SiteGround review

Feature-packed hosting for the more demanding user

SiteGround homepage screenshot on a water pattern background
(Image: © SiteGround)

TechRadar Verdict

Prices may seem high, but SiteGround gives you a lot for your money, and its shared and cloud hosting plans could be a smart choice for experienced business users with demanding or high-traffic websites.


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    Low starter prices for the shared hosting

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    Data centers in USA, Europe, Australia, Singapore

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    Lots of custom low-level speedup technologies

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    Powerful cloud hosting

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    Speedy and helpful 24/7 support


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    No free domain

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    Shared hosting prices shoot up after the first term

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    No cPanel or Softaculous

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Founded in 2004, Bulgaria-based web hosting (opens in new tab) provider SiteGround now describes itself as a 'holding of companies' registered in Bulgaria, USA, UK, Cyprus and Spain, and with offices and data centers around the world.

Unlike many competitors, SiteGround (opens in new tab) hasn't been bought by some shadowy mega-corporation, and it's not just a brand owned by someone else. SiteGround's founder is still CEO, and SiteGround's website says 'a considerable number' of its 500+ employees and top executives have been with the company for more than 10 years. 

While some hosts don't talk about where or how it hosts your websites, SiteGround is very open. Its platform is on 'premium Google Cloud infrastructure', the website explains, for 'top reliability, security and speed.'

But that doesn't mean SiteGround is just another reseller. There's real knowledge and experience here. The company has developed its own WordPress plugin (opens in new tab) to optimize speeds, for instance, while its own implementation of PHP (an important web scripting language 'makes your pages load 30% faster on average').

SiteGround WooCommerce

(Image credit: SiteGround)

What types of hosting does SiteGround offer?

SiteGround offers standard shared hosting, with special support for WordPress and the web store platform, WooCommerce (opens in new tab).

The company doesn't offer its own VPS (opens in new tab) (Virtual Private Server) or dedicated server hosting (opens in new tab). Instead, users with demanding sites can opt for cloud hosting (opens in new tab), a clever scheme where your website is hosted and run from multiple servers.

Although that sounds complicated, you don't have to know anything about the details. Using the technology works much like other hosting types: choose a plan with the CPU, RAM and other resources you need, create and manage your site as usual, and SiteGround's platform hosts and serves you site with the best possible speeds.

Next, we'll look at these hosting types, find out what they have to offer, and whether they might be a smart choice for you.

Shared hosting

Shared hosting (opens in new tab) is a scheme where multiple websites are hosted on the same physical web server. This is the cheapest form of hosting because the cost of the server is shared by everyone. It's also the slowest, because the server resources are shared, too, but don't let that put you off. A good shared hosting plan can handle sites with 10,000 to 20,000 visits a month, maybe more.

SiteGround offers three shared hosting plans.

The Startup plan 'only' has 10GB storage, but that's enough for many (even long-standing WordPress sites often use under 1GB), and it piles on the feature elsewhere:  unlimited bandwidth, automated daily backups, 1-click WordPress installs, automated WordPress migration, a free website builder (opens in new tab), free SSL (opens in new tab), unlimited databases, unlimited email accounts, spam filtering, and 24/7 support via live chat (opens in new tab), telephone and ticket. 

Prices start low at $2.99 a month on the annual plan, but leap to an above-average $14.99 on renewal. And there's no free domain, so factor in the price of registration (a .com domain is $17.99 at SiteGround, around $10 with some domain registrars (opens in new tab)).

Upgrading gets you more web space, support for unlimited websites, on-demand backups, and staging, a great WordPress extra which allows you to test new website features before you put them online. 

The top of the range plan gets you a greater share of server resources, accelerating your website speed, and priority support ensures your tickets or chat sessions get fast responses from the most experienced support agents. (It still only has 40GB storage, though.)

Again, these have very low headline prices which shoot up on renewal. The top plan is $7.99 a month in year one, for instance, but it jumps to $39.99 a month after that. 

Although that's far more expensive than most shared hosting, SiteGround says the plan supports up to 400,000 visitors a month, better than we could expect from some VPS hosting. If that's true, the plan may be fair value, after all.

On balance, SiteGround's shared plans could be a good choice for serious or small business users, or anyone looking for speedy and reliable hosting, who's more interested in features and service quality than getting the lowest possible price.

If SiteGround is too much for your budget, consider Hostinger (opens in new tab). Shared hosting prices start at $1.99 a month over four years, and its Business Shared Hosting plan has a decent feature set (200GB storage, free SSL, daily backups, WordPress staging) from only $4.99 a month on the annual plan, $14.99 on renewal.

