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Why We Recommend Site5 for WordPress Shared Hosting

So many of you in our community have asked why we’re recommending Site5 for WordPress shared hosting now and I thought I’d answer that with this blog post.

In 2008, I bought a shared hosting plan with HostGator for iThemes.com and remarkably we survived and thrived on that small cheap plan for almost two years before going to a dedicated server (which we still have with HostGator to date but that is changing soon).

Since around that time, we have actively promoted HostGator to our community because it was THE most amazing shared hosting experience. Boxes weren’t overloaded. They were FAST. Chris and others on our team reveled at how they were about quality and optimizing their boxes for the customer experience.

I loved that too. But I also loved how I could tell people … “On Christmas Eve, if you have a question, go to the site and hit live chat and in seconds you’ll be talking to someone that can actually help you.”

But sadly, that’s changed. And honestly, we knew it wouldn’t be forever.

I had also developed some internal contacts at HG but those have grown very cold, or do not exist anymore.

So when for the last 6-plus months we’ve heard from customers that HG was shutting down sites and doing odd stuff that was NEVER the case, specifically with our main product — BackupBuddy — we were really concerned. And then it got beyond the point I could ignore it any longer.

In fact, the straw that broke the gator’s back was getting an email from a tech support blaming BackupBuddy for problems …. TO ME PERSONALLY.

Now I had proof of what our customers have been saying for months. And yes, it was most likely a copy and paste.

I think they’ve simply grown too big. And we’re out of touch with them now. Totally except when I’ve been forced to rant to them on Twitter (which I hate). And we’ve seen the customer experience (for us personally now with our dedicated and a shared plan I personally have) dwindle.

For whatever the reason, that’s the status and why we’re no longer promoting or recommending HostGator to our community.

We want the customer experience to be AWESOME. And I can’t, with any confidence, say that any longer about HG.

(It should be said … I do believe with their recent acquisition that they will make the appropriate adjustments and be one of the standards again, but for now, I’m done.)

So … enter Site5 and the actual reason for this blog post.

Why are we recommending Site5 now?

I will give you four quick reasons that really center around one big one — I have a relationship with people at Site5 that I trust.

1. I know the co-founder Ben Welch-Bolen. 

We go WAY back, like even before iThemes. He was one of my first freelance clients. So I’ve known him for a long, long, long time.

We actually got to meet at Pressnomics in Phoenix in November for the first time in person. Matt Danner, our COO, and I had lunch with Ben. I expressed all our frustrations with shared hosting in general … and said, “We just want someone who we can talk to and work with for our customers.”

Knowing Ben this long … I believe that to be the case with him and Site5.

If someone runs into a roadblock with BackupBuddy and Site5, I’ll be emailing Ben directly … one founder to another about how our products work better with each other.

I can almost say I’ve NEVER had that with any shared hosting company like this.

Ben and I share many of the same values. And because I know his background and who he is, I believe in him and what they are doing at Site5.

By the way, Ben was also the first full-time employee beyond the founder at HostGator WAY back when they were based in Florida!

2. He assured me that when we run into issues with BackupBuddy or any other iThemes product that we’ll work together on a remedy for our mutual customers.

#BOOM

I’ve wanted this for a long, long time.

3. He’s offering a no-obligation free offer to our customers to see for yourself if their hosting works for you.

Here are the THREE offers good through Dec. 21, 2012:

  • 6 Months Free Shared Hosting — Use coupon code ITHEMES toward any shared hosting plan
  • 3 Months Free VPS Hosting — Use coupon code ITHEMESVPS toward VPS1 or VPS2 plans for servers in their Dallas location.
  • 3 Months Free Reseller start plan – Use coupon code ITHEMESRESELLER for all locations.

4. Ben did a webinar on WordPress hosting for our community on Dec. 13 (Recording below).

He gave an overview of shared hosting and VPS hosting (virtual private server) and the pros and cons of each, along with why / when you should choose one over the other.

Here is the recording from the Webinar:

***

So there are my four reasons for recommending Site5 for WordPress shared hosting at iThemes.

Mainly in short, it’s about people and relationships. And I want to work with people I like and trust who know what they are doing. Period.

And YES, I believe there are a lot of other good shared hosting companies we still recommend, but none offer us the people part of this equation that Site5 does currently.

I hope that never changes. But sometimes things do and will change.

