Endurance International Group (EIG) Hosting
Last updated on Jan 29, 2017
I’ve been meaning to create this post for quite sometime because I knew it would be helpful to have a page dedicated to the subject of EIG hosting for visitors to reference: including their background, what hosting brands they own, noteworthy outages, and trends of reliability/support. I have included some of my own opinion, however I feel that if you read through this whole post, follow the sources that I have referenced, and think about the whole EIG story things do add up.
For those who aren’t aware, Endurance International Group (EIG) is a Burlington, Massachusetts-based company known for its silent takeovers of some of the largest web hosting companies in the industry. To date, EIG has control of over 60 web hosting brands – which include some of the major players in the hosting business, such as HostGator, BlueHost, HostMonster, iPage, FatCow, JustHost, Arvixe, A Small Orange, and HostNine. In the web hosting industry, there is this misconception that “larger, well established companies will always offer the best in quality and service.” While this may be true for some industries, it definitely cannot always be attributed to the web hosting industry. With a very large portion of the major hosting companies owned and operated by EIG, it is important for you to know exactly what happens behind the scenes.
EIG Web Hosting Circle
EIG focuses on buying web hosting companies which helps them increase their customer base. The acquired companies continue to operate under their established brand names and do not try to publicize that they are owned by EIG, which can result in the following scenario:
- A dissatisfied customer leaves EIG host number 1 and goes in search of a new host.
- The customer searches for the term best web host on Google and comes across top 10 lists consisting of mostly other EIG hosting brands (unbeknownst to the customer).
- The customer decides to go with EIG host number 2. The end result is EIG has not lost this customer!
- Rinse and repeat, until the customer does some more in depth research, and discovers a list of all EIG web hosting companies.
For your reference here’s a listing of all of the brands and hosting companies EIG owns.
A Small Orange
Berry Information Systems
Cloud by IX
IX Web Hosting
Networks Web Hosting
World Wide Web Hosting
That sure is a long list of EIG companies to remember (70+), and I’ll add to it as EIG acquires more web hosts. Make sure to bookmark this page, share it, like it, tweet it, or something so you can refer back to it in the future.
There’s much more to this story below, but if you only came to this page in search of reliable web hosts that are not owned by EIG, here’s a list of EIG hosting alternatives for you.
EIG Web Hosting Outages
EIG has had several large scale outages over the years. The most famous, and perhaps eye opening, for many customers occurred on August 2nd, 2013. Millions of HostGator, BlueHost, and HostMonster customers lost services as the EIG datacenter in Utah took a hit. It affected phone lines and servers in all their hosting facilities and was one of the biggest outages the web hosting industry has seen in recent years. As multiple large hosting companies were all under EIG, it made it apparent as to why they all went down at once.
Other Big EIG Outages
- December 31st, 2013 – Bluehost, HostGator Among EIG Brands Hit by Massive New Year’s Eve Outage
- April 16th, 2014 – More Downtime for HostGator and BlueHost Customers as Router Issues Plague Utah Data Center
- May 19th, 2014 – Yet Another BlueHost and HostGator Outage
The post above is from a HostGator customer who started a thread titled – FINALLY Abandoning Ship!
- October 29, 2014 – HostGator Fail – All Reseller Servers Down
The comment above is from a HostGator customer on WHIR article – HostGator Struggles to Bring Reseller Servers Online After Intermittent Outages
The switch from SoftLayer to the EIG-owned datacenter in Provo, Utah is one of the biggest reasons HostGator customers saw a reduction in quality and service. Since EIG took over HostGator servers were a lot slower; support staff was not as helpful; live chat, tickets, and phone support response times increased; etc. A combination of these problems has shed some light for existing customers and many have made the switch to other hosting companies.
A very important factor that needs to be taken into account here is the fact that EIG will continue to acquire small, medium, and large sized web hosting businesses from around the world. When other web hosting companies flourish with their own customer base it is something Endurance International Group sees as an opportunity.
EIG’s Acquisition and Business Structure
The executives and decision makers behind EIG devote a great deal of their resources to finding up-and-coming web hosting businesses that have a strong customer base. Upon acquiring a new hosting business, EIG often makes several notable changes to the business. These changes can include the implementation of their own control panel, migrating accounts to different servers or datacenters, as well as a reduction or complete abolishment of the existing operational staff.
