So you're looking for the best website hosting options, and you keep coming across recommendations for Siteground. On other hand, there are thousands of people saying Wealthy Affiliate is the best host. What is SiteGround? Is it better than Wealthy Affiliate? Which one is easier to use? How do they compare when it comes to tests and optimizations?
Skip to read the full comparison below.
Best for beginners. The hosting service is highly optimized and the setup only takes a few minutes. No need to configure nameservers. Includes plenty of free features and training to build a successful business. Limited to WordPress.
Price: $49/month for Premium, everything included.
Offers lots of hosting solutions. Best for more advanced users who already understand the basics of building an online business and need a fast website. Provides more control. You can access more files in the back-end and install more software.
Price: Starts from $3.95/month.
What is Wealthy Affiliate?
Wealthy Affiliate is an all-in-one online business center designed for people who want to learn how to build an affiliate marketing business. It’s a platform with a wide range of services and features, with the focus on their online business training modules.
The training modules are split into week-long classes with a checklist of tasks to complete after each lesson. It’s also free to start, so you can try it out with no hassles.
Wealthy Affiliate Quick Stats:
Did I mention it has over 1.4 members and growing? There’s good reason for this. However, the platform is not all training courses. There are many other features too, such as:
- Website hosting services
- Live weekly webinars – where you can ask questions freely
- A community (similar to Facebook, each member has a profile with a wall for discussions)
- Keyword research tools
- And much more.
To learn more about what is included in the Wealthy Affiliate membership, I encourage you to take a look at our detailed Wealthy Affiliate review.
While Wealthy Affiliate isn’t perfect (some people have called Wealth Affiliate a scam) in my opinion, it’s the best online platform to learn how to build an affiliate marketing website. It’s my number one recommended course, especially for beginners.
What is Siteground?
Siteground is a website hosting company that was founded in 2004. The company offers a wide range of hosting solutions, the most popular being Shared Hosting for small websites. One reason people prefer Siteground is because it provides more control over your server and its files.
Siteground does not include online business training material because its focus is on hosting solutions. It’s a web-hosting company first.
Here are some of their hosting options:
So they’re different companies, one offers training modules and many other additional services, one of which is website hosting options. The other is dedicated to web hosting solutions only. Inherently, they’re quite different.
One thing that’s cool about Siteground is the first plans are heavily discounted. You can usually get a year of hosting for around $40 or so. But when it comes time to renew, their renewal fees are much higher, so keep that in mind.
What is The Best Hosting Company?
Like most things, the best is subjective. Nowadays, almost every hosting company offers decent services with good performance.
There are even plenty of third-party tools like cache plugins and content delivery systems that will always keep a site loading quickly.
The best hosting company is the one that offers the best features, quick customer support, and performance, all within a reasonable price range.
If you’re looking for the best hosting company, Wealthy Affiliate and Siteground are a couple of the top ones.
Our Test: Here’s What We Did…
When it comes to these two companies, we’ll compare several factors, such as:
- The Setup Difficulty (attaching a domain and installing WordPress)
- Additional Features and Services
- Included Plugins
- Website Speed Tests
- And more.
In our experiment, I decided to make a dummy website, complete with its domain name. The websites are built with WordPress, using the same theme, default settings, no plugins, and the same amount of filler content.
The domain names are from the same provider as well. We decided to use name.com as the provider because, from time to time, they have great domain name sales. That’s one of the main reasons people choose to buy a domain name separately, it’s cheaper.
But it also involves a few more steps to connect.
Two Domain Names on Two Hosts:
I went ahead and bought the two domain names below from Name.com. One for Siteground, and one for Wealthy Affiliate.
Getting Started with Siteground:
Before we continue, we must be clear.
Although Siteground is relatively user-friendly, it’s designed more for advanced users, users who are already familiar with hosting a website.
Some of the steps might be a bit complicated for complete beginners.
Siteground has lots of hosting services and options, but we’ll focus on the shared hosting service, as it’s the best one for our needs.
Currently, Siteground offers three subscriptions:
We’ll start with the StartUp plan, as it’s the cheapest.
You’ll be asked to either buy a domain or connect one you already own. We already own one, so we’ll choose the latter option.
Notable Tip: One cool Siteground feature is you can transfer your website to their hosting account for free.
Siteground’s Data Centers:
Another interesting feature of Siteground is the server location.
There are five locations:
I recommend choosing one close to where your target audience lives. While cache plugins and content delivery services can still improve website performance for people who are not near your data-center, location is still important.
Does Siteground Have a Website Builder?
Siteground does include a free website builder with any of the paid subscriptions. It’s very user-friendly (drag and drop based) and a great option for new website owners. They also offer themes and solutions for eCommerce.
