Recently we seen what looked like a pretty good deal, a shared hosting provider that offered some of the great options that a normal VPS service would, but without the hefty price tag.
We thought great, sounds like an amazing service, and continued to go through the process of looking through their packages, and making sure that there wasn’t any downsides to these plans.
At this point I want to note that at no point on their service details page (https://www.siteground.com/web-hosting.htm) do they mention any restrictions, or causes of those restrictions.
So after finding that there was no restrictions I continued through the providers forms, filled in my information, popped in my credit card details and eagerly awaited for my account to be activated, (which I must admit happened pretty quickly).
After waiting a short period of time, I proceeded to log into my account, after which I was consulted about the migration of the site from the previous provider to Siteground, something which was offered as a free service at setup, and then turned out to actually cost £60 if the migration was over 1GB, which about every migration is, unless you own a site which only has one page and nothing else, in which case you probably should be signing up to Tumblr instead, as you don’t need to be providing these people with money.
Obviously I was not about to pay someone £60 for a service I could do in about the same time (maybe even less), so I decided to do it myself, so I proceeded to start with a fresh install of WordPress, linking my AWS account to the server, and coping over the users and posts table from my previous installation.
All was all good.
Now lets fast forward to just five days after that moment, today.
Annoyed more than I have been in a very long time, I quickly found that this hosting providers service was this cheap for a good reason, it’s useless.
At 2am today I found that my site was about to be taken offline due to an over execution in the amount of time the account was allowed to use the server for, something which I didn’t notice, and was not pointed out to during my registration, the reason for which? This information has been hidden in their terms of service agreement, something which the service quickly brings up when you mention retreating from the service, but don’t mention why they haven’t included it at least in the small print of the front-end description (by the way, there’s no small print at all on their page).
“These limits are not hidden from our clients and they are explained in details in our Terms of service.” – Something which you only find at the order page, next to an already ticked box, under the place order button.
The reason for this sudden forgetfulness on their page? Because the service clearly knows that this way of doing things is completely outdated, I was offered the total of 4000 seconds of CPU time with my account per 2 hours, which in human time is about 60 minutes every 2 hours, which sounds all well and good, until you receive the warning I did.
Suddenly after just five days of usage, (only about four of these I was actually live with this site) my site was down and I had the error “this account has exceeded the time limit”, I thought there must be something wrong going on here right.
Apparently not, according the services support (which is terrible) my account was either loading the wp-cron too many times (something which all WordPress sites are forced to use), despite the fact we had set it to only load once every 30 minutes, and Google had crawled our site too many times, despite the fact that we had set Google to only index 1 page per second, a number which we already thought was too small.
As soon as I learnt of these restrictions I immediately decided that this service was a little too much like a dictator, and decided it might be best too leave, so I told the service that on their support forum, you want to know what I got in response? The same copied and pasted message about my site being crawled too many times, and the ticket being closed, no response to my question about leaving the service.
“I believe that the information that me and my colleague provided confirms that the issue is not caused by a server problem or a flood attack towards your account but because of the cron functionality of your web application and large amount of executions generated by the Google crawler. Both causes can be avoided with some website re-configuration which is solely your responsibility. “
This is something the service’s support team do quite often, you ask them a question, they respond with they think might be the answer and instantly close it, like its some version of Yahoo Answers.
And then once you do get the chance to leave, they don’t even allow you the full amount of your payment back.
Honestly if you are thinking of moving or signing up to a new server at any point, do not choose Siteground in any circumstance, their servers are too unstable too even stand against Google’s indexing methods, their support will not even take the time to wait for a response, and they won’t even try and fix some of your problems themselves, simply offering you ways they might think that it could be fixed, and then bringing them back again and again, despite the fact that you have mentioned you have already tried them.
Seriously save the money, and go for a nice and simple service, maybe even the one we have been using for the last three years, Tsohost, who have always been quick to respond with any issues, allows have fixed any issue we have had, instead of simply suggesting changes, and have always provided a service that manages to stand up to what a website needs.