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 five 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 4 hosts are potential targets, so when seeking a Hostgator, definitely avoid these!

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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.

2016 Update: After the founder/CEO, Bob Parsons, stepped down in 2014, Godaddy has actually turned itself around. They dropped the lousy in-house panel for cPanel, dropped the T&A marketing, and dropped the rabid upselling. In 2016, Godaddy is surprisingly a decent choice for everything from shared to dedicated. A sale to EIG in now extremely unlikely.


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.

2016 Update: Yahoo renamed it’s hosting division to Aabaco Small Business in 2015. But it’s still the same miserable mess, floundering about with the rest of Yahoo, and selling overpriced outdated plans to suckers. It’s still a very likely salable asset, with EIG being a top contender as buyer.


myHosting does not participate in any hosting community online, and has terrible 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.

2016 Update: According to reports by current and former employees, myHosting (and mail2web) is imploding, and may actually cease operations by end of year. While an EIG acquisition is plausible, myHosting is apparently run appallingly, and will simply disappear, destroying customer sites in the process. It’s on a deadpool watch. It was acquired by a Chinese firm (Tianjin Tianhai) in 2016.

IX Web Hosting

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.)

2016 Update: This was indeed acquired by EIG in 2015. We called it.

‘Top 10′ Brands NOT in Danger

Right now, these fake” top 10″ brands are safe…

1. Dreamhost. These guys have some ethics — so it’s unlikely to be taken over — but the hosting quality is not up to par. It’s all hat, and no cattle. (In past years, Dreamhsot made EIG acquisition an April Fool’s joke on their blog. Some people STILL skim that blog entry, and mistakenly think it to be genuine news.)

2. 1&1. This German-owned hosting company has a large EU and UK presence, but only a small North American presence. Thus far EIG hasn’t shown any interest in acquiring non-USA companies*.

3. UK2. This is a British company that owned many brands, just like EIG — MidPhase, Westhost, ANHosting, and several others. And like EIG, it’s fairly crappy hosting. However, aside from MidPhase, UK2 mostly focuses on the EU hosting market. And again, thus far, EIG has shown no interest in companies outside of the USA*.

… but I would still NOT recommend them!

SiteGround, InMotion and Namecheap are better!

* Hostgator has several non-USA entities, namely Hostgator India. But I would assume that acquiring was a package deal, and that meant ALL of Hostgator — not just the U.S. business. And seeing as how EIG already has its vDeck support personnel in India, not divesting it makes sense. In fact, I’d bet they consolidate all Indian staff, if they’ve not done so already. Hostgator Brazil, however, is an enigma.

Conclusion to Part 3

So that’s the story of Hostgator.

If I were you, I’d get an account from SiteGround, InMotion or 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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seeing as how EIG already its vDeck support personnel in India

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