Naturally, it’s not mandatory. If you prefer to add your theme and configuration, you can skip the website builder completely. We already have a theme in mind, so we won’t use the website builder.
Wealthy Affiliate also has a website builder, which we’ll talk about in the section dedicated to Wealthy Affiliate’s features.
We bought our domains from another provider, so the next step we need to do is point them to our new host.
While the process is simple, it can be challenging for beginners. There are lots of videos and tutorials on how to connect nameservers out there.
The rundown is you need to find your unique nameservers and copy and paste them into the nameserver section under your domain name.
Where are Siteground’s Nameservers?
Head over to your Siteground account, click My Accounts and find Information & Settings to find the nameservers. You can find an official tutorial by reading this post from Siteground: what are my dns nameservers.
Copy and paste the nameservers to your domain settings and wait until it connects, sometimes it takes a couple of hours, sometimes longer.
For me, it took about six hours, but this varies depending on which company you purchase your domain names from.
Keep in mind, the nameserver configuration step is only necessary if you buy a domain name separately. Siteground does offer the option to buy and connect domains through their service, which is another option you can consider.
Once the nameservers are connected, use the Cpanel to install WordPress, choose a theme, and you’re good to go.
We used the default WordPress theme, Twenty Eleven, as our test theme. We also went ahead and added about 2,000 words of random filler text.
Now that you have a general idea of how Siteground works, let’s move on to Wealthy Affiliate.
Getting Started with Wealthy Affiliate:
Wealthy Affiliate is designed for complete beginners, so their website setup steps are super simplified and straightforward.
Once again, if you register a domain name through Wealthy Affiliate, then you won’t need to change any nameservers.
Wealthy Affiliate Hosting Requirements: Setting up a website with Wealthy Affiliate is really simple but you will need a Premium Account.
How Many Websites Can I Have on a Premium Wealthy Affiliate Subscription?
With Wealthy Affiliate, you can host 25 domains. In most cases, that’s more than enough. You can also host 25 sub-domains.
To start, Create a Premium Profile at Wealthy Affiliate or login to your existing account and hit the Site Rubix button in the left-hand menu.
We already have a domain, so we’ll select the middle option.
I noticed with Wealthy Affiliate when you enter a domain you own, a notification will appear telling you to configure the name servers on your domain. They’ll also link you to a page where you can find the name servers you need.
Add the name servers to your domain, refresh the page, and you’ll see a green check mark next to the domain name.
Choose a theme, I chose Twenty Sixteen. You’ll see a page with your WordPress login information. And you’re done.
With Wealthy Affiliate, there’s no need to wait for name servers to connect, they connect instantly!
Click Login Now to access your WordPress dashboard.
We won’t install any plugins, as this will only be used as a dummy site. Now we’ll throw in same random content to simulate regular content. I used a Random Text Generator to generate over 2,000 words of gibberish for four test articles, the same text we used in our Siteground site.
Note: I had to wait awhile for SiteGround to connect with my domain name, Wealthy Affiliate connected instantly!
WA Notable Website Builder Features
One thing that people who have multiple websites will love about Wealthy Affiliate’s site builder is you can manage all your website from one location.
Site Health feature:
The alternative would be to manually login to WordPress on each site to update plugins and whatnot. WA has a site manager that you can use to easily manage site content and other settings all from one page. Very easy to use, and it saves you time.
Not to mention you can monitor your site’s health as well and even order comments. Comments are a great way to add more organic content on your site and seem to help rankings, in my experience.
Which Company is Easier to Start With?
I would say Wealthy Affiliate is much easier to start with. It’s perfect for beginners because there are much fewer steps involved in getting a WordPress website online.
With Wealthy Affiliate it can be done in a few clicks, while Siteground involves finding nameservers, redirecting domains, finding the WordPress installation service, and more. Wealthy Affiliate wins by a long shot.
If you want to get a website up and running as fast as possible, Wealthy Affiliate is your best choice. Plus the Classes and SEO Training are Amazing!
SiteGround takes awhile to connect to the domain name. While I was waiting for SiteGround to connect, I had time to create a website with Wealthy Affiliate, and when I was done, SiteGround still wasn’t connected.
Let’s Talk Speed: Which Hosting Service is Fastest?
Once we had both websites online, we decided to run through a series of speed tests. Remember, these are without any website speed optimizations.
These tests should be used as a guideline, not a complete indicator of which site is faster.
The reason being each hosting company uses different technologies, hardware, and locations. Not to mention the speed testers may have servers closer to one host, thus showing a faster load time for that host and creating unfair results. Nevertheless, we went ahead and performed a bunch of speed tests and the results are below.
