HostGator teaches us how not to do business

Last Update: November 01, 2014

Well, as I go through day four of site downtime, I have to say thanks to HostGator for the reminder of how not to do business, lol.

I completely understand that webhosts will occasionally experience issues, sometimes even on a catastrophic level.

How a business handles these types of failures probably gives the absolute best insight as to where there priorities truly are.

In this case, the issues are primarily affecting those of us using reseller accounts. Fortunately for me, I only use the reseller account for my own sites and do not resell and host clients on them.

My heart truly goes out to those who actually have the misfortune of hosting their own clients via the reseller package at HG.

As soon as things went south on October 29, HostGator should have immediately notified their reseller account holders that there were issues so that they could proactively contact their own clients.

This would have reduced both financial damage and damage to the reputations of those resellers affected.

Instead, HG did the minimum required and posted fairly unhelpful updates to their forums and social media accounts.

This led to resellers have to be reactive to irate clients instead of being able to proactively inform their clients that there was trouble. Many of these resellers are going to take a much bigger hit than the meager amount of a monthly service credit that HG will provide.

Here are a few of the lessons learned(or lessons we are reminded of):

  • Always make backups to your sites when you make changes. HG has restored 10 out of 14 sites I have, but they are backups from 10/25/14. Personally, I didn't lose any data that can't be easily redone, but many have.
  • If you are doing business with people who do business, make sure you notify them if there is any chance issues you are having might impact their business. This proactive action can save everyone's reputation, save clients and, minimize damage to revenue.
  • Always have an escape plan. If you have current backups and your webhost goes down for an extended period of time, you could easily migrate to another host if necessary.
  • Keep on top of your business. Know what's going on, always. There are plenty of tools out there to monitor site downtime, find dead links, etc. Keep an eye on your affiliate relationships so you aren't promoting affiliate programs that are deactivated at the networks or aren't converting well.

This catastrophe at HostGator is a great reminder that we all need to keep our focus on our customers needs, especially when we are running into problems that may affect them.

Good luck to anybody that is still being affected by the HG outage.

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CarlaIves Premium
I've heard good and bad about HostGator, mostly bad. I've had lots of down time from Blu Host and GoDaddy, too. As much as people hate GoDaddy, they have been the best about it. As my sites come up for renewal, though, I am moving them here to WA. Sorry you have to go through this and hope it ends for you and everyone else soon!
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chrisbailey Premium
I didn't have any issues with Bluehost when I used them a few years back. I eventually switched because I wanted to use a reseller account, which they didn't offer at the time. Unfortunately, like HostGator, they are now under the umbrella of Endurance International Group. In the opinion of quite a few folks around the web, this has led to service and support deteriorating.
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Maxiam59 Premium
I am still using WA for my hosting is that a good thing all the best
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chrisbailey Premium
Nothing wrong with WA hosting as far as I've seen. Personally, I prefer more access with cPanel and WHM on reseller accounts.
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kholmes Premium
Have never used Host Gator, doesn't sound like a good thing. :)
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chrisbailey Premium
I had not had any major issues until this downtime. Wasn't good, but I'll survive. :D
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hecre Premium
I wanted to start out with HostGator via recommendations, so I created an account and bought my first domain.

2 days later when nothing had happened, I tried to contact them via live chat.

Waited 45 mins for a guy who seemed like he had other more important stuff to do, and he could not tell me when I could start using my site.

So I cancelled the whole HostGator purchase and went to webhostinghub and 10 mins later I had an account, my domain (HostGator never reserved the domain LOL) and my site I could start working on.

I will never recommend anyone to HostGator, this was simply a level of service that I can't deal with.
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chrisbailey Premium
Yep, the old "you only get one chance to make a good first impression".

I have not had any major issues with HG and when I originally changed over to them, they helped me import my sites in a timely fashion, so I haven't had anything to bitch about until this point.

From what I've seen around the 'net, many users feel that the quality of the service has dropped significantly since Endurance International Group acquired them.

I'm not certain that I'll be changing hosts, but it will change the way I have some things set up.

Thanks for the reply and have a great day.
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danbarth87 Premium
Interesting! I guess not everyone was affected. I have used HostGator for years and have never had this happen. My websites are all working fine. Hopefully they will get it fixed for everyone who was impacted.
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chrisbailey Premium
Are you on a reseller account?
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danbarth87 Premium
No, I've just been a happy customer
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chrisbailey Premium
This particular issue was limited to reseller accounts http://forums.hostgator.com/oct-29-02-00-emergency-maintenance-t328219.html

Another example of bad support is that the last post in the thread linked to above advises those still experiencing issues to submit a support ticket or use live support.

Live support has been taking forever to get to customers and the ticket system is apparently broken. My initial ticket has disappeared and I get an error page when I try to submit a new one.

Just waiting it out. :)
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