The web hosting company Site5 markets themselves as web hosting for serious web designers. As they explain, Site5 specializes in service and technology for web designers and developers.
What does that mean, and how does it work? Is it an advantage?
Web hosting provides the services, technologies and tools for viewing a webpage or website on the internet. Organizations, businesses and even individuals buy the service from a web hosting company or web hosting provider to push their site out to the world. The websites are stored, or hosted, on servers provided and serviced by the web hosting provider.
Once you have a domain, when an internet user wants to view your website they can type in your website address or search for you on the web. The pages of your website will be delivered from the server through a browser. The potential customer or person interested in your site will then have access to the pages.
Sounds simple, but not all web hosting companies are created equal.
Some companies require you to purchase your domain through them – selling it at a higher price. They may package services together. Others will help you purchase a domain if you don’t already have one. Some companies allow you to purchase storage space on their server, while others will rent space putting your site and data at risk, depending on how the contract is written.
Some web hosting sites will offer database support and additional services for customers that want to host specialized content on their website. Depending on your need, there are web hosting services out there to provide the service you need.
This Site5 review will take a close look at what the company has to offer.
What Makes Site5 Unique?
In the past, Site5 focused on the technical web designer and web developer market, but today they are moving toward a barebones, just-what-you-need approach to web hosting with a few added features. Overall, this transition feels unfinished.
Here’s a review of what you have with Site5.
1. Unmetered Diskspace and Bandwidth with Site5
Site5 offers unmetered (also known as unlimited) disks pace and bandwidth on their hosting plans. Customers are not billed by the amount of disk space of data transfer for normal use of the site. Site5 does include detailed terms and conditions that put limits on the plans. They will ask customers who consistently operate outside of normal bandwidth and disk space usage to make adjustments, or Site5 reserves the right to take corrective action.
According to Site5, they monitor servers and will adjust storage to ensure optimal site performance.
2. Site5 Free Website Migration
Site5 offers free website migration for customers using a different web hosting company. With this service, Site5 will help move databases, emails and website files from the old account to Site5 and their new web hosting account. The process is managed by an on-staff Site5 web hosting migration expert.
As always, there are limitations to “free” migration.
The free migration includes up to 25 cPanel accounts (cPanel is a Linux-based web hosting tool with a graphic UI interface for automating web hosting), and 10 non-cPanel accounts. This includes website files and MySQL databases. They will migrate your old website to a new web hosting account with Site5.
With Site5 service, you have free nightly backups of your website and information. Backups are secure and will capture all service content. Customers also have the option to manually backup their site with functionality included with their account.
Using the same service, you can access your archived backup files. This service includes email and web files.
4. Domain and Subdomain Functionality
With the more expensive hostPro and hostPro+Turbo plans with Site5, you can host multiple domains with a single account, and connect domains on a single website. With the service, you can use email and gather website data for each domain. Site5 also gives you the ability to quickly and easily set up subdomains (a prefix in front of the domain name).
4. Website User Data and Analytics
Web statistics are a critical feature for web hosting.
Site5 uses AWStats, an open source web analytics tool with a graphic interface, for accessing server-side web statistics. This includes website visitors, access logs (who visited the site and relevant details on the user), error logs, and subdomain statistics. As of now, they don’t offer any other analytic tools.
5. Developer Tools for Site5
Site5 advertises as web hosting for designers and developers, and there are a few feature nods for this market.
Site5 includes Softaculous, an auto installer for website scripts. This allows users to install many popular website applications with a single click, directly from the site admin screen in Site5. Softaculous installs many of the most popular apps out there, including apps for blogging, ad management, e-commerce, customer support, and customer management systems (CMS).
Speaking of e-commerce, Site5 includes tools to help you quickly get your site up and running for online businesses. Many features can be installed directly from the site admin panel.
For more custom developer work, Site5 supports many of the most popular programming languages, including Ruby on Rails, Perl, and Optional Python. Site5 also allows users to create an unlimited number of MySQL databases, which can all be controlled via the Site5 control panel using a pre-installed version of phpMyAdmin.
Site5 also offers a Cron job editor for schedule maintenance tasks and work. Using the editor, you can run site-specific commands at regular intervals. The job editor can be found in the control panel. Results can be sent to an email to track and archive maintenance.
6. Site Security
Site5 offers malware protection and cleanup. The service actively monitors your site 24/7. Site5 currently uses website security experts Sucuri for malware scanning. Sucuri will scan the site every 12 hours and remove any malware found. This includes blacklist removal if malware is detected on your site.
You can access a report from Sucuri to review the scanning history and any malware that was detected. Note that site security is an additional cost, and it must be activated to implement the malware protection.
