I have been hosting on the VPS2 plan with Site 5 for just under a month. For the past several years I have bounced around from dedicated hosting companies, running my own server because I like the infinite control I have over the application environment I can build. The last few years have been good to me, I was able to open my own webmaster consulting type firm, and take on several clients from various parts of the world. Providing this service to others had started to take away from my server management time, which any good server admin will tell you, is vital to the success of any web based service.
As much as I love spending time in the command line, I figured the amount of time I do that for clients was enough for me to get my fill. I started looking for a host that brought a little more to the table than just ‘being a host’.
I needed a hosting company that could understand my lingo (which is really theirs too), and at the same time would provide me any information I needed to get my job done.
In my perspective, Site 5 hosting has created a niche market for designers and programmers that every other host should be keeping their eye on. Yes, they provide hosting like every other web host available, but there are a few fundamental differences that Site 5 brings to the table :
- They take of the small stuff that others expect you to do on your own. This can be a real time saver for newbies and veterans alike. Example? They will change your DNS settings for you, free of charge. This may sound trivial, but take the boom of Google Apps users on the web today, and the time it takes for new webmasters to understand how DNS works. By the time a new webmaster figures out that these settings can be made themselves in their control panels (Cpanel, Plesk, Webmin etc..), Site 5 can have the changes made for you, freeing up valuable time to take care of more pressing issues.
- Their tech support is the real deal. They have structured their support much like any other support service, breaking down their tasks into what I like to call ‘Server Tiers.’ Level one techs have their own set of support requests they can handle, level two – their own, and so on. Site 5 does not employ hundreds of offshore techs, so you are bound to run into some of the same ones over and over again. This is nice for a couple of reasons, but the most important me is that these technicians really do know their capabilities, and are not afraid to pass off requests that are not their specialty. This is a time saver, and it also shows that they really are out to retain me as a client.
- They understand that my clients are their clients too. In the reseller world, this is vital because many times you do not have the time to respond to your clients with an appropriate answer to their questions. My business model is not reselling hosting, I provide webmaster services for those that have no clue how a website works – whether by choice or inability to understand. This is my bottom line, not hosting, and when I do decide to host a client or two, I need to know that someone cares about their sites, as much as I do. With Site5, so far, the grass is definitely greener.
In the last month, I have submitted 14 support tickets, for various different needs. All but one of these tickets were replied to almost immediately. The only reason the one ticket was not replied to instantly was because it was an upgrade request that had to be routed to the proper system administrator to perform the upgrade. In 3 months I will revisit this post, and keep you informed of how everything is working out, so you can make an informed decision of your own about Site 5 web hosting. Until then – keep on keeping on!