A Review of The Best WordPress Hosting for Bloggers in 2022: SiteGround

13 min read

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A review and tutorial of SiteGround WordPress Hosting

[Note: This blog post reviews the SiteGround hosting provider and gives you a step-by-step guide to setting up WordPress on SiteGround. If you’re a brand new blogger, I also recommend that you check out the blog post about how to start a blogging business.]

One of the things newbie bloggers struggle with is this: How to choose a hosting provider for your WordPress blog?

If you’re wondering the same, I hope to shed some light on the topic and make a case for why SiteGround is one of the best WordPress hosting providers, especially so for new to intermediate bloggers.

Also, just so you know, I’m a SiteGround user myself. This blog? Yeah, it’s hosted on SiteGround. My recommendation comes straight from my personal experience!

Now that that’s settled, let’s take a look at why you should host your blog on SiteGround too.

Content

The Difference Between WordPress.org and WordPress.com

Many newbie bloggers find it difficult to differentiate between WordPress (.com) and WordPress (.org). So, it makes sense to start there before talking about WordPress hosting.

WordPress is a software and a content management system. Both WordPress.com and WordPress.org are essentially WordPress software. The primary difference is that WordPress.com is a service that allows you to create your website using the WordPress software, and WordPress.org allows you to download and install the WordPress software, then create and manage your website.

The latter is much more powerful because you’re able to download many other smaller pieces of software (known as plugins) to enhance the features and functionalities of your website.

And so, I recommend that you use WordPress.org, also referred to as the self-hosted WordPress. 

What is WordPress hosting?

To use a self-hosted WordPress website, you need a platform where you can download the software and associated website assets. That’s where hosting comes in.

There are many companies out there that provide hosting services. You may have heard the names “BlueHost,” “GoDaddy,” “JustHost,” “DreamHost,” “HostGator,” and many more. In my former life as a freelance web designer and developer, I have used all of those and more. But none of them compared to SiteGround, and they still don’t.

There are some other hosting companies that can compare with SiteGround in terms of performance, but they’re much more expensive (WP Engine, Kinsta, etc.) So, why would you pay more for performance when you can get that with a cheaper provider?

No, SiteGround isn’t the cheapest. But it’s also not the most expensive. And yet, it delivers just as much as the more expensive hosting providers.

What is the best hosting provider for WordPress?

To determine the best hosting provider for your WordPress website and blog, look for these features:

  • Easy to install SSL (SiteGround has free SSL you can turn on with a click.)
  • Has amazing, 24/7 customer support via email, chat, and phone. (SiteGround has all these.)
  • Provides scalable web hosting solution
  • Secure out of the box
  • Has free CDN (Something like Cloudflare integration)
  • Has free emails
  • Runs the latest PHP version and is fast
  • Preferably does not use cPanel and has in-house hosting solutions (cPanel technology is close to being outdated!)
  • Has multiple data centers around the world for fast performance anywhere
  • Has great uptime (SiteGround’s uptime is over 99.99%)

I’m happy to say that SiteGround checks all of these boxes.

Why I love SiteGround: A Brief Review

It will be difficult for me to outline all the different features of SiteGround in detail. There are plenty, and as I’ve said, SiteGround checks all the aforementioned boxes. You can also look up many of these features here.

However, I’d love to point out a few that have been game-changers for me.

SiteGround is fast!

Slow websites are bad. It’s bad for your readers because they don’t want to wait forever for your website to load. It’s bad for you because when readers get bored or annoyed, they don’t want to stick around. It’s also bad in terms of your SEO; Google and other search engines don’t like poor-performing, slow websites.

Now my website isn’t the leanest on Earth (1.2MB): I use quite a few plugins, I have built my entire site with the Elementor page builder (which is known to be heavy,) and I also use custom fonts and tons of images. And yet, my website loads in under 2 seconds. Which is amazing! One of the reasons behind my fast-loading website is a great hosting company: SiteGround.

Here, take a look at the GTmetrix results of my homepage: The first image shows the overall score, and the second image shows the time it took to load my site (a whopping 1.2 seconds!!!)

GTmetrix results for The Side Blogger website

Time it took GTmetrix to load my website.

If you want to learn what else I have done (aside from choosing SiteGround as my hosting provider,) to make my site fast, read this blog post.

SiteGround is more secure than others

Out of the box, SiteGround employs a ton of security measures. Because SiteGround uses its own website management tools (known as Site Tools,) as opposed to something like cPanel (which is totally outdated!) it can build tighter security features in-house.

