As web hosting companies started competing with each other in providing the most in-demand feature for the best affordable price, choosing one hosting over the other has become so hard. Moreover, even after you choose the best hosting for your website, the job is not done yet, then comes the part of choosing the best plan within a hosting that suits your website requirements.
So I guess that is one of the reasons you are here. You have already decided upon SiteGround, now confused about choosing between their most three basic shared hosting plans. You are in the right place, I will be reviewing SiteGround GrowBig plan here to help you analyze if this is indeed the right plan for your website requirement.
Here’s what we analyze.
- Speed Test
- Uptime Test
- User Reviews
How are we going to compare?
We are going to compare SiteGround GrowBig plan with other shared plan from SiteGround and Similar shared hosting plan from Bluehost.
Also Read: SiteGround Hosting Review
SiteGround GrowBig Performance Reviewed
SiteGround servers are equipped with some highly innovative and advanced technologies from the web hosting industry. They have a unique approach to giving the best of performance in the entire web hosting. This can be evident from their features such as SiteGround Supercacher, SSD drives, latest PHP 7.3 version, TCP 1.3 and OCSP stapling methods. I have explained much further about their performance and these feature in this SiteGround Vs Bluehost post.
SiteGround Supercacher uses 3 layers of advanced caching solution to deliver a very fast website. And this 3 level of caching is one major feature that makes GrowBig plan superior over SiteGround’s lower level plan like Startup plan.
Another important feature at Siteground its release of the latest PHP7.3 version for their server. PHP 7.3 is 1.5x faster than PHP7.0. Most well known hosting companies like Bluehost and HostGator still uses PHP 7.0 as their latest version.
HTTPS has become a norm for everyone owning a website. Moreover, Let’s encrypt started offering Free SSL, as a result, everyone started transferring their site from HTTP to https. However, there is some major worry among people that https sites add a little bit of time to their load time. This was addressed by SiteGround’s TCP1.3 AND OCSP stapling method. Usually, the browser has to validate the encryption certificate from the certificate provider, this increases the load time. However, TCP 1.3 makes this process faster by storing the certificate inside SiteGround’s server.
How fast is SiteGround GrowBig plan websites?
One of my favorite feature of SiteGround’s Grow Big plan is its speed. They have built-in so many excellent software and hardware to offer great speed. This was one of the main features that helped SiteGround grow as big as it is now.
We tested GrowBig speed with that from the base plan of SiteGround and similar priced plan from Bluehost.
Speed is the most important factor to consider while choosing a web hosting, so we have conducted an extensive test to review the speed of SiteGround Grow Big.
This test was conducted by sending around 500 concurrent visitors to test website hosted on all these plans. We measured their speed as we started sending visitors from 0 to 500. The level of consistency in speed as we increase visitors 0 to 500 will help us rate the hosting based on speed.
Here are the results for the test.
The speed of SiteGround GrowBig and Bluehost Basic plan at 100 visitors.
At 300 Visitors…
At 500 Visitors…
The website hosted at SiteGround Grow Big plan was 3* faster than Bluehost shared plan.
99.99% Uptime guarantee test
Uptime is the amount of time your website is up and running to your visitors. Therefore, downtime is opposite to uptime and can be defined as the amount of time your website is unavailable to anyone visiting your website.
Causes of downtime can be many, but mainly due to hosting companies.
This can be:
- Due to the poor quality of hardware used in hosting servers.
- Lack of power backups during outages.
- Vulnerable security firewalls.
- Old and outdated software.
- Overstuffing a single server with a high number of websites.
Most hosting companies promise 99.99% uptime, but that isn’t the case nowadays. It’s nearly impossible to get that amount of uptime in a year. And from my last 5 years of testing hosting companies, I haven’t seen a single company that fulfilled this promise of 99.99% uptime. Some companies will let us know prior to having downtime and hence they don’t calculate that as downtimes, that’s how they justify their 99/99% uptime.
However, SiteGround is one of the few who takes uptime very seriously and therefore they are the best hosting companies in terms of uptime from my testing. It’s very rare to see any unscheduled downtime from their side. I am hosting this site with SiteGround from last 3 years, and every time they had some server maintenance, they would let me know in advance.
They are very close to what we say is 99.99% uptime, if not entirely.
