Site Tools (vs. cPanel) – part 3: Site

… 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 were six tools in the Files section of cPanel and seven in the Databases one. There are only four tools left in Site Tools:

  • File Manager
  • FTP Accounts
  • MySQL
  • PostgreSQL

If my math is correct, this does not fit with SiteGround plenty of new tools statement. Anyway, let me go through the Site theme – using the same logic as in the (late) cPanel (i.e. Files and Databases).

Beware, not so long ago, there was another section in the Site theme, namely App Manager. Not only did SiteGround move it to the Devs theme, but they also change its name into App Installer. However, they have not updated all their Knowledge Base articles and/or tutorials yet; you can still find articles referring to App Manager.


When I set up my WordPress Multisite, I had to edit few files on the server. For the reasons explained in the above article, I decided to use File Manager rather than FTP for this simple task. Nevertheless, I kept using this full-featured tool to manage my sites afterward and, owing to the hassle of using FTP, I was hoping to continue using this approach as long as possible. However, after my initial attempts – and failures (see SiteGround New Client Area and Site Tools – part 9) – to download an archive1 of my Home directory (i.e. public_html) with the new File Manager, I thought I will have to use SFTP from now on (at least to transfer large files). Fortunately, I have managed to download successfully my backup since and I believe that I will be able to keep using File Manager (until my sites become too big).

The completely new File Manager!

As advertised in SiteGround webinar, the completely new File Manager has a brand new interface! However, as opposed to its cPanel version, it does not come with a tutorial2. That is true that by suppressing many of the options (e.g. File Manager Directory Selection, Encoding Check, Compression type, etc.), they have greatly simplified its use. Anyway, I did not notice many differences between both versions (other than the aforementioned simplifying). The big exceptions however are the Explorer and Editor buttons that allow you to switch between each respective view, and more importantly, the new Editor itself (that you can access via the Edit icon)! I have to admit this new Editor is a major improvement as compared to the previous one (the code editor, in particular).

A server
All right reserved

Other than that, it looks like you can now upload folders; you are not limited to file anymore. There is also a Show Folder Size and Inodes icon that will do just that (i.e. replace the “-” displayed by default with the actual size and inodes values). Does SiteGround save many server resources by not computing this info directly? Just wondering.


As introduced in A web host, there are many database technologies to choose from. Among those, SiteGround supports both MySQL and PostgreSQL. WordPress being based on MySQL, I didn’t had to think twice.

For those wondering what are MySQL and PostgreSQL, here is what you can find in Site Tools:

MySQL is a database management system based on SQL (Structured Query Language). SQL is the most popular language for adding, accessing and managing content in a database. It’s known for its quick processing, proven reliability, flexibility and ease of use. MySQL is an essential part of almost every open-source PHP application (e.g. WordPress).

PostgreSQL is an open-source object-relational database system that uses and extends the SQL language combined with many features that safely store and scale the most complicated data workloads. It allows custom functions developed using different programming languages like C/C++, Java and more. PostgreSQL is known for its stable architecture, reliability, data integrity and scalability.

In addition, the database (for my WordPress application) was set up automatically, so I never had to deal with this complicated process anyway (see Installing WordPress). Accordingly, I cannot really asses how Site Tools compare to cPanel on that matter. In short, I have never used any of the previous database tools, other than phpMyAdmin for few basic tasks.

phpMyAdmin is one of the most popular applications for MySQL database management. It is a free tool written in PHP. Through this software, you can create, alter, drop, delete, import and export MySQL database tables. You can run MySQL queries, optimize, repair and check tables, change collation and execute other database management commands.

Among these many features, I will have to use the export one a lot more now that Softaculous is gone (see SiteGround New Client Area and Site Tools – part 1 & part 3). As explained in Backup, backup backup!, this feature can be used to create a database backup indeed.

Intermediate verdict

Clearly, they have refined their control panel. Importantly, SiteGround kept Hristo’s promises, for the Site theme at least, that is: in Site Tools there is a way to do all the things you have been doing with cPanel so far, but in a different way.

Site Tools’ simple design lets you easily use all of the functionalities.SiteGround

I like… the new File Manager – its improved Editor, in particular. I am also glad they have kept phpMyAdmin.

I don’t like… the paucity of information on how-to (i.e. tutorials) for their new interface as compared to the many cPanel tutorials available.

To be continued…

1 Although not ideal, the Compress File(s) feature of File Manager can be used for transferring a copy (i.e. backup) of your WordPress files as long as your website is small. With the suppression of Softaculous and the cPanel Backup tool, this is the only option left for those having a StartUp plan (see SiteGround New Client Area and Site Tools – part 1 & part 3). ^
2 In the new Knowledge Base, there are two File Manager sections, each with 7 so-called articles. You can reach the first one via Site Tools and the second via Website Help. Regrettably, you will not learn how to use File Manager from these articles, except maybe from the Managing File Permissions one. That being said, you can hover over each icon to check out what it does as suggested by SiteGround in one of their Site Tools vs. cPanel articles. ^

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