WPX vs SiteGround – why the first option is significantly better

SiteGround-vs-WPX

If you’re choosing between WPX and SiteGround, you should hear my story.

I was with SiteGround for more than 4 years. They were great at first, but everything went wrong in 2020. They raised prices (again), disabled live chat, CPU limits were pretty much unfixable, and they kept pushing upgrades. As an active member of the WordPress Hosting Facebook Group, I saw people were having their own issues. People would constantly complain how their servers have gotten slower. I was personally paying SiteGround $180/month for an upgraded version of their cloud hosting because I was hitting CPU limits. That’s when I left.

I tried WPX which was a big improvement from SiteGround in terms of speed and quality of support. I loved how user-friendly the dashboard was which was a big improvement over SiteGround’s Site Tools. But at the same time, I was also testing other hosts like Cloudways DigitalOcean. They were significantly faster than WPX and since this blog is all about speed optimization, that’s where I moved to. So while I don’t use WPX currently, I did try them out.

If you’re deciding between WPX vs. SiteGround, you should definitely choose WPX. But if you’re open to other hosting options, I highly recommend setting up a free 3-day trial at Cloudways, getting a $10-$20/month DigitalOcean plan, and cloning your website there to compare the difference in speeds. DigitalOcean and Vultr HF should be even faster than WPX.

Overall, WPX has faster load times and better support than SiteGround. They have quick live chat, built-in WPX Cloud CDN, and no strict CPU limits or high renewal prices like SiteGround.

 

1. WPX Is Faster Than SiteGround

SiteGround’s servers have gotten incredibly slow.

I installed the same Astra Starter Site on WPX’s Business plan and SiteGround GrowBig (the most comparable plans especially when considering SiteGround’s renewal prices). Then I measured each website’s TTFB, load times, and server response times in multiple testing tools.

In the speed test, WPX outperformed SiteGround with a 955ms faster TTFB, 847ms faster server response times, and a 412ms faster time spent downloading a page in Search Console.

SiteGround-vs-WPX-Speed-Test-2020
Full report of all 16 hosting plans tested can be found here
WPX Reports

  • GTmetrix – 110ms
  • KeyCDN – 278ms
  • WebPageTest – 238ms
  • WPHPC Plugin – 257ms
  • Search Console – 206ms
  • Pingdom – 436ms
  • Data center: Chicago, Illinois
  • Hosting plan used: Business Plan
SiteGround Reports

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

The Pingdom report lets you see a side-by-side load time comparison of 16 different hosting plans tested. WPX loaded a whopping 1844ms faster than SiteGround. But while WPX definitely loaded fast, they weren’t the fastest WordPress host in most tests – Cloudways was.

WordPress-Hosting-2020-Pingdom-Test

While WPX was #1 in Matthew Woodward’s test, he also had WPX Cloud CDN and W3 Total Cache enabled for his WPX demo site. So of course WPX was #1 since they had a clear advantage (that’s why his tests showed hosts with built-in caching + CDNs at the top of the list).

 

2. Why I Left SiteGround

I left SiteGround in 2019 when I found myself paying $180/month for their cloud hosting. I was constantly hitting CPU limits and having to upgrade, even though I’m the #1 result in Google for “reduce cpu wordpress.” I know what I’m doing! I eventually came to the conclusion that SiteGround’s CPU limits are not only unfixable, but pretty much a scam to make you upgrade.

SiteGround used to be great but went completely downhill in 2020. They changed so many things about their hosting and forced customers to be beta testers and deal these changes:

  • Disabling live chat support
  • Replacing cPanel with Site Tools
  • Moving to Google Cloud servers
  • Increasing both intro + renewal prices

They simply lowered the quality of their hosting then jacked up their prices. That’s why so many people are leaving SiteGround

TLDR: I moved to Cloudways which was 1/2 the price for the same amount of CPU/RAM at SiteGround and got 2x faster loads. CPU limits instantly went away with no problems since.

Cloudways Shoutout

 

3. Too Expensive For What You Get

SiteGround is just not worth it especially when you get into the higher renewal prices.

At first, you will pay $6.99, $9.99, and $14.99/month for StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek respectively. But upon renewal, you will pay $14.99, $24.99, or $39.99/month for the same plan. Yearly, that’s $179.88, $299.98, and $539.98.

There is no comparison between a $24.99/month GrowBig plan and a $20.83/month WPX Business plan. And for that matter, I would also rather have WPX’s Business plan than GoGeek.

Why would you pay more for something that’s clearly inferior?

If  $20.83/month at WPX is too expensive, I still wouldn’t use SiteGround. You will be much better off with a $10/month Cloudways DigitalOcean plan (the hosting I use) or A2 Hosting (what I use for my girlfriend’s small restaurant website). These are both faster than SiteGround.

My bill with SiteGround:

SiteGround-Cloud-Hosting-Sales-Receipt

 

4. CPU Issues Are Common And Unfixable

The biggest complaint about SiteGround are their CPU limits.

If you go to SiteGround’s features page and hover over the “server” tabs, you can see how many resources each plan comes with. Theoretically, when you pay more, you will get more resources.

But even on expensive plans, you are still very likely to get CPU overages. In my case, I had to pay SiteGround $120/month to get rid of CPU overages, and a whopping $180/month to make my site load fast. And believe me, my site was optimized from header to footer for lower CPU.

No matter how optimized your website is, you will still likely face CPU issues on SiteGround.

SiteGround-CPU-Limits

 

5. SiteGround Is Making Too Many Changes

Here’s a timeline for SiteGround’s main changes from 2018-2020.

  • First, they increased renewal prices in 2018.
  • Then, they moved priority support from GrowBig to GoGeek.
  • Once cPanel increased their prices, SiteGround quickly replaced it with Site Tools.
  • They migrated all accounts to Google Cloud servers regardless of privacy concerns.
  • When asked if they would increase prices again, Hristo said he didn’t know of plans to.
  • 3 months later on June 18th, 2020, they increased both their intro and renewal prices.
  • Now, Hristo (from SiteGround) is an admin of the WordPress Speed Up Facebook Group.
  • If you post about SiteGround’s bad business practices or slow TTFB, you will be banned.

Notice a pattern?

I did. SiteGround stopped focusing on customers and they started doing anything to increase their bottom line, even if it means corrupting Facebook Groups. They know what they did was wrong for their customers and they justify it any way they can by assuming no responsibility.

No plans to increase inode limit

Chances are they will change many things in the middle of your contract and you really don’t know what you’re signing up for – they expect customers to be beta testers for the changes.

 

6. Support Is Much Better At WPX Than SiteGround

WPX’s support is literally so much better than SiteGround’s.

You can reach live chat in 30 seconds, they don’t try to sell you upgrades, and they simply listen to your problem and do everything they can to fix it. They also offer free malware cleanup because they know their security is very good and you really shouldn’t get malware on WPX.

Just look at WPX’s TrustPilot reviews:

WPX Hosting Trustpilot Reviews

SiteGround’s support has no live chat anymore and they make it very difficult to reach them. Now, you have to fill out a support ticket, wait at least 10 minutes for a response, then repeat. It’s not efficient and there have been complaints about SiteGround’s support pushing upgrades.

SiteGround’s TrustPilot reviews are good, but I recommend doing your research in non-Hristo managed Facebook Groups to see constant issues people are having with SiteGround’s support.

SiteGround Trustpilot Reviews

 

7. LiteSpeed Servers Yield Faster Load Times

WPX uses LiteSpeed servers while SiteGround uses Google Cloud servers.

Google Cloud servers are supposed to be fast, but they’re not on SiteGround (as shown in speed tests). It just goes to show that just because a host uses fast servers doesn’t mean their hosting is fast. With all the limitations SiteGround puts on their hosting, no wonder they are really slow.

LiteSpeed servers are supposed to be one of the fastest options available. This also means you can use the LiteSpeed cache plugin which has excellent reviews.

 

8. WPX Cloud CDN Is Free And Built-In

WPX has an in-house CDN called WPX Cloud CDN.

It has 25+ data centers and was built by WPX with performance in mind.

It’s free with all WPX plans and can easily be activated inside your WPX account.

WPX Cloud CDN

 

9. WPX Dashboard vs. SiteGround Site Tools

The WPX Dashboard is much more user-friendly than SiteGround’s Site Tools.

Taking backups, installing SSL, and creating a staging site is all free and easy. There have been a few reports of bug issues with their staging tools, but everything worked flawlessly on my end.

WPX Hosting Dashboard

SiteGround’s Site Tools was built in a rush after cPanel raised their prices. SiteGround wanted to increase their bottom line by not paying for cPanel, so they created Site Tools. There have been many reports of bugs, but they seem to have most of them fixed now. Site Tools is hit or miss on whether you like it, and I honestly prefer the old SiteGround cPanel over Site Tools.

 

10. SiteGround’s SG Optimizer Is Better For Caching

WPX uses W3 Total Cache for caching, but I would use the LiteSpeed plugin instead. W3 Total Cache isn’t a great cache plugin and you might as well use the LiteSpeed plugin which was developed specifically for LiteSpeed servers (what WPX uses). You should have better results.

SiteGround uses SG Optimizer which is honestly the only great thing about their hosting. Since it’s 2 big updates, SG Optimizer has nearly every single feature included with WP Rocket (database cleanup, heartbeat control, prefetching, and even image optimization). It also uses server-size caching which is faster than the file-based caching done by WP Rocket. See my recommended SG Optimizer settings if you’re planning on using SiteGround. It’s a great plugin.

SG Opimizer Environment Optimization Settings

 

11. Features Comparison

I made a little table comparing SiteGround’s features to WPX’s features.