WordPress hosting 

WordPress is the world's favorite website creation tool, easy enough for beginners to use, but with more than enough power to handle the most demanding of websites and business needs.

SiteGround's WordPress hosting (opens in new tab) plans are essentially the shared hosting range (same features, same price), with a handful of WordPress-related features provided with all plans.

A WordPress Migrator plugin provides an easy way to import your WordPress site from another host. 

SiteGround's AutoUpdate system keeps your WordPress installation and plugins up-to-date with the latest security patches.

Experts and business users might appreciate WP-CLI, a command-line tool which allows automation of many common WordPress management tasks.

SiteGround's shared plans are a little more expensive than some (a maximum of $39.99 a month), as we discussed above, but you can see why: performance is good, there are plenty of top-quality features, and there's enough power here for most personal and mid-range WordPress business sites.

If you're new to WordPress, though, or looking for hosting with plenty of specialist WordPress features, or just unsure what to get, there are some capable alternatives around.

IONOS (opens in new tab)' extensive WordPress range has plans for everyone from first-timers to powerful products which can handle up to ten heavy-duty business sites simultaneously. (And don't miss the special offers: right now, the Business plan is a one-off $6 for the first year.)

Elsewhere, consider Bluehost's WordPress for their speed and business-friendly extras, or try WP Engine (opens in new tab) for specialist WordPress hosting with plans for even the most demanding of business-critical websites.

Cloud hosting 

Regular web hosting stores your website and data on a single server. Easy to understand, but if the server fails, or it has a rush of visitors in a very short time, your site will suffer.

Cloud hosting (opens in new tab) spreads your website hosting across a network of servers. If one server fails, the others will keep your site online, and bursts of high traffic are spread across all servers to help keep performance high.

SiteGround's cloud hosting is available in four plans, each with their own guaranteed resources (unlike shared hosting, you won't have to share them with other websites).

These start with a 4 CPU core, 8GB RAM, 40GB storage and 5TB data transfer plan priced at $100 billed monthly. Every $100 extra you pay adds another 4 cores, 4GB RAM and 40GB storage. (That's a 16 core, 20GB RAM, 160GB storage and 5TB bandwidth system for $400 a month).

That might seem expensive, but this is heavy duty hosting, not aimed at personal and small business websites. SiteGround's cloud technology is far more suited to high-traffic and feature-packed websites where response time is critical, and even 60 seconds of down time is a very big deal: a busy web store, say, or a regularly-updated news site.

If you have that kind of demanding website, but SiteGround is either too expensive or not powerful enough, take a look at Cloudways (opens in new tab). It offers highly configurable cloud hosting with 60+ data centers, a choice of cloud providers (Amazon, Google, DigitalOcean, more), plans ranging from $10 a month to $1,035, a free trial, and even per-hour billing. You'll need plenty of cloud hosting expertise to set this up, but if that's not an issue, it's a must-see.

Weebly website builder

All SiteGround's shared web hosting packages include a free version of Weebly website builder (Image credit: Weebly)

Does SiteGround have a website builder?

If you're new to web hosting, don't have a website or much idea of how to get one, a website builder could be an ideal place to start. They'll have a choice of website designs, pick one you like, then add any text, images, or other content you like. Editing can be as easy as dragging an image from this part of the page to another, and you can have an attractive web home ready to go with minimum effort.

All SiteGround's shared web hosting packages include a free version of the popular Weebly website builder. 

It's fun as a quick way to see what website builders can do. There are around 70 prebuilt site designs (attractive images, but nothing special design-wise), and you can customize these right away by dragging and dropping various content types onto the page: slideshows, maps, buttons, YouTube videos, contact forms and more.

But Weebly's free version is basic, with few features and a 'Create a free website with Weebly' ad in the footer: not something you can use for any serious sites. You could upgrade to remove the ads, include web store support and more, but we don't recommend it: there are better website builder (opens in new tab) services around.

Consider HostGator's Gator, instead. It's easy-to-use, cheap (from $3.84 a month), and even the most basic plan supports features such as a tiny web store. Bluehost has a WordPress website builder (opens in new tab) which starts even cheaper than Gator, but upgrading gets you a capable web store and a stack of business features. Or if you've big ambitions, opt for Wix: it's more expensive, but has great templates, a huge feature list, and the power to create just about anything you like.

SiteGround's site types

SiteGround's site types (Image credit: SiteGround)

Can I build a web store with SiteGround?

Although SiteGround doesn't have a specialist range of ecommerce plans in the way we see with some providers, there are other ways to satisfy your shop-building needs. Even the cheapest SiteGround shared hosting plan comes with an auto-installer which can set up WooCommerce or other ecommerce platform (opens in new tab) in seconds, giving you everything you need to get started.

