SiteGround Review: Why I Left Hostgator Even Though I Still Like It

I just switched to SiteGround from Hostgator.

Want to know why?

Here’s my story…

But first of all, let me make it clear about this SiteGround review.

That’s no point for me to be biased against any hosting company, I’m just a user, and I share my personal experience with them. 

If you think it’s good and you are looking for a web hosting, you can sign up with or without my affiliate link, that’s your choice, and I respect that.

If you know it’s bad, write a comment below so other readers are aware, and I appreciate your time.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which mean I’ll earn a small commission when you click on the link and make a purchase, rest assured, at no additional cost to you,

 

Why I Leave Hostgator to Join SiteGround

I’ve been with Hostgator for the past 6 years, first 3 years on their shared hosting plan, and the past 3 years on their cloud hosting (business plan).

To be honest, they are good, at least to me.

Even though I heard many criticisms about them along the way, I still stick with them, because I didn’t face any issue with them, and that’s my personal experience, so I have the authority to say that.

Not only Hostgator, but all hosting under EIG was criticized badly by the users, I even jumped into a forum fight (debate) to protect Hostgator reputation, and that’s become the last day I on that forum.

It’s all good.

So why did I leave? 

The first reason is that the 3 years tenures came to an end, so I’m opening up myself for other web hosting companies.

I wouldn’t make a switch if my tenure was still running.

Another reason is the cost, as you all may know, for many of these hosting companies, the only opportunity to get the best deal is during the initial sign up where you can get 45-80% discount, and that’s the reason why I always go for the 3 years tenures (longest) to maximize the discount value.

If I continue with Hostgator, I’ll need to pay the expensive renewal fee with no discount.

If that’s the case, why not try a new hosting?

I could get the same or better hosting at a lower cost.

After doing some research (took me about a week), I locked on SiteGround’s GrowBig plan for the following reasons:

  1. Fast server speed (Good for my readers)
  2. High security (It’s troublesome to fix and recover a virus-infected site)
  3. Reputable hosting provider (So I don’t have to jump into forum debate again)

Yes, that’s all about it.

I heard their customer support is top-notch, but I seldom need any support, so it’s not the main reason that moves me to their platform.

A week before my Hostgator Business Cloud expires, I sign up SiteGround’s GrowBig plan and migrate all my websites over to the new hosting environment.

 

My Experience with SiteGround After 7 Weeks of Usage

Why after 7 weeks? 

Because it’s my favorite number.

And 7 weeks is enough for me to experience the features and technology of this hosting company.

 

User Interface

Let’s start with the user interface because the layout is different from the cPanel that I used since my first website, the new backend panel of SiteGround is called ‘Site Tool’.

IMG site tool.

IMG cpanel.

It takes a little bit of time to explore and get used to the new layout, after that, it never caused me any issue.

I can locate the function I want in just a few seconds, it’s like a simplified version of cPanel, where everything is organized inside an easy-to-navigate dashboard – neat and clean.

My view: The UI is more beautiful, easier to navigate, and more user-friendly, great for beginners and non-techy.

 

Server Speed Performance

Next, server speed.

In fact, throughout my years of blogging journey, I didn’t pay much attention to my website speed, even though consciously I know it is important.

If it’s not too slow when I visit my site, then I’m okay with it, I never test it with speed testing tools.

But since people mentioned this matter, I test it.

Before I moved to SiteGround, I used Pingdom to test my website and recorded down the speed performances to validate my research – Is SiteGround really fast like what others claimed?

This is the result of my website when hosted on Hostgator Cloud:

And here’s the results of my website after moved to SiteGround shared hosting:

SiteGround review: speed

The website I test is identical, but the results are not.

“I made the right decision”, I told myself.

My thoughts could be biased, but data never.

My view: SiteGround server is undoubtedly faster than my previous hosting (the name is not mentioned to protect their reputation).

 

Security

Security side, only time can tell. 

But so far no issue for me.

The customer support asked me to subscribe to their SG Site Scanner (paid protection service) for extra protection, but I rejected it silently without hurting his feelings.

I used free WordFence for my site’s security.

My view: Only time can tell. However, it’s your responsibility to backup your site periodically.

 

Company Reputation

Let the images below speak.

These are about SiteGround:

SiteGround review trustpilot
 

And these are about Hostgator…

Enough…

To be honest, I never came across these kinds of bad experiences during my years with Hostgator hosting, perhaps I am a lucky minority?

No wonder I got smashed hard by forum members when I recommended them, now I can relate.

