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Site5 is a transparently fair host that packs a great mix of features, support, and pricing. Check out the details in the review that follows!
In a world where most companies target beginners, Site5 claims to have ideal hosting for web developers and designers. Its features are meant to help technical users build websites with ease.
Despite the bold claims, there are few fresh Site5 reviews. I decided to make my own and see what the host really is like.
The provider runs some interesting features, though there are things to be aware of before you sign up. I outlined all my findings below—the good and the bad.
Scroll down to check them out.
What Is Site5?
Site5 was founded back in 1998. Its principles of transparency, ease of use, and hiring experienced in-house engineers quickly propelled it to popularity.
It got acquired by EIG in 2015. The front stayed mostly the same, but a lot changed behind the scenes. It pays off to keep this in mind when looking at Site5 hosting reviews from years ago. We’re talking about a largely different provider.
The host still retains some features from before, though, and the same guarantees. So, how much really has changed, and, more importantly, is it still a quality host?
Let’s jump into the test results and see how Site5 performs in 2021.
The Essentials—Site5 Uptime, Speed, Support
It’s best to start the Site5 review with the basics. Hosting providers have to perform well here for the solution to even work. Here’s how well it handles the essentials.
1. Decent Uptime – 99.99%
Uptime is up first. A reliable hosting server is the first thing you want to look for. It’s merely a matter of keeping your website online at all times.
I connected Site5 to StatusCake and measured availability across a period of 15 months.
The web host recorded near-perfect availability. Managing to avoid an outage for well over a year is no joke.
In addition to stellar uptime, there is a standard 99.9% availability guarantee for shared and Site5 reseller hosting. If you have more than 40 minutes of downtime in a given month, you are eligible for a 5% service fee refund. It’s a nice way for a provider to keep itself in check.
If you go for managed VPS, Site5 ups this to a 99.99% network and hardware uptime. It is excellent for those who need more reliability for critical applications.
Site5 sports excellent uptime and a comprehensive uptime guarantee.
2. Disappointing Speed
A slow hosting service rarely pans out. It makes it tough to maintain fast load times. Even worse, hosting that can’t handle high traffic can cause all kinds of issues as your site gains traction.
Many Site5 reviews complain about a recent speed drop. I did a series of tests to check the claims.
The frontend does an okay job processing results and delivering content.
It takes around 0.500 seconds time to first byte, which is about average among providers I tested. Additionally, the host takes 1.21 seconds to deliver a full web page. It’s a similar result to HostGator.
The provider is fine, though it’s not the fastest.
Unfortunately, Site5 hosting could handle traffic better. The average Load Impact test with 300 virtual connections brought the response times down to 6.78 seconds. Some months, this got as low as 11 seconds.
For a positive result, the times really shouldn’t go over the one-second mark. The way Site5 performs is subpar.
Site5 frontend is about average, but the hosting service crumbles under high traffic.
3. Decent Support
This is the last key aspect to check. You’ll want a support team that gets back to you quickly and actually knows the platform. It’s what every web host worth its mettle should provide.
I tried Site5 support to see how it tackles hosting issues.
The first thing to point out is that there is no phone line. There was one, but it has been discontinued since the EIG acquisition.
You can still use live chat and email. Site5 does put you through the usual identity confirmation schtick, but it’s not a huge hassle.
Both Site5 live chat and ticketing yield fairly fast response times. The agents could be better communicators, but they do give correct advice on solving problems.
At first glance, it’s unclear where the knowledge base is. You actually have to access it through the support portal, as there’s no link in the website footer.
There are 500+ articles, many quite useful.
However, Site5 doesn’t really update the old content. Many guides on specific software like WordPress actually talk about versions replaced years ago.
The support team is decent, and the knowledge base is extensive, albeit outdated.
The Pros of Site5
There are plenty of quality features to attract users to the host. Here are the things that stood out during the making of the Site5 review.
1. Decent Hardware
It’s always good to see a robust behind-the-scenes setup. And, Site5 has a quite decent configuration.
