SiteGround New Client Area and Site Tools – part 4

… starting from the point where the story stopped.

Starting from the second half of September 2019, we will gradually roll out the new setup to all our existing clients, replacing the current User Area and cPanel. We will notify you by email at least one week in advance to let you know when you’ll be switched to the new interfaces.

Six months! Six months that I am waiting for this moment, both hopeful1 and dreading what could be going wrong during the migration. How come did the next few weeks turn into months? Six months! Did SiteGround experience issues with the actual migration process? Remember how uncomfortable was the SiteGround CTO Nikolay Todorov when addressing this difficulty during the webinar (see previous post). Anyway, the long-awaited moment of the migration from the old User Area to the new interfaces was here.

On Wednesday, March 4, starting from 01:01AM CST, we will perform an infrastructure upgrade and migrate your account(s) from server to a new server with the latest hardware in our new Google facility in Iowa.The SiteGround Team

On hold since

The last email from SiteGround dated back from September 12, 2019:

Our new Client Area and Site Tools are already live and we will gradually be switching our existing clients to these new interfaces over the next few weeks.The SiteGround Team

Over the next few weeks!

Back then – that is few days after the webinar – Nikolay’s words still resounded in my mind: each customer should postpone any major change during the migration. Actually, I was more worrying about the ability of their automated script to handle my atypical WordPress Multisite configuration (i.e. without using wildcard subdomain). Hristo’s reply on that matter – I am sure that one may come up with a way that our scripts won’t handle, but our technical support will be there and prepared to help in all situations that may occur – was not very reassuring; the traumatizing experience with their technical support was still fresh (see A (SiteGround) ticket to hell). Anyway, given my busy schedule, I decided (back then) to follow the same approach as R. Moore that is to put on hold any website-related task:

I have several sites yet to set up that I was about to start working on when the announcement came out about the new tools, so rather than having to switch gears mid-stream I have chosen to delay their setup but I am on on[sic] a deadline and can’t wait much longer. How soon will the new tools be live? There has to be a roll out date I presume…

Hello, the schedule for the switch is still in the making, but it seems that your host server is planned for this month. Unless we need to make changes in the schedule, you should receive an email next week with the exact switch date.

Again, that should have been only a matter of few weeks. Being busy otherwise – creating a website is just one of the many things involved in podcasting (see The Who and the When) – I could indeed wait few weeks before to resume my website-related activities. Granted, there were few signs that this could take longer (see below); but again, I was optimistic.

The migration starts in September – When do you expect to be finished with all migration?

We think it will take us a few months to switch all clients, but we will know how many exactly after we actually start migrating and do a few runs.

Of course, when the weeks became months, I started to worry! I was not the only one that the wait was driving to despair:

3 months later and still nothing changed in the interface!

We want to ensure our clients have a smooth transition when we switch them to the new interfaces and make sure everything is working correctly after the accounts are migrated. In our launch announcement, we have explained that the process will span over several months as we follow a schedule for gradually transferring accounts. We will send you a notification for your upcoming migration a week in advance on the administrative email associated with your hosting account.

This is it!

Given these premises, you can imagine how I felt when I received, late February (2020), an email from SiteGround with this subject:

Important: Scheduled server migration of your account(s)

The email was quite reassuring:

This is a standard and seamless procedure that will be performed late at night when server traffic is minimal. We do not expect any downtime for your account, however brief outages of a few minutes are possible while migrating your data to the new server.

After all, the whole process should be running smoothly by now. Yet, there was a reminder of the precautionary instruction:

We also kindly recommend that you avoid making any changes to your website on migration day in order to prevent data loss.The SiteGround Team

I marked the date on my calendar. Eager to resume the creation of the website for my podcast, I skimmed the rest of the email. An oversight that would prove…

Wednesday, March 4

00:45AM CST – my website and my blog are all fine.
01:15AM CST – my website and my blog are no more accessible.
01:30AM CST – my website and my blog are back.

After checking them both, I mustered all my courage and logged in to my SiteGround account. Surprisingly, I was welcomed by the same old User Area.

“That’s odd! Did I miss something?”

Equally disturbing, I still had access to cPanel2. Something was wrong…

At 03:24 am CST, I received an email: Account migrated successfully. Okay, am I back to the twilight zone (see A (SiteGround) ticket to hell)?

We have successfully transferred your account to the new server. Your new IP address is [OBFUSCATED].The SiteGround Team

“Wait! Wait a second. I thought there should be no IP change during the migration.”

Here comes the aforementioned oversight. In the email about the scheduled server migration, there was another important information:

Because your site will be migrated to a new machine in a different datacenter in the region, there will be an IP change and the DNS settings of your domain(s) have to be updated accordingly.


Again, I was so anxious to be done with the migration – 6 months that everything was on hold – that I didn’t make the connection. Besides, I don’t think that I would have remembered this tiny bit of information from the webinar that took place 6 months earlier. Anyway, here I am, still waiting for the migration to take place.

Oh New Client Area and Site Tools!
So dreaded; still, now so desired!

To be continuedBut when?

1 Quick reminder: By removing cPanel AND Softaculous, SiteGround effectively suppressed two FREE backup solutions. While they acknowledged during the webinar that their new Site Tools did not provide any substitute at this point, they added that they will eventually provide a tool that allows that. Candidly, I wanted to believe that during these six months, they had time to develop and implement such an alternative for the lost backup functionalities. ^
2 I am sure you get it, but just in case: the new Site Tools will replace cPanel. As underlined by Reneta, there won’t be an option to keep using cPanel. ^

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