In the meantime, we’re pointing to Site5. :)

Comments

  1. I used to host with them and I agree they are good. I’ve now gone back to them because Hostgator now makes placing an order less straightforward. If they’re going to put obstacles in my way then they lose my business. Simple as.

    You might want to clarify that the offer for 6 months of free shared hosting is only available if you pick the Dallas data centre. The coupon code is not available for the London data centre.

  2. I’ve been using HostGator for a little over a year now with hardly any issues.

    Funny how credibility makes all the difference in the world though. Here I am contemplating switching to Site5 because of Cory’s credibility. And Cory made the switch because of his acquaintances credibility.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Boom – thanks Josh.

      Business is all about relationships. Over the last 5 years of running iThemes, I know how long it takes to build a good solid relationship … and how fast it can get ruined too.

  3. These guys are great. (I’ve had a similar bad experience in the last year with InMotion and am hoping to move my clients off there to Site5.)

  4. I’m a big fan of Site5 too. I switched to them from Media Temple and have been with them for 18+ months and I have only good experiences with them. See how my site speed improved after I switched to Site5: http://blogjunkie.net/tag/site5/

    Cory I would love it if you could ask Ben to look into these 2 issues:

    * Increase the PHP memory limit. Hostgator’s standard is 256MB, Site5’s is 64MB. We can increase it with a custom php.ini file, but it would be great if we didn’t need to.

    * Improve the SiteAdmin File Manager. When first launching the File Manager, it doesn’t know the current path. Only after clicking on the directory tree on the left will it realize the current path.

    Other than these 2 minor details, Site5 is the best web hosting I’ve used. :)

    • David, thanks for this recommendation … it’s good to hear others have had good experiences to validate our feelings about it.

      I’ll ping the Site5 team and ask those questions. Thanks!

    • Hi David,

      Thanks for the comments! Glad to hear you’re a fan. :)

      To answer your two points:

      1) We’re actually doing that! We’ve sent notifications to our customers of an upcoming PHP update we’re doing on all servers. In that process, we’re increasing the default memory limit to 256MB.

      2) The file manager is part of the underlying cPanel control panel, so I’m not too sure we’re able to make a change such as you’re asking. That said, can you open up a ticket to our support team (support@site5.com)? We can get it escalated to our engineers to look into it some more for you.

  5. Hi everyone! Thanks for the kind words Cory!

    I’m around if anyone needs any help too, you can always email me and other senior members of staff at management@site5.com (goes directly to CEO, COO, head of support, CTO/DCTO, etc). Or just ask on any ticket too. We always needing feedback and ideas to make our hosting better!

    @David – Nice timing :), we are planning a rollout as we speak to move PHP 5.3 to default, add PHP 5.4, move PHP 5.2 to an option and remove PHP 4. Part of the delay is that there is some complication with custom PHP.ini that a lot of clients use and we are scripting out some cool stuff to make sure this upgrade impacts clients as little as possible. And a big part of that is expanding our PHP.ini limits to go higher (including your specific example).

    And the file manager, that is part of cPanel so not something we can change easily but we are looking at a few options that might give our dev/designer audience some new editing/terminal tools. Can you email me at management@site5.com as I’d like to show you a preview and see what you think of it? It’s a little different than a file manager so I’m wanting to hear more what you are using it for too.

    Please hit me up with any questions too, the harder the better :). I know one thing that often comes up is hardware resource limits in shared hosting, I’ve been in the hosting industry for a long time so hit me up with anything you are wondering and you will receive a wonderful BS free answer.

    Looking forward to the webinar too,
    Thanks, Ben

    • Ben, unfortunately you just lost a customer. We signed up because we found this page and needed a good WP host. We were using bluehost and were unhappy with the performance. I have a meeting in the am with a client who was complaining about bluehost and we needed to transfer the site over during the evening. About 2 hours after signing up and getting the confirmation from you that everything was fine, we had our developers log in and the account still was pending. I had an online chat with Dawn and she could not give me a time that the site would be up. The best she could do was to write a ticket for us. This was not satisfactory to me, but she could not do anything more. She couldn’t call someone, she couldn’t email/text while I waiting, is all she could say was that it will happen at some time.

      This was not a good sign to me, and we needed a response. If a simple thing could not be dealt with in a timely matter with a better answer I could not risk actually using you guys if a time critical issue came up. Here is our chat:

      Dawn M.
      Hello scot. Please wait while we connect you to an operator.

