STOP! We’re No Longer Recommending SiteGround Hosting!
Please read through our SiteGround Review to see why, and find out about our new top rated Shared WordPress Hosting company.
As you undoubtedly know, the web changes frequently… often overnight. What was working one day can be totally kludged the next, or go from good to bad. We here at WMS go to great lengths to recommend only the best products and services to our friends, associates and customers — ones we have tested and use ourselves. And when a change occurs… we try to report on it as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, when something is “in print,” it’s a bit harder change quickly, which explains this page for those of you coming in from a link to a hosting company. It still is that, by the way. It’s just a different, better one now!
SiteGround Review: Old Guy vs. The New Guy
We never intended to do this. Prior to this ugly recent experience, we were perfectly happy with Siteground and had been for a number of years.
In short, one of our two top rated WordPress shared hosting companies, SiteGround — which we have used for years — has made major changes to it’s customer service system. In our collective opinion, it has gone from an A to a C-, or even a D on this score, depending on just how bad it is at any one moment. On top of which, we just tried and are very pleased with a new hosting company which provides the kind of stellar customer service SiteGround used to provide for a better price and… wait for it… MUCH FASTER PAGE LOAD TIMES in WordPress.
As in, in our tests, OVER SEVEN TIMES FASTER! I know, I know, it seems crazy, but it’s true. We’ve seen it and verified it ourselves.
When we first saw the following comparison, showing the relative page loading speeds of SiteGround (and Hostgator) vs. our new hosting company, we were extremely skeptical. How could it be possible? But then we ran our own tests… and saw the same thing! Holy crap!
Now think about this from a profitability standpoint — and an SEO standpoint. For every millisecond’s delay in the response time (page loading speed) of your site, Google penalizes your rankings. Further, the slower your site, the more likely that people are just going to leave, rather than wait for it to load. Even a tenth of a second can be the difference. With a slow site — even a relatively slow site — you’ll be hemorrhaging cash without even necessarily knowing it, because traffic that should be yours arrives. Worse yet, traffic that does arrive may bounce (i.e. leave) your site as soon as it hits. Speed is now so important, for the first time ever, Google will even be considering it in mobile search.
However, with this replacement for SiteGround hosting, we’re talking about going from NASCAR fast to rocket ship fast! This is almost literally flying first class on an econo budget. If we hadn’t seen it for ourselves, we’d consider it too good to be true.
CLICK HERE for More Compelling Data...
Then we saw the uptime comparison between Siteground, one of the biggest of “big names” on the internet marketing scene (Hostgator), and our new host, we were further blown away. Now, in truth, this is not a super-important metric unless downtime is a big problem with your host. Generally speaking, it’s not nearly as important a factor as responsiveness, and most good hosting companies can do 99.95% uptime without cracking a sweat. But that being said, there are very few hosting companies which can consistently deliver 100% uptime, and those are usually the top-dollar ones.
The upshot of all this?
Now you can SAVE MONEY, have a FASTER WEBSITE, never worry about UPTIME/DOWNTIME at all and get GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE — all in once place!
NOTE: Over the years, we’ve tried just about all the “big names” in hosting out there. Back in the day, we ended up on Hostgator. That’s a nightmare saga for another time. All we can say is, they must have gotten a lot better over the years, ’cause we were surprised to see Hostgator outranking our old favorite in speed and uptime stats. Shocking! Or maybe the decline at SG is worse than we thought…
SiteGround Review: End of an Era, Dawn of a New Day
As a result of all of the above, we’re no longer recommending SiteGround hosting, sorry to say. Yes, it’s a sad day in some ways. We’ve been with them for several years now. Alas, all good things must come to an end. As I write this (July 1, 2018) we’re in the process of moving client sites, and this site itself will soon be moved.
But wait, there’s more…
If you’re thinking of joining us at this new hosting company, there’s more goodness for those already hosting elsewhere: they offer FREE WEBSITE MIGRATION!
What that means is that they’ll move your existing site to their servers and get it up and running for you. Not every host does this. As a result, you don’t have to do any of the grunt/tech work at all. It’s a big time and aggravation saver. Nice, huh?
