SiteGround is one of the recommended web hosting companies by official WordPress.org community site. Once they were the darling of customers due to high quality customer support. However, in recent few years they have raised the price multiple times. At this point, SiteGround is probably the costliest web host for shared hosting. We are using SiteGround Cloud hosting for the past 5 years, with that experience, here is the analysis whether SiteGround price hike is worth to host your website with them.
Price of Shared Managed WordPress Hosting
If you are not aware of the history, SiteGround’s original StartUp plan was attractive with $3.99 per month when paid annually. Later they increased the price to $5.99 and then now it stands at $6.99. Unlike other hosting companies, SiteGround did not offer big deals during last Black Friday and Cyber Monday, indicating their reluctance to attract the low value customers. However, recently they have added many features to StartUp plan to substantiate their higher pricing.
If you are looking for Cloud hosting, the price was raised from $80 per month to $100 for the Entry level plan. In this article, we will focus more on the shared hosting part. You can check out our earlier article for the complete review of Cloud hosting.
Features of Shared Hosting
Here are the items you will get for $5.99 per month StartUp plan with SiteGround:
- 1 website
- 10GB storage space
- ~10K visitors as soft limit
- Google Cloud Platform
- Server side caching and SG Optimizer plugin for WordPress
- Site Tools interface
Comparison with Bluehost and HostGator
First, do not get confused with “Managed WordPress Hosting” with SiteGround. There are no big differences with normal shared hosting and Managed WordPress hosting in SiteGround. In fact, the prices and plans are same in both categories. This is the same case with Bluehost as well. Here is a comparison of SiteGround StartUp plan with the current prices of Bluehost Basic and HostGator Hatchling plans.
|Company||Stating Plan||Price per month||Contract Period for Promotion||Renewal Price per month|
|HostGator||Hatchling plan||$2.75||3 years||$6.95|
However, HostGator offers shared hosting plan as mentioned above and different WordPress hosting plan called Starter Plan. Therefore it will be fair to compare SiteGround StartUp plan with HostGator or inmotion hosting company’s managed WordPress hosting plans. Below is the comparison for yearly plan:
|Company||Managed WP Hosting Plan||Initial Price||Renewal Price|
Though 2 and 3 years plan will cost you less, yearly plan on both HostGator and inmotion are higher than SiteGround’s base price.
Pros and Cons
Let us first analyze the pros and cons before we see it is worth for the price.
Pros of Using SiteGround
- Speed and caching – all SiteGround WordPress installations come with pre-installed SG Optimizer plugin. This plugin has all features of premium caching plugins like WP Rocket with WebP option. In addition, you will get three levels static, dynamic and memcached caching to speed up your websites along with Brotli compression. You can get custom Ultrafast PHP with GrowBig and GoGeek plans.
- Uptime – as long as you are below the traffic limit of your plan, you will not see any downtime notifications.
- Backup – 30 days daily backup with free restore option.
Cons of Using SiteGround
- Domain – unlike other hosting companies, SiteGround does not offer 1-year free domain with any of their plans. You have to purchase a domain from other registrar before purchasing plan from SiteGround, which may be double work for some users.
- Price – as you can see, SiteGround has the highest price in shared hosting category. In addition, the price hikes are valid for existing customers who purchased hosting for lower price.
- Communication – The biggest problem what we have noticed with SiteGround is their way of ignorance in the communication. For example, they have introduced dynamic caching for StartUp plan and enabled for all the accounts. You can go through the comment section on their blog post about various issues faced by the customers. The problem is they force all users to use SG Optimizer and do not consider if you do not have the plugin or not using WordPress at all. In addition, they assume the price hike is nominal and just inform you the billing will increase from next cycle.
- Google Cloud – Note that we have not mentioned anything about Google Cloud as some think it is useful while many think it affects their privacy.
- Site Tools – using custom interface is always a problem, as you cannot migrate to another host easily. Unlike cPanel where you manage all websites on your hosting account, you have to manage sites independently with Site Tools interface. However, we still mention this as a neutral point as you have to deal with custom interface with many WordPress managed hosting service providers like WPEngine or Kinsta.
- Support – you will get nominal support from their team. In our opinion, SiteGround support was deteriorated over the period and there are no differences between EIG companies at this point.
- Too many changes – besides price hike, SiteGround did lot of other changes like Google Cloud, Ultrafast PHP, Brotli compression and Site Tools interface. Though these changes are meant for improvements, it always affect customers in one or other way. For example, Site Tools migration created lot of problems for us with the site was down for many hours. We hope big changes will end here and customers need not to worry about for few years in the future.
SiteGround Price Hike – Worth to Purchase?
We think the above details give you sufficient inputs in making better decision. In our opinion, the cost of shared hosting is very high without free domain. However, the price is similar with inmotion ($6.99) or HostGator ($5.95) when you are looking for managed WordPress hosting plans. This is also the same with Cloudways Google Cloud that starts at $80 per month. On other hand, SiteGround offers unbeatable speed with all type of caching options.
- If you are a first time or budget blogger then SiteGround will not work for you due to high cost. Probably, you have to start with cheap shared hosting companies like Bluehost or Dreamhost.
- If are a dedicated blogger or small business owner and wants to scale up your site without hosting problems then go for SiteGround. The price hikes are inline with other competitors, so you are not loosing anything.