Welcome to our Siteground Hosting Review. SiteGround is a web hosting provider that was founded in 2004. They have offices at least in US, Panama, and Bulgaria. Dated information says Panama City, Panama as their headquarters but latest information and wiki page shows Sofia, Bulgaria as Siteground current headquarters. Their primary headquarters are not currently listed on their website under About Us so we are basing current headquarters location by Siteground’s Wikipedia page as well as their website showing pictures from their headquarters in Bulgaria. They have hosted more than 450,000 domains. The current head people at Siteground are Tenko Nikolov, Reneta Tsankova, and Nokolay Todorov. Siteground’s founder is Ivo Tzenov. Current CEO of Siteground is Tenko Nikolov and they have at least 280 employees.
Serving the USA they have a “state of the art data center” in Chicago. They actually lease it from a company called Singlehop. According to Siteground’s current data center chart as posted on their website as of today’s date April 02 2016, Siteground’s only American Data Center is located in Chicago, IL which serves all of North America. They have provided pictures of their state of the art Chicago data center which does indeed look impressive and everything in the data center looks very new and very clean however the only thing to add is there are empty spaces where extra servers could be mounted where there are many empty places in the rack according to the pictures posted anyway (of Chicago Data Center only). In contrast in looking at their Amsterdam data center pictures it shows racks are absolutely stocked with servers with empty spaces hard to find.
Now in all fairness, allowing them some benefit of doubt it is also highly possible that the pictures were taken by Siteground before their Chicago data center was completed and as they were installing the new servers. That could be the reason of why there are not that many servers shown in the pictures. But if that is the case it would be nice to see new pictures with the racks full of servers like it is at their Amsterdam location to increase the confidence of potential USA customers. Otherwise we are lead to believe that their Chicago datacenter does not have near as many servers as their other data centers.
Siteground’s Singapore data center seems in between where it’s not quite as stocked per cabinet row/rack as their Amsterdam data center but has it seems far more servers than Chicago Data Center according to the photos on their website. Siteground has several offices throughout the world where Siteground software operations and senior support engineers work from. The atmosphere from their Bulgarian headquarters according to some of the pictures is a relaxed and colorful environment and reminiscent of Google workplace although not as extreme or big it is still relatively a big workplace and has several game rooms for the employees.
Besides getting your web hosting, Siteground offers free Joomla templates to easily customize new websites and free SEO and marketing tools. Siteground provides support by Phone, Live chat, Knowledge base, and Tickets. Technical support is available 24/7 and managed primarily by its European offices. Where is Panama located? Panama City, Panama is basically the center point of Central America. It was reportedly previous headquarters of Siteground but they do not currently list Panama as such. Panama is located in “Central America” bordering Costa Rica to its West, Columbia to its South East, bordering Pacific Ocean to its South Beaches, and bordering Caribbean Sea to its North beaches.
Although Panama is where Siteground was headquartered, Siteground currently has data centers in the USA, Netherlands, UK and Singapore. There are still lots of older reviews on Siteground that you find that list Panama as headquarters for Siteground but it is now Bulgaria. Siteground is a well known name in web hosting that offers Shared, Cloud, and Dedicated hosting packages. Cloud is hosted on VPS servers thus the higher prices. With the high prices of their Cloud plans it seems Cloud plans are their version of a VPS in terms of pricing but what’s strange is Cloud services are traditionally and generally ran as Shared on shared servers although not always. Looking further into it, although they presently do not have VPS advertised on their current cloud plans, they do discuss “Cloud VPS.” and have a page that states: “A Cloud VPS, also known as Cloud hosting solution…” with other references that indicates Cloud may include VPS.
We first could not determine whether your package will be Cloud VPS or Cloud Shared when you select Cloud from SiteGround at this time so we contacted them via live chat and we got immediate response with zero delay from Konstantin K. He said: Cloud are on virtual private servers, fully dedicated to the customers needs not a shared platform :) Based on their immediate response being it was 1:21AM eastern time and in Panama was 12:21 AM one hour before us, it was surprising to get immediate response at this late hour. There was no language barrier and his English and writing skills seemed as good as anyone from here in the United States. He was professional, courteous, and quick. The question that I had submitted when opening the chat box was answered so that I did not need to mention the same question to him as when submitting the inquiry.
