Every year, SiteGround conducts a customer satisfaction survey; the 2015 results are impressive. Despite the company’s expansion, it has been able to sustain its satisfaction levels and gained 95% user satisfaction. Also, the survey found that 60% of new SiteGround customers are now referred by existing ones; this is a significant increase from the 30% who came from referrals in the 2014 survey.
With customer satisfaction so high, it is a great time to review all their improvements to their service over the last year:
1. SiteGround Added Free Weebly Website Builder to its Line-Up
This month we reported (although the feature was rolled out in late December 2015) that SiteGround announced the addition of the free version of Weebly Website Builder to their platform. This was a great move for customers who felt more comfortable using a simple drag and drop interface, rather than something more complex.
Though website builders do not offer as much detailed flexibility as a Content Management System, they are useful, and Weebly is currently being used for over 30 million websites. It also allows customers to make use of text, photos, videos and maps to provide a great experience for their visitors.
2. They Updated Supercacher to Work With PHP7
In 2015, PHP 7 reached its General Availability Status, and as PHP 7 had been available at SiteGround (though only in Beta) for a while, SiteGround announced some great updates to the Supercacher system.
They replaced Memcache with Memcached to ensure PHP 7 compatibility and continued to uphold their record in being on top of the newest performance technologies. SiteGround has been improving Supercacher in various ways for a while, but this change was a great move, making PHP 7 usage much more convenient for all of their customers.
3. SiteGround Launched New London Data Center
SiteGround announced their new data center in London, UK, in 2015. This is their fourth data center, and also their second in Europe; the first data center SiteGround opened in Europe is in Amsterdam, and was launched in April 2012. For many customers based in the UK, the new data center should provide increased connectivity and also slightly faster response times.
The connectivity levels in Europe have always been good, though, as the Amsterdam data center has a direct connection to the UK Network, and is, therefore, an excellent location for the UK and the rest of Europe.
SiteGround made a change when launching this data center, as they chose Softlayer (IBM) as their data center partner, rather than their usual provider, Singlehop, as the latter do not have a data center in the UK. Of course, Softlayer is the “Gold Standard” for data center companies, and they are also more expensive than many of their counterparts. SiteGround showed this year that they were committed to providing the best connectivity to their customers, and the partnership of SiteGround and Softlayer is an exciting one.
4. HHTP/2 Became Available At SiteGround
This year, SiteGround announced that HTTP/ 2 is available on Shared and Cloud hosting services; this is a significant change to how the web works and should make the pages load faster. HTTP/2 is the net version of the HTTP protocol that was based on Google’s SPDY Protocol.
To install the Protocol at SiteGround, you do need an SSL certificate: though HTTP/2 does not require SSL, but many browsers only support it over encrypted connections. However, both the GrowBig and GoGeek plans with SiteGround provide a free SSL certificate, which you can add very easily in your SiteGround account.
Google has told its users many times that adopting HTTPS and also the new HTTP/2 protocol both help the SEO ranking of encrypted websites and securing your site is always a good idea.
5. They Launched New WooCommerc Plan at SiteGround With Premium Plugins
Another change made in 2015 was SiteGround’s launch of the new WooCommerce plan called the “WooCommerce Bundle” which comes pre-installed with premium plugins, automatic SSL Configuration and is based upon their fantastic GoGeek plan.
Customers who go for the WooCommerce Bundle will find that for them, WordPress and WooCommerce are both automatically installed. Also, the Storefront Theme is preinstalled: this is the free theme built by WooCommerce to work with their product. WooCommerce allows for spam filtering, SSL, and external backups, and was another significant development in the web hosting services provided by SiteGround.
6. SiteGround Announced Major Server Upgrades and SSD Hosting
In October 2015, SiteGround announced that they would upgrade to modern Linux and SSD on all their web hosting service plans. To make their web hosting faster, they decided to use Linux Containers and also SSD for both storage and databases on all their plans, features that were previously only available on their GoGeek plan.
Linux containers, of course, allow a pool of separate dedicated servers with a more efficient distribution of those resources; this is as opposed to having the resources of a single dedicated server split among multiple accounts with each account being limited.
You can read more about the upgrades here.
7. PHP 7 and Opcache Became Available on SiteGround Shared Hosting
Siteground found more new ways in 2015 to bring the latest technologies to their users: first, the introduced HHVM to their Cloud Hosting in the middle of the year, which is based on the HipHop Virtual Machine which was originally brought to attention by Facebook using it to increased PHP performance. With PHP 7 in beta and a serious competitor to HHVM, they decided to give their customers access to PHP 7in August 2015 so they could test it out.
In addition to this, with the Opcache caching available at SiteGround, added to their Supercacher technology, this could make SiteGround a very impressive option for web hosting, in terms of speed.
8. SiteGround New Supercacher Checker
SiteGround also updated their Supercacher, which is based on Nginx and is for WordPress users. The Supercacher can now notify you when you to tell you whether you website is Dynamically cached, as well as allowing you to test specific URLs. Initially, there were conflicts with W3 Total Cache, but this was quickly resolved so the new Supercacher could be configured for those with WordPress.
As you can now test if pages have been cached, you can explicitly exclude URLs from being cached if you need to, and this can be useful for things such as profile pages and shopping carts. The new Supercacher is also prepared with a notification for new users, to notify them that they need to enable Dynamic cache, showing SiteGround being very helpful for its newest customers.
You can read about the new checker for the Supercacher here.
9. SiteGround Introduced Detailed Account Statistics
The company decided to bring in a detailed accounts statistics system in June 2015, which means that now customers can gain valuable insight into their account usage and find and troubleshoot any problem they may have quicker. The new SiteGround system is extremely intuitive and offers useful information such as being able to determine and block spammers, including analytics referral spam.
The advanced statistics option is only available currently on the Shared Hosting plans, but for those using Shared Hosting, it offers many great features. These include account executions and scripts, which can give detailed information about your account, and provide graphs of Script Executions or CPU Usage.
You can read about the new detailed account statistics here.
10. Siteground Supercacher replaces Varnish with Nginx for SSL Support
In June 2015, Siteground announced that they were moving away from Varnish, and instead using Nginx for their RAM-based dynamic caching. The main reason given was that Varnish is incompatible with sites using SSL, whereas Nginx was.
Also, to supporting SSL, Nginx has many other benefits, including improved performance as well as being an easier system to manage. In tests, we found that the speeds were comparable, if not slightly faster.
11. New SiteGround Auto-scalable Cloud Hosting Launched
The new Siteground Cloud product launched in January 2015 was truly groundbreaking. Crammed full of all their best technologies, and later updated to include HHVM it is probably one of the most comprehensive fully managed Cloud products around.
The auto-scalable cloud feature enables you to set your hosting to upgrade to more RAM or CPU upon triggered events, to ensure that your website stays online, no matter the quantity of traffic it is serving.
Customers can now expect the SiteGround service to be fast and more advanced than before, and the company is also proposing to provide more instruction and tutorials for those wanting to learn more about website management. Overall, it’s been a big year for SiteGround in 2015, and these changes promise to make 2016 an even greater one.