The Technologies Behind Our New Client Area and Site Tools

We recently announced the launch of our new Client Area and Site Tools. Our COO spoke about it from a business perspective and how important this project is for our future growth. I would like to give you the technical perspective and why we see these new interfaces to be also a technical milestone for SiteGround. 

SiteGround has always been first and foremost a service company. However, for many years, our business growth has been tightly correlated with our technical evolution. The more software we developed in-house, the more the quality of our service was rising and the more our reputation was growing. Not only that, but we have grown the self-confidence of a high-tech company that produces powerful and smart software solutions and is always among the first to implement the most innovative technologies. 

So, when we realized that many of our business ideas were slowed down or made impossible by the limitations of our currently-used underlying platform, we had the courage to think bigger than what’s available on the market and dared to re-create everything from the ground up.

The Challenge

From a business perspective, we wanted to manage a platform (frontend and backend) that would work on any device, have a modern look, be lightweight, fast, secure, and easily scalable. Translating that in technical terms, we scoped the following objectives:

1. Speed and Advanced UX

We decided to use single-page applications as that is THE must-have technology for a faster web experience.  

2. Scalability and Security

We decided to adopt the micro-services philosophy and make it all API-based so the system could scale more easily and in case of incidents have a smaller damage scope.

When you have many services, however, authentication and authorization is a big problem. So we needed a secure, quick, and easy solution for the cross-origin resource-sharing problem, where we chose to use JSON web tokens.

Operating at scale when you have millions of sites hosted on hundreds of thousands of containers also requires orchestration, service discovery, and a reliable messaging layer where we introduce Consul and NSQ.

Finally, good observability, monitoring, and alerting are crucial given the complexity of the system. So we put Prometheus and Grafana into action.

The Solutions

1. Single-Page Applications with React and Redux

Three years ago when we started working on the project, we knew that single-page applications were becoming more and more popular because they allowed for better user experience, faster page load times, the unification of design principles, modular design, and more. The SPA ecosystem was also evolving rapidly. There were many JavaScript frameworks such as AngularJS, ReactJS, and Vue.js. It seemed natural and obvious that when it came to something lightweight, fast, and API-based, the single-page application was the answer. After some tests with different frameworks we decided to use ReactJS + Redux for our new Client Area and Site Tools, as it showed best performance results. 

Fast page-loading

We have two main single-page applications. One is the Client Area app, and the other one is our Site Tools app. They are both used hourly by thousands of people and the number is growing. Moving some application logic to the users’ browsers, where JS is executed locally, made things faster. Part of this is because we have less data manipulation performed in the backend. The other part comes from the fact that our apps live on an object-caching solution with CDN in front of it. This makes it really fast for users all over the world to quickly load the app and start using it.

Unified style guide 

Single-page applications allow you to work with ready components that are reusable and make your interfaces follow certain standards. For ours, we wrote a style guide, which makes our interfaces look homogenous and let us write new code more easily and faster. The trade-off is that just the style guide repo with all examples is about 550 000 lines of code!

As our development is pretty big and growing and the code we work with is quite voluminous, we needed to make sure our standards will be met and not regressed by changes. That is why we covered the code with Visual and e2e tests (Cypress). If a code change visually modifies a certain page significantly we have a red flag and we can even automatically stop code deployment and builds.

2. RESTful APIs and Microservices

We now have over 100 API calls that can be used to manage a single site hosted on our servers. Things like installing WordPress, issuing a private SSL certificate, creating mail accounts, creating new MySQL databases, adding SSH keys, and even migrating sites between servers are all done via API calls. What these APIs give us are the following benefits:

Fosters the usage of different languages

We have software engineers that write in the following languages/frameworks for our platform:

  • PHP (Symfony, Zend Framework)
  • Perl (Dancer)
  • Go
  • Python
  • JavaScript (ReactJS, AngularJS), TypeScript 

To make sure that all the moving parts will be able to talk to each other, we needed RESTful APIs to bridge the communication.

