SiteGround vs. Cloudways

Cloudways costs less than SiteGround (and is way faster)

I’ll say it again, for those in the back.

You can get super-fast cloud hosting from Cloudways for considerably less each month than SiteGround’s shared hosting.

How can that be?

Siteground uses the old jack-up-the-prices-when-it’s-time-to-renew trick. Lovely.

They start out cheap, like all the other hosts, and then they increase the monthly cost massively when you need to renew. I’ve experienced this firsthand, unfortunately.

But look over here — it’s Cloudways. With inarguably faster hosting; a clear upgrade in terms of speed. And less headaches overall. And they won’t try to nickel-and-dime you every chance they get.

If you’re already a SiteGround customer and you’ve come here out of exasperation, then I feel for you. We are kindred spirits, as that was my path as well.

Or maybe you’re thinking about becoming a customer and you’ve seen their super-low intro deals that seem like a great deal.

In either case, read on.

The lure of the low intro price

Same as the other low-cost shared hosting providers, SiteGround lures people in with an incredibly low introductory offer.

Everybody is drawn to low prices. You’re not wrong for being drawn to it. But it’s not really a low price if it’s only temporary, right?

You’ve probably seen those SiteGround ads that advertise their astounding $1.99 per month offer. Here’s an example:

Siteground advertisement
Unbelievably low price. Emphasis on “unbelievably”.

Seems pretty amazing right?

It becomes less amazing when it’s time to renew. That’s when you realize that SiteGround is going to cost you a lot more each month.

Beware the very high renewal price

If you go to their website, sure enough their simplest “StartUp” plan is indeed available at $1.99/mo, at least to start.

Siteground's sweet intro deal
That’s a huge discount (and a red flag)!

Notice that you’re only allowed one website maximum on this plan.

But also notice that the normal price is $14.99 per month. Yikes! Renewal is gonna be a bitch. You’re looking at a bill of about $180 in one year’s time ($14.99 x 12).

Remember this is SiteGround’s weakest and most limited plan. They want fifteen dollars a month for friggin’ super-limited shared hosting, for one site!

Let’s say you sign up for their “GrowBig” plan instead, because you don’t want to be limited to only 1 website. That plan starts at $3.99 per month, still reasonable.

SiteGround GrowBig pricing
It’s not a typo.

But that renewal price is fucking insane! (Pardon my french.) Twenty-five smackers a month. You’re going to be paying that much every month, and that’s still only for shared hosting, with other people’s websites potentially slowing yours down?

That’s just nuts. If you pay that much, then shame on you. Cloud hosting from Cloudways is next-level faster, and it costs only $11/mo — no intro prices, no contracts, no gotchas. You have no excuse.

A few kind words

Okay, I’m going to admit a couple of nice things about SiteGround here.

They don’t charge extra for backups, like Bluehost and HostGator do. So that’s a small positive. (For the record, Cloudways doesn’t charge for backups either.)

Further, SiteGround doesn’t seem to try to tack on a bunch of add-ons during the signup process. Instead, their strategy seems to be to rob you blind at renewal time.

Oh wait, I said I was going to be nice, didn’t I? Oops.

Real customer experiences

I used SiteGround for a long time, personally. I even recommended them to people! I don’t recommend them anymore, not even to my worst enemies.

They used to have a reputation for excellent customer service. And that was true — for a while. But that customer service has gone to shit over the last few years, and this is well-known. See the real customer comments below.

Would your website be alright, if you did end up choosing SiteGround? Yeah, if you were dead-set on paying way too much and you signed up with them, you would probably survive. You would have a website that loads.

But your site would be slower than necessary, and you might not even notice it. I’ll tell you who would notice it: your users. And Google will notice it too, and they’ll penalize you.

Here’s the other thing — and you can see SiteGround’s actual customers gripe about this in the screenshots below — they will start making up bullshit reasons why you have to upgrade to a more expensive plan.

For me, and for a lot of people, we started getting alerts saying that our “inode limit had been exceeded”. I had to google this one, because I’d never heard of it!

Sure enough, it’s some BS limit on the number of individual folders and files you can have. Say what? And (shocker of all shockers) I’m going to have to upgrade my plan because of it?

That’s just one example.

SiteGround will also hit you with CPU usage alerts and other eyebrow-raising limits that you never knew existed, until you eventually have no choice but to upgrade. And asking for support to fix the issues is a dead-end, they just tell you to upgrade too.

When they tried to renew me at $25/mo, that’s when I realized it was time to find a new host. I moved to Cloudways, I paid less, and I’ve never looked back.

Here is actual customer feedback, from the expert groups on Facebook and Reddit that I’m a part of:

Negative SiteGround customer feedback
Negative SiteGround customer feedback
Negative SiteGround customer feedback
Negative SiteGround customer feedback
Negative SiteGround customer feedback
Negative SiteGround customer feedback
Negative SiteGround customer feedback
Negative SiteGround customer feedback
Negative SiteGround customer feedback
Negative SiteGround customer feedback
Negative SiteGround customer feedback
Negative SiteGround customer feedback

Why SiteGround is recommended all over the web, anyway

As with most things, it all comes down to money. SiteGround pays a fat commission, therefore they get touted a lot. If I was only trying to make money off you, I would recommend them too. But I don’t, because they’ve gone downhill.

This guy said it best:

Negative SiteGround customer feedback

Have you ever seen those spammy affiliate sites with a few hundred referral links, to all the hosts? They’re hoping you’ll just click on one of them and sign up, so they get paid. Those sites don’t really care which is the best — just which one pays the best. Hence, SiteGround is near the top of their lists.

Messed up, huh?

Cloudways costs less, but it’s way faster

Here’s a thought. Instead of paying $15-25 bucks each month to SiteGround for shared hosting, why not pay $11 per month to Cloudways for extra-fast cloud hosting?

Cloud hosting used to be prohibitively expensive, but it’s not anymore thanks to Cloudways’ model. Take advantage of that, like other smart people are doing!

Think about it this way. If you had a choice between a Toyota Tercel and a Lamborghini, and they cost the same amount, wouldn’t you pick the Lambo?

Especially if it’s going to be wayyyy faster. Because speed kills in a good way when it comes to web hosting. It’s the most important factor when choosing web hosting.

And Cloudways is not going to make you claw out your eyes and pull out your hair, like SiteGround will. Trust me on this one, I’ve lived it and it ain’t fun.

Cheaper, faster, less painful… what’s there to argue about?

Don’t get caught in the ol’ intro-price-switcheroo. Don’t pay too much for inferior hosting. Choose Cloudways and feel smart.