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Reader Interactions


  1. Hey Carrie, SiteGround will actually migrate an existing site for you for free as part of a new package. I’ve been using them for a few months and am happily recommending them.

    • Oh, I totally missed that. Thanks for the heads up! (And always glad to hear affirmation of a service from someone other than myself)

      p.s. Updated the recap table to reflect the migrations.

    • They’ll migrate one site, but if you’re moving multiple sites, or a reseller account, then they’ll only migrate one, and charge $50 per each remaining site. When I moved to Siteground I let them migrate one, just to follow the process, but in the end it was quicker to do the manual migration of the other sites (around 16 of them) myself. Fortunately didn’t have to migrate mail, I agree with Carrie, I recommend all my clients host mail elsewhere.

  2. I’ve been using SiteGround exclusively lately, and would add that you get WP-CLI out of the box, which is pretty great. πŸ™‚ Also, with the Geeky Plan, you get an interface for Git, but you can use Git via SSH on any plan. (I do this on every project.)

  3. Hi Carrie, once again I appreciate this as spot-on. Have you had experience with websynthesis? Also… when you say this about wpengine “Although their Personal Plan ($30/month) says it’s only 1 install, they’ll totally let you have others for demo purposes” ,,, what do you mean by “demo purposes”… do you mean locked up via passwords? not sure? — Sheryl

    • Hey Sheryl,
      I have multiple clients with WebSynthesis and am happy with the actual hosting (and customer service), but from a dev standpoint, I hate that there’s no staging environment. I’ve updated existing sites and developed 100% new sites on their servers and felt like I was playing Twister to get a dev environment set up that I could show clients (I ended up staging with WPEngine, which is sad for Synthesis). All of that to say, if you’re the end user and it’s your site, it’s great, but if you’re devving for clients, it’s a PITA.

      Re: WPEngine demos… you’ll have your main account/domain, but can add on other installs as a subdomain – no password lock (like Flywheel) unless you throw up a maintenance mode plugin. I just said “demo purposes” as that’s all I’ve used it for. You wouldn’t want to run an active site from one that you expect to get traffic.

      • Hi Thanks Carrie, I see so if you are working with a client you should show them a demo by sending them to ?

          • Thanks for this post Carrie, I’ve been testing Flywheel and Site5 (Matt Maderos recommended it) lately. Site5 has a cool admin allowing for master admins, so you can manage permissions for staff and such which is nice.

            With wpEngine, if I’m hosting my own promo site + several theme demo sites (other WP installs) do you think they would allow that?

          • For theme demos, I’d go with a multisite intsall, so each of your demos would be like Basic rule of thumb (far as I can tell) is only do ONE install (if it’s a multisite install, that’s cool) that will draw traffic on an account. I haven’t tried Site5 – the admin sounds interesting.

  4. Hey Carrie, thanks for the roundup! I have just started using Flywheel and love their support staff. I also like that I can log into one FTP account to access all of my client sites, and I can easily provide access to other members of my team. Hopefully this isn’t top-secret, but I heard that Flywheel is working on a staging environment that will launch later this year.

    • Hey Sara!

      Glad to hear your experience has been great so far πŸ™‚ We’ve had a good time working with you!

      No worries, our plan for staging sites is not all the secret. We are working on that now and are excited to show it off. As always, we’re working hard on the software side to provide great features that make the process of building WordPress sites easy … and dare I say, fun?!

      Thanks your support and let us know if there’s ever a time we can help with anything!


  5. Sad Panda. πŸ™

    I really enjoyed the Flywheel story: but I have not used any other host since I found Synthesis by Copyblogger Media. Yes, I am an affiliate but no affiliate links here. Synthesis isn’t the cheapest and they still don’t have Staging but the support is fantastic on the rare occasions any is needed and the product is fast and secure. Just my unsolicited two-cents. πŸ™‚

    • Hey Jason,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the story. πŸ™‚

      If you do ever decide to take us for a spin – we’d love to have you! As mentioned in Carrie’s post, we do offer free migrations and would do all of the heavy lifting for you!

      Chat soon!


      • Well Miss Fancy Pants *I link to my previous comments Jason already read” Dils,

        Oh, so your clients pay you?