RESTful API design is well-known

The good thing about RESTful APIs is that pretty much any developer nowadays understands them and is familiar with the concept. This means that when we need to add new features we don’t have to train developers or make them learn the whole system’s in-and-outs so they can deliver. They can just focus on the new piece of code needed and integrate it in the system.

Our partners can use the APIs

The fact that it’s all API-based makes it easy to give access to partners and let them create sites, install a CMS or perform other functions on our platform. That makes us flexible and is a good foundation for our future business growth.

User access customization

The RESTful APIs apply the CRUD principle which says every object manipulated by the API should support the following 4 functions: create, read, update, and delete. Coupled with the REST unified representation of resources, this allows for an easy segregation of actions and for custom access and user control.

Together with the JSON web tokens, we used the APIs to provide customized access levels in our new interfaces. It is possible now to allow an operator to create mail accounts for a domain name, but not have access to the existing mail accounts or any other tools. For a start, we have introduced only 3 user roles: site owner, collaborator and white-label client, but we have laid the foundation to add a lot of customization options easily in the future. Role-based access control allows us to provide granular access to specific services and features. 

Identify problems more easily & measure better

The more granular the construction, the more easy it is to isolate a rotten part and replace it or fix it. That’s one of the main benefits we see from the micro-services philosophy. We can more easily trace and fix issues with a specific function provided by a specific service. We can also better track the performance and usage of the different services so we can scale platform resources and prevent problems.

3. JSON Web Tokens

The moment we started working on single-page applications, we knew that we need to scale our authentication and authorization setup somehow. Given the number of APIs that talk among each other and users that also interact with these APIs (that were spread across different domains), authorization done the old way - via cookies was not optimal and not scalable. The two main problems we had were:

  • Dealing with Cross-Origin Resource Sharing cookies and HTTP headers is not simple, and we wanted to avoid it. Combining JSON Web Tokens with our own APIs allows us to solve this issue.
  • Scaling a backend system which checks every API request started looking terrible from a sessions performance point of view.

After some research, we decided to use JSON Web Tokens for this part of the infrastructure. We configured a custom authentication and authorization system on our end. It allows us to benefit from things such as:

  • Uniform authorization mechanism for different APIs
  • Reduced server load and fewer DB hits
  • Ability to use this solution across different domains 
  • Easier to achieve horizontal scalability
  • A higher level of security for our users
  • Single sign-on out of the box

4. Orchestration and messaging

The more we grow, the more servers (as a hardware unit) and containers (as a virtual unit) we operate. The Linux container is the main unit in our infrastructure, but the way we manage these containers is changing over time. Ordering new servers, deploying a container with the necessary software stack, adding that new container to all the databases that feed different services and APIs, all that and more requires orchestration. For this part, we have written a lot of code, specific to our platform and processes. Still, we heavily depend on well-established software projects to achieve our goals. We use HashiCorp Consul for service discovery and systems automation. Our messaging platform of choice is NSQ. We use Ansible for automating many software provisioning and configuration management tasks.

Two good examples are our reworked Let’s Encrypt and WordPress Automatic Updates systems. They used to run locally on every hosting server and now they are based on a distributed approach. Servers are automatically registered into the system. Services use automatic discovery provided by Consul. Then the above mentioned APIs are utilized and SSL issuance and renewal happens for every new domain name we register into the system. The same is valid for each app that goes into the WordPress Automatic Updates systems.

5. Prometheus/Grafana for Observability

The way we deliver new services has also changed a lot. In the cloud-native world, we no longer care about individual hosts failing. No engineers in the NOC are called when this happens. There are no artisan sysadmins that treat machines and services with loving attention. Now we monitor the whole infrastructure with the following goals in mind:

  • We have to know when things go wrong
  • We can debug and have insight about the specific context
  • We must be able to see changes over time and make predictions
  • Data should be easily consumed by other systems and processes

To make the above said more specific, we are now re-defining the “fail” scenarios and the alerts that we get for each. For example, we may get alerts that require human interaction when there is direct user impact — like when a service that directly affects clients’ websites has been affected. But, we may not need human intervention when a specific node has failed as data is automatically redistributed on other nodes and there is no user impact, hence no alert is needed in this case. 

