Siteground Review 2020 – Why it’s the best SEO value

This post was last updated on February 18th, 2021

Empty Chair - Siteground Review 2020

So what’s the best value for money SEO WordPress hosting in 2020?  In this Siteground review, we’ll detail why it’s our preferred choice for entry level WordPress hosting in 2020.

SSD Speed equals SEO Boost

It’s widely known that speed is critical to the SEO of your website. Why so? Because any delay from when a user clicks on a link in Google search to your page loading is bad news.  This delay might cause the potential site visitor to back out and click on another site. You really want to avoid this as it can hurt your search engine rankings. People are time-poor and used to fast connections, so you really want to give them a seamless experience when they click the link to your site in Google search.

One of the main factors underlying your page load speed is your choice of hosting provider.  We’ve found Siteground’s load speed to be impressive. The “fully loaded time” for various pages has been under 2.5 seconds based on GTmetrix testing.  This was achieved using a fast WordPress theme (Schema) and minimal use of plugins.

GTMetrix Speed Testing Screen

H2 – Key Reasons for Speed – Siteground Review

  1. SSD Drives on all plans.  The use of conventional drives is a deal-breaker for us.  All of their servers are SSD (Solid State Drive).  This type of server has a 1000x increase in input / output operations as compared to regular server drives.
  2. NGINX Server SpeedSiteground utilises NGINX server technology compared to other hosts which mainly run Apache.  NGINX is a newer technology that more fully utilises RAM and can provide more predictable performance under high loads.
  3. Free SuperCacher included.  The SuperCacher speeds up your site further by increasing the number of hits that your site can handle and boosts your loading speed. It was developed by Siteground based on NGINX and works with WordPress, Joomla and Drupal content management systems.
  4. Free Cloudflare CDN available with 194 locations worldwide.  Many hosting providers only have a server farm in one country.  This works if your site visitor is in the same country as the server.  But if your visitor is on the other side of the world. Eg. Singapore, and your server is in say, the USA, there will be a slower connection.  Their free CDN (Content Delivery Network) will help out here as your webpage will be delivered to the Singapore user from a Singapore server rather than the USA based server.
  5. 6 Data Centres Worldwide.  These data centres are located in key worldwide locations and offer a high degree of redundancy for all applications.  They all feature uninterrupted power supply to prevent electrical outages with onsite power generators.  They simultaneously use multiple carriers to ensure data feed.
How Cloudflare Works
Siteground Datacentres

Site Uptime has been Impeccable

We’ve found Siteground to be extremely reliable in terms of uptime.  Our uptime monitoring service hasn’t yet detected any instances of sites being down. They’ve developed an extremely lightweight but proactive server monitoring system whereby they can identify any potential issues before they occur.  Also included is an AI anti-bot system which protects their servers from 500,000 to 1 million brute-force attempts per hour. This anti-bot system is effective at preventing any attacks before they reach any customer sites.

They isolate all accounts using CHROOT operations on their servers so that no account can affect other accounts.

Siteground Review: Customer Support  Exceeded our Expectations

In each of our dealings with Siteground support we’ve been impressed with how fast their support is.  Our experience through both live chat and phone support has also been super-quick. We haven’t yet needed to raise any tickets but they guarantee a first reply within 10 minutes to any tickets raised.  A staff member commented on their great support and was delighted to find out that they have a policy of overstaffing all shifts. This seems so rare these days!

Free Extras which you will Need and Use

A free SSL certificate is included with each plan on SiteGround  It provides encryption between the server and browser and doesn’t slow down your site.  By installing the certificate, you’ll get the padlock icon next to your URL in the browser which is also a positive trust factor for visitors to your site.  This is really a no-brainer … all websites should install the SSL certificate. If you don’t have the certificate installed, and someone views your site in the Google Chrome browser, they will get a “not secure” message.  Obviously, this is to be avoided at all costs because visitors might think your site isn’t secure.

Unlimited free Email accounts are included with every Siteground hosting plan.  They are easy to set up in Cpanel where you can decide how much disk space to allocate to email.  Also included is a spam filter which I’d recommend that you enable.

Free Daily Backups.  There’s no need to install additional plugins for backing up your site.  Just enable backups in Cpanel and Siteground will backup your site daily and keep copies for the last 30 days.

Pricing – SiteGround Review compared to Other Hosting Providers

 

Siteground  US$3.95/month (startup plan) 

Bluehost at $3.95/month (basic plan)

A2 Hosting $3.70 per month (Swift Plan).

Here’s a siteground review video by Ferdy showing more of their features:

Conclusion – Siteground Review – Why it’s our Choice for 2020

When balancing up our hosting needs for 2020,  we found that Siteground offered the best mix of speed, reliability, great support and price compared to other providers for our needs.  If you’re looking to grow your site and get more organic traffic, we feel that Siteground is currently the best option for WordPress hosting for small to medium sites. They also have plans for cloud hosting when it comes time to grow your site to the next level.

There’s one additional consideration that should be made.  If you’re planning to drive a lot of paid traffic to your site early, you might need a Google cloud hosted site.   This is for those types of situations where you are expecting some posts to go viral.  In this case, you would likely be better off going to a dedicated cloud hosting provider such as Kinsta.  They specialise in Google cloud hosting solutions and have low cost plans available for new sites.  Check out our full review of Kinsta  at this link.

I hope this Siteground review has been useful to you.  We’ve prepared a relevant guide which can be accessed at this link which lists all the steps that you need to take in your journey to create a blog or website. 

Web Hosting

Frequently Asked Questions – Siteground review

Are NGINX or Apache servers faster?

NGINX servers have been found to be 2 to 3 times faster than Apache servers due to their ability to handle a much higher level of concurrent transactions.  However, due to their higher cost of implementation, most shared hosting providers continue to use Apache. 

If I’m using Siteground do I still need a caching plug-in?

No you don’t need separate caching software if you install Siteground’s free Supercacher.  In this case, server side caching is handled by the supercacher. Additionally, remote content delivery would be handled by their free access to Cloudflare CDN. Finally, on-page caching is handled by the browser or device’s cache.

Why do I need SSL on my website? 

SSL encryption on your website prevents “man-in-the-middle” style data breaches which have previously led to huge data thefts.

When your visitors see a padlock in their browser, it also gives them a high level of trust in your site.  Furthermore, some browsers actually display “Not Secure” against the URL for non-secure sites. 

Will my site be fast enough with shared hosting? 

Yes, generally for low to medium traffic sites, shared hosting will be more than fast enough.  Our websites which use shared hosting have been regularly achieving page load speeds under 2.5 seconds according to GTmetrix. This has occurred under normal load conditions.

Should I choose shared hosting for cloud hosting for a new site?

For a new site, shared hosting is perfectly fine.  If at some future point you start to see large spikes in traffic you may need to consider cloud hosting.

Will shared hosting be fast enough to rank on Google?

Yes, particularly if you’re using a hosting provider which utilises solid-state drives.  In this situation you’ll be able to achieve fast load speeds.

Why is managed hosting better than normal hosting? 

With shared hosting, the provider constantly works to make sure that all systems are up including server software updates and WordPress upgrades.

This means that you’ll have less to worry about as a website owner. All of the technical details are being taken care of for you.

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