        Well, if that don’t just beat all.

        I did client sites free since the clients said it would be good for my portfolio… ;-D

        I do agree adding staging to Synthesis would be awesome and I’ve told them the same on multiple occasions but who listens to me? Not me, thats for sure. πŸ™‚

        To Rick,

        Yep, I have taken you for a spin with no complaints. If I did ever leave Synthesis (not realistic), FlyWheel would be the first place I would look.

    • Rick, +1million points for the link to the YouTube vid – I hadn’t seen that. Thanks for chiming in in the comments here. Appreciate your visibility and, as always, awesome customer service.

    • Ok, trying to test this out… in Marc’s demo it looks like he hasn’t completed billing for the site, yet the password is turned off, which is the key to success for the DS connection. I just spun up a test site to try it, but no idea to how to turn off the password short of paying.

  6. Thanks for the great summary, Carrie. I have been very happy with WP Engine and Flywheel, and am now looking to move some of my nonprofit sites to faster, more reliable shared hosting (with email) than the shared hosting provider I’m using now. SiteGround sounds like the one.

    A couple of questions for you: Do you typically buy and then resell hosting to your clients? Or do you have them sign up for their own hosting? I’m currently a shared hosting reseller, and am trying to decide whether to stay with this model or have each client purchase an individual hosting account. I have to say I don’t really like rebilling clients for hosting, and love the way Flywheel makes it easy to create a site and hand it off to the client. On the other hand, I don’t really want my clients accessing their CPanels.


  7. +1 for WPEngine.

    Their videos work well for the first-time user. As a fellow Texan, I had to support them as they are right up the road in Austin. Their customer service is excellent and the staging area is what sold me on them.

    I will admit that the Flywheel feature to transfer billing to clients is awfully enticing though.

    I wish that a managed WP hosting co. would institute a billing feature similar to Adobe BC where a dev can set a monthly fee for a client and host their site, but instead of the dev billing the client, then having to turn around and pay the hosting company, they can just have the client pay the hosting company directly at the agreed upon fee from the developer and any overage or profit built into the dev’s set fee could be credited or paid back to the dev as a monthly residual. Also, if the plan allowed sites to be added modularly rather than a tiered approach like most current managed wp hosts seem to be doing. I don’t want to have to take that hit paying for hosting while I build a portfolio of freelance work to host and make the steeper fee for more space profitable.

    I would sign up for this in a heartbeat. It would take the P.I.T.A. out of staying on top of billing clients for monthly hosting.

  8. Carrie – Thanks for the info! I’m going to check out SiteGround. I switched to BlueHost about a year ago and am only about 60% satisfied. My email was immediately blocked – which taught me the hard way that you host email separately! πŸ™‚

    • Angela, why was email blocked? I don’t understand the value of separate email hosting? Can you give an example of where you would host email if not at the same place as your site?

      • Hi Liz! My account was transferred to a blacklisted server. I couldn’t send or receive emails for more than a month. I was looking for a job at the time, so it was not good. I also had trouble getting help by phone and chat, but finally got immediate help via Twiiter.

        Carrie- no worries! Thanks for sharing extra details! πŸ˜‰

    • You’re an astute reader! The quickshot reasons would be:

      * If your hosting goes down, it takes your email down with it
      * If you re-locate hosting, it’s that much more of a pain to migrate your email (or your domain registry, for that matter). Managing those elements separately makes moving any of the elements simpler.
      * From a technical perspective, I’d prefer my web host to be focused on being the best host they can be, and conversely, my email provider focused on being the best email provider they can be.

      FWIW, I use Hover for domain registry and email (I’ve heard Google Apps is good too, I just haven’t tried it). The #1 selling point for me is that if my hosting goes down, my email is unaffected. Costs more, but I run my business through email, so it’s worth paying the extra for it.

      • Hi Carrie,
        Thanks for this. I’ve been toying with the idea of some sort of managed WP hosting for a while, mainly for clients, and the WPEngine staging area feature has had me drueling ever since I first saw it a year ago or so. I’m currently using Dreamhost for my site hosting, and am satisfied with it for the most part, given that it’s a shared host. Totally agree with separate hosting of email. I’ve been hosting mine with Google Apps since 2009 and I’m glad I made the switch, since when I migrate hosts my email doesn’t go down.