When we work on those alerts, we aim to go from the alert to the problematic sub-systems. In order for our engineers to do a quick analysis and offer a fast resolution, we must have enough data. This is called distributed tracing, and it allows us to follow specific users’ requests all the way from the browsers of our clients, through multiple APIs and different services, till they hit databases and/or storage engines. Each record about a request in the distributed tracing system gives us performance profiling info and a way to correlate issues to other events. We use distributed tracing to faster debug and optimize our code. We are able to achieve higher feature velocity because of that. 

To achieve all the goals, we chose to use Prometheus and Grafana for profiling, metrics collection, logs analysis, and distributed tracing of events. We are now able to correlate information from multiple sources and reveal and predict deficiencies.

Conclusion

The software we had to write in order to address the challenge and provide the above scoped solutions is massive, but quite rewarding. To wrap it up, I’ll leave you with some numbers straight from the new software repositories and our JIRA:

  • 2 539 604 lines of code
  • 99% code test coverage
  • 9250 JIRA tasks
  • 199 560 words in JIRA stories

We are particularly proud of the code test coverage. Even though 2.5 million lines of code is impressive, we know this is not a really great measurement of success. The fact that all our code is covered by tests is, however, a big achievement. From the very beginning we set code test coverage as one of our main criteria for delivering quality software. And if our new Client Area and Site Tools cannot provide guarantees for quality then we can’t deliver the awesome service our clients are used to. Rest assured, we are dedicated to providing the same top-notch hosting service but this time with even better site management and collaboration tools, built on the world’s best and most innovative web technologies.

Black Friday Promo!

45 Comments

  1. Reply August 22, 2019 / 23:44 BryanSiteGround Team

    Love the sound of this and I think it is a good change.
    I had a question around orphaned dbs. After you make a container for each 'site' where will any orphaned dbs be located?

    • Reply August 23, 2019 / 00:52 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

      All orphaned databases will be migrated to the main domain for your account. As a general rule, we will migrate all data, that's not linked to addons under your main site.

  2. Reply August 27, 2019 / 04:25 Seán O’NeillSiteGround Team

    The change in cpanel fees must have played a part in the process. Odd that it wasn't mentioned. Will I still be able to transfer cpanel emails by copying the files from directory to directory?

    • Reply August 28, 2019 / 00:12 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

      I wouldn't say that cPanel licensing updates have played signifficant role in this process. We've been working on this for almost three years so it's just a coinsidence, honestly. As to your email, transfers should be done through SMTP.

      • September 26, 2019 / 13:20 johnSiteGround Team

        i thought it was still using cpanel in the backend and you just develop your own layout

        are you saying here that you totaly get rid of cpanel and the system you have is your own something similar to cpanle which can do all what cpanel does!!

        wow that is amazing

      • September 30, 2019 / 03:28 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

        Yes, it's not a redesign but a completely new site management system.

  3. Reply August 28, 2019 / 10:28 IanSiteGround Team

    Nice work guys. Does this also have a positive affect on the hosting performance now you've offloaded things let letsencrypt and WordPress updates?

  4. Reply August 28, 2019 / 12:23 Edward ParkerSiteGround Team

    While I'm open to the possibility that I might be pleasantly surprised with the proposed changes, I have to say that - based on my experience with the demo that I was provided with - I'm feeling quite pessimistic. I'm also irritated that Siteground didn't proactively advise clients that this change was coming until about two weeks before it's expected to be launched. Reading your blog shouldn't be how I find out about big planned changes to how your service works.

    While I'm pleased that you're moving away from the credit system, I'm extremely disappointed that you're removing cPanel. One of the major reasons I like Siteground is because, unlike some hosting providers, you provide cPanel and not a very inferior, self-built substitute.

    The last site I added to my Siteground account was one that I talked a client into letting me move because he had it hosted on Dreamhost, which has their own self-built cPanel substitute that is *extremely* cumbersome to work with if you want to do anything beyond minor file manipulation. I used it for a while, and it was painful unless all you wanted to do was very basic.