      Hi Scot

      scot
      hi, I just had my admin buy a hosting account with you guys

      we need to set up the site tonight

      but when I login, it says penidng

      but we paid

      Dawn M.
      One moment while I check into that for you, please.

      scot
      [gave her account info]

      Dawn M.
      thank you

      scot
      [gave her copy of receipt and payment info]

      Dawn M.
      Thank you for waiting. The Order is indeed still processing and not yet processed. You have not yet been charged and will not be charged until that order is processed and the account activated.

      scot
      well the problem is that I need to transfer our site now

      Dawn M.
      I do apologize for the delay. Accounts are normally automatically processed within a few minutes but can occasionally take longer.

      scot
      wel can’t chance this

      I have overseas developers and I need to give them instructions now

      so they can do it and the site is ready in the morning for the client meeting

      if I can’t know for sure, that we can access it now, I’ll need to find another solution

      Dawn M.
      I am sorry. I do not have a time frame for you.

      scot
      well what can I do?

      I have never heard of signing up for a service via a CC and not having access immediately

      so I need to know

      I am sorry, your answer is not acceptable

      Dawn M.
      I will be happy to create a ticket for you with our sales staff to review this order for you. Is _____ a good email address for this?

      scot
      I cannot wait

      I need to know now if the site will ready soon

      if I cannot know, I need to get another host that will be ready tonight

      Dawn M.
      I am so sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, I do not have a time frame for you.

      ** Good luck, I hope you guys get this straightened out. You sound like a good guy.

      • Hi Scott,

        I’m sorry to hear that, and I’d be happy to explain more in more detail what happened and why.

        Why did this account not get activated instantly?
        Fraud is rampant on the internet, the dark side of the internet is full of criminals selling huge lists of stolen credit cards for a few cents per card which criminals then use to sign up for web hosting and create phishing sites to steal people’s bank and other vital info (as well as spam). We have to do an incredible amount of fraud screening which is constantly changing and adapting to new tactics to stop this. Unfortunately in rare cases a valid customer can be flagged due to these checks and this triggers a manual review which can take up to a day. Although we work very hard to get that activated as quickly as possible.

        Why can’t our normal staff help activate you?
        It requires a specialist who has a lot of experience with fraud and is trained to do it correctly. We used to let all our staff do this many years ago, but it created a lot of problems and fraud charges. For example in one of the worst cases we lost $40,000 dollars to a single criminal because one of our normal staff members made a huge mistake (very difficult to do).

        How are we improving this process?
        I would love to make this process easier and we are constantly evolving to improve the flags.

        Why is this important that we are stringent for customers?
        This criminals if they get on a server can get the mail server IP blacklisted, cause the server to crash and many other problems. So it is good for all our clients that we are stringent so as to prevent them from experiencing problems in the shared environment.

        The wait should be 24 hours or less and we think that is a fair trade off in the rare case something is flagged for review by a fraud specialist, and it results in our customers receiving more dependable hosting,
        Thanks, Ben

        PS, I couldn’t find your order but I’m guessing it was because your billing address didn’t match the IP location of your admin possibly. Can you email management@site5.com and we would be happy to take a look and share specific info on what happened in this case.

  6. I’m so glad to have found this blog post today. I’m doing a lot of research on Site5. I found them initially because I looked up Dallas webhosts. They were one of the first search results. I then found out it was a virtual company with everyone working from home. Cool idea. I called their number and talked to someone in Salisbury, MD. Gave me a lot of answers and I didn’t hear the phrase, “I don’t know,” one time.

    I tweeted earlier today that I heard that phrase once again from a Bluehost tech support rep and mentioned in the tweet that Bluehost tech support must have trademarked that phrase. Kind of think of it, I pay them a royalty every month to hear their tech support tell me that. I’d laugh if my Bluehost situation didn’t hurt so much.

    To me, it wouldn’t matter if Site5 service was bad as Bluehost. At least with a little Googling, I found out the most important thing about Site5, they care about their customers. Bluehost has proven to me they don’t care.

    Well, enough of my rambling. I’m going to contact Ben and ask to do an interview with him about Site5 and their great customer service. If he obliges, everyone will be able to see the interview at http://gotinterviews.com, but probably not until I switch to Site5 webhosting : )

  7. I just signed up for a hosting plan with Site5 based on this recommendation. However, BackupBuddy does not work because they have http loopbacks disabled, and enabling ALTERNATE_WP_CRON in the WP config triggers a mod security alert. I contacted tech support to turn on http loopbacks and they refused.

