SiteGround Cloud Hosting: Was It Really Worth Upgrading?

Last Updated on July 3, 2020 by Fabrizio Van Marciano

I recently upgraded my web hosting plan with Siteground, going from a shared plan (GoGeek) to the Entry Level cloud hosting. Was this a good move? Should you consider upgrading too if you're on a shared hosting plan? Keep reading to find out.

After five years of hosting my websites on SiteGround's awesome GoGeeek shared hosting plan, I finally made the decision to move over to their cloud hosting platform.

I started with SiteGround back in 2015, and I'll be honest as I can - It has been five years of wonderful service, it really has.

If anyone is thinking about starting a WordPress blog, I could not recommend them enough.

Recommended reading: SiteGround Shared Hosting Review: Five Years Of Awesome Service.

Why did I decide to upgrade now?

I manage several websites:

Magnet4Blogging. A few niche sites. My creative design services site. And an eCommerce site. All of these sites have been enjoying the awesome benefits of SiteGround's GoGeek shared hosting plan.

Over the last five years, my websites have grown, especially my blog (more visitors and a lot more content). After some thought and delegation, it was clear that I needed to upgrade.

My blog is much larger now than it was when I came to SiteGround. I have close to 400 blog posts each with over 2K words, a ton of images, videos, comments, etc.

My traffic is around 30K visitors per month, and sometimes the page load would be great, other times quite slow, regardless of my efforts to optimize for speed.

Not only that but on occasion, my shared hosting account would get throttled for high CPU usage. Shared hosting is often limited and not scaleable like cloud hosting. I simply had to upgrade to something better.

My original plan was to migrate over to Kinsta Webhosting. I recently reviewed them over on Fabrizio Van Marciano Dot Com and was impressed when test driving the platform. However, Kinsta is quite a lot more expensive, and with the current COVID-19 situation, now wasn't the best time to be migrating everything and paying a great deal more for my hosting.

So, it's been almost a month since upgrading to SiteGround's Cloud Hosting services (Affiliate link). I thought it would be useful to write about my experience migrating to cloud hosting, as well as my thoughts on the service I've received thus far.

Recommended Reading: SiteGround VS Kinsta VS Bluehost

Let's go.

What is SiteGround's cloud hosting?

siteground cloud 1
Choose A Plan Here (Affiliate link)

As you may know, SiteGround provides three popular shared hosting plan. When I migrated to them from Bluehost back in 2015, I came straight to their GrowBig plan (middle plan).

After a few years, I upgraded to their GoGeek plan (their flagship shared plan) as my websites were surpassing 25K monthly visits combined.

As well as shared hosting, SiteGround offers scalable, fully managed, cloud hosting. Scalable meaning you can boost CPU, RAM, and other resources as and when you need it.

This is useful for times when you know your website is going to have a spike in visitors. Or, you're going to be upgrading plugins, themes, and features and need the extra resources.

What is cloud hosting? Cloud hosting is a technology that uses software to create multiple virtual servers from a single physical machine. It simply means having your website served up from not just one server, but a network of servers.

How is this beneficial?

  1. It's scalable.
  2. Websites enjoy high uptime.
  3. Faster speed and performance.

Whilst you can configure your own plan to cater for your own needs, there are four main cloud hosting packages to choose from with SiteGround -

  1. Entry plan (Affiliate link)
  2. Business Plan
  3. Business Plus
  4. Super Power

The Entry Plan that Magnet4Blogging is now running on provides 2 CPU cores, 4GB memory, 40GB SSD, 5TB data transfer. This is more than enough for me to continue growing my blog and other small business websites.

As I said, I can set this to scale up automatically at any time.

ping site speed 9

What else do you get?

As well as incredibly secured, powerful, and reliable hosting, with a cloud hosting plan from SiteGround, you get -

  • SSH & SFTP - Direct secure access to your cloud account.
  • Dedicated IP - It's always nice to have your own IP.
  • Free CDN (Cloudflare Light) - To make your sites super fast. Although the instructions for enabling this are not 100% clear.
  • Free SSL - Auto SSL for all domains detected on your cloud account.
  • Daily backups - Offsite backups, this is great as it means I don't have to rely on a third-party backup solution anymore.
  • Collaboration tools (Something that's new) - Useful since I work with web design clients who have their sites on SiteGround.