    That client has a number of other sites that I he wants me to support as well, and I have been talking to him about moving those to Siteground as well. That's definitely on hold now. In the past, I have also moved other client sites to Siteground *just for the benefit of cPanel*. Too bad you didn't warn me more than two weeks ahead that this was coming - I could have saved myself a lot of work and left those sites where they were.

    I looked at your demo. Will there be more features on it than there are at present? I suspect not, if you are planning to roll it out soon. As it appears now, it seems pretty bare-bones compared to what I'm used to in cPanel.

    Some of the things I regularly use in or access through cPanel are the cPanel Backup, phpmyadmin, mail forwarders, file manager, Let's Encrypt manager, error log, cron tools, among others, and all of those things are on one, easy-to-peruse screen.

    There are undoubtedly practical reasons why you want to move away from cPanel, but I have to say that moving from an industry-standard, well-functioning tool to a market in which each hosting provider has its own mediocre tool is counter-progressive from my use perspective. Losing cPanel almost inevitably means hosting is going to cost me and/or my clients more - in money and time - if I have to purchase an assortment of standalone substitutes for the things I'm accustomed to using in cPanel (ie: backup and import tools).

    • Reply August 30, 2019 / 02:31 Reneta TsankovaSiteGround Team

      Hello, we have made significant effort not to create a "cumbersome substitute of cPanel" but to provide a set of tools, which perform the same tasks in a simpler, faster or smarter way. All the tools that you mention except the cPanel backup (for which we have our own backup solution) are available: phpmyadmin could be found in Site > MySQL; mail forwarders are in Email > Forwarders; File manager in Site > File Manager; Let's Encrypt manager is in Security > SSL; Error log is in Stats; crons are in the Devs section. You can see them all listed on the dashboard if you use the PIN functionality - by default we pin the top 4 most used, but you can add them all if that's more convenient for you. Then, once you enter a section, you can click and switch between all those from the left menu, while before you needed to exit one section and from the home page go to another, now you can use the left menu without leaving the current section.

      • August 30, 2019 / 14:59 Edward ParkerSiteGround Team

        Okay, fair enough. I didn't find that when I was in the demo the first time.

        However, in the demo, I click the pin to see the full list of tools, and then click a pin beside a tool, and it adds the tool to my pinned tools list (it moves up to the top). I then click save, it appears to save, but then the "Dismiss / Save" buttons remain on screen no matter how many times I click "Save". When I finally click "Dismiss", the newly pinned tool is no longer on my list of pinned tools. I see no way to access phpMyAdmin or other unpinned tools if I can't successfully pin them. Is this a demo flaw? If so, it's not much of a demo.

        As for backups, will they be user-manipulable backups like cPanel backups are? (I can't test it in demo if I can't pin it, apparently). If I cannot generate a file and/or database backup and download it to my own computer (but have to open a ticket with you to restore it or some such), it won't be much use to me.

        There must be some reason(s) that you are going to the trouble and expense of creating your own in-house replacement for cPanel. Hristo said above that cPanel fees are not the reason, and I seriously doubt that user experience is going to be better than cPanel - at best, it might just be different than cPanel, at worst, inferior.

        If you can fix the demo, or tell me what I'm doing wrong, let me know. If I'm doing something wrong, then perhaps usability need to be looked at more closely.

      • September 2, 2019 / 08:53 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

        The pinned tools issue is because it's a demo instance, it won't happen in actual ones. We are sure of it since we already have thousands of customers using Site Tools. As to phpMyAdmin, you can access it through Site -> MySQL under its own tab. It can't be pinned, because it's a tab in the MySQL tool that can be pinned but that's something we will consider doing since direct shortcut sounds like a good idea.
        Really, there are a lot of things that will be better than before - site security and performance, new technology will be applied faster than before, the account access, ownership and collaboration functionality which was impossible for us to implement before are just few to name. Really, cPanel was a great base for our hosting many years but I really think Site Tools and the way we link it to our hosting infrastructures will bring much better overall experience.

