With 17 websites on my current hosting plan its no small consideration to change providers and have the serious overhead of the migration process. But having had a quick chat with Siteground at the FITC conference recently, my interest was peaked and I just had to look into it more.
As a freelancer starting up my requirements were somewhat smaller than they are now on the cusp of starting a digital agency. I have grown, and my clients have grown. Time to reassess!
Now, as it stands I have been happy with Heart Internet up until the point. As it seems infamously now to everyone in the business, they seem to have really taken a blip on their previously fantastic uptime record with several outages in the last few weeks: lots of lost development days and some frustrated clients. Now I am a forgiving person and I don’t want to abandon a company over a few small issues… however Siteground dangled the carrot of automatic staging server setup for wordpress sites and I couldn’t help but be impressed! It turns out that was not the only thing that they had up their sleeve. The head-turning features were:
- STAGING! – Have to mention it again, free staging. Amazing. An easy way to have an environment to test out changes, show them to the client, before making them live to the general public. Far better than the alternatives. And Heart internet had no such option, in fact, no other provider I looked at seemed to offer this.
- Unlimited 2GB email accounts with webmail (as opposed to a rather neat 500MB limit with Heart Internet)
- FREE STANDARD SSL certificates? Yep, that’s right! Free basic SSL certificates. A cost saving for my e-commerce sites customers that will save them real money and me setup time. (Begin at £39 + VAT with Heart)
- CDN support – I’ve yet to investigate this thoroughly but CDN not available through Heart and where I’ve seen it before is a chargeable service at around £15 per month.
- Super Cache – So I spend a lot of time tweaking the cacheing for each client, trying to get the best speeds possible but yet siteground offer something free specifically for wordpress which apparently out performs this?! This could again be a massive time saving for me and cost saving for my customers.
- SUPPORT! – Some lovely poor soul on the Siteground chat spent over 3 hours answering all of my questions with helpful advice. Then after registering for my account a few hours later get a call to see if everythings ok or if I need help! Great customers service so far!
- Backups – Free Backups!!! This is something I pay Heart an extra monthly fee for.
- Domain Name transfers – less than half the price of Heart to transfer in domain names and a free year is added at the end of the term! So in effect free!
- Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention the clincher, all of this is actually cheaper that my current agreement! Amazing!
Now, if you have a hosting account with multiple websites via Siteground it does not have some of the features that Heart does like a bespoke cPanel for each client for example. The backend on first impression is a little less slick with far less options but I’m dipping a toe in the water and giving Siteground an initial test with one of my websites to assess the performance.