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Why we use Siteground as our main web hosting provider

October 15, 2022

Everybody wants a website that represents them, looks good, and last but not list, loads as fast as possible. And having in mind that websites are ever more demanding in terms of resources, ticking the speed box proves to be difficult in many situations.

Now put into this ecuation the security variable and you already find yourself in a tough situation.

 

Big disclaimer: we are in no way affiliated with siteground nor have they sponsored this post. We only want to state our reasons for choosing siteground over other providers.

 

Now, we work with web hosting providers every day because, well, this is the nature of our work. We work with VPS (virtual private server) very often. We even have some physical servers hosted in various locations that we manage. As a control panel, we use anything from cPanel to Plesk and vestaCP. But when we need to start a new project, we tend to use Siteground more than other providers.

We need to have one thing clear: Siteground is not a cheap hosting provider. Not even close. So why do we choose them over other much cheaper providers? As this is a question we have to answer more than often to our customers, I’ll try to explain in detail.

 

Speed

As I said earlier, we worked with many web hosting providers. We worked with Hostinger, Godaddy, Bluehost, Ionos, Wpengine and probably I’m missing a few. I can’t say if Siteground is the fastest but it’s most definitely in the top three.

They offer some nice features like CDN (their own network which works well), dynamic file caching and Memcached. Besides that, they offer by default a managed and optimized version of PHP which they call ultrafast PHP. I don’t know all the details about this or if it’s “ultra-fast” but I can definitely see a speed increase by using it.

Did you ever try to find a plugin for caching and speeding up WordPress? You know what I mean then. Well, I completely forgot this pain since we use siteground. They have a plugin developed inhouse called siteground optimizer which works very well in conjunction with their platform

 

Security

We develop a lot of websites on WordPress. Why? Well.. there are many reasons like integrations with all major players, ease of use for the end user, lots of plugins available, very good documentation, huge community, reduced development time, and last but not least cost effective. I think why we use WordPress is another article. Maybe we will write one. But let’s go back to siteground and WordPress.

Siteground guys are freaks when it comes to security. Needless to say that they offer and recommend two-factor authentication, SSL. But, by default, they will auto-update WordPress and the plugins you use. And believe me, there are times when this is frustrating because it forces you to maintain your code. At the end of the day though, you understand their policy because keeping WordPress up to date is one of the main things to do when it comes to security.

Besides WordPress, they offer SSH access to your hosting account and they recommend ssh instead of FTP because is more secure. Again, a topic for another post.

They also have a feature called site scanner which we use and is very helpful.

The last thing to mention (or maybe not last) about security is they use google cloud infrastructure which imposes a very strict security policy.

What we can tell you from our experience is that we had some hacked websites on other providers but none since we are hosting our websites here (more than 2 years now).

 

Scalability

They offer a feature called autoscale that I find just brilliant. Basically, you can have some RAM and CPU ready to kick in if your account should encounter a traffic surge. Since we use this feature, we managed to avoid bottlenecks.

Of course, this costs extra but you can have a beast of an account should you need one: up to 40 CPU Cores and 130 GB of RAM.

 

User Interface and Features

Ok, I saved the best for last (maybe I should have started with that): user interface.

In my opinion, siteground has the best user interface hand down. And believe me, there are some out there that can make your life a nightmare (I don’t want to point fingers now).

By far, the most useful feature when you work with WordPress is the staging feature. It just works! gone are the days when you have to make a manual copy of your website so you don’t have to take the risk of working on a live website (That is a no-no!). And I Know that you are going to say that are others that offer this feature but I did not find one that works as well. You create a staging copy, do your work and when you are ready, just hit deploy and it will replace your live site with the staging copy. You can even do a custom deployment if you do not want to replace the whole website. I tried this on cpanel and most of the time it fails miserably.

The interface looks good, has a good layout, and is well throughout. The dark mode is a lifesaver for me when working long hours. Everything is where it should be, easy to find, and easy to use.

Their file manager is just brilliant. Have you ever tried to upload multiple files on cpanel? Or move some files from one folder to another? Well, good luck with that. This is where their file manager shines. Easy to use, just drag and drop your files, in the window, and boom, it’s there. no need to go to another window to upload a file or folder. You can easily move or copy files or folders. Also, the code editor is quite good. We don’t use it that often because we prefer ssh but for quick edit a PHP file is very good.

They also have a webmail interface which our customers love.

 

It’s not all milk and honey tough.

I don’t want to sound like I’m promoting them (see the above disclaimer). There are some things that should be improved.

First of all, I must say again, siteground is not cheap. Quite the opposite. But when I look at all the benefits, the bill is somehow easier to swallow.

Then there are some annoying glitches with the caching system. It tends to be very stubborn. Most of the time if you make some changes in WordPress or you modify a PHP file you have to hit clear cache multiple times in order to get the latest version of your website.

The support could be better. Now don’t get me wrong, they have very nice people on their support team but from time to time you feel like the support agent just doesn’t know the system (their own system) or doesn’t want to put in the effort to help you. I don’t want to be bad tough, they will help you and most of the time they solve your problem in good time.

 

Conclusion

As I said, we tried many web hosting providers, some good and some really bad. But I can’t find a better package to offer to our clients.

Siteground offers a very good interface (in my opinion, the best in the business) and easy to use for the client, very good speed, very good security, scalability and good support. A bit pricy tough.

But in order to have a website that is secure and performs well, I need to have a good hosting solution and this is why we use siteground.

Of course, if one client wants to use another provider, we will gladly work with anything from shared hosting to VPS or Amazon Web Services.

 

Where do you host your website? Are you happy with your hosting provider?

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