Heck, they even have their own site scanner now (for an additional price) that monitors your website and informs you right away if it senses a threat.

But even without Site Scanner (especially if you’re a brand new blogger with a limited budget,) you’re still in much better hands with SiteGround than any other hosting company. I know because I have been with them since the dawn of this website, and until recently, my only form of site security was the free WordFence plugin.

Offers free email addresses

A couple of years ago, I finally signed up for Google workspace and now manage my work emails from there. But until then, I used SiteGround’s free email services. It was great as I still wasn’t making enough money and needed to save what I could.

Many hosting companies will make you pay extra for emails, but not SiteGround! So, if you’re a beginner blogger on a budget, you’re in good hands.

Their support is just amazing

Their hosting is so amazing that I hardly need to contact their support, but on those rare occasions when I do have to get a hold of a real person, all I have to do is hop on their live chat, and it’s fast! And the support is just amazing. They really care about their customers and try their best to help as much as they can.

Also, their support is available 24/7. I have reached out to them at 3 in the morning, and also at 6 in the evening, and every time a wonderful, actual human being, has answered all of my questions.

They have a ton of free features

They have free SSL (which you must have, and many other hosting companies charge you extra for that,) free integration with Cloudflare basic CDN, a free caching and performance plugin they’ve developed in-house (SG Optimizer,) free emails, free unlimited websites on the GrowBig plan (and higher plans,) and many more cool features. Check out all the SiteGround features here.

SiteGround offers huge discounts to first-time users

As I’ve said, SiteGround isn’t the most expensive hosting solution, but it isn’t the cheapest either. For example, at the time of writing this, their GrowBig plan (the one I recommend to bloggers) is $24.99 per month. However, if you’re a first-time SiteGround user, then you can enjoy mega discounts on all of your yearly hosting plans.

How much discount you’ll get depends on when you’re signing up and which offer is running at that time, but you’re almost guaranteed to get a pretty big discount on your first purchase.


Like, seriously, if you’re just starting a blog, or are not satisfied with your current hosting provider, I highly recommend you sign up wth SiteGround. I haven’t regretted my decision to host this blog with them. And I have a feeling that you won’t either!

Want to make $1000/Month from your blog?
How to Start a Blog - FREE Course

If you sign up today, here’s what you’ll get:

– 10-day FREE email course on how to start a blog, from choosing a niche to a clear strategy for making $1,000 per month.

– Access to my library of freebies to help you be a successful blogger. Starting with launch checklists, to free WordPress templates, to free media kit and workbook templates with Canva, and much, much more!

You’ll be automatically subscribed to my email list. Trust me, it’ll be worth it!

How to Set Up Your WordPress Website with SiteGround

In the next few sections, I want to show you how to get your self-hosted WordPress blog up and running with SiteGround.

Sign up for SiteGround hosting

Signing up for SiteGround is easy peasy!

1. Head over to SiteGround.

2. Choose your plan. As you can see in the image below, SiteGround offers three shared hosting plans for WordPress users. The cheapest is the StartUp plan with basic features and functionalities. The GrowBig plan offers a whole bunch of other features including staging, on-demand backup and restore functions, and enhanced security and performance. The GoGeek offers a web solution that’s even faster than GrowBig.

It may be tempting to go with the StartUp plan as it’s the cheapest, but if you can afford it, I highly encourage you to sign up for the GrowBig plan. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy Siteground with most of its amazing features for free.

And of course, you can upgrade any time!

For example, I started with the GrowBig plan, then moved to the GoGeek plan about a year into my blog, and right now I’m on their Cloud plan.

Choose your SiteGround plan.

3. Choose your domain: Once you choose a plan, the next screen will prompt you to pick your primary domain. In this step, you can register a new domain with SiteGround, or use one that you already own. Click “Proceed” after you’ve chosen your option.

(If you have a domain from a different company, you have to transfer or point your domain to SiteGround. I suggest pointing instead of transferring. Different companies have different interfaces, but essentially, you’ll have to point your domain to SiteGround using SiteGround’s nameservers. More on it in the next section.)

Choose a new domain, or use one you already own, in this step of the sign-up process.
Either pick a new domain or use one you already own.

4. Now, review everything, and then click the “Pay Now” button to purchase your brand new SiteGround hosting plan!

Screenshot of SiteGround's purchase screen.

Optional: Point your third-party domain to SiteGround

Skip this step if you purchased your domain with SiteGround. However, if you own a domain from a different company, you’ll need to point your domain to SiteGround.

