare Activation

Using aggressive caching and Railgun makes it even faster…

SiteGround Cloudflare Settings

If you’re running WordPress, I recommend configuring these W3 Total Cache plugin settings instead of their built-in SuperCacher. There are other better plugins and extensions you can use for caching with higher ratings, and you will likely get better results from. That tutorial I linked to (for WordPress) has been used by over 75,000 people and helped them get 100% page speed scores in GTmetrix. I would definitely check it out if you’re running WordPress.


Or if you like WP Rocket and WP Fastest Cache, I have tutorial for those plugins as well. Your cache plugin and hosting are the 2 biggest factors when it comes to WordPress site speed.


SiteGround = #1 Host In Multiple Facebook Polls

Here’s the Facebook polls of top WordPress hosts where SiteGround was rated #1. They were also #1 in numerous other Facebook polls (and you can click each image to see the full poll)…

2019 Hosting Poll

View Poll

Switching To SiteGround

SiteGround Load Time Migration

Bluehost to SiteGround GTmetrix

HostGator To SiteGround

SiteGround GTmetrix

SiteGround Google PageSpeed Insights

100 Perfect Score On SiteGround

SiteGround Genesis

Speed Delivered By SiteGround

SiteGround GTmetrix Report

Reduced Load Times With SiteGround

New SiteGround Response Times

HostGator To SiteGround Migration

SiteGround Response Times On Joomla

Switched To SiteGround Hosting

SiteGround Rocket Imagify Combo

Joomla GTmetrix On SiteGround

SiteGround PageSpeed Insights

SiteGround On Joomla

SiteGround Reduced Load Times

SiteGround Speedy Hosting

New Pingdom Results On SiteGround

New SiteGround Response Time

SiteGround Response Time Improvement

View SiteGround GrowBig


Frequently Asked Questions

✅ How much does SiteGround GrowBig cost?

SiteGround GrowBig costs $9.99/month for your promotional period (1-3 years) then $19.95/month after.

✅ What is the difference between GrowBig and GoGeek?

GrowBig has less storage, server resources, and doesn't come with priority support or GIT. While GoGeek does.

✅ Is GrowBig suitable for ~ 25,000 visits monthly?

GrowBig is usually suitable for ~ 25,000 visits monthly, but this is a general number. It depends on your plugins, traffic, and CPU consumption of your website.

✅ Can I host multiple websites on GrowBig?

Yes, you can host multiple websites on GrowBig. Just keep an eye on your CPU usage.

✅ How do I request a free migration from SiteGround?

To request a free migration from SiteGround, open a support ticket and you will see a website transfer option. Provide SiteGround with the details of your old hosting, and they will take care of the migration.


Check Out My Other SiteGround Reviews





SiteGround StartUp Review – (They’re Rated The #1 Host In Numerous Facebook But StartUp Lacks Many Features In GrowBig)

SiteGround’s StartUp plan is only good for hosting 1 single low-traffic website. If you get decent traffic or are running any high CPU plugins, StartUp probably won’t have enough server resources and you could end up getting CPU overages. But if it’s a small site using lightweight plugins, and you don’t need the features that come with GrowBig/GoGeek, StartUp is easily the best hosting plan you can get for $6.99/month with the promo price.

Just know you can buy GrowBig for $2/month more and get way more stuff… about 2x as many server resources (number of servers is the #1 factor in the WordPress optimization guide), staging, on-demand backups, and you can host unlimited websites on your account… instead of 1. You can see all this on their StartUp vs. GrowBig vs. GoGeek chart. StartUp is good, but I would do GrowBig if you’re serious about your site – the speed alone is worth it.

Then there’s the GoGeek which is about 4x faster than most shared hosting plans. Smaller/starter websites should probably do GrowBig, websites with more visitors and higher CPU consumption should do GoGeek or cloud. My review will help you choose a plan, but also show you how to make the most out of their speed technology through PHP 7.3, Cloudflare, and SG Optimizer. I also have a guide on how I got 100% GTmetrix scores.

If this is a website(s) you care about and are expecting to make money from – do yourself a favor and pony up the extra $2/month. I currently pay SiteGround $80+/month for an upgraded version of their cloud hosting BUT… it’s an investment. This is primarily why my Pingdom report and GTmetrix report have near 100% scores on both with <1s load times.

Before paying for a higher plan because you want speed improvements, follow my guide on how I got 100% GTmetrix scores which will not only improve load times and scores in GTmetrix/Pingdom, but also reduce the resources needed on your hosting account, which can save you some money.

Why Choose SiteGround StartUp?

Affiliate Disclaimer – if you sign up for SiteGround with my affiliate link I will donate a good chunk at no expense to you. Each year I donate $3k to GoFundMe campaigns (2018 was to feed the hungry in Denver, 2017 was to Red Cross at Hurricane Harvey). Your support helps and I genuinely appreciate it. I try to make my reviews unbiased and backed by evidence in the form of Facebook polls, tweets, and real conversations. If you don’t want to use it, here’s a non-affiliate link to SiteGround. Either way I truly believe they are a stellar WordPress host and your site will run faster/smoother… do your research on Facebook groups + Twitter and you’ll find most people say the same.