      • Hi Carrie,

        Thanks for this note re separate hosting. This makes total sense, however I now have a whole bunch of communication/work to do with getting my clients switched over to two different hosts! LOL

        I have a question though as you mention GoogleApps.

        With Hover you need to have the domain name registered with them in order to use their mail hosting. The email hosting redirection is done by changing the A records at the domain end.

        My understanding with GoogleApps is that you have to have your site hosted with Google in order to change the A records or it will wipe the site out and only redirect the email?

        The method I am using to externally host some clients emails with GoogleApps is through MX records which are done on the web hosting server end.

        Soooo my question would be, if the web hosting server went down and the mail was redirected through MX records would this not in turn shut down the email as well?

        I understand that the MX records fixes the issue of being blacklisted but I’m assuming it would not fix server outage issues?

        • Heya! In a perfect world, your domain registration would be separate from your hosting, so you’d manage your MX records with the domain registrar, avoiding the problem you’re talking about.

          I’m not sure how the scenario you describe would pan out – that’d probably be a question for Google support or possibly the host.

  9. right now I use GoDaddy. They have unlimited space for my media. Is it possible to use WP engine for my hosting but then continue to use Go Daddy for my media?

    • Are you hosting large media, like video/audio files? For that, I’d recommend separating out into something like AmazonS3 storage – you’ll get much faster (and consistent) download/stream than you would from a hosting company (any hosting company). Not to mention, you can chew up your allotted bandwidth on a hosting account in a hurry if you’re serving up large media.

      If you’re talking about stuff normal photos, etc, in your regular WP Media uploads, you might be able to pull from a different URL. I’ve never looked into it.

    • If it’s a CSS change, I’m comfortable confirming my changes via Inspect Element and then just direct editing (not in WP Admin, but via file upload).

      If it’s a functional change, I’ll duplicate it in a local environment or clone it to a staging site to try it out. Only exception is if the site is not live, in which case there’s no harm working directly in that environment.

      Bottom line, it boils down to the nature of the change – small, minor tweaks are made easily enough live, but if there’s any “trial” involved, best not to do it on a live site.

      I use Migrate DB Pro to pull down the DB and media media files, when needed.

  10. Carrie, I really enjoyed reading your insightful comparisons of the various vendors. I’ve been with WP Engine for about a year and have been looking at Flywheel. I’ve found WP Engine good but not great. They lost a lot of ground in my book when all of my sites (9 of them) went down for eight hours. While it didn’t seem to be a major issue for them because it only affected a subset of their customer base, it affected ALL of my customers. I know that outages happen, but how a host handles it is critical to me. I found that WP Engine’s crisis management was less than robust. When they did update me, they emphasized that the problem was with their third party provider, not with them. I don’t doubt that the source was with the third party, but while you can outsource the function, you can’t outsource the responsibility. I hope that this is an area that they improve over time. The saving grace is that that it hasn’t happened again and I hope that it never does.

    • Hi Mary,
      Thanks so much for your comment – yes, downtime is the death of a hosting deal, especially on a site where downtime = loss of business/sales. I wasn’t impacted when you were, so can’t comment from experience, but agree that the way customer service responds when things go wrong is critical. You’re right – it doesn’t matter where the fail happened, the result was your clients experienced significant downtime. In those situations, I think a little customer service can go a long way (i.e. genuine apology, offer of service recovery such as a free month, etc.). No service will be 100% all of the time, but how you handle the “fails” is critical.

      I’ve had a couple of dropped balls with Flywheel, but their response was so amazing (and fast and helpful) that it made up for it.