You can do so using nameservers.

The pointing method is the same no matter which company you purchased your domain with. You’ll need to get the nameserver addresses (there are two of these) from SiteGround, and then edit your domain’s original nameservers to add the SiteGround nameservers.

While the method is the same, depending on the company you purchased your domain from, the interface to change nameservers may look different.

A popular company to purchase domains from is NameCheap. In fact, I purchase all my domains from them. Since it would be impossible to show you the interface of all the different companies, I will simply walk you through the domain pointing process for NameCheap. Even if you own your domain with someone else, you should still be able to utilize the same methods to point your third-party domain to SiteGround.

1. The first step is to get SiteGround’s nameservers. They are shown below.

ns1.siteground.net
ns2.siteground.net

2. In the next step, you’ll need to log into your third-party domain company. In this demonstration, I’m using NameCheap.

Log on to NameCheap, and then click on “Manage” next to the URL that you’re about to point to SiteGround.

On NameCheap, first log in to your account, then click on "Manage" next to the URL you're about to point to SiteGround.

In the following page, scroll down to where it gives you nameserver options. Choose “Custom Nameservers” from the dropdown, and add the SiteGround nameservers. Then, click on the green check mark to save your new nameservers.

Choose custom nameservers, and add the ones from SiteGround in these fields. Then, click on the green check mark to save the new nameservers.

And that’s it. These new nameservers will now tell NameCheap to point to SiteGround instead of NameCheap.

Please note that nameserver changes may take a few hours to a whole day to take effect. Wait until the nameserver propagation is complete before you go on to the next steps.

Set up WordPress on your new SiteGround hosting

Now that you’re ready to set up your WordPress blog, you may be tempted to just go and install WordPress. That’s all good and everything, but I want you to pay attention to this part because I want you to do things in a certain order. It will make life a lot easier for you in the long run.

Start with installing SSL

SSL is what makes your URL https:// instead of http://

It’s important because, in layman’s terms, SSL makes the connection between a browser and server safe.

I see people skipping this part completely. Please don’t!

Before installing WordPress, install an SSL certificate to your domain. It’s easy, let me show you how.

Go to your SiteGround account, click on “Websites”, and then click on “Site Tools” for the domain you’ll be installing SSL for. And then, click on the three lines next to the SiteGround logo on the top-left to show more options available to you.

From this list, click on “Security” to expand, and then click on “SSL Manager”.

When you're in "Site Tools", click the three lines next to the SiteGround logo on top-left, then, from the options shows to you, click on "Security" to expand. Then click on "SSL Manager".

On the following page, choose the SSL certificate from the drop-down (Let’s Encrypt, the first option is sufficient for most blogs), and then click on “Get”.

Choose the SSL Certificate - Let's Encrypt - from the drop-down, then click on "Get".

Now install WordPress

Go back to the dashboard (you can access the dashboard for the selected domain from the options on the left panel which you can access by clicking the three lines next to the top-left SiteGround logo), and then click on “App manager”.

In the next window, choose the app to be installed from the drop-down. Choose WordPress as that’s what we’re installing.

When you select “WordPress”, more options will be shown to you. Fill out the fields and then click on “Install”.

Click "App manager" and then select WordPress from the list of apps. Follow the prompts and fill out the necessary information, and then install WordPress.

A few notes on the fields to be filled out. If you want WordPress to be installed in the main domain, leave “Installation Path” blank. If you want your WordPress URL to be something like “https://mysite.com/blog”, then add “/blog” in the ‘Installation Path” field. Typically, you’d leave it blank.

Pick an admin username that is hard to guess. DO NOT use “admin” or your blog’s name as the username. Those are easy to guess and therefore, not safe for use.

Pick a password that is difficult to guess. I’d advise mixing uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.

Use a good email address that you have access to that you’ll check regularly.

And then, click “Install”.

Clean up your WordPress installation

Back in the days, WordPress installation came with a bunch of pre-installed, unnecessary plugins. Thankfully, SiteGround at least has gotten rid of most of them. The only pre-installed plugin now is the SiteGround Optimizer plugin. This is a good plugin to have for beginners as this takes care of caching and some other performance-enhancing issues.

However, I personally like to use a premium plugin called WP Rocket for all of my site optimization needs. You can check out the following blog post to learn more about improving your WordPress blog speed and enhancing performance: How to Improve WordPress Speed and Performance with WP Rocket and SiteGround Hosting

Install your chosen WordPress theme

Now it’s time to install a theme. A theme determines how your blog/website looks and performs. It’s imperative that you choose a good theme, that’s well coded, and from a reputable theme foundry that won’t disappear on you in two years.

