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«Return to Blog List When Good Webhosts Go Bad: Giving up on Hostgator

Bye gator!

Hostgator used to be a great webhosting company. Evo had been a Hostgator reseller for at least 6 years, the longest we’d ever been with a hosting company. I had no reason to think they wouldn’t continue to meet our needs. 

But in April, numerous small outages began to occur: 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there. And I began to get 8-10 emails a day from the system telling me spamd or php or mysql had failed, each followed within 5-10 minutes by another system email stating that the server had recovered the service on restart. When I asked Hostgator support about these incidents, they passed it off as “normal.” And, they were right, because that turned out to be the new normal for Hostgator; it became so common I quit worrying about it.

I should have been more worried and moved to another webhost then, but moving dozens of database-driven websites is tedious and time-consuming, and I wanted to believe Hostgator would sort things out. All companies have occasional issues, and the good ones correct them and move forward. I thought that’s what they would do.

Then I got an email from Hostgator that all my sites would be moved to their (apparently new) Provo data center. I thought perhaps that would be the improvement I was hoping for, but it was not to be. Service continued to be spotty, and support became unresponsive or, when responsive, not at all helpful. My experience closely mirrored that of a well-known WordPress security expert.

Then, on August 2, Hostgator’s Provo center went down for at least 8 hours, maybe 10. It was no longer possible to wait and see if Hostgator could get their act together. Not looking for a better alternative would make me part of the problem.

Sam Hotchkiss, a developer for whom I have high regard, recommended Storm on Demand cloud hosting, and I undertook the process of setting up a new server and moving sites there.

So now, after two weeks, all my clients are on Storm, and the first thing I notice is the increase in speed. And the lack of system emails detailing service failures. And the lack of clients calling to let me know their website and email is down. This is how webhosting is supposed to work.

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