In 2019 cPanel announced a price increase which I assume is the main reason why hosts are considering a move away from the company. Siteground, the site I have this website on, did just that. Here is a review of that process for me.
Prior To The Move
I’ve only been with Siteground a little while after experiencing mutant agony from Hostgator. However, I seem to have been down the list of people to migrate to Siteground’s new platform which they have called Site Tools.
I’ve had two clients which I have recommended Siteground to and while they got the new Site Tools platform I was still on the old cPanel version. It was quite difficult for me to recommend Siteground since I never had access to what Site Tools was actually like. I might have recommended to others if I had earlier access. I had delegate access from the clients and could see the basics of what clients might be receiving but not everything.
They didn’t inform me by email notification that the move was going to take place, that surprised me a little bit. I only noticed when I logged into their account area that it was planned.
The move took place over a 24+ hour period, during the process I wasn’t able to access the cPanel, the main reason I do that is for spam messages sent to SpamExperts. That didn’t worry me too much.
My website was down for 30 minutes, this was from midnight Pacific Standard Time. At least it was out of office hours for me but during a busy time from a European perspective.
I noticed the following after the migration:
- My website appeared to work without any issues.
- When I logged into WordPress there were some settings that I needed to fix.
- The RSS feed had stopped working.
- Prior to the move websites for other domain were under a folder of the main domain, as pre-structured by Siteground. However, they are now in separate buckets, I wasn’t expecting this at all although I expect it makes sense. I wish I had known though.
- Email working ok and didn’t need to change any settings.
- My FTP account had been deleted, not migrated, and needed to create another one.
- No Backups had been carried over (if anybody is going through this migration process it’s worth doing a backup prior to the move just in case something goes wrong).
- Everything I had entered in IP Deny in cPanel hadn’t been migrated over.
I’ve experienced two internal migrations with GoDaddy and in comparison, the Siteground one was less stressful even though the communication piece was missing.
Site Tool Review
It’s ok. Nothing fabulous. It feels like a slight backward step from all the functionality of cPanel.
Probably the biggest missing piece is Softalicious that installs web apps. Siteground have what they consider popular apps but none of them relevant to me. If I need to re-install an app I have it will have to be done via the long method creating a MySQL database etc. A bit of a nuisance.
The most poorly designed interface is accessing SpamExperts especially if you are managing several domains. As each domain has its own Site Tools functionality there are more steps as you have to go into each to review spam that way.
Despite this move, Siteground is still one of the best hosts I have been with:
- WordPress and other apps are extremely fast
- There is no downtime.
- They are expensive (see below) but you pay for what you get.
From a price perspective, Siteground is expensive. However, time is money and I spend many frustrating hours trying to resolve issues with hosts like GoDaddy it’s worth paying more for that quality of service.