I have worked with multiple hostings over many years and have first hand experience with them which most regular users will not have over their lifetime. At each moment I have access to a dozen of hostings, and can help you save many hours browsing through reviews and researching hosting websites. This article however is just a personal opinion, and will not have any metrics and comparisons – purely my personal experience.
Also, look for some tips in the end of this article to save you some money!
What I consider when choosing a hosting, or consider a hosting to be a “good one”?
Obviously, you want your website to load fast, and here SiteGround does a good job, regularly appearing in various top-10 reviews for hosting speed.
All hosting providers offer you an impressive list of features. But what do you really need? Here is a list of features that SiteGround offers on all its WordPress managed hosting plans, which I find very helpful. Also, many of these features other popular providers will only offer as an extra at additional price.
- Free(!) daily(!) backup – not many providers offer this feature for free. Though this is one of the main features to keep your peace of mind. You can be sure, that if anything happens to your website – incompatible update, user error, external attack – with daily backups you will always be able to roll back a few days before and restore everything as it was.
- Optimization (speed) and security plugins by SiteGround that make sure your website works exceptionally well together with their hosting server. SiteGround will install these two free plugins by default on your website and save a hundred of bucks for you annually or even more. Sure, you can use other great plugins such as WP Rocket for optimization, or Wordfence for security. But free plugins offered by SiteGround are also very powerful.
- Free SSL certificates – some providers will not let you install free SSL certificates and make you pay around a hundred bucks for each certificate (every year that is).
- Free email – if you did not tie your domain already to one of the “big” providers like Gmail and Microsoft, you can do so easily with SiteGround. Create as many accounts as you need, add aliases and forwarders – you are the boss!
- Free staging – you can create a copy of your website to test new features, new plugins, etc., and when you are ready just deploy these changes to your production site. Mostly useful if you need to add more features to your website with time. Services like BlogVault charge hundreds of dollars for backup and staging functionality, and with SiteGround you can have it free.
- Add collaborators – you can add developers or web maintenance experts to your account so that they have just enough access to help you with your website.
- Free CDN integration – Content Delivery Network (CDN) is one of popular tools to speed-up your website, especially if your visitors are spread around the world. CDN will store copies of your files (images, code) on a number of their fast servers around the world and will serve them to users from a closest server.
Ease of use.
This is a very subjective item, but I find SiteGround very intuitive and easy to use.
The introductory offer of SiteGround is very interesting, and places this hosting provider into a lower price tier, compared to their regular price, which is still very competitive. Especially taking into regard the number of features you get.
When ordering your hosting for the first time, use the welcome reduced price offer for a maximum period you can afford now. They allow you to buy up to 3 years of hosting at the introductory reduced price. All further renewals will be at a much higher regular price. So, I recommend buy as much as you can.