    So, I will be cancelling my hosting plan and I am rather disappointed.

  8. Well, all the complaints in the article, all the copy n paste complaints, you can see them attributed to Site5 too. Switching off customers, billing department can not be contacted etc.. Very horrible reviews. It looks like all these mass webhosters are the same and shine only in a certain time of their momentum. At least I like transparency with Site5 locations where you can test the download. I measured them to be very responsive. The support is also excellent – fast and not dumb. But I don’t know what justifies their sky-high prices. I’m scared to sign up and be cut off without any respect and no refund like many people experienced.

    • Hi,

      I’m happy to answer any questions you have, here are answers to what I think you are asking too :).

      Shared hosting is a shared linux environment, which means you are sharing that server with other people. We do everything possible to keep a site up but if it is causing a problem for other customers on the server we do have to upgrade it to a VPS if it’s resource usage has grown out of the limits shared hosting has. We also provide graphs that you can see in your backend to see those limits and where your site is on that scale too. In the past we had to suspend clients in rare situations where there was no other choice, but that was incredibly rare.

      Our billing department is very contactable, they work M-F during business hours via email.

      We have great reviews too, Shopper Approved is a 3rd party that provides 3rd party management of reviews and does BBB style resolution management if a dispute or problem comes up.
      http://www.shopperapproved.com/certificates/www.site5.com/

      We currently have 2,792 reviews from customers. Of which 2,619 customers rates us 5 stars. We have 13 1 star reviews and I encourage you to read them + our explanation which is posted under each.

      Our prices are not sky high I think, they are fair for the great service we provide. Our lowest package starts at ~$6 dollars a month and scales up to $10 to $15 depending on features.

      We have a very clear refund policy, during the first 45 days you can get a full refund no questions asked and on vps during the first 15 days. We always give customer’s a refund during that period.

      Let me know if you have any questions, we currently have ~45,000 clients at Site5 who are very happy wit our hosting and I hope to see you there too,
      Thanks, Ben

  9. Boom. I’m sold.

    Was already knowledgable about the content in the webinar, but listening to Ben take the time to do one and share his experiences about the industry was great.

    Also the fact that there are international server choices even on shared hosting plans is great. Even more so being able to test their performance.

  10. I would not recommend Site5 for complex environments. The runaround I’ve gotten trying to get dedicated IP addresses for 2 WordPress multisites I’m trying to move to Site5 is ridiculous. They can definitely handle the simple, but not the complex. And trying to convince them that I need a dedicated IP address with the WPMUDev.org Domain Mapping plugin is like talking to brick wall.

    I rarely take immediate action based on someone’s internet recommendation, but I trusted the guys at iThemes and jumped right in with Site5. It turns out I feel like I dove head first into an empty pool.

      • I think we got it all sorted :)

        Back Story:
        Dedicated IPs require justification from the international organization that manages those (Arin), as IPV4 is running out (being replaced with ipv6 but not fast enough). And 99.9% of the time the only reason you need a dedicated IP is for an SSL certificate. Our team made a serious mistake and didn’t realize that WordPress MultiSite needs a dedicated IP if you want to manage it with that method instead of from A records.

        Luckily MightyGeeks brought this mistake to our attention and we have:
        – Talked to the team members who made the mistake as they should have escalated it to the manager on shift to investigate and help with.
        – Writing up internal and external documentation so the mistake doesn’t happen again.
        – Sent an email out to the support team to let everyone know too.

        And we got MightGeeks sites all sorted out with dedicated IPs and a free year of hosting for helping us improve our support,
        Thanks, Ben

  11. Site5 is indeed a quality web hosting company. I wrote a review about Site5 (which wasn’t all stellar) and to my surprise Ben commented on the post and sent me an email. I was really impressed a CEO would take the time to do that.

    IMO Site5’s pricing is fair with the rest of the industry and their support is top notch. Will they work for everyone’s needs? Probably not but they do have a 30-day free trial. You can try them out and see if they work for without giving them your $$. No other hosting company I know of currently offers this.