WPXSiteGround
ServerIn-HouseGoogle Cloud
Speed TestVery FastVery Slow
CachingW3 Total CacheServer Caching (1-3 Levels) via SG Optimizer
CDNWPX Cloud CDNFree Cloudflare
PHP Version7.47.4
SSLFreeFree
BackupsFree DailyFree Daily
StagingYesOn GrowBig+
SupportAwesomeAverage
DashboardCustomSite Tools
Email HostingYesYes
# Of SitesUnlimitedUnlimited On GrowBig+
Banned PluginsNoNo
MigrationsFree$30/Site
Intro Price$20.83 - $83.25/mo$6.99 - $14.99/mo
Renewal PriceNo Higher RenewalsAbout 3x Intro Price
TrustPilot Rating4.9/54.8/5

 

12. WPX Is Newer But The Service Is Better

I get it, WPX doesn’t have as many TrustPilot reviews or the popularity of SiteGround.

But that’s exactly why you should use them. They are doing everything they can to win customers through faster speeds, better support, and improving their overall level of service.

SiteGround is riding a high horse. I have referred nearly 3,000 people to them and they are taking advantage of them. I no longer use SiteGround, nor do I recommend them in my guides.

 

13. WPX Funds Food And Medical Care For 500+ Dogs

You can read more about it here: everydogmatters.eu

It says something when the owner not only makes donations, but creates an entire organization dedicated to helping our best friends. And his face can be found all over the WPX website – something SiteGround doesn’t do much. I like when companies are generous and transparent.

WPX-Owner-With-Dogs

 

14. Similar Alternatives To WPX + SiteGround

As of now, I don’t use either WPX or SiteGround.

I personally use Cloudways which has their own benefits:

  • Fastest host in speed tests.
  • Even posts with a 2.70MB page size can load in under 2s.
  • Monthly pricing with no higher renewal prices or yearly contracts.
  • DigitalOcean and Vultr HF are very fast and only start at $10-$13/mo.
  • Varnish, Redis, and memcached are all built-in for higher performance.
  • You get to pick from DigitalOcean, Vultr HF, Linode, AWS, Google Cloud.
  • 4.8/5 star TrustPilot rating and highly recommended in Facebook Groups.
  • 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.

Plus, the overwhelming feedback in groups like the WordPress Hosting Facebook Group:

Cloudways Response TimesCloudways-Migration-Result
Cloudways Google PageSpeed
WP Engine To Cloudways
DigitalOcean Pingdom Report
Hosting-Recommendation
Moving-From-WPX
SiteGround-Alternatives
Preferred-Web-Hosting
UntitledWPEngine-To-Cloudways
Godaddy DigitalOcean Migration
Cloudways Pingdom Load Times
Cloudways Pingdom Report
Elementor-Hosting
Web-Hosting-France
SiteGround-Alternative
VPS-Cloud-Hosting

 
I don’t mean to throw a curveball at you, but if you haven’t looked into Cloudways, you should.

Cheers,
Tom

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 cwdoserver.com 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.

Cloudways-Facebook-Review

 

3. 2x Faster Load Times On Cloudways

The graph says it all:

SiteGround-vs-Cloudways-Cloud-Hosting

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

2020-GTmetrix-Report

 

4. Saving $100/month With DigitalOcean

What I was paying on SiteGround’s cloud hosting:

SiteGround-Cloud-Hosting-Sales-Receipt

What I’m paying on Cloudways DigitalOcean:

Cloudways-Invoice

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.

WordPress-Hosting-2020-Pingdom-Test

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-vs-SiteGround-Speed
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.

SiteGround-CPU-Limits

This is a huge problem:

SiteGround-CPU-Limits

 

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.

Cloudways-Features

And here’s SiteGround’s features page:

SiteGround-Features

CloudwaysSiteGround
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+
SSLFreeFree
StagingYesOn GrowBig+
SupportGreatAverage
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):

SiteGround-Data-Centers

 

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
  • CDN URL
  • 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.

Hosting-Recommendation
Moving-From-WPX
SiteGround-Alternatives
Preferred-Web-Hosting
Elementor-Hosting
Web-Hosting-France
SiteGround-Alternative
VPS-Cloud-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:

Cloudways-Vertical-Scaling

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

SiteGround-Resources-Chart

 

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.

Cloudways-Homepage

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

Cloudways Promo Code

Step 3: Add a server.

Add-Server-To-Cloudways

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.

Vultr-High-Frequency-Option

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

Cloudways-Services

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

Hosting-Speed-Optimizations

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)

Cheers,
Tom

Cloudways Review: I’m Saving $100/Month With 2x Faster Load Times After Migrating From SiteGround’s Expensive Cloud Hosting

Cloudways-Homepage

I admit it, I used to be a SiteGround fanboy.

But as my traffic grew, I started getting CPU overages on SiteGround’s GoGeek plan. I eventually upgraded to their $80/month cloud hosting but was still exceeding CPU, so I added more CPU/RAM and started paying them $180/month. Going from $14.99/month on GoGeek to $180/month was insane to me to say the least. So I migrated to DigitalOcean on Cloudways where I’m now paying $80/month for roughly the same amount of CPU/RAM. After migrating, my load times dropped in half, I am nowhere near exceeding CPU, and I’m saving $100/month.

Obviously, I’m happy.

Some of my tutorials have 50+ images and 400+ comments (2.56MB page size and 89 requests) and still load in <2s! Run this post through GTmetrix or click through my posts if you want – they all load instantly. This was the biggest difference I noticed when migrating to Cloudways.

Cloudways is a little more technical to set up (they do offer free migrations) and they don’t support direct email hosting which means you will need a Rackspace account to use email. But the tradeoff  in speed and cost savings was definitely worth it for me, and probably for you too.

Aside from my own experience, Cloudways is one of the most recommended hosts in the WordPress Hosting Facebook Group and #1 in most recent Facebook polls with a 4.8/5 TrustPilot review. Plus, they released Vultr HF which is supposed to be even faster than DO.

 

1. I Was Previously Using SiteGround’s Cloud Hosting

One problem I have with SiteGround is there’s no “middle” plan between GoGeek and cloud. You’re either paying $14.99/month (or more) or you’re paying $80/month. And if you have to upgrade to cloud because you’re getting CPU issues, chances are the entry level plan won’t cut it (it didn’t for me). I had to pay them about $120/month to stop getting CPU overages and $180/month for my server to be relaxed. 2 CPU + 4GB RAM may not be enough for some sites.

SiteGround-Cloud-Hosting

These monthly invoices were brutal (wpcommanders is just my account name):

SiteGround-Cloud-Hosting-Sales-Receipt

 

2. The Money I Saved With Cloudways

Quick comparison check: 2CPU + 4GB RAM costs $80/month on SiteGround when it’s only $42/month on Cloudways DigitalOcean. Also, SiteGround’s cloud servers can’t handle CPU like Cloudways. In my case, instead of paying SiteGround $180/month for 6 CPU + 8GB RAM, I easily got away with 2 CPU + 4GB RAM on Cloudways with no CPU overages, plus a faster site. Cloudways also does monthly pricing without yearly contracts which was a big bonus for me.

Cloudways-Invoice

Cloudways DigitalOcean starts at $10/month. I paid more to upgrade my server because I have a decent amount of traffic and am obsessed with making my site fast.

 

3. Load Times Cut In Half

There’s no arguing the graph:

SiteGround-vs-Cloudways-Cloud-Hosting

The biggest difference was the load time on long/heavy tutorials. This tutorial has around 100 images and 400+ comments, has a 2.56MB page size, 89 requests, yet it can load in under 2s.

2020-GTmetrix-Report

Other people who migrated to Cloudways (or one of their cloud providers):

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

 

4. New Vultr High Frequency Is Blazing Fast

Cloudways just released Vultr High Frequency servers on 8/20/2020 which are supposed to be even faster than DigitalOcean. Visit the Cloudways Vultr Hosting page to see the option for HF.

Cloudways-Vultr-High-Frequency-Plan

Once you’ve created an account, add a server than select Vultr High Frequency.

Add-Server-To-Cloudways

Vultr-High-Frequency-Option

I ran a simple speed test where I tested 16 hosting plans using the same Astra Starter Site in Pingdom (and other tools). Cloudways Vultr HF and DigitalOcean were #1 in most of the tests.

WordPress Hosting 2020 Pingdom Test

 

5. No More CPU Overages

CPU overages are one of the biggest limitations of SiteGround.

Keep in mind: I write tutorials on how to reduce CPU and make WordPress sites load faster. I was only using 15 lightweight plugins, a StudioPress theme (now Astra), configured WP Rocket with Cloudflare a CDN, disabled heartbeat, optimized images and third party scripts, and blocked bad bots from Wordfence’s live traffic report. Yet, my site was still getting CPU issues.

SiteGround-CPU-Limits

My CPU usage averages around 7% on Cloudways. Makes you wonder about SiteGround.

Cloudways CPU Usage 2

 

6. Free Migration Went Smoothly

I had Cloudways do this and it went smoothly. You have a couple options for migrating:

Request a free migration from Cloudways – visit their free migrations page to learn more. Once you sign up and set up a Cloudways server, go to Applications → Application Migration.

Cloudways Application Migration

Then fill out your details:

Cloudways Free Migration Request

Do it yourself with the Cloudways WordPress Migrator Plugin – Cloudways has video instructions for moving your websites using the Cloudways WordPress Migrator Plugin.

Cloudways-Migrator-Tools

 

7. Support Has Gotten Better

Cloudways used to have poor support, but it has gotten much better.

It’s still not the same level of support you would get at Kinsta or WPX. If you have questions, you can always reach out to Mustaasam Saleem Ansari (the Cloudways community manager) whose #1 job is to make customers happy and answer questions. He is also super activate in the WordPress Hosting Facebook Group. I was in touch with Mustaasam during the migration – he answered all my questions and gave me peace of mind. I really like the idea of accountability.

