Site Tools (vs. cPanel) – part 1: introduction

You won’t want to ever get back to cPanel after a week of using our system.Hristo Pandjarov

Granted, I have already expressed some opinion (see SiteGround New Client Area and Site Tools – Part 9), but it was more a reaction – heavily influenced by the loss of my backup solution – than an actual assessment of SiteGround new control panel, namely Site Tools. That being said, my initial impression didn’t prove Hristo right. Moreover, my issues with SiteGround AutoUpdate tool after the migration (see part 10), as well as my unsuccessful attempts to use it to update my WordPress installation since (see part 12, SiteGround AutoUpdate tool ruined, AutoUpdate tool ruined or delusional?), didn’t speak in its favor either. Well, here comes my long-overdue review; going through Site Tools with a fine-tooth comb.

SiteGround logo with a referral link to their website
Referral Link

According to SiteGround, Site Tools is Modern and Intuitive and supposed to bring plenty of new tools. As related in the previous mini-series, the reality was a paring down of features instead1; with the suppression of two convenient, and more importantly free, backup solutions (i.e. cPanel and Softaculous), in particular. Now, while backing up your website is ESSENTIAL (see Backup, Backup, Backup!), there is more into website management than backups.

You can be sure that the functionalities you are used to work with are available on the new platform and designed for simplicity.SiteGround

There are two “articles” in SiteGround knowledge base on that matter:

However, as opposed to the rich collection of web hosting articles from their “old” knowledge base and tutorials, the new ones are quite limited – probably in order to fit within the limited space of their Get Quick Help. In other words, you will not learn much; other than Site Tools lets you manage your site on [their] platform or that you can search through the list of tools in the search bar, located in the left column.

Get Quick Help

You can also easily access help articles, pinned on the Get Quick Help drop-down menu in the top right corner.SiteGround

This provides a quick access to the “articles” available in the Knowledge base. On the one hand, it is quite handy to have them directly within the same screen. On the other hand, to make this possible, the articles are ridiculously small – barely the size of a tooltip message – and, to my opinion, useless! Here is an example:

How to confirm that my site is secured?

Check if the URL has HTTPS (https://) in front of the domain. The HTTPS protocol in front means that the website working over a secured connection.

Anyway, I will provide a link to the relevant ones, as well as to the Tutorials available on the SiteGround website, when relevant.

On the other hand, SiteGround has created a series of comparison articles . . . to clarify the differences between the two platforms and guide you how to perform all essential cPanel tasks with Site Tools. Those are a little more informative. For example, in the first one of the series, you can learn about the Organization and Navigation Within Tools. Specifically, as opposed to the left column of cPanel, which was holding account information, search, and stats, Site Tools’ left column acts as a navigation bar which holds all tools, grouped by themes.

In keeping with the idea of comparing both control panels, there were 12 topic-specific sections in cPanel, each loaded with many tools2. There are now only nine themes in Site Tools: Dashboard, Site, Security, Speed, WordPress, Domain, Email, Statistics, and Devs. I will get down to each one of them3. However, as apologized in Change of plan, I will do so in separate posts.

To be continued…

1 Despite the false assertion (from Hristo) of the opposite – With the new interfaces we are not removing but adding functionality for our customers . . . There is no functionality that we are sacrificing, no functionality removed from . . . Everything, that we used to offer in terms of functionality, control, features is there. – plenty of tools were indeed withdrawn during the switch from cPanel to Site Tools. ^
2 To be fair, it is worth mentioning than many of those tools were redundant, or worse still, no more accessible: Sorry, this tool is no longer available. ^
3 I will also comment on how I will enjoy a better user experience, or not, while performing some basic site maintenance(s). Concerning the more complex aspects that I have already covered (e.g. Adding a site to my Multisite network, Making my website work over HTTPS – the proper way), I will address them again – how-to with Site Tools – but later (when I will create the website for my podcast). ^

What do you think?
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