I suggested that they update their site to indicate that their Cloud services are in fact VPS Cloud services if that is the case as he had clarified in stating “Cloud are on virtual private servers not shared platform.” They might not realize that they ABSOLUTELY SHOULD indicate this information on their website in which they are selling their Cloud packages because with other providers such as Media Temple and most other providers Cloud infrastructure is based on a complex network using Shared Servers. So when they use only the keyword Cloud and expect people will automatically think Cloud means VPS it certainly does not with other providers in fact in generally means it’s of shared servers. But apparently according to this inquiry, Siteground’s Cloud services indeed come with VPS your own virtual private server. You will want to varify this if you are buying Cloud from them just to make sure. This would be why the prices are much higher with their Cloud services in comparison to their Shared services. Siteground reportedly uses InfiniBand to “significantly speed up all operations of backing up and recovering data”.
Siteground Review of Pros & Cons
Siteground does in fact have lots of USA customers and their Chicago Datacenter directly serves these customers. Tenko Nikolov posted an article in 2011 while he toured the Chicago Datacenter that remains on their site today. In it, he says the Chicago data center “name is DFT Dupont Fabros Technology CH1 and is one of the Midwest’s most sophisticated and efficient data centers.”
Tenko showed pictures and described it as having enormous cooling tanks in the front of the building with high security and bullet proof walls and goes into further detail about his experiences while choosing that location to improve Siteground’s presence in the USA. And now the pros and cons of Siteground for your web hosting:
- Free SEO and marketing tools
- Free website templates
- Servers on Siteground infrastructure exist in their own (non-borrowed) data centers in Chicago USA, Amersterdam and Singapore
- Attractive Low priced shared plans
- Cloud plans at Siteground run on VPS, thus higher cost but this was only clarified after our inquiry to Siteground. It’s confusing to customers who may think their Cloud is on shared servers infrastructure as it is with other web hosts.
- Their Cloud and Dedicated packages are not cheap.
Siteground Review Summary
Siteground seems to be a good provider but being it’s an oversees company USA customers might want to think about any potential problems such as there only being apparently one server location in Chicago IL to serve all of the USA with backup servers being on the other side of the world. Or perhaps you live in the USA and are a web developer and wish to make your website to serve primarily the UK or Australia with the goal being that visitors will mostly be from that part of the world. In this case, if you choose Amsterdam or London as your data center you could be even better fitted and it would make a lot of sense to choose Siteground as your web host provider.
Their dress code also seems relaxed as workers are shown wearing cargo shorts and dressed casual like it as at Google and plenty of other tech companies to make the employees more comfortable and feel more at home. For USA customers it is of course not illegal to choose a provider that is not a company from the USA however “offshore hosting” may not be subject to certain government restrictions when you are living abroad and there may be some kind of possible tax breaks or right-offs that may be possible given it is an oversees provider and then again there may not be. The same could be said of someone living in Russia or another country and choosing a USA web hosting provider. There probably isn’t a whole lot to be gained though in most cases or any large breaks to be found in doing so.
This is stated because Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich faced scrutiny for using Siteground hosting for his campaign and was accused of not supporting American jobs but then again even the largest web hosting companies in the USA most of them have well under one thousand total employees. Choosing any provider you want should not be a problem unless either party is doing something illegal from a finances, or governmental tax type of thing. Duties are not imposed because there are no goods being shipped as the services are 100% electronic so as far as we know there is nothing wrong with someone from USA wanting to choose Siteground as their provider for whatever reason they want to.
Siteground claims that they are a good provider for business travelers as well. In a video they have said their CDN content delivery network stores a copy of your website to all its data centers and uses super-cache to reduce loading time so it can reach all over the world effectively and without extra delay. So if you travel to Australia for example, there will be no interruption in your service and it’s business as usual when working on your website no matter where you are in the world.
In terms of our interaction with Siteground, we did not feel there was any language barrier when we contacted Siteground and were happy with our communication. The Siteground company currently has one thing that we feel is confusing to us and to any potential customers. When you currently select a Cloud plan there is no indication that it’s a VPS server that you will be getting. VPS is a good thing and VPS is expensive. According to Siteground, their Cloud services are VPS but it’s not stated this way. They really need to update that on their website so people aren’t confused about it otherwise potential customers might assume Cloud = shared, not VPS.
We did because we have reviewed several web hosts in which this was exactly the case where their Cloud infrastructure is built on shared hosting platform such as The Grid by Media Temple which we have been subscribed to for years. Besides this flaw, Siteground looks like a good company. They are big and are a well known name brand of web hosting. They are very big in Europe and that part of the world more so than the Americas but they can do the job in many cases just as good as another hosting provider to serve you and your web hosting needs.