Of course, there are plenty of customers who think Cloudways support is great (including me). I actually reached out to Hristo Pandjarov (SiteGround community manager) about an affiliate question with SiteGround, twice, and he never responded. Every person is different – it depends who your rep is. But if you have questions or issues, try reaching out to Mustaasam.

Mustaasam Saleem Ansari

My personal experience; they migrated the site successfully with no errors, downtimes, and they even configured their Breeze plugin for me. Maybe they knew I was writing this review :)

 

8. 4.8/5 TrustPilot Cloudways Review

Their improved support is directly reflected in their TrustPilot reviews. I always like to go through other Cloudways reviews to see what other people say and I suggest you do the same.

Cloudways TrustPilot Rating

Cloudways in a nutshell:

Cloudways TrustPilot Review

 

9. 5 Cloud Hosting Providers To Choose From

With Cloudways, you can choose from 5 cloud hosting providers. Just to confirm, Cloudways is the middleman who manages your server. DigitalOcean and the other providers are the ones hosting your website (through their partner, Cloudways). I personally don’t feel like managing my server – ain’t nobody got time for that! But if you do, you can go straight to DigitalOcean.

Cloudways-Managed-Cloud-Hosting

Cloudways has an article describing the differences in each plan:

Cloudways Cloud Platform Comparison

Their most popular plan is DigitalOcean which is also the least expensive (and the one I use).

Cloudways-DigitalOcean

 

10. Speeding Up Your Site On Cloudways

Cloudways made an YouTube video which includes tweaks you can make in your Cloudways dashboard to make your site faster. The video is 40 minutes, so I listed the instructions below.

Step 1: In Cloudways, go Servers → Manage Services, then enable the following:

Cloudways-Services

Step 2: Go to Settings & Packages and upgrade to PHP 7.4, MariaDB 10.3, and install Redis.

Hosting-Speed-Optimizations

Step 3: Also in “Settings & Packages” (Basic tab), increase memory limit to 256MB.

Cloudways Memory Limit

That’s it!

 

11. Using The Breeze Plugin

Cloudways’ Breeze plugin won’t replace WP Rocket and other top cache plugins since they have more features. Breeze only comes with caching, minification, Gzip, database cleanup, CDN URL, and Varnish options. But it’s worth trying out – you never know when cache plugins will do a better job at optimizing specific things than others, as each website is different. Also, most bad reviews are because of issues related to WooCommerce – in which case, be careful.

Cloudways also has a tutorial for setting up Breeze.

Cloudways Breeze Plugin

Basic Options:
*Avoid duplicate functionality with other cache plugins!

Cloudways Breeze Basic Options

Advanced Options:

Cloudways Breeze Advanced Options

Database:

Cloudways Breeze Database Options

CDN:

Cloudways Breeze CDN Options

Varnish:
*There have been reports that activating Varnish does more harm than good (again, be careful).

Cloudways Breeze Varnish Options

 

12. Adding Cloudflare

Sign up for a free Cloudflare plan, you will go through a set of pages, then see 2 namesevers:

Cloudflare Nameserver Change

Login to where your domain registrar (eg. GoDaddy) and change nameservers to Cloudflare’s:

Godaddy Cloudflare nameservers

Login to Cloudways, go to “Settings & Packages” then activate Cloudflare’s WAF Module:

Cloudways Cloudflare WAF Rule

Cloudways also has a paid CDN (StackPath) which is $1 per 25GB:

Cloudways-CDN

 

13. 525 Data Centers

Cloudways has 25 global data centers if you combine all their cloud providers.

Cloudways Data Centers

When choosing your plan, scroll through their locations.

  • DigitalOcean: 8 data centers
  • Linode: 8 data centers
  • Vultr: 15 data centers
  • Vultr High Frequency: 16 data centers
  • AWS: 14 data centers
  • Google Cloud: 14 data centers

Cloudways 59 Data Centers 1

 

14. Free SSL

Free Let’s Encrypt SSL is included with Cloudways. All you have to do is click to activate it.

Cloudways-Free-SSL

 

15. Cloudways Add-Ons (Extra Services)

Cloudways offers a few add-ons (paid services):

Cloudways-Add-Ons

DNS Made Easy – I love the idea of a premium DNS, until I was told you can’t use it with Cloudflare. Although I’m not using it now, I may have to give it a whirl in the near future.

Rackspace Email – you will need this to use email hosting.

Elastic Email – great if sending out sensitive email (see Cloudways’ email comparison).

Application Migration – Cloudways will migrate 1 site for free, then $25 per site after.

Application Upgrade – if you’re worried about updated WordPress, plugins, etc, you can pay Cloudways $50/month to do this for you, but I honestly don’t know anyone who would do that.

CloudwaysCDN – this is the same as StackPath (Cloudways and StackPath are partners) and costs $1 per 25GB. I use both Cloudflare and StackPath which has saved me lots of bandwidth.

StackPath-CDN-Analytics

 

16. Other Features

Cloudways has a full list on their features page:

Cloudways Features

Staging – if you want to clone your website to test new designs or plugins, this is super easy. Just go to Applications, click the three dots, and click “Clone App/Creating Staging Website.”

Cloudways Staging Clone

Vertical Scaling – scale your server any time to include more resources or storage.

Cloudways-Vertical-Scaling

Backups – easily take a backup any time you want.

Cloudways-Backups

GIT – used to implement development workflows (they have a tutorial about it).

Cloudways-GIT

Add Team Members – love that you can set permissions for people who have access.

Cloudways-Team-Members

 

17. No Email Hosting

Cloudways does not provide email hosting, but they are partnered with Rackspace to provide email hosting for as low as $1/email/month instead of $2/email/month (Rackspace pricing).

And for transactional or outgoing emails, they are also partnered with Elastic Email to provide an easy setup, or you can setup your own SMTP provider like Gmail SMTP, SendGrid, Mailgun.

Cloudways-SMTP-Settings

 

18. The Benefit Of Managed Hosting

Other than a large performance improvement, managed hosting also takes care of software updates, security patches, and hardware management. But performance is the biggest draw.

The difference between shared hosting and managed cloud hosting is huge. GoDaddy, Bluehost, HostGator, TSOhost, and really any shared host will get blown away by Cloudways. If you’ve never experienced good cloud hosting before, you will see improved server response times, load times in GTmetrix, and a noticeable difference when clicking through your pages.

Managed Hosting Poll

 

19. Conclusion: I’m A Happy Camper

First off, nearly every hosting company blocks Facebook reviews (probably because so many people use it to bitch). Cloudways is one of the few hosts that allows Facebook reviews. And last time I checked, they had 4.5/5 stars with 500+ reviews, which is pretty damn good for Facebook. Having the great experience I did, I decided to leave them my own gem of a review.

Cloudways-Facebook-Review

 

20. Cloudways Is #1 In Many Facebook Polls

SiteGround and Cloudways are usually the top 2 hosts in Facebook polls. SiteGround was actually rated #1 in 30+ polls, but that’s because they’ve been around forever, more people have used them, and they’re cheaper (until you have to renew). But there is a huge shift of people moving from SiteGround to Cloudways, mainly due to SiteGround’s renewal prices.

Hosting-Recommendation
Moving-From-WPX
SiteGround-Alternatives
Preferred-Web-Hosting
Elementor-Hosting
Web-Hosting-France
SiteGround-Alternative
VPS-Cloud-Hosting

 
And for the record, DigitalOcean is the only host listed in the WordPress optimization guide.

Digital Ocean Recommendation

Get hosting from Cloudways

 

21. Getting Started On Cloudways

Step 1: Sign up for a Cloudways free trial.

Cloudways-Homepage

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

Cloudways Promo Code

Step 3: Add a server.

Add-Server-To-Cloudways

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.

Vultr-High-Frequency-Option

Here’s a GIF showing the process (a little outdated but same process):

Cloudways Setup

Step 5: Do the speed optimizations from step #10.

Step 6: Request a free migration or use their Migrator plugin to move your site(s).

Enjoy the faster load times.

Cloudways Shoutout

 

Frequently Asked Questions

🔵 Is Cloudways fast?

Cloudways gave me about 2x faster load times than SiteGround's cloud hosting and I'm paying 1/2 of what I was. My site loads instantly and you can click through my pages to see how fast they load. They use latest PHP versions, MariaDB, and a very fast infrastructure.

🔵 Which 5 cloud hosting providers do they use?

DigitalOcean, Vultr, Linode, Google Cloud, and Amazon (AWS). Their DigitalOcean plan is the most popular, and cheapest.

🔵 What is Cloudways' pricing structure?

Cloudways has a monthly pricing structure with no yearly contracts or upfront fees.

🔵 Does Cloudways support email?

Cloudways does not provide email hosting directly, but they are partnered with Rackspace who offers it for as low as $1/email/month instead of $2/email/month (Rackspace pricing).

🔵 How does Cloudways compare to SiteGround?

They have a better value especially once you reach SiteGround's renewal prices, but they're also a little more technical. SiteGround is good for shared hosting, but if speed is important, Cloudways is the way to go.

🔵 Is Cloudways a middleman?

In a way, yes. Their hosting is marked up about 200% because it's managed hosting. If you have time to configure and maintain your own server, you can buy directly from the cloud hosting provider. Otherwise, Cloudways will manage the servers for you.

Ready to experience the powerful servers on managed cloud hosting?
Don’t be like me and think that just because SiteGround’s hosting is still good, there aren’t more powerful servers available. Once I finally pulled the trigger, there was no looking back.

+1 for Cloudways
Tom

SiteGround vs GoDaddy: Don’t Touch GoDaddy With A 10-Foot Pole

SiteGround vs GoDaddy

Are you really deciding between SiteGround vs. GoDaddy?

