There are many questions to ask when you search for a host for an ecommerce website. Is the host able to handle surges in traffic, especially during holidays? Are you able to instantly configure a WordPress/WooCommerce site that gets stored on the host’s servers? What about email addresses, site backups and ongoing costs? These are valid questions, considering that an ecommerce shop needs special care. Even a slight downtime can result in significant sales losses.
Many hosting companies offer shared hosting plans. Others cater to ecommerce or WordPress hosting. SiteGround has a solid interface and pricing structure that allows for easy WooCommerce installation. This makes it a reliable and straightforward hosting environment. We thoroughly reviewed SiteGround to see how it can improve your ecommerce store.
We cover pricing and features as well as customer support options and ease-of-use. Continue reading the SiteGround review to learn more about the interface and what features might help you increase your trust in your host.
Highlight Features and Offers
Your hosting package will provide you with high-quality hosting. You may need to pay extra for certain features that will help you secure your website. Sometimes you will need to pay for cloud backups or content delivery networks. These are unfortunate issues considering that you already pay for hosting services. Why not include them all in the pricing package?
The good news? SiteGround appears to agree with that sentiment, considering that it offers many free features and services, such as email addresses, SSL certificates and a content delivery system. You can even get daily backups and WordPress migration tools so your ecommerce store will be secure and properly moved.
We’ll be discussing SiteGround’s top offerings and explaining what makes them unique. You should make a list of the features that you need from your host. Keep it updated as you go.
WordPress Installation and One-Click WordPress Installation
It used to require technical knowledge and an FTP client to install WordPress on a host. It’s possible to still do this, but SiteGround makes it much easier by providing one-click installation.
Our SiteGround review revealed that you can either migrate your WordPress site to one of their dedicated or shared servers, or create a new WordPress website entirely.
You have two options: install WordPress only or add the WooCommerce plugin. Next, choose your username/password to log into your WordPress dashboard. SiteGround handles the rest.
It takes only a few seconds. The process is complete and you are ready to install WordPress. Only the last step requires some technical knowledge. SiteGround has the resources and support staff to assist you with this. Although it is not clear if this is an in-house team or not, we would assume so.
Get daily backups and SSL certificates as free security tools
You don’t want to risk security on an ecommerce website. You shouldn’t host an ecommerce site without a SSL certificate and automatic updates. SiteGround has a great selection of managed WooCommerce hosting plans that cover almost all aspects of security.
You will receive a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt or Wildcard SSL. These certificates protect your website’s data, including customer contact and transaction information. This certificate lets users know that your website is secured in their browsers. It also ensures that your customers’ data is not stolen online.
The automatic backups are a great feature that we enjoy. They happen every day to make sure you have a copy of your website in the event it crashes or goes down (even though the siteGround uptime is near 100%). We recommend that you have an automated backup system for your online store to prevent human error. You’re less likely to do backups of your website if you intend on doing them manually. SiteGround handles the backups, storing multiple backups you can access and restoring them. They also help with restoration.
You can also expect an AI (artificial Intelligence) anti-bot system that will run continuously to block bots from infiltrating sites. Upgrade to Sitescanner to monitor your website for malware. You can also use the web app firewall to detect any other problems.
Based on our SiteGround review, most of these security features can be found to be free. Competitors charge extra for backups, or they don’t offer them at all. Web app firewalls, anti-bot systems are also subject to the same rules. SiteGround gets a huge thumbs-up.
With your chosen domain name, get free email addresses
A business email address is another important part of operating an online store. SiteGround offers free email addresses to your entire company, so you don’t have to pay extra for this added convenience. Every hosting plan includes unlimited email addresses with your domain after adding the @ symbol.
You can create any email address in the dashboard. You can increase the email quota limit if you need it.
You can also configure your email addresses with other email clients such as Thunderbird, Windows Mail or Outlook. You can autoconfigure your email address for the most popular clients, and receive your incoming mail on your mobile device via the Mail Configuration page. You can now send and receive email while you are on the move.
Speed-oriented features like caching and a Content Delivery Network, (CDN), are available.
You will need caching plugins, CDNs, optimization tools and optimization tools to speed up WordPress stores. This can lead to a confusing collection of plugins and third party software. SiteGround is a great option for optimizing your website. It uses PHP 7, Opcache and supercachers, so you don’t need an optimization plugin.
Caching allows the user to see the most recent version of your website every time they visit a page on your site.
