Why our reviews are worth reading
As a web agency, we use/test a LOT of hosting providers to scale both our clients and our many many side-projects (we like to experiment).
Having done this for quite a few years now, we’ve used, analysed, and reviewed a lot of web hosts… these are our findings.
A few of the better-known brands we’ve been featured on
Site5: A quick summary for people with no time (pretty much all of us)
Sadly, in a nutshell, we don’t recommend Site5, for a few reasons with the main ones being security and support. Let’s run through a few problems we found.
Security: No mention of free SSLs anywhere. A basic SSL is free and most web hosts have integrated one-click installs to make your site secure, as they should. Chrome is even labelling non-https sites as “not secure” these days, AND it helps with your rankings in Google… Very odd that this is lacking as it’s quite essential.
Support: There are quite a few complaints about their support floating around, way too many to ignore. Most of them related to billing issues, downtime, lack of communication… and a lot of angry people that were migrated from IX web hosting to Site5 when Site5 bought them… All in all, not good.
Server location: No servers in the UK, or Europe… this will affect the loading times of your site, which in turn affect both your Google rankings and conversion rates. So not a great option if you’re looking for a UK web host specifically.
And on top of all this, the pricing is quite expensive compared to what other hosts offer at the same price point.
So what we’re really saying is… there are better alternatives out there. Have a look at our web hosting comparisons where we researched and analysed the top web hosts for different countries (both from a quality and cost perspective).
Site5 Hosting Review
The company was founded by Rod Armstrong and Matt Lightner in 1999. It was then acquired by Endurance International Group (EIG) in 2015. EIG is a big conglomerate who owns a lot of web hosting companies such as BlueHost, HostGator, and A Small Orange.
The company advertises itself as the hosting provider built for designers and developers. The products and services they offer include Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, and Fully Managed VPS. Unfortunately, you won’t find them on our best web hosts list for the UK, but more on that below.
Site5 Hosting provides three types of web hosting plans. These are named hostBasic, hostPro, and hostPro + Turbo. The said plans can be seen below:
The cheapest plan is called hostBasic and costs USD 6.95 per month if you opt for a 12-month contract. This means you have to pay USD 166.80 upfront. It will cost you USD 8.95 per month if you pay for about 12 months. There is no option to pay on a month-to-month basis. If you want to pay on a month-to-month term, you must opt for the next plan, hostPro. On a month-to-month mode of payment, this will cost you USD 12.95 per month.
You only get to have one website per hosting account. If you want unlimited websites, you have to opt for their next plan, hostPro. Disk space is unlimited. This means, that they don’t limit you on the amount of data you put into your hosting account. This is a good thing especially if you need heavy files (e.g. images and videos) on your website.
Bandwidth is also unlimited. This means you can have an unlimited amount of traffic and you don’t have to pay extra for an unusually large number of web visitors. Again, this is a good feature you can take advantage of especially when your site (or business) goes viral or when peak seasons are coming up.
Another thing that’s unlimited? Your email accounts. You can create multiple mailboxes for different people catering to different departments of your business. Again, extra payment for another email hosting service is unnecessary.
They also keep a backup of your website. Site5 does nightly server backups to make sure your data and information are kept safe. Backups are very important in case something unexpected happens to your website. If a problem occurs and it cannot be repaired, you can use the backup to restore your website back to a point in time when it was still functional.
If you have a website hosted on another company, you can migrate it to Site5 for free. You don’t have to stress about backing up your data, scheduling the time to move, and other actions necessary to migrate your website. Site5’s migration experts handles everything in regards to this process. They are available during Mondays to Fridays, 11am to 8pm, Eastern Time.
Statistics and Analytics are also made available with the hostBasic package. It enables you to check out latest web visitor trends and analyse your site’s performance. Every web hosting account is given access to the following:
- Access Logs: Helps you check out more about your most recent visitors and get in-depth information about them.
- Error Logs: Helps you review error messages and helps you quickly attend to site issues.
- Latest Visitors: Gives you more information with regards to your website’s latest visitors.
- Subdomain Stats: Helps you keep track of usage of subdomains.
Access to AWStats is also provided. It is given for each domain hosted on an account. It shows you various information about your website visitors including country of origin, operating systems, browsers, and visit duration, among others.
The package’s Softaculous installer allows you to install popular third-party scripts with one click. You can install WordPress, Drupal, Joomla!, iQDesk, Zen Cart, Magento, OpenCart, and a whole lot more. There are scripts for Ad Management, Blogs, Customer Support, DB Tools, Ecommerce, Educational tools, ERP, File Management, Forums, Frameworks, Image Galleries, Guest Books, Libraries, Mails, Micro Blogs, Music, Polls and Surveys, Project Management, RSS, Social Networking, Video, Wikis, and others.
Programming languages are also supported. These are important in changing the look and feel of a particular website. Some server-side languages and technologies Site5 Hosting supports include the following:
- PHP 5.5, 5.6, & 7
- Optional Python 2.6, 2.7, 3.0, & 3.4
- Ruby on Rails (Ruby 2.1.6 & Rails 4.2.1)
- Perl 5.10
- Server Side Includes (SSI)
They have an uptime guarantee of 99.9%. According to Site5 Hosting, “If your server isn’t available for the guaranteed amount within a given month, we will give you a pro-rated credit for the time.” Finally, you are given a 45-day money-back guarantee. If you are not satisfied with their services, you can get a refund of the money you have shelled out on them.
Site5 Hosting gives you various options to get the support you need. These are included below:
- Knowledge Base
- Q&A Platform
- Email Support
- Online Live Chat
The knowledge base is a self-help platform that gives you guides on how to set up, manage, and troubleshoot the products and services you paid for. The Q&A platform is similar to a forum where you can ask questions and answer queries by other users.
Email support and online live chat service are available 24/7. They have no telephone support stating that they have discontinued it to provide a better customer service through the live chat platform.
Most customer reviews regarding their customer support team were negative. It takes about a few minutes to get to a representative on live chat. However, it took about 5 to 10 minutes for them to respond to questions. Most people stated that even simple questions cannot be answered and it took them multiple live chat sessions before the problem or query was fixed (or answered).
Another downside to their support system is the lack of telephone support (as stated previously). You might know that some sentences and thoughts can’t be explained through written text and is best stated orally with your voice. Lack of phone support is clearly a disadvantage and the fact that they mostly had negative reviews makes it worse.
There are advantages to using Site5 Hosting’s services. Below are some of them:
Free Website Transfer
If you have a website hosted on another hosting company, you can transfer your website to Site5 for free. Other companies might charge you for this. Even though it doesn’t cost that much, saving a few pounds won’t hurt, and it’ll save you time trying to build your site from scratch again.
45-Day Money-Back Guarantee
You are given a 45-day money-back guarantee which can help you out if you’re just trying their services. If they’re not the right fit for you, then you can simply ask for a refund.
More expensive than most other hosts out there that offer either the same or more features.
No free SSL certificates? Really?
People are NOT impressed with their support… you’d think for the cost you’d get some decent support, apparently not the case.
One Website Only
With their hostBasic package, you can only have one website per account. Other hosting companies give you an unlimited amount of websites per hosting account. If you have multiple websites, you can opt for their next plan called hostPro. It costs USD 10.95 per month if you pay for 24 months upfront. It will cost you USD 12.95 per month on a month-to-month payment basis.
Is Site5 Hosting the best company out there? Nope. But it also isn’t the worst (we’ve reviewed companies that are a lot worse than Site5). For alternatives, have a look at our country-specific web hosting comparisons.