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Brad Smith

Hosting Reviewer

Site5 was founded in ’99 by Matt Lightner and Rod Armstrong, before being acquired in 2015 by the conglomerate EIG (which also owns HostGator, Bluehost, and many others).

Site5 is a niche service built for designers and developers, with multiple servers located in: the US, Europe, and Asia.

Site5 hosting review

Priding oneself on being ‘developer-centric’ sounds nice on promotional materials. Does this niche offer make any difference? How does it affect what they do – or more importantly, don’t- offer?

We purchased their cheapest shared hosting plan and set up a test site to monitor their uptime and speed over an extended period of time.

Is Site5 good enough to get our recommendation?

Read on to find out.

General Info & Hosting Overview


Our Rating:

Our Verdict: 4.0

SPEED: 545 ms (February 2020 to January 2021)
UPTIME: 99.99% (February 2020 to January 2021)
SUPPORT: 24/7 Live Chat, Email, Knowledge Base
APPS: WordPress, PrestaShop, Joomla, and Magento
FEATURES: Unmetered Bandwidth and Storage, Daily Backups, Email Accounts, and more.
HOSTING PLANS: Shared, Reseller, and Managed VPS
SITE TRANSFER: Free
PRICING: Starting at $8.34/mo (biannually)

Pros of Using Site5 Hosting


Site5 is targeting an audience of advanced users. It means we had high expectations for the level of performance.

Over the past years, Site5 has performed OK on speed and support, and rather well in uptime.

What sets them apart are a few unique offers that specific customers will enjoy, including some time-saving cPanel migrations.

Let’s see how they shape up:

1. Great Page Load Times

People don’t put up with slow sites. Just a few extra seconds in page loading times can cause your page abandonment to increase by 38%. With most of those heading over to a competitor’s site instead.

For example, for an eCommerce site that is making $100,000 a day, a one-second page delay can potentially cost $2.5 million in lost sales every year. Needless to say, speed is important!

We tested Site5’s site speed, and they delivered a solid average of 545 ms over the last 12 months.

Site5 Speed Feb 2020 - Jan 2021
Site5 average speed See stats

2. Amazing Uptime of 99.99%

Over the last 12 months, Site5 delivered an average of 99.99% uptime with only 17 minutes of downtime. It was 100% uptime almost every month this year, besides March and April, where the uptime fluctuated between 99.98-99.99%.

Overall, you can trust Site5 to keep your website up and running.

Site5 last 12-month uptime and speed
Site5 average uptime | See stats

Last 12-month average uptime:

  • January 2021: 100%
  • December 2020: 100%
  • November 2020: 100%
  • October 2020: 100%
  • September 2020: 100%
  • August 2020: 100%
  • July 2020: 100%
  • June 2020: 100%
  • May 2020: 100%
  • April 2020: 99.99%
  • March 2020: 99.98%
  • February 2020: 100%

3. Good Customer Support

Site5 has several two customer support options: live chat and email.

We always test out the live chat option when we review the hosts and Site5 was no exception.

Their support staff connected with us in just a few seconds and answered questions quickly and accurately (although, we had to repeat ourselves from time to time to get a reply that we’re looking for).

site5 live chatBesides the live chat and email option, Site5 also offers a vast knowledge base that covers over 500 articles in more than 70 categories.

Site5 knowledge base4. 45-Day Money-Back Guarantee

Site5’offers a great 45-day money-back guarantee.

Their VPS hosting plans come with a shorter, 15-day money-back guarantee.

The great news is that there aren’t any conditions with these refunds. They promise to respond to your request within six hours (or they’ll credit your account extra for the delay).

5. Free Transfers

Site5 also offers free website migrations or transfers if your site is currently hosted somewhere else. Many other web hosts do this too.

What’s different is that they’ll migrate up to 25 (!) cPanel accounts for you (and up to 10 non-cPanel ones) – still free!

A generous offer to take care of an otherwise time-consuming process.

