Site Tools (vs. cPanel) – part 11: conclusion

… starting from the point where the story stopped.

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

It took me more than a week to go through Site Tools with a fine-tooth comb – five months to be accurate – and to deliver my verdict. Here it comes, finally!


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


If you have read any of the 10 previous posts, you may have noticed a leitmotiv! There were umpteen tools in cPanel, there are only x left in Site Tools! Admittedly, they have done some highly necessary housekeeping (i.e. many of the tools were already not available in cPanel anyway). However, in their quest for simplicity, SiteGround went a little too far…

You can check each one of these posts with the following links: Introduction, Dashboard, Site, Security, Speed, WordPress, Domain, Email, Statistics, and Devs.

Now, I will not come back to my biggest complaint, the suppression of two convenient, and more importantly free, backup solutions (i.e. cPanel and Softaculous). Still, this issue – besides being the topic of a 13-post long mini-series – will have a huge influence on my conclusion.

Even though I finished each of the previous posts with an “intermediate verdict”, let me briefly summarize some of these conclusions, starting with the dashboard, which is useless (as opposed to the left column of cPanel that was displaying useful information). In keeping with Site Tools simple design, the Site theme comes with the bare minimum. That being said, the new File Manager – the code editor, in particular – is improved compared to its cPanel counterpart. Unfortunately, the list of improvements stops there. In fact, except for the Speed features that directly benefit from the new infrastructure, no functionality was improved due to the Switch from cPanel to Site Tools; quite the contrary.

The AWStats data is now available with a new interface in Site Tools > Statistics > Traffic for each site.SiteGround

The Statistics theme should have benefited the most from the much-needed housekeeping of the late Statistics section of cPanel. There were so many Sorry, the tool you are looking for is no longer available that it was becoming patently absurd. However, the Traffic tool does not compare anywhere near the features of AWStats. In addition to some loss of functionalities, too many statistics are not available anymore! Moreover, the data are not even accurate, and the labels misleading. For instance, the so-called “Unique visitors” are the total number of visits to your website1 instead. The list of issues goes on and on…

Statistics are much more limited than before. Will something like AWStats return?Lex Jansen

Except for my concerns with the SiteGround backup “solution” (see Backup, Backup, Backup!), I don’t have much to complain about the Security theme. Likewise, I don’t have much to say about the WordPress theme; I just hope that SiteGround will fix their AutoUpdate tool (see SiteGround AutoUpdate tool ruined). As for the Domain theme, I have yet to use the new Subdomains, as well as DNS Zone Editor, tools. Accordingly, I cannot yet pronounce myself in favor or against these cPanel versions. Last, the Devs theme being out of my league, I could not properly assess any tools (as compared to their cPanel counterparts).

What happened to the plenty of new tools promise from SiteGround?

Granted, Site Tools looks much more modern than cPanel; still, the paring down of features is not speaking in Site Tools favor! 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. Owing to this fact, my verdict cannot be favorable!

What is the point of the TOOL FINDER (CTRL + K)? There are so few tools left that the left column of Site Tools, which acts as a navigation bar, is basically enough to list them all.

In conclusion, except for the new File Manager and some of the Speed features, there is not much to tip the scales in favor of SiteGround new control panel. As for the site-centric philosophy of Site Tools, it is of no use for single-site owners, quite the contrary! While Site Tools could have been a nice control panel, the matter is that too many functionalities are gone.

“Sorry, to prove you wrong Hristo, but I am missing cPanel; Site Tools did not convince me.”

1 AWStats report both data separately; the “Unique visitors” (i.e. the number of unique IP addresses that have accessed your website) and the “Number of visits” (i.e. the total number of visits to your website). If a certain person reads your pages every day, he/she will add to the “Number of visits” on each visit, but only once to the “Unique visitors”. ^
2 I have chosen to keep my e-mail accounts separate from my web hosting (see Self-hosting: a hard egg to crack). For this reason, I have nothing to say about the Email theme. ^

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