Why We Choose to Use Siteground
As some of you may have noticed, we had a design update! Yeah! Siteground came to my rescue, three times!
If anyone knows me, they know I was as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
But, the scariest part is over. The major changes have been made. We will continue to make small tweaks in the coming weeks or months I’m sure.
We held off on migrating to https because we have heard and read the horrors of broken links and any other disaster that seems to always be lurking in the shadows of any blogger’s life.
Honestly, we should have made that change at least a year ago. When SiteGround says it is simple, it really is. I know, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true. This exact thinking is what held us back. Don’t let it hold you back.
Even if you need a new hosting company, I would consider moving to SiteGround and then migrating to https.
I simply forced https from their SG Optimizer, then I kicked myself more than once for waiting so long. Nothing crashed, no lost traffic, no issues, not even minor ones.
It really took longer to deal with the new Google Search Console than it did to deal with the migration.
The https migration was holding us back from making any serious changes to our design until we actually made the move.
As our blog has grown in traffic, we have been able to just upgrade our plan through SiteGround without any aggravation.
Upgrading to the GoGeek plan had an extra step and a support ticket was issued. This is when my anxiety level cranked up! My heart was racing, if I were a dog my hackles would have been up, and I started pacing.
Frantically, I searched for their customer service number. Which is now safely saved in my contact list. I have never needed that number in the 2 years we have been with SiteGround. Everything has always been smooth sailing, no outages, no downtime.
One call to their customer service and every assurance was given to me that the change had occurred in less time than it took me to call them. 14 minutes to be exact! Yes, I probably wasted a full 14 minutes panicking!
I don’t know if their customer service and tech departments deal with anal retentive customers on the regular, but I do know that they treated me with the greatest respect. At no point did any of them make me feel stupid or treat me as a nuisance.
I was assured that it was also safe to set up a staging site for the design changes.
Again with a trembling finger, I clicked a button. No balloons, streamers, or fanfare, just a nice clean copy of the blog on a hidden URL.
I struggled with my own password to get past the first security gate. Ron had issues too the first few attempts, we figure maybe you cannot copy and paste the password since logging it in manually seemed to allow us both in.
I was able to access the staging site almost immediately, but the DNS propagation took some time to make it to Ron. This is not a SiteGround issue, this is an interweb’s first world problem.
If you ever find yourself unable to reach your own sites after DNS changes, remember that Google Public DNS will allow you to access your sites even if your closest regional server has not yet updated. This is what happened over the holiday weekend for Ron.
Full DNS propagation can take up to 48 hours. It reached me within that 14-minute window of sheer panic. It took around 6 hours before we finally gave up waiting and Ron used Google Public DNS. This does require changes to your DNS files.
After 2 days of redesigning in the blog-o-sphere playground, the staging site, we were ready to push it to the live page.
In cPanel first try gave me some warning:
Are you absolutely sure you want to push?
Could not reliably determine the versions of the applications!
With my new found confidence I clicked YES! I was absolutely sure. We had spent 2 solid days learning new codes and making adjustments. A few “adjustments” required deleting Genesis and Foodie Pro. Oops! Thank goodness for staging sites! It’s just one big playground, right?
Waiting……waiting……waiting. The live push was successful!
Alrighty then, back to admin page I went. Nothing different. Back to the cPanel, clearly I must have done something wrong.
Same warning! Confident me says “Self, just do the advanced push.” Success!! NOT!
With my trusty phone in my hand, I pull up my contact list and called SiteGround for the second time in 2 days. I was relieved to learn it wasn’t me. There was some issue on the back end.
I was assured that a manual push could be done immediately, but for the best service, the tech wanted to make sure the problem on the back end was fixed so we did not need assistance with every single staging site setup.
We have not set up another staging site as of July 2018, but we suspect we will need one when the Gutenberg WordPress updates come out. If we did not have the ability to us a staging site we might be freaking out over those updates.
To utilize the Siteground staging sites, you need to be on the GoGeek plan. We went ahead and did it before we hit the suggested pageview limits of 25,000 per month. It is not a restricted number of visitors in a month, but we suspect you could expect to see some slowdowns much past this point. GoGeek is suitable for around 100,000 page views in a month.
He said to give them 10 minutes and it would be live. Patience is not one of my virtues. not even sure it’s in my vocabulary most days.
I busied myself with dog duty outside, during a surprise winter weather advisory.
I checked the site in 15 minutes, after all, that was 1 minute longer than it took them to fix my last ticket. All I see is the old design. I got an email letting me know my ticket was completed. Great! I checked again and nothing has changed.
I called them for the third time in 3 days. We go through the whole process of sharing log-in and password information.
The tech and I are having troubles communicating what she is seeing versus what I am seeing. Apparently, the site was updated but my cache was not as clean as I thought it was! Just as we were getting somewhere, I got am IM from Ron, he could see the live site with changes.
Even during this call, at no time as I treated like the moron, I must have appeared to be. She was gracious and friendly. She reminded me to call them again if I were to have any further issues.
I am so happy to report that the staging site was pushed to the live site and arrived in exactly the same condition in which we left it Siteground’s care.
And this is why we use SiteGround and have no plans to leave. We are glad that we will be able to grow with SiteGround by moving to cloud servers and eventually dedicated servers when they are needed.
If you are starting a food blog or any blog, we think that you should give Sitegroud serious consideration. Since the very first time I have looked up their pricing, until just now when I checked, they offer some pretty nice introductory pricing for your first year. Like a 2/3 discount for your first year.
Just some disclosure here, when this article was first written, we were not affiliates of Siteground, we had written this because our experience with Siteground has been more than satisfactory. Since the original posting of this in April 2018, we have become affiliates of Siteground. But we do not recommend Siteground because of that, we recommend Siteground because it is who we use and who we will continue to use for as long as possible.Follow Us on Social Media