6. Plans Come Standard With ‘Advanced’ Features

Another thing we liked about Site5 was that ‘advanced features’ typically reserved for higher-priced plans come standard on their cheapest shared options too.

The most noteworthy ones include:

  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • Unmetered disk space, and
  • Disaster recovery backups

The last one is especially important when something – eventually, at some point (and unfortunately) – goes wrong.

Years ago, working on our first WordPress site, we remember hitting the Activate button while sitting in a coffee shop. A cold sweat broke out on my face as the screen went blank, and my site seemingly disappeared.

Stuff happens with websites. Having someone (or something) to have your back in the case of an emergency is immensely helpful.

7. Ability to Choose Your Server Location

Site5 has multiple server locations all over the world. They’ll let you choose whichever of their 21 different locations you’d like (regardless of where you live).

It becomes handy when it comes to boosting your local SEO rankings.

In fact, according to Site5’s website, “From an SEO perspective, it can give a very small benefit by giving one more indicator that you should rank for searching in that city/region.”

8. Uptime Guarantee

Site5 offers an uptime guarantee of 99.9%.

The company offers a prorated amount of credit for the amount of time that your server isn’t available within each month. This guarantee only applies to unscheduled outages. Downtime caused by scheduled site maintenance doesn’t apply.

Circumstances beyond Site5’s control that cause downtime also don’t count, like DDoS attacks, hardware failure, third-party software failure, or maxing out your resource container.

According to their website, here’s how the company calculates service credits on shared/reseller servers:

  • 100% – 99.9% uptime : No credit
  • 99.9% – 99.5% uptime : 5% credit
  • 99.5% – 99% uptime : 10% credit
  • 99% – 98% uptime : 15% credit
  • 98% – 95% uptime : 25% credit
  • Less than 95% uptime : 100% credit

This guarantee doesn’t apply to VPS or unmanaged dedicated server plans. Users can request one day of credit for every 45 minutes of true downtime they experience.

According to Site5’s Terms of Service, the first 45 minutes of downtime won’t count toward your credit, and the maximum number of credit you can receive is one month of services, which is about 22.5 hours of downtime.

9. Easy-to-Use cPanel

Site5 offers a cPanel where you can manage every aspect of your website from one central location.

Although Site5 was “built for designer and developers,” the cPanel has everything you’ll need to maintain a site.

Site5 cPanel

You’ll be able to access video tutorials, email accounts, your mailing lists, add-on domains, web statistics, and more.

By offering a cPanel, Site5 has really made it easy to customize your site, data, and content just the way that you want it whenever you like.

You can access cPanel from the client area, your domain, or from the server.

Site5 has an entire article on their site in the knowledge base that tells users how to access the cPanel from all three locations.

Cons of Using Site5 Hosting


As you’ve just read, Site5 does a decent job in most of the bigger areas – uptime, speed, and customer support.

There is one big sticking point though that needs to be addressed transparently.

Take a look.

1. Expensive Pricing

Site5 definitely isn’t the cheapest host on the market.

Why?

Their starting price starts at $8.34 a month, that’s eight times more than our cheapest host Hostinger! Moreover, you have to commit for a full two years and pay upfront in order to get that price. Otherwise, you’re looking at $10.74 for twelve months.

What’s even worse – they don’t offer a true, month-to-month, or not even a six-month pricing plan with their cheapest plan.

Site5 Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts

Here’s a quick overview of Site5 hosting plans:


HostBasic Plan HostPro+ Turbo Plan HostPro Plan
Pricing $8.34/month $16.74/month $13.14/month
Websites 1 Unlimited Unlimited
Bandwidth Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
Storage Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
Email Accounts Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited

Quick Facts

  • Free Domain: No ($12.00 a year).
  • Ease of Signup: Lengthy, four-step signup process.
  • Money-Back: 45-day money-back guarantee.
  • Payment Methods: Credit Card, PayPal.
  • Hidden Fees and Clauses: Shared hosting accounts must not exceed 75,000 files, each email account shouldn’t exceed 10GB disk space, and each database must not use more than 2GB of disk space.
  • Upsells: No upsells.
  • Account Activation: Quick Activation.
  • Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: cPanel.
  • Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): Quick and easy install of popular apps and CMSs with Softaculous.
  • Other Features: Backups, 99.9% uptime guarantee, SSH/Shell access, etc.