WooCommerce is based on WordPress, for instance, so there's all the site-building power you need. And on the store side, there's support for selling unlimited physical and digital goods, taking payments, organizing shipping, managing inventory and more.

It's a very capable system which can handle most web store requirements. If you like SiteGround's hosting, you're already familiar with the ecommerce basics (or are happy to take the time to learn), opting for SiteGround's WooCommerce hosting could make sense. But if you're a novice, or just looking for more help getting started, alternatives like Bluehost's WooCommerce plan, or the online store side of GoDaddy's Website Builder (opens in new tab) have more tools, more features, and extra ecommerce support when you need it.

SiteGround's GTMetrix

SiteGround's GTMetrix (Image credit: SIteGround)

How fast is SiteGround? 

We measure web host performance by signing up for a shared hosting plan, installing a standard WordPress site, then putting it through a gruelling series of tests. accesses our site every five minutes over 14 days, for instance, recording any failures and how quickly the server responds. SiteGround had no fails at all, giving it a perfect 100% uptime. Average response time was 0.207 seconds, the fastest in our last 15 tests (most hosts are in the range 0.3 to 0.8 seconds).

GTmetrix measures load speed by grabbing a test page on our site, and measuring how long it takes to display the main content (a figure known technically as Largest Contentful Paint, or LCP). A low LCP means a snappy and responsive website, and (hopefully) plenty of happy visitors.

SiteGround's LCP was fractionally below average at 0.735 seconds, ninth fastest in our last 15 tests. But that's not far behind the top providers (most score in the 0.6 to 0.8 second range), and an acceptable time overall.

SiteGround's response time

SiteGround's response time (Image credit: SIteGround)

K6 goes beyond an individual load time by unleashing 20 simultaneous visitors and watching to see what happens. Our site managed an average of 14 requests per second, with a peak of 20. Again, that's fractionally behind the competition (most average in the 14 to 16 second range), but not enough that you're likely to notice.

(Please keep in mind that these tests are based on the performance of a shared hosting plan, and they can't tell us anything about the speeds we might see from VPS, dedicated or other hosting).

How easy is SiteGround to use?

Getting started with a web host can be intimidating, but SiteGround does a fair job of helping out. Log into its Control Panel for the first time and you'll find links to support pages covering several common setup tasks: how to import an existing WordPress site, launch WordPress, create email accounts at a new domain, point an existing domain to WordPress, and more.

This isn't quite as useful as it could be. We hoped the 'Access WordPress' link would launch the WordPress dashboard, for instance, but instead it opened a support page explaining how we could do this ourselves. That's still valuable, and better than we see with many hosts, but life would be even easier if the startup page gave us direct links to WordPress and other functions.

Skip past the walkthroughs, though, and SiteGround performs very well. A simple walkthrough makes it very easy to add a new site, for instance. Choose a domain, install a new application (WordPress, WooCommerce or Weebly (opens in new tab) Sitebuilder) and the site is ready to go in seconds. 

It feels like there's real thought gone into the control panel design. Choose 'Create Subdomain' on most panels, they prompt you for the subdomain name, and that's it. SiteGround's control panel understands that you might want to install something there, and offers you an Install Application button to help.

(The installer is relatively basic compared to the likes of Softaculous (opens in new tab), with only 13 applications and fewer installation options. But it's also simple, and we had WordPress ready to go within seconds.)

Even then, SiteGround's helpfulness keeps going. Launch WordPress and a wizard prompts you to choose a theme, then offers to install useful free plugins (contact forms, an image gallery, a calendar, Google Maps, WooCommerce, a contact manager, SEO advisor and more).

What is SiteGround's support like?

SiteGround offers 24/7 support via phone, live chat, ticket and its web knowledgebase.

A comprehensive set of tutorials provides lots of useful information on getting started with the service. There's general guidance on setting up your website, managing domains, creating email accounts and more. 

The WordPress section begins with similar startup advice - how to install WordPress, create a post, install a plugin - but then adds a little more depth with articles on improving security and optimizing performance. They're a little on the short side, and sometimes too technical for newcomers, but the site still has more and better guidance than many competitors.

You can also contact the support team via phone, live chat and (apparently) ticket, although the website makes this more difficult than usual. There's a Contact Us button, but this walks you through a support wizard which works hard to direct you to a support site article or website tool. It won't even display a chat button, phone number or anything else unless it thinks you're 'deserving.'