SiteGround Facebook Polls

Join the WordPress Hosting and WordPress Speed Up Facebook Groups to see what real, unbiased people are saying, since hosting is the #1 factor in the WordPress optimization guide.

SiteGround was rated the #1 host in 26 Facebook polls and got me amazing results in GTmetrix/Pingdom (click through my pages). Their speed technology is far superior than EIG, Godaddy, and most other hosts, and uses PHP 7.3, NGINX, SSDs, HTTP/2, Cloudflare, and SG Optimizer plugin for WordPress. This usually results in significant load time improvements.

2019 Hosting Poll

View Poll


StartUp vs. GrowBig vs. GoGeek

You can see a full comparison chart on SiteGround’s features page


StartUp ($6.99/mo) – StartUp is good for hosting 1 low-traffic website that isn’t running high CPU plugins, but lacks server resources. All SiteGround plans come with tons of great features: email hosting, free Let’s Encrypt SSL, automatic daily backups, free WordPress + shopping cart install, 99.99% uptimes, and an easy-to-use cPanel. All plans include fast, core speed technology including NGINX, Cloudflare, SSDs, HTTP/2, PHP 7.3, SG Optimizer, and 4 data centers). SiteGround is one of the first hosts to implement new technology for speed and uptimes (eg. newer PHP versions), and you can check their Facebook page to stay updated. As with all plans, support is top notch. All plans include features for WordPress, Joomla, Drupal.

GrowBig ($9.99/mo) – host multiple websites with about 1.5x more server resources than StartUp and comes with staging (to test new plugins, designs, code) then launch it on your actual website with 1 click. This makes the extra $2/month completely worth it in my opinion. You also get on-demand backups so you can take one anytime you want, and a free website transfer. It comes with more storage, database resources, and email features. You get advanced caching with all 3 levels (static, dynamic, memcached) with the SG Optimizer plugin.

GoGeek ($14.99/mo)semi-dedicated hosting comes with about 4x more server resources than regular shared hosting plans. And yes, this makes a big improvement in speed and time to first byte. GoGeek has more storage, email, and database limits. Comes with PCI compliance to prevent credit card fraud on eCommerce sites and Git for repo creation. Priority support will answer your questions lightning fast. I usually get mine answered thoroughly in <10 minutes.

eCommerce Features – all SiteGround plans come with eCommerce features like a free Let’s Encrypt SSL. PCI compliance with GoGeek, and if you don’t feel comfortable installing a shopping cart on your won, SiteGround’s team offers to do this with the purchase of any plan.


Automatic Updates – have SiteGround make automatic updates in your cPanel to WordPress core, plugins, Joomla core, extensions, etc. I have this enabled and haven’t had any problems.

SiteGround WordPress Autoupdates

WordPress, Joomla, Drupal Features – SiteGround has features for each one in their cPanel: free install, transfer, autoupdates, and advanced security are just a few features for each CMS. When SiteGround says they have advanced security, their team is literally on their game.

WordPress features…


WordPress tools in cPanel…


Joomla features…


Joomla tools in cPanel…


Drupal features…



StartUp Has Less Server Resources Than GrowBig/GoGeek

If you have a slow website, go to features page and scroll down to ‘We Allocate The Resources You Need’ near bottom of the page. You’ll see that GrowBig and GoGeek are much faster than StartUp since you get more server resources. This is the MAIN difference between plans…


Here’s how many server resources come with each plan…



SiteGround StartUp Is Good If…

  • You only need to host 1 website
  • You don’t require priority support
  • You don’t need a lot of server resources/plugins
  • You need less than 10GB of web storage
  • You have has less than 10,000 visits/month
  • You don’t have lots of (high resource) plugins
  • You’re having technical issues with your current host
  • You want a free Let’s Encrypt SSL (but don’t need a premium SSL)
  • You want automatic updates, backups, free domain, and email features
  • You want SiteGround’s core speed technology and Cloudflare’s free CDN
  • You want secure hosting with actual 99.99% uptimes and spam prevention
  • You want a hosting company with a support team that will actually help you
  • You’re running a hobby website, but for serious websites go with GrowBig or GoGeek


Upgrade To GrowBig/GoGeek If…

  • You want a free website transfer
  • You want more server resources for faster load times
  • You have multiples websites and need 20GB+ of web storage
  • You want priority support to get tickets answered immediately
  • You use a lot of WordPress plugins (or high resource plugins)
  • You want to create staging websites (GoGeek is needed for this)
  • You want Pre-installed Git or SG-Git for WordPress repo creation
  • You need a premium wildcard SSL or PCI compliance for an eCommerce site
  • You want advanced caching, even though plugins like WP Rocket are better
  • You run a business website and rely (or are planning to rely) on it to making a living


<1s Load Times + 100% Uptimes

Yes, I actually use SiteGround…


And my site loads in <1s second (view Pingdom report)…


Here’s my GTmetrix report


It also has 100% uptimes in Uptime Robot


I was originally with Godaddy and Bluehost but was disappointed in both. My website didn’t load fast and I was getting internal server errors all the time. Since migrating to SiteGround I could see a noticeable difference in my Pingdom scores, but also by clicking through my pages (give it a try)! I never have to worry about my website getting “randomly” shut down anymore.

