Part one of two of why I left my long time hosting provider site5.
Spoiler Alert: it’s InMotion Hosting.
I’ve switched hosting companies a total of two times. I have lived in more places than my websites have actually. I think your hosting provider is probably one of the most critical business partnerships you have on the web because they are what keep you online. They are what keep you in business, so buying hosting was like finding a great auto mechanic. The less you contact them, the better, but when you need them, they are there and understand what you need. So having unmanaged hosting wasn’t something I wanted. Which is why I liked site5 so much, they managed the in’s and out’s of managing my server and had guarantees of uptime and transparency of reporting on server uptime. Yes, there was some bumps in the road. But all in all, they were a great match for what I needed and the reason I stayed with them for eight years and moved dozens of clients to their services.
So when I heard that site5 had sold to Endurance International Group, I was in disbelief. But after contacting Ben Welch-Bolen the then owner of Site5 and yes the sale had been made, and the handing over of customer assets would be done on August 26th, 2016. I am not knocking whatever business decision the previous owners of site5 made in the sale that’s not for me to judge.
But when EIG did take the reigns it was immediately noticeable:
• You had to accept terms of service every time you logged in.
• All of site5 previously great support staff were laid off. Support response time went from seconds to a half hour if they were even answered.
• All Nagios server status reports were gone, no more transparency of server uptime.
• All money back guarantees of server uptime disappeared.
• Downtime of my server went from minutes a week to hours.
• Support tickets took weeks to respond too.
• Emails about server maintenance ceased, and five clients were migrated to a new server without notice or time to change the A-name take their site down for days. Support knew nothing.
• I had a multi-admin account that allowed me to switch between clients. That just disappeared. I had no access to any other hosting account I previously was a registered user on.
• Friends charged were services they didn’t have not did they want.
• Emails were randomly blocked coming in and or not delivered when going out causing havoc in my communications.
These issues all started to happened the day EIG took over and continues to happen to either or other customers I personally know of and is common place when EIG takes over a hosting company.
There are only about five hosting providers I have blacklisted and bill hourly just to deal with their server turns out two of them are EIG properties.
• NetFirms – blacklisted 2010
• HostGator – blacklisted 2014
Both were persistent interoperability problems and no resolution from support regarding the issue. Support took over half an hour to contact and then were clueless to the problem, resolution or timeline to get it fixed. Sadly I am going to have to add site5 and pretty much every EIG owned property to that list. But it would seem that EIG really doesn’t care, it has in my interpretation purchased the competition to improve other brands in it’s holdings.
We believe this trend assists competitors who have focused more heavily than we have on building consumer awareness of their brand, and that it has made it more challenging and more expensive for us to attract new subscribers. In order to address this trend, during the third quarter of 2016, we began to allocate additional marketing investment to a subset of our hosting brands, including our largest brands, Bluehost.com, HostGator and iPage.
~ EIG 2016 THIRD QUARTER REPORT
They purchase a hosting property, lay off support staff, uptime takes a dive bomb and lack of any accountability on their part. This collaborates what has reported by Kevin Ohashi of Review Signal.
Where to go next?
Well, that was a big question for me over the summer. I need something that could:
• Host email
• WordPress websites
• Subdomains ( to test plugins, mess with stuff )
• Static HTML
• Having a cPanel account wasn’t required as site5 had a very customised cPanel they called Backstage and Site admin. But I didn’t want to be writing shell commands.
Read my second blog post on finding a new hosting provider. Spoiler alert it’s Inmotion Hosting.