Unlike other hosting companies, SiteGround offers bunch of security and performance features for their users. Though some features like SG Optimizer are free, you need to pay for other features like Site Scanner. If you worry about malware infection and want to protect your site, then Site Scanner is premium option you can choose instead of going for third-party solutions. In this article, I will explain how to purchase Site Scanner, configure the setup and scan your site.
Site Scanner Vs Other Solutions
SiteGround recommends two solutions for malware protection – Site Scanner and Sucuri. While Site Scanner also uses Sucuri services, the difference is that you can purchase it within SiteGround hosting account. Otherwise, you need to purchase Sucuri from their site outside of SiteGround hosting account. Other than that, you have many security plugins for WordPress sites and services like Cloudflare for this purpose. The good part with Site Scanner is that you can get 50% discount in the first-year price and is still cheap compared to other solutions. In addition, this is an in-house solution from SiteGround and hence you can manage all stuffs in single place. You will get the following features with Site Scanner premium plan.
- URLs, files and check domain blacklist scans.
- Daily automatic scan and check the status for past 30 days.
- Email alert when threats are found and weekly status email.
- Scan all uploaded files and quarantine infected files outside root of the domain.
- Site Protect mode to disable FTP, SSH, PHP uploads and PHP function executions.
Purchasing Site Scanner in SiteGround
Follow the below steps to buy Site Scanner service:
- Login to your SiteGround account and go to “Marketplace > Hosting Services” section.
- Find “Site Scanner” item and click “Get” button.
- If you have multiple websites in your hosting account, select the site which you want to protect with Site Scanner and click “Continue” button. Remember, it includes subdomains and subdirectories of the selected domain and you need to purchase the scanner for each site separately.
- This will take you to the pricing plan page. Site Scanner is available under two plans – Basic and Premium. The basic plan does not offer file quarantine, scan on upload and comprehensive scan features. If you are frequently uploading files or allowing users to upload files on your site, then go to premium plan. For the first year, basic plan will cost you $2.49 per month and premium plan will cost you $4.99 per month. As mentioned, this is a 50% discounted rate and you will be charged double the rate from second year onwards.
- Once you decided the plan, click on “Select” button to continue further.
- Finally, check the price and click the “Pay Now” button to finish your purchase. I selected the premium plan which cost $59.88 for the first year as shown in the cart amount.
- If the payment is successful, you will see a success message and click on “Go to Site Scanner” button.
Scanning with Site Scanner
Site Scanner will scan your site on daily basis and notify you in case of any threats detected. In addition, you can manually scan the site anytime from Site Tools.
- Go to Site Tools section of the site for which you have purchased Site Scanner.
- Navigate to “Security” section and click on “Site Scanner” option.
- Click “Scan” option to start the manual scanning of your site. Manual scan is only needed when you suspect any problems of the first time you want to check after purchase. This will scan all files, URLs and check your domain is blacklisted in popular public databases.
- In case of any threats detected, you can quarantine the files (need premium plan) or delete them to clean up the site. Otherwise, you will see a success message showing scan completed and no threats are detected.
- Wait for a day and the system will run automatic daily scan. You can find the result of daily scans under “Manage Site Scanner > Reports” section.
Note that there are no options to set the time for daily scan schedule. This is done automatically in the background on predetermined time similar to automatic backup setup in SiteGround. You can find the time next to each report result. If it is a peak time of traffic for your site and you notice any slowdown, discuss with their support team to check whether they can change the schedule to another time.
Configuring Site Scanner
The “Manage Site Scanner” section has four sections. You can find the scan results for the past 30 days under “Reports” and enable email alert under “Notifications” sections. Go to “Quarantine” section and turn on the option if you want to quarantine the affected files. This is useful to separate the files from the root domain thus protecting your site.
Click the “Confirm” button to proceed with your action.
Finally, go to “Site Protect” section where you can find some advanced options.
- Disable FTP – if you do not use FTP accounts or worry about someone remotely accessing your site then enable this option. Remember, this will disable all existing FTP accounts and you will not be able to access the site remotely through clients like FileZilla.
- Disable SSH – turn on this to disable SSH and SFTP access.
- Disable PHP Upload – this will prevent uploading PHP files on your site. If you are using WordPress, make sure to disable this option. Otherwise, you will not be able to install/upload themes and plugins from admin panel as plugins/themes contain PHP files to work properly.
- Disable execution of shell commands via PHP – enabling this will prevent PHP functions to run server commands. Again, you may need to disable this for the PHP functions to work properly.
The options under “Site Protect” sections are meant for isolating your site when under attack. If you feel something is suspicious on your site, enable all these options and take your site offline for troubleshooting and fixing the issue.
Weekly Protection Email
Site Scanner will send a weekly security status to the email you have setup in “Notifications” section. It will show you the overall status along with details of URLs and files quarantined in case of infection.
If you have received malware warning notification from Site Ground, you can request for a free scan without purchasing Site Scanner service. However, you can purchase premium Site Scanner plan for protecting your site permanently from infectious files. You can get a week email about the protection status and have peace of mind to focus on other protective tasks.