If you’ve read some of my other posts you’ll know that I’m a huge advocate for choosing good website hosting. Having a solid hosting platform for your website improves user experience and conversions.
During my 14+ years as a website designer, I’ve had the pleasure and pain of working with many website hosts. All the ‘popular’ ones like 123-Reg, GoDaddy, 1&1, Fasthosts, Bluehost – you name it, I’ve probably experienced their service. It has taught me valuable lessons in how important load speed, support responsiveness and functionality are in a well-performing website.
When my own host of over 4 years started to disappoint with increased downtime and slow load speed, I began searching for an alternative. This is when I found, SiteGround* and signed up for an account. Over a year later I haven’t once regretted this decision and it’s one of the reasons SiteGround is the only host I recommend to my clients.
6 reasons why I recommend SiteGround hosting for small business websites
1 // Affordable Packages
SiteGround offers WordPress, WooCommerce and Cloud hosting packages all of which are built for speed and security. There are 3 packages catered to the needs of most small business websites – StartUp, GrowBig and GoGeek.
For new or websites with lower traffic, the ‘StartUp’ package is ideal with 10GB of space and up to 10,000 monthly visits. For larger websites or if you want to host multiple sites on the same package, the GrowBig and GoGeek are even better. The two larger packages have a few additional features that are worth the few extra pounds especially the PCI Compliant Servers if you have an ecommerce website.
Your first year of hosting has a significant discount applied which allows you to build and grow your website for very little investment. Even when you move to full price, it’s still an affordable business cost at under £20 for the StartUp and GrowBig and £30 for the big GoGeek package. For peace of mind, a fast loading website and an uptime guarantee of 99.9% I think it’s a worthwhile investment if you are serious about your website.
2 // Easily Move Your Website
Moving your website to a new host can be challenging and too daunting a task to take on. You start to think of everything that could go wrong – downtime, missing plugins, missing content or just screwing up and breaking your website. SiteGround recognises this and recently launched a website migration plugin for WordPress. The plugin helps you move your WordPress website in 4 easy steps with no technical knowledge required.
Even if you don’t have a WordPress website or you don’t want to take on this task yourself, you can ask SiteGround to do it for you. It’s free with the GrowBig and GoGeek packages and incurs a small fee for the StartUp package.
3 // Free Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificates
Every website should have an SSL certificate installed for visitor security. SiteGround offers a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt. Installation is easy and you’ll be up and running in just a few minutes.
4 // Support that’s actually supportive
There’s nothing worse than waiting for a response from support regarding a problem with your website. Website issues are stressful enough but not being able to get them resolved in a timely manner is frustrating.
SiteGround has awesome 24/7 support through chat, tickets and phone with responses answered and dealt with in minutes. I’ve only contacted support a couple of times and they have resolved the issue in less than 10 minutes from the first contact. That kind of response and service is incredibly reassuring especially as I know that my clients are getting a superb service.
5 // Speedy Loading
I’m obsessed with load speed. Seriously, I think a fast loading website is essential and I’m not the only one. Recent Google data suggests that a load time of between 1 – 5 seconds increases the bounce rate to 90%. That’s 90% of people leaving your site before it even loads. Think of the potential sales and leads you could be missing out on because your website is slow.
My website load speed improved by 4 seconds after moving to SiteGround. A significant difference simply achieved changing host. With a few additional tweaks my website now loads in 0.7 seconds.
Fast speeds are a result of running the latest software for PHP, MySQL and having SSD drivers, NGINX, HTTP/2 and PHP7 to provide a speed boost.
An additional bonus is the in-house caching option available to help boost the website speed and free Cloudflare CDN on all packages. Read more on the speed technology on SiteGround packages*.
6 // Security & Safety
One downside of having a website is the possibility of things going wrong. Installing a plugin that crashes your site, being hacked or losing pages and images could happen to anyone. Quite often you don’t have a backup and you need to start from scratch. SiteGround has a safety net with automatic daily backups and an instant backup option if you are doing work on your website. If something goes wrong you can use the one-click restore to get your site back again. Get the full low down on the security measures in place.*
Hosting is a crucial part of your website so going for the cheapest option or the one with the flashy adverts isn’t always the best move. It may even cost you more in the long run. Lost sales and enquiries are inevitable when your website is offline more than it’s on or is so slow people leave before seeing your services. If you are looking for a new website host, SiteGround* should be a strong contender.
* Some links in this article are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small reward. You are not charged extra by using the link. All products recommended on my website are tools or resources that I personally used and love. Your support by clicking and purchasing through these links, helps me continue to offer my services at affordable rates.