SiteGround is one of the officially recommended hosting services by WordPress.org community. Definitely most of you may have good experience with SiteGround customer service in the past. Though it is important to get good customer service, it is not the only factor required to buy a hosting plan. We have hosted one of our sites on GoGeek plan then moved to cloud VPS server and using it for more than 5 years. Here we share our opinion on 5 important reasons you should be aware before purchasing any SiteGround hosting plans.
7 Reasons to Not to Use SiteGround Hosting
In this article, we primarily discuss with WordPress site though we host WordPress, PHP and WooCommerce sites. Here are the limitations of WordPress managed hosting with SiteGround.
1. Poor Customer Service
Whether ticket or chat, earlier SiteGround offered professional support from trained representatives. You can also notice that 90% of SiteGround reviews on the internet are about good customer service and not about the technical features. However, nowadays things are completely different with their Site Tools and Google Cloud Platform. Most of the time you will get a typical answer in chat like “we will raise a ticket and a senior support representative will respond your query”. This will be super annoying when your site is down and they recommend you to go for a chat instead of raising a ticket.
To make things worser, recently SiteGround had problems with their DNS setup which wrongly blocked Googlebot crawling. This resulted in removing thousands of our pages from Google in few days time. There was no communication from SiteGround to customers and it took more than 5 days for deploying the fix. This is a real situation and below is the response from their customer support indicating they know the issue but not communicated to customers.
2. Server Resource Utilization
SiteGround calculates server resources utilization in different manner than many other hosting companies. For example, below is the limit of the highest shared hosting plan GoGeek.
- Simultaneous Server Processes: 30
- Simultaneous Connections from Single IP: 20
- CPU Seconds / Program and Script Executions: 4000/hour, 40000/day, 800000/month
- Average Process Execution Time per Day: 4 seconds
- Shared Service CPU Usage: No more than 20% for a period longer than 10 seconds
- Server Memory per Process: 768 MB
- Inodes: 450,000
- Minimum Cron Job Interval: 30mins
Discuss with pre-sales representative if you don’t understand these limitations. Otherwise most probably you will exceed the utilization limit before the month end.
Auto scaling is a good feature available only on cloud hosting plans. This allows you to increase the server resources like CPU and RAM based on your need.
3. Number of Monthly Visits
The GoGeek offer page will show the plan can accommodate approximately ~400k visits per month. It will also say this is merely a reference and not a restriction.
But the fact is you will fully consume the CPU resource and the service will be stopped due to high CPU utilization well below the limit. So if your site attracts considerable traffic per day then never think of going with GoGeek kind of plans. For that matter never go for a shared hosting plan, rather we would recommend to go with managed WordPress hosting plans offered by other hosting companies having sufficient traffic limit or go for VPS / Cloud server.
4. SG Optimizer and SG Security – Not a Complete Solution
SiteGround offers builtin caching plugin called SiteGround Optimizer (earlier known as SG CachePress). By outlook one may mistakenly think that the Optimizer is a replacement for caching plugins like W3TC which is not the case.
SG Optimizer does the three levels of caching perfectly as they claim. There are also options for WebP generation, browser caching, minification and lazy loading. However, they steal most of the features from the popular WP Rocket and minification will not work even on sites using simple themes like GeneratePress or Astra. You may end up using additional caching plugin along with SG Optimizer to get complete optimization results.
Now, they have a SG Security plugin with incomplete features that you can even get with free Wordfence or AIOWPS plugin. Both SG Optimizer and SG Security plugins pre-installed with WordPress installation and removing them from your site is a hell lot of task. For example, their security plugin will keep huge logs by creating database table and you need to manually add code in functions.php to restrict this log duration. If you decided to remove default installed plugin, you also need to manually cleanup the database which is a hassle for users.
5. Limited Backup Options
Many hosts allow to see the directory wise backup files and permit scheduling of backups. This helps to schedule the backup when you have less traffic on the site. Unfortunately, SiteGround does not allow you to schedule a backup. What you will get is a 5 days of backup for all plans (including cloud plans) and single day backup for StartUp. You can’t download the backup and need to use FTP or File Manager for doing it manually. Downloading thousands of files in File Manager or FTP is a huge time consuming task.
6. Site Tools
Site Tools make things worser that all subdomains are now outside the main domains “public_html” folder. In addition, you need separate FTP account to access individual sites hosted on a single account. This makes it kind of impossible to move files freely across domains and subdomains which you can easily do in cPanel. During migration process they completely duplicated subdomains and moved outside the main site without any communication. If you are familiar with cPanel then you will hate Site Tools kind of custom setup. It will also makes it difficult to migrate your site to cPanel based hosting companies like Bluehost or HostGator.
7. Price Changes
In our earlier article, we have explained the price hike topic from SiteGround. They are insane in hiking the price and then finally reduced it back for the shared hosting plans. However, the starting price is applicable only on 12 months plans and not on 24 or 36 months plans. At this point, 36 months StartUp plan will cost you $10.49 per month instead of $3.99 as you see in the sales page. This will be a big problem as the renewal prices are much higher ($14.99 per month for StartUp plan) than other WordPress hosting companies. Make sure to check the price and do the calculations before you purchase from them.
SiteGround is comparatively one of the best hosting companies available with Google Cloud Platform. However, with the increase in number of customer to 280K, it is evident that their support is deteriorated and they no longer willing to communicate to paying customer on the issues. They also diverted the focus on caching and security plugins instead of doing their best at hosting. At this point, we still continue with them as we have just extended the hosting plan. But sooner or later customers like us will ran away with this kind of setup and attitude.