Wordpress & Web Development

Affordable, Secure and Fast Web Hosting by SiteGround [Giveaway]

Jackson Chung 18-03-2013

Picking the right web hosting service is the very first step for anyone wanting to build a new website. If you don’t know where to start, finding one for the right price with the right set of features is close to an impossible mission. That’s why we came up with the Best Web Hosting Services page, to help new webmasters along with their decision.


More experienced webmasters will agree that switching web hosts is a excruciating process — one that must, if possible, be avoided at any cost. Therefore, selecting the right web host at the very beginning is crucial. So today, we’ll show you what you can expect from SiteGround — one of the most respected web hosting service providers in the market. We’re also giving away 25 1-year shared web hosting accounts from SiteGround valued at $1185!


SiteGround offers a variety of hosting options: from shared hosting which starts at $3.95/month, to more powerful dedicated hosting, and of course, everything in between. Let us begin by elaborating on the type of hosting featured in this review, SiteGround’s affordable shared web hosting plan.

This plan costs $3.95 a month, supports one domain to be registered for free, an unlimited amount of web space and traffic, plus an unlimited number of subdomains. It also allows the freedom for unlimited FTP accounts with brilliant FTP management, and unlimited MySQL databases. Lastly, provided with even this entry level shared hosting plan, is the infamous cPanel.

Test website: forthefoodie.com

For the purpose of this review, I decided to migrate my wife’s WordPress-based food journal, ForTheFoodie, from MediaTemple to SiteGround; illustrating the setup and migration process, as well as highlighting a couple of key features you may be interested in. At this point, I’d just like to note that ForTheFoodie is currently hosted on MediaTemple’s dedicated virtual (dv) server, which costs $50 every month — and is definitely overkill for the amount of traffic that it brings in. Plus, it’s not a very hefty site — with only a handful of posts, migration should be a piece of cake.

siteground review


If you’re also looking to migrate your website to SiteGround, they provide free transfer service (a feature most web hosting providers charge for) and will handle the nitty gritty if you’re not so inclined. But as for me, I’ll be using WordPress’ Import/Export feature How To Move Your Wordpress Blog To Another Host Read More for the migration in order to avoid dabbling with databases. This convenient method is perfect for smaller websites with databases less than 24 MB in size and only involves transferring the entire WordPress site with just one XML file.


Let’s get started. After signing up for an account with SiteGround, I’m presented with the setup wizard. In this step, a few relevant information about my website is required in order for SiteGround to properly determine the type of software which needs to be installed i.e WordPress, Joomla, etc. SiteGround prides itself with its in-house website setup tool which supports a variety of blogging and CMS platforms, as well as a multitude of shopping carts and e-commerce solutions.

siteground review

In addition to speeding up the initial process of setting up a website (in particular, WordPress), allowing SiteGround to automatically install the appropriate blogging software brings another understated benefit — it also updates the software/platform automatically. Maintaining an up-to-date version of WordPress is vital for security reasons, but most webmasters often put it off. SiteGround’s auto-update feature is invoked whenever a new version of WordPress is available. Additionally, it performs a backup of the entire site before carrying out the update. In case anything goes wrong, the previous version can be safely restored.


After completing the wizard, SiteGround installs the latest version of WordPress, creates the appropriate database entries and directs me to my account dashboard. In essence, my new WordPress site is ready! But in my case, we’re not quite there yet because migrating a WordPress website involves overwriting a few files, which requires FTP access. And this takes me to cPanel.

siteground web hosting


cPanel is a highly-acclaimed proprietary web hosting control panel which provides its users with the tools required to efficiently manage hosting of a website. Many web hosting services will charge extra for cPanel, some don’t even offer it. Even paying $50 every month to my former host, MediaTemple, didn’t equip me with cPanel when I needed it most. SiteGround offers it for free, even with their entry-level hosting plan — and that is truly a blessing.

siteground web hosting



After setting up FTP access, importing the required WordPress files and redirecting the nameservers, we’re back in business. My wife’s food journal is now fully hosted by SiteGround. Now, I realise that even though you may aspire to start your own website or blog, you may not fully understand how to set up a new site or migrate one, for that matter. In fact, I wasn’t completely sure of the process myself. So it’s rather good to know that SiteGround is fully prepared to assist by providing a complete range of tutorials on hosting, sitebuilding, SEO, SSL, e-commerce — you name it.

siteground web hosting review

And if you still have questions left unanswered, SiteGround’s capable customer support team is available all around the clock, every day of the year via their ticketing system, by phone or live chat. To be thorough, I reviewed the quality of their support as well. In fact, I bombarded a customer support representative with several inane questions about WordPress, what I should do next in the migration process and whether I’d be able to start publishing new posts right away. I even went to the extent of pretending to be slightly obnoxious. The representative seemed unfazed by my behaviour, and responded both professionally as well as courteously. To say that their support is impeccable is an understatement.