  12. After the fiasco of HostGator and the ever horrible EIG company and their sub-standard Ace Data Center in Provo, I am ready to move all my reseller accounts over somewhere. I had decided to use site5, but first I referred a client over. Now he is the acid test because he is totally non technical. He tried to order on a Friday afternoon, but they told him they needed a cpanel backup. What? Part of what I am looking for is a company that will do migrations. Very simple cpanel to cpanel. Then he told me they are closed for the weekend. So I come to find out, yes that do not have phone support on the weekend, but they do have chat and email.
    Also they have very short hours for a west coast company, 8-4 eastern time.
    I did get help from the chat who explained that no they do not need a full cpanel back up to move my client so now I am waiting to see what is going on. This has been 5 days now of back and forth and that may be my non tech client fault. I am going to open one reseller account and move my own sites over to test them out before I pull my 100 plus clients over. I seriously hope it works out.
    I loved HostGator and did not even know they had been sold until half their websites went down two weeks ago and clients I had referred had been telling me for the last year how rude and terrible things were going but I could not understand why. Now I know. EIG.
    Worst company ever. I went through this 7 years ago when I left another hosting company they bought. Such a bummer they keep gobbling up hosting companies like BlueHost and HostGator. Avoid them at all costs!

  13. Hi Linda,

    I’m sorry to hear it’s been frustrating as that is definitely not our goal.

    Our order process doesn’t ask for a cpanel backup, can you tell me when that came up? Or tell me the ticket ID number so I can review it and see what happened with our team too?

    That really only comes up if a customer requests a migration from another host, as then we need a cPanel backup to restore. We do free migrations via cPanel or non cpanel hosts of course , details here:
    http://www.site5.com/about/free-migration/

    And here is a screenshot of the migration form that customers can fill out to request that:
    http://postimg.org/image/prlxd7m7b/

    That outlines the details we ask so that we can ensure we do the migration perfectly.

    Our migrations department is open from Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm Eastern currently. We are a smaller company with 105 people total and slowly but surely we will keep expanding those hours, but currently those hours are the ones we offer migration services:
    http://www.site5.com/contact/
    *We currently have 3 people in the migration department.

    We provide live chat and email/ticket support 24/7 of course.

    Let me know,
    Thanks, Ben

  14. Ben- So far not liking how this has gone at all. I just called , it is now Thursday, my client actually requested the migration on Monday.
    After trying to order and Friday and being told you were closed on the weekend. Still not done.
    It is 2pm my time, PST, and after being on hold for 5 minutes your phone system flipped me into a , ?gee sorry we are not going to take your call , use the website” and I was done. It is only 5pm eastern and I cannot talk to someone? After having been burned twice now by companies that were bought by EIG I am very sensitive to the whole customer service aspect before I move all my accounts, (over 100) and start referring other clients to a new hosting company.
    So far I have called in over 6 times to try to help this guy. I do not understand why a straight cpanel to cpanel migration is taking so long. This is exactly what I do not want to be doing if I refer someone over. Also I am concerned if things go south for any of my reseller accounts what kind of responsive help is available.

    • Hi Linda,

      Thanks for letting us know Linda! Can you tell me your ticket ID number? I’d be happy to check on that, and you can always email them anytime to ask why it is taking so long and ask them any questions you might have.

      The only reason a cPanel transfer would take that long is:
      – Really really big backups, transferring that data over could take a long time if it was massively big.
      – Tons of little files, if you have 50,000+ files inside that it can take a lot longer was well.
      – If you have a ton of accounts that combined have items one or two.

      Our team is available 24/7 on live chat:
      http://www.site5.com/contact/livechat/

      And 24/7 via email.

      Also, we are not closed on weekends, rather just migrations is closed on weekends. As mentioned previously we are 105 people in total and our migrations team is a team of 3 and it’s not something we can offer 24/7 at this time :)

      I apologize for the phone problem, I am guessing that was a problem with the current system, we are 12 days away from finishing the move of our number to the new phone system which we spent a month testing to make sure it worked perfectly. We also are in the process of hiring 6 people so that we can roll out 24/7 phones in ~60 days. I’d like to check on that too, can you email me or let us know in your ticket the phone number you called from so we can check our system to see why that didn’t route through?

      Thanks, Ben

  15. Hi Ben and Cory,

    I am looking at web hosting and I am on the fence between Site5 and Hostgator. Have you guys any Site5 promo’s coming up anytime soon. I am looking at shared hosting and London based.