  5. Reply August 29, 2019 / 09:35 DeanSiteGround Team

    Does this mean that you will no longer be offering cPanel? As that is crucial for us and we will need to move otherwise...

    • Reply August 30, 2019 / 02:23 Reneta TsankovaSiteGround Team

      Hello, after we switch all of the existing clients to the new interfaces, we will discontinue using cPanel. Our new clients are now activated with accounts using the new Client area and Site Tools.

  6. Reply August 31, 2019 / 17:03 JimSiteGround Team

    I moved my sites to Siteground two years ago.
    You were already working on this at that time.
    Had you warned me that you were going to make this change, I would have simply kept shopping for a new host instead of making what turned out to be a temporary move.

    I think you have done a great disservice to those clients who migrated to Siteground in part because you offered cPanel, especially those of us that you should have warned of the coming changes before we went through the process of migrating sites.

    That's an extremely poor way to treat customers.

    The only bright spot in this situation is that you announced the change a month before my contract was up rather than a month after I had renewed it.

    • Reply September 2, 2019 / 08:53 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

      Hey Jim.

      We've announced the upcoming change the moment we had a product, ready for the public. During the years of development the project took turns, changed and many things were modified. It simply didn't make sense announcing vaguely that we will have at some point our own site management software. Even before Site Tools, the majority of new features that we developed as part of cPanel were created by us so I really hope that you will check the Site Tools demo in your UA and give it a chance. I am sure you will enjoy it in the long term!

      • September 2, 2019 / 11:34 Edward ParkerSiteGround Team

        Hristo, it appears that you feel you have heard enough from me on the subject, if the absence of the 'Reply' link beside your name on my own thread above is an indication, so I'll hijack this one.

        While I have found the home-built cPanel replacements built by other hosts have been quite inferior to the point that they impede my work rather than assist it, and I'm fearful that Siteground's will go the same way, I'm open minded enough that I will reserve judgement until this one is actually launched on my account.

        A word of advice for the future: Don't bother providing a demo for new functionality if the demo does nothing. This demo is hardly the "hands-on experience of what is coming up" that your email suggested. A simple screenshot of the new site tools dashboard would have provided me as much as this demo does, and I wouldn't have wasted time out of my day trying to make a demo work that doesn't.

      • September 3, 2019 / 00:52 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

        Hey Edward,

        Wasn’t really my intention, we’re all excited about the upcoming changes and I consider this a great chance to get as much feedback as possible from our customers. The demo is a hands-on experience, we just restricted the actual outcome of your actions inside for security reasons but everything works as it will on live stage. Unfortunatelly, we didn’t apply some of the bug fixes and patches we did on the live servers on the demo ones because they were already tricky to setup.

        I do understand your concerns regarding other hosts home-made panels. One of the main reasons we used cPanel for such a long time is exactly the fact that we didn’t want to give our customers an inferior tool. Now, we believe that we have a system that’s much better optimized, much more flexible for us and way leaner. On top of everything, it’s something that we know in the roots and we have full access to. I am sure Site Tools will be a better solution for our customers and better site management tool in general.

  7. Reply September 2, 2019 / 20:27 DevanSiteGround Team

    Sorry you guys are getting so much trouble for what looks to be an incredible improvement. I went through the demo and I’m excited about how this is going to really improve my workflow with clients. Is there any way to get switched over sooner?

    • Reply September 3, 2019 / 05:33 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

      Thanks for the kind words, we really appreciate it! I am afraid that I can't modify the schedule but you should not worry, we will migrate everyone to Site Tools 🙂

      • September 3, 2019 / 12:43 DaveSiteGround Team

        When will the last clients be switched? That is to say, by what date can I be sure I will be using the new interface for our internal training purposed?

      • September 4, 2019 / 07:37 Reneta TsankovaSiteGround Team

        The switch to the new interfaces will take a few months as we plan on rolling it out slowly in order to be able to assist carefully all clients who need walk-throughs and help after the change. At the moment, I cannot say exactly when your accounts will be migrated unfortunately, but we'll keep updating you once we get a confirmed schedule.