Do We Recommend Site5 Hosting?

Yes and no.

Site5 has a lot of perks going on for them – they have delivered solid uptime results, fast speed, and their customer service is also good. Not to mention all the handy features that they include in their shared hosting plans.

However, there is a significant drawback to look out for – expensive pricing.

So, in case of money is not an issue for you, we recommend you try out Site5, but there are definitely other cheaper hosts with more stable uptime and faster page loading times that you might want to take a look at.


Best alternatives for Site5:

Further reading: The 10 Best Web Hosting Services (In 2021)


Any experience with Site5 Web Hosting? Please leave your Site5 review below! We welcome all honest and transparent reviews – good OR bad!

147 user reviews for Site5

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    Brockney C

    5  — June 13, 2020

    Excellent

    I have personally found Site5 to be excellent.

    Website speed is good, backstage is good and customer service is outstanding.

    I began this with very little knowledge. Live chat is extremely quick to access and they will help with anything.

    I have returned from a serious head injury and needed a complete and utter reminder of where all of the files are actually stored.

    This took just a few minutes to give them all of the security details and get a very straightforward yet thorough response.

    Linda

    1  — March 8, 2020

    Don’t Waste Your Time

    I was a Site5 customer for a few years. The last year or so has been terrible, I see other reviewers have had this same problem: literally hundreds of emails bounced, regularly, from aol, yahoo, and gmail. In addition, people emailing me from those addresses would sometimes get bounce back messages when I had actually gotten their emails. I reported this problem countless times, and would always get the same lame explanation. I also repeatedly asked to speak to someone from Site5 ( I communicated with them through their online support ticket function) and was completely ignored.

    Save your time and money – look elsewhere.

    Dean

    1  — February 16, 2020

    Expensive hosting and bad email service

    I’ve been a reseller host since 2016, was paying $25.95 USD per month and the service was fine… since then the bill has ramped up to $37.14 USD per month and the email service is horrendous… emails simply do not get through to Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook or Hotmail inbox. If you are lucky they go into junk, if unlucky they bounce back. This has been ticketed so many times but Site5 fail to fix this and blame Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook or Hotmail which is crazy. I can’t afford to keep losing my reseller customers, and have had to find an alternative supplier.

    GT

    2  — January 29, 2020

    Not as good as they once were

    I’ve been using Site5 for a long time. Rarely a problem until last year. I’ve been having problems with being able to send emails to clients who use Yahoo. I contacted Support again this morning (lost count how many times in the last 12 months). The support person told me the issue had been happening for the last few days. Not true and I told her so. Either she wasn’t aware or she was lying. I got my bill from them this morning for another 2 years of service. I’m going to start looking elsewhere. I’m really disappointed in them. They used to be really good.

    Holly

    1  — December 11, 2019

    Just DON’T. Save your frustration.

    I’ve been using Site5 for a few years now. When I first began using their services there was phone support, but quickly after I signed on with them that service was removed. Quite disappointing. When I ran into problems, I would hop into the online chat, which is the ONLY way to communicate with them. When their customer service didn’t know how to handle my questions they would start a ticket, which would then take days to actually solve my issue, all the while my site was down. This game of waiting for responses happened on more than one occasion.

    I finally decided enough was enough, and decided to switch to another hosting service. Site5 customer service told me that my money would be refunded, which was in writing on an online chat. The next day I cancelled my hosting service with them. I went into the online chat again to make sure that it all went through and a Site5 representative told me that I wouldn’t be getting a refund. I showed the proof of the chat I had with the other Site5 representative, but Site5 still wouldn’t honor it. Super frustrating.