I have used SiteGround StartUp, GrowBig, GoGeek, and am currently on their cloud hosting. My site still loaded in 1s on StartUp but I rely on it to make a living (and needed better performance) so I upgraded. I wouldn’t write my SiteGround StartUp review if I didn’t use it.


Tips For Improving Speed On SiteGround

Upgrade To PHP 7.3+ – higher PHP versions make your site faster. If you’re just moving to SiteGround, PHP 7+ should be activated by default. But SiteGround is great at releasing newer versions. When they do, be sure to test them in the PHP section of your SiteGround cPanel.

PHP Speed



Cloudflare – in your SiteGround cPanel, activate Cloudflare with 1 click. Cloudflare is a free CDN with 200+ data centers and will help offload resources to their data centers, putting less stress on your own server. A CDN is also recommended in the WordPress optimization guide.

Cloudflare Data Centers

SiteGround Cloudflare Activation

SG Optimizer – SiteGround’s SG Optimizer plugin (for WordPress) uses server-side caching which is faster than the file-based caching used with most cache plugins. It also has many features outside of caching, like minification, lazy loading, etc. I personally use SiteGround for caching, then WP Rocket for everything else (see my tutorial), which was rated the #1 cache plugin in many Facebook polls. Your cache plugin has a huge impact on your load times and CPU consumption – I recommend trying SG Optimizer, WP Rocket, or Swift, but only use 1.

Optimize Imagesimages can be optimized in 20 ways, but the most common are these 3 items in GTmetrix. Serve scaled images means resizing large images to be smaller. Specify image dimensions means adding a width/height to the image’s HTML. Optimize images means losslessly compressing images using a plugin like Imagify, Smush, or ShortPixel (all are good).

Blackhole for Bad Bots Plugin – a common issue is spam bots hitting your site, which is a waste of server resources. The Blackhole for Bad Bots Plugin blocks them automatically which will save resources for real visitors. There are no settings – just install it and you’re good.

Optimize Plugins – this means deleting unused plugins, disabling unnecessary plugin settings that cause ongoing resource consumption (eg. statistics, backups, etc), avoid high CPU plugins, and only using lightweight plugins. I also recommend installing the Heartbeat Control plugin.

SiteGround Load Times
My WordPress site loads in <1s on SiteGround, but I’m not the only one. Here’s a chart comparing the average load time of websites running on some of the most popular hosts…


Core Speed: NGINX, SSD, HTTP/2 Enabled Services
SiteGround’s core speed technology is great no matter what hosting plan you choose. All shared plans include SSD (solid state drives) which provide 1000x higher input/output operations compared to regular drives, plus you get NGINX servers which are preferred for faster server speed. HTTP/2, PHP7, and HHVM can also be activated in SiteGround’s cPanel.


SiteGround’s Support Actually Helps You

You won’t be waiting 30 minutes for someone to help you (like Bluehost). SiteGround’s support usually responds to tickets in about 10 minutes with priority support. But even if you don’t have priority support they are SUPER helpful and knowledgeable about WordPress plugins, Joomla extensions, etc. For the few times I’ve had to contact SiteGround they always took the time to dig into my website and actually solve the issue. It makes a huge difference.

I usually get a response within a few minutes of submitting a ticket…


Chat support can usually solve your issue within 5 minutes…


Tickets are usually answered within 8 minutes…


SiteGround has awesome feedback about their support…



cPanel Demo

Here you can take SiteGround’s cPanel demo for a test drive. They have a WordPress installer, autoupdates, staging, Cloudflare, mail options, and plenty of other features that make your website run smooth and load fast. This includes tools for WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal…



Praise On Twitter From Current SiteGround Customers



Conclusion: StartUp Is Decent But I Would Do GrowBig

SiteGround’s StartUp plan is good for “hobby” websites but if you’re running a business website that you rely on to make a living, I would definitely go with GrowBig or GoGeek.

GrowBig is $2/month more and will make your site load faster, plus you get priority support and other features. And if you want an even faster website with semi-dedicated hosting, GoGeek is even better. Regardless, if you’re currently using one of the terrible hosts in that Facebook poll, you will be happy you migrated. I’m on their cloud servers but that is $80/month ONLY because I’m obsessed with website speed (and rely on my website to make a living). Unless you really need this, one of their shared hosting plans will be fine. I hope you found my SiteGround StartUp review helpful and if you have any questions, leave a comment.

