SiteGround and CloudAccess are two different companies that both do a great job hosting Joomla. SiteGround is hosts many different types of websites and CloudAccess is only hosts Joomla websites.
1. Company Info
SiteGround is a small hosting company that gives you more options and features for a low price while CloudAccess is a small hosting company that focuses on only the options you need to host an effective Joomla site for a decent price.
SiteGround was founded in 2003, they are located in Sofia, Bulgaria; and they have over 50 employees. They have around 400,000 customers and host around 300,000 domains. Their datacenters are located in USA, Singapore, and Europe.
SiteGround commits to helping customers with Joomla at all stages and will even patch holes in the core if they need to.
CloudAccess was founded in 2008, they are located in Traverse, Michigan; and have over 30 employees. They have around 7500 paying customers and I have no data on how many domains are registered through them. They have datacenters in Detroit, Michigan; Phoenix, Arizona; and Bissen, Luxembourg.
CloudAccess employs Joomla experts and thats the only types of websites that they host. They host the official demo.joomla.org site.
2. Plans and Prices
SiteGround and CloudAccess are different in how they price their plans. SiteGround offers some low cost shared server options with lots of features and CloudAccess offers fairly priced professional Joomla plans with all essential options.
- Startup - $3.95/Mo. 1 website, 10GB storage, unlimited bandwidth, databases, ftp accounts, email accounts, free domain name.
- GrowBig - $7.95/Mo. Multiple websites, 20GB storage, priority support, SuperCacher, and 30 versions of backups stored. unlimited bandwidth, databases, ftp accounts, email, domain name. Priority support, SuperCacher, and 30 versions of backups stored.
- GoGeek - $14.95/Mo. 30GB storage, priority support, SuperCacher, and 30 versions of backups stored, less accounts on server, advanced hardware, Joomla and WordPress staging. Multiple websites, unlimited bandwidth, databases, ftp accounts, email, domain name.
- Entry plan Cloud 1 - $68.95/Mo. 2x2.0GHz CPU, 1GB RAM, 40GB space, 1TB bandwidth.
- Top plan Cloud 4 - $138.95/Mo. 4x2.0GHz CPU, 4GB RAM, 150GB space, 5TB bandwidth.
- Entry Server $229/Mo. - 4GB DDR3 RAM, Quad Core Processor, 500GB space, 5TB bandwidth.
- Top plan Enterprise Server - $429/Mo. - 16GB DDR3 RAM, Hexa Core Processor, 1GB space, 5TB bandwidth.
- Standard - $19.95/Mo. RAM 1GB, 2 CPU cores, 20GB space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited email addresses.
- Business - $49.95/Mo. RAM 2GB, 3 CPU cores, 50GB space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited email addresses
- Pro - $99.95/Mo. RAM 3GB, 4 CPU cores, 100GB space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited email addresses
VPMC (Virtual Private Memory Cloud) Hosting
- $699.00/Mo. 15GB RAM, 8 CPU cores, 15GB flash storage, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited emails.
3. Control Panel and User Experience
SiteGround uses cPanel which comes packed with tools and it's easy to use. CloudAccess comes with a custom cloud control panel which is also easy to use.
SiteGround gives you the control panel that most hosts use, cPanel. You get access to tools like FTP accounts, email accounts, domain manager, and MySQL Databases.
The design puts all important information front and center, it can be a lot to grasp at first but, you get used to it.
CloudAccess has a custom build cloud control panel where you get access to the essentials like FTP, email, and domains.
The control panel is easy to understand. To access the control panel you click on a drop down box under the domain and you get access to all the features you need.
4. Installing and Managing Joomla
SiteGround uses Softaculous 1-click installer and cPanel tools to manage Joomla. CloudAccess comes preinstalled with Joomla and uses a custom cloud control panel to manage Joomla.
Using Softaculous to install Joomla is simple, straightforward and only takes a couple of seconds. You won't run into any server compatibility errors.
I prefer installing Joomla manually. This can be done easily using the tools File Manager and MySQL Databases which comes with cPanel.
To manage Joomla you can use FTP access and login to phpMyAdmin to change database lines.
SiteGround provides weekly backups of all their servers.
Joomla comes preinstalled at CloudAccess so their is no need to worry about installation.
They give you all the tools you need to manage Joomla including an AkeebaBackup powered backup system when you log into using their account control panel.
CloudAccess provides daily backups kept up for two weeks.
You will have great performance with both SiteGround and CloudAccess. I currently host sites successfully on both.
I have tracked the performance of a website we have at SiteGround for over six months and gathered some great data. After six months, we had an average response time of 842ms which is very fast and an average uptime of 99.77% which is very reliable.
While using Joomla on SiteGround we experienced some great responsive interactions while using the content editor and navigating the backend. So, using it productively works really well.
I also have some great data from our CloudAccess website in the past year. After 1 year, the website we monitor head 923ms average response time which is very fast and 99.72% average uptime which is very reliable.
I moved the site from MediaTemple where we had some bad slow loading times. Afterward, everything was much better and much more responsive. To this day, I have liked working with CloudAccess a lot more.
6. Technical Support
Both SiteGround and CloudAccess have great technical support. SiteGround has phone, live chat and ticket support. CloudAccess has each of those except live chat.
SiteGround's technical support will help you with any Joomla problem, which puts them on level with the support you receive at CloudAccess. They are very customer focused and have launched marketing campaigns explaining that.
Using live chat is my favorite way to communicate with technical support. Every time you start a session with SiteGround a window appears with the technicians face and name which personalizes the process.
Phone support can be frustrating because the technicians are located in Europe and are not the best English speakers.
Ticket support is outstanding. SiteGround's is one of the best in the business with response times of less than 10 minutes on average.
The technical support for CloudAccess is great. They are trained Joomla experts and only host Joomla websites. If you want the attention of Joomla dedicated staff, CloudAccess is perfect.
For phone support, you will get all the help you need and more. It isn't 24/7 but you get the immediate attention that you need.
For ticket support, they are almost as quick as SiteGround at around 20-30 minutes. Other hosts can take up to 24 hours to respond.
If you prefer live chat, they offer it and it works great.
There are two conclusions for this comparison. I would choose SiteGround if you need a more affordable site that comes with more tools and gives you the option to host any type of website that you want. I would choose CloudAccess if you have a larger budget for an simple way to host Joomla where all the technical support is dedicated to Joomla hosting.