What to do if Your Web Host is Acquired by EIG?
Last updated on Sep 16, 2015
Earlier this month, the web hosting industry received the news that Site5, a pioneer and reputed web hosting provider, was acquired by Endurance International Group. As such, Site5 became yet another name in the long list of EIG acquisitions.
Whether or not this will affect Site5’s performance as a hosting provider is yet to be seen, but if history is anything to go by, Site5’s customers might be in for a rough ride. Take up the case of HostGator, or even Arvixe, and you will see that complaints and issues started surfacing as soon as the concerned brand was acquired by EIG.
Looking at the rate with which EIG is purchasing one brand after another, one can only wonder: how exactly does one stay aloof from the EIG juggernaut, and opt for a web hosting firm that will manage to remain independent? In this post, I will attempt to answer this question.
Endurance International Group
If you have not done so already, make sure you read Review Hell’s blog post about EIG and their modus operandi when it comes to web hosting.
Simply put, EIG operates by running a spiral of web hosts: you are unhappy with their brand A, you quit and join a new web host, whereas in reality, this new web host is brand B of EIG. As such, the cycle continues, and EIG’s revenues keeps coming in. Plus, more often than not, a good number of websites on the Internet get mediocre or negligible traffic, and EIG thrives on hosting such sites that are not resource-crazy and hardly have any issues with poor server speed or uptime.
Obviously, these are not the qualities of a good web host, and for this very reason, the majority of EIG brands cannot be termed as good.
With the summary out of the way, we come to the big question: how can you stay away from EIG? The answer, apparently, is two-fold.
Avoiding EIG From the Start
As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Therefore, you might do well to avoid an EIG brand in the first place. However, going beyond avoiding the usual list of EIG outlets, you should also attempt to opt for web hosts that do not have a very high chance of being owned by Endurance International Group anytime in the near future.
Of course, this is more of a prediction game and something that can never be precise: both Arvixe and Site5 were very vocal in their criticism of EIG, but today, both are under the EIG umbrella. Yet, there are some metrics that you can keep in mind which will help you figure out possible candidates that might be acquired by EIG somewhere down the line.
First up, avoid “unlimited” web hosts. Nearly 99% of EIG brands offer unlimited web hosting with unlimited disk space and bandwidth, so any independent host that offers unlimited promises is an easy target for EIG, because the unlimited model is perfectly in sync with EIG’s model.
Thereafter, as trends have shown, EIG generally opts for web hosts that are somewhere between medium-sized and large-sized. HostGator, Arvixe and Site5 were surely not just medium-class companies, and at the same time, they were not as big as, say, Namecheap. Furthermore, this also means that the likes of MDDHosting, VeeroTech and HawkHost are possibly below EIG radar as of now. Similarly, even though StableHost offers unlimited web hosting plans, they too seem to be below the EIG ambit.
Lastly, EIG generally does not fully dilute brands that have their own infrastructure set up. Thus, while Arvixe was migrated, HostNine’s non-US locations and A Small Orange’s SSD servers were not fully migrated to Utah. Therefore, consider going for a web hosting brand that have their own infrastructure, because in such cases, even if they do get acquired by EIG, a migration will not be an immediate possibility, and you will have time to move to a new web host if and when the need does arise.
What to do if EIG Acquires your Web Host?
Now, the second part of the problem: what if your web host ever gets acquired by EIG? What can you do in that case?
Preparation here is the key. Plus, this is where backups come in. Always, and I mean always, keep regular offsite backups of your content. While it is true that most hosts offer daily or weekly backups, you should keep your own copies as well.
Next, avoid paying for a very long term. I generally pay annually, but never beyond that. Paying for any type of service, not just web hosting, for three years straight is a bad idea: ownership might change, natural disasters or untimely demise of a key figure might affect the brand, and so on.
Thereafter, plan out a strategy and select a new web host. It is not a question of “if”, but “when”. Generally, EIG takes roughly half a year to royally destroy a web hosting brand — so you have 6 months approximately to plan your next move. You can use this time to generate backups, check reviews of other web hosts, and decide which one to opt for. You need not panic and act in haste: you can afford to take some time and figure out the next best option for your website.
Hosting with an EIG brand is rarely a pleasant experience, unless your website gets a 100 visitors in a month, in which case even free web hosts might suffice to some extent. However, if you are serious about your website and good performance matters to you, staying far away from EIG brands is a wiser choice.
All said and done, the success of your website depends, to a great degree, on the prowess of your web host. Good uptime, good support and impressive hardware infrastructure go a long way in making a web hosting firm reputed and reliable; overcrowded and oversold servers do not. Naturally, moving away from an overcrowded EIG server is well worth the trouble.
Now, once you do decide to move away from an EIG web host, where do you go? Well, to make your task easier. Review Hell already has a handy list of alternative web hosts that can be considered. Also, be sure to check reviews of web hosts on forums such as Web Hosting Talk.
Have you had an experience of hosting with or moving away from a brand that was owned or acquired by EIG? Share your experience with the world in the comments below!
Sufyan is a contributor to a variety of websites and blogs about technology, Linux, open source, web design, content management systems and web development. Learn more about his works on sufyanism.com