    Not a very honest or honorable company, and customer service isn’t their main concern. I’m with SiteGround right now and the customer service has been awesome, and their website interface is way BETTER than Site5.

    GJM

    1  — September 4, 2019

    Total Email Nightmare

    Site5 is a nightmare. Their web interface for account management is highly confusing, burying all the key destinations into hidden corners. But worst of all is the email. Site5 is blacklisted by many email hosts, including Yahoo, AOL, and Verizon. Your email will bounce and fail if you try to send to those addresses, and Site5 will tell you that they will fix the problem. And then years later, after the problem is never fixed, they will tell you they are still working on the problem. At other times, Site5 hosted email will back up for 12-24 hours, and you won’t receive your email until much later all in a batch dump. They will also telI you that WebMail is accessible, but not without an enormous workaround. I once contacted Site5 to see which credit card they had on file for me: they couldn’t even tell me what card they were auto-charging each year for services. Absolutely shambolic. Do. Not. Use. Site5. I left after 5 years. I should have left after 5 months.

    Peter

    1  — August 30, 2019

    Poor technical support

    I have been a customer for many years, and my sites have been moved each time a new company bought out the older one. When site5 bought hostexcellence, I lost functionality on one of my sites. I discovered this was due to a Perl module not being installed. They have cPanel so I located and tried to install, but the install failed due a misconfigured build environment. I have been going back and forth with them for a month now and they cannot grasp what I am telling them. The latest was them asking me how I could tell I am getting a 500 error. Really? Just before that they said they had fixed the problem, but all they did was to completely break the site by making the permissions of ALL of my scripts non-execute. It will be a big job but I am going to be forced to move every one of my sites from them.

    Jiri R

    2  — August 5, 2019

    Cool, but HTTPS/SSL is painful

    Site5 is good and recently their uptime is ok as well. Only once you start looking into HTTPS/SSL, you discover you don’t want to be hosted by them. You can’t install any other certificate than theirs, which is 40 USD per year per domain. There are ways to do this free, but Site5 deliberately blocks that. And HTTPS is a must these days.

    Moore

    1  — July 12, 2019

    Not worth it

    Not worth it anymore.

    Been their client for 6 years. Started moving my clients to a2hosting (Amsterdam) since last October 2018. Will move my remaining accounts as soon as the current invoice reaches an end.

    Reasons? Malware attacks on some websites (although I try to keep everything updated and use verified and premium plugins/themes – WordPress).

    Strange memory dumps would haunt some websites, spamming hundreds of core.### files. Strangely, as soon as i got those websites in a different provider, the issue stopped.

    On one account, which had different websites and clients, the inodes exceeded 400K for the past years. Site5 suddenly reminds me that the limit is 150k and suspended my account. Please be aware, they will not notify you as soon as you reach 150k, they will notify, eventually, 4 years later when the number is so damn high you have no other choice other than to move those clients to a different provider.

    Personally, i strongly recommend a2hosting right now.

    SHaymer

    1  — June 24, 2019

    Terrible Customer Service

    I’ve been a customer for OVER 10 years. Yes, really. Since the buyout, the services have declined considerably. The only support offered is through a chat window. The service using the chat is extremely slow and I’m definitely not working with “expert” developers. Even when I painstakingly list out my problem and suggest solutions, they are completely at a loss. They go out of their way to belittle and ignore a legitimate customer request. I’ve lost features that I once had with no explanation. Like the ability to have multiple users login to their domains. Also, The email spam filter no longer works. Every single time I have purchased a new domain, the site doesn’t work until I contact support. This is a pretty clear indication that some manual work is being done to process even a small requests. So, I’m leaving. Thanks to this article, I’m definitely not going to try HostGator if they’re owned by the same company.

