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A Few Lines About Siteground

Thu, 21st July 2016, 16:34

On a daily basis HostJury receives all kinds of updates, newsletters, and press releases from various web hosting companies touting the latest new feature or some service that is going to revolutionize how we function online. We especially enjoy reading about that latest big sale offering ‘deep’ discounts from those companies already offering ridiculously low prices. ‘Yeah 50% off our 1 cent sale’. Where do I sign up. Marketing genius some would say. Others would describe it another way.

While it would be quite repetitive and time consuming, not to mention really boring, to do a write up on everything spamming the inbox, for the most part we take the time to give a cordial glance for something uniquely different that may be of interest. Hence a few lines about Siteground.

Siteground has jockeyed around vying for top spot in the Hostjury best rated host section for quite a while now so their newsletter does demand at least closer scrutinizing. Worthy of mention is a change in the way Siteground describes their package transfer allowances. They have replaced the term ‘unlimited’ with ‘unmetered’ on their sales pages. Some would try to suggest that this is just a play on words. At HostJury we beg to differ believing that if something is truly unlimited then why is it metered. A pet peeve on our part possibly but kudos to Siteground on this clarification.

Siteground also talked in their newsletter about their ‘New In-House Built Backup System’ and the impressive results using it for the first time. Late last year Siteground announced a raft of infrastructure changes like new supercharged monster servers with SSD drives and the latest virtualization method called “Linux containers”. The changes were designed to provide clients with a significant performance gains and bigger pool of burstable resources for sudden traffic spikes. Another part of the innovation was their in-house created backup/restore system.

image of a laboratory

As many of the horror stories written by reviewers and us will attest, too often the first time people think about back ups is right after one of those ‘oh sheet’ moments. Fortunately, most web hosts are more conscientious about preserving data than the clients they serve. Then again, most web hosts are accustomed to restoring back ups to individual accounts on a near daily basis. A server(s) going down is a horse of a different color. Despite the redundancies built in, hard drives do fail and data does get corrupted.

Siteground wrote that the last time they needed to make full backup restore of a whole shared hosting server was more than a year ago. Back then they were using R1Soft backup, which is among the most popular in the hosting industry because it is reliable and does not create significant load on the production servers while creating the backups (a resource-intensive process that takes place every day). The drawback to R1Soft is that the recovery process and subsequent file checks is painfully slow and the affected sites can experience prolonged outage. In the event in question, Siteground affected accounts were down for 28 hours.

Fast forward to their latest incident. Siteground ‘New In-House Built Backup System’ makes distributed backups and allows simultaneous restores from multiple backup instances to multiple production servers. Thus they were able to recover 4TB of data (which was nearly three times more than the previous time), in just 4 hours, compared to the 28 hours in last year’s incident. The new system also allowed incremental recovery and the first accounts were up just a few minutes after the issue was identified, with the longest downtime (about 4 hours) affecting only a few individual sites.

Quite an impressive improvement by any metric except... this isn’t what really caught my eye.

A substantial amount of time is spent at HostJury ensuring the web hosting reviews are legitimate clients of the company being reviewed. Numerous reviews are deleted not because they are ‘fraudulent’, rather, they simply don’t check out. Over the years, an innumerable amount of reviews have been written about the hosting services provided by Siteground (editor’s note.. . innumerable = more than I care to count). It has been said more than once that Siteground has a very activist client base.

What caught my attention in the Siteground newsletter was the number of overwhelmingly positive comments in the feedback section. Clients such as Brian who wrote:

I love the approach. I love even more the transparency that goes with sharing your process with the world. Most companies pretend problems never happen so as not to undermine customer confidence. Any sensible person knows this for the fallacy that it is. I love companies that show the world the challenges that they face and how hard they work resolve them and avoid them in the future. I will echo the sentiment from above... I am a proud and happy client.

And that is worth writing about! Want to know more about Siteground. Check out their reviews here.

Siteground Web Hosting