SiteGround New Client Area and Site Tools – part 7

SiteGround new Client Area and Site Tools coming soon

… resuming the story:

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.

Although I published the first post of this mini-series (i.e. part 1) on March 2020, this story started at the end of July 2019 when SiteGround announced the advent of their New Client Area and Site Tools. The switch was supposed to start from the second half of September 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!

Yep, your math is correct, that is a little bit longer than few weeks! More than fifteen months indeed that I have everything website-related on hold1 and that I am waiting this migration dreadfully (see part 1 and part 3). In fact, twice I thought, “This is it!” – erroneously, obviously. The first time, I confused a server migration with THE actual migration (see part 4). The second time, there was no doubt possible: after six months, the switch was eventually scheduled. The switch yes, but only to the new Client Area (see part 5). It took SiteGround another nine months to schedule the second step: cPanel switch to Site Tools.

We are happy to inform you about your account(s) upcoming switch from cPanel to our new control panel – Site Tools.The SiteGround Team

On January 1, I received indeed an email from SiteGround announcing the Upcoming switch from cPanel to Site Tools with the following warning:

IMPORTANT: To avoid account configuration discrepancies after the switch, we have to block your access to the cPanel of those accounts. The block to cPanel will be imposed 24 hours before the migration date. During that time your websites will be accessible, and you will be able to perform web management tasks that do not require cPanel access. For example, you will be able to update any WordPress site through its wp-admin interface as usual.

At the date of the migration your hosting service (including website, email, etc.) might be shortly inaccessible. Expected downtime is between 20 and 40 minutes. We try to schedule the migrations outside the standard active business hours, so your site traffic is affected as little as possible.

Of course, they also touted the benefits of their new control panel, with emphasize on how Modern and Intuitive is Site Tools, as well as their Collaboration Options, among other features.

Once your account(s) is switched to Site Tools, you will receive access to all the exciting new features we have introduced in the past year.The SiteGround Team

Don’t get me wrong, I am excited about having new features. However, as detailed in the first four posts of this mini-series, my problem is not about having plenty of new tools, but rather the withdrawal of tools! In particular, by suppressing Softaculous (in addition to cPanel), SiteGround will divest me of my go-to backup solution. Needless to remind you that Hristo’s recommendation (see part 1) – upgrading to SiteGround GrowBig plan (a $19.95/mo. alternative to my free solution) – was clearly not an option. Besides, this will not address my requirement to keep a backup locally (i.e. on my own computer)! When I asked again during the webinar (see part 3), they answered that at this point [they] don’t have that functionality, but they will eventually provide a tool that allows that. Are 15 months enough time to develop and implement such a tool?

SiteGround logo with a referral link to their website
Referral Link

Another big concern is whether SiteGround – their automatic script to be accurate – will be able to handle my peculiar WordPress Multisite configuration (i.e. no wildcard subdomain; see Setting up WordPress Multisite). Clearly, Hristo’s response to my comment (see part 1) – 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 has not faded (see A (SiteGround) ticket to hell). I cannot but remember how uncomfortable Nikolay Todorov was when addressing the challenge of the migration process (see part 3). How come did the next few weeks turn into fifteen months? Did they experience issues with the actual migration process?

cPanel switch to Site Tools on:
Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

To be continued2

1 As explained in part 4, I decided to follow Nikolay Todorov (Siteground CTO) advice: each customer should postpone any major change during the migration. Back then, it was just a question of few weeks, right!? ^
2 In two weeks! Next week post will be part of the micro-entrepreneur mini-series. This should allow me enough time to look into Site Tools properly. ^

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