    Daniel X

    1  — June 12, 2019

    Be very careful – 45 days refund only

    Long time client of Site5 before the sale to a chinese holding company – which moved the servers to the cheapest platform in the world and replaced the previous competent sysadmins with the cheapest call center employees in India.

    I decided I had enough of the ridiculously poor service, and so proceeded to move my many hosted sites to a better, local provider. A few clients couldn’t move right away, and so my move period went past the 45 days during which Site5 refund payment.

    I now find myself out of pocket for some 300$, which they want me to use – in the bad service they give, no thanks – and they refuse to refund me. I am sharing this information as a warning. Avoid this once-good hosting provider, they no longer give good service.

    Abby

    1  — April 21, 2019

    Worst. Host. Ever.

    I rely on my website to let customers book me. And over and over, Site5 loses their orders. Orders land in neither my inbox, nor in the customer’s. This problem recurs regularly. Site5 claims that the problem must be on my end. I tell them over and over, my file code never changed. It just stopped working. So the trouble is on the Site5 end. If I put the files on another host that I use, the files work fine. The pattern is always the same. Site 5 at first will not believe me. It takes them days or weeks to admit that the issue is indeed on their end and to fix it. Worse yet, this problem keeps recurring. This is hurting my business.

    Linda

    2  — March 21, 2019

    Used to be good, but…

    Well, Site5 used to be fantastic. My website is relatively static, so it was really the email that I was interested in. One thing I will say – their reps respond very quickly. BUT…I have had a continuing problem of emails bouncing back from aol, gmail and yahoo. This has literally happened at least seven times in the last month or so. Each time, it appears fixed for a while, and then reverts to bouncing. I can’t have this since I depend on email for business. They suggested other options for me – which would be way more expensive – but I think I will just switch providers.

    Ed

    1  — March 16, 2019

    Won’t stop harassing me

    I had a hosting plan with another service, and these crooks apparently acquired them in 2018. Once I found out that my plan’s pricing was going up, and some of the services I was getting would now be charged for, I immediately put in (what I thought was) a cancellation of service order. This was back in October of 2018 or so.

    To date, I have received over 200 “overdue invoice” notices, because I went into my control panel and removed all of my credit card information so that they could not bill me without my knowledge. This has not deterred them from demanding money to automatically-renew my hosting plan, as I get, on average, three emails a week from them demanding payment. My website has been offline since the day before my hosting lapsed, as I took everything down. My domain was set to expire in December, and I went into the settings to allow it to lapse without renewal, and I still get harassed with all these demands for payment of an account that isn’t even supposed to exist any more.

    They make it darn-near-impossible to find an address, but I managed to do it. They’re located in Texas, or so their information says, and unless they stop harassing me over an account they know I have cancelled and don’t want anymore, I’m going to have to file a complaint against them with the state, to get them to leave me the hell alone.

    LB

    1  — January 14, 2019

    Suddenly an expensive downhill ride

    I’ve been with Site5 for over 7yrs and when I say the service was great, I am not kidding. It was great. I can’t recall a downtime, or any issues I had or any of my clients had that weren’t taken care of within minutes of chatting with someone. The support people I did chat with knew what they were doing. Please note I’m not a mega webmaster or sell hosting, I run my own sites and stores, offer free non-profit hosting for locals. I’ve been doing design work for over 17rs, but I’m a ‘normal’ hosting user, my expectations are what they should be. The past 5-6 months, wow. The service has dropped, the rates have gone up and now they bill 2 weeks before the bills are due. The new admin panel is chaos, I asked to be charged the advertised rate, not the rate they were charging me, they denied it. I started hopping through those hoops of the cancellation circus today. Already set up a new hosting account elsewhere, half the price. ps just read all other reviews and see they merged with another hosting service. Bad move site5!

