Over the past decade there have been several large web hosting companies that grew rapidly including HostGator, BlueHost, HostMonster, JustHost, iPage, and FatCow (all owned by EIG) to name a few. The web hosting industry is continuing to expand at an aggressive rate. Endurance International Group, which was originally known as BizLand, is a web hosting company that acquires up-and-coming web hosting companies. EIG currently owns and operates over sixty different web hosting brands from around the world and is dubbed as one of the largest web hosting companies in the world. You might not know this because the hosting companies EIG owns all operate under the original brand names. With a growing demand for online services, the need for web hosting continues to increase and Endurance International Group has position itself very well for this immense market.
A Brief History of Endurance International Group (EIG)
BizLand, which is now known as EIG, opened its doors officially in 1997, just in time for the dotcom boom. Its business model was to acquire smaller and fast growing hosting companies, with the hopes of achieving its current size. In 2011, Endurance International Group was sold to Warburg Pincus and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners for around 1 billion dollars. At the time of the sale, EIG was managing over 1.9 million customers worldwide and 7.7 million domain names. Since the sale, EIG has acquired a large number of web hosting companies, nearly increasing this figure by over 30%.
Notable EIG Buyouts
EIG’s most notable acquisitions include the buyouts of iPage (acquired in 2009), JustHost (acquired in 2010), BlueHost / HostMonster (acquired in 2010), HostNine / A Small Orange (acquired in 2012), HostGator for $225 million in 2012, Arvixe (acquired in 2014), and Site5 (acquired in 2015).
A Small Orange
Berry Information Systems
IX Web Hosting
Networks Web Hosting
A recent move to become a publicly traded company (October 2013 listed on NASDAQ – EIGI) has helped Endurance International Group diversify its acquisitions and secure financing. With its significant cash pile, EIG continues to acquire web hosting and other web related companies, growing its existing customer base.
EIG’s strategy has involved silent takeovers, as they have tried to not publicize acquisitions. All the web hosting companies owned EIG continue operate under their original brands, while EIG has made administrative and technical changes with the operations.
Web Hosting Outages Affecting EIG Customers
On August 2nd, 2013, millions of HostGator, BlueHost, HostMonster, and JustHost customers experienced downtime ranging from several hours up to a day. It was the largest web hosting downtime to affect the Internet in a very long time. It was revealed that router issues originated from the Endurance International Group datacenter based out of Provo, Utah. As a result of the router issue, both websites and phone lines were down – which simultaneously caused panic, business disruptions and an influx of questions. We all know that downtime is inevitable, but when it happens on such a large scale, affecting millions of customers worldwide, it gives us pause for thought. There was another second significant outage in 2013 at the EIG Provo, Utah datacenter on December 31st. In 2014, EIG had three more notable outages on 04/16/14, 05/19/14 and 10/29/14.
Reports of Declining Support
As EIG continues to acquire more and more web hosting companies, many customers are reporting an apparent downward trend in support. There has been an increase of instances where customers of HostGator have noticed a decline in response times, as well as overall helpfulness of support staff. Some examples include the following:
“I have 2 tickets regarding my site being down for almost 2 days !! No one has had even the courtesy to reply to my support requests. I have been a member for over a decade and am am no [sic] seriously thinking of moving on” 11/13/2014 – Hostgator Support non existent
“When we joined Hostgator we couldn’t believe the incredible value for money they offered and the unbeatable support. Live chat, hop on and hop off. However now it just seems the exponential growth they have acquired has got the better of them. Recently we have had support tickets not answered for 3 days — multiple follow ups and no answer. Eventually posting on the official FB page and messaging them via FB got the support ticket looked at.” – 11/03/2014 WebHostingTalk thread
“I used to like the live support, a few minutes and I was talking to someone and they actually had some knowledge. Even if I sent an email to support, it was often replied to within 30 minutes or less.
Now live support takes up to an hour and they have basically no knowledge of hosting…You will have to wait a day or two to get any email response…I just find it really incredible that a company can rise to the top and then fall so easily. Just look at this forum or any hosting forums and you will see thread after thread on how bad Hostgator is these days and people asking where they can move to. look for hosting reviews and it even gets worse. It makes you wonder what goes on at these companies and how they could be so stupid to lose control of a popular and solid business like this?
All they have to do is to make it like it was but unfortunately I think the damage is done now and it’s irreversible, reputation in this business is everything.
The good thing is that other hosting companies can now offer more value and compete as there is one less player, a big one going out the door.
Goodbye Hostgator.” 07/17/2014 – The Rise and Fall of Hostgator
— David Laxton (@David_Laxton43) January 8, 2015
While HostGator is only a small piece of the EIG picture, there have been reports of declining support across other web hosting companies that EIG has acquired.
What Does All This Mean for You?
There are many people that are perfectly happy with the quality of service that they are receiving from hosting companies owned by EIG. If you are interested in hosting with one of their companies you might end up being in the same boat. However, you should do your research, just like with any product or service. As someone who requires reliable web hosting with adequate customer support, and true value for your money, look into EIG hosts (I’m sure you will come across many of them), as well as web hosts not owned by EIG. Identify your hosting needs and compare your all of your options. With the help of web hosting reviews and a careful look at your specific hosting requirements, you should be able to find a web host that suits your needs that won’t let you down.
Are you currently using a web hosting company that is owned by Endurance International Group? Please help out other webmasters and share your experience, good or bad, by submitting a hosting review or leaving a comment below. If you are looking for an alternative to one of the many EIG hosting companies listed above, here are some EIG hosting alternatives that have been reviewed on CastironHosting.com