People usually migrate because their speed technology can improve load times by multiple seconds. You’ve seen my GTmetrix and Pingdom report, here’s what other people are saying:








View SiteGround StartUp / GrowBig


Frequently Asked Questions

🚀 What are the main differences between StartUp vs GrowBig or GoGeek?

Higher plans include more server resources which make your site load faster. GrowBig+ can also host multiple websites and has extra features like staging, more storage, advanced caching, and on-demand backups. Check their Features page for a side-by-side comparison of each plan.

🚀 Will my website be OK on the StartUp plan?

StartUp is usually only good for new websites with low traffic which aren't running any resource-hungry plugins. I wouldn't recommend it for medium to high traffic sites, WooCommerce sites, or those running lots of resource-hungry plugins. For these sites, I would use GrowBig or GoGeek instead otherwise you will run into CPU overage issues.

🚀 What does SiteGround mean by less than 10,000 visits/month?

It's a rough estimate of how many monthly visitors the StartUp plan can handle, however this is usually not accurate. This depends on how many resources your site consumes, which plugins you're running, and whether your website is optimized for speed.

🚀 How should I configure the SG Optimizer plugin?

Run the latest PHP version, or choose the Managed PHP Version option in the Environment Settings. Next, test every setting in the Environment and Frontend Optimization tab and keep them enabled if they don't mess up your site. Optimizing images is important, but there's more to this than what's in SG Optimizer's settings (you also want to serve scaled images). Don't forget to enable Cloudflare's CDN in SiteGround.

🚀 What's the best way to migrate to SiteGround?

GrowBig and GoGeek come with a free migration, otherwise using SiteGround's Migrator plugin to transfer everything yourself.


Check Out My Other SiteGround Reviews





SiteGround vs. HostGator – why you should stay away from both

Siteground vs Hostgator

If you’re deciding between SiteGround vs. HostGator, I wouldn’t use either.

SiteGround used to be good, but has gone completely downhill in the last few years. Even though they use Google Cloud servers, their TTFB is horribly slow and there have been many complaints about this (and CPU limits) in Facebook Groups. They also reduced support (no more live chat option), push upgrades, ditched cPanel, and aren’t taking care of their customers.

HostGator was never good after they got bought out by EIG who is infamous for overcrowding servers and little to no innovation. In fact, they were the slowest WordPress host in speed tests with an average TTFB of 1268ms and a load time of 2680ms based on 336 individual Pingdom tests. The only people recommending HostGator are affiliates who don’t even use their hosting.

If SiteGround and HostGator are bad, who do I recommend? Cloudways, and here’s why.


1. SiteGround vs. HostGator Speed Tests

In this test, I signed up for SiteGround’s GrowBig and HostGator’s Standard plan, installed the exact same Astra Starter Site, then measured key metrics across multiple speed testing tools. TTFBs were measured in US locations only (since that’s where the data centers were) and it’s somewhat pointless to measure TTFBs since your host and data center is usually in your same country. More details about the test can be found here, along with screenshots of every report.

SiteGround’s TTFB averaged 1164ms while HostGator averaged 1268ms (only a 104ms difference). This was surprising considering SiteGround uses Google Cloud servers which should theoretically be faster than HostGator’s in-house servers. When it comes to speed, SiteGround was slightly faster than HostGator, but not by much considering all speed tests.


In Pingdom, SiteGround and HostGator were the slowest hosts when comparing 16+ different hosting plans with a load time of 2280ms and 2670ms respectively. This is for a period of 1 week at 30 minute check intervals, which means 336 individual tests were done on each site.


Conclusion: both SiteGround and HostGator are extremely slow.

HostGator Server Response Time


2. Why I Left SiteGround As A Customer + Super Affiliate

I referred over 3,000 people to SiteGround and used to host my site with them.

But that all changed.

After I got CPU issues on GrowBig, I upgraded to GoGeek. Same thing happened, so I had to upgrade to their cloud hosting for $80/month, but I was still getting CPU issues and had to pay SiteGround over $120/month to avoid CPU limits. I ended up upgrading even more (because my site wasn’t fast) even though I wrote a popular tutorial on reducing CPU and WordPress speed.

It didn’t make sense.

I eventually switched to Cloudways DigitalOcean where I was paying 1/2 the price for 2x faster load times. At the same time, I saw lots of other people were migrating to Cloudways for the same reasons. That’s when I changed all my hosting recommendations to Cloudways instead of SiteGround. They have had so many issues and are just not a good recommendation anymore.

Goodbye SiteGround.

Cloudways Shoutout

OMM on Cloudways DigitalOcean


3. Two Major Price Increases

SiteGround increased prices in 2018 and 2020.

