Web Design and Development

HostGator Alternatives, Part 3: The Future of EIG?

Hostgator eaten up by competitionThere’s a lot of things in this world that I don’t know — how to change oil, how to solder electronics, what women are thinking.

But there’s certain topics where I’m quite knowledgeable. One of the main reasons I like hosting is because it’s the perfect trifecta of business, technology, and PR/marketing. And that’s one of my specialties. (The other being video, photo and design … obviously!) You can’t have a successful non-amateur hosting business without grasping all of these areas.

While nobody knows what the future holds, there are clues. We can guess, and with some degree of accuracy.

There’s a number of hosting businesses that I would not consider safe, in terms of an EIG takeover/buyout. I’ve been screwed over by EIG three times to date — starting back in 2003 — when Endurance International Group bought out my host, and then botched the migration. It happened twice more, exactly the same. I never, ever want to experience that again, and therefore keep watch of their movements.

The following 5 hosts are potential targets, so when seeking a Hostgator, definitely avoid these!

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GoDaddy – www.godaddy.com

While most folks think Godaddy is too big to be taken over (“too big to fail”), it’s not outside the realm of possibility. Like EIG, Godaddy is now an equity-owned venture. In the vulture capitalist world, everything has a price, and everything has a loss that demands divestiture. Sometimes the investors are in a group that may break ties, resulting in a sale. Godaddy has changed hands a few times in recent years, and it could happen again.

This is a terrible host and terrible registrar that should never be used anyway. The same horror stories that exist for EIG and its individual brands exist for Godaddy.

Yahoo – www.yahoo.com

Marissa Mayer took over as CEO of Yahoo in 2012. While I don’t have a good opinion of her policies — see our editorial on the Yahoo Work-From-Home program — I can appreciate her desire to give Yahoo focus. To this end, divesting itself of hosting would be a prudent move. Yahoo is not a hosting company, and never has been. Originally it was a premium service for Geocities users, which itself competed with now-gone free hosts like Angelfire, Xoom and Lycos in the 1990s.

I don’t think this fits into Mayer’s vision for the company, and could be sold to another host at any time.

SiteGround – www.siteground.com

This is a pretty good host, but it’s not a participant online. It’s hard to know what the owners are thinking, and it’s reputation (and thus customer count) has floundered in recent years against Hostgator. It’s just a gut feeling to be honest. Sometimes no news is good news … but not in this industry. When a host is silent, be concerned about its future.

I really hope this changes. I like this host.

myHosting.com — www.myhosting.com

Like SiteGround, myhosting.com is silent. But unlike SiteGround, it doesn’t have excellent reviews. myHosting has positioned itself as an expert in everything, but it’s just another “unlimited” shared host with “me too” offerings. In the old days, that’s the kind of host that EIG targeted for takeover. Their marketing and user base seems to come almost entirely from the fake affiliate lists, which is the main reason EIG would target it.

Like EIG, this host does zero damage control online.

IX Web Hosting – www.ixwebhosting.com

Just by looking at this host’s site, you’d think it was already owned by EIG — stock photos of pretty people, candy design, unlimited everything for $3.95. But it’s not. Like Godaddy — even worse than EIG — this hosts reputation for quality is in the toilet. Yet people sign up because it’s cheap ($4), promises “unlimited”, and appears on fake “top 10″ reviews. They’ve cut all kinds of corners from what I can tell, be it overloaded servers or outsourced tech support from India/Pakistan. Like EIG and myHosting.com, it does zero damage control in forums online.

And to top it off, the host is a spamner. (Nope, not affiliates — the host itself. It hit this site numerous times in years past.)

Other Brands Not in Danger

Right now, I think these brands are safe, but I would either NOT recommend them, or recommend then less than Site5, Arvixe and Namecheap.

  • Dreamhost – DH has the ethics of Namecheap or Site5 — so it’s unlikely to be taken over — but the hosting quality is not up to par.
  • 1&1 – 1&1 and UK2 are British hosts, and thus far EIG hasn’t shown any interest in acquiring non-USA companies.
  • the UK2 brands (MidPhase, Westhost, ANHosting, others) – See above.
  • WireNine – W9 is honestly too much of a small-timer for EIG to give it much attention. Though the products and business is very much in line with Hostgator or Bluehost, it doesn’t payout enough to be on bogus “top 10″ lists.
  • InMotion Hosting – This is another gut feeling. I think InMotion is doing well in its market, but is mostly missing from the “top 10″ lists. Plus it’s a good host, so I want to be optimistic.

The one host not mentioned here is WebhostingHub. Like politics, it’s too close to call. In terms of being a good host, no, it’s not. But that’s not what part 3 of this editorial is about.

Conclusion to Part 3

So that’s the story of Hostgator.

If I were you, I’d get an account from Site5, Arvixe and Namecheap and be done with it. Those are good hosts, those are safe from the tentacles of the EIG monster, and the hosts are priced comparably to Hostgator. What’s the holdup?

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Have comments or feedback? — Be sure to share your thoughts in this forum post.

Legal Disclaimer:

Because of the commentary throughout this editorial, I want to remind everybody that it’s just that — an editorial, aka opinions. Information has been presented as accurately as possible. And remember, that’s difficult to do when the host — the actual host (EIG!) — hides behind “brands”. This editorial uses a mix of first-hand accounts, scuttlebutt among hosts and their employees, and information gleamed from the blog/forum posts of folks like Matt Heaton and Brent Oxley. If you disagree with the content of an editorial, that’s fine, that’s certainly your right.

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