Web Hosting Services: the good, the bad, and the ugly
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I’ve been offering web hosting services to my clients for several years. Although it’s an additional revenue stream, I do it mainly to save my clients the trouble of finding their own service, and because it allows me to use a system I know well.
Originally, I worked with HostGator, but after experiencing slow load times and other problems, I switched to Site5 in 2013. I found their performance and customer service to be far superior – until late last summer.
Almost overnight, issues requiring tech support became a weekly occurrence. If that wasn’t bad enough, they were taking days to respond to my support tickets. Using their online chat was a frustrating experience, with long wait times and representatives who copied and pasted canned phrases from a manual without even taking the time to read what I was actually asking.
A few months earlier, I’d learned that Site5 had been purchased by Endurance International Group (EIG), one of the world’s largest hosting companies, notorious for buying up smaller companies and running them into the ground. If I’d only had one website, I’d have jumped ship fairly quickly, but migrating approximately 30 client sites wasn’t a job I was eager to undertake!
The straw that broke the camel’s back was when they migrated my reseller account to a new server without warning, taking my clients’ websites and emails offline. It took days, and in some cases weeks, to get everything up and running properly again. It was a nightmare, and knowing I wasn’t the only one affected didn’t make me feel any better.
Once the dust settled, it was tempting to leave things as they were, but I just couldn’t risk Site5 screwing up again, so I began my search for a new hosting company not owned by EIG.
My absolute favorite hosting company is WP Engine, but since their service costs quite a bit more, I knew that most of my clients wouldn’t want to make the switch. It might seem expensive, but it includes enhanced security, daily backups, WordPress updates, Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates, and many other features you would normally pay extra for.
I ended up choosing InMotion because of their extensive documentation and the professional manner in which they responded to my initial inquiry. For one thing, they are employee-owned, so the likelihood of them being bought out by EIG is slim to none. The migration process wasn’t quite as seamless as they’d led me to believe, but there were no major glitches, and I think I’ve made a good choice.
Which web hosting services have you used? What do you like and dislike about them?