Site Tools (vs. cPanel) – part 7: Domain

… 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.

Domain

Domain names act similarly to street addresses.
All right reserved

There were ten tools back in cPanel and only four left in Site Tools (see below). What happens to the others? Addon Domains: removed. Simple DNS Zone Editor and Advanced DNS Zone Editor: merged. Register New Domain, Domain Manager, Domain ID Protect and Domain transfer: now in the New Client Area. Concerning the last four tools, I do not really care because I never had (and will not have) to use them1 for the reasons explained in these articles:

Parked Domains

Parked domains are additional domains that can be used to reach your site. They can be used in the cases where you want to have different spellings of your domain opening the same site, or you want to make sure that you don’t lose any misguided visitors by having all TLDs of your primary domain name (e.g. yoursite.com, yoursite.net, yoursite.org).

There are many reasons for having additional domain names pointing to the same site. Importantly, there is no limit in how many you can have with SiteGround because all hosting plans offer an unlimited amount of parked domain names. However, you need to register them first. Owing to the relatively low price of domain name registration, this should not be a major concern; still, the cost can add up! For this very reason, I haven’t yet play with this tool (neither in cPanel nor in Site Tools).

Subdomains

Create subdomains to organize your site into different sections or create smaller subsites of your main one.

As detailed in Adding a site to my Multisite network, creating a subdomain with the cPanel tool was straightforward. First, you give it a name. Second, you click on Create. Done! Apparently, the process is the same in Site Tools, except that the path to the tool is now Domain > Subdomains > Create New Subdomain instead of just clicking on the Subdomains icon (which was located in the Domains section of cPanel).

Beware; WordPress Multisite needs to have all subdomains use the same directory in the server’s file system where WordPress is installed. Now, when you manually create a subdomain using cPanel, it creates a new document root at the same level as your public_html folder. Therefore, you have to change the Document Root for your subdomain to the WordPress installation directory, i.e. public_html (without the subdomain folder). This technical gibberish means that you have to delete the subdomain folder from the Document Root field, keeping only public_html/. Well, I do not know yet if (and how) the Site Tools version of the tool will allow me to do just that. Will see in due time…

Below the Create New Domain section, you can see your existing subdomains in the Manage Subdomains section and delete them if you wish to (the only Action available, actually). Importantly, you can also enable wildcard subdomains from here. For obvious reasons (see A (SiteGround) ticket to hell), I am not willing to toggle the switch to ON. No way!

Redirects

Domain redirects are used for forwarding one URL to another. This can be useful in a number of cases – redirecting a URL of a no longer existing page to a live one; temporary redirecting traffic from a page you don’t want users to access; SEO purposes and more.

Admittedly, I should have used this tool after optimizing2 my WordPress taxonomy (see Category vs. Tag vs. Keyword). However, I did not. Therefore, I cannot compare the cPanel and Site Tools versions of the tool; the latter being now under the Create New Redirect section.

In the Manage Redirects section below, you can Edit or Delete existing redirects. I was surprise to see two Temporary (302) redirects there. One for webmail and the other for cPanel; obviously, both were added by SiteGround after the migration. I have not tampered with any of them, not yet. I am curious to see if SiteGround will delete them (i.e. clean behind them), or not.

DNS Zone Editor

The Domain Name Service (DNS) is a system that translates human-readable domain names into IP addresses. To do that, the DNS reads from the DNS zone file which consists of a number of zone records. Zone records instruct your domain name where to look for your site and email, set up domain aliases, add rules or additional information to your domain.

As briefly alluded, the former Simple DNS Zone Editor and Advanced DNS Zone Editor have been merged in Site Tools. In the first section of the now called DNS Zone Editor tool – Select Domain – you can choose the domain you need to act upon. In the second section – Create New Record – you have the option (displayed as different tabs) to add A, AAAA, CNAME, MX, SRV and TTX records. Before (i.e. in cPanel), you had to use the Simple version of the tool for A and CNAME records and the Advanced one for the other records. A welcome simplification indeed!

In the last section – Manage DNS Records – you can Edit or Delete existing records. In keeping with (over)simplification, the table is not displaying the class (e.g. IN) nor the TTL of the records anymore. You can see the TTL info when you click on the pencil icon to edit the records, though.

Pointing domain name from Gandi to website hosted on SiteGround while keeping e-mail services at Gandi.
All right reserved

I had to point my domain name to my hosting provider (website) while keeping my e-mail at my registrar once. Not an easy task! However, you generally don’t have to deal with your DNS often.

During the migration to Site Tools, we take care to recreate the DNS Zone on your new hosting platform to match the one you were using on your cPanel hosting account. Even though we run automatic and manual checks for this, we urge you to review the newly created DNS Zone to confirm that all of the DNS Zone records are present.SiteGround

Intermediate verdict

Although you can register domain names with them, SiteGround is a web hosting company – not a registrar. In keeping with this distinction, it is worth mentioning that the domain management part (the core service provided by registrar) is in the New Customer Area, not in Site Tools. That being said, the tools in the Domain theme are essential to manage everything domain-related in your web host, if only to set up your website. For that reason alone, they had better be good.

I like… that the former Simple and Advanced DNS Zone Editors have been merged into one single entity!

I don’t like… nothing so far3.

To be continued…


1 The Domain ID Protect (now called Domain Privacy), in particular! This feature protects your personal details from being publicly available in the Whois database and hides the contact information such as your name and organization, address, phone, email address, etc. related to your domain name. There is no doubt that such protection is of paramount importance when it comes to protect you against domain hijacking and/or to avoid unsolicited e-mails or marketing calls. However to have this features in SiteGround, you have first to activate – as in pay for – the service! Should I remind you that the WHOIS privacy feature is included for no additional cost in the offer of my registrar, namely Gandi.net? ^
2 Back then, I indeed modified some URLs without appropriately creating a redirect to the new archive URLs. Mea culpa!. ^
3 I will have to come back to this theme, the Subdomains section in particular, when I will add the website for my podcast to my Multisite network. ^

What do you think?
  • Like 
  • Agree 
  • Disagree 
  • Thank you 

Add value to this post

All comments are moderated according to our Comment Policy. As for data processing, please read our Privacy Policy. Required fields are marked *