Site5 supports FTP (file transfer protocol) and SFTP (secure file transfer protocol). To enable SFTP, you’ll need to enable shell access, or SSH access. Secure shell access (SSH access) is a UNIX command interface and protocol system.
SSH access through Site5 can be used if you need secure remote access another computer. SSH access is typically disabled for security, but if you need to copy files or create directories using SSH access, you can enable it using the Site5 web hosting control panel.
7. Other Features
One nice feature with Site5 – you can select the location of your server. This will help your loading speeds and search ranking, if you know your core market.
With Site5, you can set up a Virtual Private Server (VPS). You can select to have the VPS fully managed by Site5. This includes hardware, maintenance, security, monitoring and software updated. You can also include a cPanel for the VPS for an additional cost. There is a small fee for additional IP addresses for the VPS.
If you are looking for more power on the VPS, including additional processing cores, more memory, additional disk space or bandwidth, Site5 can manage up to 8 cores and 250GB of disk space for a significant additional cost.
Pricing Structure for Site5
All purchases at Site5 include a 45-day money back guarantee, except for VPS which only offers a 15-day money back guarantee. Site5 offers three tiers of pricing:
for one website with a 12-month purchase. You can purchase 24-months for $6.96/month. You must purchase hostBasic for a minimum 12-month purchase. Offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
for unlimited websites. You can purchase 12-months for $11.95/month or 24-months for $10.95/month. Offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
for unlimited websites and dedicated IP (. You can purchase 12-months for $14.95/month or 24-months for $13.95/month. Offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
Site5 offers reseller pricing. Resellers will use Site5 to host a site sold to another customer through the reseller. All reseller accounts include a cPanel and free migration, as well as 99.9% uptime guarantee and automatic backups. Site5 offers three tiers for resellers:
for 50 GB of disk space and 500 GB of bandwidth per month.
for 80 GB of disk space and 700 GB of bandwidth per month.
for 120 GB of disk space and 1000 GB of bandwidth per month.
Site5 malware protection is an additional $49.99 a year for each website, either through Site5 or through the reseller program.
Public Perception of Site5
Site5 gets very good reviews for the unmetered resources. People appreciate not having to worry about going over their disk space if they add a few more landing pages or going over their bandwidth if they add more ebook downloads or videos on their site. They are also ranked highly for their free website transfer services. The free website migration is another benefit many appreciate with Site5.
Developers also appreciate many of the features that come standard with Site5, including support for numerous programming languages and a cPanel that is easy to use.
Despite the positive reviews in some areas, overall public perception of Site5 has not been good.
A frequent criticism of Site5 web hosting service has been the customer support and overall performance of the hosting service since it was purchased by Endurance International Group (EIG). Moving over the EIG caused a number of problems, including Site5 sites that went down for more than a week. Many blame EIG for the lack of service and support since the purchase, but it does reflect badly on Site5.
Other reviewers complain about the barebone services offered by Site5. Site5 does not offer much cloud service or dedicated hosting.
How Site5 Compares to the Market
Overall, the cost for Site5 is slightly higher than other web hosting companies on the market. A lack of straight forward month-to-month pricing drives the perception of high cost with Site5. To receive the advertised price, you need to purchase 24 months of service.
Digging a little deeper, Site5 does have limits on their services which can drive up the cost. For example, reviewing the terms and conditions will reveal size limits on both the database and email account for shared hosting. Unmetered services are nice, but overall the pricing can be very deceiving
Loading speeds for Site5 are average, which is fine, except for the premium price Site5 demands for their service.
Support is another area where Site5 lacks in comparison to competitors. Response time is quick but finding a customer support representative who is an expert in the web hosting service is rare. Getting an answer from Site5 is easy. Getting the right answer is much more difficult.
What We Think of Site5
There is room in the market for a web hosting service dedicated to developers and designers, but in the end Site5 doesn’t seem like the right web hosting service to fill that niche.
Today, Site5 seems to be moving toward a no-nonsense, barebones approach to web hosting. That’s not what developers and designers want or need.
Site5 offers few nice features with including a clean, graphical interface and support for many of the features a developer might need. It’s nice to be able to select the location of your server, and the ability to quickly and easily use many of the most popular apps is nice.
But, at the price you pay for Site5, nice doesn’t seem good enough. That pricing can be very deceiving, especially if you pay for two years of web hosting, and I fear many who choose Site5 will be locked into a contract they will quickly outgrow.
For true developers and designers, we suggest HostGator which offers plans at a much lower cost with more customization options, or A2 Hosting.