Google Page Insights Test:
We’ll start with Google’s Page Speed Insights, a super useful tool to examine website speed and identify factors that are slowing it down.
Lets start with Lets Build Wealth Online, our Wealthy Affiliate Website.
Overall, for Mobile score for our Wealthy Affiliate site is 72/100. Not too bad.
Now let’s look at the Desktop test:
And we have a good Desktop score, excellent. It’s 87/100 – which can easily be improved on.
Now let’s test our SiteGround website…
SiteGround Speed Test:
Not much of a difference here, only one point higher than Wealthy Affiliate on mobile.
The desktop version has a two more points than Wealthy Affiliate. There’s really not much of a big difference here, two points isn’t even noticeable.
SiteGrounds wins this test by a tiny margin; one point for mobile and two points on desktop. So it seems like SiteGround’s site is a tiny – tiny – bit more optimized than Wealthy Affiliate.
Lets look at some more tests.
We went ahead and used Ping-dom to test the website load time of Lets Grow Wealth Online, our Wealthy Affiliate website.
Here are the results, testing from San Jose, California:
Wow that is fast – it takes less than a second to load. Lets see how our SiteGround website compares…
SiteGround Ping Dom Test:
Same configuration, from San Jose California:
Not very good. Our Wealthy Affiliate website clearly loads much faster, it takes less than a second to load, while SiteGround’s takes two seconds.
But this may be due to the server location.
Let’s try a different location, Melbourne Australia (should be quite far from both hosts):
This time it takes a bit longer to load, I’m assuming it is because the Wealthy Affiliate host is quite far from Melbourne.
Lets see if SiteGround is slower…
SiteGround loads faster when tested from Melbourne, though only by a tiny margin, but that may be because the SG host is closer to Melbourne.
Either way, the performance score on Wealthy Affiliate is still much better. So we’ll give this one to Wealthy Affiliate.
Winner: Wealthy Affiliate
Our next test will be with GT Metrix, another website speed tester.
Let’s start with Wealthy Affiliate.
GT Metrix Test:
The test server is in Vancouver, Canada, and the same location will be used for SiteGround.
Wealthy Affiliate score:
Perfect Page Speed score, faster than our previous test from Australia but still a tiny bit slower than San Jose.
According to this tester, the page file size is only 158 kilobytes, lower than what the other tools reported.
Lets see SiteGround’s Score.
SiteGround Speed Test:
Same test server.
Wow – almost a tie! SiteGround’s load time is 0.1 seconds slower than Wealthy Affiliate, and has four percent less Page Speed Score (100 vs 96).
On the other hand, the YSlow Score is much worse, (77%) vs Wealthy Affiliate’s (96%).
Once again, the page size is also 10 kilobytes more than Wealthy Affiliate’s.
Regardless, even though SiteGround is only a tiny bit behind, Wealthy Affiliate still wins this test.
GT Metrix Test Winner: Wealthy Affiliate
Page Size and Performance Grades:
There are a couple of other things worth mentioning in these tests…
For one, Wealthy Affiliate’s page size is a tiny bit bigger than SiteGround’s, at least on the first two tests.
One more thing is you can change the server location on SiteGround for an additional fee, thus improving load times for people near the host.
There are also cloud-based cache services you can use to speed up load times.
SiteGround has a cloud hosting feature that leaves a copy of the website on their data centers around the world, so your site will always load instantly.
But this service costs an additional $30/month.
Tally it Up!
So we tested these dummy websites with three website speed tools; take a look at the results below.
- Google Insights Winner: SiteGround (+1 Mobile Score and + 2 Desktop Score)
- Ping Dom Winner: Wealthy Affiliate (Much Faster When Tested from San Jose, U.S)
- GT Metric Winner: Wealthy Affiliate (Perfect Page Speed Score)
From these tests, Wealthy Affiliate takes the lead, boasting a much faster load time and performance scores. There are only a few minor differences, such as Page Size, server location, and Requests.
Though our SiteGround site has a smaller page size, Wealthy Affiliate still loads faster. With some plugins, we could – most likely – improve the SiteGround scores.
Either way, none of these hosts are bad, they both load really fast. We’ll talk about the other differences between this two companies in the next section.
Do any of these companies include free features or extra services you should know about? Let’s see.
SSL Certificates (Switching from HTTP to HTTPS)
Recent Google updates have revealed websites with SSL certificates are favored, and tend to have a competitive advantage in ranking in search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and others.
Luckily, both SiteGround and Wealthy Affiliate offer free SSL certificates for your website. Just sign-up and install the certificate and you’re good to go (the process is easier with Wealthy Affiliate).
SiteGround offers more secure variations of SSL certificates for an additional fee, the basic version is free.
Wealthy Affiliate only offers one type of SSL certificate. Regardless, a standard certificate is all you need for a small website.
