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Endurance International Group (EIG) Hosting

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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 Hosting CircleEIG 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.

2slick.com
AccountSupport
A Small Orange
ApolloHosting
AptHost

Arvixe
Berry Information Systems
BigRock
BizLand
BlueDomino
BlueFur

BlueHost
BuyDomains
Cirtex Hosting
Cloud by IX
Constant Contact

Directi
Dollar2Host
Domain.com
DomainHost
Dot5Hosting
Dotster
easyCGI
eHost
EntryHost
Escalate Internet
FastDomain
FatCow
FreeYellow
Glob@t
Homestead
HostCentric
HostClear
Host Excellence
HostGator
HostMonster
HostNine
HostYourSite.com
HostV
HyperMart
IdeaHost
IMOutdoors
Impress.ly
Intuit Websites
iPage
IPOWER/iPowerWeb
IX Web Hosting
JustCloud
JustHost
LogicBoxes
MojoMarketplace
MyDomain
MyResellerHome
NetFirms
Networks Web Hosting
Nexx
PowWeb
PureHost
ReadyHosting
ResellerClub
SEOGears
SEO Hosting
Site5
SiteBuilder.com
Sitelio
Sitey
Southeast Web
Spry
StartLogic
SuperGreen Hosting
TypePad
USANetHosting
vDeck
Verio
VirtualAvenue
VPSLink
WebHost4Life
WebHosting.info
WebsiteBuilder.com
Webstrike Solutions
Webzai
World Wide Web Hosting
Xeran
YourWebHosting

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.

Non EIG HostingThere’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

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

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

Update 08-04-2015 – Site5 is now owned by EIG
I’ve added two more hosting companies to the list today: Site5 and Verio – https://www.reviewhell.com/blog/eig-acquired-site5/
Update Summer 2015 – Things have changed over at Arvixe
Arvixe server migrations, a whole lot of problems, many original staff members terminated, and A Small Orange is now managing Arvixe  – see Arvixe updates section.
Update 09-23-2015 – EIG Launches/Re-launches 3 Hosting Brands into Top 10 Sites
I haven’t monitored the paid search results (Adwords) in a while to see what the “top 10 hosting review sites” have been up too.

paid-search-results

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.

eHost.com HostClear IdeaHost

Update 11-02-2015 – EIG announced it is acquiring Constant Contact for $1.1 Billion
Endurance International Group is acquiring the email marketing/software company Constant Contact. This deal might bump up EIG’s revenue per subscriber figures by offering customers an additional add-on service that EIG owns.

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.

Update 02-18-2016 – EIG owns IX Web Hosting
I added three more web hosting brand names to the list today: IX Web Hosting, Cloud by IX, and Host Excellence. EIG acquired Ecommerce, LLC for $28 million in the last quarter of 2015.

Update Late Summer 2016 – Site5 transition to EIG
The Site5 migrations started in the Spring and the transition to EIG is near completion as the original support staff said goodbye in late August  – read the Site5 updates section.
Update 01-27-2017 – EIG Layoffs
EIG is laying off staff at two of their offices: Orem, UT (BlueHost, HostMonster, and JustHost) and Austin, TX (A Small Orange, Arvixe, and Site5) – https://www.reviewhell.com/blog/eig-layoffs-at-bluehost-and-a-small-orange/

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Comments

  • Choosing a web host not owned by EIG is just one side of the coin.
    Another side is: choosing a web host that *will not* be owned by EIG in near future.
    Case in point, Arvixe. I migrated some of my clients there, based on the reputation of Arvixe, and three months later, EIG bought Arvixe. Their acquisitions are so sudden and spring out of nowhere… -_-

    • SocratesNV

      The same thing happened to me! I bailed on HostGator after finding Arvixe, only to find out two weeks later that they were bought by EIG. I had even found statements by the owner of Arvixe stating he would never sell to EIG! Now i’m searching again. Arvixe was great, now they are no longer reliable. Oh well…

  • Stephan

    Endurance International Group ~They assumed the company from Intuit and Homestead Technologies and immediately did a system purge without telling account holders, destroying decades of files amassed by inactive accounts they considered unprofitable and accounts that were considered expendable. The web site builder they offer for home use had no way to back up files, keeping customers captive to use them as a web host, keep their sites active and to be a constant source of revenue. Inactive files were destroyed along with the account holders business, storage and livelihood. They lie! Profusely! They don’t care about clients or files, websites or web hosting. They care about the bottom line. What are the ledger figures at the end of the day. They put up a front to pretend to be community minded and small business oriented, wanting to help. In the end. They will destroy your life and not even blink. I have had intimate and personal experiences with them for over 13 years. They ruined my business, my memoirs, my book, my family tree, my life’s work! They just, destroyed everything I entrusted to them, claiming my contractual obligations. When there were none. These people are pure evil.

  • Anon

    They bought up Arvixe a few months ago, and right now ten or so servers have completely collapsed with thousands of customers left wondering what the hell is going on. They’re not responding to anyone, not updating their customers, and some sites have been down for more than 12 hours. There are some customers who have been without service for weeks according to their own forums.

    Arvixe was never the best for customer support (not since 2010) but this is truly atrocious. This is the kind of failure you might expect after a major disaster, but it’s all down to nothing more than their ineptitude, their arrogance, their greediness and their uselessness as a hosting company – probably all as a result of being bought by EIG.

    If you’re with Arvixe, move as soon as you can to a company not owned by EIG, the service is only going to degrade further as they desperately squeeze every dime in profits out while putting nothing in, all knowing that you’ll likely end up moving to another of their companies to be giving them the money anyway. This is what happens when a corporation forms a monopoly.

