Site Tools (vs. cPanel) – part 6: WordPress

… 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.

WordPress

In cPanel, the WordPress Tools, grouped in the so-called section, were the following: WordPress Installer, WP Auto Update, WordPress Toolkit, SuperCacher, Staging and SG-Git. There are now five Tools in the WordPress theme of Site Tools. It is worth mentioning that SuperCacher is now in the Speed theme and SG-Git in the Devs theme. As for the functionalities of the WordPress Toolkit (listed below), they are now scattered throughout Site Tools:

  • Reset Admin Password
  • Secure Admin Panel
  • Fix Permissions
  • Change Website Domain
  • Move Installation
  • Configure SSL Certificate
  • Delete Application

Install & Manage

Starting a WordPress site has never been easier. You can have your application installed in just a couple of minutes by filling out your information and clicking Install. Once you have your WordPress site, you can easily manage it from this same tool.SiteGround

As detailed in Installing WordPress, there were many ways to install this CMS platform before the switch from cPanel to Site Tools. Now, the only method left (other than the supposedly “easy” manual installation) can be found in the Install New WordPress section. From here, you can choose to install WordPress or WordPress + WooCommerce. Unfortunately, this tool does not come with many configuration options (as opposed to Softaculous). As for the Starter plugin – that comes with the SiteGround installation tool, if you opt in – it was not existing yet, when I used the SiteGround Setup Wizard (i.e. the cPanel version of this tool), and I cannot try it now because my SartUp plan allows only one website. Of note, this did not prevent me from having multiple sites anyway; thanks to the Multisite feature of WordPress (see Multiple installations vs. WordPress Multisite?).

Multiple Standard WordPress Installations vs One WordPress Multisite
All right reserved

In the section below, namely Manage Installations, you can find a table with all your installations – just one in my case – and the possibility to manage them. Under the Actions link, you can indeed find the following options:

  • Update Admin Password
  • Reset Permissions
  • Move Application
  • Delete Application

You can also log in to your Admin panel from here.

If you have installed WordPress manually, it won’t be listed in the table below. You can still add it manually and enjoy the WordPress toolkit available for all automatically installed apps.

Staging

Making changes to your live site is risky. Testing anything new on a staging copy before real deploy is highly recommended. With our Staging functionality you can create, manage and deploy staging copies of your WordPress sites with a few easy clicks.SiteGround

Staging, which allows you to create a copy of your website in a different environment to test safely new designs, code or whatever, is one of the geeky, advanced features that comes with the GoGeek plan and, since SiteGround 15th anniversary, with their GrowBig plan as well. Not on their StartUp plan, though!

This feature is not available in your existing package. To get advantage of the Staging tool and be able to safely test changes of your website before deploying them live, upgrade to one of our higher packages that come with Staging included.

Given my current configuration, and I am not referring to my hosting plan, I will not be able to use this feature anyway (see below).

NOTE: Please use this feature only with single site WordPress installation, as it is not compatible with WordPress multisite installations.

Migrator

Transfer WordPress sites in just a few clicks with the WordPress Migrator. To start the process, simply generate a migration token, then install our plugin to your WordPress site, enter the token in the plugin and follow the instructions.SiteGround

I did not use the Migrator plugin yet, and I may never use it because its purpose is apparently to move a WordPress site from any other hosting company to your SiteGround account. Not the other way around! Anyway, I don’t think there is much difference between the cPanel and the Site Tools versions.

AutoUpdate

To ensure your website is secure and up-to-date, we automatically update all your WordPress installations hosted with us. You can set up different autoupdate schedule depending on the type of the available WordPress release – major or minor. For an extra peace of mind, before every autoupdate we do a full website backup that you can easily restore to.SiteGround

This tool created by SiteGround to keep your WordPress sites always safe and up-to-date was great indeed. As explained in Updates & Upgrade Network, I entrusted SiteGround to take (good) care of my WordPress core updates (both minor and major releases). That was before the migration to Site Tools. Since, I have experienced many issues:

To sum up, the AutoUpdate tool is not able anymore to keep your WordPress sites always safe and up-to-date. That being said, I have not given up on using it; there were indeed some encouraging signs of remission. However, at the time of this writing, I still do not know if I can trust the tool again.

Search & Replace

Use the Search & Replace tool to easily change strings in your WordPress site in bulk – for changing from http to https after you have installed an SSL, changing domain names, and more. You can replace all occurrences of a string with a single click. For a peace of mind we recommend creating a backup before replacing strings in your live site.

Although I could have used this tool when I made my website work over HTTPS – the proper way, I did not1. Therefore, I cannot say how its Site Tools version compares with the cPanel one. Would I use it the day I will need to update many elements on my site at once? While there are other methods available2, I think that the Search & Replace tool is indeed the easiest and safest way to proceed.

One thing we want to mention is that there’s no ‘undo’ option. Once you replace the text or other content, you can’t get the old version back. You would have to do another mass search and replace in order to reverse the process. That’s why we strongly suggest performing a backup before any WordPress search and replace routine.Matteo Duò

Intermediate verdict

Full-Service WordPress Hosting For All Types Of Sites. We make your WordPress site management easier!SiteGround

Below this headline, SiteGround website showcases the following features: Fast WordPress Launch, Smooth WordPress Transfer, Managed Security and Update, and Unmatched WordPress Performance. I have to admit that the last part of the above claim is true – as long as you do not have a Multisite installation.

I like… the simplicity of the Tools.

I don’t like… that the AutoUpdate tool has been damaged during the migration to Site Tools!

To be continued…


1 There was indeed only few occurrence of hard-coded HTTP URLs that needed to be replaced so I did it manually directly within phpMyAdmin. ^
2 Matteo Duò (2021) How to Perform a WordPress Search and Replace (5 Methods). Kinsta. ^

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