Site Tools (vs. cPanel) – part 2: dashboard

… starting from the point where the story stopped.

Site Tools’ left column acts as a navigation bar which holds all tools, grouped by themes. There were 12 topic-specific sections in cPanel . . . There are now only nine themes in Site Tools: Dashboard, Site, Security, Speed, WordPress, Domain, Email, Statistics, and Devs.

There is also a drop-down menu in the upper left corner to switch between different websites. This can be useful if you have many different sites indeed. It also shows the site you are currently managing; a useful reminder for those concerned (e.g. SiteGround agency clients), but an unnecessary precaution for me.

Dashboard

Hello, Alexandre!

Aside from this greeting, there are three sections:

  • Pinned Tools
  • Site Information
  • This Month Statistics for cogitactive.com

Pinned Tools

In this section, you can pin the tools you use frequently so they stay put on the top of the Dashboard section for easy access. By default, four tools are already there: App Manager, Email Accounts, File Manager and Cloudflare CDN. Thirty-one additional tools are available if you want to add them. Personally, I don’t see the point of this feature; they are nothing but shortcuts (i.e. the same as the navigation bar on the left).

All tools appear docked on the left side of the screen.SiteGround

Site Information

A server
All right reserved

In this section, you can find your Disk Usage (Disk Space and Inodes), as well as the IP and Name Servers of your site. This used to be conveniently located in the left column of cPanel, along with many other useful data (e.g. the number of created subdomains1) that are nowhere to be found in Site Tools. In fact, they are scattered over the entire interface, i.e. both in Site Tools and the Client Area. Certainly, this has to do with the site-centric philosophy of Site Tools; cPanel was a hosting account-based platform.

For example, I have tried the link to view more server usage information; it sent me back to my Client Area: Client Area > Services > Hosting > Manage > Statistics. There, the Disk Web Space and Inodes were displayed, similarly to what used to be done in cPanel, along with the Program Executions and CPU Seconds.

Likewise, if you want to check your bandwidth usage, now you have to go to Site Tools > Statistics > Traffic > Traffic Summary > Bandwidth. This info (aka Monthly Transfer) used to be directly accessible in the left column of cPanel.

Why is it important?

As explained in A web host, unlimited is not unlimited! Servers, like any computers, have a limited amount of processing time and memory space. To share these finite resources among their users, SiteGround set up rules and regulations, i.e. limits. Here are those for their StartUp plan:

  • 10 GB of storage
  • 1000/hour, 10000/day, 300000/month CPU seconds
  • 200000 inodes per account
  • 768 MB RAM per process

When you exceed any of these thresholds, SiteGround will limit the access to your website until you take action (e.g. upgrade your hosting plan). Therefore, it is important to monitor these values to keep your account within [these] acceptable use limits.

This Month Statistics

The last section gives you a quick idea of how many Unique Visitors and Pageviews you had. The two graphs show the info daily, and the headers give you the sum. I assume this is the new version of the “Domain Hit Stats” that was accessible via the Detailed Stats button in cPanel. Unfortunately, unlike the old version, the new one does not split this info for each one of the domain names you have associated with your account. In other words, it shows only the data for the main site of my domain-based network, nothing about the sub-domains. As for the VIEW MORE button, it is just a shortcut to Statistics > Traffics. The good news is that once in this dedicated section, you can see the stats for each one of the domain names you have associated with your account. The bad news is…2

Intermediate verdict

The dashboard might look more modern than the left part of the cPanel main page, but at the cost of too many useful info being lost. Clearly, the site-centric philosophy of Site Tools is of no use for single-site owners, quite the contrary!

I like… nothing so far.

I don’t like… that the “to view more server usage information” link send me out of Site Tools and that it takes too many clicks to come back. What happen to SiteGround single-click philosophy? Not mentioning the frustration of not finding the info that I was looking for.

To be continued…


1 After my (SiteGround) ticket to hell, I get into the habit to check this info. I don’t want SiteGround to mess up with my subdomains again. ^
2 Sorry, you will have to wait the post on the Statistics theme to know it. ^

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