You can read all the summaries of the State of Site5 announcements that have been released during 2014 below.
State of Site5: October 2014
It seems the months are passing quickly, as Site5 have released their State of Site5: October 2014 update. It is unsurprising that the content of the update is yet again similar to what was shared on the last 3 or 4 updates, although this time there are a couple of interesting points that we will highlight.
One thing that is particularly worthy of note is that they seem to acknowledge that the year is coming to an end and that they are very active trying to get some of the important projects completed before the new year rolls in. Of course, considering some of their projects seem to be quite major in scope (or at least it seems that way bearing in mind how long they have been in the progress stage), we sincerely hope they manage to succeed.
Here is what Site5 have been working on this last month:
- CRM Backend — This being their Client Relationship Backend (CRM). Now ... this seems to have been in production for what seems like a year. Although our earliest reporting of the new Billing Client Area seems to be from back in February, we suspect this may have been in development for much longer. At the current time, the engineering team is still ironing out bugs and adding features based on feedback from various members of the development team. When will it be done? Place your bets in the comments, but we suspect it won't be this year!
- Job Openings — As ever Site5 always have Job Openings. This month, we count ten jobs including a Marketing Project Manager. Considering how they have treated their marketing opportunities with us (see our Site5 Coupons Page and how they asked us not to promote their coupons!) we would suspect this is sorely needed. We have included a screenshot this
month,so that you can see more clearly the type and scope of the jobs available. Remember, though, that Site5 have no offices, so you will be able to work from home! You can see here their details for a Technical Support Specialist, that you get access to a book fund for continued learning, 20 days holiday (25 after three years) and Health Insurance (The US only).
- Spam Filtering — Like most other things with Site5, they are yet to implement a solution to the blacklisting of IP's due to spam. They are still working on this solution, despite mentions on forums such as Webhostingtalk about the scale of the problem. If you are with Site5 and worried you might be having such issues you can check whether your IP is on a blacklist here.
- Staff Meetups — Mention is made how they have had some staff meetups both in the US and in Europe.
- New London Data Center — This is kind of interesting, as there has been no announcement about the new data center. They state that the migration is almost complete with minimal problems, though, so hopefully there was very limited downtime with that. But their publicity surrounding the event is a far cry from how SiteGround handled it, along with their update they provided us with.
- Faster Support — We thought this was related to the new CRM, but it seems they have also been improving their helpdesk software, which may or may not be integral to their client back end. Lack of detail makes it very difficult to tell, but they to say this has the "potential" to reduce wait times.
Site5 Uses Outdated Ruby Version
One interesting thing from this State of Site5: October 2014 edition was the few comments that have been left in the comments:
As you can see, there are several complaints about Site5 using version 1.8.7 of Ruby. The latest version being Ruby 2.1.4, with version 1.8.7 of Ruby stopped being supported over a year ago. For a company that prides itself on being for developers, this is a fundamental problem. It seems that somewhere they have indicated they were going to migrate to using Phusion Passenger to implement the change as this contains a bundle of software that is automatically kept updated. The advantage of this migration would see them being able to implement Python, Node.js (which would enable Ghost support), and Meteor. Certainly a step up from their current system.
State of Site5: October 2014 — Final Thoughts
Overall, the State of Site5 for October is very similar to previous months. We'd like to see a little more detail on these updates, and more information on how they are good for designers and developers (we don't see many features for this). Personally, we'd rather point you in SiteGround's direction!
State of Site5 September 2014
Site5 have just released their September update giving us valuable insight as to what is going on at the company. Of course, a comment has been made about the end of Summer, and how things are starting to cool down now. We all love a bit of banter about the weather!
Here is a summary of some of the things going on in their State of Site5 September 2014 edition:
- New account management system — Getting closer to being ready which will make it easier to assist customers. This has been mentioned several times over the past few months, so it will be interesting to see when it gets launched. Not much information has been released yet, but we suspect it is some client management solution.
- Finally, Site5 has started action on cutting down the number of IP's that have appeared on blacklists due to users email spamming. This has been a big bone of contention among users, so we will watching closely to see if matters have improved.