There is no shortage of free as well as paid, premium templates for WordPress. There are also site-builder plugins that you can use to create something completely unique.

The theme I use is Astra. It’s my base, but I use the Elementor page builder plugin to design most of my pages/posts.

  • Get Astra here
  • Get Elementor here (Elementor is optional; Astra itself is pretty powerful and self-sufficient; especially if you’re a beginner blogger. If you’re not getting Elementor, then I highly recommend getting Astra Pro.)

To install a theme, go to Dashboard > Appearance > Themes, and then click on “Add New”. Follow the prompts to install the theme of choice, and then click on “Activate”. Most themes will require you to do some initial setup, and you can do that by following their support documentation.

FYI, the free Astra theme is available to install from the WordPress theme foundry; just search for “Astra.”

I have a detailed guide to using Astra (Pro) with Gutenberg to design your website. If you do not have Elementor, then this post should help you create a beautiful blog with Astra Pro and Gutenberg.

[FYI, Gutenberg is WordPress’s default page builder solution. It’s pretty neat, but I just happen to prefer Elementor page builder as it’s more versatile and powerful. But for a beginner blogger, you should be fine even with the Astra theme and Gutenberg.]

Install and activate essential plugins

I have a separate blog post where I’ve shared all the plugins I recommend.

19 WordPress Plugins I Recommend to Bloggers for Boosting Efficiency

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the best hosting for WordPress?

The best WordPress hosting is scalable, offers SSL, offers email, runs latest PHP, is fast, is secure out of the box, has great support 24/7 via email, phone, and chat, has great uptime, and is within your budget. In my experience, SiteGround checks those boxes.

How much does it cost to host a WordPress website?

Anywhere from a couple of dollars per month to a couple of hundred, depending on your site's specifications and the price set by your hosting company. SiteGround, for example, has huge discounts for first-time users, and the price starts around $3 - $6 per month for the cheapest plan, and is based on the discount percentage.

Is Wix better than WordPress?

Absolutely not! WordPress is much more flexible, making it scalable for your growing business needs. WordPress offers unlimited features using small pieces of software called plugins. If you can think of a feature, you bet you can accomplish it with WordPress. And not just Wix, WordPress is superior to most other content management systems.

Is SiteGround slow?

One of the best things about SiteGround is how fast their websites are. Just out of the box you'll bet a faster and more secure website with SiteGround. So, no, SiteGround is definitely not slow. Also, for better performance and a faster site, consider a caching and performance plugin such as SG Optimizer — SiteGround's free in-house solution for speed optimization, or WP Rocket.

Which hosting is better? BlueHost or SiteGround?

SiteGround is definitely more focused on performance with better security and higher speed. SiteGround also handles higher traffic more efficiently than BlueHost according many users and testers. Personally, I also love SiteGround's support.


We’ve now covered all the technical aspects of setting up your WordPress blog with SiteGround.

If you’re unclear about any of the steps above, or if you have questions and/or comments, leave them in the comments below! I’ll try to address as many of them as possible, as soon as I can. Thank you for reading!

Related Topics:
Recommended Tools and Resources for Bloggers
Recommended WordPress plugins
How to Design Your Blog with Astra and Gutenberg

If you’re starting a blog, I have a FREE course on how to start a blog the right way. You’ll learn about how to find a niche, decide on a blog name, set up your blog, drive traffic, build an email list, and start making money when you launch your blog.

Sign up for the FREE course below.

Want to make $1000/Month from your blog?
How to Start a Blog - FREE Course

If you sign up today, here’s what you’ll get:

– 10-day FREE email course on how to start a blog, from choosing a niche to a clear strategy for making $1,000 per month.

– Access to my library of freebies to help you be a successful blogger. Starting with launch checklists, to free WordPress templates, to free media kit and workbook templates with Canva, and much, much more!

You’ll be automatically subscribed to my email list. Trust me, it’ll be worth it!

How to set up your WordPress blog on SiteGround hosting

22 thoughts on “A Review of The Best WordPress Hosting for Bloggers in 2022: SiteGround”
  1. Hi Maliha. I note your recommend Yoast but does it work OK with Elementor? I changed to RankMath but am not using either at the moment as I’m still in the setting everything up stage. Thanks in advance.

