EIG (Endurance International Group) master thread

#1

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.

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#2

Wow. Thanks for that list @Aractus. I had no idea some of those were EIG brands. That’s a really useful post.

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#3

I recently fled arvixe after they basically abandoned the server my sites were on and simply told me to buy a new hosting account with them to get onto a server which was getting updates.

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#4

@azurecurve you actually reminded me of this post (believe it or not) which I just spent the last 20 minutes trying to find on Google, finally found it. You’ll probably get a kick out of it the experience is similar to yours The author talks about how he was on a shared server called “Teal” and all his friends were saying that Arvixe was terrible but that wasn’t his experience, so he had them provision him over to another server “Hedgehog” and sure enough it was a disaster. He then moved to a VPS which we can presume is a physically different server to the shared Hedgehog server and it was terrible too.

The moral of the story is that with hosts like EIG you can get lucky and get put on a good server, but your experience won’t match that of most other users.

(edit to add) @ozfiddler actually I’m glad I got this topic in before any EIG owned host got its own thread. A few years ago EIG looked very strong, but their unsustainable ponzi-like growth model I think has really undermined their credibility and reputation. They were definitely hurt by free TLS, only late last year did they start allowing cPanel’s built-in AutoSSL to give out free certificates, and still a good number of their brands like A Small Orange (which itself was a well reputed host back before EIG acquired it in 2012) don’t appear to allow it. They seem to be hedging their bets so they continue haemorrhaging customers to their other brands.

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#5

When I first went on Bluehost in 2013, it was a great improvement over the free service I’d used for a bit, and things went fine for a while. But a couple of years later, support tickets wouldn’t get responses for days or weeks. And in 2016, my site went haywire all of a sudden one day. All weekend I tried to fix it. The support people didn’t have a clue what was going on. I’d try different things and nothing worked, or it only worked for a little while, maybe a few weeks, then something would crash again.

I almost moved to wordpress.com, but then heard about Siteground and gave self-hosting one more chance… They migrated the site for me, and it’s been purring along for two and a half years. Usually any site issues have nothing to do with the host now.

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#6

+1, EIG is on my “never” list as well. Their best-known brand is probably Bluehost but there are many others as mentioned in the original post.

To expand on this a bit: from my perspective, the main problem is that EIG crams waaaaay too many sites on each shared server, so that they can make more money. This leads to poor performance among other issues.

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