    • Leigh Ann

      Yep, everything has collapsed at Arvixe! I cannot believe the problems I’m having—both with service and with getting tech support. It’s worse than anything I’ve ever experienced, and I’ve been working with websites for 12 years. I’m switching to a non-EIG company ASAP.

      • chitown

        I’m moving our environment off of Arvixe as I type this. Our server has completely gone haywire ever since it was migrated a few days back. Just some of the most absurd issues I’ve ever seen. The most random settings keep getting mucked up (often something out of the customer’s reach), and we’ve been opening tickets faster than they can fix them. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t causing so much trouble for my client.

        Pretty sure this is the head of EIG IT:
        http://i.imgur.com/1Zlz5Cf.jpg

        • Leigh Ann

          LOL! Thanks for the laugh, because I’ve been pulling my hair out. Emails now seem to be randomly not reaching me (and clients get no error message saying the messages didn’t go through). This is insane. I wish a tech news outlet would do a story on it.

          • Citizen Trudge

            Read PC Mag’s review: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2462052,00.asp

            It glows with praise, then the Editor says they’re going to re-evaluate Arvixe because of all the negative comments- but they haven’t. PC Mag has zero credibility now.

          • Leigh Ann

            Interesting. I’m glad they posted something, but it’s too bad the marketing director’s comment is allowed to stand on its own like that. It makes the problem sound minor.

          • ᅠᅠᅠ

            The re-evaluation has now happened and the score got knocked down. Ironically, the host to replace it as PC Mag’s recommendation is HostGator, so make of that what you will in terms of credibility.

            I still wonder how they can give it a 2.5/5 score if their own article describes Arvixe uptime as “the worst” and “unacceptable”. And that’s based on a tested downtime of half an hour over two weeks – my Arvixe sites have had downtimes of *several days* since the EIG acquisition.

  • Bana Na

    Arvixe used to reply promptly on requests. Not anymore. Malware on their Caiman server, No working email on our website for 10 days and payments made by Bitpay are allegedly non received, or as they say it. We can see them, but they are not released by Bitpay so please can you pay again..
    Don’t use Arvixe move to a European server go to Iceland, where you can register your website anonymously and where they do not promise you unlimited bandwidth but green energy and a real 99+% uptime.

  • ᅠᅠᅠ

    After having disabled Live Chat support entirely a few days ago, Arvixe have now also put their message boards in “maintenance mode”. It’s been inaccessible for at least 12 hours from what I can gather.

    Of course, over the past few weeks almost the only thing going on on those boards anymore was dozens of threads a day complaining about completely unresponsive support, and massive downtimes. As the forums were publicly accessible, I figure EIG just decided to shut the boards down indefinitely to try and fool potential new customers, by making it harder to find out how horrible things really are. As of around 1 week ago, for all intents and purposes, I couldn’t tell whether anyone is even still working at Arvixe at all. Apart from the guy who switches off services that become too uncomfortable, that is.

    I’ve seen the same tactics several times before. For example, cloud storage company Wuala went downhill after they were acquired by LaCie. When criticism became louder, they first put the forums in read-only mode, then deleted them entirely. Wuala now is no more. I figure EIG might have finally crossed the critical limit and also tank really hard, really soon. For anyone who knows to try and look for information on why their service is imploding, it’s easier than ever (in large parts thanks to your site) to learn to avoid switching to yet another EIG brand. For all I care about, they can just go bust now (maybe after I’ve transferred away my Arvixe-managed domains). They have no place being in the hosting business.

  • If YOU want to be TRACKED – USE “CONSTANT CONTACT” This banker owned & gov’t controlled entity – through #EIG Endurance International Group – that has gobbled UP most #Hosting & #Domains will NOW have FULL unfiltered access to YOUR private emails, business NEGOTIATIONS & CONTRACTS – travel records – EVERY TRANSACTION YOU handle – including EVERY EMAIL CONFIRMATION you acquire – will go through #EIG #WebHosting #Hosting #Domains and their “CONSTANT CONTACT” email source.

    (Even MORE if YOU use Constant Contact as a networking tool or for your business & personal Newsletters – think of: PayPal – Amazon payments – Everything YOU do – will be tracked – data mined!)

    EIG did destroy our Amazing Website of 6 years and we are still fighting them – it’s been OVER 4 months now.

    http://click2connect-clickybuzz.blogspot.com/2015/10/business-is-game-played-for-fantastic.html

  • Graham Campbell

    The EIG companies recently started promoting SiteLock. SiteLock is a scam. They tell you “Your site has malware – call us to fix this”. Prices are outrageous of course.

    I got two of these today. I asked for proof or details.

    I checked the site with Wordfence and a malware scanner – Clean.

    Second site is where it got interesting :

    The site was moved to a new VPS host 2 months ago

    The ‘site’ is an empty folder

    I was sent a ‘sample of the code’ found in the folder.

    SCAM

    Add to this :

    I am not and never have been a SiteLock customer

    SiteLock offered to ‘Reset my password’ – for a non existent account

    Hostgator allowed their ‘Partner’ to scan my websites – That’s illegal (You can’t get to the Hostgator site from ‘outside’ as it is now hosted on my vps) so this was an inside job

    The ‘Malware’ simply does not exist

    The domain is not even on an EIG server

    Each email is another pack of lies

    YES, I have the proof to back this up in court.

    More interesting tales (NOT my site)

    http://www.jlellis.net/blog/my-experience-with-sitelock