Time flies! Before I knew it, my website was about to be one-year old. When I signed up for my hosting plan with SiteGround, I opted for a 12-month period (see Getting my web host). As stated in the aforementioned post, I wish I had chosen a longer period for my hosting package (e.g. 36 months) to benefit fully from the special price ($3.95/mo instead of $11.95/mo) which only applies to sign up. Anyway, it was time to face renewal prices1. Let me describe how the first renewal of my hosting account went.
First thing first, it is important to explain that – at the time of this writing –
all hosting accounts offered by SiteGround are set on automatic annual renewal. This means that they will attempt to bill you automatically when your renewal is due.
This is made for the convenience of our customers, the greater majority of whom prefer having their accounts renewed on [a] yearly basis. This way they do not have to worry about expiration and possible suspension of the service every month.SiteGround
Back then (i.e., when I signed up for my hosting account), this was not the case; I had to switch this functionality on myself (for peace of mind, indeed). Briefly, I navigated to my User Area, then to the Billing tab and finally to the Billing Settings navigation menu (on the right). Once in there, I toggled the Autorenew switch from OFF (grey) to ON (green). I could have chosen a 24-month or 36-month period, but I let the Cycle option to the default 12 months.
According to their documentation (i.e. Knowledge Base2), the accounts are auto-renewed 15 days prior to their expiration. Of course, there is still the possibility to renew the service yourself before the due date (User Area > My Account > Renew button) or even to stop the automatic billing3.
In addition to the Auto-renewal feature, SiteGround sends early reminders about the upcoming renewal. The first was displayed 45 days before the due date as an IMPORTANT MESSAGES in the Home tab of my User Area.
You have expiring services.
At the time, I was dealing with something else – much more troublesome (the infamous misadventure teased in Let’s Encrypt) – and I didn’t even bother to look further. Besides, I didn’t want to interfere with the automatic renewal process (until completion).
Two weeks later, I received a
30 days left until service expiration e-mail. As expected, they were saying that my StartUp Hosting service was expiring soon and that they will attempt to renew it automatically on a specific date (i.e. 15 days prior to its expiration). They were also specifying the renewal price (excluding VAT) – in short, nothing unanticipated. However, at the end of the e-mail, there was a promotional message that caught my attention.
Save up to 30% on your renewal!
Grab savings of up to 30% by logging in now and renewing your account for a longer period. By renewing manually, you also avoid any possible data loss or service interruption due to expiration.
When I logged into my SiteGround User Area – to know more about this offer – I was “welcomed” with a popup window.
Once in Billing > Renewals, I understood what the offer was really about. Instead of renewing my account for 12 months (as set in the Cycle option), I could renew it for 2 or 3 years instead, and save 20% or 30%, respectively. Of note, the price indicated (for the default 1-year option) was higher than the one in the e-mail as it was including VAT.
A week later, I received a new e-mail –
21 days left until service expiration – with the exact same content as the previous one. Clearly, the 30% saving deal was enticing; yet, I didn’t want to interfere with the automatic renewal (in order to share my experience with you).
Service renewal confirmation
On schedule, I received a confirmation e-mail letting me know that my hosting account
[had] been renewed successfully. An invitation to
check service expiration dates was also present. I was actually curious about this issue:
If I renew my account before it expires, will the renewal count from the expiration date or from the renewal date?
As explained in their so-called article2,
when you renew your account, no matter whether you renew it exactly on its expiration date or a few days/weeks/months earlier, the renewal will count from the account’s expiration date. Sure enough, my new expiration date was correct that is exactly one year after my Sign Up.
There was no bad surprise on the Sales Receipt e-mail either1. Besides, there was no going back because
renewal sales are final.
Thank you for purchasing SiteGround.com services!The SiteGround Team
Wait a minute! What about the payment?
Good point! Given that I didn’t provide any payment method, I was wondering how this would work. In particular, the reminder e-mail was specifying
we will attempt to renew – not “we will renew”. For this reason, I was expecting a request from SiteGround to add a payment method or, in the worst-case scenario, the renewal process to fail outright.
Surprisingly, neither prediction was correct. Clearly, I should have read their terms of services (mea culpa), or at least the part concerning “6. Fees and Payment”:
6.8. You acknowledge and agree that your payment details shall be stored by our payment providers to process payment for any SiteGround Service(s) you purchase or renew.
One question remains, though. What if my credit card would have expired? This is actually the topic of a coming post.
As you can see, the whole process went smoothly and, as stated by SiteGround,
this way [I] do not have to worry about expiration. Now, the 30% saving deal (for a 3-year period renewal) is very tempting and I will consider this offer seriously in due course. By the way, I can get up to 3 months free hosting for every person who signed up through my referral link. Your support is highly appreciated.
1 On that matter, I was shocked to see (figuratively) some people throwing up their hands in horror. I am not talking about the posts explaining that signup deals often come with a much higher renewal price. Nor about those reviews stating up front that SiteGround 200% price jump is beyond the industry norm. No! Instead, I am referring to those people who didn’t read that the regular price is $11.95/mo – NOT $3.95/mo, which is the “SPECIAL PRICE” as clearly labelled – and who do complain that they’ve been fooled by SiteGround. ^
2 In Purchase and Renewal from SiteGround. ^
3 See How to stop the automatic billing for my account? ^