Disclaimer: These are other users’ reviews, not mine. I already stated my point of view early in this post, I shared these reviews with you because I think you may want to know (and it is good for you to know).

My view: I think I don’t have to debate with others whether my current hosting is good, again?

 

Customer Support

For customer support, I only used their live chat support twice, and I gave both 5 stars feedback for the quick response and solved my simple queries in minutes.

Like I said earlier, I’m not the right person to test and review their customer support because I rarely need it, so far the customer service is excellent for me.

My view: 5 stars x 2

 

SiteGround Shared Hosting Plan Comparison

I wouldn’t talk much about their hosting specs comparison, you can have all the details on their website here.

I rather spend precious time telling you my thoughts and feelings in using this new hosting.

But a picture is fine, so here you go:

SiteGround review plans
 

SiteGround Review: Pros and Cons

The Pros:

  • Simple and neat user interface
  • Fast server speed
  • Good reputation company
  • 5 stars customer support
  • High-security server
  • Huge discount for new customer
  • Free automated daily backup
  • Free SG Optimizer

I already talked about the first five points.

For the discount, take note that only new customers get a massive discount, so if you are going to sign up their hosting, take 3 years tenure for best, or 1 year at least.

Also, in case you don’t know, you don’t need any coupon code or affiliate link to enjoy the discount, it’s already there on their official website, available to all new customers 24/7.

Hence, save your time in searching for SiteGround promo or discount code, because there are none, all those ‘fake coupons’ are just affiliate links that trick you to click on them.

 

The free automated daily backup is another wonderful feature for busy and lazy webmasters.

Backup is crucial to restoring your website (asset) in case any unfortunate incident happens. 

 

For the SG Optimizer, it’s a 2-in-1 powerful plugin given to their customers for free.

The first part of SG Optimizer is called SG Supercacher, a powerful cache plugin with simple configurations, use it to speed up your WordPress website.

The second part is an image optimizer with unlimited quota. Most free image optimization plugins come with a quota, like 100 images/mo. for Shortpixel or 25MB/mo. for Imagify, which limits the number of images you can optimize.

Here’s what auto-calculated in my mind:

I need an image optimization plugin for my site to compress and optimize the images (lots of them).

If I opt for an image optimization plugin, the cheapest tier on Shortpixel would cost me $4.99/month.

I got the hosting for $5.95/mo. and come with a powerful image optimizer with unlimited quota.

So my actual cost becomes $5.95 – $4.99 = $0.96.

I’m only paying $0.96/mo. for a high-speed shared hosting.

My previous hosting didn’t give me any useful plugin like this.

Or, let’s say you get a cheaper hosting at $2.99/mo (lower quality of course) + $4.99 image optimizer plugin = $7.98, still expensive than $5.95 + free SG Optimizer.

That’s a no-brainer deal.

 

The Cons:

  • Strict data usage policy
  • Low data storage
  • High renewal price
  • No free domain

For data usage policy, since I never overuse my allocated server resources, it’s ok for me.

For low data storage concern, the 20 GB from GrowBig plan is more than enough for me, I used less than 10% of it for all my websites.

Talking about the high renewal price, I just switched to them, who knows what will happen after 3 years, so not an issue for me.

No free domain… c’mon, a .com domain only costs less than $10 a year from NameCheap, so I’m not considering this as cons.

After 7 weeks, I have yet to find any cons about this hosting service, and I can only update here after I found through my personal experience.

 

What Others Talked About SiteGround Hosting

SiteGround review image
SiteGround review shopper approved
SiteGround review on facebook

My view: A majority of users said SiteGround is good.

 

Summary of My SiteGround Review

To summarize, here’s what I think why you should give SiteGround a try:

  1. Simple and neat user interface (User friendly)
  2. Fast server speed (Based on my test results)
  3. Good reputation (Based on my research)
  4. Excellent customer support (5 stars)
  5. Free SG Optimizer Plugin (Love it)
  6. Huge discount for new customer (Again, no coupon code is needed)
  7. High security (From the mouth of other users)

But, whether it’s good or bad, you can only experience it after you try, else everything is just talking on paper.

If you do have some positive expectation toward them, I’ll suggest you take advantage of their 30-days money-backed guarantee, it’s like 30 days free-trial with a deposit.

If you ask me…

Do I regret after switching to SiteGround?

No.

If I have a second chance to choose again, will I still go for SiteGround?

Yes.

 

Do you want to try SiteGround hosting?

*All shared hosting plans come with 30-days money-back guarantee.

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