    Robert F

    1  — November 13, 2018

    Avoid Could Be Costly

    Like many I was using IX Webhosting without issues…. then the sale to Site5 and things went downhill fast. My website that Site5 hosted was less important to me than dependable email service and that is where Site5 fell short. Of all the email addy’s I use I have 2 email addresses that I use for income, one for a vacation rental, another for contracting work. I wish I had detected it sooner but It became apparent to me my emails sent weren’t being delivered. Once this became known to me I would send out test emails and many weren’t delivered to their destinations. I wouldn’t even receive an error notice that the email didn’t arrive at it’s destination. Site5 support was responsive but after 4 or 5 attempts at fixing my email problem the problem still wasn’t corrected so I informed Site5(not sure they even received my response)not to bother, I am moving to another host. Hard to say how much money this has cost me in lost contracting work and in rentals but I would avoid Site5 at all costs.

    Mad D

    1  — November 8, 2018

    DO NOT USE THEM

    I was with Site5 for years. Then when they were sold several years ago they went to complete crap. I have moved all my and client sites (several hundred of them). One client still has their hosting there. I’m trying to get them an SSL certificate. There is no way to automatically do this. I go to chat….they have a brand new chat which doesn’t work. I’ve tried 6 times using three browsers, none work. It’s non-functional. They have a note that they no longer have phone support (I didn’t know they ever did). When I go to submit a support ticket, it says they only use chat now. Yes, the chat that doesn’t work. So I find an email address on the site and send them an email. I get an auto-response that says they no longer respond to emails, to use their chat. You remember, the one that doesn’t work. (As a bonus, there’s a link on the bottom of the email for their Knowledgebase. It takes you to a totally empty one that either is old or not used yet.)

    So there is absolutely no way to get a hold of them and purchase an SSL certificate. I will be migrating the client away regardless of the time left on their plan.

    Until a couple of years ago they were GREAT. Their support people were the best. Now…judge for yourself. They’re worthless if there’s no way to reach their support people.

    Jerry E

    1  — October 9, 2018

    Unethical Financial Obligation

    The migration from IX Webhosting to Site5 was a disaster.

    My email accounts were all intermittently down, and Site5 support claimed the problem was at my end. I have since gone with Interserver.net and the emails all work perfectly.

    I have clients who use a web browser to access FTP files. Site5 support told me that they had no way to do that, forcing my clients to acquire and learn FTP programs.

    Since I was an unwilling participant in the transfer to Site5 I am entitled to a refund of the balance I paid IX Webhosting for a three-year plan. I’ve requested the refund but I have no way to force them to give it to me.

    T P

    1  — October 4, 2018

    Tim Northwest

    Nothing but horrible experiences. No phone number or email to contact make correspondence very difficult. You have to sign in to get help. We were forcefully migrated by IXWebHost closing and had no credentials or email notifications. When we finally got in, the help desk repeated this pattern:

    1. What seems to be the problem?
    2. Let me check that and get back to you in 3-5 minutes.
    3. Ok. Are you still there?
    4. Goodbye

    And then you have to start the whole process over. Be sure to go into lockdown so you don’t miss the 5-second window you have to respond between step 3 and 4.

    Side note: They say mailing address is Texas but other areas say Colorado. Looking for a new host now.

    Brockney C

    5  — September 28, 2018

    All Good

    My experience with Site5 has been pretty decent.

    I began designing websites without absolutely no formal training and a bit of publishing experience on one Joomla site (without any training)

    I have learned to build WordPress and Joomla sites from a complete beginner, have encountered many issues (most of which were self-imposed) and ALWAYS received excellent support with the Live Chat facility no matter what time of day or night it was (quite often to begin with as well!)

    My package is $14.95 a month which for what I receive is good in my opinion.

    cPanel, WHM, and Webmail are absolutely easy to navigate and totally reliable, and once again I had no training or experience of this.

    No downtime and a very efficient backend interface. I have recently been learning SEO and working with Google Analytics and the only issues I found were self-imposed.

    I gave them a rating of 90/100 and the only reason it isn’t 100 is because I cannot actually compare them with any competitors. However, I am happily staying with Site5 – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

    All good and many thanks