Site5 was founded in 1999 with the vision of being a video game hosting network and has now evolved into being one of the top shared hosting providers in the world. Nowadays, Site5 stresses the importance of customer service, service reliability and ease of use.
Now while this all sounds great, it’s also important to know that Endurance International Group purchased Site5 in August 2015. As we’ve mentioned before, EIG is an umbrella hosting company for dozens of hosting companies such as Site5, HostGator, and Bluehost. Unfortunately, the common occurrence with all businesses bought by EIG is that they all take a steep nose dive towards mediocrity shortly after being purchased.
While this is certainly an early warning flag, we also try to give all providers a fair and honest look before we pass our judgment. With a 45-day money back guarantee and a 30-day free trial on most hosting packages, giving Site5 a fair chance to prove their worth is completely warranted.
So, could Site5 be the right hosting solution for your website? Keep reading to find out!
Site5 Plans / Pricing
Site5 follows a similar pricing structure as most other hosting providers, with a tier system in place for shared, as well as managed and unmanaged VPS hosting.
In terms of shared hosting, you can get started with the $4.95 a month (when you sign up for two years) “hostBasic” plan, which gives you unlimited bandwidth and storage space for an affordable price. It is important to keep in mind that the starter hostBasic plan is not available at a month-to-month price, with a minimum payment period of one year (this does not affect the hostPro or hostPro+Turbo plans).
Included in all hosting plans is the option to use Site5’s free migration service, meaning they will handle the transfer of all your website files, databases and more to their servers when signing up. Not a huge deal, but definitely a very helpful add-on.
Fully managed VPS plans start at $72 a month, with Site5 taking full control of all the technical details of your site, also including access to Site5’s control panel SiteAdmin, remote backups and unlimited e-mail addresses.
Unmanaged VPS plans are also available, starting at $25 a month for full root access. A cPanel license can be purchased for an additional $10 a month while Softaculous script installer can also be had for an extra monthly $1.25.
One slightly disappointing thing we noticed during sign-up was that to have a server in any of the other locations other than the default (in our case Dallas); you have to pay an extra $1 a month. While this isn’t a significant amount of money, it is slightly disappointing when considering how unusual it is for charges like this.
Site5 Customer Service
Among the many issues we usually come across with EIG-related companies is that they often experience a downward trend in their customer service department after being taken over by EIG. Whether this is due to reorganization or exporting of the customer service department to foreign countries, it typically results in complaints on social media and across the web.
That being said, Site5 offers 24/7 live chat, and e-mail support as well as telephone support during regular business hours. We tested all three options by submitting questions regarding their site migration policy, to which we received a mixed bag of answers.
For our live chat test, we were pleased to see that they have separated their live chat into two categories: support and sales. This separation means shorter wait times and more accurate information, something that we got to experience first-hand in our test.
On a Friday morning, we didn’t have to wait longer than a minute before being connected to a knowledgeable associate, who answered our question regarding migrating sites professionally and quickly.
Our telephone experience was somewhat disappointing, as we were put on hold for almost 15 minutes, followed by being connected to someone who wasn’t much help in regards to our question. After being directed to the site FAQ, we knew that the person we were speaking with wasn’t very experienced in the industry.
That being said, at least, we received a somewhat timely answer to our questions, even if it wasn’t as detailed as we hoped. One nice thing we noticed is that Site5 also has a support response guarantee, a nice additional touch.A 45-day money back guarantee is available for all shared hosting packages (only 15 days for a VPS), which is one of the longest we’ve seen other than Dreamhost (97 days!).
Site5 Speed / Reliability
When it comes to speed and uptime, Site5 has the hardware and commitment necessary to give you the blazing fast speeds you crave with the uptime you deserve.
With RAID-10 hard drives, 8 GB of RAM and 8-core processors coming standard on all servers, Site5 has some of the best hardware specs we’ve seen when it comes to an affordable hosting provider.
Site5 offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee, which they stand behind by offering service credit any time you experience any downtime with your website. They also maintain an uptime page dedicated to monitoring all Site5 servers by pinging in 1-minute intervals.
As far as speed goes, we tested some of their page load times using Pingdom speed test to see what kind of average speeds we would get from Site5. The industry standard is around 2-3 seconds, which Site5 accomplished quite well. We averaged a page load time of around 2 seconds when testing from Pingdom’s NYC server, which is pretty average to good for a page load time.
Additionally, Site5 also offers CloudFlare CDN for customers with all hosting plans that can be enabled easily and quickly from the comfort of the CPanel interface.
When it comes to security, we all know how important it is to protect not only our data but your website’s visitor data as well. Luckily, Site5 has numerous tools and services available to help better protect your site.
Sucuri Malware Protection is available for purchase at $49.99 a year, which includes both unlimited scans and blacklist removal for the life of your subscription.
For e-mail, SpamAssassin is available and highly recommended, especially if you are dealing with sensitive data on your website. SpamAssassin comes standard with all hosting plans and can be easily enabled from your central control panel.
As far as data centers go, all locations are PCI (Payment Card Industry) certified, meaning that they adhere to the standards set forth for payment account security during the transaction process. Additionally, all data centers are equipped with backup power supplies and state of the art network firewalls, while also being under 24/7 physical guard and surveillance.
Site5 takes a slightly different approach when it comes to their control panel. They have their own version of CPanel called SiteAdmin which is geared towards newcomers to web hosting while they also have a separate client management interface entitled Backstage.
While it is somewhat tedious to have different login information depending on what you are doing, in the long run, it is also much easier to manage and secures your valuable personal information.
The Backstage control panel itself is very easy for the customer to navigate through, with billing, account add-ons, and other account-related services all being easily accessible. We especially liked that there is a handy server status page where you can keep an eye on all service’s uptime.
SiteAdmin is a great customization of CPanel that captures what a good interface should be all about. Sleek and user-friendly are just some of the words that come to mind when dealing with SiteAdmin. E-mail, FTP access, and web applications are a quick click away while server status and a resource monitor are also present.
Site5 Hosting Conclusion
• User-friendly interface
• Numerous server locations
• 45-day money back guarantee
• 30-day free trial
We weren’t so sure about
• Questionable phone support
• EIG acquisition
So, how did we feel about Site5 and their EIG affiliation after experiencing their service first-hand? Let’s just say we were pleasantly surprised considering the circumstances.
Their plans are very customer-friendly with low prices and a multitude of options available while their custom interface was a smooth and enjoyable experience.
We had some issues with their telephone support, but based on how well our live chat session went; we weren’t sure if this is a larger problem or just an isolated case.
For someone who doesn’t have a large amount of technical knowledge or understanding, Site5 hosting is an effective and affordable solution. With a 45-day money back guarantee and free 30-day trials available for all hosting plans, give them a try today!