Site5 is a web hosting company that fancies itself the ultimate one-stop-shop for ‘serious’ designers and developers. But does it measure up to the best in the industry?
Founded in 1999, Site5 was acquired by Endurance International Group (EIG) six years later. EIG also happens to be the owners of two other big-name web hosting outfits – BlueHost and HostGator. It is headquartered in the United States.
Site5 offers shared, reseller and managed VPS packages. More than 30,000 websites have been hosted on its servers.
Here’s our quick review of Site5.
- Impressive uptimes
- Decent speed and response time
- Good customer support, with 24/7 Live Chat, tickets, and an expansive knowledge base
- Shared, Reseller and VPS plans
- cPanel present
- Unmetered bandwidth and disk space
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Free website migration
- Expensive pricing
- No monthly billing
Site5 has been around for fifteen years now. Very much a niche web hosting platform, it more or less focuses on the web designer and web developer market. Site5 comes with solid support for several programming languages, including many that are relatively new. A wide range of PHP, Ruby on Rails, Python, and Perl hosting is supported.
It offers shared hosting, reseller hosting, and VPS hosting services. All of Site5’s plans come with unmetered bandwidth and storage, which is great. Of course, ‘unmetered’ does not exactly mean unlimited. The resources available on the shared plans are limited in terms of the traffic they can manage. Daily site backups are also a feature.
In the shared plan, Site5 offers three tiers of hosting – hostBasic, hostPro, and hostPro + Turbo. The hostBasic plan allows you to host one website. It is suitable for small websites with monthly traffic of up to 10,000 visits. hostBasic starts at $6.95/mo, billed for two years.
The hostPro plan, on the other hand, allows developers to host unlimited websites. There is a traffic limit of 25,000 visits a month, though. It is priced at $12.05/mo. hostPro + Turbo takes it a level further, with resources to handle up to 100,000 website visitors a month.
Site5’s plans are, to put it plainly, too expensive for what they offer. Bluehost’s shared hosting plans for example only begin at $2.65/mo, and come with features like a free SSL Certificate. Similarly, HostGator’s plans start at $3.95/mo, and you get unlimited free domains.
1. Impressive Uptimes
If there is an area that Site5 excels in, it is how consistently good its uptimes are. Uptime is very essential for any website to retain and increase traffic. Websites that go down too often will have visitors staying away.
With UptimeRobot, a leading uptime monitoring service, I was able to check the service of a test website hosted on Site5 over a couple of weeks. In that period of time, the website did not go down a single time, a very impressive 100% uptime record.
Site5 offers an uptime guarantee of 99.99%. what this means is that it promises that at least 99.99% of the time, your website will experience no downtimes. This guarantee comes with compensation in form of credit if the company fails to live up to it.
A condition that comes with the guarantee is that it only applies to unscheduled downtimes. Downtimes due to maintenance and repairs do not count.
2. Good Response & Page Load Times
Just as consistent downtimes can harm a site’s metrics on the internet, so can slow page load and response times. Research shows that Google actually measures time right down to the first byte when it has to do with speed. Slow speeds will have search engines crawling fewer pages, which will certainly affect a site’s ranking.
Additionally, visitors have very little patience for websites that take too much time to download. In fact, according to LoadStorm, 1 in 4 visitors will abandon a website that takes more than 4 seconds to load. This can be devastating for websites hosted on platforms with consistently slow speeds.
Site5 does not have the fastest response times compared to the top-ranked companies like A2 Hosting, but it certainly isn’t slow. It averaged 345 ms to load our test website.
3. 45-day Refund Policy
On its web hosting plans, Site5 offers a 45-day money-back guarantee. This guarantee comes with no catches or conditions attached. It covers all its plans, apart from the managed VPS plans, which come with a 15-day money-back guarantee.
On average, web hosting companies offer 30-day money-back guarantees, so Site5’s policy is pretty generous.
4. Good Customer Support
Customer support is key. Webmasters want to be assured that their inquiries and complaints will be treated promptly and efficiently. Poor customer care is frustrating, and if it becomes something of the culture, customers will migrate away.
Site5 offers customer support that can be contacted via Live Chat or ticketing. This service is 24/7, so any time something goes wrong, you can immediately reach a representative for help. Unfortunately, there is no phone support.
Apart from the options available for customer support, Site5 has a robust, extensive knowledge base, with helpful articles. These resources contain tutorials and other information that may remove the need for having to contact a customer care agent.
5. Free Website Migration
If you are seeking to migrate to Site5 from another web hosting company, then you can do so absolutely free of charge. While this is a feature that many other hosting companies offer, it usually comes limited, only migrating a few sites or within certain plans.
Site5’s offer is generous. It will migrate up to 25 cPanel accounts or up to 10 non-cPanel accounts for shared hosting, reseller hosting, and cloud hosting. For managed VPS hosting, it offers to migrate even more websites.
Website migration is handled by their expert team of migration administrators.
6. Tools for Developers and Designers
Site5 brands itself as a web hosting option for expert designers and developers. In keeping with that theme, it provides tools to service this niche.
For example, Site5 has support for some of the popular programming languages. Python, Ruby on Rails, Perl, and PHP are all fully supported. It also offers full MySQL support, allowing users to create an unlimited number of MySQL databases.
In addition, Site5 offers a free Cron Job Editor, which allows you to schedule tasks that can be executed by the server. This tool can then automatically email you updates and task reports.
1. Relatively High Costs
For what it offers, the cost of purchasing a Site5 hosting plan is too expensive. It has a lot of the basic features available but fails to provide a lot of advanced features that would justify its pricing. There is no cheaper rate for new customers.
Additionally, some features that are available for free on many web hosts require payment here. Site5 does not offer free SSL certificates, for example. It costs at least an additional $39.95/yr for a certificate.
2. No Monthly Billing
While the $6.95 may not look too high at face value, it is only available if you pay for 24 months in advance. Alternatively, you can purchase the same plan for $8.95 for a 12-month period.
Site5 does not allow customers to pay monthly, which is a convenient billing method for some webmasters.
Site5 is very much a web hosting company targeting designers and developers. If you don’t possess the expert skills of that niche, you may want to look elsewhere. It provides many of the features and services expected and has very impressive uptimes. But there is not much extra, and costs are high.