  11. I’ve used SiteGround for a while, moved a couple of domains there as a test and I think I will continue to keep it for that. One thing I didn’t care for is it says unlimited sites but the first one you sign up with is *it* forever. I was thinking I would have an account with all my domains showing in a list after I upgraded to their middle plan GrowBig, but I found out that is not the case. For example, i signed up with Then, I wanted to migrate and I did, however, in my CPanel it’s a subdirectory – for FTP access. The GoGeek plan is the same, only it offers automated staging so you can move a demo site from a subdomain to the main domain with a couple of clicks. I haven’t actually done this but I confirmed it with Boris on support chat today πŸ™‚ Speaking of support, they are fantastic with support and customer service. The day after I first signed up I received a personal phone call thanking me and asking did I have any questions. I mainly use their chat for support and I never have to wait, it’s always answered in less that 30 seconds or so.

    Thank you for the info on the other hosts, I think I did to put on my big girl pants and hook up with one of them πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for the insights, Ginger! Even though the migrated sites show up as sub-domains on the account (, that’s just a matter of file storage and you should be able to map your domain appropriately. But you’re saying it’s impossible to change the primary domain on the account? If that’s the case, that kinda sucks, but it’s just a matter of numbers – I bet a call to Boris could make it happen. πŸ™‚

  12. I think all shared hosts work that way. Every additional domain is although we can point a domain there and it isn’t apparent to visitors. Bluehost does it that way too.

    I know from working in linux at rackspace that there is one “real” domain on a virtual host. The one that appears when you just put in the IP address. All the others are virtual. If there is another way to run a virtual host, I’m unaware of it. For what it’s worth!

    Love to hear about other systems.

    • I’m starting think you’re right Sheryl so probably it was user-education on my part on how I thought it might work vs how it really works πŸ™‚ The performance, customer service and cost for SiteGround really is a good deal.

      • Hi Ginger, I don’t know if I am right. I have just read the manuals on the hosts where I have had an account, rackspace, bluehost.

        But you point out a practical side effect of “dating’ several hosts. You tend to learn what is host-specific and what is generally accepted. If you are self-taught, that kind of experience is important. That or a supportive community like this, where we can all learn from each other’s mistakes!

        I have explored dreamhost, websynthesis and wpengine. I’m seeking a good wordpress-only host, which this article is helping with.

  13. Hi Carrie, nice reviews.
    i am on Siteground and i am really happy with their GoGeek Plan.
    Please note that the GoGeek plan comes with 30 days backup system which you can restore at any time for free (r1soft) for both files and databases. the package also comes with few cool WordPress tools, for example you can change your WP site admin password straight from cPanel.
    oh, and I also find their hosting to be really fast, with caching on 3 levels and a SSD hard drive for the database, my sites never been that fast.
    honestly, I doubt that anything WP engine gives can be better than that.
    also for me using cPanel instead of some custom panel is a huge plus as well.

  14. Hi Carrie, Nice and useful summary..
    Have you tried LightningBase or know someone who has ? Their plan starts at $10/month and includes CDN. Any feedback is much appreciated.

  15. Hi Carrie,
    Any comments about security comparing WPEngine and SiteGround? I’ve been happy with WPE but always looking for alternatives for clients.

    • Hi Mark,
      Great question. I don’t have any official answer or research-driven comment, BUT so far I haven’t had any security problems with either. πŸ™‚

  16. Thanks for that quick run down. Ivery been without hosting needs for a little over a year now so getting up to speed on what is available in each of the, well I guess I’ll call them genres, of hosting sites in the game. recommended SiteGround and one other in the same cost range and I tooled a rounded the other first and was blown away at how it could be so horrible and yet be recommended by, but then I hit SiteGround.Com and please try surprised at the cost vs. quality ration I found.

  17. Great post Carrie. I’ll mention since I haven’t seen their hat in the ring, that I have been extremely happy with Site5 for the past three years. I know growth can really kill the customer service in some hosting companies, but they’ve always been solid and responsive. That said, it’s good to have some options in your toolbox so thanks again.

  18. SiteGround was my only host for years. Over time, their help desk shrunk, then disappeared. I believe they also were originally a U.S. company (though I’m not certain of this), then moved operations overseas. Every time they billed me I got hit with a foreign currency charge on my credit card. Technically, though, they were fine.

  19. Hey Carrie!

    If you don’t mind about getting your hands out from your mouse and relocating them on the keyboard and firing commands thru the command line, Linode could be a great candidate too.