Shared servers feature:
- Dual octa-core Intel Xeon E5-2630 CPUs at 2.30GHz
- 64GB RAM
- 2TB storage drives in RAID-10 arrays
- 1Gbps connectivity
It’s a pretty decent setup for a shared hosting server. The provider should be able to support your account, along with many other clients.
2. Easy Account Management
Site5 lets you manage websites via cPanel, which is standard and decent. Additionally, the account panel is quite a treat as well.
The client area lets you control all the essential functions like renewing your plans. You can also see a history of previous purchases.
A nice addition is that you can contact the Site5 support team directly from the panel. Add a status page to keep track of the service, and you can quickly get all issues resolved.
Despite being made for developers, Site5 lets you easily manage your hosting plan.
3. Daily Backups
Backups are your safety net in case something unwanted happens. As long as you have a recent backup, you can restore lost files in just a few clicks.
The provider throws in a backup system with each Site5 hosting plan. It takes website backups nightly, so it won’t interfere during peak traffic hours. You’ll always have a copy no more than a day old.
Automated daily backups are a fantastic addition to the service.
4. Fixed Prices
Most hosting companies offer outrageous promo prices only to rack up the fees when you have to renew. I’m happy to say Site5 has no such tricks up its sleeve.
The price stays the same as when you got your Site5 logins. For instance, you can prepay for two years at $6.95/month. The renewal would cost the same, as long as you purchase two more years.
It’s a very transparent pricing model. Site5 has a full list of prices on the website, so you’ll never be surprised by your next invoice.
5. Free Migration
Migration can be tricky, even if you have experience with a website. That’s why Site5’s team offers to migrate your websites for free.
The host will move up to 25 cPanel accounts for you, including all the emails and other data. This essentially means you can even move an entire reseller setup to Site5 cPanel hosting.
If you’re hosted on a different system, Site5 offers to move up to 10 non-cPanel accounts. This depends on your current platform, though, so it’s best to check with the support. Few providers offer to migrate from something that’s not cPanel, so this is a solid option.
It’s a helpful service if you already have a setup somewhere.
Site5 makes a big deal about catering to developers and designers. Even better, a lot of users writing positive Site5 reviews are professional devs.
I wanted to see what kind of features actually are there.
The servers support technologies like PHP, MySQL database, Perl, Python, Ruby on Rails, SSI, and CGI. Site5 keeps them updated to the latest stable version.
You also get access to phpMyAdmin, GD Graphics Library, cURL Library, and ImageMagick.
They are all pretty useful inclusions, though it would be nice to see support for something like Node.js as the number of Node hosts is not that great.
You can enable SSH access from your control panel. It’s handy for technical users that prefer to use the command line.
If you’re a web developer, Site5 cPanel hosting supports all the most common technologies.
7. 45-day Money-back Guarantee
Site5 extends a refund period that’s longer than most.
You can request a refund within the first 45 days of service, and you’ll get your money back, no questions asked. This is 15 days longer than what most providers allow.
You can use the money-back guarantee to see how the service works and if you feel comfortable using it. You might even get a few visitors in and see how your site performs under traffic.
It’s reassuring you get extra time to try out the solution before fully committing your funds.
The Cons of Site5
Site5 changed a lot in the past five years. Things that worked well once completely failed during the making of this Site5 review. Here’s what you should be aware of if you’re considering the service.
1. Relatively Pricy
Site5 is transparent about its prices, but the hosting plans are kind of costly.
For instance, you would have to pay for two years to get the smallest plan at $6.95/month. And that’s for single-site hosting with no genuinely unique features. And did I mention this plan doesn’t let you pay month-to-month?
The higher tiers raise the price even further, up to a $13.95/month minimum on the largest plan.
The services are quite an investment. There are definitely more affordable alternatives to consider.
2. HDD Only
I did praise the provider for its hardware, but, to be fair, it is behind on storage devices. Most quality providers today have already transferred their server infrastructure to solid-state drives.