This is honestly the easiest comparison I have ever written. GoDaddy is absolute garbage and you should avoid them at all costs. When comparing them to SiteGround, it’s like night and day.

Here’s why:

GoDaddy packs too many people on their servers (making them slow) which is well-known on Quora, Facebook, and Twitter. They were rated the top malware hosting network and make news for all the wrong reasons, being called out by iThemes, Wikipedia, Forbes, Mashable, and PC Mag. They have been called a “scam” because they make customers pay to upgrade PHP versions and malware issues, when it’s their own fault. GoDaddy is like a doctor who forces illness on patients and treats symptoms to make their money, but doesn’t fix the cause. They also blacklist cache plugins and make you use their own built-in caching system, which doesn’t hold a candle to plugins like WP Rocket, Swift, or even W3 Total Cache. They are known for being 1 thing (cheap) but you will pay the price long-term. I don’t recommend them to anyone.

SiteGround is used by Yoast, recommended by WordPress, and were rated the #1 host in 30+ Facebook polls. I was able to get 100% GTmetrix scores and <1s load times on their semi-dedicated GoGeek plan. Many people who migrated have publicly posted their new load times. Their support is top-notch and you can get ahold of live chat in 30 seconds, and tickets usually answered within 15 minutes – which their customers praise. They have way more features than GoDaddy like free Let’s Encrypt SSL, Cloudflare, daily backups, staging, 4 data centers, and the newest PHP versions. Most importantly, they keep current with new technology and constantly release new updates to improve speed, uptimes, and security – which you can see on their Facebook page. They offer 3 plans and do free migrations with GrowBig and GoGeek.

SiteGround vs. GoDaddy

  1. SiteGround vs. GoDaddy In 30+ Facebook Polls
  2. GoDaddy Servers Are Painfully Slow
  3. PHP 7 Only Available On cPanel Plan
  4. Malware Problems
  5. Blacklisted Plugins
  6. Wikipedia Moves Domains Away From GoDaddy
  7. Support Is Awful
  8. Bob Parsons Hunts Elephant
  9. SiteGround Speed (Migration Results)
  10. SG Optimizer, Cloudflare, PHP 7.3+ For The Win
  11. WordPress Features
  12. SiteGround Is Endorsed By Yoast, WordPress, Ivica
  13. Support Is Unbeatable
  14. Tons Of Hosting Features
  15. They Protect Customer Websites
  16. Free Migrations
  17. Choosing A SiteGround Plan: StartUp vs. GrowBig vs. GoGeek
  18. In Case You’re Still Not Sure (More Facebook + Twitter Evidence)

Affiliate Disclaimer – if you sign up for SiteGround using my affiliate link I will donate a good chunk at no cost to you. Each year I donate $3,000 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. Either way, I would avoid GoDaddy – join some Facebook groups and see the conversations, polls, tweets, and people who migrated from GoDaddy to SiteGround. I refuse to recommend GoDaddy to anyone – their servers are overcrowded, malware-infested, and they have a SOPA-supporting + elephant-hunting founder. Do your research and look at who Yoast is currently using.

 

1. SiteGround vs. GoDaddy In 30+ 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 is consistently #1 in Facebook polls while GoDaddy is rarely in the top 5. If you have specific hosting requirements, the WordPress Hosting Group is a great place to get feedback from people who actually know what they’re talking about – without affiliate links.

2019 Hosting Poll
View Poll

 

2. GoDaddy Servers Are Painfully Slow

GoDaddy is able to offer low-cost hosting because they pack too many people on their servers. You can’t tell how many websites you’re sharing the server with, or how much bandwidth they’re consuming. That’s why it’s best to look at what (unbiased) people are saying on Quora, Facebook Groups, and look at the server response times current GoDaddy clients are getting.

What-is-the-reason-that-GoDaddy-is-loading-very-slowly-Quora

iThemes says:

“GoDaddy [needs to] finally get serious about hosting by improving their servers and server infrastructure, providing users with a real control panel, ceasing to massively oversell their servers (this is why most GoDaddy-hosted sites are so slow), and providing real support that doesn’t answer every problem with “you need to upgrade to a dedicated server.”

You can run any website through Google PageSpeed Insights and if the reduce server response time item is in your report, this means your server (hosting) is definitely slow.

Reduce Server Response Time

Slow Godaddy

Godaddy Server Response Time

Slow Server Response Times on Godaddy

Godaddy Server Response Times

Slow Godaddy Server Response Time

 

3. PHP 7 Only Available On cPanel Plans

How are you not suppose to treat your most loyal customers?

Release an “improved” cPanel plan and tell old customers they have to pay for an upgrade if they want to use PHP 7. GoDaddy’s cPanel and Plesk are the only plans that support PHP 7, otherwise you’re out of luck. Not only were they one of the last hosts to release PHP 7, but when they do, they try to make customers pay for it. They’re the only host I know doing this.

godaddy php upgrade cost

Godaddy Unethical PHP Upgrade

Godaddy PHP Cost

GoDaddy was using PHP 5.6 until 2018 and was one of the last hosts to implement PHP 7. Not only did this make customer websites slow, but also less secure. GoDaddy received countless complaints about this on their support threads and Twitter, and were very late to take action.

PHP Speed

 

4. Malware Problems

GoDaddy is one of the top malware hosting networks and constantly make news for being one of the least secure hosts. If you care about the security of your website, do not use GoDaddy. While SiteGround clearly lists how they protect your website, GoDaddy does the bare minimum. Even to this day, they have a long history of hacked accounts, malware, and viruses.

“an adversary that’s been dubbed “Spammy Bear” —  achieved an unusual amount of inbox delivery by exploiting a weakness at GoDaddy which allowed anyone to add a domain to their GoDaddy account without validating that they owned the domain.”

Malware Hosting Networks

Godaddy Hack Problem

Godaddy Spammer Problem

Godaddy Virus Problem

Even my own blog got hacked when I was using GoDaddy. Someone was able to login to my account, purchase a hosting plan, and redirect my website to a Turkish website that sold hosting services. I didn’t take screenshots because I was in a rush to get it fixed, but that is from my own personal experience.

Malware Scam?
GoDaddy’s malware scanner detects malware even if it’s not there because they want customers to pay them to remove it. It’s pretty shady, and there have been numerous reports.

Godaddy Malware Scam

 

5. Blacklisted Plugins

GoDaddy’s blacklisted plugins are suppose to prevent you from exceeding server resources. They use their own built-in caching system and don’t let you use cache plugins. The problem is, cache plugins do way more than caching. This means you see will likely errors in GTmetrix and Pingdom (eg. minification errors). With GoDaddy, you need to use a plugin like Autoptimize, but with SiteGround you can use better plugins like WP Rocket, Swift, and WP Fastest Cache.

Godaddy Blacklisted Plugins

 

6. Wikipedia Moves Domains Away From GoDaddy

Wikipedia is all about freedom of speech, so when GoDaddy decided to support SOPA (which has been compared to China’s internet censorship), Jimmy Wales moved all Wikipedia domain names away from GoDaddy. A massive boycott erupted after Reddit users started a “Leave GoDaddy Day” which is conveniently when they decided to withdraw support from SOPA. The question is, are you willing to support a company who wants to limit your freedom of speech?

Wikipedia Removes Godaddy Domains

 

7. Support Is Awful

This is the by far the biggest difference between GoDaddy vs. SiteGround. GoDaddy is full of excuses, upgrade selling, lack of responsibility, and no resolutions. They have ridiculous wait times and a designated Twitter account @GoDaddyHelp where customers blast them with frustration. You can get connected to a SiteGround technician within minutes on live chat or phone, who will dig into the problem and help solve it. You’re in better hands with SiteGround.

godaddy 73 minute wait

godaddy award winning support

 

8. Bob Parsons Hunts Elephant

In 2011, Bob Parsons (GoDaddy founder) tweeted about killing an elephant in Zimbabwe. He claimed it was a problem elephant destroying crops. The video shows local villagers (who are rocking GoDaddy hats) carving and passing out elephant meat to the sound of ACDC. Did he do it to get links to godaddy.com or is he just an idiot? We’ll never know. He resigned in 2018.

Bob Parsons Godaddy

bob-parsons-GoDaddy

 

9. SiteGround Speed (Migration Results)

Here are people who migrated to SiteGround and posted their results. You can click each image to view the Tweet. In extreme cases, people cut over 10 seconds from their load time.

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

SiteGround-vs.-Godaddy-Load-Time-Improvement

Godaddy To SiteGround

Godaddy To SiteGround Migration

Godaddy To SiteGround Faster

You can also check out my own GTmetrix report, Pingdom report, and server response times. Obviously tutorials like this take longer to load because they have so many images on the post.

2019-GTmetrix-Report

2019-Pingdom-Report

 

10. SG Optimizer, Cloudflare, PHP 7.3+ For The Win

SiteGround clearly lists their speed technology (NGINX, SSDs, PHP 7+, HTTP/2, SG Optimizer, etc) while GoDaddy claims “industry leading load times” without saying what technology they use. Just my thought, but if hosting companies don’t list their stack, it’s probably not very good.

SiteGround-Speed-Technology

SG Optimizer is SiteGround’s cache plugin which offers 3 levels of caching (static, dynamic, memcached). It uses server-side caching which is faster than the file-based caching used by other cache plugins. It also has options for browser caching, minification, gzip compression, image optimization, removal of query strings, and the ability to upgrade PHP versions. It has great reviews on WordPress.org and SiteGround recently made big updates to their plugin, making in comparable to plugins like WP Rocket. If you’re choosing SiteGround, give it a try.

Cloudflare is built-in to SiteGround’s cPanel and can be activated in 1-click for free. This makes it super easy to take advantage of Cloudflare’s free CDN which has 200+ data centers.