This proved to be an unexpected hassle. We decided to ask a test question about our shared plan's automatic backups (could we set the backup time, or was it fixed?), but the wizard just directed us to the 'create a manual backup' button, without ever giving us a contact option to ask further questions.

So, we decided to cheat the system, and just chose alternative wizard options until eventually it offered us live chat or telephone options (no tickets, though). We chose live chat, an agent appeared within seconds, and gave us a clear answer immediately (automatic backup times are set when you sign up and can't be changed). 

We tried the phone support later, with similar success. It's an impressive support service, but we'd like it even more if the website didn't try quite so hard to ration our access.

Final verdict

While many hosts try to win you over with low headline prices, SiteGround (opens in new tab) is far more interested in power. Its shared and cloud hosting plans may look expensive, but they give you plenty of features and functionality for your money, and could be a high performance choice for demanding users with high traffic or business-critical sites. 

SiteGround FAQs 

What payment types does SiteGround support?

SiteGround supports payments via card only.

Does SiteGround offer refunds?

SiteGround offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for its shared hosting plans and servers, dropping to 14 days for cloud hosting.

The policy has the same terms for monthly-billed plans, a welcome plus (GoDaddy only has a 48-hour refund period for subscriptions of less than a year). Renewal fees are mostly covered, too, good news when some providers exclude them entirely (GreenGeeks (opens in new tab)).

Some providers have longer refund periods - InMotion Hosting (opens in new tab) offers 90 days, HostGator (opens in new tab) 45 - but SiteGround's refund policy is more generous than many, and in the area we'd expect for a quality web host.

SiteGround data centers

SiteGround data centers (Image credit: SiteGround)

Where are SiteGround's data centers?

SiteGround has data centers in the USA, UK, Australia, Germany, Netherlands, Singapore and Spain. 

Sign up for a SiteGround plan and you're able to choose which country will host your site. If your audience is mostly in one country, that's good news; choose a data center near your visitors and they'll see better speeds by default.

If you don't get that quite right, or maybe your audience makeup changes, you can choose a new data center at any time. There's a one-off fee (£20 in the UK) but that's better than some: Hostwinds (opens in new tab)' best suggestion was we buy a new plan in the new location.

Does SiteGround have an uptime guarantee?

SiteGround has a network uptime guarantee of 99.9%, which means it shouldn't be down for any more than 43.83 minutes a month.

The company offers very generous compensation if the network is down for longer. If you only have 99.9% to 99% uptime, for instance - so maybe just 44 minutes over a month - then SiteGround promises an additional 10% of monthly hosting credits. And you get another month of free hosting for every 1% of uptime lost. 97% uptime, for example, or a total 21.92 of down time over a month, gets you three months free hosting.

There are lots of exceptions. Scheduled and emergency maintenance (when resolved in an hour) isn't covered, for instance. Fallout from hacker attacks isn't covered, either, and the company doesn't count downtime from 'events outside our control', either.

Still, this is a far better guarantee than we usually see. GoDaddy's uptime guarantee is capped at a maximum 5% of your hosting fees, for instance, so even if your site is down for 15 days in a month, you'll only be credited with 1.5 days hosting.

SiteGround IP Address

SiteGround IP Address (Image credit: SiteGround)

What is my SiteGround IP address?

If you sign up with SiteGround, but use an existing domain which is managed elsewhere, then you'll need to update the domain's DNS records to point at the IP address for SiteGround's server.

To find the information you need, first log into SiteGround's control panel (

Click the Websites tab.

Find the domain you need in the Website Details list, and click the More icon to the right (three vertical dots).

Click Server Details.

The control panel displays a pop-up window with your server IP address, its data center location and the SiteGround nameservers.

What are SiteGround's nameservers?

SiteGround's nameservers are NS1.SITEGROUND.NET and NS2.SITEGROUND.NET.

How do I cancel a SiteGround product?

Log into your SiteGround account ( and click the Services tab.

Find your plan and click the More icon to the right.

Choose Cancel from the menu.

Choose when you'd like to cancel the service (immediately, or when it's due to expire), click Continue, and follow any remaining instructions carefully.

  • Want to know how SiteGround compares to another top European web hosting provider, check out Hostinger vs SiteGround
Mike Williams
Lead security reviewer

Mike is a lead security reviewer at Future, where he stress-tests VPNs, antivirus and more to find out which services are sure to keep you safe, and which are best avoided. Mike began his career as a lead software developer in the engineering world, where his creations were used by big-name companies from Rolls Royce to British Nuclear Fuels and British Aerospace. The early PC viruses caught Mike's attention, and he developed an interest in analyzing malware, and learning the low-level technical details of how Windows and network security work under the hood.