You’ve probably heard the name EIG and heard you should avoid them. But what is EIG? And why should you avoid their hosting services?
Let’s start by finding out what EIG is.
What is EIG?
EIG is a web hosting company that was founded in 1997 in Burlington, Massachusetts. It’s a huge company, and the way it’s gotten to grow so huge is by buying out other web hosting providers. It doesn’t change those web hosting companies’ names, but it does change how they operate under the surface.
EIG’s entire goal is to swallow up enough web hosting providers to create one large, international internet service provider. It is following the same path that another company named Verio did in the 1990s. They buy out web hosting companies as soon as they become large, well-established companies.
EIG’s companies are not known as being very good web hosting providers that care about the customer. They are often plagued with outages and malware, since they believe it’s somehow the customer’s responsibility to keep their website secure. The biggest problem of all is that a customer may move away from an EIG web hosting provider in search of a new provider, and end up getting with yet another EIG web hosting provider.
EIG’s Acquired Brands
Here is a list of all the known EIG owned hosting companies. You’ll be surprised to see quite a few big names listed here.
Now you can understand why it can be so hard to switch away from using an EIG owned web hosting provider.
Over the years, EIG has fallen victim to several large-scale outages. The most eye-opening and famous of these occurred on August 3, 2013. The EIG data center in Utah took the hit, and millions of Bluehost, HostGator, and HostMonster customers were affected. It infected both their phone lines and their servers, and was one of the largest outages in the web hosting industry that anyone had seen for years. It made it obvious which web hosting companies were owned by EIG.
That wasn’t the only outage EIG has experienced, either. Here is a list of the most well-known outages that have affected their uptime:
December 31, 2013 — Many of EIG’s servers went down and stayed down until January 2, 2014
October 29, 2014 — It took well past 24 hours and even over 4 days for EIG to resolve issues with their HostGator servers
May 19, 2014 — The connections to the servers went down. It took EIG most of the day to resolve this.
April 16, 2014 — Servers were down for 24 hours
There have been many more outages in recent years, leaving one to wonder if EIG’s web hosting providers can be relied upon. The main reasons behind many of these outages involves the switch from the web hosting provider’s original servers to EIG’s data center in Utah. Marked symptoms of an EIG takeover include slower servers, unhelpful staff, a long wait on support, and more. These symptoms can indicate an EIG takeover that spurs customers to switch to another web hosting provider.
How EIG Operates
Something very important to realize here is that EIG will continue to acquire web hosting providers. A web hosting provider with its own private flourishing customer base is exactly what EIG sees as a new opportunity to take over.
A great deal of resources are devoted to find flourishing web hosting providers with a strong customer base by EIG’s decision makers and executives. EIG often makes a lot of changes once they acquire a new business. Some of these changes include a reduction or complete removal of staff, moving accounts to a different data center, and implementing their own control panel.
EIG has their own team of support staff that they use for their web hosting providers. Even after acquiring a new business, EIG often switches to their own short-staffed support teams. This means that the web hosting provider’s customers will now have to learn to deal with longer wait times and unknowledgeable and unhelpful support staff. They just don’t staff enough people or train them well enough to deal with their constantly growing customer base. This is likely to continue as EIG continues to buy up web hosting providers, but may change if their decision-makers decide to make customer service a priority.
From the outside looking in, nothing will have changed about the web hosting provider. They will still have the same logo, same brand, same plans, and same promotions. However, on the inside, EIG will have completely overturned and revamped the technical and administration sides of the business.
While some may theorize that with such a large customer base there is bound to be complaints about EIG, the reality seems to be that EIG just doesn’t give enough support to keep up with their constantly growing customer base.
What to Do About EIG
EIG owning a huge portion of the most popular web hosting providers is a sad and unfortunate truth that one must cope with. If you are unhappy with Bluehost or any other EIG owned company and decide to switch, chances are high you’ll just pick another EIG owned company… IF you don’t do your research and stay away from companies on the list of bought-over brands. Customers unfortunately are the victims in EIG having acquired such a large part of the market.
If you find you have EIG based hosting but are a happy customer, there are a few suggestions for you. First of all, make sure you have uptime monitoring active from a reputable website like Uptime Doctor. You may find out you’re experiencing more downtime than you thought you was. Additionally, do speed testing to see how fast your web pages are loading with a tool like Pingdom. You may be surprised to find your page loading speed is very poor compared to what it could be. Also, create regular backups of your website and keep them on your computer and/or stored in your own private cloud. This way if you run into problems and need to switch to another hosting company, you can do so without losing your data.
The good news is that there are still a lot of reliable web hosting providers who are not owned by EIG. Web hosting providers that are focused on customer satisfaction are aware of EIG. However, they don’t give in to any offers to get bought out, no matter what profit may be in it for them.
If you’re looking for a web hosting provider that isn’t owned by EIG, check out Hosting reviews to see if there is any mention of a web hosting provider being owned by EIG before you commit to buying a plan through them. Hosting review can also provide you a good understanding of the features of each web hosting provider as well as how satisfied their customers are.
It’s hard to choose a web hosting provider thanks to the number of companies in operation. However, once you factor out all the companies owned by EIG, your path will become clearer. Checking reviews will also help you figure out what other webmasters think of other web hosting providers, as well as give you an idea of which web hosting providers best fulfill your specific needs. Make sure you are doing complete research on each web hosting provider, and keep notes so you can organize a list from best to worst. Choosing the right web hosting provider for your needs is important, and doing this research now instead of later will save you much disappointment, frustration, and the need to change web hosting providers.
The bottom-line: EIG brands are to be avoided as much as possible due to the consistent trouble they tend to bring many of their customers.