Since then, I haven’t seen 1 Facebook poll where SiteGround was rated the #1 host.

This was completely unwarranted because their servers have gotten slower, they replaced cPanel with Site Tools (to increase their own bottom line since cPanel raised their prices), and their support has gotten worse. Why would they increase prices when the quality of their hosting has been getting worse? I don’t know, but that’s why so many people are leaving them.

Their renewal prices are also way too expensive.

SiteGround Renewal Pricing

You get 1-3 years of the intro price, but then it jumps to about 3x the price.

Gone are the good old days when prices used to be much more affordable:

SiteGround WordPress Hosting Plans


4. CPU Limits Force You To Upgrade

CPU limits are the worst part about SiteGround.

Each SiteGround hosting plan comes with a certain amount of resources (as with all hosting). But for some mysterious reason, SiteGround customers constantly exceed these limits. SiteGround usually blames it on plugins, bots, or the WordPress Heartbeat API. But this is not true. SiteGround’s CPU limits are simply a technique they use to force you to upgrade plans.

Even when I was using a lightweight theme, only 12 lightweight plugins, disabled Heartbeat, and blocked bad bots, and I had <1s load times in GTmetrix, I was still hitting CPU limits! Within roughly a year, I went from $6.99/month to $120/month just to avoid SiteGround’s CPU limits.

Big red flag.

I ultimately came to the conclusion that SiteGround’s CPU issues are (almost always) unfixable, unless you pay them more. No matter how much you optimize your site, you can get these limits, and they will literally take down your entire website until you upgrade to a higher plan.

SiteGround CPU Overages


5. SiteGround Support Isn’t Great Anymore

SiteGround’s outstanding support doesn’t exist anymore. Here’s why:

  • They pressure you to upgrade
  • They moved priority support from GrowBig to GoGeek
  • They recommend expensive dedicated servers for low traffic sites
  • They disabled live chat in the SiteGround dashboard without warning
  • They don’t go “above and beyond” hosting issues like they once used to

This is another reason people are leaving SiteGround. They used to have amazing support, but people are noticing how it’s been going completely downhill and it’s just not what it used to be.

SiteGround Support Feedback


6. Too Many Changes In SiteGround’s Hosting

There’s just too many changes going on with SiteGround.

Even when they migrated everyone to Google Cloud servers, they did it without giving customers the option to stay on SiteGround’s in-house servers. Instead, they forced everyone to accept Big G and there was an outcry about privacy concerns on the SiteGround blog.

Between migrating servers, changing to Site Tools, reducing support, increasing prices… you never know what you’re actually getting when you sign up for SiteGround’s WordPress hosting.


7. Why I Stay Away From HostGator

SiteGround used to be good, but HostGator was never good.

Sure, they were good before getting bought out by EIG, but that was years ago and they have been run into the ground since. Overcrowded servers, 3 year price traps, and horrible support is what you can expect on HostGator. Even if you do a little research in the WordPress Hosting Facebook Group and ask about HostGator, you’ll see pretty much no one recommends them.


8. They’re Owned By EIG

Head of Endurance International Group?

They own over 80 different hosting companies and HostGator (and Bluehost) and their main 2. They are infamous for buying out existing (decent) hosting companies then running them into the ground by doing anything to cut costs. They have shareholders to please (and a stock ticker) and are really just in it for money, not making customers happy. Anything owned by EIG, run!

EIG Hosting Companies


9. HostGator Support Is Awful

I haven’t used HostGator’s support for years, but I expect it’s the same (terrible).

Their TrustPilot reviews are a great place to read up on their support. With a 2.7/5 star rating, it’s pretty obvious HostGator’s support is great. It can take more than a week for HostGator support to respond to tickets. So if your website is down, don’t expect them to jump out of their seat to help. Even if the problem is from them, you are the one stuck to deal with consequences.

HostGator TrustPilot Review


10. 3 Year Price Traps

HostGator makes you sign up for 3 years upfront to get the “best price.”

SiteGround lets you sign up for 1-3 years upfront with the intro prices, but HostGator is literally a trap. You pay for 3 years upfront, you’re not happy with their hosting, you move somewhere else, and they keep your money. So many fall into HostGator’s trap – don’t let it happen to you.

p.s. Cloudways lets you pay month-to-month with no yearly contract.

HostGator Pricing


11. Frequent Downtimes On HostGator

Search for HostGator down and that is all you need to know.

Not only do customer websites get taken down when there’s something as preventable as a power outage, but HostGator says they don’t control the websites hosted on their servers. So if you want to create a toxic, malicious website, HostGator will still have you as their customer.


12. Affiliates Create Dishonest HostGator Reviews

I’m calling out all HostGator affiliates who promote them even though they know how bad they are. One of the reasons they do this is because HostGator allows affiliates to create coupon codes which can be used in video reviews (instead of an affiliate link) which can increase sales. It’s crap, but a lot of affiliates promote HostGator because of this (looking at you Tyler Moore).