Finally, one other thing…
Unlike SiteGround, this hosting company also provides a FREE DOMAIN with Premium or Business WordPress hosting accounts. Given that the minimum we’d recommend, Premium, starts at $3.49/mo. (currently on sale for $2.15/mo.), that’s a helluva a bargain! All levels of account are hosted on on super-fast, state-of-the-art SSD drives, guaranteeing the fastest possible load times.
CLICK HERE for More About the Meltdown...
In the past, when we’ve had a problem with one of our sites — and it turned out to be something we couldn’t fix ourselves — a friendly, helpful Siteground tech was only seconds away. You could just pick up the phone or — our preferred choice — you could simply click to chat.
It was that easy!
The phone and chat lines were staffed by lower level techs, but they were still very good. Our problem was usually dealt with in minutes. It was clear Siteground trained well. We never had a problem with any of these good folks, in dozens of incidents over the course of several years.
In the handful of cases where the the first level techs couldn’t handle the issue, they would create a ticket for us, fill it out and kick it “upstairs” for the gurus to handle. Generally speaking, those higher level techs would have the problem solved within a hour — a few hours at most. This was the kind of service that, frankly, set SG far apart from it’s peers — including some of the “big names” in WordPress hosting.
In short, getting a problem fixed with SiteGround was simple, fast and easy. You’d usually have a live person in seconds. I kid you not. I think the longest we ever waited for a tech over the last few years was one time, when it took about ten minutes. The rest of the time, we got one a tech within minutes, if not instantly — even on weekends, even on holidays at 3 in the morning!
Not to slam other companies — that’s not our intent here — but we’ve used Hostgator, BlueHost, Site5, Inmotion, Dreamhost, GoDaddy, etc. at various times in our history. Each we’ve tried each for an extended period of time. Six months or more. Usually at least a year. It’s the only way to really give a company a fair test, and who wants to move sites yet again? Though in point of fact, you sometimes have no choice. We’re confronted with one such situation right now, because of this issue. And yet, in all the years, none of these “giants” of hosting — NONE, not a one — had the kind of customer service we’ve come to expect from SG.
Many weren’t as good at hosting WordPress, either, even if they claimed to be “WordPress hosts.” 😥
But alas, it appears the glory days of Siteground hosting are no more.
Recently, the company implemented a “new and improved” customer service system that “fixed” what wasn’t broken.
I’m pretty sure it’s all about saving money and reducing staffing levels.
Now, you have to go through a convoluted series of steps to get a live person. It’s not terrible. If it’s what you are used to, you’d probably think nothing of it. But now SiteGround is more like all these other hosting companies that, in effect, put you in a holding pattern of indeterminate length and make you jump through various flaming hoops in order to get help.
In three recent bad experiences…
- We went through the whole process only to be told nobody was home. Leave a message!
- We went through the whole process, and got about halfway to the promised land, only to be dumped by the system midway through the detailed account of the problem SG wanted. Start over!
- We finally got through to a tech, to ask if this new system was the way things were going to be from now on. We explained why we were disappointed and unhappy, and were basically told we should be happy with these “improvements,” and basically to lump it. Not good!
So, the “melt down” was not Siteground. It was us. We were upset and furious over these new developments. 😡
Call it hyper-critical, call it over-served, call it impatient, call it what you will, but we’ve seen this kinda thing before, and it never ends well. It sure looks like SiteGround is going down hill fast, and doesn’t seem to care too much about it.
Having been in this game for a long time, and having seen this kind of thing before, we’re not going to wait around and fight battles that can’t be won. We’re voting with our feet. If you’re a current SG customer, our advice to you is that you think about doing the same, before things get worse.
SiteGround Review – See Ya, SiteGround!
So, as is often the case on the world wide web, what was once totally awesome is now kinda sucky. Strike that. More than “kinda.” Really sucky! We hate to say it, and take no pleasure in it. The truth is, we were really in love with SiteGround, but clearly it’s time for a divorce. Our new find is a company which really wants our business (and yours), and is prepared to go the extra mile to get it and keep it.
According to the company’s bio, the business has been around since 2008 and has “over 29 million users in 178 countries.” This is no fly-by-night rogue server operation, so you don’t have to worry about putting your fate in the hands of amateurs. If we had any doubts about that, we couldn’t send our own clients there – and we wouldn’t!
NOTE: Our other top recommended WordPress hosting company is plugging along just fine, and continues it’s excellent service and support. 🙂
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