siteground web hosting review



Finally, I’ll slightly touch on a very important criteria i.e. speed. It is common knowledge that shared hosting is often sluggish. SiteGround curbs this issue by having 3 data centres on 3 different continents (North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific). They’ve also partnered with CloudFlare Protect & Speed Up Your Website For Free with CloudFlare CloudFlare is an intriguing start-up from the creators of Project Honey Pot that claims to protect your website from spammers, bots and other evil web monsters - as well as speed up your site somewhat... Read More to distribute copies of my website to 23 additional data centres globally. As a result, ForTheFoodie loads faster than 33% of the websites tested by Pingdom 3 Ways The W3 Total Cache Plugin Can Speed Up Your Wordpress Blog Self-hosted WordPress is a fantastic system, no doubt about it. But it can become a little bloated resulting in a slow load time. Read More

siteground web hosting review

Overall, SiteGround proves to be one of the best web hosts available today, with their brilliant customer support and superb lineup of features. And it’s affordable too — you can get started with just $3.95 a month with no setup fee for plans above 12 months, and free domain registration. Sign up for an account here.

Eager to start your own website? Win a year’s worth of hosting for free by joining our giveaway below.

How do I win a copy?

Step 1: Fill in the giveaway form

Please fill in the form with your real name and email address so that we can get in touch if you are chosen as a winner. MakeUseOf giveaways are open to readers worldwide.

The giveaway is over. Here are the winners:

  • Akash Goel
  • Aleksandar
  • Anatoly
  • Anita Lee
  • Ashraf Mahmud
  • Cindy Abernethy
  • David I. Lynch
  • Deb Byram
  • Deepak kapoor
  • Emelia Smith
  • Frank Bakutis
  • Kamran Mackey
  • kevin mcmurray
  • Lisa Campbell
  • Lorena Carthy
  • Maria Haeja Franca
  • Marwan Aziz
  • Mike Martone
  • nyasha mudzamba
  • Paul Brown
  • Paul Pruitt
  • Rakesh Gill
  • Roman Vávra
  • Seaborn Jones
  • Ted Hastings

Congratulations! If you were selected as a winner, you would have received your license via email from jackson@makeuseof.com. If you require any assistance, please get in touch with Associate Editor Jackson Chung before March 31. Enquires beyond this date will not be entertained.

Step 2: Share!

You’re almost done. Now, all that’s left to do is to share the post!

Like it

Tweet it


+1 on Google

(Note: no points will be awarded.)

By participating in this giveaway, you agree to the giveaway rules.

This giveaway begins now and ends Friday, March 22nd. The winners will be selected at random and informed via email.

Spread the word to your friends and have fun!

Interested in sponsoring a giveaway? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us.

Related topics: MakeUseOf Giveaway, Web Hosting, Web Server, Wordpress.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Jezz
    April 11, 2013 at 6:50 am

    Think very carefully before signing up with Siteground. When they say UNLIMITED webspace, look in their very small print buried deep within their terms and conditions and you'll see that unlimited actually means 10GB of webspace.

    Also, Siteground's hosting might not be suitable for schools, our kids and staff access email via a link on our school website. Not with Siteground though, Siteground blocks simultaneous requests from the same IP. Siteground offer Cloudflare as a solution to this, but that next to useless for this problem.

  2. pawan shukla
    March 23, 2013 at 12:54 pm


  3. Yang Yang Li
    March 23, 2013 at 3:31 am

    Need some webhosting, my plans are about to expire soon.

  4. Tom Sobieski
    March 22, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Got some ideas I've been kicking around for what seems like forever.
    I'd really like this.

  5. dr anwar yarkhan
    March 22, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    I use HTC android sensation. Previous attempts for your membership failed. Please see me through now.

  6. TalkingBee
    March 22, 2013 at 8:02 am

    VIsiting their website alarms my Webroot anti malware scanner.

  7. Zlatoslava Mitkova
    March 21, 2013 at 9:40 am

    imagessharedstorage.com - free uploading, sharing and downloading images

  8. Tic Tac
    March 20, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Great giveaway. Just search out for one of these

  9. Shane L
    March 20, 2013 at 3:31 am

    I never won anything before would be awesome to win this.....

  10. Stephanie Staker
    March 20, 2013 at 12:42 am

    This is a great offer! Of course, I'd rather win the prize and use it but I haven't seen this much offered by a webhosting site EVER. For a number of years, I used Go Daddy to not only register my domain, but also host my web pages. I decided to NOT renew either due to Go Daddy's ads. I guess I am the only person on the planet who thinks that a web hosting site should be selling their product rather than sex. They were great as far as customer service, answering questions and price too but I just couldn't continue to support the sleaze. I had to take a stand and even if I am the only person to do so, I felt I had to do it. It is bad enough that ads for hamburgers and cars use highly sexualized images but a web host? Anyway, I'd love to move my blog(s) and open my family site again. This is really an awesome giveaway.