In case you didn’t know, when you install a SSL certificate on your site, the pre-fix on your domain “http://” will change to “https://”, the “S” indicates a secure connection. You’ll also get a secure label in your web browser.
Since there are so many scams out there, it is always best to use SSL not only because Google favors SSL websites, but because it provides a more safe experience for your visitors. It’s the standard now.
So it looks like Wealthy Affiliate has the upper hand here, but lets compare some more features.
As I mentioned earlier, SiteGround is a full hosting service, with plenty of options (dedicated hosts, cloud-hosts, etc) You can also access the c-panel and install basically any kind of platform you want.
This means, with SiteGround you are not limited to WordPress – you can choose to build your site on a wide range of platforms.
SiteGround’s Softaculous service lets you easily install platforms in more than 20 categories.
The following are some types of websites you can build with this service:
- Wikis, e-commerce sites and online stores
- Social networks
- Customer support
- File management
- Team and Project Management
- and much more.
In the blogging category alone, there are over 20 different platforms you can use to build a website.
Of course, WordPress is the most popular platform, and if you’re starting out it has everything that you need. But if you need to build a website on a different platform, SiteGround is your best option.
Wealthy Affiliate Only Supports WordPress:
Wealthy Affiliate on the other hand is only WordPress based and you don’t have access to the c-panel.
In other words, you can’t edit files on your host and you can only change WordPress settings and editor. To summarize, SiteGround lets you access and customize all your files, there are no limitations.
You can configure and change every aspect of your website. Wealthy Affiliate, on the other hand, is limited to WordPress and you are limited – though only slightly!
The reality is that you can create any type of website using WordPress including; an eCommerce site, blog or membership website using WordPress.
But Which is Better and Why?
Wealthy Affiliate has something SiteGround doesn’t have too, and that’s a full-scale online business training center with detailed lessons and live weekly webinars.
Besides that, its also a community where you can interact with other members, send messages, chat with people, leave comments, and support one another.
The Wealthy Affiliate training teaches people how to build a profitable website in as few steps as possible.
The training covers almost every topic related to online business, such as keyword research, content creation, traffic, website optimization, sales, affiliate marketing and much more.
In short, it is an online business training course that provides you with all the support, training, and tools you need in one place to get your business started off… on the right start.
How much is Wealthy Affiliate? With Wealthy Affiliate, the premium membership covers access to the platform, website builder, host, and all the other features.
The premium memberships costs $49/a month, though the first month is $19 dollars. Yearly at $359 so a buck a day. No renewal fees or up-sells, it’s all there.
One thing I love about Wealthy Affiliate’s pricing model is there are only two memberships; Starter and Premium, with Starter being completely free.
Considering this price includes access to online training material, a community, and a website builder, updated weekly webinars, I think it is well worth it.
How much is SiteGround? SiteGround, on the other hand, is cheaper because it does not offer as many features. It’s only a hosting service.
You can choose the trial plan (one month for $18) or dive right into an official plan. The first plans are heavily discounted (around 80% for annual) but the renewal fees are the full price, so you need to be ready for the bill.
The Start Up Plan is sufficient for most website owners, and it comes to around $3.95/month.
But keep in mind there are bandwidth limits, and if your website exceeds those limits you will have to pay more.
Which Company is Right for You?
To answer that question, it depends on your goals and level of experience.
Do you want to learn more about affiliate marketing and build a website that focuses on that? Where every post you create is a targeted post designed to bring your ideal customer to your niche website?
Or do you already have a plan but just need good hosting service?
I recommend Wealthy Affiliate if you’re new to online business and want to learn the ropes. Most Wealthy Affiliate members go on to make lots of money from their websites, read these affiliate marketing success stories from real WA Members. Wealthy Affiliate’s website builder is super easy to use and their sites are lightning-fast.
Not to mention if you ever have a problem you can ask the community for assistance, the live chat is always active and they have direct support that’s quick to respond to issues. For people who need an easy to use platform and don’t have much experience working online, Wealthy Affiliate is the best choice.
It is a little more expensive than SiteGround, but it teaches you everything you need to know to build a profitable website/online business.
So if you’re new and want to learn more about online business, head over to Wealthy Affiliate.
SiteGround, on the other hand, is best for experienced marketers who are familiar with online business strategies.
It is one of the better hosting companies out there, and their customer support is off-the-charts as well. With SiteGround you can also configure a lot more settings and you have total control over your website and its files.
In other words, if you already know what needs to be done to create a profitable website go with SiteGround.
Thanks for taking the time to read this article, hopefully now you know what is Siteground hosting and how it compares to Wealthy Affiliate hosting and other online services.
If you have any questions please leave them below.