Over the past week I not only redesigned my blog but I also, after many years, switched hosting companies from A Small Orange to SiteGround.
Why I left
I was with and recommended A Small Orange for a number of years. They used to be freaking amazing! Over the past year and a half… they’ve rapidly gone down the tubes. Now I will say, I didn’t encounter any issues with my personal site but my clients? Non stop issues and I was the one that not only had to fix the issue but a lot of the time deal with A Small Orange’s customer service… if you can even call it that anymore.
From their sites going down every other day (yes I am suggesting to certain clients that they move their sites to a stronger host) to having to fight tooth and nail to get them to unblock a range of IP’s that had blocked a client from their own site. It took more than seven “live chats” for someone to fix the issue, and this meant my client spent well over a week without access to their own site they were paying for. They also did away with their support ticket system and rely solely on “live chats” where you generally get no help at all, it’s almost always condescending, and usually they are unable to help even the smallest issues.
It’s extremely frustrating and I know what I’m doing! I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be to try and communicate an issue with them if you’re not tech / WordPress / bloggy inclined.
Why I Chose SiteGround
I finally decided to go with SiteGround, after so many of my clients jumped the A Small Orange ship and had me do their transfers to SiteGround. I noticed how fast the account set up was, how insanely fast and good the support was, just… how smooth the transfers were. No issues, no hassle… they actually include a free transfer when you purchase a new hosting account so if you don’t want to hire someone and don’t want to do it yourself, they will do it for you!
Doing it for my own site made me realize (first impressions as a customer not as a developer) what an amazing difference it is compared to purchasing and setting up a new hosting account with A Small Orange.
For example, after you purchase your A Small Orange account, you have to wait a few hours to a day to have the account itself set up. You’re then emailed some basic instructions about your new nameservers, username, and password. You will have to remember multiple passwords for different areas of the site. At the bare minimum that’s two passwords, for the customer area and then your cPanel.
At SiteGround my account was created immediately. Not only that but I have ONE password for everything. I was then forwarded to my new customer area where it listed so much information, down to where the server I’m on is located. And after I purchased my new account? After about fifteen minutes I had gotten a phone call (it had gone to voicemail) from a live person welcoming me to SiteGround and letting me know if I needed anything that they were always available.
So here’s a list of what I’m loving so far!
- They support Let’s Encrypt
- They have an active blog, I for one LOVE seeing a company with an active blog and social media
- SUPPORT! I can’t stress this enough! They have three methods to reach them, phone support (so rare these days), support ticket system, and of course live chat. Even better? It’s a real person. Not a system where a name is generated when the chat starts with a person who knows only the barest of knowledge when it comes to online support. It absolutely blows my mind in the best possible way!
- They support PHP 7, HTTP/2, use SSD (solid state harddrives), free Cloudflare CDN, Secure Account Isolation (no single account can affect the others)
- Site backups! Granted I do my own because… paranoia. However, you’d be surprised at how many companies do not provide any backup at all, or if they do it’s for one or two days at most. SiteGround does daily backups and keeps them for thirty days! That is practically unheard of!
- The little things like clicking a button to set up your MX entries to work with Google Apps for email and the ability to change which version of PHP your site uses
- In your account details area, you can put in your Twitter and Facebook usernames, so when you contact them on those sites, it’s almost like a mini-verification system and you can get support even faster. You can also enable SMS (text message) alerts in case of issues with your account usage or billing
- One of the few non-EIG hosting companies out there
- WordPress themselves recommend them!
Overall I am really pleased and only wish I had made the switch sooner!