  8. Reply September 4, 2019 / 09:40 JohnSiteGround Team

    I'm new to SiteGround, coming from a disappointing and needlessly frustrating relationship with another provider who's interface is - from a mostly non-technical user point of view - hopelessly unorganized and complicated. I am pleased to see this move towards 'simplification.' Thanks for being forward-thinking and not simply settling for what everyone else does/demands/requests. Blaze trails and set new standards. That's why I'm moving it all over to you.

    • Reply September 4, 2019 / 12:37 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

      Thanks! We really appreciate the kind words!

  9. Reply September 6, 2019 / 02:52 SeanSiteGround Team

    It would have been impossible to cover everything in yesterdays webinar, along with answering everyones questions, which it seems are many. But I enjoyed it nonetheless and look forward to the impending change. I welcome it! cPanel always has felt a bit too 1990's to me, with their addon domain 'feature' being the bane of my existence. Clunky would be putting it mildly. The world is moving forward.

    When it comes to people saying they moved to SG because of cPanel, but are now gutted to hear it's being ripped out from under them without due notice. What's to stop any other host from doing the same? People say they should have been warned much sooner that SG was about to do this, so they could have instead chosen a host that will stay with cPanel until the end of days. What with the cPanel price increase, I would not be at all surprised if other hosts follow suit.

    What I think many people seem to forget is cPanel is 3rd party software, that up until now has served its purpose. However, SG have decided that it no longer does, and in order to move forward in their chosen direction they needed to develop something of their own which they now have total control over.

    I honestly believe they did not take this gargantuan decision lightly. I'm sure they have weighed up all the risks, including that they might lose some clients. But in the long run I'm willing to be this is only going to benefit them. I for one am staying put.

    One practical question: I just signed up for a new 3 year GoGeek to take advantage of the 77% discount, fully aware that that means I will have to move stuff, update DNS/NS at multiple registrars, wait for propagation etc. I know how to do such things using the cPanel backup feature between different hosts, but the problem is going to be that I can't have 2 GoGeeks with same primary domain. How would such transfers be handled with the new Site Tools when it comes to moving everything, email included, from one GoGeek to another in the same client account. I can make the current primary domain an addon in the destination account and then move everything bit by bit, at least I'm hoping to avoid that because I'm notoriously lazy.

    I hope this post isn't too long 🙂

    • Reply September 10, 2019 / 07:27 Reneta TsankovaSiteGround Team

      Thank you for sharing your feedback 🙂 If I understand your case correctly, this task is not automated with Site Tools. If you have a GoGeek account with a site with domain.com, for example, and you want to copy it in a new hosting account, you can create a new site in the new account (use a temporary domain) and then manually copy the files from the old account in the new one. Finally, you need to delete the site with domain.com and change the primary domain of the new site to use domain.com instead of the temporary one.

  10. Reply September 6, 2019 / 20:35 Michael CuffeSiteGround Team

    Hello, I do agree with EDWARD PARKER regarding the Demo page. It's useless,

    I appreciate that Siteground has been working hard on this for three years, but for me as a user it's a bit short notice from notification to implementation.

    Personally I have "grown up" with cPanel and have advised my clients on its use many times in the past.

    That's OK I will have to study the new software and advise my clients accordingly.
    I joined Siteground some years ago as it provided a solution to my requirements. mainly that it provided good support for Joomla and had a reseller system in place allowing me to provide my non tech clients with a website and hosting package all in one with the option to log in/or pass to the hosting service if they required.

    It seems that the credit reseller system is also going away with the new cPanel replacement software, What is the replacement? I think that a blog or webinar is required to explain this.

    I have looked into this change as much as I can including the webinar hosted on Crowdcast.
    I was disappointed with the awkward and somewhat childish section regarding Joomla, Question from Mich- "where is the Joomla tools" Reply "Ah a very good question he he ha ha...."
    Kind of says it all,

    If your business model is now focused to single site WordPress sites why do you not just say so. Good luck, WordPress is a good piece of software for many.

    I thought I had had everything i needed with Siteground now I am not sure, time will tell.

