Review Hell Blog

This is where I post site news, tips and tricks, and special web hosting offers. Make sure you subscribe!

Subscribe to Updates

Get the latest Review Hell news, blog updates, and special offers in your inbox. No spam, promise!

What to do if Your Web Host is Acquired by EIG?

image

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.

Conclusion

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

Sufyan is a contributor to a variety of websites and blogs about technology, Linux, open source, web design, content management systems and web development. He is a published author, coffee lover and the guy behind CodeCarbon.com. Learn more about his works on this page.

Share this post!

More From The Review Hell Blog

16 responses to “What to do if Your Web Host is Acquired by EIG?”

  1. chitown says:

    You speak truth. Our Arvixe server recently got migrated (Arvixe was purchased by EIG about 9 months ago) and it’s just one issue after another. Random permissions and settings that we can’t even access are constantly being messed with, mysterious and unidentified resource management routines killing processes for no good reason, you name it. We had exactly one support ticket with Arvixe in the last year until a week ago. In the last week, we’ve had 6 tickets. It’s as if their servers are now being administered by a pack of monkeys, randomly punching keyboards for fun. I pity the Arvixe support people…my guess is they are out of the job as soon as the migration is complete, to be replaced by whatever EIG calls support. And in the meantime, they have to deal with covering for this ineptitude.

    • You’re not alone when it comes to people who have suffered at the hands of EIG. In fact, I had some client sites on an EIG host until last year, I migrated them to Arvixe, and two months later, Arvixe was acquired by EIG. #Burn
      If I were you, I’d abandon ship right away. With EIG, you can never know what might happen to your data.

      • chitown says:

        I’m in the process of migrating to SiteGround. They have their own interesting challenges (due to some unexpected server settings), but at least their support people aren’t buried by an avalanche of issues and their environment seems stable. In fact their support has been incredibly impressive and responsive, especially once escalated.

        The word on EIG really needs to get out. I wasn’t even aware of them until going through this mess. The Arvixe acquisition was virtually unmentioned to the customer base.They seem to do a good job keeping themselves out of view and away from attention.

      • Haven’t ever used SiteGround, but have heard a lot of good things about them. I hope it works out well for you. :)

      • ᅠᅠᅠ says:

        Word about EIG finally got out among the customer base over the past 1-2 weeks. There were a lot of discussions and complaints about it appearing on the discussion boards. Consequence? EIG have put Arvixe forums in “maintenance mode” yesterday, which doesn’t even allow read access anymore.

    • Owen says:

      I had the same thing happen and also was thinking they were cutting off the tech support lifeline. Sure enough, they allegedly axed 95% of their support staff at the beginning of last week.

  2. MisterNeutron says:

    If you’re on a host that’s been acquired by EIG, and you receive an email telling you that your account and/or server are going to be upgraded, and how happy you should be about this… RUN AWAY!!!!

  3. ᅠᅠᅠ says:

    I was moderately happy with my Arvixe hosting for the past 3 years, was concerned about the takeover reports, and over the past month have realised that every doomsday scenario painted back then has come true. Even though speed and uptime were always somewhat sub-par, I didn’t complain because the prices were so cheap, and their service was excellent. I could usually get ahold of a live chat supporter within 5 minutes, and most of the time they were very helpful.

    My site’s downtime over the past two weeks was around 15%, and I can’t get a single support ticket through anymore. I’ve since signed up for an account with A2 Hosting (as per your suggestion in the other article), but as my site has a small but active community, interruptions during transfer will be an issue either way. I’ve pulled backups, but depending on timing, I might lose a few hours of activity anyway.

    Right now I’m mostly concerned about the free domain associated with my hosting account. Free domains are registered to Arvixe, but their Terms of Service guarantee that the customer always has the right to transfer it to themselves. Otherwise, I never would’ve started using the free domain seriously. But with the support ticket about unlocking the domain and sending me the transfer codes open and pending for a week, I’m worried about the practicality of the clause.

    • ᅠᅠᅠ says:

      I want to give a quick update for the benefit of anyone else who might want to transfer out of Arvixe. Shortly after my post above, my support ticket regarding my free domain was handled. After a quick identity confirmation, my domain was unlocked and I received the transfer code by e-mail. The transfer went without a hitch.

      I’ve since also cancelled my hosting account at Arvixe. It still took them a few days to reply, but they were forthcoming and the cancellation was quick and problem-free.