PHP 7.3 is the highest version on SiteGround, and they’re are also one of the first hosts to release new versions when they become available. Companies like Bluehost will release a new version but won’t be stable so you can’t use it. No need to worry about that with SiteGround.

 

11. WordPress Features

SiteGround has more WordPress features than GoDaddy including automatic WordPress updates, their SG Optimizer plugin (for caching), and a migrator plugin. SiteGround even updates their servers when new plugin vulnerabilities are detected (something GoDaddy needs to get better at) and their support is is much more knowledgable when it comes to WordPress. GoDaddy’s WordPress plugins are useless – the only good plugin they had was P3 Performance Profiler and they abandoned it years ago. You can see SiteGround’s WordPress features on their comparison page under the “we give you more WordPress features” section.

SiteGround-WordPress-Features

 

12. SiteGround Is Endorsed By Yoast, WordPress, Ivica

I haven’t seen 1 credible person recommend GoDaddy.

Yoast-on-Twitter-We-just-switched-to-Siteground

SiteGround is also recommended by WordPress.

siteground-recommended-wordpress-host

And by Ivica who runs the WordPress Speed Up Facebook Group with 15,000+ members.

WordPress-Speed-Up Recommended Tools

 

13. Support Is Unbeatable

SiteGround support has blown me away several times. Free migration with no downtime or errors? Yes please. Have a question about specific plugins taking a long time to load or interfering with your website? They’ll be glad to help. SiteGround’s support is always fast and happy to help even if it doesn’t have to do with their hosting. For the money you’re paying, you’re not going to get better support than SiteGround. And with GoGeek, you get priority support – I’ve had tickets answered within 7 minutes. This is how they built their reputation.

Godaddy To SiteGround Faster Site

SiteGround-Support-Testimonials

 

14. Tons Of Hosting Features

You can see these on SiteGround’s features page which lists everything you get with their StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek plan. I usually recommend GrowBig since it’s $2/month more and you get more server resources (key speed factor found in the WordPress optimization guide), storage, staging, on-demand backups, advanced caching, and a free website transfer.

  • Daily backups
  • 4 data centers
  • SG-Git (with GoGeek+)
  • Staging (with GrowBig+)
  • Cloudflare, SG Optimizer, PHP 7+
  • On-demand backups (with GrowBig+)
  • Automatic WordPress updates (optional)
  • And lots more

SiteGround-Features-Page

On their features page, go to “we allocate the resources you need” and hover over the “server” tab to see how many server resources come with each plan. More resources = faster website.

SiteGround-Server-Resources-Comparison

 

15. They Protect Customer Websites

SiteGround’s features page shows how they protect your website. They were the first host to use isolated accounts, meaning if a website you shared servers with got hacked, it wouldn’t affect yours. They also post updates on their Facebook page with frequent security updates.

SiteGround Security Updates

 

16. Free Migrations

SiteGround does free migrations with their GrowBig plan and up. I have done taken advantage of this many times and have never had downtimes or errors. The migrations always go smooth.

SiteGround Free Website Transfer

 

17. Choose A SiteGround Plan: StartUp vs. GrowBig vs. GoGeek

StartUp allows you to host 1 single website but lacks server resources, storage, staging, advanced caching, free website transfer, and other features. It’s mainly for websites that don’t have much traffic, run resource-hungry plugins, or websites that are just starting to launch.

GrowBig is the best value IMO. For only $2/month more (promo price), you get more server resources, storage, staging, advanced caching, on-demand backups, and a free website transfer. You shouldn’t need priority support (SiteGround’s regular support is already great).

GoGeek is semi-dedicated hosting and comes with about 4x more server resources than regular shared hosting (one of the biggest speed factors in the WordPress optimization guide). This is the main reason to upgrade, but you also get priority support, GIT, and PCI compliant servers if it’s an eCommerce site. If you’re running a WooCommerce site or you’re running multiple resource-hungry plugins, I recommend either GrowBig or GoGeek since they will be able to better accommodate WooCommerce, which usually requires more server resources.

View SiteGround’s Plans

 

18. In Case You’re Still Not Sure (More Social Evidence)

Do your research on Facebook Groups, Quora, and other unbiased sources. You will quickly see that when it comes to SiteGround vs. GoDaddy, SiteGround is the clear, obvious winner.

I use SiteGround because:

  1. My GTmetrixPingdom reports speak for themselves
  2. My pages load instantly (click through them if you want)
  3. Fast speed technology (PHP 7.3, NGINX, SG Optimizer, Cloudflare)
  4. Recommended by Yoast, WordPress, Ivica from WordPress Speed Up
  5. SiteGround’s servers are much faster and not overcrowded like GoDaddy
  6. Live chat is instant and tickets are answered so much faster than GoDaddy
  7. They protect your website from hackers/malware, while GoDaddy does not
  8. My blog has never gone down from random errors people get with GoDaddy
  9. Upgrading to PHP 7.2 is free (unlike GoDaddy) and they don’t blacklist plugins
  10. Renewal prices are high, but most people don’t want to leave (and if they do, they usually go to DigitalOcean on Cloudways which is managed cloud hosting for $10/month) and is your best alternative as most people say on Facebook + Twitter. Do not settle for EIG, GoDaddy, or A2 if you take your site seriously
  11. GrowBig comes with staging, more storage, and more server resources (scroll down to “we allocate the resources you need” and hover over the server tab)
  12. GoGeek comes with even more server resources, storage, priority support
  13. Free migrations, migrator plugin, and a 30-day money back guarantee
  14. Lots of praise on Reddit, Facebook conversations, Twitter, TrustPilot
  15. More praise on Facebook: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7#8, #9, #10#11
  16. GoDaddy customers who moved to SiteGround: #1, #2#3, #4, #5, #6#7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23, #24

Godaddy Managed WordPress Hosting Feedback

Godaddy-vs-SiteGround-vs-InMotion

godaddy to siteground migration

SiteGround vs Godaddy Twitter

Slow-Godaddy-Site

SiteGround-vs-Godaddy-vs-TSOhost

Godaddy-vs-SiteGround-Opinion

Godaddy-vs-SiteGround-Recommendation

SiteGround-vs-Godaddy-vs-HostGator-vs-Dreamhost

 

Winner: SiteGround

Been with them since 2015.

I write WordPress speed optimization tutorials for a living and wouldn’t any of my readers to GoDaddy. SiteGround has been great, they’re basically a silent partner, keeping my site loading fast with 100% uptimes and no random errors you get with GoDaddy and other cheap hosting.

OMM-On-SiteGround

View SiteGround’s Plans

 

Frequently Asked Questions

✅ Why are people so against GoDaddy?

GoDaddy has a long history of shady business practices and issues with their servers, security, and uptimes. They made customers pay for an entirely new hosting account to upgrade PHP versions, supported SOPA, and were rated in the top 2 malware hosting networks world wide in 2018. They have been called out by Wikipedia, iThemes, Forbes, and Mashable on multiple issues. Their founder also hunted an Elephant in Zimbabwe.

✅ Who is faster between the two?

SiteGround is much faster than GoDaddy and has tools like their SG Optimizer plugin, Cloudflare's free CDN, and PHP 7.4 to make your site faster. GoDaddy does very little to keep updated with speed technology and overcrowds servers in order to make profits.

✅ Which one is cheaper?

GoDaddy is much cheaper, but you get what you pay for. You will pay less upfront, yet you will likely spend more time dealing with issues caused by GoDaddy's servers.

✅ Who was rated better in Facebook polls?

SiteGround was rated the #1 host in over 20+ Facebook polls taken by WordPress-related Facebook Groups while GoDaddy is usually not in the top 5. The WordPress Hosting Facebook Group is a great place to get unbiased opinions on different hosting companies.

✅ Why can't you use cache plugins with GoDaddy?

GoDaddy has their own built-in caching system and blacklists most cache plugins. The problem with this, is cache plugins do a lot more than just caching. So if you don't use a cache plugin, you will be missing out on many other speed optimizations.

Have Questions? Drop Me A Line – I hope you got a lot out of my SiteGround vs. GoDaddy WordPress hosting review. I know choosing a host is tough and there are tons of reviews and biased opinions out there, so if you have questions leave me a comment and I’ll be glad to help.

Cheers,
Tom

SiteGround Cloud Hosting Review — Why You Should Never Use It

If there’s one hosting plan that’s a total ripoff, it’s SiteGround’s cloud hosting.

A couple years back, I migrated from GoGeek to SiteGround’s cloud hosting. But like most people who reported in Facebook Groups, I was still getting CPU limit issues. Want to know how much I had to pay them to stop getting CPU issues and make my site load decently fast?

$180/month.

Going from $14.99/month to $180/month? No thank you. If you want to know the spoiler, I ended up at Cloudways DigitalOcean. Load times were about 2x faster, no CPU issues, and I was paying 1/2 of what I was at SiteGround. There’s no reason to use SiteGround cloud hosting.

SiteGround-Cloud-Hosting-Review

 

1. My Experience With SiteGround’s Cloud Hosting

As my traffic grew, I expected to move away from GoGeek and pay more for hosting.

$80/month was quite the jump, but if it meant it could handle my (slow but steady) increase in traffic and made my site load faster, I was on board. I had a few issues with CPU limits on their cheaper plans, but I like SiteGround’s support, cPanel, and speed were pretty solid for shared.

SiteGround’s cloud hosting was a huge disappointment with consistent CPU overages. And now that their support has gone downhill with no more cPanel, I have very little reason to use them.

SiteGround Cloud Upgrade

 

2. It Won’t Fix Your CPU Limits

Even after jacking up their prices (twice) and migrating to Google Cloud servers, SiteGround’s inode limit is the exact same as it always has been, and they don’t plan on increasing it (read the comments on their blog). This means they’ve done nothing to fix their infamous CPU limit issue.