    • Reply September 9, 2019 / 09:40 Reneta TsankovaSiteGround Team

      Hello Michael, we are not moving away from Joomla and other CMS's and focusing on WordPress. We are moving away from the "hosting account" being the main unit in our business flow and focusing on the site. Joomla users can easily do all the same things they are used to doing - install Joomla in a click, set it to autoupdate and more. The one thing we want to rework is the staging tool as it gets very little usage so the current tools as is will be removed, but we aim to offer an alternative solution.

  11. Reply September 12, 2019 / 09:28 Shea NewkirkSiteGround Team

    Hey Team, I have been using Siteground for 5 years now and while I have always loved cPanel and tend to pick a host that offers it over their own solution, I appreciate that your team understands what could be improved in the cPanel experience and are really trying to improve it.

    While I did test the demo, I am eager to try the real thing once it is launched to everyone. I also find it kind of comical all of these people commenting on here about their 100% dedication to cPanel and not being open to trying something that might be better.

    I have also had bad experiences in the past with other hosting companies cPanel alternatives, so I understand where the devotion to a product like cPanel that just works and is familiar.

    Some people are just set in their ways and don't like change (most humans), so I am sure it will be a shock to many clients that also don't like change, but "change" is a constant when it comes to internet technologies.

    To those still stuck on cPanel, time to suck it up and embrace some change!

    • Reply September 13, 2019 / 00:58 Reneta TsankovaSiteGround Team

      Thank you, Shea, for your trust and understanding 🙂

  12. Reply September 13, 2019 / 04:16 Mirek BartaSiteGround Team

    Hello there, fellow developers! This seems like it was quite a tedious task to accomplish. I really like to hear you´re using very current tech to solve real world workflow problems. The production pipeline, together with orchestration and React/Redux (state-of-the-art - pun intended), sounds like you have proper dev force on site.

    If I do get it right, as a new (1 month) customer, I am already using the new UI, which, for me, works perfect. I did have a hunch that I am using modern SPA. The one-click-staging, backups, various caching options... all things I am somewhat able to do myself, however, never in such an easy and fast manner. I am moving all my clients in. 🙂

    Are you possibly considering some move towards WordPress APPS (as somewhat opposed to just sites/ecommerce/blogs)? As the whole API and React with WP looks promising. By "some move" I really mean possible easy-to-manage APIs (possibly SG ones?), or microservices for rent etc.

    Good luck and may your code brackets always close! 😉

    • Reply September 13, 2019 / 05:22 Reneta TsankovaSiteGround Team

      Thanks for the positive feedback 🙂 All APIs associated with the Client area and Site Tools are available and could be used, but they lack documentation at the moment, which we will provide eventually. As to the WordPress apps - in general, we try to avoid creating plugins that talk to our APIs directly due to authentication and security reasons. If WordPress gets hacked we get a backdoor open and we try to minimize if not completely eliminate such situations. Yet, we are thinking of more integrations with WP, which could make the WP management experience easier and faster.

  13. Reply September 13, 2019 / 06:06 MirekSiteGround Team

    Hey there, Reneta, I was just giving credit where due. 🙂

    I haven´t thought about security (oddly enough, as I have somewhat background in infosec...). That seems only reasonable.

    Anyway, looking forward to new possibilities (when documented). Do you consider providing microservices, or any part of your dev pipeline, for rent, or is that too farfetched into developer land (as I understand you specialize more in a kind of managed WP hosting)?

    • Reply September 17, 2019 / 07:06 Reneta TsankovaSiteGround Team

      We have not really considered microservices for rent for now 🙂

  14. Reply September 13, 2019 / 09:46 Jack M.SiteGround Team

    Hello SG, Brand new to hosting and building websites. I have a strong desire to learn how to build my own websites as well as taking action and getting something productive up and running.
    On that note, I am working with a company that will install a startup website on my hosting account. They ask for me to use a reliable and trusted hosting provider that gives me full control of my domain names within the cPanel because, they want to set up their product on my domain as sub-folders.
    Is this still possible with the new site tools?
    I purchased my domain through SG but, I am having a difficult time figuring out my next step to set up my FTP user name and password.
    What are my steps to go from domain purchased to.....FTP user name and password.
    I have a GrowBig Plan, how should I give them access?

