Review of Siteground Web Hosting

Written by Amit Agarwal on Feb 28, 2017

My websites are hosted on Dreamhost and Digital Ocean. The sites are powered by WordPress (PHP and MySQL) and most web hosting companies support this stack.

To not have all eggs in one basket, I thought of a migrating some of my sites to a new web hosting company as this would also give me an opportunity to compare the service of my existing provider with the new host. A quick search on Google for “WordPress web hosting” took me the official WordPress website that recommended Siteground.

I never heard of Siteground Web hosting service but since it was listed in the WordPress directory, I gave it a try. After a quick chat with the sales rep, I signed up for the Dedicated Hosting (Power Service) with WordPress performance booster. The total cost was about $400 per month.

7 days waiting time.

Hoping to use the service immediately after paying the fee, I got an email from Siteground saying it would take them 7 days to set up the server. That was a shock. After a long chat with the rep again, they agreed to complete set up in 1-2 days which was done.

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Insecure CPanel

Siteground provided a cPanel URL like https://**.sgded.com:2083/ and as soon as I logged into the link, the browser suggested that there’s risk logging into the site. Imagine the horror of accessing your private data through a server that is marked unsafe (insecure) by the browser.

I wrote to Siteground support and got an email saying I’ll have to pay them an additional fee for a trusted SSL certificate installed for the cPANEL services. This over the $400 monthly fee.

In order to get be able to establish secure connection to the host usm1107.sgded.com control panels you would need to get a trusted SSL certificate installed for the cPANEL services.

You can purchase SSL certificate for the host usm1107.sgded.com from us or from any 3rd party company and update here with the SSL certificate keys, so we will install that SSL certificate for the cPANEL services on your server ASAP.

No SSH access

Next, I couldn’t access the files via terminal (ssh) and only after several attempts, I was told that it was disabled at Siteground’s side. It kept getting worse. I had wasted several hours with their support but the setup was still not complete.

No access to WHM

In Siteground, Web Host Manager (WHM) is the admin panel where you can add more sites to your account, reboot the server, and perform other admin tasks. This was also not available to my account. I contacted support and they said it is working at their site and that I should check my ISP why I cannot access their WHM. In other words, it was for me to figure out why I cannot access the admin panel of a service that I am paying for.

I would recommend you to check this up with your ISP support team and be sure that port 2087 is not blocked on their side.

I’d like to note once again that there are no blocks related to the cPANEL or WHM ports on our side and there are no blocks related to your computer WAN IP address in server’s configuration what means that you should be able to establish connection to the server without any problem.

MySQL Issues

The next part involved migrating MySQL databases into Siteground. That didn’t succeed either.  After writing to tech support, they could figure out the issue response but asked me to recreate the users in the database. It was just too much work and pain.

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Misleading Service

When I signed up for Siteground, the website stated that they preinstall and maintain all the software including WHM, cPanel, MySQL, Nginx, Cloudflare, SSH but this was clearly not the case. None of the services were set up and only after repeated chats with tech support, I could get them enabled with my service. WHM still failed, though.

I couldn’t afford to spend more time with Siteground and requested them to cancel my service. They agreed but did not issue any refund though the web hosting signup page suggested a 30-day money back guarantee.

If you are planning to migrate your web hosting to Siteground,  remember to clarify everything with the support before making the move. My experience has been pretty bad.


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