No plans to increase inode limit

Keep in mind I write WordPress speed tutorials for a living.

My website loaded instantly, used WP Rocket, Cloudflare, heartbeat was disabled, no high CPU plugins, and I even had a perfect 100% GTmetrix report at the time. For someone who writes about reducing CPU and optimizing site speed, I was amazed I was still getting CPU overages.

With other hosting companies, they might slow down your website if you exceed CPU limits. On SiteGround, they will send you an email warning, swiftly take down your site, and send you a follow up email telling you to upgrade your plan (add more CPU + RAM or a dedicated server).

SiteGround CPU Overages

What’s amazing is that after migrating hosts, CPU usage was nowhere near as high.

Cloudways-CPU-Usage

Many people have the same problem:

SiteGround Cloud Hosting 503

SiteGround Cloud Hosting Down

 

3. It’s Too Expensive

The same entry level cloud hosting plan on SiteGround (2 CPU + 4GB RAM) can be purchased at DigitalOcean on Cloudways for $42/month. Many customers want to stay on SiteGround because their support used to be good, but that’s no longer the case. Why would you pay more?

Cloudways DO Pricing

 

4. It’s Not Even That Fast

The entry level 2 CPU + 4GB RAM on SiteGround’s cloud hosting is not fast.

Even if you add more CPU + RAM and end up paying $180/month like me, it’s still not as fast as other cloud hosting providers. This is what happened when I migrated from SiteGround to DigitalOcean. Load times were about 2x faster at 1/2 the price. You don’t get what you pay for.

Load times were still “decent” on SiteGround, but I had done every optimization in the book.

SiteGround-vs-Cloudways-Cloud-Hosting

SiteGround Cloud Hosting Speed

 

5. Support Won’t Get Any Better

SiteGround support has gone downhill.

And I wouldn’t expect getting any better support if you upgrade to their cloud hosting. It’s sad because SiteGround used to have one of the best support teams in the industry. Now, they’re only interested in making profit (you can tell because their support isn’t interested in fixing CPU issues, tells you to upgrade, and they even moved priority support from GrowBig to GoGeek). All these changes are very suspicious in what their true motives are – it’s not making you happy.

SiteGround Cloud Hosting Support

 

6. Features (If You Still Want To Use It)

SiteGround’s cloud hosting comes with 2 CPU + 4GB RAM by default, but this is usually not enough and you will at least need to upgrade your memory.

SiteGround-Cloud-Hosting-Pricing

CPU – (central processing units) handle and execute programs. When multiple requests are made on your website, they are queued in a line. Multiple CPUs process these faster, thus making your website faster. Think of it like an Intel Core i7 for your computer, only for your site.

RAM – temporarily stores data and command instructions, then passes it along for computation. Just like you would add an extra slot of RAM to your laptop, adding RAM to your cloud hosting plan is one of the best things you can do to make your website load faster.

Storage – check how much storage you’re using on your current hosting plan (this should be found in Site Tools). Then add the necessary amount to your cloud hosting plan.

Upgrade Anytime – you can monitor your memory in SiteGround’s Site Tool to see if your server is stressed (it’s always on the edge of your limits). If this happens, you will need to add more RAM or CPU. You never want to be close to the peak, otherwise you will experience CPU overages (they’ll shut down your site) or get 503 errors which means the server is overloaded.

Hosting-Memory-Usage

Autoscale Resources To Compensate For Traffic Spikes – if you have peak seasons or want to compensate for traffic spikes, you have the option set your cloud hosting account to autoscale (increase CPU + RAM) if you get a large amount of traffic. However, since you already have low CPU limits on SiteGround, you may end up autoscaling and paying more than what you thought.

cloud-autoscale

siteground-cloud-autoscale

SiteGround Autoscaling

Isolated Resources Mean Better Uptimes And Security – since you’re not sharing servers with other websites (like on shared hosting), your website(s) shouldn’t be affected if something goes wrong on other sites. Cloud hosting in general, should have better security than shared hosting.

Additional Features

  • Backups
  • Priority support
  • Automatic updates
  • Free hosting migration
  • Back & restoration service
  • Unlimited hosted websites
  • WordPress-related support
  • High amount of email storage
  • Securspam prevention
  • 4 data centers to choose from
  • SiteGround’s speed technology
  • SiteGround’s uptime technology
  • SSD (solid state drives) for speed
  • CDN (content delivery network) for speed
  • NGINX servers, HTTP/2, PHP7, and HHVM for speed
  • Free domain name, SSL, WordPress autoupdates, email storage

 

7. There Are Better Cloud Hosting Options Available

Do your research is all I’m saying. Some Facebook Groups I recommend are:

And yes, I 100% recommend Cloudways over SiteGround’s cloud hosting.

SiteGround Alternative Beginners

2020 Hosting Poll

Cloudways Response Times

Godaddy DigitalOcean Migration

VPS Cloud Hosting WooCommerce Poll

Hosting Recommendations Facebook

SiteGround Alternative

Elementor Hosting Poll

Untitled

Vultr Migration

WordPress Hosting Suggestions

VPS Cloud Hosting Poll

Cloudways-Facebook-Review

SiteGround vs Cloudways Cloud Hosting

 

8. Conclusion: Don’t Use SiteGround’s Cloud Hosting

I can only tell you my own experience (and shared some Facebook posts) about SiteGround’s cloud hosting.

But I can tell you there are tons of complaints about not only their cloud hosting, but how their lower plans have even gone downhill. I actually used to be super affiliate of SiteGround (back when they were good) and referred thousands of people to them. But I no longer recommend them and am switching all my hosting recommendations to Cloudways (it’s a blog about speed, so I have to recommend the fastest)! And SiteGround is definitely not that. I’d look elsewhere.

I hope this helped,
Tom

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 stgrndserver.com to see for yourself. This is a SG GrowBig account I setup to test TTFB and speeds across various tools, while also comparing them to 15 other hosting plans. All use the exact same environment: same Astra Starter Site, plugins, SSL, no cache plugin, no CDN.

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, cwdoserver.com is hosted on a $10/month Cloudways DigitalOcean plan. I encourage you to visit stgrndserver.com and compare them in terms of speed. Even just by clicking through the pages, you can see a clear difference. The admin area is also much faster.

Here’s what happened when I moved from SiteGround:

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.

SiteGround-Plans

 

4. Renewal prices are way too high

When you pay for SiteGround, you only get the intro price for 1-3 years.

Upon renewal, monthly pricing increases from $6.99 to $14.99 (StartUp), $9.99 to $24.99 (GrowBig), and $14.99 to $39.99 (GoGeek). Yearly, that’s $179.88, $299.98, and $539.98. So if you’re on SiteGround’s hosting now, expect a large bill once your renewal prices come into play.

SiteGround Renewal Pricing 1

In case you can’t read it, it says:

The special initial price applies for the first invoice only. Once your initial term is over regular renewal prices apply.

 

5. Support is nothing like it used to be

The most frustrating part is they give 0 warning when something changes. And it changes a lot.

  • Don’t want to migrate to Google Cloud? Deal with it.
  • Live chat suddenly gone from new interface? Deal with it.
  • Removing PCI compliance from the GoGeek plan? Deal with it.
  • CPU too high while they’re holding your website hostage? Deal with it.
  • Having problem pushing your staging site to the live server? Deal with it.
  • Signed up for a monthly plan but you now want the promo prices? Deal with it.

They have made it very clear. Don’t contact their support 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).

Cloudways-Facebook-Review

Load times and TTFB are faster than ever.

OMM-TTFB

With SiteGround:

SiteGround-Cloud-Hosting-Sales-Receipt

With Cloudways:

Cloudways-Invoice

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.

Cheers,
Tom

SiteGround Affiliate Program Review – No Longer My Recommended Host (Leaving After $391,235 In Commissions)

After making $391,235 with SiteGround’s affiliate program, it’s time to say goodbye.

The company has been changing too many things (price increases, reduced support, replacing cPanel with Site Tools, moving customer accounts to Google Cloud, and unfixable CPU limits).

This is all listed in my updated SiteGround review.

Yes, I was one of the first affiliates to promote SiteGround. Yes, they used to be very good. But things have changed in the hosting industry and better, faster options have become available. It’s time to adapt and promote who most people are recommending in Facebook Groups. That’s why I joined Cloudways affiliate program and started promoting them instead of SiteGround.

Keep in mind: my blog is about website speed, not being cheap. My audience wants fast, solid hosting. Promoting Cloudways affiliate program may not be right for you especially if you’re creating “how to start a blog” tutorials in which case most bloggers and YouTubers recommend cheap/easy hosting like Bluehost. You can promote who you want, my goal is to simply give you tips for choosing the best affiliate program for your audience and why it may not be SiteGround.

SiteGround Affiliate Program Review

 

1. Why I Stopped Promoting SiteGround

Over the years, the amount of SiteGround complaints have skyrocketed. Search “SiteGround” in Facebook Groups and here are just a few bad things they have done, as shown in my review.

  • Price Increases – increased prices twice in 2018 and 2020, plus high renewals.
  • Reduce Support – took away live chat and moved priority support to GoGeek.
  • CPU Limits – unexplainable and often unfixable CPU limits even on cloud hosting.
  • Corruption In Facebook Groups – SG community manager is admin of WP Speed Up.
  • Slower TTFB – slower over the years as shown in my test on SiteGround’s test server.
  • Forcing Customers Onto Big G – moved customers to Google Cloud without warning.
  • No More cPanel – ditched cPanel for Site Tools as soon as cPanel’s price increased.
  • Profits – they seem to only make changes with profits in mind, not their customers.