Endurance International Group has their own team of support staff that they use for many of their hosting companies. Despite the acquisition of a new hosting business, which in turn brings new customers, EIG eventually transitions to using their own short-staffed support personnel. The downside of their actions is that both their existing and new customers will potentially have to learn to deal with lower quality support service. There is simply not enough staff to deal with their ever growing customer base. This trend is likely to persist as EIG continues to buyout other web hosting companies, but could be reversed if the decision makers at EIG prioritize staffing their support/technical departments.
In most cases, both existing customers and potential new customers of EIG-owned companies will only see these brands from the outside. For example, HostGator still looks pretty much the same as it did – they continue to have the same brand name, logo, website, promotions, plans, etc. However, EIG has completely revamped and overturned the administration and technical side of the business.
Here are some examples of customer complaints from Twitter
@hostgator – What a way to screw up a good thing. You used to be good. I am tired of the outages and EIG SUCKS! Time to move on!
— Debt RoundUp (@DebtRoundUp) August 2, 2013
@drpareshsoni using Hostgator since 2010, but seems like their quality gng down with every passing day
— Harsh Agrawal (@denharsh) March 27, 2015
— Paul Sutherland (@suthers) January 23, 2015
Bluehost down. Can’t access my site. Can’t access cPanel. Can’t get email. It’s time for a new webhost.
— Michael Erb (@merb) May 29, 2015
@bluehost Come on, Bluehost. It’s unprofessional not to respond to customers when the server has been down for 2+ hours. Not impressed.
— Ana Parfenova (@anaparfenova) May 29, 2015
@iPage What’s happened your support team?? Can’t believe our website is down over 2 weeks. Feeling ignored. Ipage not interested. Irritating
— Dave Reel (@Reeler70) January 30, 2015
@jainsudhir1 my ipage hosting is down for all day no support at all no reason it is down, if you work for this hosting they need better supp
— TESFA.com (@TESFAcom) June 19, 2014
Still down. Still nothing, nada, zip from ipage. How ridiculous! You’d think if they give a link to contact them, they’d answer it!
— a. puog (@ByondPolitics) March 25, 2014
I have also included a big collection of customer complaints about A Small Orange’s long support ticket response times in a recent post titled: Things You Don’t Want in a Web Hosting Company
Examples from webmaster forums
I am freelance web developer and I have been using HostGator since 2011. They used to be my top choice webhosting provider, but recently their servers and support has become unreliable. I have 2 VPS, 1 Reseller and 1. Dedicated server where I have hosted all of my clients domains. Even though all the plans are managed but recently they are taking up to 8 days to reply to support ticket that I had raised. Every time their excuse is “First, I would like to apologize for our delayed response. Our ticket queues are much higher at the moment than we would like. We are taking steps to reduce overall wait times, but reducing the current load will take some time.”. They have been telling this for last two months.
— HostGator Services has become unreliable recently
I have never had such terrible support from them as I am getting now. Just a few months ago, It took about 30-45 minutes to get them on the phone. The ticket system was faster. So I tried it. Now it takes 3 days or longer to get a reply. As for the phone, I hang up after an hour, so that isn’t working either. The chat countdown from 30 minutes never works. I have also noticed that the servers, which never before had more than 70% of drive space used, are now running 98%. Everything is so slow on my reseller server that I can’t stand to be on the website any longer. My standard hosting account is starting to bog down as well. The answers, which I have already found by the time they arrive, give a one-line answer and a 4-5 line apology for the support delays which they are working on to fix. They need to quit “fixing” them because the more they fix it the worse it gets. I am very loyal, but I gotta go!
— Hostgator Support Very Poor These Days
As I write this I am in Hostgator Hell. Exactly as Brad says, I waited 1 hour and 40 minutes for Live Chat to finally get around to chatting with me – and the timer was set at 30 minutes forever….And what’s more, when they did finally get to me they gave me mistaken information – so now I’m back on the treadmill – waiting for the Live Chat timer to move from 30 minutes again. Definitely not impressed. Not in the least. Happy to move if there is a better option out there… and there really must be. This is not even close to reasonable customer service.