      Assuming things have calmed down a little and ticket response times got better, people seem to be able to get actual support again now. From my experience, the people there were obviously new and not familiar with processes at Arvixe, but they made an effort, which I was grateful for.

      However, they still haven’t reactivated the member forums, which they simply shut down after people started complaining about downtimes and support queues. In that sense, the new Arvixe is still a host I would stay far away from.

  4. PingMySite says:

    Came across this site and found it very interesting as I read through. On among the other 70+ hosting companies acquired by EIG, was wondering if all the brands are having the same quality problems as Arvixe and HG customers are experiencing.

    • Cut All The Shit says:

      Seems like they pretty much all are, if you search their brand names on Twitter you’ll see a ton of complaints.

    • ᅠᅠᅠ says:

      There seem to be a few exceptions, companies that they’ve kept running more or less independently, maybe due to their size. The big problems start when they begin to integrate a host into their centralised structure. That’s when Arvixe imploded; it was fine for months after the EIG takeover, right up until the migrations started.

      I still wouldn’t trust any EIG subsidiary, though. Even with a host that still seems to be doing fine, you never know when they decide to implement changes, and they’ve repeatedly shown that they don’t understand much about the hosting business.

  5. Ed says:

    Arvixe used to be great, and support was superb. I used them for 3 years. After EIG acquired them, it turned into total crap. I wouldn’t want their service even if it was free. There is absolutely no support and when they rarely do reply it takes them weeks, so you can imagine how long an issue can take to be fixed.

    MY ADVICE: Remove your payment methods from your Arvixe account and start migrating your sites ASAP. Big mistake people make is to think that they contacted them about cancelling and they will, but they will still keep charging you. So do the smart thing and REMOVE YOUR PAYMENT METHODS beforehand.

  6. Xavier says:

    Hi loved Site 5. Customer since 2014. As you said… they were bought by EIG. Saw intermittent problem here and there this year but nothing major until Oct 12…

    Full blown outage until Oct 17th (UScentral416).
    5 days (!) with Web server / Email server down.
    Support chat answers after a 1.5 hour wait (“we will be with you right away”)
    No explanation given. No clear ETA (we did have “we expect to be fixed in 12 hours” -which did not happen).
    Their network status page says “everything is fine!”
    No phone support after business hours.
    Their twitter account was used for escalation since they were overloaded with requests.

    They hid the problem under the label “File system maintenance”.
    Given contradictory answer from chat support (when I finally reached them).
    Lost data (I’m still in the process of restore as I write this).
    Opened ticket (I tried all support venues) but they are still not updated at this time (days).
    Support tech powerless (unable to call a restore)
    Was referred to an invalid restoring e-mail adress.
    On the 17th was able to get in the support chat in 5 minutes only to find the chat tech was answering at 1 line per 5-10 minutes. Took 30min only to describe the problem and identify myself.

    Found a SiteGround blog (Google Siteground and Site5) welcoming two dozen of experienced techs from Site5 …. that have been laid off in August.

    I’m really sorry for the rant. But as a former tech support I’m amazed at the number of issues a mature company like Site5 now have with its tech support during an outage. Yes outage “do” happen. But there are ways to better inform customers, keep them out of the support queue with a main outage ticket, etc…

    “Run” you said? ;-)

  7. Toppa Yposition says:

    I am in Site5 Hell now. Support went from 4.5 to 1.2 stars. Speed down, and the weirdest errors like deleting a sub domain from an account and then if you go to this none existent sub it bounces to some strangers website. I’m giving away traffic to a stranger. But what is hard to handle is that support can’t seem to duplicate this shared server DNS type error. Is Endurance International Group, cheap or stupid or ignorant? Or did it fill up with morons who invested but don’t love technology enough to care about reality. If I was religious I would say they signed up with Satan who blinded them to simple facts. Sad Sad face goes here.

  8. violet says:

    I was a site5 customer since 2008 and had great support until 2016. Suffered the same site5 disorder described by other customers (the worst was 5 weeks and 10 requests to get an SSL cert installed). Now 4 days ago they notified me of a “15 minute migration” and all my websites and email have now been down for 3 days. Customer support just says “we promise to do it as fast as we can”, but now I learn from this site that this is typical and it could be weeks. So I am starting the process to move to MDDHosting. Thank you so much for these posts and this website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CAPTCHA *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.