    • Reply September 16, 2019 / 04:37 Reneta TsankovaSiteGround Team

      Hello Jack, the company you work with could certainly setup their software on your domain as subfolders.

      Once a site is created in your GrowBig account (you may create an empty site through the site setup wizard in case you expect the company to deploy the real site eventually), you can add the company as a collaborator to that site from your Client Area > Websites > click "Manage" next to the site and then go to the tab "Users". From there "Add user" opens a popup where you need to type a name and a valid email address of that company and select role type "Collaborator". The company will receive an email invitation and they should follow the link to accept and sign up as a collaborator.

      Once you have the website created you can create an FTP user from Site Tools. Go to your Client Area > Websites and click "Site Tools" button next to the site. In Site Tools go to Site section and then FTP.

  15. Reply September 17, 2019 / 09:35 AlexSiteGround Team

    I have a cloud server with SG, I've been using WHMCS for almost 10 years to manage clients/account provisioning. From my recent chat with support this will no longer be possible - as i expected it would not - what is the suggestion for people using WHMCS? This is heavily integrated with cpanel and one of the reasons i chose a cpanel provider. For a number of reasons i will not be using anything else.. is there a plan for this or should i just look to migrate to a new host now?

    • Reply September 18, 2019 / 08:59 Reneta TsankovaSiteGround Team

      Hello Alex, I am replying to this post under your second post 🙂

  16. Reply September 17, 2019 / 13:28 Michele NearySiteGround Team

    Hi there - I'm still getting used to the new site tools. One thing I miss for sure is being able to access a site with an IP address. I've had to move two sites from other hosts, and in the past it was easy to make a duplicate and get it all set up at SiteGround (using the IP address URL) - then change the DNS to point to SiteGround. Customer service says that's not possible any more. If others miss this, maybe there's a way to add that functionality in the future? Thanks!

    • Reply September 18, 2019 / 08:56 Reneta TsankovaSiteGround Team

      Hello Michele, we have seen that some clients experience difficulties with this change, but we haven't yet scheduled any enhancement. For the time being you may find this article useful - you can still work on the new site before pointing the domain using the hosts file: https://my.siteground.com/support/kb/how_to_use_the_hosts_file

  17. Reply September 30, 2019 / 04:25 FrankSiteGround Team

    I'll admit, I was hesitant about this update at first, being a long time lover of cPanel as it's feature-rich, predictable and has an API to use.

    With the Restful API for this new client area and tools be available?

    • Reply September 30, 2019 / 23:41 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

      Site Tools already functions completely API based and we have plans to open those APIs publicly. However, before we do that, we need to complete migrating to the new system and publish a comprehensive documentation for it. Monitor our blog for additional information on that matter, we will surely publish a post when it's available!

      • November 2, 2019 / 21:31 MarkSiteGround Team

        I do not know why you would wait to release API documentation until after you completely migrate over. As a developer, you're creating a huge headache not allowing us to prepare.

      • November 4, 2019 / 02:13 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

        The reason behind that is that the API is not yet ready for public use. Even though we've done a lot of testing, we want to have it working on a real environment and iron out everything before we allow users to use it.

  18. Reply November 1, 2019 / 13:48 RonSiteGround Team

    Hello. I've been patiently waiting and anxious to use the new site tools. I'm a web designer and developer and I have a few new and existing clients that are in need of hosting and I would love to utilize the new site tools and client area to be able to grant them access. I noticed this week I have the new login screen and was super excited thinking that site tools was finally deployed but much to my dismay it still has not. Any idea as to when the site tools will be fully rolled out? I'm on the east coast of the US...not sure if that matters. Thanks in advance.

    • Reply November 5, 2019 / 02:56 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

      We're taking our time to make sure that the migrations go as smooth as possible. We will soon step up the pace after we go through a certain number of servers. Please, monitor your email, we will send an email a week before your server is scheduled for migration 🙂

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