SiteGround Support Feedback

SiteGround Cloud Hosting 503

SiteGround Google Cloud Concerns

 

2. No Longer #1 Rated Host In Facebook Polls

SiteGround used to be #1 in most Facebook polls, but not recently.

Now it’s mainly Cloudways. If you still want to promote SiteGround, I have screenshots of polls where they are rated #1, but most of these polls are from years ago when SiteGround was good.

2020 Hosting Poll

VPS Cloud Hosting WooCommerce Poll

Hosting Recommendations Facebook

Elementor Hosting Poll

WordPress Hosting Suggestions

VPS Cloud Hosting Poll

 

DigitalOcean, Bluehost, and A2 are some of the top SiteGround alternatives.

I understand it may be hard to change all your content to start promoting a new affiliate, but I am continuing to do this every day. This SiteGround affiliate program review needed to be updated for many months, but I finally did thanks to someone calling me naive in the comments.

Don’t promote who other affiliates are promoting. Promote the hosts who are doing well. Join Facebook Groups like WordPress Hosting or WP Speed Matters and listen to people.

SiteGround Alternative
SiteGround Alternative Beginners

 

4. Consider Bluehost’s Affiliate Program Instead

If your audience is beginners, Bluehost’s affiliate program is a good option.

Most people creating “how to start a blog” tutorials refer people to Bluehost and they have similar commissions as SiteGround ($65/sale to start, but about $150/sale once you increase sales volume). I usually don’t recommend Bluehost since they’re not fast and my blog is about speed. But they’re cheap and do the job. And like I said, the hosting company you promote should completely depend on your audience’s needs (pricing, user-friendliness, speed, etc).

Bluehost Affiliate Program

 

5. Consider Cloudways Affiliate Program Instead

If your audience is more experienced and wants better, faster hosting than SiteGround, I’m personally focusing on the Cloudways affiliate program.

I was hesitant to switch because I was doing very well with SiteGround. But once I collected my social media evidence as I did with SiteGround, I was very happy with the results. I found recent Facebook polls, positive feedback in threads, they were #1 in my unofficial Pingdom speed test, and migration results (including my own after moving from SiteGround to Cloudways DO plan).

Cloudways-Affiliates-Commissions

Cloudways-Shoutout

WordPress Hosting Load Time Test

Cloudways Affiliate Program

Cloudways Response Times

Cloudways Google PageSpeed

WP Engine To Cloudways

DigitalOcean Pingdom Report

Untitled

Godaddy DigitalOcean Migration

Cloudways Pingdom Load Times

Cloudways Pingdom Report

 

6. $50 – $160 Tier Commissions

To get higher commissions, you need more sales. This is true with SiteGround’s affiliate program (and most others). Once you do, you can negotiate your commissions with the affiliate manager.

Most hosting affiliates cap out at $150/sale or $160/sale if you’re getting around 80+ sales/month. Your affiliate manager will be more willing to negotiate commissions if you’re referring people to GoGeek, cloud, dedicated. Though SiteGround’s cloud hosting isn’t good.

SiteGround Affiliate Commissions

 

7. What Is The Average Conversion Rate?

These were my conversion rates for specific types of SiteGround affiliate links.

Keep in mind these numbers dropped when SiteGround increased prices and started having problems, so I wouldn’t expect these kinds of numbers anymore. Whatever program you choose, look at how high conversions were to their free migrations page – almost 7.5% is solid.

SiteGround Conversion Report

Overall conversions used to higher back in the day (this is their old affiliate dashboard):

SiteGround Conversion Rates

 

8. Affiliate Dashboard / Creating Custom Links

SiteGround’s affiliate dashboard has everything you need to market their hosting and get statistics: affiliate link customizer, custom link tracking, conversion and reversal reports, etc.

Affiliate Link Customizer – create custom links to any page on SiteGround’s website so you can track each one separately and see it’s conversion rate. This will also shorten the link and use siteground.com/go/ instead of yourwebsite.com/go/ which is better. You can see my link to SiteGround’s features page: (https://www.siteground.com/go/startup-growbig-gogeek) has a high conversion rate which means I should probably be using this affiliate link more. You can also name each of your SiteGround links as long as it’s not already in use, so choose wisely!

SiteGround Custom Affiliate Link

Conversion Report – if you want to get higher conversion rates, use my screenshots and social proof (Facebook polls, migration results, feedback on social media).

Commission Report – learn what hosting plans people are signing up for using your affiliate links, pending commissions, and the status of whether your commissions have been paid.

Banners – I’m not a fan of banners but they do have them.

SiteGround Visual Aseets

Payment Information – you will need a PayPal account.

SiteGround Affiliate Payout Details

 

9. No Coupon Codes Or Sub-Affiliate Commissions

One thing I like about other hosting companies is they let affiliates create custom coupon codes and have a two-tier affiliate program.

Coupon Codes – coupon codes are huge for YouTubers because you can share a coupon code that saves your viewers money, and if they use it, you get credit for the sale without anyone having to even click your affiliate link. Cloudways and HostGator both do this, but SiteGround does not. If you’re doing YouTube videos, you should really consider an affiliate with coupons.

This is what Tyler Moore does on his how to make a website YouTube videos.

Sub-Affiliate Commissions – this is where you refer other affiliates and if they make a sale, you get a part of their commissions (think multi-level marketing). Cloudways and WP Engine do this, but SiteGround doesn’t. It’s good if you blog about affiliate marketing and refer other affiliates.

 

10. Show Off Your Fast Site + GTmetrix Report

Getting a nice GTmetrix report will 100% help you increase sales.

This is especially true if you write about speed optimization, but it’s beneficial either way. My readers definitely check my GTmetrix report and confirm I actually know what I’m talking about. My WordPress speed guide shows you how I got such nice GTmetrix scores + load times (and has a section where you can see how I promote hosting). Not bad for a 2.56MB page size.

2020-GTmetrix-Report

 

11. Screenshots For Promoting SiteGround

In case you still want to promote SiteGround, here are some of the screenshots I used to increase both my sales + conversions (they’re a little outdated now though).

Over the last several years I have accumulated quite the collection of screenshots I use to promote SiteGround. They are all 680px (w) so you may need to resize them, but you can click each image to see the poll. You can use the polls/screenshots on your own blog if you like. Since I don’t promote SiteGround’s hosting on my blog anymore, it really doesn’t matter to me.

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

 

 

12. My Income Reports For Making $391,235 With SiteGround

I was one of the first affiliates to promote SiteGround while most people promoted Bluehost.

I contribute a lot of my success to not following the crowd and I’m doing the same thing for Cloudways. As of 2020, most affiliates are still promoting SiteGround but I have a feeling their sales will continue to go down. Promoting a different hosting company is a tough decision but is one of the main ways I grew my reader’s trust. I try to only promote the best hosting company.

Total amount paid: $391,235.00

SiteGround-Sales

Payment history (it’s been going down since promoting Cloudways):

SiteGround Affiliate Payouts

Recent commissions

SiteGround 2020 Affiliate Commissions

Commissions before they’re price increase:

SiteGround Affiliate Commissions 1

My best month with SiteGround:

SiteGround-Affiliate-Sales

Here are some emails:

January-SiteGround-Affiliate-Sales

Got affiliate of the month back in July, 2017 :)

SiteGround-Affiliate-Of-The-Month

 

12. Sign Up For SiteGround’s Affiliate Program

Here’s where you can become a SiteGround affiliate:

siteground-affiliate-signup

 

Frequently Asked Questions

💰 How do you increase sales as a SiteGround affiliate?

The main way to increase sales is to show facts (Facebook polls, migration results, GTmetrix reports). There are too many biased opinions out there and people know this. Driving SEO traffic and increasing conversions are both important for your sales.

💰 How much are SiteGround's affiliate commissions?

SiteGround offers $50 - $100+ per sale, as well as custom commissions as you increase sales which can get up to $150+.

💰 What other good hosting affiliate programs are there?

Cloudways is a great one especially since they're growing significantly and are very popular in Facebook Groups. Many people are moving from SiteGround to Cloudways.

💰 What can do in the SiteGround affiliate dashboard?

SiteGround's affiliate dashboard lets you create custom links, track sales, track conversions, access visual marketing material, fill out payment methods, and tax forms.

💰 What is the conversion rate for SiteGround's affiliate program?

The average conversion rate was around 4% after promoting SiteGround for the last 3+ years. However, this is unknown since SiteGround's price increase and other changes.

 

What Do You Think About SiteGround’s Affiliate Program?

I am curious about what other affiliates think especially after SiteGround has made so many changes. Are you still promoting them? Will you promote someone else? Leave me a comment.

SiteGround Affiliate Program

See Also: SiteGround WordPress Hosting Review

Cheers,
Tom

SiteGround GoGeek Review: Semi-Dedicated Hosting Is About 4x Faster Than StartUp With Priority Support & Other Extra Features

I migrated my website to SiteGround’s GoGeek hosting in February of 2015.

I started on Bluehost then eventually upgraded to GoGeek which is semi-dedicated hosting and roughly 4x faster than StartUp. That is the biggest difference between GoGeek and their other shared hosting plans – the amount of server resources you get which is the main factor when it comes to hosting and site speed. Your website will load faster with the higher plans.

You can see a StartUp vs. GrowBig vs. GoGeek comparison chart on SiteGround’s features page which also shows you the extra server resources you get under the “we allocate the resources you need” section. But I will go over these in my SiteGround GoGeek review… with GoGeek you basically get more server resources, 1-click staging to create demo websites, 10GB more storage than GrowBig, and SiteGround will restore your website for you if needed.

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 money.

If you have any questions or want to leave your own feedback of SiteGround’s GoGeek hosting, leave a comment below. But I do think it’s an awesome plan for those who want super faster hosting for $14.99/month, but don’t feel like paying $80/month for their cloud hosting.