These are some figures which compare uptime of a website hosted at SiteGround Grow Big plan and a similar priced plan from Bluehost.
Support speed and knowledge test
Support is an important aspect of web hosting. Consider a situation when your website is suddenly down or you need to spike up your resources instantly to meet your sudden traffic, or for any other issue associated with your hosting, you will need reliable, knowledgeable and speedy support.
SiteGround support is highly rated across the web hosting industry. They give a lot of emphasis on customer satisfaction, and support is one of the medium to achieve that.
Here are some of the reviews on SiteGround support from real users.
SiteGround offers 2 types of support. Normal support for their base shared hosting plan like Startup plan, and priority support for their higher plans. SiteGround Grow big is equipped with priority support feature. Priority support is very fast and gives you access to very experienced technicians to solve your problems.
We tested the speed of normal and priority support and here are the results.
SiteGround Grow Big priority support
SiteGround normal support offered by Startup plan.
The priority support first reply was within 5 minutes, and the subsequent reply was 2* faster than replies made by the normal support offered by Startup plan.
All in all, SiteGround priority support offered by Grow Big plan is very fast than the normal support.
Can I use WordPress with SiteGround GrowBig Plan?
With the emergence of WordPress, building website has been a very easy task for someone who has no knowledge whatsoever about the website. WordPress is an application which helps you build a website with few clicks instantly.
And SiteGround GrowBig plan has in-built WordPress feature. It helps you create a WordPress website in few clicks from their control panel.
Moreover, their shared plans and servers are customized for providing maximum performance to WordPress users. They have SG Optimizer WordPress plugin to enable some of the performance features directly from the WordPress dashboard. They have a dedicated team of WordPress support expert who will help us with problems associated with our WordPress websites.
Is GrowBig plan equipped with enough resources for your website requirement?
SiteGround is feature-rich hosting with so many innovative features. Grow Big is a mid-level shared hosting plan with enough resources for a website with reasonable traffic. They state that the Grow Big plan can accommodate up to 25000 visitors per month. That’s roughly 800-900 visitors per day, which is a good figure for a small personal blog.
However, if you have more visitors than that, their Gogeek plan is most suited capable of handling up to 100000 visitors.
Grow Big plan comes with all the important stuff except staging and backup on-demand features. If you are okay without these two features, consider GrowBig as it can save you around 200$/year compared to Gogeek.
Here’s an image which compares features among three shared hosting plan of SiteGround.
Which SiteGround shared hosting plan is more popular?
Which shared plan is used by most people? From my years of promoting SiteGround through this review site, I found out that SiteGround Grow Big plan is the most popular shared hosting plan.
Here’s a report on commission I received promoting Siteground in this site. As you can see, more than 80% of my referrals chose Grow Big plan for their website.
How good is the user interface?
A user interface is what that controls the backend of your website. Its a place where you can access your website files, make changes to your web design, upload and download web files, check your resource stats, logs, create a backup, restore, etc,.
You might be migrating from a different hosting and has been using a different user interface for past years. So migrating to a new hosting can be tricky for you as it will have different structures and features for its user interface.
However, SiteGround uses cPanel, which is the most popular web hosting control panel. Almost 80% of the popular hosting use cPanel as their user interface. Therefore, getting used to SiteGround cPanel will be a very easy procedure for you as there are minimal differences between theirs and other hosting’s cPanel.
Note: As of August 2019, SiteGround shifted from cPanel to a new control panel called SiteTools. Reason for the shift as stated by SiteGround is the limitation faced in developing new features using cPanel. cPanel is a third-party framework and adding new features takes a lot of work compared to inhouse custom panels. This new SiteTool has all the important tools from cPanel as you can see below.
SiteGround GrowBig Plan Final Analysis and Review
SiteGround Grow Big plan is a powerful shared hosting plan that promises and delivers amazing performance for mid-sized websites and businesses.
Renewal prices are higher compared to similar level plans offered by Bluehost, HostGator or DreamHost. However, performance is top-notch and the best in the industry, way higher than the above 3 mentioned hosting. It’s reliable, very fast, highly secure and offers excellent support to help us with as simple as setting up our website to highly complex issues.
I absolutely recommend SiteGround Grow Big for hosting your website.