EIG is without a doubt one of the most controversial and hated names in webhosting. They are a US based publicly listed company and one of the largest hosts in the world today and yet most people, even their own customers, have never heard of them. They have a practise of silently acquiring established hosts, firing everyone and then running the company their way which includes migrating the servers to their own datacentres. Some of their brands are better than others and had less interference when acquired by EIG. Many of their unfortunate customers have unknowingly moved from one EIG owned host to another in a sorry cycle of dissatisfaction. EIG currently own over 80 brands, here is the (believed to be) complete list:
2slick.com, AccountSupport, A Small Orange, ApolloHosting, AptHost, Arvixe, Berry Information Systems, BigRock, BizLand, BlueDomino, BlueFur, BlueHost, BuyDomains, Cirtex Hosting, Cloud by IX, Constant Contact, Directi, Dollar2Host, Domain.com, DomainHost, Dot5Hosting, Dotster, easyCGI, eHost, EntryHost, Escalate Internet, FastDomain, FatCow, FreeYellow, [email protected], Homestead, HostCentric, HostClear, Host Excellence, HostGator, HostMonster, HostNine, HostYourSite.com, HostV, HyperMart, IdeaHost, IMOutdoors, Impress.ly, Intuit Websites, iPage, IPOWER/iPowerWeb, IX Web Hosting, JustCloud, JustHost, LogicBoxes, MojoMarketplace, MyDomain, MyResellerHome, NetFirms, Networks Web Hosting, Nexx, PowWeb, PureHost, ReadyHosting, ResellerClub, SEOGears, SEO Hosting, Site5, SiteBuilder.com, Sitelio, Sitey, Southeast Web, Spry, StartLogic, SuperGreen Hosting, TypePad, USANetHosting, vDeck, Verio, VirtualAvenue, VPSLink, WebHost4Life, WebHosting.info, WebsiteBuilder.com, Webstrike Solutions, Webzai, World Wide Web Hosting, Xeran, YourWebHosting.
Only a fraction of their brands are disclosed on their website. Thankfully they have slowed acquisitions in recent years so the list is fairly stable at the moment. They actually have purchased more brands than the ones listed, but dissolved them (and some of the brands above have since been dissolved as well).
Should you host with EIG?
Almost certainly not. Their lack of transparency makes it difficult to objectively asses their different brands and how to accurately distinguish them (there was a suggestion a few years ago that EIG brands fall into three main categories), but the main thing to keep in mind with EIG is that EIG is really the host and their “brands” are just that, brands. They are housed in the same locations as each other and serviced by the same technicians. In the words of a former EIG/Bluehost employee:
When EIG acquires new hosts, they keep them on the hosts original hardware for a little while. However they do end up migrating it all to EIG’s own infrastructure so there’s little to no difference between EIG hosts in terms of performance or support.
A few years ago a network error that saw two network switches fail in one of their datacentres simultaneously took down “BlueHost”, “HostGator”, “HostMonster”, and “JustHost”. Outages will happen to any host, this is just to demonstrate that it’s really EIG that is the host.
EIG’s value is at a historic low, and they are still running at a loss (about $100 million per year). They were charged last year by SEC for fraud and agreed to pay an $8 million penalty, with the former CEO paying an additional $1.4 million penalty. At the end of 2018 they had $2.6 million in assets and $1.85 billion in debt. I’m sure I don’t need to explain that they are basically insolvent and do not have the money needed to spend on upgrading hardware or hiring better support, etc. They will be forced to cut costs and raise prices to service their debt, or they will collapse. Therefore I can confidently predict that the quality of service from EIG brands will continue to diminish over the foreseeable future, and certainly will not be able to match that of profitable hosts.