    In fact I’m using them for several projects without a hitch.

    BTW: +1000 on the matter of having the email service totally independent from websites.

  20. I have been using Siteground for over 2 years and I couldn’t be happier. The customer service is exceptional and the uptime has been between 99.9 and 100%. I have yet to try the staging service but I can image how useful that is when making major changes to a wordpress site.

  21. My story after a disastrous site transfer just recently to SiteGround. I left HostGator… lured by the promise of a dedicated WordPress hosting platform being…”The way to go”.
    After 10 days I was blowing over their 2nd level package…(due to 6000 script runs…not in the bold page hits were low and all other specs below the package threshold), and their first suggestion was that their next level up “Geek” package (top) would probably not suit my needs that I should go direct to their New beta Cloud service for $69 a month. Then then Shut my site down for almost a full day until a supervisor lifted the limit just to let me in to work on the page…as I was locked out also. I ask that since they were the WordPress experts… “Could you please tell me which script was blowing over the limit?” After a half day of the site being down they replied “it’s your index.php and plugins”… Really? After a few hours they shut the site back down.
    I moved the site back to a business level with HostGator who REALLY HELPED with the migration back!
    I was hosting with them at a lower level … like $7 a month and upped it to the business plan for like $10~
    Never really had a problem with them and the site… but I drank the “Running WP… than you need to be on a WP hosting service!”.
    I’m not saying they pulled a bait and switch on me…or that other services do not merit the extra cost…but at least if you’re a touting your WP expert platform… don’t bail on me when my sites down…and offer only meager suggestions.
    By the way… They also told me that since my mail files were over their limit of 1gb it would be an extra $50 to transfer the mail…Yes…I paid it!
    HostGator transferred everything back no extra fee…even included a free domain transfer (which I paid SG $15).
    Siteground’s phone support is over sea’s…so occasionally a language barrier makes conversation you need to focus on..but they were polite at the Tier one level… ALL other technical support above Tier 1 is EMAIL response only.
    Lesson learned…

    And yes… I also paid international fees tacked onto the credit card charges also…

    Back with the business plan at Hostgator…and haven’t had a hiccup since…

    • Hey Greg,
      Interesting (and unpleasant) experience. I suppose there are always exceptions to the rule – I’ve continued to have great service from SG, but HostGator service nearly put me on blood pressure meds. πŸ™‚

      Glad you’ve got something that works!


  22. I just wanted to jump in and add a +1 for both WP Engine and Flywheel. I’m a bit of a serial web host dater myself so I’ve tried quite a few over the years. Both WP Engine and Flywheel are a dream to work with though I’m currently pushing Flywheel to my clients over WP Engine mainly due to cost and speed. In my non-scientific survey, I’ve found that Flywheel sites fly faster – YMMV.

    Also, if you’re a consultant/freelancer, the way Flywheel is set up makes complete sense. Easy to setup, build and handover including billing. The handover process is often overlooked and I haven’t had any of those “How do I do this?” or “How do I pay?” emails from clients on Flywheel.

    The staging server on WP Engine is a definite plus and I’m hoping it arrives on Flywheel soon.

  23. Hi Carrie –

    I’m a WPEngine customer but I’m always looking at alternatives. SiteGround is one that I’ve been looking at this morning. One thing to mention is that they don’t offer month-to-month service now; perhaps they did when you first wrote this article. (It sounds like it to me but perhaps I mis-interpreted what you wrote.)

    This was a great overview. I read the article and the comments. Once Flywheel has staging server functionality I will definitely be looking at that one.


  24. Hi Carrie. I just signed up for a WP Engine Personal plan and (I’ll be darned) it let me add a second install like you mention. Have you had any problems with more than one install on that plan? Any surprises like sudden bumps to a higher plan?


    • Hey Bryan,
      I haven’t had any issues of price bumps – the sites I have on there are just for development and demo purposes, so they’re very low traffic. If you’re concerned about it though, you might want to check the fine print or ping the support team. πŸ™‚


      • Hi Carrie. I chatted with WP Engine support staff about the additional install and they said I’d be charged for any installs beyond the one, at $14.95/mo each. Maybe this is an “ask for forgiveness, not permission” situation, but it’s back to one install for me. πŸ˜‰

        Thanks for sharing your experience with these hosting options!