SiteGround GoGeek

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 Have Used This Plan

You think I would write a review of a hosting plan I haven’t used just so I can make an affiliate commission? Nah, that ain’t me. I only write reviews of things I have actually used. Here’s the email SiteGround sent me after I upgraded from from their GrowBig to GoGeek plan…

siteground-gogeek-upgrade

SiteGround GoGeek is the same thing as their semi dedicated hosting:

SiteGround Semi Dedicated Hosting

Here’s what other people say:

SiteGround GoGeek Review

SiteGround GoGeek Is Good If…

  • You want more server resources (faster website)
  • You want to host multiple websites with priority support
  • You want higher limits on your storage, database, and email
  • You want SiteGround support to restore your site for you if needed
  • You want a pre-installed Git which allows you to create repositories
  • You want to use their PCI compliance to help prevent credit card fraud
  • You want other features that come with SiteGround plans listed below…
  • 30 daily backups, automatic updates, free domain, and hosting migration
  • Actual 99.99% uptimes with quick (priority) support that actually helps you
  • NGINX servers, SSD drives, 4 data centers, Cloudflare and other speed technology
  • Security protection from a team who constantly updates servers during new threats
  • You can pay $14.99/mo for awesome hosting, but don’t want to pay $80/mo for cloud

Semi-Dedicated Hosting = 4x Faster

If you look at SiteGround’s features page under “we allocate the resources you need” you’ll see that as you upgrade plans you also get about 2x the amount of server resources. GoGeek has the highest amount of server resources and is about 4x faster than lower shared hosting plans.

siteground-gogeek-resources

Here’s how many server resources you get with each plan (also listed on the features page):

SiteGround-Resources-Chart

SiteGround says this about GoGeek’s server resources…

Limited number of GoGeek users are hosted on each server. Thus we are able to provide up to 4x more server resources than on the lower shared hosting plans.

.4s Load Time – my site loads ridiculously fast on GoGeek (view Pingdom report).

2019-Pingdom-Report

Cloudflare CDN – don’t forget to activate Cloudflare in your cPanel which makes your site even faster. This comes with all SiteGround hosting plans, but definitely make sure you do this.

SiteGround Cloudflare Activation

Turn on aggressive caching, minify code, and Railgun for even faster load times.

SiteGround Cloudflare Settings

If you’re running WordPress and want your site loading as fast as possible, avoid using SiteGround’s caching plugin (SG CachePress) and use W3 Total Cache instead. It has better ratings and should make your WordPress site blazing fast especially if you use my popular W3 Total Cache guide which has over 200 comments. It shows you how to setup the different “performance” tabs on the left of your dashboard once W3TC is installed, plus Cloudflare and MaxCDN. It also has a pre-configured zip file you can upload to W3TC with the same settings I use. This is an AMAZING combination and can easily improve load times by multiple seconds.

siteground-sg-cachepress

Speed Optimization Tips (Outside Of Hosting)

  • Minimize WordPress plugins, Joomla extensions, etc
  • Configure the W3 Total Cache plugin with Cloudflare/MaxCDN
  • Use a lightweight theme, like a Genesis theme from StudioPress
  • Run your site through GTmetrix to see unoptimized images on the page
  • Resize large images (GTmetrix will tell you the correction dimensions)
  • Specify image dimensions in the HTML or CSS (GTmetrix will also tell you)
  • Use Imagify to losslessly compress all images on your website in bulk
  • Run the P3 Plugin to diagnose large plugins, replace them with lightweight plugins

WP Rocket and WP Fastest cache are also good, and I wrote tutorials for those too.

Let’s Encrypt + Wildcard SSL With PCI Compliance

If you need eCommerce hosting, GoGeek comes with features StartUp and GrowBig don’t have including a free Let’s Encrypt SSL, Wildcard SSL (for use on subdomains), and PCI compliance for safer credit card processing. SiteGround supports most major shopping carts.

siteground-ecommerce-features

SG-Git For WordPress Repo Creation + Pre-Installed Git – creates a Git repository of your WordPress installation, which you can edit on local branches. Deploy updates and show differences between your local source code and your production or staging site. Pretty geeky.

StartUp vs. GrowBig vs. GoGeek Comparison Chart

A full comparison of SiteGround’s shared hosting plans can be found on the features page:

SiteGround-GoGeek-Plan-Features

SiteGround Features:

  • Backups
  • Automatic updates
  • Free domain + email
  • Free Cloudflare CDN
  • Free hosting migration
  • Free Let’s Encrypt SSL
  • Security + spam prevention
  • SSD (solid state drives) for speed
  • Servers on 3 continents for speed
  • NGINX servers, HTTP/2, PHP7, HHVM

GoGeek Features:

Priority Support: Tickets Usually Answered Within 10 Minutes

SiteGround’s GrowBig and GoGeek plan come with priority support where tickets are usually answered within 10 minutes, or I can call SiteGround and speak with them instantly. I’ve only had 1 issue and they resolved it immediately. Their team actually logged into my WordPress site and helped me configure the Wordfence Security Plugin to block spammy bots crawling my site. Their support knows more than just hosting – they’re incredibly knowledgeable with WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, themes, plugins, and other components of running a website.

SiteGround-Support-Conversation

Tickets are answered super fast.

siteground-tickets

GoGeek Reviews From More SiteGround Customers

SiteGround = #1 Host In Multiple Facebook Polls

At $14.99/month GoGeek is cheap compared to their cloud hosting ($80/month) and dedicated servers ($229/month). It’s the perfect balance if you want a super fast website but don’t want to pay an arm and leg for hosting. It should be perfectly capable of running a high traffic website or multiple smaller sites without you having to worry about resources getting consumed and websites getting shut down (a common problem with other cheaper plans).

Fast hosting is the #1 thing WordPress recommends in their optimization guide so while you can setup caching, optimize images, etc. You still have to rely on your hosting to provide enough server resources to make your site load fast. And that’s where GoGeek comes into play. I contribute my .4s load times partially to SiteGround’s GoGeek hosting, but keep in mind there are other ways to make your website load fast. If you’re running WordPress you can find additional tips in my tutorial: Why Is WordPress So Slow And How To Get .4s Load Times.

I hope my SiteGround GoGeek review helped you choose a plan… it’s definitely worth the extra few bucks a month if you want a fast website. And remember, SiteGround will migrate your hosting for free so getting started is as easy as buying a plan and sending your logins.

OMM-On-SiteGround

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 GoGeek

 

Frequently Asked Questions

✅ What is the difference between SiteGround GrowBig and GoGeek?

SiteGround GrowBig comes with less storage, server resources, and it doesn't come with GIT or priority support. GoGeek comes with all those features.

✅ Which SiteGround plan is best?

The best SiteGround plan depends on your budget, but GrowBig is their most popular plan since it's only $2/month more than StartUp and comes with lots of extra features.

✅ What is semi-dedicated hosting?

Semi-dedicated hosting is a balance between shared and dedicated hosting. Since you're sharing servers with less people than you would with shared hosting, more resources will be allocated to your website, making it load faster.

✅ Is GoGeek worth $35/month?

GoGeek is probably not worth $35/month after your promotional price expires. At that price, you can get a faster cloud server from a different provider. SiteGround is more for smaller to medium websites for the 1-year promotional period.

✅ Is priority support worth upgrading to GoGeek?

No. SiteGround's regular support is still extremely fast and helpful. Priority support is even faster, but it doesn't make a big difference unless you are constantly using support.

✅ How many visitors can GoGeek handle?

SiteGround recommends ~ 100,000 monthly visitors for their GoGeek plan, but this is an estimated number. It depends on your plugins, traffic, concurrent visitors, and how much CPU your website is using. If you're running resource-hungry plugins or WooCommerce, you will need a higher plan even without considering monthly visits.

 

Check Out My Other SiteGround Reviews

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).

OMM-On-SiteGround

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)…

2019-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.

SiteGround-CPU-Limits

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.

siteground-cpu-overages

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…

SiteGround-Server-Resources-Comparison

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

SiteGround-Resources-Chart

 

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.

siteground-staging

 

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

siteground-ecommerce-features

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.

siteground-wordpress-features

WordPress tools in the cPanel…

siteground-wordpress-tools

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

siteground-joomla-features

Joomla tools in the cPanel…

siteground-joomla-cpanel-tools

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

siteground-drupal-features

 

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.

siteground-page-load-times

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.

siteground-sg-cachepress

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

SiteGround-StartUp-Plan-Features

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.

SiteGround-eCommerce-Features

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…

SiteGround-WordPress-Features

WordPress tools in cPanel…

siteground-wordpress-tools

Joomla features…

SiteGround-Joomla-Features

Joomla tools in cPanel…

siteground-joomla-cpanel-tools

Drupal features…

siteground-drupal-hosting

 

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…

SiteGround-Server-Resources-Comparison

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

SiteGround-Resources-Chart

 

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…

OMM-On-SiteGround

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

2019-Pingdom-Report

Here’s my GTmetrix report

2019-GTmetrix-Report

It also has 100% uptimes in Uptime Robot

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

PHP-Version-Manager

PHP-Upgrade

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…

siteground-page-load-times

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…

SiteGround-Support-Conversation

Chat support can usually solve your issue within 5 minutes…

siteground-chat

Tickets are usually answered within 8 minutes…

siteground-tickets

SiteGround has awesome feedback about their support…

SiteGround-Customer-Reviews

 

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…

siteground-cpanel

 

Praise On Twitter From Current SiteGround Customers

SiteGround-Support-Reviews

 

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:

SiteGround-Host-Migration

EIG-To-SiteGround

SiteGround-Migration

Godaddy-To-SiteGround

SiteGround-Backend

Best-Host-Conversation

Looking-for-a-new-host-provider-Facebook

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