Review: Site5 hosting
A few years ago, I was looking for a web host to start a couple websites. Since they were mostly personal projects and my funds were rather limited, I performed a thorough market study, to make sure I got my money’s worth. After a lot of online searching, reading review and experiences, I ended up with a basic shared web hosting account at Site5.
I stayed with them for over a year and I was a happy customer. Even back then, they provided excellent support, which I needed multiple times because I wasn’t just using a pre-made CMS, but was coding a brand new site in Ruby on Rails. In hindsight, that kind of project perhaps wasn’t a good match for a shared hosting solution because of the technical requirements, but hey, I was learning.
As none of my projects took off and I lost interest in them, I let my hosting account expire. But nevertheless I was very happy with Site5’s value for money and support.
Fast forward to 2012, I needed a web host again!
Again, I searched online, mostly to see if Site5 was still competitive and doing well, before signing up. I concluded they were still a strong player in the hosting business, so I went ahead and got a shared hosting account, again. Them still having a 30 day trial and a 45 day money back guarantee made the choice a no-brainer.
This time I didn’t go for the cheapest account, but got the hostPro + Turbo variety. This gives me access to the MultiAdmin feature, allowing me to create as many subaccounts as I want. It’s a nice feature to have if you want to host multiple sites, for multiple people. It does away with the messy folder hierarchies and gives each account/user a proper control panel.
Anyway, let’s get started on the actual review!
There’s actually too many to list here, and you can check out all features on Site5’s own site, but these are some of my favorites :
Unlimited disk space & bandwidth
That’s right, there are no limits on the disk space and bandwidth your site can consume. You can host a virtually unlimited number of sites on one account.
Of course, there’s a caveat: even though bandwidth and disk space aren’t limited, resource usage is! After all, on a shared server environment, a site that consumes too many resources, negatively impacts other sites hosted on the same server.
If you’re at all worried about this, check out Site5’s resource usage policy. But to be honest, 99% of users never run into these limits and if you do, chances are a VPS or dedicated server are better suited for your project.
99,9% uptime guarantee
If your server isn’t available for the guaranteed amount of the time within a given month, they’ll will give you a pro-rated credit for the time.
Actually, if the uptime drops below 95%, you’ll get 100% of your money back for that month. But I wouldn’t count on it happening, judging by their server statistics.
Multiple server locations
Site5 now has servers all over the world, allowing you to pick one that’s best suited for your target audience.
For example, since many of my sites target a European audience, I chose a server located in Amsterdam.
To keep it simple: any feature I’ve ever needed is included.
If you will be hosting sites for clients too, I recommend you choose a package that has the MultiAdmin-feature.
Value for money
I don’t think you can do much better. Starting at $4,95 a month, you can host as many sites as you want.
Whether you want to run several WordPress sites, experiment with e-commerce solutions or write your own web app masterpiece in Ruby on Rails or some other programming language, you can all do it on your account.
The only thing that comes to mind that gives you even better value, is Google Sites. After all, Google allows you to create a virtually unlimited number of sites and hosts them for free. It’s great to get your feet wet, but pretty soon you’ll be running into it’s limits and I think looking for a hosted solution will be a natural progression for most people.
Easy of use
Site5 offers one-click installs. Using the Fantastico script package, you can install a number of popular third-party scripts with a single click.
WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, several webshop solution and more are included. I use this convenient feature on nearly every project, even though I’m quite capable of doing manual installs.
Right now Site5 is replacing Fantastico with Softaculous on all servers, offering an even larger number of scripts.
Still, if you’re a total novice, a solution like Weebly or Google Sites might be better suited to get you started.
Support has been top notch for me.
Whenever an issue pops up or I can’t figure out something right away, I hop on the support chat on the Site5 site, and within a minute I’m having a one-on-one conversation with a customer support guy. So far, their performance has been flawless and they’ve successfully solved all my problems.
For some reason, the support forums seem to have been deactivated at the moment, but due to the knowledge base and especially the support staff, I haven’t missed ’em.
I have no problem whatsoever recommending Site5’s shared hosting packages to you.
As long as your project fits a shared hosting solution, I think you’ll be happy with ’em too. If your project requirements are higher, they offer some cloud hosting and VPS (Virtual Private Server) packages too.
Actually, if things start going my way and some of my sites pull serious traffic, I’ll be upgrading to another Site5 package without hesitation.