Choosing a host is such an interesting topic. Some people would swear by a host and others would steer clear of them. I have my reservations about some hosts and I have had great experiences with others. Today, I want to share with you why I personally love Siteground and why I think you should too.
Whatever business or blog you run online, you want to ensure that you remain connected with your customers. This means that uptime is important. When you are sleeping, you don't want to worry about whether your site will be sleeping too. I remember when I was picking my host, I had the choice of choosing between Bluest and SiteGround. I had to have a look at the statistics and ensure that I made the right choice. Given all the facts presented to me, it was clear that Siteground was a winner.
I have been using SiteGround for around 1 year now and I can't say I have ever witnessed downtime. Actually, once I did something pretty daft that took my site down for a while but I soon got it back up and running in no time. SiteGround boasts an absolutely fantastic uptime of 99.9% on my site. Even if there is a problem, Siteground seems to be astronomically fast at fixing most issues.
The customer service I have received with SiteGround has been second to none. You can communicate with SiteGround via phone, online chat or you can submit a ticket. Whichever way you choose to communicate with them, they tend to get back to you at lightening speed. If I have a problem on my site, I do not have to worry about it taking so long to fix because they are extremely efficient.
At first I thought that the service was only like this because I purchased their highest package but I tested this theory and purchased a lower package for another business and their service was just the same. Their customer support is available 24/7 all year long.
The greatest thing about their staff is they all seem very knowledgable. There is no waiting to be transferred to someone else or waiting 5/6 days for the right person to get back to you. I have noticed on two occasions that the advisor was not 100% sure of the solution, but the advisor when to seek immediate advice whilst I waited and they were definitely back with an answer within 5 minutes.
I have only ever had to submit a ticket for billing issues. I know I have admitted it several times before but I was so shocked at how fast they got back to me. They clearly get the whole ‘the customer comes first thing'.
Staging is an awesome feature that creates a copy of your website so you can make changes, or test features before you make them live. It copies your website onto a subdomain and you make your changes there. Once you are happy with the changes, you can them push them to your live site with the click of a button. Cool right? This was such an important issue for me because I like to make changes to my site which can at times affect the usability of the site during the changes. This is true especially when I am testing a plugin that potentially has bugs in it that are incompatible with other plugins already installed on my site.
Staging is not available on all plans so it is best to check the features of all plans before choosing the one you want to settle with. Staging is available for WordPress and Joomla site.
The basic cost for SiteGround is $6.95 for 12 months(which you do have to pay upfront for a year). For what I get, I pay without hesitation.
They do have a specific hosting for WordPress and general hosting. They are both the same price so I just stuck with the regular hosting as it seemed better for what I wanted.
There are three packages;
Startup – $6.95
Grow Big – $9.95
Go Geek – $14.95
You can compare each page by clicking here. I do feel that if you are starting out and only need a blog, then it may be a good idea to start with the startup package but definitely have a read through all the features before you make up your mind. If you are super excited about the staging feature that I mentioned about, then the only package that comes with this feature is “Go Geek”.
MY OBVIOUS VERDICT
When choosing a host, I look for three things;
- Reliability (speed and uptime)
- Customer Service (response times and knowledge)
For me, SiteGround wins on all counts and I am happy to spend the extra dollars (compared to others in the market) to ensure that I get consistent service and my readers do not get any interruptions neither. If you are starting out online, definitely check out SiteGround and I know you will not be disappointed.
You can click here to get started and read the step by step insructions below on how to get started with WordPress.
HOW TO INSTALL WORDPRESS ON SITEGROUND
If you do not already have your domain name already, I would suggest purchasing it from Namescheap which provides the cheapest domain names around. A domain name is a domain name so there is no need to pay more when you can clearly pay less.
When you log onto SiteGround, you will see a page that looks like his. You will automatically be directed to the ‘My Accounts' tab. You should only have 1 domain on there but if you do not, select the account you would like to install WordPress now and select ‘manage' account.
When you select manage account, you will be directed to basic information settings and it will tell you what installations you already have (this can be seen at arrow 1 on the installations tab). If you are not directed to the Installations tab, you will need to click on it to see the screen below. As you are most probably using Siteground for the first time, this page will be blank.
You will then need to select the red ‘Go to cPanel' button which will take you to the control panel we need to install the WordPress account.
When you go to your cPanel, you will see a screen with a lot of options. We want to focus on the tab which says ‘autoinstallers' which is the third tab down. This tab allows you install certain programs with ease. They are often referred to as ‘one click installs' on some control panels.
Once you locate ‘auto installers', you want to click on WordPress which will take you to the installation for WordPress.
When you get onto the next screen, it will look something like this. If you are not on this screen, you will need to select the blue ‘Install' tab.
You will need to choose your protocol. This means choosing whether your domain will start with http:// or https://
If you purchase an SSL certificate or get one free with your domain name which SiteGround does offer, you may want to choose https:// especially if you may be selling things online. It's actually compulsory to have a SSL certificate when you start any sort of online store selling items.
When you go further down the page, you will need to enter a site name and site description. It does not matter if you change your mind about these, these can be amended later at any time. You just need to put something in for now. Normally, WordPress will have some default settings in there.
You will then need to enter a username for admin and a password. A password will be randomly selected for you. You can choose to use this one or create your own. For the admin email, this is the email you would like WordPress to use for any notifications. Other than selecting your language, I wouldn't change any other settings unless you know what you are doing.
Once you have finished, at the bottom of the page, you will find an install button. Select the button and you will then be presented with your web address to log in. It is normally something like http://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin/
It can take a couple of minutes for the site to recognise the install but most of the time it's immediately. Use the username and password you entered in the install page to log in.
You're all set and good to go! Get started and explore WordPress. I will be introducing a some tutorials so stay tuned.