More bad news out this week for those needing a webhost. The infamous EIG group, which maintains dozens of brands, including Hostgator, Bluehost, Site5, Arvixe, Small Orange, are sacking staff. http://bit.ly/another-eig-nightmare
Their press release on these layoffs states “… to enable greater efficiency across our family of Endurance brands” Yeh, right. It’s another way of saying ‘we need more profit…’ EIG has been an industry nightmare for years. http://bit.ly/eig-hosting-hell Our clients we put on site5 noted problems within weeks of the original owners going and handing over to EIG people. As with Bluehost, support times went from minutes to almost an hour and host server downtimes increased dramatically.
Not all support people are the same
What the EIG accountants and managers who make these staffing decisions don’t understand, is that a hosting company is made up of people. Support staff have widely varying skillsets and getting just the right mix is critical, which is likely what has gone wrong, causing their support times to explode out from minutes, to hours. From hours to days, which customers won’t tolerate…
When you place a support call, it’s the younger, semi-skilled frontline people you work with. Their knowledge is superficial. They only fix the easy stuff, following a flowchart and will pass on the trickier problems to a geeky second level ‘sysadmin’ person – Those ones you you see on NCIS or similar TV spy movies who hack into systems and love it…
Sysadmin staff are the ones who actually understand the technology. They keep things running smoothly, maintaining, monitoring and tweaking the systems, every day. Their expert knowledge can prevent problems even arising. The better they do their job, the less need for frontline support staff manning the phones, email or chat systems. A couple good, long-experienced second level sysadmin geeks, can save the cost of ten frontline people. This is what non-technical managers running these big organisations cannot understand.
What to do if EIG buys your Webhost
- Firstly, make sure you are doing regular off-site backups. Don’t ever rely upon your host backup system. WordPress recently introduced a lower cost Vaultpress at just US$39/year which is excellent value.
- Next, avoid paying for a very long term hosting. I generally recommend paying monthly, sometimes annually, but never beyond that.
- Monitor your host uptime. A good free tool is from Pingdom.
Note two US host companies we like, who are not on the EIG list, are Inmotion for business VPS hosting and Siteground for lower traffic shared/cloud hosting. For local VPS hosting we quite like Sitehost, but like all NZ hosts, they’re 2-3x more expensive for similar spec. Note most NZ hosts are now owned by a few Auzzie companies, who have similar business goals to EIG, meaning below-average support and performance….
P.S. Feb 2021: It seems our preferred hosting provider, Siteground, may be the next victim as their performance is now suffering. They are pulling out of selling into New Zealand too. Our many clients using them, but they’re simply not signing up new NZ customers. They tell me it’s a business decision, mostly around the issues of managing our GST…. However, it forced us to look elsewhere and Cloudways became the obvious choice. In fact with their VPS Cloud plans starting from US$22 (NZ$30) per month, they’re very good value for money. Speed is insanely fast, with good upgrade options and support if you need it. Even better than Siteground! Stunned and relieved.
If you need help to move to these, or learn which particular host package is right for you, give us a call or fill in our form below.