SiteGround full review
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If you’re feeling suitably confident and don’t want to bother with an online website builder service as part of a hosting package then Site Ground should pique your interest. This is another provider that packs plenty of quality options into its hosting deals and, more importantly if you’re after an online presence, offers oodles of choice if you’re planning to go down the WordPress avenue.
Indeed, Site Ground has a very solid reputation when it comes to working in and around the WordPress space, which is reassuring as it means it stays on top of things such as security updates as well as ensuring that you're using the latest version of the package. In fact, it's officially recommended by WordPress.org, the organisation behind the software tool.
Prices & plans
The StartUp hosting plan costs £2.95 / $3.95 per month (all prices exclude VAT) and offers 10GB of storage, unmetered bandwidth, email addresses, SSL and HTTPS, free daily backups, 24/7 support and CloudFlare CDN, which is basically a cached version of your site which Google can serve up even if the SiteGround server is down - a feature you don't often see with rival providers.
This is good for about 10,000 monthly visits, but note that it does not include a domain name, which will cost £10.95 for the year. And after the year is up, the price is £8.95 / $11.95 per month.
The GrowBig plan removes the single-website restriction and offers double the web space, and caters for around 25,000 monthly visitors. You get premium features including on-demand backup, WordPress and Joomla staging and "SuperCacher" for better speed. That's £4.95 / $5.95 per month, or £14.95 / 19.95 per month after the initial deal is over.
There's no difference between plain old webhosting and managed WordPress hosting: the plans and prices are the same.
If you need an online shop, that's no problem: the WooCommerce plugin is available. Unusually, SiteGround charges no more for this: it's included in all three of the plans it offers: StartUp, GrowBig and GoGeek.
For alternatives, check out our roundup of the best web hosting services.
You should have gathered by now that SiteGround is focused on WordPress. If you don't know what that is, it's a hugely popular web and blog creation tool too, and that makes it appealing for a number of reasons. One of the main benefits of using WordPress is the scale of templates and themes that you have access to.
While you’ll need to pay for some of the best ones (and it's worth doing so) there is still much you can do if you’re going down the low budget route. There are quite a few perfectly serviceable WordPress themes that belie the fact that they don’t cost anything, and they are - by and large - well designed so you don’t need to worry too much about if they’re going to be stable or not, or live up to current web design standards.
The other bonus with SiteGround is that it’ll do a lot of the heavy lifting for you when it comes to staying up to date with the correct version of WordPress.
Weebly site builder
If you’re still not convinced about using that particular content management system, or CMS, then SiteGround also has Weebly support for your delectation. As you’ll see in our review of Weebly, this is another great little online web creation tool that revolves around a drag-and-drop interface that makes page building something of a breeze.
There’s not much in the way of complexity, but with practice you’ll find that it’s perfectly usable for producing low volume sites without too many bells and whistles. At the same time, Weebly does have its power tools too, so there is provision for incorporating the likes of contact forms, social media facets and even building on ecommerce functionality if you need it.
Ease of use & support
The other benefit with SiteGround is that it keeps things fairly simple initially, which when you’re trying to decide on what to actually sign up for can be a real help. As we've said above, there are three main hosting options: the entry-level StartUp, closely followed by GrowBig and it’s all topped out with the self-explanatory GoGeek.
They do exactly what they suggest. With an account in place, the setup and installation of WordPress is straightforward with a one-click process that will have you building pages before you know it.
SiteGround offers support for anyone who has perhaps built a WordPress project elsewhere and needs to migrate it to their new space. On top of that SiteGround garners a lot of praise for its support strategy. And, if you’re only just beginning to get interested in WordPress that could be worth a lot because while this CMS is within the grasp of most people, it can occasionally be a little unwieldy.
If you’re not sure what that button you’re about to press is going to do then it’s always a comfort to have an expert you can ask. And SiteGround has plenty of those on board.
There are lots of other neat things associated with Site Ground too, such as free security-focused SSL certificates, daily backups for safekeeping and an integrated email service that comes with its own spam warriors built-in.
If you’re progressing fast with WordPress then there’s even a Dev Toolkit option that lets you really get under the bonnet of the content management system. We also like the practical tools that are available too, such as search engine optimization, which is an often-overlooked aspect for beginner site builders but a must-have if you’re trying to push your pages to the top of that Google search pile.
SiteGround's prices look tempting, but they do jump up quite a bit after the first year. We'd recommend having a close look at Bluehost as well before you make your decision, since both are tailored to WordPress users.
If you don't need an online shop, Bluehost works out cheaper, but SiteGround is better value if you do, despite it not offering a free domain name as most rivals do.
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