Is the hike in SiteGround prices justified?

I knew it was coming (see SiteGround New Client Area and Site Tools – part 6). Still, I was expecting a notice from SiteGround about their new prices. Instead, I just receive their 30 days left until service expiration email:

The following service(s) are expiring soon.

The price for my 1 Year StartUp Hosting was listed in the email, along with the classical incentive to renew for a long period (see SiteGround Auto-renewal). However, there was no mention, or justification, of the change – as in hike – in their prices! The latter took effect on June 18, 2020, but I cannot remember of any warning1 or information from SiteGround on that matter. They published a post (around that period) about Website Challenges 2020, but I could not find any allusion to their new prices in that post either. So, the question arises: why did SiteGround increase their prices?

A first-rate hosting

Given the importance of choosing a good hosting provider, I did my homework before to entrust SiteGround with my website. This is how I concluded the above article back then:

I was looking for a worry-free hosting solution in term of security and a premium, yet reasonably priced, hosting service . . . there is no doubt that SiteGround qualifies as a high-end shared hosting . . . I believe SiteGround is the right fit for my project.CogitActive

Reasonably priced

At the time of my choosing, SiteGround was already not a cheap option, being relatively expensive compared to most other providers. However, as expounded in the aforementioned article, their shared plans were packed with many features; making them a #1 overall hosting choice despite their higher cost.

SiteGround isn’t the cheapest provider on the market, but it is certainly worth considering if you’re looking for a high-quality, reliable option.Matt Ahlgren
SiteGround logo with a referral link to their website
Referral Link

Now, my decision – to sign up for their StartUp plan – was based on the following prices (Excl. VAT):

Special price$3.95/mo.
3.95 €/mo.
6.45 €/mo.
11.95 €/mo.
Regular price$11.95/mo.
9.95 €/mo.
17.95 €/mo.
29.95 €/mo.
SiteGround previous shared hosting prices (not valid anymore)

“Would my decision have been the same for a Startup plan at 12.99 €/mo. ($14.99/mo.)?”

An increase badly perceived

In reaction to cPanel new account-based pricing structure2 (that would result in significant price increases), many web-hosting companies have impeded price increases for their customers. As commented in SiteGround New Client Area and Site Tools – part 1, SiteGround was lucky: they decided to develop and release their own control panel before that cPanel announcement. I thought naïvely that SiteGround – not having to pay for cPanel anymore – might even decrease their prices. Oh naïve indeed!

But as to increasing their prices instead…

Although I could find some posts about their recent3 price increase, the many so-called review articles not commenting on that matter surprised me. I suspect that SiteGround generous affiliate program has something to do with it.

Full disclaimer: I do not participate in their affiliate program. However, I have a referral link and will get up to 3 months free hosting for every person who has signed up through it. Your support is highly appreciated.

Anyway, here is a compilation of some remarks from the few articles addressing the sharp rise in SiteGround prices:

Not satisfied with the massive price increase in 2018, SiteGround have yet again increased their prices.Neil Robertson
With such a major increase in the prices of shared hosting offered by SiteGround, it is wiser to look for better options at the same or lower prices.WebHostingAdvices
I still love the hosting service they offer, but to double the pricing and offer the same service with no extras just left a bit of bitter taste to be honest.Steven Litton
While SiteGround used to be the “all in one” go-to hosting company, that’s not that case anymore and it really depends on your individual needs.Tom Dupuis
Ultimately, SiteGround’s shared hosting is quite expensive, and it doesn’t really add enough value for money. If you’re just looking for cheap, high-quality shared hosting, I’d recommend looking elsewhere.Matt Ahlgren
I had already stopped recommending SiteGround because of their cPanel licensing changes in 2019 – even though they were one of the few hosts that could afford to keep them. But this latest price increase is the last straw.Bhagwad Park

Last, but not least, for those4 who would have considered the enticing signup deals:

To make things worse, SiteGround no longer let you get the full promo price for three years if you pay for all three years upfront (which they used to allow) . . . Now, you can only pay $6.99 a month for one year.Colin Newcomer

Without justification?

Again, Why Did SiteGround Increase Its Hosting Prices? This question is actually from a WebHostingAdvices article on the subject matter. According to the author, the rise in prices is because SiteGround started hosting a part of its infrastructure on the Google Cloud Platform.

Though the company never shared a reason for rising its hosting prices, it is widely believed that improvement in technology in the form of infrastructural change is the cause of price increment.WebHostingAdvices

The company never shared a reason for rising its hosting prices.

Actually, after digging for information, I found a video, in which BloggingJOY explained that he received an Upcoming Update of Hosting Prices email from SiteGround. Interestingly, he shared the content of this email in that video (see below). The date of the email was June 15, 20201.


We would like to inform you about an upcoming increase of SiteGround’s shared hosting prices that will happen this Thursday, June 18th 2020. We believe that the new pricing strategy will better reflect the value of our product and position us more accurately on the market compared to our competitors, while allowing us to keep running a sustainable business with a strong focus on quality service.

Why make the change?

Over the past year we have seriously re-evaluated our marketing strategy. The research we ran showed that we had built a strong reputation of a host which offers a high quality of service and expert support and managed to achieve high brand recognition. However, keeping our prices in the low range of the hosting segment does not reflect accurately the worth of our offering and even impacts negatively our brand value. We are finally ready to move forward and make pricing adjustments because:
1. We have the strongest combination of performance, reliability, support and features included in the hosting market. This is creating a value of our product which is well beyond its current positioning and product pricing.
2. Our goal is to keep pushing high quality of service for a reasonable price, which requires achieving a better balance of revenue over cost.
3. Research shows that SiteGround recognition is currently at its peak and the demand for our service is not so dependent on the price.

Of course, I never received this email! The reason is probably to be found at the end of the email (that I didn’t receive): You will need to update the SiteGround prices you advertise in order to avoid discrepancies with what your referees will see once they land on our sales page. I am not an agency with clients; the real beneficiaries of their site-centric approach (see SiteGround New Client Area and Site Tools – part 1).

“‘For a reasonable price’, really?”

Given their service quality, the price hike is not entirely unreasonable. However, it does puts them a bit out of range for most basic website owners.Jerry Low

So, this is it; SiteGround are now definitely in a tier above [other shared] hosts, trying to establish themselves as a real managed hosting competitor. The next question – to be answered before the next renewal5 – is:

Is SiteGround still the best option in terms of shared hosting?

1 Other than a note on their website stating that the listed prices would be in effect from June 18, 2020. According to some articles, SiteGround made an announcement on June 15th, 2020 about the increase in its plan pricing. Cleary, I was not on their distribution list. ^
2 Announced on June 27, 2019. ^
3 I have also discovered that this was apparently not the first time: Over the past few years, SiteGround have had two big price increases — one in 2018 and then another one in June 2020. ^
4 Because it is generally unwise to accept long-term contracts, even if the discounts are great, I did not take advantage of this opportunity when it presented to me. A decision I regretted afterward: when I signed up with SiteGround, I wished I had chosen a longer period for my hosting package (e.g. 36 months) in order to benefit fully from the special signup price ($3.95/mo. instead of $11.95/mo.). ^
5 As you may already know (see Back to normal?), my time has been (and still is) extremely scarce since last summer. Unfortunately, I will not be able – at least not now – to assess whether assessments like this one – SiteGround is still one of the best shared hosts – are veracious! ^

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