— HOSTGATOR – WARNING – DO NOT USE
One theory I’ve heard throw around as to why some of their hosting brands have a high rate of complaints is just the sheer size of their customer base. As an example, if you take 1,000,000 customers and 1% of them are unhappy that’s 10,000. A smaller sized company with 10,000 customers with 1% dissatisfied would be 100. Regardless of the plausibility of this theory, what I see is a huge company that needs to maximize profits as a publicly traded company (EIGI), trying to manage too many hosting brands with millions of hosting accounts, and the result is the original brands are clearly worse.
The Unfortunate Truth in the Web Hosting Industry
The unfortunate and unavoidable truth in the web hosting industry is the following: EIG owns a massive portion of the medium to large sized hosting businesses in the industry. If you are dissatisfied with HostGator or any other EIG-owned company and decide to switch – there is a very high probability that you may still end up with another EIG-owned brand. That is if you don’t do your research and know about the full list of EIG hosting companies (see above). From a business standpoint, EIG has done its part in acquiring a significant market share, however, customers are the ones who are affected by their actions.
For current customers of EIG web hosts (or any web host for that matter) that are happy with their web hosting services, I have a few suggestions for you. Make sure you have uptime monitoring setup so you know when your websites go down (e.g. Uptime Doctor and Uptime Robot). Also run a speed test on your websites to see how fast they load (e.g. Pingdom). You might discover that you are not satisfied with the amount of downtime you are experiencing over time or that your loading speeds are sub-par. The reason why I’m bring this up is some webmasters have no idea that their websites are not performing as well as they could. Last but not least, make sure you create your own backups regularly, so if you ever face problems you are in control of your data and can move to another web hosting company.
Avoiding Disappointment: Non EIG Hosting (Choose a Web Host Not Owned by EIG)
The good news in all this is that there are still many reliable hosting companies not owned by EIG. Customer satisfaction oriented hosting companies who make it a priority to offer quality services are aware of EIG and their practices. Hopefully, they avoid potential buyout deals from EIG, despite the monetary gain.
For those who are looking for reputable hosting companies that are not owned by EIG and most likely never will be, please refer to my earlier post made after EIG acquired Arvixe, which lists non Endurance International Group hosting companies. You can also see all of the web hosting companies (good and bad) I’ve reviewed so far here.
Choosing the right web hosting company has always been a hard choice, especially because of the number of companies in operation. However, once we disregard those owned by EIG, there still is a great selection of trusted hosting companies out there. Consider asking other webmasters for hosting recommendations and see which one offers the best plan according to your needs. Then do your full research on that company, including searching on WebHostingTalk for feedback on them. If you are new to web hosting or need a brief refresher, read through my web hosting guide. Making the decision to choose the right web host for your needs is important – as it will prevent frustration, disappointment, and the need to switch to other web hosting providers.
The bottom-line here is: try your best to avoid EIG brands as the majority of them have been a consistent source of trouble for many customers.
EIG Hosting Story Updates
There are three EIG hosting brands that recently started being promoted at the top of some hosting review sites. eHost.com, HostClear, and a newer brand name IdeaHost (added to the list of EIG brands).
All three of these brands are not well known and have a very similar design/layout too.
Endurance International Group Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire Constant Contact
“We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Constant Contact to our team and our family of brands. We have long admired Constant Contact and its strong management team, and all that it has accomplished in building a great product set, as well as building an influential culture and team. Their focus on the customer and product development complements our offerings for small business services, and expands our ability to address the needs of SMBs. We know that once small businesses have a web presence, they look for other products and services that will help them to grow their business. We see an opportunity to help our growing subscriber base meet their goals through an integrated suite of solutions, and we are excited to add this talented team to our roster,” said Hari Ravichandran, president and chief executive officer of Endurance.
“Our team has always been passionate about helping small businesses do more business. Joining the Endurance family of brands will allow us to extend our reach and be a better partner to small businesses across the globe. We have long shared a parallel path—from our focus on SMBs, to technology, to talent—and we believe this transaction will build continued value for all constituents,” said Gail Goodman, chief executive officer of Constant Contact.