Even though somewhat more expensive, SSD storage provides superior read/write speeds. It’s a big deal when you want to deliver content as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, Site5’s entire setup is still on older HHDs, even the Site5 VPS. This kind of explains the web host’s poor speed results, despite otherwise decent hardware.
Site5 doesn’t make this obvious, but the lack of fast SSD storage is something to be aware of.
3. Only US Servers
Site5 web hosting used to have a truly global infrastructure, with a whopping 19 data centers worldwide. You could pick one best for you.
After the change of management, EIG gradually moved the entire service to Austin, Texas. You can still find the dropdown menu for choosing the server location. The only option you can pick now, though, is the US.
Now, this doesn’t really affect you if the bulk of your visitors are from the States. However, if you need a server elsewhere, you might look for a different web host than Site5.
4. No SSL Installation
Missing features can be even more important than available ones.
Most providers today enable AutoSSL by default. It lets users install a free SSL certificate in a few clicks. It’s helpful for the clients, and it costs the host nothing.
Unfortunately, Site5 lacks a free SSL installation. You would either have to install a Let’s Encrypt certificate yourself or pay for premium SSL.
Many Site5 reviews by users complain AutoSSL was present but got removed. It’s a pattern we’ve seen before with EIG brands, and it’s most likely meant to push clients into purchasing paid certificates.
Sure, acquiring a reputable cert yourself isn’t too challenging if you’re a technical user. Be that as it may, Site5 makes a simple operation unnecessarily difficult.
5. Limited Choice of Plans
Site5’s service is kind of simplistic. You can only choose between shared, VPS, and reseller hosting.
That’s about it. There are no large dedicated or cloud servers, no email hosting, no managed WordPress plans. You only get a handful of services with similar features.
Now, this is fine if you need something standard. The shared hosting is a decent place to start, and the Site5 VPS is scalable enough for 99.99% of sites.
If you need something more advanced or specialized, though, there are providers with a broader offer.
6. Bad Reputation
Site5 is in poor standing among its clients, and it’s pretty easy to pinpoint the reason.
EIG acquired the company in 2015, and the provider’s reputation went down like a lead balloon. SSL installation got removed, the infrastructure shrunk to one data center, and the support started doing a shoddy job resolving issues. It’s a general decline in service, and many users noticed.
Just check out Site5 user reviews. It scores 1.6/5.0 on Trustpilot and 3.2/10.0 on HostAdvice. And there’s no shortage of users flaming the provider on Reddit. Sure, some developers are still loyal, but the majority are disappointed in the solution.
All in all, Site5 reviews paint a gloomy picture. Worth taking into account if you want to join its user base.
Site5 Plans at a Glance
Site5 has three shared hosting plans. The prices below reflect a two-year subscription. You can go for a shorter-term deal but at a higher price.
|hostBasic||hostPro||hostPro + Turbo|
|The hostBasic plan can support a single website. It costs $8.34/month and can handle around 10,000 monthly visitors. A great place to start your first site.||For $13.14/month, the hostPro plan lets you host as many websites as you have. It also ups the resources, being able to support about 25,000 monthly visits. It’s a great choice for launching multiple sites.||This is essentially a more powerful version of the previous Site5 web hosting plan. It allocates you enough resources to support around 100,000 visitors for $16.74/month. If you need more resources, it’s a handy upgrade.|
|Control panel:||cPanel (DirectAdmin available on VPS plans and higher)|
|Software installation:||1-click installers via Softaculous auto-installer|
|Payment options:||Credit cards and PayPal|
|Other hosting solutions:||Reseller hosting and managed VPS|
|Site5 user reviews:||Lots of complaints|
Do We Recommend Site5?
No, not really.
Site5 has a few positives, but there are too many flaws to call it anything other than what it is—a poor service.
Servers are some of the slowest I tested, for one. The host also has a horrendous reputation, and there are practically no unique features. And the lack of free SSL does it no favors.
Sure, the uptime and support are decent, and the interface is not that bad. However, the host could do more to justify the $6.95/month price tag.
This Site5 review might have gone the other way a few years ago, but, in 2021, way too many providers offer better value for money.
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