- Site5 is sponsoring two events, the 2015 GIANT conference, targeted at designers and builders of the web (i.e. web designers developers), as well as NEPA Blogcon, which is about blogging, social media, and general internet marketing topics. The event has 62 sessions, eight workshops and is spread over four days. They have many high profile keynote speakers including Dan Willis of Cranky Productions.
- As ever there seem to be multiple job openings. As all Site5 staff work from home, we wonder if they are having trouble recruiting reliable staff. Vacancies include Customer Service Specialists, Marketing, Systems Engineer (+ senior engineer). What worries us most is the number of high-level positions that seem to be constantly available, such as senior engineers. We already know from past dealings with Site5 that their approach to sites like ours, is a bit of a mess, with them taking a far more bullying type attitude than one of real relationship development.
One Site5 User left a comment on the Site5 announcement asking whether Site5 Servers were vulnerable to the Bash Shellshock Bug, and the CEO of Site5, Ben Welch-Bolen confirmed that the vulnerability had indeed been patched.
Not much is going on for Site5 in September. A few things are coming up on the sponsorship front, though. It is getting cruel to keep bringing up about developer features that were mentioned earlier in the year, but we suspect they have given up on trying to provide some enhanced features. Perhaps it could be related to them being understaffed lately, and them seeking to fill higher level positions.
State of Site5: August 2014
Site5 have just released their August update, complete with an apology for the slightly late nature as their update usually comes during the first half of the month, rather than right at the end.
We will comment on each of the updates individually:
Our CRM back end is almost ready and is actively being tested by staff. A lot of improvements were made by our engineering team based on feedback and feature requests from staff.
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, so, in other words, this means that they are revamping various things on how they deal with their clients. Unfortunately, they are not giving much information on what this means, so it is hard to say how comprehensive this is.
Meanwhile, Our current CRM back end (that powers Backstage) received a major upgrade to its underlying hardware. We’re very happy with its performance since the upgrade!
Again, more about the CRM and how they have upgraded the hardware running this. Most likely this involved moving it to a more modern and powerful server, but it is hard to say without more information.
We are developing a new account migration tool internally that aims to greatly improve the way we migrate accounts from server to server.
We continue to have several job openings, including two new positions on our Marketing team, so if you know of anyone who could be a good fit for any of the advertised positions, please do have them apply!
You will find on the announcement links to apply for various vacancies. There is a total of nine jobs at the date of this article, including support, senior systems admin, customer service, as well as Marketing copywriter and Marketing Project Manager. Let's hope if they hire some Marketing people that these monthly updates have a little more information in them! Is the fact they are always hiring a sign they are struggling to recruit, or retain staff in their "work at home" ethos, or is it a sign they are expanding? Difficult to say, but we suspect it is a bit of both.
As we had mentioned back in July, we are testing a good outbound spam filtering solution to reduce significantly incidences of servers getting blacklisted. We have made good progress on that front, and the solution will be fully tested soon.
This has been an ongoing issue with Site5 for months with multiple complaints. Even a recent Site5 review on our website mentioned this as why they left Site5:
I was with site5 since 2011, and didn't have any problems 'till end of 2013, when my hosting server start to being listed on "black hole list" (or something similar) ... Well I run a construction company and I am not in computers by any strach of imagination, but my emails were completely blocked (I couldn't receive or sent first time for about 48 hours, next time for about three days etc., then on April or May my email was blocked for TWO WEEKS! I had to switch to another host because they couldn't fix ... Always same copy and paste answers: our technicians working around clock to fix the problem...... Lousy service, same for customer service, very, very disappointed......
As you can see, the effects of having their email system blacklisted could be catastrophic to the average business, and because this is taking them months to resolve we can only imagine the problems that have been caused. Is the new recruitment of senior systems admin a sign they need more expertise to deal fully with this issue?
We have started collecting a lot of customer service statistics and metrics to help gauge support performance and identify where we need improve. Over the long term this will hopefully improve your support experience significantly!
This is always a good sign. Monitoring feedback is always a great sign, and with their new CRM, it gives them a chance to use some of this data to improve their backend processes.
