The founders started SiteGround in 2003 as a tiny business, but today they host around 250,000 websites (numbers change by the day). They provide shared hosting for small businesses and blogs, cloud hosting, dedicated servers and reseller hosting.
They have data centers and offices both in the US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific, which is vital because of speed. The US database in Chicago is best suited for North America, South America, and Africa.
The EU data center in Amsterdam, of course, is best for Europe while the data center in the Asia-Pacific serves best Asian and Australian visitors.
Promising Test Results
Siteground provides IP addresses to all three data centers for speed-testing purposes. So I decided to do a check on them. Here are the results (tested from Europe).
By the way, the testing process is quite simple, and anyone can do it. Here’s a great source on how to do it.
As we would expect, the results are best for the EU data center since we were testing it from there. These response times are quite amazing concerning circumstances.
With these results, SiteGround is the best web host I have tested so far regarding speed.
Uptime Re-assures First Impressions
As they do with data centers testing opportunity, they also have publicly available live uptime data. At the time of this writing, they have an average monthly uptime of 99.999% and a 99.996% yearly uptime as you can see it in the below screenshots.
99.996% is amazing considering that most web hosts have a hard time delivering even the promised 99.99% (they usually can’t).
Uptime Tool Lets You Check Uptime
The greatness of this company lies in attention to detail. We can see it in the way they’d created this software to get ahead of their competition and make sure that they minimize downtime like no other web host in the industry.
All web hosts have software that monitor server uptime but usually servers check at specific intervals, five-twenty minutes. Their software continually monitors their servers so if there is an outage, there is no time gap because if there is, it will cost even later if we add the time to fix the issue.
The other thing is that the software automatically handles about 90% of the problems related to server performance, so the result is this:
I think this is amazing. I mean if we think about it, we have to pay the same amount for the hosting, but this is another level, so this is why it is mandatory to look around the market before we choose a host.
Note that this is a very competitive industry, and although the right providers tend to be consistent, new players regularly appear so every few years it’s good to do a little research. Do this to see who are the actual “bulls” in the industry because a lot of times new technology comes in with these new players.
Usually, it takes some time for older companies to upgrade their systems, but the new ones, they already come in with the latest technology.
Did you know that SiteGround runs a sale at the moment? Check it out→
Support Proves To Be Fast
One of the most annoying things about support is when a customer is trying to contact his or her web host, there is live support available but the wait time is just mind-blowing.
Some of the commercial and quite favorite web hosts have waiting times around 10-15 minutes of live chat according to our experience.
It shouldn’t be this way, and it doesn’t have to be. If you’re experiencing this and it bothers you, maybe it’s time to switch to SiteGround. There is no waiting time here.
Pricing – Decent but of course there are cheaper options
Prices are probably the only factor that is not super-super low, but they are still on the more competitive side, they are less expensive than perhaps 95% of the web hosts.
Do you have any experience with SiteGround? Write a comment and rate below. Thanks!
Pretty impressive, wouldn’t you agree? Go check them out→
Let The Numbers Speak – More Testing
On top of group speed tests
Compared with twelve popular web hosts, SiteGround stands out when it comes to speed, which arguably in top most important factors of good web hosting.
A test was conducted by SiteGround personnel in which the cheapest plans available were bought with all twelve web hosts including SiteGround and identical websites were set up on all accounts with quite a significant amount of dummy content on them. Using Pingdom (a monitoring service), speed results were recorded. This is the result:
As you can see, the website hosted by SiteGround was significantly faster from eleven hosts, only one was better with a slight advantage. By the way, I can tell you which was probably the faster one, it’s A2Hosting, another favorite of mine, you can read more about it here.
There is a great tool that comes free with SiteGround, called the Supercacher which really makes their obviously very fast hosting even faster. So a second test was done with Supercache activated. The result:
We can see that indeed, the SiteGround website has become the fastest one in this case. Now of course if we want to keep it fair, it should be noted that there are caching opportunities with some of the other hosts too (although the effectiveness of these is probably different), so the difference would not be so big, but still, we cannot deny facts, SiteGround is still faster.
Almost on top of load testing
We saw that SiteGround puts up a good performance when it comes to speed, and speed is excellent.
But what happens when the number of simultaneous visitors hits the roof? Let’s see.
The capacity to serve many visitors is at least as necessary as speed. The next test (Siege test) is an automatic one; it shows how many visitors can the websites handle in two minutes without radically affecting speed.
As we can see, the average is around 3000 hits. SiteGround can withstand almost three times more. This of course with no caching on. When the Supercacher is on, the benefits are massive, it is not even comparable to the others anymore.
Simultaneous hits can go over 200000 with the S.C.. Amazing right?
But how do they do it? Remember earlier in this article I was talking about implementing the new stuff? Well, this is part of their strategy.
Check out the video:
Security is not disappointing
When it comes to security, it has to be noted that the industry generally does not perform that good. What I mean by this is that it takes too much time for web hosts to incorporate new features, solve vulnerabilities to software.
The good news is that SiteGround takes this a little more seriously and they solve all vulnerabilities withing 48 hours after they have been announced. With other web hosts, this takes months. During this time, websites using the vulnerable software are prone to bad people who want to exploit these security issues.
For example, all of the twelve web hosts involved in the previous tests failed on a security test conducted in late 2014.
The exception was of course SiteGround.
I hope that the current situation is better somewhat and web hosts take the security aspect more seriously.
Another aspect of security is related to the account independence or isolation. What this means is that when we host a website on a shared server, and mostly we use these, as the name implies, we are on the same server with many other people. Now, if you are new to web hosting, you probably don’t know about this, but this creates a very important security question.
SiteGround is a pioneer of the solution for this issue. See, in the past clients on the same server were able to exploit other peoples accounts because these were not appropriately isolated.
So SiteGround had an important role in changing this. But still, after almost ten years that they developed account isolation, there are well-known web hosts who don’t care about this, or they don’t do it all the way.
As we can see, many web hosts followed SiteGround’s example and done this right.
There are some who have done it, but there are some parts where they didn’t do a full job, and for example, information can be extracted from other people’s accounts or the server. Although this doesn’t necessarily mean the bad guys can hack accounts.
And as I mentioned earlier, some providers didn’t do anything to solve this.
In the name of more security: Backups
When the disaster happens there is not much we can do, unless there is a backup in place. Hacks, user errors, accidentally deleted files, updates are all cases where a solid backup solution can undo everything.
I welcome that Siteground introduced a backup option with all of it’s shared web hosting plans as below:
There are a ton of benefits I can think of as a result of backups and Siteground’s solution is unique in that it allows the user to:
- Manage backups simply, with a click of a mouse.
- Create and restore backups with a couple clicks.
- Keep all your data safe in a data loss situation.
- Perform website updates confidently without any worry that something will get broken.
All in all, SiteGround proves to be a brilliant choice for everyone looking for a reliable web host that will deliver on all crucial areas of operating a web presence.