This post contains affiliate links for SiteGround. This is our first ever affiliate post, so we want you to know that if you click on a link and choose SiteGround as a host, SiteGround will pay us for the referral.
We get it. It is Fall of 2019. But, as newbies in developing websites, we thought long an hard about what web hosting plans will set us up to succeed in 2020, 2021, and beyond.
Before we started this site (our first), we felt like we were swamped with decisions to make – one of the toughest ones we faced who should host our website. Having your own domain name and host looks professional and gets you out of those services that charge you by the month to build and host your site. Don’t fall into those traps. You can do it far cheaper with a hosting plan and WordPress. We wanted to build our site with WordPress, since that’s the most popular type of site in the world — and doing so is free, except for the cost of a hosting plan, which is why we are writing this post. To be sure, choosing a web host wasn’t easy since there are many options and “offers” that can confuse newbies, like us.
Ultimately, we chose SiteGround – it was the clear winner in our minds. Here are the 5 main reasons we chose SiteGround over the other options out there:
1. SiteGround is one of the fastest host services
SiteGround has been routinely named one of the fastest shared hosting services. Check out these stats here. You might be asking, “Why does fast matter for beginners?” Good question. A fast-loading website can help with search-engine optimization (SEO). Load-speed is a factor in Google’s algorithm, so we wanted to make sure we had a fast, affordable host. As we build this site and create videos, images, etc, we don’t want to have to worry about slow loading speeds that can hurt our SEO ranking. Plus, since we are newbies, we’ll be trying out a lot of plugins (and we’ll blog about those too), so we wanted a host that can handle the lightweight and heavyweight ones. SiteGround does that.
2. SiteGround servers are up 99.99% of the time
No one wants sites to go down. We get upset ourselves when we surf the web and get on sites that are down. It makes us question our own web connection, our browsers, etc. We don’t want our readers to have to go through that. So this was a plus, especially when some of the other popular plans aren’t as reliable and are afraid to guarantee any sort of reliability.
3. SiteGround is secure
As beginners, one of the things we are really worried about is site security. We don’t want to get hacked. We can’t afford the headaches – or the expenses of paying someone to fix it for us. SiteGround comes with free daily backups – that’s an up-charge on many other popular hosts. We like the idea of having our site automatically backed up in case something goes wrong.
SiteGround also uses security systems that continuously scan for and block viruses, malware, etc. That’s huge in our minds, since we don’t really even know what those things mean!
SiteGround also creates its own protection system that uses artificial intelligence to foresee problems before they happen – other major hosts only do a security scan once a week or so. Not enough in our minds. According to SiteGround, each hour their AI blocks between 500K & 2 million brute-force attacks on its servers.
What’s a brute-force attack? Sounds like a SWAT team is needed, but here’s what Wikipedia says about Brute-Force Attacks.
4. Easy to use & world-class customer support
As newbies, we needed a site that was easy to use, so we could try to figure things out for ourselves. SiteGround experts not only develop various solutions for WordPress sites, but they also create unique template designs that you can download for free. SiteGround WordPress themes are easy to customize – we have been able to figure most of it out with ease (even as we write this post). But when we have struggled, SiteGround has been there to help us every step of the way. I actually called them to help with connecting up some plugins, and it was a breeze. No waiting 45 minutes or having unreturned messages! Great work, SiteGround.
Plus, SiteGround has a WordPress tutorial that includes installation and theme change instructions, how to manage WordPress plugins, and more. I didn’t find this before I had to call SiteGround, but I wish I would have! And if you are looking for a more rare setup or modification, visit SiteGround Knowledgebase.
5. Great price for the speed, features, and phenomenal support
What did we like best about SiteGround? The price & the 30-day money-back guarantee. You can’t go wrong with that – if you start a site and fizzle out or change your mind, you can get your money back, no questions asked! We haven’t changed our minds yet, but we like that we can.
We also loved that SiteGround provides you with free email accounts with your site name as the suffix (e.g. [email protected]). This makes it look very professional and avoids the costs of paying for the Google Suite.
SiteGround has three pricing tiers:
- Startup: $3.95 per month (a special price, it is normally – $11.95).
- Grow Big: $5.95 per month (a special price, it is normally – $19.95).
- Go Geek: $11.95 per month (a special price, it is normally – $34.95).
We went with the Grow Big plan because we liked that we could start unlimited websites with this plan. This is our first website, but we have plans on trying dropshipping and other niches, so the extra $2 per month gave us this flexibility. Plus, you get a whole host of extra features, like WordPress SuperCacher, which makes sites load even faster! Plus, Grow Big allows for multiple collaborators on a site, which is important to us, since the entire family will be contributing to this site and others we create!
Quick tip: One tip we figured out is that you can buy up to 3 years with the introductory rate. We don’t like the idea of high renewal fees, which is a drawback about SiteGround in our opinion. But you can put that decision off for 3 years if you pay for them up front – all while saving 71%.
What was our biggest drawback about SiteGround? The setup fee. It was $24.95 to set up our hosting. That’s not something that sat well with us since we weren’t sure we wanted to take the leap into creating websites. But the money-back guarantee convinced us to try it, along with the 70+% off for prepaying for 3 years!
Should you use SiteGround?
Yes. Many of the other options pale in comparison to SiteGround. Some hosts are a little cheaper, but you get fewer features. The only host that was close was BlueHost, but SiteGround’s speed, security, and customer service easily won us over.
If you are thinking about starting you own website, seriously check out SiteGround. You won’t be disappointed. Here is our affiliate link that will take you right to SiteGround.