Are SiteGround a good cheap hosting option?
SiteGround are a globally distributed company specialising in Wordpress. They have fewer hosting options than someone like Bluehost, but they have a bigger focus on helping people who want WordPress hosting. Some of their support staff are WordPress core contributors, so they really know what they are on about.
They consistently have over 99.9% uptime across their data centers, so are a reliable option for blogs or WordPress based shops.
WordPress and "basic" hosting (which would allow you to host non-WordPress sites) are the same cost as each other here. As with Bluehost, there's discounts for committing to a fixed period, with the best deal being a 12-month cost of £46.65, which includes the domain registration.
Unlike Bluehost, SiteGround are up-front with the cost for domains with them - £17.99 per year. They also charge £20.39 per month for month-to-month hosting. That makes calculating their 1, 3, and 5 year costs easy; it's £262.65 per year, £787.94 for 3 years, and £1,313.23 for 5 years.
SiteGround also offer "Cloud Hosting" (basically a VPS) which comes pre-packaged at £72 per month. It looks like it should allow you to customise it for a lower monthly cost, but the lowest spec available is their pre-packaged cloud.
Cost for the Cloud package over our comparison terms are: £881.99 for 12 months, £2,645.97 for 3 years, and £4409.95 for 5 years. Those prices include the annual domain renewal price.
The basic WordPress hosting package with SiteGround comes with capacity for 1 website (so no test version here), 10GB storage space, an SSL certificate and an email address with your domain. It also includes daily backup and caching (which helps speed up the site). That's quite a lot for what you pay, and can handle roughly 10k visits per month (I suspect it will handle more than that, so don't be drawn into this too much).
If you choose their entry cloud package and you get 4CPU cores, 8GB RAM, 40GB SSD space and up-to 5TB data transfer as part of the package. The CPU and RAM offering seem good for the price - the disk space is a little on the low side for my liking. You can increase this in 20GB increments for an additional £7.20 per 20GB block.
In fairness, 40GB space is likely enough for most people starting out - you'd need a fairly media-heavy site/blog to use that space.
SiteGround claims to offer 24/7 support with their packages. I have no reason to doubt this given they have locations all over the world. They should have people available around the clock to help. They offer live-chat, helpdesk, and telephone support - so lots of options to meet your support needs.
SiteGround has data centers all around the globe - in the US, European Asia and Australia. There are CDN (Content Delivery Network) edge locations in South America and Japan too, which helps increase global coverage.
When you pick a package and get to the checkout page, you can pick your preferred data center at no additional cost. That's a great way of staying compliant in your local region.
SiteGround are a great option if you are based in the EU and need to fully consider GDPR. Technically everyone who deals with EU citizens needs to worry about that, but at least if you are EU based, you can pick an EU date center and have some control over data sovereignty.
Their introductory offers are only on their 12-month plans, so after your first year your costs are going to massively increase. Moving hosts can be a lot of work, so they are banking on people following the path of least resistance and just paying the renewal.
With the primary focus of SiteGround being on WordPress, it's an ideal option for anyone wanting to work specifically with that platform. Their hosting is recommended by WordPress.org, and much better value for money than you would get from WordPress.com