    • I can’t speak for Carrie or WP Engine but they don’t seem to mind as long as it just for testing or limited demo purposes and not another entire site. I asked WP Engine support and they said if I was abusive they would contact me and not just bump me up without warning. I have been really impressed with the level of support, they don’t just host, there is a list of plugins they support directly for example. Next to NewRainmaker this is the safest solution for WordPress. One click restore from backup. So nice.

        • Thanks for your comment, reportica. It’s possible I got someone new, who was responding based on the official pricing policy.

          I asked specifically whether I could add a couple installs with very low traffic for development purposes, but the chat support person just said there’s a charge for each additional install. When I asked if I would be charged for the install I had just created, he said not if I removed it (nothing about abusive behavior or warnings). It seemed like the policy was inflexible, so just deleted the install.

          In the very brief time I’ve been with WP Engine, they seem great.

  25. Hey Carrie!

    I’ve been in Bluehost HELL. I’m so glad I read this post a few months ago and learned about SiteGround. I’ve been reading up on them and watching the company’s social media feeds for customer service with current users since I read your post. Recently, I ran into a major problem on Bluehost. My sites were completely shut down – not a good thing to happen while job hunting. I needed solutions. Bluehost customer service told me I did something wrong – but could not tell me what. I asked several specific questions and go nothing but generic responses. I couldn’t get my site up unless I paid them. I was not a happy camper.

    Once I got my site back up, I switched it over to SiteGround and could not be happier. The customer service was excellent. They switched everything over for me at no cost when I signed up for a shared plan. I didn’t need anything larger. (There was a great deal going on over Halloween and I took full advantage.)

    Also, I switched my domain and email over to This is the first time in nearly three years that email actually WORKS for me. It has never worked through Bluehost.

  26. Hey Carrie,

    Was doing a search for recommended (managed) WordPress hosts and came across this great article. Thanks for the info on these hosts! I was not aware of Flywheel but will check them out (I’ve looked at WP Engine, Synthesis and Pagely as well).

    With that said, I’ve read some comments around the web that say the back-end is not as fast as the front-end for many of these managed hosts. What host would you recommend for a WP site with memberships and user-specific data? Thanks in advance!

  27. Hello Carrie,

    I have a GoGeek account at Siteground and tried to use the staging service for WP, which was the reason why I signed in for this account. But it simply does not work. Siteground support tries to help, but staging im my opinion is useless when you have to rebuild a page everytime you push it live from staging.

    The interesting thing is that I hear no comments about staging (at Siteground), positive or negative in forums. Only articles and reviews telling theoretically how it should work; no real live reviews, testing on a live system, with some complexity.

    We experienced nothing but severe errors in real live ….
    and I would be more than happy to hear some real success stories.


    • Flywheel’s staging is nice, but to be useful it requires an external code repository and deploy service/s. Even then moving databases around remains a tedious and perilous chore with a live and active site. If Flywheel added support for git, it would make things a lot simpler and encourage use of version control on even the simplest sites. If VersionPress pans out as intended, it will be the drop dead simple silver bullet for database merges and would be an awesome tool to link live, staging and local sites with or without a hosted repo. Flywheel will have to add support for git to make that possible however.

  28. I’m in love with SiteGround too. Best host i’ve used. Always available, friendly and very skilled support. Tons of reviews prove it

  29. I’ve been using cloud VPS for my WordPress hosting recently and that has been going great. Price point is a little bit cheaper than some of the shared and managed WP hosts.

  30. Thanks a lot for this article. And all of the replies and followup comments from your readers. I was zeroing in on these three hosts already, and searching the names led me hear.

    Will be going with FW or SG after a bit more investigation. WHM/Cpanel backends w/email included is all I’ve every known, but the “separate email” rec has me thinking that over now as well.

    Finally, not to sound all fawning or anything, but I’ve been searching/reading for over two hours and this is the first genuine “for real” seeming review and site I’ve found. Lot’s of suspect “reviews” out there nowadays, and yours seems authentic, and helped me feel better about the hosts I was closing in on already, so thanks.

