Editor’s note: We like to come back to this page on a regular basis to review our recommendations, and as of 2014, 2015 and now 2016, we continue to recommend SiteGround as being the best quality hosting provider for WordPress website hosting and Joomla website hosting.
Kissing a Lot of Frogs to Find a Prince
We have worked with numerous hosting companies over the last decade. Some have been passable, and some have been headache-ridden nightmares. A rare gem, however, has stood out and continues to be the hosting company that we recommended to our clients year after year. That rare gem is SiteGround.
A Little Context
To illustrate the variety of hosting companies we’ve encountered over the years, below is a small selection:
- SiteGround – easy set-up, excellent quality of hosting, and in the many years that we have used SiteGround, our experience with them has been a joy.
- eUKhost – Downtime issues.
- HostGator – Downtime issues, however their support team is pretty responsive, and they provide a decent customer portal area. Their hosting is more affordable than most other hosting providers, and you get a decent hosting package for your money.
- GoDaddy – Downtime issues, however we struggle to find an easier system to purchase and manage domains. Recommendation: buy your domains through GoDaddy, but get your hosting elsewhere.
- Rochen – prior to SiteGround, this used to be the hosting company that we would recommend to our clients. They use performance-optimised servers and power some big websites (in fact they are the company who host the main www.joomla.org website), however as the years have gone on, SiteGround has developed the edge on quality, price and ease of use.
- AISO – the eco choice with solar powered hosting.
- BlueHost – slow server issues.
- MediaTemple – Downtime issues, and a rather confusing way of doing emails and forwarders via their customer portal.
- Apollo Hosting.
- Heart Internet.
- Elite – Awful customer portal, and a barrel of headaches trying to do something as simple as transferring a domain.
- Zen Internet – Good support, but their customer portal is not very intuitive.
Why We Love SiteGround
Hosting That Just Works
The most important reason, first and foremost, is quality.
Cheap hosting is worth nothing if if keeps going down, losing customers in the process and costing irritating amounts of time and effort in getting your website back online. Any smugness at saving £12 a year will quickly evaporate when tearing your hair out due to unreachable support.
We just want hosting that works. We want hosting that we can forget about, and that allows us to get on with running our business.
From an SEO perspective, the physical location of your website hosting server can have an impact on your search engine rankings. Because of this, it’s normally best to choose hosting that is local to your customers.
We have UK clients who pay SiteGround in pounds and have UK based hosting, US clients who pay SiteGround in dollars and have US based hosting, and Spanish clients who pay SiteGround in Euros and have a Spanish SiteGround login, complete with Spanish cPanel.
Oh The Free Features!
SiteGround includes all the basics as standard.
- CPanel (for easy set up of Emails and Forwarders at no extra cost)
- SSH (for your developers, if they need it)
- Free domain name
- Free transfer of your existing website to SiteGround hosting
- 24/7 technical support
- Free daily backup
- Unlimited traffic, unlimited email accounts and unlimited databases (if you should happen to need more than a couple)
- Free CloudFlare CDN
- SiteGround’s SuperCacher (which instantly makes your website faster, and therefore more SEO friendly)
- Git integration (very handy for developers)
- The incredibly useful Staging tool (a fantastic WordPress and Joomla one-click, easy-as-pie way to set up a development area for your WordPress/Joomla website. Test out your changes on your development website and then push them to your live website. And if your development website is a little out of date, just delete it and create a brand new one from your live site. Click click.)
Whilst we actively preach that good hosting is worth paying for, we understand that sometimes budgets are tight. The nice cherry-on-top thing about SiteGround is that their hosting is affordable. Excellent quality hosting at a reasonable price – this is hosting heaven! As of 2016, you can get a StartUp hosting plan (suitable for the majority of small business websites) for £6.95 per month (£83.40 for a year of hosting).