Why I chose SiteGround to host my blog

What hosting provider should I go with? Which hosting should I choose? There are two common questions I get asked as a developer.

By trade, I’m well versed in the processes required to boot things up in the cloud, create scalable structures, and flexible architectures. Some of my peers have asked me why I don’t just put this blog up in the cloud, somewhere with Amazon or Google cloud?

I always tell them that the cloud for a blog is a bit of an overkill.

Shared hosting is simply much easier to deal with. You just pay for the hosting for a year, boot up your WordPress website and call it a day.

Everything is sorted with a few clicks of a button. No need to get overly complicated about it.

When it comes to creating a blog or website, most of us are starting from scratch. This means minimal audience and presence. Your traffic demands are not going to be crazy. It’ll also take up to build up your web presence, among many other things.

The easier and faster it is to set up your site, the more time you’ll have to actually work on the content.

So how and why did I end up with SiteGround?

Well, for starters, back in 2013 they had the best well-crafted landing page when compared to other hosting companies.

Why is this important?

Back in 2013, when I was shopping around, every other hosting company still had that 90s vibe. SiteGround paid attention to detail through their design, which bode well for what you can expect from them.

Having a nice landing page wasn’t the only thing that persuade me. Here are a few other things that helped me make my decision. They’re also the same reasons why I still recommend them to my fellow developers.

Speed

Slow sites are the death of blogs. While you can do some stuff with your WordPress installation, server speed still matters.

From my experience, SiteGround has been solid with their delivery. The only time the blog felt clunky and slow was back when I wasn’t paying attention to my image sizes. That was an “it’s me, not you” kind of problem.

The hosting itself has had 100% up time with no hitch or glitch, especially with SuperCacher on.

The perk of server based caching is that your site gets served faster. While it can cause issues for highly dynamic sites, it’ll put your regular blog on super speed.

SiteGround‘s starter plan comes with NGINX Direct Delivery, which is a caching system that serves up static content like images, CSS files and JavaScript faster. It works well in a blogging context since it’s unlikely that we’ll be flashing through and changing images for all your posts every day.

Customer Service

One thing that I did before signing up to SiteGround was test out their customer service’s response time. However, I didn’t go down the usual sales rep Q&A route.

No. I threw a stupid question at their technical team. Even though I wasn’t a customer at the time, SiteGround won by answering in a helpful manner. They tried helping me debug my ‘issue’ and sent me useful links.

One of the other two major shared hosting providers took about 50 minutes to pick up the chat, and the other one simply refused to proceed unless they had my WordPress login.

You can’t truly judge a hosting provider based on their sales team. You can, however, know what to expect once you’ve become a customer based on their technical support team.

Ease of Use

SiteGround has gone through extensive user interface redesign. This means that everything is much more intuitive to use and cleaner backend.

The way they’ve structured their backend also makes it possible for you to resell hosting and have full control over the backend panel for private clients.

Why is this important?

Well, rather than having to keep track of half a dozen clients, everything is centralized while the client also have a personalized login. If you’re a developer looking to make some side cash, this feature may come in handy for your needs.

If you’re not a developer, the new interface makes it easy for your to navigate around, with helpful links and visuals to help you kickstart your WordPress blog.

Robust against traffic fluctuations

This blog is not that big. It gets about 1k traffic per day, give or take depending on what day of the week it is.

The last 12 months looked like this:

While traffic has been pretty consistent, I did get a spike of people coming through to the blog around April.

There has also been times where I had traffic spikes through Google Discover, which is a targeted news feed.

Other spikes I’ve experienced include when posts goes semi viral in large private groups or on social media. The most concurrent amount of people on the site is about 457, with that number staying stable for a few hours.

I don’t know how other hosting providers would perform or respond but SiteGround kept the website up. I didn’t get penalized and the site didn’t crash.

Final thoughts

On the surface, SiteGround isn’t the cheapest shared hosting provider out there. However, they’re upfront and honest about expectations and traffic allowances.

Some places may promise unlimited hosting – but there’s always a catch, or else there wouldn’t be a need for scalable cloud architectures. Massive sites like eBay or publications like Forbes wouldn’t use unlimited shared hosting. Their traffic needs are probably too big for it to qualify under what unlimited really means.

SiteGround doesn’t hide behind the unlimited hosting sales tag. Rather, their traffic is unmetered. This means that you can have as many people come to your site at any time without it falling apart.

So what are you paying for when you’re with SiteGround?

Space. With the StartUp plan, you get 10GB web space and the ability to attach one domain name to it. Personally, I’m with GrowBig because I’m playing with other blogs, in addition to this one.

SiteGround‘s shared hosting plans also comes with free SSL, so you don’t have to pay extra to get the little padlock on your website.

The process of starting a blog begins with the hosting – but you shouldn’t be spending days on it. SiteGround can help get you up and running quickly so you can focus on the actual content.

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I code. I write. I hustle. Living the #devLife remotely. Subscribe to my newsletter to stay connected with my latest posts and dev thoughts.

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