    • Finally, not to sound all fawning or anything, but I’ve been searching/reading for over two hours and this is the first genuine β€œfor real” seeming review and site I’ve found.

      Thank you so much for that – I do my best to share the good, bad, and ugly. πŸ™‚

  31. Hey Carrie,

    I am finally ready to move from the “Gator” aka Hostgator. I gave them 4 years and ready to move on due to their poor customer service.

    I have a quick question though. Do you think that SiteGround is good enough when it comes to dealing with eCommerce websites with about 10,000 products?


    • Hi Lily,

      I don’t have experience running a large site with SiteGround. Do you have significant traffic? If so, I’d lean toward one of the managed solutions – you’ll get better performance.


  32. I can chime in about SiteGround and Mission Critical sites. Short answer, I’m losing confidence.

    I moved to SG, and have the Go Geek plan, and thus far it’s just been “ok”. Recent support ticket:

    ME: My site seems slow and laggy, especially in the Admin. I just had a user call and say that she can’t get a form submission to go through at {my form url}. Can you let me know if there seems to be any trouble with the server or resources?

    SG: I have carefully examined your case and it seems that the issue at hand occurred because the server temporary reached high-load. I am including the server logs below :
    Dec 01 15:38:55 High load (15.95) reached!

    Uh, darn. I know I’m on a shared server. But when I originally called to talk to sales, explained what I’m doing, etc, (real estate websites, mostly static but very important contact forms) I was sold on the “Unique Account Isolation Technology”.

    In other words, led to believe that bad behavior by others on the shared server can’t bleed over to affect my account because they have automated tools to detect and crush issues, etc.

    To be fair, after further questioning, the tech did make me aware that I was not utilizing all of the included tools to speed up the site (SuperCacher), which I have now enabled. I don’t know if that would have mattered in this case though.

    Were it not for the mission critical forms that we use for lead inquiries, repair requests and application submission, I think it would be fine.

    For a big eCommerce site, I’d talk to SG about a beefier account, or look at WP Engine, which is what I’m now considering.

    • Sorry to hear that, Steve. I’ve also experienced a slowness with SG lately that is very frustrating.

      For a big eCommerce site, I’d talk to SG about a beefier account, or look at WP Engine, which is what I’m now considering.

      For any site that’s generating income (i.e. ecommerce), I’d definitely so go with a managed host. Those are sites where you literally can’t afford downtime or sluggish page loads that lead to higher bounce rates.

  33. Had the same issue with SG Steve… had to pull the site and switch it back to the previous host… and haven’t had an issues since… Had it there 2 weeks and kept going over the limits and with no resolution or troubleshooting from their end…only an offer to update the hosting to 3X the cost…

  34. Hey Carrie, I’ve been using SiteGround for a couple months, and I just ran into my first major hiccup this week. I’m not sure if it’s a plugin fault or a hosting fault or a little of both.

    But I got two emails from SiteGround. Very strange wording in the first one:

    “We would like to inform you that your account has reached the allowed daily usage of 20000 CPU seconds per account. Please note that once you hit 150% of the allowed daily CPU seconds, your web service will be limited for the calendar day. The web service limit means you may have problems accessing your website.”

    “We have detected that MySQL database(s) on your account exceed the maximum allowed size of 1000 per database and we kindly ask you to reduce them within the next 7 days grace period. In case your database(s) still exceed the allowed size after the grace period is over, a limit will be applied, which may result in malfunctioning of your website.

    xyzsite_wp734 3368MB

    With a very new and untrafficked site, I magically blew the lid off the database limits in one single day. Turns out it coincides with an email newsletter plugin I was testing, but still, I had only a list of 500 and there’s no way it should have exceeded bandwidth.

    The biggest irritation I have is with the number of “CPU seconds”. Who uses that term? I’ve used a dozen hosting companies from Hostgator to WP Engine to Synthesis and never seen that term before.

    It might be legit, but it feels like an unusual unit of measure.

    • At the very least that’s not a helpful message! As for the unit of measure, I’m not sure if that’s odd or not (I have never gotten a nastygram about exceeding bandwidth).

