Yesterday, was a nightmare for customers of BlueHost, HostGator, HostMonster, and JustHost! Countless customers affected - hosting down at the Utah data center.
Early this year, HostGator sold out to a company called EIG (Endurance International Group). And they're not alone, EIG has purchased many other hosting companies, such as BlueHost, HostMonster, JustHost, just to name a few.
Warning: This is a rant and my own opinion! You may love your hosting company and my intention is not to offend you.
I've been hosting with HostGator for years and over the past several months I have seen a decline in their customer service and server reliability.
- Calling tech support takes forever to get someone to answer.
- Support tickets related to anything WordPress all have the same answer, "You need to install a caching plugin."
- Support ticket response can take over a week (and need to call them to get them to "bump" it).
- I've helped several clients purchase new VPS hosting with them and each time the server was not setup correctly (oops...forgot to install cPanel, oops...mysql was not installed, oops...I need you to cancel that account and create another one).
- Received emails that my hosting has been migrated to a new server and now I have new IPs (hence the Utah data center).
- Received emails from others asking me what the heck does this mean? They migrated my site to another server and I don't have to do anything, only to have a DNS issue later.
- Had my dedicated IPs changed two times this year, sucks when you are using a custom nameserver and have to once again change it within the registrar.
- Sites are running slower.
- Server repeatedly goes down. What, why is MySQL or PHP down? Wonder if I killed the data center by pushing the restart button so many times
- The entire data center had an outage from 2:44am to 8pm CST.
What's my biggest concern? How does an entire data center go down? What? Are you kidding me? I don't want to hear about core switches that need to be replaced. Why the heck don't they have backup core switches? Was that really all it was? And no tech support available? Phone lines are down? Support Forum offline? Live Chat broken? And Hostgator tweeting to visit their "parent company" for updates at http://enduranceresponse.com.
What does HostGator not have? A fail-safe backup plan! I need a reliable host that has another place to route my website too so I don't go down for an entire day.
Yes, I am ranting and I know many of you have been as well.
Rather than go on and on about how this outage has affected me and so many others, here's what action I have taken:
- It was time to take my site to the next level, so I contacted Gary Cornelisse, my server security expert go-to guy. He understands how servers work and how to set them up correctly. After a consultation with him, he explained how HostGator failed in launching my site on another server (they don't offer it) and the only way to stop the "outages" it is to have cloud VPS. Without sounding too techy, that means if the server goes down, my site will load on another server. It was just the "magic switch" that I needed to eliminate this problem. I told him, "Bingo, sign me up! I refuse to give HostGator another chance when having my sites up and emails working is most important to me and my customers."
- With Gary's high recommendation, I purchased Liquid Web (aff link) Storm VPS. It is only going to cost me $60/month. (That's only $10 more than what I was paying HostGator and I get more storage, more bandwidth, more security, and reliability.) Oh, and I called Liquid Web to ask a question after I purchased my new hosting plan and they answered on the first ring. Amazing!
- Gave Gary my login details so he can work his magic. I hired him to migrate my sites (set up my server, backups, move my sites, databases, emails, cron jobs, etc.) and give the server a dose of extra security too -- You're probably asking, why on earth would Regina hire him? She's techy. The answer is simple. I've known Gary for years and seen him perform magic on servers. I trust him enough to watch my dogs, my house, and my websites. And I am not a server expert and he is. He looks at my server usage, files, everything to make my site run awesome. Check out Gary's WordPress Migration Package. Got questions? Sign-up for a consultation with him, it's worth every penny!!!
- Contacted Kristen Eckstein, one of my clients and dear friend, and told her my action plan. She said, "Ditto" and immediately contacted Gary and he is setting up her server and moving her sites too.
- Emailed a whole bunch of people in my personal list and let them know why their websites were down.
- Contacted tons of friends on Skype and let them know what was up (my Skype was on fire when I got up yesterday morning)
- Notified my Facebook friends about the issue and posted regular updates - Gee it would have been nice if HostGator sent out an email to their customers making them aware of the situation, but wait... they couldn't, emails were down.
- Removed my HostGator affiliate banner off my sidebar and replaced it with a link to Gary's site, http://wpnextlevel.com, and *LiquidWeb. I just can't recommend HostGator with the way their service has become.
- Sent out a newsletter blast to all my subscribers letting them know about the hosting outage and what my plan of action was.
- Now I am writing this post to share on my blog with the rest of the world.
Leave Your Feedback
It's time for you to rant too. Let me know how the server outage has affected you and your business? What plan of action did you take? Are you staying with your host? I would love to read your comments.
P.S. Gary has been getting slammed with orders, as you can imagine, so to be next in line, be sure to sign up for his Migration Service ASAP. He's agreed to do a special of $50 for each additional site after the initial order, which he will invoice you for later - http://wpnextlevel.com/wordpress-migration/