Cloudflare CDN gives you access to a content delivery system (CDN). Cloudflare CDN allows you to connect to multiple servers around the world so your website does not have one location. Instead, site visitors from California will be served your website using a machine located around them. The CDN will switch to a machine close to you if a WordPress user comes from Germany, Asia, Bulgaria, Singapore, or other countries. This ensures that your website loads quickly and doesn’t take too long (similar to a machine in Europe for the German).
You often need to pay extra for these elements, especially a powerful CDN. SiteGround reviewed the company and found that it offers free caching and a CDN. You can also upgrade to Cloudflare’s premium CDN if needed.
To make a test site, a safe staging area is required
Live changes to your website are not a good idea. You could cause a major problem and ruin the entire website. Viewers may be confused if they see modifications that are only half-finished. This makes your site look unprofessional and may even make it appear that the site is not working.
Staging sites are a great way to modify your designs and add new elements to the site without having to make any changes. After the staging is complete, you can publish your changes and view them on the live site.
Although it is not included in all hosting plans, some packages include a staging platform that allows you to create a separate design centre for your websites. This is great for when you are building an online shop or changing design elements in an existing one.
You can create unlimited staging sites with the dashboard. Additionally, you can name your sites to make them easier to find. Agency developers and agencies will enjoy the staging experience because of its simplicity and the fact that it is often expensive to purchase such a service.
The SiteGround stage center also allows you to create a password for all staging sites, so that no one outside your organization can access them. Your protected URLs can be accessed at any time. You can also view the list of staging sites that you have created for clients or yourself.
SiteGround’s SiteGround review reveals that they have put a lot of effort into making online store owners’ lives easier, particularly when it comes security and speed. SiteGround offers many of these advanced features free of charge with its hosting plans.
SiteGround Pricing and Plans
SiteGround offers multiple web hosting services, including the following:
- Web hosting
- Managed WordPress Hosting
- Managed WooCommerce Hosting
- Cloud hosting
- Hosting for resellers
Reseller hosting and cloud hosting are not covered by us. Reseller hosting is only for companies that wish to repackage or sell SiteGround’s existing hosting infrastructure. Cloud hosting is an option for many online shops, but it’s more common for businesses to choose shared hosting or managed hosting options, depending on the type of website and traffic. If you are looking to scale quickly, cloud hosting is a great option.
Standard web hosting is just shared hosting with fewer managed elements. This means that you are more in control of the backend hosting interface than relying on automation. WordPress and WooCommerce hosting can be considered the same type of managed hosting. However, the WooCommerce plan includes the WooCommerce ecommerce plug-in.
Apart from the fact that all these hosting options are similar in price, we will primarily focus on the WooCommerce managed host package. This is because it’s the easiest way for SiteGround to open an online store and keep it safe and backed-up at all times.
Three packages are available for the WooCommerce Managed Host Plans, as outlined in our SiteGround review:
- StartUp plan $14.99 per Month (with a promotional pricing of $3.99 per Month), for one website with 10GB disk space, 10k monthly visitors, automatic WordPress updates and migrations, daily backups, free SSL certificates, free SSL certificates, free SSL certificates, free SSL certificates, free SSL certificates, free SSL certificates, free SSL certificates, free email addresses, unlimited databases, and many more.
- GrowBig Plan $24.99 per Month ($6.69 per Month promotional pricing) Unlimited websites, 20GB web space, 25k monthly visits, unlimited backup copies, ultrafast PHP and an option to add collaborators.
- GoGeek plan $39.99 per monthly (with a promo price of $10.69/month), unlimited websites, 40GB web space, 100k visitors per month, all the features of the previous plans, staging using Git, collaboration and the ability to create white-label websites. In addition to receiving priority customer support, you also get the most powerful server resources compared with the other plans. SiteGround managed WooCommerce hosting is the best way to get your site up and running quickly.
You can sign up for longer periods (like 12 or 36 month) and get lower monthly prices. The base prices above are applicable if SiteGround is purchased on a monthly basis. The cheapest promotional pricing is available for those who have a longer term.
Cloud hosting is also an option if your ecommerce site is growing rapidly and requires multiple CPU cores, increased RAM, or more SSD space. For around $2,000., you can get 33 CPU cores and 130GB RAM. You also have 1TB of SSD storage. Cloud hosting plans starting at $127 per month are the lowest priced. They include 4 cores, 1GB RAM and 40GB SSD space.