13. SiteGround vs. HostGator WordPress Features

Major Differences

  • SiteGround uses Google Cloud servers, HostGator uses in-house
  • SiteGround’s SG Optimizer plugin is just as good as WP Rocket (no HostGator plugin)
  • HostGator is slow to release newer PHP versions and their basic hosting has no staging
  • HostGator limits you to 1-3 sites on shared plans, it’s unlimited on SiteGround GrowBig+
  • Renewal prices and website migrations are more expensive on SiteGround
ServerGoogle Cloud
Speed TestVery SlowThe Slowest
CachingServer Caching (1-3 Levels) via SG OptimizerServer Caching
CDNFree CloudflareFree Cloudflare
PHP Version7.47.3
BackupsFree DailyPaid
StagingOn GrowBig+No
DashboardSite ToolsCustom
Email HostingYesYes
# Of SitesUnlimited On GrowBig+1-3
Banned PluginsNoNo
SiteLock ScamsNoYes
Migrations$30/SiteFree on "qualified accounts" (otherwise $150/Site)
Intro Price$6.99 - $14.99/moVaries by plan + term length
Renewal PriceAbout 3x Intro PriceAbout 2x Intro Price
TrustPilot Rating4.8/51.6/5


14. SiteGround vs. HostGator In Facebook Groups

When it comes to SiteGround vs. HostGator, who do people recommend in Facebook Groups?

Neither of them. Possibly SiteGround because they have a larger affiliate following, but they have been declining more and more each day as they continue to run themselves to the ground.

Read this about SiteGround.

SiteGround Bad Support

And here’s a long one about HostGator.


15. Cloudways: A Better Alternative

Since I don’t recommend SiteGround or HostGator, I hope you see I’m trying to be honest.

Instead, I would go with Cloudways DigitalOcean.

They were #1 in my speed tests and highly recommended in the WordPress Hosting Facebook Group with 4.8/5 star TrustPilot reviews, constant innovation, better support, and monthly pricing with no yearly contract. They even have a free 3-day trial so you can clone your website and test them out. I promise, you will see a significant difference in how fast your website loads.

You can even visit which is hosted on a $10/month Cloudways DigitalOcean plan. Click through the pages to see how instantly they load or run your own tests if you want.

People who already moved to Cloudways and posted their results:

Cloudways Response TimesCloudways-Migration-Result
Cloudways Google PageSpeed
WP Engine To Cloudways
DigitalOcean Pingdom Report
Cloudways Server Response Times
Godaddy DigitalOcean Migration
Cloudways Pingdom Load Times
Cloudways Pingdom ReportNamecheap To Cloudways Migration

They were also #1 in most recent Facebook polls:


If you decide to use Cloudways, I recommend their $10/month DigitalOcean plan.


You can save 25% off your first 2 months with this promo code: OMM25

Cloudways Promo Code

Request a free migration from Cloudways and enjoy the faster load times :)


I use Cloudways because:

  • Even posts with a 2.70MB page size can load in under 2s
  • DigitalOcean and Vultr HF are miles faster than shared hosting.
  • It’s $10-$13/month (no yearly contracts or high renewal prices).
  • Varnish, Redis, and memcached are all built-in for higher performance.
  • You get to pick from DigitalOcean, Vultr HF, Linode, AWS, Google Cloud.
  • They have 25+ data centers between all their cloud hosting providers.
  • No CPU issues like on SiteGround, Bluehost, and other shared hosting.
  • SSL, staging, and backups are all very easy in the Cloudways dashboard.
  • Support used to be average, but is now really good as reflected on TrustPilot.
  • They offer a free migration but their Migrator plugin will also do the trick.
  • Adding a server, migrating your site, and the dashboard is actually very easy.
  • Mustasaam (their community manager) gave me peace of mind when moving.
  • Only complaint is they need to add LiteSpeed servers to their list of providers.

Affiliate Disclaimer – if you sign up for Cloudways using my affiliate link, I would seriously appreciate it. I don’t recommend bad hosting like many other affiliates. I also donate quite a bit to charity ($6,000 to GoFundMe so far) and your support would really help. I try to base my reviews not only from my experience, but real evidence from the overwhelming feedback in numerous Facebook Groups. It would mean a lot.

Just do your research and look at this Facebook thread.


Frequently Asked Questions

✅ Is SiteGround or HostGator faster?

SiteGround is slightly faster than HostGator, but neither are very fast. Both have strict CPU limits that limit the server resources dedicated to your site.

✅ Is SiteGround good for WordPress?

SiteGround isn't the best option for WordPress hosting. They have gone downhill in recent years with slower TTFBs, reduced support, and continuous CPU limits.

✅ Is HostGator good for WordPress?

HostGator is cheap, but they're not a good option to host your WordPress site. You will likely experience a slow website, poor support, and bandwidth throttling.

