HostGator Down! Noooo, my websites are not up!
This sentiment was shared on Friday as most of HostGator's sites along with JustHost, BlueHost, and HostMonster‘s customers sites went offline for many hours and experienced intermittent downtime, slow loading websites, and generally poor site performance.
With a lot of frustration and no clear answers from HostGator I sent out this Tweet on Friday. This got shared on YFS Magazine Facebook page, a magazine for young entrepreneur's, and got a healthy number of ReTweets and favorites since others felt the same way.
You might want to check out some other Tweets regarding the outages as there a lot of other funny, rude, and crazy ones. When people can't access or work on their websites the niceties go out the window and web hysteria kicks in.
It should be noted that HostGator, JustHost, BlueHost, and HostMonster are all owned by the same company Endurance International Group (EIG). EIG web hosts are notorious for overselling and packing servers with tons of websites leading to poor and slow site performance.
Until recently HostGator was considered one of the best web hosting companies to work with. I actually moved from Site5 to HostGator since I have hosted with HostGator before and found they were a good web hosting company.
That was until they moved their datacenter from SoftLayer's facilities in Dallas, Texas to the Provo, Utah facility about 3-4 weeks ago. Every since the datacenter move happened the websites I have hosted with HostGator (including this blog currently, but that will likely change) ALL my sites have had issues loading slow and I have had quite a lot of downtime even before the EIG datacenter fiasco on Friday. I've tried to work with HostGator support about these issues but they didn't seem to care or think there was a problem. They essentially were like, “Yeah, F$%# you we know the servers are overpacked.”
I assume the reason all the Provo, Utah datacenter has been having issues is that HostGator manages 1% of the world's websites. When you move that much data into an already packed datacenter, well you are going to have problems. Probably not something that EIG executives want to hear about since they want to have an Initial Public Offering (IPO) soon. Therefore you better cut costs and make the company look like a better investment. Am I right?
Initially HostGator blamed the problem on a “network issue” and it was not clear whether it was a Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack on the Provo datacenter or something that was caused by EIG. Because of the wide anger and hysteria EIG setup a simple WordPress website called Endurance Response and posted this;
During the morning of August 2, 2013, Endurance International Group’s data center in Provo, UT experienced unexpected issues that impacted customers of Bluehost, HostGator, HostMonster and JustHost. Company websites and some phone services were affected as well.
Many of our customers’ sites are back online. Some customers may continue to experience intermittent access and slowness until services are fully restored. Customer should not experience any loss of data.
The resources of our entire company are focused on the recovery, including our executive team, which is leading these efforts from our command center in Burlington, MA. The team will issue updates at enduranceresponse.com every 30 minutes until all customer services are restored. Following the restoration of services, Endurance will conduct a thorough review of this incident.
Ron LaSalvia, Chief Operating Officer, has expressed his message to customers, “We understand that your sites are your lifeblood, as well as the engine to our economy, and we have committed all company resources, nationwide to a swift resolution and full restoration.”
When I emailed HostGator they said again it was a network issue and then said it was DDOS. Apparently EIG can't keep their story straight as I did not see anywhere on Endurance Response that it said they had a DDOS.
What is annoying is that having lots of website down-time can affect search engine rankings. (Of course this depends on how much traffic your blog gets and how often the Googlebot crawls your site.)
I want to make it clear to everyone that I understand when web hosting companies have downtime. This it to be expected if you are using a shared hosting honestly. It just is not possible since you are sharing the server resources with other people. However… HostGator still has yet to provide me with clear answers about the outages and bad performance before this major HostGator down-time, along with the other EIG web hosts, and make it clear what the exactly the problem was.
Endurance International Group now has taken HostGator from being a great host with great support to a host that people are fleeing from. (According to Twitter and other social media channels at least.) Even though I wrote about HostGator deals before on this blog and have recommended them, I have removed all affiliate links from this blog and all of my websites. I can't in good faith recommend HostGator anymore to my friends or followers and I hope you appreciate my honesty, even it will cost me a few affiliate commissions. For your information, I won't be giving any business to Endurance International Group hosting companies in the future either.
Personally I am probably going to be moving back to Site5 because of the HostGator down-time and lack of support. Site5 provides good and knowledgeable support, but can be too technical at times, and don't overpack servers. You can read my Site5 Review to get a better idea about their web hosting services.
If you are a customer with HostGator, BlueHost, JustHost, or HostMonster I would recommend using a website monitoring service. (You should for all of your websites no matter what the host is.) I like Uptime Robot and it is completely free website monitoring service and allows up to 50 monitors. Downtime alerts can be sent via email, text message, or RSS feed notifications.
If you are currently with an EIG host has the recent datacenter outage made you think about moving to another web hosting company? Where are going to move and how do you determine a good host? How does it make you feel when you can't access or your website is down and there is no clear explanation?