When it comes to choosing the right hosting for your Joomla website there are many factors that you have to take into account from cost, security, support and performance.
Your key requirements in a server may determine where you host and which hosting provider you choose.
This review looks at one particular host which seems to tick all of the boxes in terms of cost, security, support and performance for Joomla websites and I can't recommend them enough. This hosting review will look at SiteGround specifically and how they have, from what I've personally experience, a well price and tuned server environment for Joomla websites.
Web Hosting Cost
This is usually the very first aspect that any client/customer will look at when choosing a hosting provider. A small business usually can't afford high level support and customer service that a big data centre may provide. A more modest budget of approximately $100 USD per year is the going rate for a shared server environment anywhere in the world.
The cost of hosting really varies from one hosting provider to another. The location of the hosting provider may also dictate the costs of the hosting solution as well. Data storage and data bandwidth does cost different rates depending on where you are and these aspects should also be considered when choosing a hosting provider.
Most of the cheaper hosting in the world is primarily in the United States where there always seems to be more bandwidth, competition and cheaper available space for data centres.
SiteGround's cost is $9.95 USD per month but with many discounts out which drop the price down to $3.95 USD per month. Joomla Beat listeners also get access to this special low price offer (affiliate link) as well and as far as I know it is the cheapest hosting account out there for what you get in terms of specifications and service.
You can potentially get a domain name and hosting account for less than $100 USD a year! This of course is all on their shared environments which is actually quite impressive and attractive for any small business or start up.
With a lot of shared environments that are at this price you do offen see downsides to the server builds in terms of performance and limitations on server resources but we'll go into more of how SiteGround have setup their shared environments for performance.
Location of Host Provider and Customers of Website
If your customer base is in Europe and only in Europe, then I would suggest choosing a hosting provider that is primarily based and hosted in that location. Same goes for if you're based in Australia or the United States for example. The closer the server is to your client base the faster the server response time is. This means that a user's browser will respond quicker when making requests for images and site assets giving the user a better overall user experience.
Nobody likes having to wait for a website to load and the location and proximity of the hosting environment to your users is the first step to improving that overall site performance.
The cool thing about SiteGround's service is that you can choose where in the world you want to set up your hosting account.
With most hosting providers you don't get this choice so you will be stuck with the location where ever they have most of their data centres.
This means it doesn't matter where in the world you are based you can has a cost effective hosting solution that is potentially close to where the your customers are. If your customer base does change however, you can also relocate your account to a different part of the world which just a few clicks!
This is something I've never seen on any other hosting provider before and they really sell themselves short by not pointing this out in their hosting features. All of this is also on their 'shared' environments too.
You can learn and read more about their global data centre network.
Integration with CloudFlare
Furthermore, SiteGround has easy integration in with CloudFlare. This is a distrubuted DNS service provider meaning that actual DNS of the website is located in multiple locations around the world on a cloud network.
The DNS is the very first step the user's internet browser will take when asking for a request from the hosting provider. The browser's request will leave your browser via your internet conenction's router and then hit the DNS server of where the website is hosted. (I've really simplified this process, there are a lot more steps in between)
Having this connection of the DNS closer to the user again by distributing it on a cloud network makes for a faster response time no matter where the user or hosting server is in the world.
Just another great integration with SiteGround and your Joomla website.
Joomla Security and Hosting Security
Hacks that happen to websites also are only enclosed to that website and are not spreadable to other accounts on the shared environment.
However they have setup the servers is just brilliant. Making sure that sites that do get hacked for what ever reason are the only site that is compromised on the server ensures that nothing happens on other accounts and sites on the server including protecting your own site.
The SiteGround team really know what they're doing here. Servers aren't simply installed and let to run. They're configured and very well maintained.
Extra Protection with CloudFlare
As I mentioned earlier in this post, you can easily integrate in CloudFlare with SiteGround.
CloudFlare has a whole bunch of security features built into it at the DNS level. IT protects your website from known hackers and spammers even before they get to your website. It uses its networks to find IP addresses of hackers and spammers and blocks them at a higher level before they even get to your website keeping your site safe and secure. I don't see any downsides to using CloudFlare for the basic security features it has.
HackAlert Malware Monitoring
SiteGround also has an inbuilt services that will crawl and monitor your website's code to see if it has been hacked. The daily crawl will let you know if you're site has been modified without you know and alert you to the addition of malware on your site. This way you can restore an older backup of your website before it did get infected with malware.
Now this is where SiteGround really shines and I'll have to write other reviews and guides specifically about all of the in built performance benefits in their shared environments.
Being able to easily take advantage of site caches, and memcache by simply following their tutorials on server setups can get you up and running with a high perfromance Joomla server within minutes.
Previously on other hosting environments that I've used in the past I would have had to spend hours setting up server caching to get the most out of the server. All of SiteGrounds shared environments come with all of the performance tweaks out of the box!
Ticks All the Boxes
Overall I've found SiteGround's customer support to be outstanding. To be able to respond and attend to support tickets within a few minutes is just amazing. I don't know of any other hosting company that can respond and fix requests so quickly. You can read a post that I wrote where I tested SiteGround's ticket response.
At such a cost effective rate for their services as well, it is very hard to beat. High level of security, high level of performance tailored for Joomla and a passionate team that love and support the Joomla community. SiteGround just tick all the boxes for me.
I highly recommend their hosting service for your next Joomla website. Don't forget to check out the special deal they have for Joomla Beat listeners.