  11. Redrum72967
    March 19, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    Wow, this would be great. I'm planning on starting up a business, and need a good, reliable host.

  12. Zaheer Abbas
    March 19, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Thanks for another great prize!

  13. SaapeXD MoHods
    March 19, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    How many Domains are available?

  14. Patrick J
    March 19, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Participating...done! :)

  15. Patrick J
    March 19, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Well, the giveaway's great, the service is greater, but hey, there is never anything unlimited, right? I am duped by one webhost in the name of 'unlimited' and I hope SiteGround is not one of such type. Well, not all of a sudden, your website gets so massive traffic that would consume so much bandwidt, but still when it happens, it kinda does hurt. I am not trolling here, so don't take me wrong. I am just writing what I believe and no offences to SiteGround at all. Still, I love giveaways! :)

  16. Anandu
    March 19, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    I Wish You Would Give Domains Through Rewards Page For Points

  17. Himanshu Singla
    March 19, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    They are not working anymore..

  18. Himanshu Singla
    March 19, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Hi Jackson,
    I think this giveaway should be in the reward section, so that only those people will buy through the rewards points who want, as it will be wasted for those who dont want a website for themselves.

    • Nancy B
      March 19, 2013 at 3:07 pm

      I don't see alot of comments here or a ton of entries into the contest or likes on FB so I think it's safe to say those of us who do want to win this for a website are the only ones who entered.

  19. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    March 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    How's your experience with them? How reliable are they?

  20. John
    March 19, 2013 at 5:09 am

    Very useful giveaway.

  21. dmutie
    March 19, 2013 at 3:51 am

    This would make things much more better for my start up

  22. hotdoge3
    March 19, 2013 at 3:46 am

    I like this for my PC Club

  23. Tanmay Mohan
    March 19, 2013 at 3:31 am

    Gr8 giveaway

    i like makeuseof.com very much

  24. Arnel
    March 19, 2013 at 3:26 am

    I would definitely love one! Bring it on!

  25. Rawal Baig
    March 19, 2013 at 2:56 am

    Very nice giveaway.

  26. hen_xuoi
    March 19, 2013 at 2:36 am

    Thanks for giveaway.

  27. Ivan Biolango
    March 19, 2013 at 2:35 am

    This is really cool.

  28. Bill
    March 19, 2013 at 12:52 am

    I used Siteground for a little over a year. Very good service, quick and fast, and the customer service is really good. For the price and what you get, its by far the best deal I've seen.

  29. Arthur Lee
    March 19, 2013 at 12:21 am

    A nice article, but I would think your credibility and intelligence are called into question by the fact - you admit to - that you were paying $50 a month, for a one website webhost without cpanel. I've had sites since about 1990 and even then a $50 a month plan would have been unheard of. I think my first host was HOSTGATOR and that was 7.95 per month

    • jxn
      March 26, 2013 at 9:13 am

      Arthur, as far as VPS plans are concerned, that's pretty much the market price.

  30. Valentin Tudor
    March 18, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Would love to win this!

  31. J. Simon van der Walt
    March 18, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    They're a pretty good hosting service: I've used them for a number of years. +1

  32. Nezlo
    March 18, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Perfect timing, my hosting will be running out not too long from now, would be nice to get a good head start. Nice giveaway!

  33. Ronald Colorado
    March 18, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    This would help me greatly to build my two websites that i need soon. This will make my budget a bit lighter.

  34. Savvy wjeh
    March 18, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    INCREDIBLE ! was looking for a cheap host for my website to start with. Getting from this would very nice to start with.

    MakeUseOf, you ROCK!

  35. Darrin Ford
    March 18, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    I would love to have this. This is my favorite website!!!!

  36. Scot Stoddard
    March 18, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    yet another fantastic giveaway!

  37. Rama Moorthy
    March 18, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    WoW . But performance .. Is it really okay ..? I am now having hosting with HostGator .. and yes , for 7$/Mo. (shared) their performance, security, support are simply awesome ..

  38. Anh Tai
    March 18, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I like this

  39. Kenneth Evans
    March 18, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Winning this giveaway would help me greatly! I'm currently researching web hosting to launch my own website soon. However, I really appreciate the wealth of clear and useful information freely available on this site. Thanks so much!

  40. illegal3alien
    March 18, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Looks like a great offer. I've been using Dreamhost for a while and my 2 free years from the Geocities promotion recently ended. It'd be great to have some additional free hosting