Additional pricing considerations from the SiteGround review
- Pre-set cloud hosting plans allow you to choose the number of CPU cores and RAM you require, as well as the SSD space. The Small Business Cloud Hosting plan, for example, has a pre-set configuration that allows you to use 12 cores, 16GB RAM, or 120GB SSD space.
- Only on-demand backup copies are available, as well as the superfast PHP, staging and collaboration options if you choose the GrowBig or GoGeek plans.
- GoGeek plans unlock Git, white-label customers, priority support and the highest tiers of resources.
- SiteGround uses Google Cloud to host its websites. It also offers a 100% renewable energy match.
- SiteGround hosting plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. This allows you to try the interface out and decide if it is the right host.
What’s the Interface?
Online store owners don’t often look at their hosting dashboard (or Cpanel), because it can be too overwhelming or they don’t need it until something bad happens.
This is unfortunate as many hosting dashboards offer amazing tools for managing site things such as backups, databases, email addresses, and more. Hosting dashboards were outdated and clunky in the past. SiteGround has modernized its backend interface so that you can create an email address, transfer a domain or restore a backup file.
We were impressed by the WebsiteGround dashboard’s user-friendliness. It has a simple menu at the top that allows you to quickly find the most important tools. The interface also includes a great getting started guide that guides you through the key steps of launching and managing your website.
This walkthrough will guide you through installing WordPress, migrating your site, and pointing it to your domain. It also includes temporary URLs. The walkthrough will also show you how to transfer your domain.
Each step has a button that will allow you to complete the mentioned process. You may prefer to install WordPress instead of migrating an existing site to SiteGround. To get started, simply click the Install WordPress button.
Each number indicates an important step to configure your site. This includes setting up email accounts, changing your domain name and creating an email account with your hosting account.
We have tested many hosting dashboards and we are not familiar with the ones that offer such a smooth, seamless launch experience. It is not common to be able to migrate a site or link a WordPress site to your domain. SiteGround’s modern dashboard and updated dashboard make this impossible.
One-click WordPress installation is a favorite feature that we found in the WebsiteGround review. You can either create a new website from the dashboard or move an existing one to a different host.
This will allow us to create a brand new website, and then choose one of the many easy-to-use installation buttons.
If you are trying to set up an online shop, you could install WordPress or WooCommerce.
You can also go to the Weebly Website Creator, which offers ecommerce tools.
SiteGround’s dashboard controls every aspect of the WooCommerce website setup process. After you have created your username, password, domain name and email address, SiteGround will install the latest version of WordPress on their servers.
You will be prompted to point your domain to the new host servers. The WordPress dashboard will then be available for you to manage your site. You can make email addresses, run backups, or open the WordPress dashboard using your new login credentials.
After installation, you will have direct access the SiteGround dashboard. This dashboard includes pinned tools that allow you to manage WordPress, set up email accounts and manage your files. SiteScanner can be used to detect malware, and you can schedule reports to your email address to monitor the health of your store.
On the left side of your screen is the main menu. This menu contains buttons for managing your site, security, speed, and other functions. Click on the WordPress button to go directly to our WordPress site. Or, you can check out the Statistics or Email buttons.
The dashboard’s main page provides information about your disk usage, IP and Name server addresses, as well as quick statistics that allow you to see how many people visit your site.
They have many protection tools, such as the SSL Manager, the HTTPS Enforce feature and an area to block specific URLs. The page that stores site backups is also a favorite, as it allows you search for backup names and scroll through all backups by date.
SiteGround allows you to restore a backup at any moment. This makes it simple to fix any problems with your site. Simply switch to the version from the past.
Cloudflare offers links to the caching and content delivery networks (great for improving load times) in the Speed section. These were both very useful during SiteGround’s review. They run in the background, but you can access the settings to turn them on, configure them, or switch between caching methods.
You’ll find an area under the Email tab to create an email address using your domain and not @gmail.com.
Set up accounts for each employee and create passwords that can later be reset. You can receive unlimited emails with your hosting plan, as mentioned in the pricing section. You can also set up autoresponders, filters and authentication.
SiteGround offers a great walkthrough tutorial on the dashboard to link your SiteGround email addresses with other email software, or on your smartphone.
The Statistics section provides statistics on traffic, audience, sources, behavior, technology, and other information that will help you monitor the website. If you have any issues with your website, you can view page views and check the error log.