Site5 for Designers and Developers
We mention this every month, after their initial comments a long time ago now about how they were developing site staging, but they never have any updates about that. We suspect the technical challenges of implementing something like this were a little too challenging. Don't worry, though, if you are a designer or developer we would recommend SiteGround as they have all these cool developer features and more.
State of Site5 July 2014
Another month, another update from Site5. There is not much going on with Site5 this month, but it is still worth a look at the State of Site5 July 2014 edition, as it touches on a few interesting things. Going through each of the points in detail:
- Site5 have announced that they are working on ways to make backing up accounts and restoring them easier. With the amount of storage space being used by users increasing Site5 believe it is important to focus on making sure restoration times improve so that recovering from major server failures is much easier. This is probably wise ... there has been an increasing number of complaints about downtime with Site5. It is good to see they are trying to do something about it, but
the theirannouncement makes it look like they have experienced difficulties in the more recent past..Personally, we would have preferred a comment saying they were implementing a way to prevent downtime occurring, not that they will be looking into it, but hey... can't have it all!
- Site5 has recently had a lot of problems with mail from their client accounts being caught in spam filters, or being filtered from being sent by their software! This is incredibly dangerous for any company to be unsure whether their
mailswill reach their recipients. This has led to the announcement by Site5 that they are looking for a way to prevent their servers ending up on mail blacklists (this is where the IP is blacklisted which causes emails sent to be caught in spam filtering software... incredibly annoying). Site5 state that they hope to make improvements with this over the next couple of months, but they do not indicate how this may be done.
- Site5 have announced that testing is underway on a new system that will allow them to build VPS templates automatically, and will be particularly useful for their unmanaged VPS. Personally, we would recommend that they just install an existing solution such as OnApp that does this automatically and seamlessly. This is an industry standard solution they could have implemented months ago. Oh well, if you want this now, we highly recommend going with Hostnine, which not only allows you root access to a Managed
VPS,but gives you a choice of many different templates including NGINX! Just take a look at how smart the OnApp dahsboard is:
- Site5 make mention that their new CRM back end continues to be worked on, with new features requests from staff as well as bug fixes being implemented. We are not sure when they first started developing this, but we believe it has been for some time. We have no further information on what their CRM back end is, but CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, so we suspect it is simply a new client area. We don't know why they see the need for a custom solution when many hosts use a standardized WHMCS setup just fine.
- Site5 are sponsoring Joomla Day Minnesota! It’s happening on July 19, 2014.
- Site5 currently have seven job openings, including both Customer Service Specialist and Technical Support Specialist positions! Every month they seem to be advertising new job openings... so not sure if they are having trouble recruiting - perhaps because they have no building (less credibility) and require everyone to work from home. They are not the only web hosting company to take this approach (see Arvixe), but they do seem to have problems with finding enough staff.
Still no developer features?
For a host the
State of Site5: May 2014
We keep looking forward to the State of Site5 in anticipation of new features, and awaiting the notification of the launch of their Site Staging (which they have previously indicated they were developing months ago, but it has gone silent since). Unfortunately, there is no sign of anything interesting, just some technical points (that are not of much interest), and some job openings. The only interesting thing is that they have disabled
Site5 have been continuing to recruit for some time. In fact, they have mentioned recruitment in most of the previous "State of Site5 announcements," which either implies that they are continuing to grow, or are having problems recruiting. Personally, we are not sure we like that fact they have no set office, and everyone works from their own home. With the reduction in
Unfortunately, there is nothing that interesting this month from Site5.
Anyway, the full text of the May State of Site5 is below:
Greetings to all!
As temperatures rise up in most parts of the world, the action here at Site5 is increasing too. I’ll jump right into the details of all the exciting action from this past month:
- Our new CRM back end (that will eventually power Backstage) is coming along very nicely. Most of the testing is now over and bugs have been ironed out. Transitioning over to the new system will take a few more months though as we want to do this slowly and carefully!
- The latest Ioncube loader versions have been pushed out to all servers.
- We still have a handful of open positions so if you know anyone who you think is a good fit for any of those advertised roles, please have them apply!
- We have blogged before about what makes us an awesome company to work at. To give you further insights into life at Site5, we have started publishing staff interviews. Check out the first couple of interviews here and here and keep visiting this blog for more in this series!