✅ Is SiteGround's support still good?

SiteGround's support is average, but it isn't as good as it used to be. They disabled the live chat function and push upgrades more than they previously used to.

✅ Is HostGator secure?

No, HostGator has stored passwords in plain text even in 2018. They do not take security nearly as seriously as other hosting companies.

See Also: Why I Use Cloudways

I hope you found this SiteGround vs. HostGator comparison helpful! Yes, I’m an affiliate for Cloudways (not SiteGround or HostGator) since I try to be honest with my recommendations.


SiteGround eCommerce Review – WooCommerce Sites Usually Require More Resources, So Go With Either GrowBig Or GoGeek

Looking into SiteGround’s eCommerce hosting?

No, my site isn’t eCommerce, but if you view the StartUp vs. GrowBig vs. GoGeek comparison chart you can see the difference. You get a free shopping cart install and Let’s Encrypt SSL with ALL SiteGround plans, 1 year of wildcard SSL with GrowBig, and PCI compliance with GoGeek.

Outside of these eCommerce features, the MAIN difference between plans is GrowBig and GoGeek allow you to host unlimited websites (where StartUp you can only host 1). GrowBig and GoGeek also come with more server resources (which make your site load faster) and include priority support. Both also come with more web storage, 30 daily backups (instead of 1), advanced caching for SiteGround SuperCacher plugin, and GoGeek comes with staging which allows you create demo websites for testing new designs and code before launching.

There are a few other differences which I will cover these in this SiteGround eCommerce review. But assuming you’re set on going with SiteGround (which you should be since they’re the #1 rated host in this Facebook poll)… you will be choosing between their StartUp, GrowBig, or GoGeek plan. Unless you want to use their cloud hosting which is $80/month.

SiteGround's eCommerce Hosting

Affiliate Disclaimer – if you sign up for SiteGround using my affiliate link I will donate a good chunk of it at no expense to you. In 2017 I donated $3,000 to American Red Cross at Hurricane Harvey – this year will go to something similar. Your support helps and I genuinely appreciate it. I try to make my reviews unbiased and backed by evidence in the form of Facebook polls, tweets, and real conversations. If you don’t want to use it here’s a non-affiliate link to SiteGround. Either way, I truly believe they’re the best WordPress host and that your website will run faster/smoother… do your research on Google/Facebook groups and you’ll find most people say the same.


SSL Certificates

Here’s a list of SiteGround’s SSL certificates but I’ll go through each one…

Let’s Encrypt SSL – free on all SiteGround plans. You can enable Let’s Encrypt in the cPanel.


Wildcard SSL – $82/year and secures subdomains. GrowBig /GoGeek come with 1 free year.

EV SSL – $499/year and gives you that green color on your https. It also guards the information on its way between the browser and final destination – the server,  by encryption.


Third Party SSLs – you can install these through your SiteGround cPanel.


PCI Compliance For Fraud Protection

PCI Compliance –  “payment card industry” offers people a unified approach towards safeguarding credit card holder information for all types of credit cards, preventing fraud, cracking and various other security threats and vulnerabilities. This is included in SiteGround’s GoGeek hosting but can requested for other plans too, I’m just not sure how much it costs.


Supported Shopping Charts + Free Installation

SiteGround supports the following shopping carts and offers a free installation with the purchase of any hosting plan. Below are eCommerce-specific hosting plans unique to each shopping cart, but they’re pretty much the same. You’re better off learning the difference between StartUp vs. GrowBig vs. GoGeek which I’ll explain. Here are shopping cart FAQs.



Faster Load Times: My Site Loads In Under 1s

I’m hosted on SiteGround GoGeek and my site loads in under 1s. Here’s my Pingdom report


That’s because SiteGround customers have the fastest average load times around…


SiteGround Speed Technology – SiteGround uses the best speed technology including SSD (solid states drives), NGINX servers, HTTP/2 enabled servers, and other features listed on their speed technology page. I host multiple sites on SiteGround and they all load in under 1s.

Cloudflare CDN – SiteGround’s eCommerce hosting comes with Cloudflare’s free CDN which you can access in their cPanel. This improves both speed and security and should be activated as soon as you sign up. A content delivery network hosts your website on multiple servers around the world (as oppose to just 1 origin server), delivering content from the closest server to your visitor. You can setup Cloudflare with W3 Total Cache if you’re running WordPress.


Higher Plans Come With More Server Resources – the higher the plan (StartUp vs. GrowBig, vs. GoGeek), the more resources are dedicated to hosting your website. You can find this on the features page (under “we allocate the resources you need). For each plan you upgrade you get about 1.5x more server resources. If speed is important to you, I would at least consider upgrading to GrowBig which is only $4/month more than StartUp and is much faster.