SiteGround’s ease-of-use review revealed that even complex hosting can be made simple by the host. Hosting can be intimidating for beginners, but the user-friendly dashboard and customer support will make it easy to get comfortable.
The Customer Service
SiteGround support can be broken down into two categories: online resources and direct human support.
Direct customer support is available when you need to talk with someone over the phone, via email, or through live chat. If you have a problem and don’t want to spend 20 minutes or more looking through knowledgebase articles and videos, direct support staff can help. Online store owners are especially vulnerable as they don’t have the time or resources to fix your site. For fast-growing businesses, every minute can mean sales disappearing.
SiteGround is a great choice for direct customer support. They offer 24/7 customer service and even priority tech support for customers who have the GoGeek pricing plan.
While most inquiries are handled through email ticketing, there is an option to connect via the following channels:
- Chatbox available online.
- You can call an operator who is experienced through a phone support system.
- Helpdesk ticketing, which sends a response within 15 minutes.
These contact methods can be found within the SiteGround dashboard. This eliminates any need to do additional searching in order to reach someone at SiteGround.
Although it is common to receive email support or live chat boxes from your hosting provider’s website, it is not very common to be able to dial your host’s phone number. SiteGround provides direct customer support, and even more, by offering 24/7 assistance, 365 days a year.
Professional migration experts can help you navigate the SiteGround server move process, which can be complicated. SiteGround’s online resources can be automated to assist you in finding solutions quickly. We especially like the smart AI chat box which appears to send you information based upon keywords you have entered.
Let’s now take a look at some of the online resources. SiteGround offers a wealth of articles, videos, and knowledgebase tutorials that will make you feel right at home with your hosting plan.
SiteGround provides blog posts and featured videos on a regular basis. They cover topics such as cleaning your database, backing up, and setting up a new WordPress website on the host. These can be found in your dashboard, on SiteGround’s website, and on some social media pages, such as YouTube or Facebook.
The dashboard also has a Quick Help button located in the upper right corner of the screen. To open a dropdown portal that includes links to common support requests, click on the button. To see more topics, such as how to manage your account, install WordPress and handle the WooCommerce payment process, you can type a keyword.
The entire knowledgebase is organized in a very efficient way. There are categories for topics like Email, WordPress, or Staging. The entire section is powered with an artificial intelligence tool so you don’t waste too much time searching for topics.
SiteGround can be followed on social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram if all else fails or if you just want to stay in touch with them to learn new features and tutorials. SiteGround even has a YouTube channel that you can subscribe too for more in-depth training videos.
SiteGround does not currently have a forum where users can discuss issues. Although we would love to see this in the future SiteGround has all other aspects of a great support infrastructure in place. Sometimes you need to call someone, but the AI knowledgebase bot attempts to direct you to articles. We prefer to have a phone number that is listed, rather than having it serve as the last resort for situations where online resources are not possible.
We feel SiteGround provides excellent customer support. They respond quickly and offer a wealth of online resources. This allows you, the online shop owner, to understand how your website is hosted.
SiteGround is the right hosting plan for your online store
It can be difficult to choose a hosting provider because many people don’t know how hosting works and because it is easy to get stuck with bad hosts after signing up for a payment plan. After signing up, it can be difficult to move your entire website (e.g. from Bluehost to Hostgator) to another host. Some people just keep what they have.
SiteGround is our favorite because it makes site migrations simple and most of the work is done for you.
We have some thoughts for you if SiteGround is not the right host for your online shop:
- Consider SiteGround if you plan on running a WooCommerce/WordPress store and need a quick way to install WordPress on your servers. SiteGround is also great for bloggers.
- SiteGround is a great option if you want to save money and still grow your business with enough visitors and server space.
- SiteGround is a great choice for developers and agencies who need staging tools and white-labeling options. All of these options are available in the more expensive SiteGround plans.
- SiteGround is the best choice if you don’t want to pay for automated backups, SSL certificates or a content delivery system. SiteGround offers all of these features for no cost.
- SiteGround is a great tool for anyone who wants to create unlimited email addresses for themselves and their workers. We see too many hosts trying to charge customers for email addresses. SiteGround is different.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding this SiteGround review, please let us know. If you have used SiteGround to host an online store, please share your comments. Also, let us know if there are any pricing plans that you think work best.