      Can you run some tests on your local server and see what results you get? Might help you narrow down the root cause.

  35. Another +1 for WPEngine. We’ve been on their Premium plan for many years now and have never had any issues! Plus it’s always blazing fast.

    Hey Carrie, we’d love to have you guest post on our site again it’s been 3 years since your last post! Just know that you are always welcome! Paid or unpaid πŸ˜‰

  36. Thank you so much for this post! I’ve been with a different host for some time. As a non-techie, I’ve been mired in a never-ending nightmare to be sure my site is secure (If my site is hacked and I can’t fix it myself, I have to pay my host a small fortune to fix it). I’m so paralyzed with fear that I haven’t even made my site public yet.

    To make life simple, I’m considering WP Engine and Flywheel, both of which will fix security issues for free. I’m a total newbie and need something super simple to use (I’m not a developer or anything. I just want to blog securely). I would like to know if WP Engine or Flywheel would fit that bill. Do you have any words of wisdom for me? Thanks.

    • Hey Julie, I hate that you’ve been scared off of launching your site! As a self-described non-technie, I think you’ll be more at home with Flywheel. WP Engine is great as well but caters more to the developer while Flywheel is made with “normal people”, like you, in mind. πŸ™‚

  37. Great review here. Thanks.
    I am using Siteground, was quite happy with it, but was surprised that there is mailbox quota limit of 2 GB per email account in all shared hosting plans.
    My client need more than that, upgrading to their cloud plans (for unlimited quota) will cost about $80 a month instead of the $15 I am currently paying… since the website has little traffic, I don’t think it is a good idea to migrate to that expensive plan now…
    Your suggestion of mail host in another post unfortunately will cost me a lot too. Since my client need like 50 email accounts, in your suggestions of google app, rackspace…etc that will add to like $100 a month for emails alone..
    Any recommendation?

  38. Here’s an unanticipated problem with SiteGround: The WP AutoUpdate mandate. The last time WPAutoUpdate updated the site, it replaced the site with an older cached version of the site, absent of my client’s latest content updates. So I submitted a support ticket. The response is below:

    “The AutoUpdater cannot be disabled completely. I cancelled the upcoming update for your website and added this to the “wp-config.php” file: Code: define( ‘AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED’, true );
    However, if there is a new WordPress release, the tool will schedule an update for your website and you have to manually cancel it via cPanel -> WP AutoUpdater. Apologies for the inconvenience. Note that you can quickly and easily restore the site using the tool itself should anything goes wrong after an update. If you have any other questions or require further assistance from your end, don’t hesitate to get back to us.”

    So, in other words, I need to anticipate WordPress updates before the WP AutoUpdater does in order to cut it off at the pass.

    I WANT to like SiteGround, but in addition to this annoyance, I have also experienced a major run around with customer support two different times in the past 9 months over two completely different issues/websites. Occasionally I get someone who is direct and honest, informed, smart and helpful. But too often they do not seem to understand the question and respond with glib and inappropriate solutions.

    I have personally decided to steer clear of SiteGround for all future clients.

  39. We’re using Flywheel right now and it’s ….eh…..not going so smoothly. We had to migrate from WP Engine because of certain limitations. What we’re trying to do is technically difficult and that may be part of the problem. But my main beef with Flywheel is their support feels really thin. If you need anything done Friday, good luck – you’re going to have to wait until Monday. With MediaTemple, you can always call and someone is available 24/7. Also, their support team doesn’t seem to have the best WordPress chops. I’m starting to get a really bad feeling about this move…

  40. Hi Carrie what about LittleBizzy or just hosting directly on your Vultr account have you tried like that or do you only recommend the more famous brands, thanks

  41. Great Analysis! I have used few web hosting services though i do not want to name them but they were rather slow and have sluggish customer support. Siteground is spot on just like your review. They are very helpful always and technical enough to meet all the needed requirements. They have done all the hard work me from installation to implementation and i also easily moved my domain to Siteground quickly. Would you recommend any other hosting for magneto as I am currently having one of my sites developed on Magento or siteground is good option for magento hosting as well?


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