    Thanks,
    Noel.

    • I do not recommend HostGator at all now. They are owned by a Group called EIG. Horrible company who bought them a year ago. They are still moving all their hosting to the Ace Data Center in Provo. And have about 100 other companies they bought on that one center. They are just a cog in a huge wheel now. The data center is what matters and that one is terrible.
      I am going to move one of my reseller accounts to site5 on a test run. I have sent one client there so far, and his site is running fine.

      • Thanks for Your input Linda.

        Hi Ben,

        I appreciate what you’re saying, some services offer 3-4 dollar per month hosting but this is only for initial sign up term and then they are more expensive than Hosts like Site 5 thereafter, I understand you want to offer fair pricing from the start. That said, I was referring to the offer above where you guys offered six months free hosting for a limited time.

        I have another query, I am based in Ireland and was considering the London based hosting because when I ran the test downloads they were faster from london. If my target audience in US based would it be best to go for a US based host location or does it matter.

        Thanks for your time,

        Best,

        Noel.

        • Hi Noel,

          Gotcha :), we don’t have any active promos for the 6 months free. Just the free trial right now.

          Yep if your visitors are mostly from the US it would make more sense to go with a location in the USA since it will be faster for them. You can go with New York though so it isn’t quite as far from you though.

          Thanks, Ben

  16. Hello,

    Thank you Cory for a great post and special thanks to all previous commentators (specially Ben). I was just looking for a host and since I’m a beginner, it was not an easy task. This post and its comments had great impact on my final decision to choose Site5 (I have written about my crusade to find a host, in my blog, if anyone interested, as I blog about all my bigger newbie steps in WordPress land :) ).
    Even before I signed up with Site5, I already was happy with my decision – I had a technical problem, couldn’t finalize my order and needed to ask assistance. Answers from Site5 were almost instant and friendly, my problem was solved very quickly (although it needed 2 persons to help me) and now I am a happy new customer. If Ben is still following this post – please forward my thanks to your staff :).

    With best regards,
    Rait

  17. I started using Site5 after buying my iThemes Toolkit account a few weeks ago. My experience has not been good from an uptime perspective. I’m on server “judith” and have experienced at least three extended outages in the last six days. My server is down again tonight (third time in 6 days) for another emergency repair.

    I had to quickly rebuild one of my client’s sites on another hosting account when I had the second outage. He’s a new client and I couldn’t wait for the server to come back up so I spent one sleepless night bringing his site up by the next morning.

    I’ll applaud the support team for their prompt response to tickets submitted, but I need a server that works. I don’t want to be a troll, but I think others that rely on these reviews should be aware of the bad with the good.

    • It is very possible for a server to have an emergency issue, it is one reason we are big believers in 100% transparency and why we post the uptime publicly for every one of our servers:
      http://www.site5.com/support/uptime/

      And on any server emergency we post every detail after 5 to 8 minutes of downtime along with updates every 20 minutes or less, for example here is the Judith post:
      http://forums.site5.com/showthread.php?t=40061

      Every host in the world has downtime, especially for shared web hosting services that are hosting hundreds of people per of server. I believe the important thing is quality of response and open communication during an emergency. Plus a burning desire to reduce downtime as much as possible given the price constraints of the hosting plan.

      Please let me know if you have any questions,
      thanks, Ben

  18. I moved all my clients to site5, after 8 years with hostgator as a reseller. I moved about 80 clients, and it was an instant disaster.
    I do not recommend them at all. As soon as I had moved all my accounts-
    They told me I had 5 days to get my usage down or they would automatically move me to VPS hosting, which was triple the cost. The servers were down several time, and I still have 10 clients left to move and the servers were down on and off last week for hours , the sites were slow, and they are the worst. There is limited phone support, my hands were cramped from constantly having to type out everything in chat windows. I had more support problems and emails in 2 months with Site 5 than I had in 8 years with Hostgator. I emailed Ben personally and he said basically too bad, you use too much resource, we are moving you to a VPS. Thank goodness I found a2 hosting which was recommended by MaAnna of BlogAid, who also left Hostgator. They are fantastic. I highly recommend them to anyone. My sites are running lightning fast now and they are so helpful. I had referred two big clients to Site5, and they were very upset with Site5 when they did the same thing to them as me, and had problems right away too. They both has left now too. I do not recommend Site5 at all. They are positively draconian in how they handle clients. It is terrible. And Ben for all his trying to be the nice guy in here, you could care less about how bad it went for me and my clients and I have your email to me to prove it.