WordPress Caching – if you plan on using SiteGround’s SG CachePress plugin, StartUp only gives you 1 level of caching while GrowBig and GoGeek give you 3 levels, thus a faster website. However I would use W3 Total Cache instead which yields better results in Pingdom. Just install the plugin then use my W3 Total Cache tutorial to download my pre-configured settings from Dropbox and import them to your W3 Total Cache plugin under Performance → General Settings → Import / Export Settings. Read my full tutorial for best results which has over 200 comments and helped plenty of people get .5s load times and 99% performance scores.



Better Uptimes: 100% Last Month In Uptime Robot

I recommend signing up for Uptime Robot to monitor your uptimes (and downtimes). SiteGround claims their uptimes to be 99.99% but I’ve actually had 100% in the last month…



StartUp vs. GrowBig vs. GoGeek Comparison Chart

SiteGround’s feature page shows a comparison chart of each plan…


StartUp $6.99/month – host 1 relatively low traffic website with a free domain, 1 daily backup, automatic updates, email, and 10GB of storage. Does not come with priority support or a lot of server resources (which make your site faster) which is why I recommend GrowBig for $4 more per month. Still comes with SiteGround’s core speed, security, and uptime technology so even though StartUp is cheap, it’s much better than other $6.99/month plans.

GrowBig $9.99/month – host unlimited websites with priority support and about 1.5x more server resources than StartUp. 30 daily backups (instead of 1), 20GB storage, and an easy backup/restore service. Comes with advanced caching but I recommend using a plugin like W3 Total Cache over SiteGround’s SG CachePress plugin, so that shouldn’t matter. More email features and 1 year free wildcard SSL for subdomains. Comes with everything StartUp has.

GoGeek $14.99/month – semi-dedicated hosting allows you to host unlimited websites and is about 4x faster than other lowered sharing hosting plans. Staging allows you to create demo sites to test new code/designs on, and PCI compliance. 30GB more storage, more email features, and pre-installed GIT. A great alternative if you want a super fast website you don’t want to pay $60/month for SiteGround’s cloud hosting. Comes with everything GrowBig has.


Recommended Merchants

SiteGround has a list of recommend merchants to collect payments. Generally, 2Checkout and PayPal are good for smaller volumes. But as you grow you can negotiate smaller fees.



eCommerce Tutorials

SiteGround has tons of tutorials some of which are specific to eCommerce and will show you how to install your shopping cart (even though SiteGround’s support team will do this for you).



Why SiteGround

I mentioned SiteGround was the #1 rated host for WordPress. Here are the polls…

2019 Hosting Poll

View Poll

Switching To SiteGround

SiteGround Load Time Migration

Bluehost to SiteGround GTmetrix

HostGator To SiteGround

SiteGround GTmetrix

SiteGround Google PageSpeed Insights

100 Perfect Score On SiteGround

SiteGround Genesis

Speed Delivered By SiteGround

SiteGround GTmetrix Report

Reduced Load Times With SiteGround

New SiteGround Response Times

HostGator To SiteGround Migration

SiteGround Response Times On Joomla

Switched To SiteGround Hosting

SiteGround Rocket Imagify Combo

Joomla GTmetrix On SiteGround

SiteGround PageSpeed Insights

SiteGround On Joomla

SiteGround Reduced Load Times

SiteGround Speedy Hosting

New Pingdom Results On SiteGround

New SiteGround Response Time

SiteGround Response Time Improvement

I like SiteGround because…

  1. They’re recommended by WordPress
  2. They use PHP 7.3 (check your version here)
  3. They use HTTP/2 servers (check your version here)
  4. Their speed technology page clearly lists what they use
  5. Free Let’s Encrypt SSL (EIG companies charge for this)
  6. My GTmetrix/Pingdom reports are great (the biggest reason)
  7. Average load time is 1.3s, giving most people instant speed improvements
  8. Ivica runs the WordPress Speed Up Facebook Group and ranks them #1
  9. Consistently #1 in Facebook polls/conversations (#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7)
  10. Their semi-dedicated plan is affordable yet much faster than shared hosting
  11. They have 1-click Cloudflare activation in the cPanel (view cPanel demo)
  12. Designated WordPress support (tickets usually answered in <10 min)
  13. SG Optimizer plugin keeps your PHP updated with latest version
  14. Automatic daily backups, WordPress updates, and security updates
  15. Great eCommerce hosting
  16. Weekly security email notifications
  17. I usually get 100% uptimes but 99.99% is guaranteed
  18. Out of 50 people I referred to SiteGround in July, not 1 person cancelled
  19. I can call them 24/7 and they’re happy to answer questions (1.800.828.9231)
  20. They will migrate you for free with a 30-day money back guarantee


View SiteGround eCommerce Hosting

I hope you liked my SiteGround eCommerce review! If you have any questions at all, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll be glad to help you anyway I can. Or call SiteGround’s customer service and they can answer your questions. SiteGround’s number is 1.800.828.9231.