After finding out my all my websites hosted over at Hostgator were hacked and the lack of communication with their security team, I decided to move to a different hosting company. A company that would answer my questions and help should a problem like this happen again.
After some research I found SiteGround and man didn’t they impress!
LET ME EXPLAIN MY PROBLEM WITH HOSTGATOR
I’m not blaming Hostgator for my websites getting hacked, let me make that clear. After sorting the problem out I was down to not keeping WordPress or plugins up to date. So this is an important lesson for me, and for you, to keep things up to date.
My problem with Hostgator was with the way they handled everything.
I love Hostgator still. Never had a problem up until now. But because of this I will no longer be recommending them to you guys but I’ll leave my review online for anyone who wants to read it still.
I got onto the live chat and after a 10 minute wait I was talking to someone.
After explaining to them that I received an email for each of my websites saying they were hacked from Google they told me to submit a support ticket to their security team to look into the problem.
As you can see below, I submitted the ticket on the 31st December
The lady on the live chat not to touch anything on my website whilst they looked into the problem. Not perfect, but something hat had to be done I suppose.
Running a business and being told not to touch your website… A good reason to be on top of security.
After 5 days I thought something isn’t right. It should take this long to respond to say we found a problem with XYZ. So that’s when I started looking around for a way to sort it out myself.
I found a few options but it was all pretty expensive. That’s when I found SiteGround.
Fast forward a little and I finally got a response form Hostgator, after I had already switched.
Guess who long it took them to respond?
Almost 1 month!
One month they wanted me to not touch anything. That’s a month were I wouldn’t have you lovely people visiting and absorbing the awesomeness I try to provide.
So anyway, I’m done with Hostgator. SiteGround is my new lover.
SITEGROUND LAID BARE
First off I want to say that I’ve gone with the WordPress hosting option because everything is optimised. This means better speed and better security. Both obviously important. So I’d recommend going down that route. Little bit more expensive but it’s worth it especially if it means your site is more secure.
You don’t want to go through the drama I went though!
SiteGround have shared hosting 3 packages. StartUp, GrowBig and GoGeek. Let’s go through each of the packages.
START UP PACKAGE
As you can see the price is in GBP but the packages are all the same. In USD you’re looking at $3.95 per month when you sign up.
All of this is pretty standard with a shared hosting company. I wouldn’t bother with the free domain name. You should never have your domain registrar and hosting company as the same company. You always want to keep them separate.
I want to draw you towards the last point in the picture above… Free CloudFlare CDN.
A CDN, or Content Delivery Network, is basically a place where all your commonly used files like images, CSS etc. are hosting on several servers around the world. This means your site will load faster for visitors as all of this data will be drawn from the closest CDN server.
Fast loading time… Happier visitor… Better Google love!
And you get this with all the packages.
Also the free setup and transfers are fantastic too. I had them transfer 3 of my sites to their servers and it was all done in less than 30 minutes. I didn’t have to do a thing, apart from give them the FTP details from Hostgator.
GROW BIG PACKAGE
With the GrowBig package you get everything in the StartUp package plus some added extras.
Most notable, the SuperCacher plugin. This’ll help make your website even faster.
But there are loads of caching plugins I hear you say! You’re right there are. What’s special about this one is that it is built specifically for the way SiteGround’s servers are configured. This means it’ll be more effective than other plugins out there.
Plus with this package you can host an unlimited number of websites… Awesome!
GO GEEK PACKAGE
This is the package I went with. You’ll get everything in the StartUp and GrowBig package plus the added benefits of on-click staging and better servers for your site.
One Click Staging. This means you can create a copy of your website which you can use to test plugins, change themes, basically anything you want and it won’t affect your live site. Once you’ve made changes and are happy with your site, one click and it will make all those changes to your live site.
No need to take it off line to make changes.
Better Servers. With the GoGeek package your website will be hosted on SSD hard drives and will have less websites on the servers, 40% less according to guy I spoke to. Having your website hosting on Solid State Drives means your website will be EVER FASTER.
Have I mentioned having a fast site is important? 😛
With SiteGround speed and security are extremely important. It’s what they focus highly on. If a website gets hacked on the server you’re on it gets quarantined so it doesn’t affect your sites.
Support is also their top priority. The 3 S’s. Speed, security and support… And their support is impressive.
THEIR LIVE CHAT AND TICKETED SUPPORT IS CRAY CRAY!
When I was hunting down for a new host I spent a good 30 minutes bombarding the guy on live chat with questions. I wish I remembered his name but he was so helpful I emailed his supervisor to tell her how impressed I was.
Their live chat support is incredibly helpful and knowledgable. If you decide to go with them I want you to challenge them.
You won’t be waiting for long to talk to someone either.
This is a screenshot from the last time I went to talk to them about getting the SuperCacher plugin for my websites I transferred over. If you create a new website on their servers it will come pre-installed.
With 20 people ahead of me I didn’t have to wait longer than 20-30 seconds before I was chatting to away to someone. That’s impressive in my eyes. Every time I’ve used the live chat I’ve been connected with someone extremely quick.
With the ticketed support I haven’t had to wait more than 20 minutes for a response, most of the time it was less than 10 minutes.
Should I ever have any problems I’m not worried about having to wait a month to talk to someone like I did with Hostgator.
I JUST LOVE THESE GUYS AND I’M SURE YOU WILL TOO.
SiteGround may not be the cheapest when you compare them to Hostgator, BlueHost, GoDaddy but you do get what you pay for.
Just starting out you can go with their StartUp package as you should only have one website. Focusing on working on one site at a time is important to see success. Spread yourself too thin and you want see any results.
Anyway, with SiteGround you’ll have great security, great page loading speeds and insane levels of support when you need it. I don’t like the wording “guru support” in the image above but the support is pretty damn good.
So SiteGround are my new lovers when it comes to hosting my website. My old review of Hostgator will remain online but please don’t go with them if you’re looking for a host.
If you dudes and dudettes have any questions about hosting providers then pop a comment down below and I’ll help you guys out. Remember my challenge, go to SiteGround’s live support and put them to the test. Ask questions and see if they’ll impress you as much as they impressed me.