2016 Site5 review: Everything you need to know
Overview: site5 provides quality hosting for web designers and their clients.
hostBasic: $5.95/mo for shared hosting.
hostPro: $9.95/mo for shared hosting.
Plus Cloud: $20.00/mo for cloud hosting.
Ideal Customer: Perfect for a web developer or agency who wants great service and a place to host your clients’ websites.
Different Locations: When you’re ready to choose a hosting plan from Site5, you’ll be asked to choose one of the server locations from a dropdown menu. Site5 has servers located all over the world, including the United States (Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix, Miami, Atlanta, New York City, Washington), Canada (Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver), United Kingdom (London), Europe (Amsterdam, Bucharest, Paris), Asia (Singapore, Hong Kong), and South America (Sao Paolo, Joao Pessoa). What is the advantage of having servers in different locations? When your visitors are located physically closer to the servers, it will lessen the website load times. For example, if your primary audience is in UK, you’d do well to choose a server in London instead of Dallas. Location also has a small benefit for SEO since your website should rank for local marketing.
30-Day Trial: Many hosting companies offer a free trial, so it’s not entirely unheard of. But it’s very rare to come across a 30-day trial. Most companies that do offer a free trial do it for 7 days only. Offering a 30-day trial shows Site5 has a lot of confidence in their business. This offer is not valid for VPS accounts, but valid for shared plan web hosting, cloud hosting, reseller hosting, and reseller cloud hosting. There are a few reasons you’d want to evaluate a hosting company before fully committing to it. You want to test the uptime guarantee and see how often your website goes down. Ideally, that number would be very small. You also want to test drive any features like their control panel, one-click installations, ecommerce features, email accounts, mailing lists, databases, FTP accounts, and more. During a free trial, you can also gauge how fast their support responds to your tickets. The standard 7-day trial might be too short to test all these features, but with Site5’s 30-day free trial, you should be able to work out all the kinks before deciding to purchase a multi-month or multi-year plan.
Green Web Hosting: Every company should take as much responsibility as possible to reduce their environmental footprint. Site5 proudly boasts their Green Hosting philosophy. Since the company’s inception in 1999, they’ve made conscious efforts to become environmentally responsible. They plant a tree for each new hosting account. Their workforce is remote, which reduces the use of paper and computer equipment that requires cooling. Remote workforce also means their employees don’t have to drive to and from work, which further reduces pollution. Because they have their own equipment, there is no need to maintain extra equipment at a separate facility, which would cost more in heating, cooling, and lighting. Site5 also claims to be committed to researching new technology to lower power consumption and be energy-friendly.
We looked over several internet review sites and found that customers were very positive about Site5’s features and hosting options.
Here one happy customer lists several attractive Site5 attributes: “I highly recommend site5 for drupal hosting on their VPS. I like the features like being able to choose the server location, cloudflare integration, which gives you CDN, you have enom domain registration integrated and they will transfer cpanel accounts for you for free.”
Another reviewer simply states: “For webhosting site5 is the best as they offer unlimited disk space and they make sure that our website is always accessible.”
Not all reviews were positive however. We found that several customers had a negative experience with Site5’s customer support and downtime.
One frustrated customer said: “Each time you submit a ticket for help or to ask a question or need an issue resolved, a new person takes the ticket and responds in a different way apparently having spent no time reviewing your account.”
Another reviewer tired of repeated downtime problems stated: “If you are OK with emails and the server being down 1 or 2 days every month then you can go with them. They have a forum with hundreds of posts everyday where the services are down for hours and sometime even days.”
We also looked at Twitter to see what customers were saying about Site5. This user is happy to recommend them based on his experience:
— Joey Bergeron (@joeybergeron) December 4, 2015
Unfortunately this customer had more than one site outage:
Too bad @Site5 -it was a good run but another unexplained 50 minute outage on my VPS means time to move to a new host
— Paul Thompson (@thompsonpaul) January 30, 2015
- Excellent Support: Site5 offers multiple avenues of support, including phone, live chat, and a vast knowledgebase.
- Uptime Guarantee: Site5 has 99.9% uptime guarantee.
- Different Server Locations: Being able to choose from multiple server locations based on where you (or your audience) are helps speed up website loading times.
- Free Trial: 30-day trial is far more generous than what the competitors typically offer.
- Money Back Guarantee: For shared hosting plans, money back guarantee is generous at 45 days.
- Modified cPanel: Site5 does use cPanel but it’s slightly modified, so that can seem a little bizarre.
- Money Back Guarantee (VPS): Money back guarantee for all VPS accounts is within 15 days, which can be a tight window.
- Pricing for VPS: There are more than 10 VPS plans available but the lowest pricing starts at $55 per month, with 1 GB RAM, 50 GB disk space, and 800 GB bandwidth. Other companies that offer similar plans have lower pricing.
Site5 has many interesting features that would appeal to someone looking for a solid shared hosting plan. Their 30-day trial is very useful in gauging whether you want to engage their services. They have an uptime guarantee which some hosting providers don’t offer. Their VPS plans are a bit on the steep side, but for shared hosting, the prices are much more reasonable. Their green hosting philosophy could speak to the treehugger in you.
Takeaway: Site5 offers both managed and unmanaged VPS plans. Since the latter has much more flexibility, it could be a good option for you if you’re a developer. Otherwise, their shared hosting plans are solid and more reasonably priced than the VPS plans.