The standout features for me here is the dedicated IP, free CDN, daily backups, and collaboration tools

Was it really worth upgrading to SiteGround cloud hosting?

So the big question is -

Was it really worth upgrading to the cloud or should have I stayed on their GoGeek plan?

Well, firstly, I couldn't have stayed on a shared hosting plan any longer. As I said, my websites were using a lot more resources, slowing down, and I was seeing CPU throttling.

Not good... So for me, the answer is yes, it was worth it.

Here is how my blog is performing -

The screengrab below was taken back in February 2020 when my blog was on the shared hosting plan (GoGeek).

siteground perf 1

The screen capture below was taken at the time of writing this post in May 2020.

As you will see, yes, the load time has increased slightly, but not significantly, considering the size of the page and the number of requests has also increased. I'm not trying to justify this, but overall, I'm quite happy with the performance score.

ping site speed 2

Of course, page load times are never the same no matter how many times you test it. Most of the time it's great and on some occasions, I might get a lower score.

Hosting alone will not improve page speed, there are other factors to consider.

What about uptime?

Uptime has always been great, even on a shared hosting plan with SiteGround, though, the response time has now improved dramatically on cloud hosting, from around 700ms average to around 350ms average.

Before upgrading -

ping site speed 8

After upgrading -

ping site speed 3

And for good measure, here's Uptime Robot's result -

Screenshot+2020 05 12+at+20.55.42

It's only been a month, but so far so good, right?

Where I was frequently getting throttled for CPU usage on my GoGeek account. And experiencing degraded performance with my websites loading, I'm now seeing a vast improvement across all my websites. I'm really looking forward to growing Magnet4Blogging with cloud hosting.

The Entry Plan (Affiliate link) (2 Cores, 4GB) is plentiful for the time being. And, of course, I can enable auto-scaling as my websites continue to grow.

ping site speed 4
ping site speed 5

I'll continue to monitor the performance and reliability of SiteGround's Cloud hosting over the coming months and update this post in the future. Be sure to check back or subscribe for updates.

How easy was it to upgrade from a shared hosting plan?

Upgrading was very easy. I was able to upgrade right from my SitegGround admin dashboard. I did need a little bit of advice with regards to the kind of resources I would need to start, and one of the SiteGround customer representatives was very helpful on this.

Here is part of the conversation transcript - (SiteGround rep name is protected for privacy).

ping site speed 6

Pros and Cons

Is this me reviewing SiteGround's cloud hosting? Nah, but here' some of the things I like and things I don't like about it.

Things I like -

  1. Great performance, my sites are now super fast!
  2. Great monitoring tools to keep tabs on resource usage.
  3. Set and forget autoscaling options.
  4. Great customer support when I needed it.
  5. Easy transition from shared plan to cloud.

What don't I like -

  1. At almost $70 per month, it's f**king expensive! Though, not as expensive as Kinsta, and much better value. (£57 inc VAT translates to almost $70). Bluehost, on the other hand, does an Enhanced VPS Plan for around $37 for 2 Cores, 60GB of SSD, and 4GB RAM... But that's VPS and not Cloud, I know.

Conclusion

Upgrading from shared hosting to cloud hosting was a choice I had to make. I knew the time for upgrading was coming fast, and I'm glad to have made the transition now. It's done and dusted.

Of course, I understand that not everyone looks forward to spending more of their hard-earned cash on these kinds of services. I get it, you're either trying to break even or profit from your blog. But, when your blog is growing rapidly, you're going to have to make choices like these.

If you're thinking that your blog or website could benefit from cloud hosting solutions, consider SiteGround (Affiliate link) for sure. Their technology, security, and performance are some of the best in my opinion.

Of course, I'm yet to experience their cloud services fully, but having been a shared hosting customer for almost five years, I'm sure I've made the right choice, and I'll keep updating with my yearly hosting performance reports.

So, are you on a shared hosting plan? Thinking of upgrading to cloud?

Let me know in the comment section below, or hit the button below to learn more about SiteGround's Cloud Hosting services.

Learn More (Affiliate link)

Affiliate Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to SiteGround's cloud hosting services. This means if you purchase Siteiground any plan using the affiliate links in this post I will be compensated with a commission, at no extra charge to you. You can read my full disclaimer via the link in the footer of this website.

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