- This past month was full of concerning news in regards internet security. We blogged about some of the major security issues, namely, Heartbleed, a serious vulnerability in OpenSSL and a security bug in Jetpack, a popular WordPress plugin. The posts contain all the key information that you need to know about these threats and what needs to be done to protect yourself from it.
- While on security, we went ahead and completely disabled Boxtrapper due to flaws in its design that can potentially exacerbate spamming.
That’s it for now, please feel free to ask us your questions in the comments. Enjoy the summer and stay safe! :)
State of Site5: April 2014
We always look forward to the "State of Site5" as they always give invaluable insight to what Site5 is up to, and how they are constantly improving their services and procedures to give you, the customer, a greater web hosting experience.
As ever, Site5 is continuing to do extremely well and continues to recruit more support and technical specialists. If you were not aware, all of Site5's employees work from home, so this is a great company to work for. Much of the update this month appears to be quite technical in nature with a clear focus on improving internal procedures to improve up-time. However, an update on long past promised features would have been nice! You can read the full update below:
Hello! How are you?
It’s April, and the team here at Site5 is very excited that most of us are now into Spring and the warmer temperatures it brings to the northern hemisphere. Winter was long and cold for many of us, so the sunshine is a welcome change.
Here are highlights of what we have been working on over the past 30 days:
- Our account migration process is being reviewed to see where we can improve the process, help reduce errors, and increase customer satisfaction.
- There are four open positions including one Customer Support Specialist (L1), two Technical Support Specialists (L2), and a Software Developer (PHP). We’re looking for a native Turkish speaker for one of the L2 positions. If you know someone that has what it takes, please refer them!
- We have been enhancing our internal system monitoring tools so that we have a better downtime reporting, our reports load more quickly, and adding more statistics. We have over 3,000 servers to monitor, so these changes are vital to ensuring we keep optimum uptime and performance!
- We have also completely rewritten our RAID monitoring tool, and the new version is working very well. This will help us increase uptime going forward by ensuring we catch problems early and replace the affected hard drive as soon as possible. You can read more about the tool at 5ops.com.
- We have been standardizing the Perl environments on our shared and reseller servers to make it easier for our customers to use Perl modules. Every customer is being sent an email regarding this change and when their server’s Perl environment is being standardized.
- We also upgraded the kernel on all our VPS nodes and the primary gains have been in CPU loads and disk read/write speeds, though you may not notice depending on your website load. We will continue to bring in new versions of the Xen hypervisor kernel to improve performance going forward.
And that’s it! A lot of technical stuff behind the scenes, but all of it has the goal of improving your experience with Site5. It will never be perfect, but every step we make gets us closer to perfection! Today I leave you with this:
“The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shore line of wonder.”
- Ralph W. Sockman
State of Site5 — February 2014
Site5 continues to evolve and grow. Its latest State of Site5 announcement shows that they are busy upgrading their technical side behinds the scenes, with new billing, and DNS system. What's more, they are looking for quite a few new positions, including Systems Engineer so no doubt they will put these new staff to work on excellent new features too once the positions are filled. Take a look at their announcement below:
Our State of Site5 for January was a bit later than normal, but that doesn’t mean February’s update isn’t chock-full of goodness! Arun said in January that we’re continuing to focus on organizational improvements, but our Software and Technology departments are also moving ahead at full speed.
Here are the key updates from the past few weeks:
- We’re still looking to a fill a few more positions. We currently have one Customer Support Specialist opening available, and we’re looking for a new Knowledgebase/Documentation Specialist, a Systems Engineer, and a Senior Systems Administrator. Browse to the Careers page if you feel you have what it takes to join Site5!
- Internal testing continues on our new billing system. We’re making sure we get all the kinks worked out before we begin using it in production.
- The rollout of cPanel 11.40 was completed and went pretty smoothly.
- Our DNS system has undergone a transition to make it geographically redundant. Our secondary DNS server is now located in Amsterdam, making it even more resilient than it was before!
If you have a suggestion for us, please suggest it so that others can chime in, vote it up, and help Site5 improve its services.
If you have anything else to ask or say, please do so in the comments! This month I will leave you with this:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”