    • Great question Zee!

      I looked up Zee Chen in our system and I’m not seeing any record of you as a custom, can you give me your domain so I can find your details and post specifics on your case.

      The only reason we every require someone move to VPS is if their websites are going over the allowed resource limit usage, and by a huge amount. This is why our service is known as having the best performance and reliability. We don’t allow any one user to monopolize or crash the entire server.

      Thanks, Ben

  19. Ben,

    I completely understand the issues of downtime and, as mentioned, applaud the rapid responses to the server outages. Site5 was quick to respond to my tickets and for that, they did well. The tech support team also offered to migrate my sites to another server today which they completed.

    I’m cautiously optimistic about my relationship with Site5 and will continue to monitor things. As I said, I’m not trying to be a troll, but feedback of all kinds is needed.

    Thanks!

  20. Hello Ben,
    I’ve been with Site5 for nearly 5 years now and love the 24/7 support. I’ve convinced many of my clients to switch to Site5. Recently, though, some site5 servers have been getting blacklisted on spam sites like Spamhause.net and spamcop.net. This has happened to one of my servers at least twice in the last 3 weeks. This has been very inconvenient for one of my clients, a large festival site. Not sure why this is happening. Could you let us know what measures we can take to mitigate this short of going for VPS?

    It would also be nice that when this happens site5 sends out an email to clients on affected servers warning them of the blacklist. This is so that they are aware that some of their emails may never reach their recipients due to spam blockers.

    Thank you, and I do appreciate this thread. It makes me feel better about hosting with Site5, despite the blacklist issue! I like the transparency.

    • Hi Alicia,

      Thanks you for the kind words :)

      Yep the Spamhaus block was a total error on their part, they apologized to us for causing all the problems and took responsibility. They also fixed the problem on their system that caused that. It was very frustrating for us but good to hear they took responsibility and to get an apology.

      Did you see the full post and details on our emergency forum from our CTO and team about this?

      Our team has and continues to evolve our mail tools, we scan incoming and outgoing to prevent spam. We are constantly adjusting and battling spammers, its part of a shared environment.

      We can’t email clients about blacklists due to limitations of our systems, but we do post on our emergency forum any servers having issues:
      http://forums.site5.com/forumdisplay.php?f=109

      We hope to have a big update out for our system in the coming year or next year that will allow customers to check if they want notifications of x, y or z. Right now it is one big list and people get really mad at us when we alert them. We had to stop years ago until we could get the resources to change that. And right now our team is working on really critical projects internally that lay the foundation for those type of changes (Brand new backend that allows that type of flex).

      Thanks, Ben

      • Ben Thanks so much for your response.

        Unfortunately, one of my sites is currently in the same situation that occurred with Spamhaus. We have been blacklisted by spamcop.net. It appears that the Dallas servers have been hit.

        The site is a huge festival site and we were going to send out a mass mailing of time sensitive emails confirming event participants today and tomorrow. Unfortunately, any email coming from our server is being flagged as spam. Right now we have halted all emails and are in the process of upgrading to VPS. We just submitted the order 15 minutes ago. Hopefully, we can get this upgraded very shortly!

        • Dallas servers are fine, but there might be an issue on your server specifically. You can see any servers that are having issues with email blacklist on this page:
          http://forums.site5.com/forumdisplay.php?f=109

          Or just call, chat, or email support and they can advise too :).

          Here is a great article on why blacklisting happens, and specifically why it is more common in a shared environment:
          http://forums.site5.com/showthread.php?t=38502

          Yep an upgrade to a dedicated VPS would mean you were not sharing and eliminate the problem, If you email me at management@site5.com I can make sure that is done right now, or our team would usually have that up and migrated quick too,
          Thanks, Ben

          • I wish this post a had been approved earlier. It took 4 days to get this worked out, while my client sat on time sensitive emails. I was ready to write site5.com off. But there were plenty of apologies all around and I’m still with you.
            I honestly believe that if I’d seen your reply on the 7th instead of on the 11th, it would have been smooth sailing. But hey a bloggers gotta get a weekend off. Right?

            Thanks for being available and answering in the comment thread for over a year. It’s refreshing!

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