  2. There is so much information here. I do have a question about SiteGround, Grow Big. It states that you can have several websites. Does this mean I can set up one for myself and then I have a friend that wants to set up a blog that we can basically “share” the hosting?

    1. Hi Rhonda, you can have multiple sites, but do keep in mind that once your blog traffic increases, the GrowBig plan may not be sufficient to handle the load of two or more sites with heavy traffic, and you’ll need to upgrade to the GoGeek plan or the Cloud plan. But for new sites with little traffic, sure, you can have them both on the same hosting.

  3. Is this downloading WordPress.com or wordpress.org? I heard .org was better but I don’t really get the difference. Also I started laying out my blog on wordpress by myself but I don’t find it to be very customizable. What does having site ground do that makes it better. Also I’m not very “techy”.

    Thanks!

    1. Hello Olivia, SiteGround is a hosting company that hosts WordPress files as well as other files and databases you have (will have) on your blog. This is referred to as self-hosted WordPress, and also WordPress.org.

      If you’re already working on WordPress, but haven’t purchased hosting, then you’re likely working on WordPress.com, which is not self-hosted, and has limited functionalities. That is likely why you’re not finding it very customizable.

      Self-hosted WordPress or WordPress.org has a bit of a learning curve, especially when you start to customize things. I suggest watching YouTube videos to bring yourself up to date with the techy bits, or hire a professional to do the setups for you.

  4. Hi Maliha, thanks for this article! Just wondering… have you run into any issues with the limited storage/web space with SiteGround (10 GB with StartUp, 20 GB with GrowBig, and 30 GB with GoGeek)? I was initially leaning towards BlueHost since they offer unlimited storage/web space and are cheaper than SiteGround, but lately, I’ve been reading negative reviews about BlueHost regarding their page load time/speed, website uptime, and customer service. Now I’m thinking SiteGround will be a better option (especially long term planning ahead for more website traffic), but since I have a travel blog with lots of photos, I’m concerned about the limited storage. What’s been your experience with SiteGround in regards to that?

    1. Hi Briana, thanks for your comment, appreciate it.

      So, right now I’m on the GoGeek plan, and I’m not even anywhere remotely close to having issues with space. And as you can see, I have a pretty image heavy website! AND I run a shop on top of it all. AND I have another website on the same hosting.

      So, space is not a problem I can guarantee that.

      The reason I switched from GrowBig to GoGeed a few months ago is because GoGeek is much faster than GrowBig, and since my traffic has improved significantly, it was time to make the investment.

      If you’re new or do not have enough traffic yet, you should still sign up for at least the GrowBig plan (as opposed to the StartUp plan even though it’s cheaper) because the best perks of Siteground starts with the GrowBig plan.

      Also, note that SiteGround has 4 data centers, while DreamHost only has one. Which naturally makes SiteGround a superior and a faster hosting company.
      In addition, when you can afford it, I definitely suggest upgrading to GoGeek (right now they have a gigantic sale, up to 77% with the GoGeek plan if you sign up for their annual plan) because their shared hosting servers had a lot fewer users, meaning, more secure, and much faster!

      Hope this helps.

      Good luck!

      1. Thanks, Maliha! That’s good to know that you have 2 websites on the same plan and still aren’t close to the storage limit. Appreciate the info!

  5. I’d love to do the Aug. course, but I’m not quite ready for that. I have been struggling with getting my about page started or even my first post. I am leaving a comment because I wanted to thank you for the invite to the course and I’m sure I’ll catch up to one of your wonderful courses eventually. For now, I need to figure out how to move from my current site host to this one so I can follow the steps. Thank you once again!
    Cindy

    1. Hey Cindy!

      No worries at all. What’s important is that you get started and get comfortable with blogging. Do check out some of the other posts. I have covered topics such as finding popular topics to blog about in any niche, writing titles that attract more readers, and much more, that I believe will be helpful to a new blogger such as yourself. Also, don’t worry too much about things like the About page. It’s important, but what’s even more important is knowing that you can (and will) continue to change things, make things better. I have changed my About page copy at least a hundred times by now, and I’m still not satisfied with it. but that’s OK. It’s part of the journey.

      Take it easy and try to have fun with it 🙂

      Congrats on your blog and good luck going forward!

  6. Amazing!

    I just came across this and found it so useful! So easy to follow and finally something other than Bluehost! Thank you!

  7. Thank you thank you. The only post that explains site ground and WP, most people use Blue host, so this was very helpful
    Thanks a bunch

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