I spoke in my last post about my decision to move to a new hosting service. This was a difficult decision and one that it took me some time to reach. I had been with one host for over a dozen years, and was used to the way things worked and how everything was set up. Over the years I had sent more than a few clients to that host as well, and it has been a good relationship on the whole. And there was the loyalty factor as well. But that host had been bought up by a larger company, and since the takeover, the service in both Customer support and Tech support was not what it used to be. Also – and this was the deciding factor – my site was slowing down terribly.
There are quite a few WordPress professionals in my area, so I sent out the query – “looking for new hosting, what do you recommend?” As you may imagine, the replies were many and varied; I checked into all of them and took some time to make a decision. I did my usual tests – calling the support phone line at 3:30 in the morning, calling again a day later with the same question to see if I got the same answer, setting up a support ticket to see what the reply time was, opening a chat online and finding out how long I had to wait and if the person had an understanding of what I was asking. Many of the hosting services did fairly well, but only one passed all the tests, and did so with consistently far, far better results than any of the others.
And so I am now hosting with (drum roll, please …) SiteGround, and I am more than pleased with this decision. They were head and shoulders above the rest in all the tests I threw at them. This is probably due to the fact that all the software on their servers is heavily modified by their own dev-ops for better speed and security; their ticketing and chat systems are custom-made by their own developers to improve the response time of the support team.
The features SiteGround offers are exactly what I need – they specialize in WordPress hosting, with several shared plans to choose from – I am on the GrowBig plan, as it allows me to have more than one site.
As part of the package (a steal at the introductory price of $7.97/month) they give me 20 gigs of server space, a free SSL certificate for the first year, WordPress super-cacher (3 levels of caching – makes the site much faster!), unlimited databases, emails, and traffic, with a cpanel and SSH, WP auto-updates, and free daily backups. Also, those daily backups? They keep 30 copies – so if there’s ever a problem I can go back day by day; this is gold for a paranoid person like me! I could have also had a free domain name, and free WP install, but I didn’t need either.
I am a real security freak, and so I’m also really impressed with the fact that even for their shared hosting, they isolate individual accounts from each other. So basically, their isolation technology prevents a single vulnerable account from affecting the whole server. This approach makes their shared hosting environment as secure as much more expensive dedicated solutions.
I am a bit
paranoid cautious when it comes to my WordPress installations – I never use the one-click method and when manually installing I always create unusual names for the databases and table prefixes. So although SiteGround offers a free site migration for new accounts, I wanted to do it myself. The tech Support helped me with a couple of configuration issues that were slightly different than what I was used to – and the whole process was swift and painless.
There are other solutions available as well – from Cloud hosting to dedicated servers – I don’t need anything that advanced (yet) and I am very happy with my choice. I fully intend to recommend SiteGround to my clients now and in the future.
In fact, I’m starting right now! If you’re interested to find out exactly what SiteGround has to offer, go see their site by clicking on the banner in the sidebar on this page!