How to Avoid Traps and Frustration with HostGator Web Hosting Services

For digital businesses, regardless of their size, a hosting provider acts as a crucial partner, directly contributing to their growth. These providers offer the essential IT infrastructure, such as servers, where companies entrust vital business information. If a hosting company fails to deliver reliable services, it can result in disastrous consequences.
HostGator Web Hosting ServicesOne well-known name in the hosting services industry is HostGator. Originally established in the United States, it was acquired by Endurance International Group in 2012. In 2011, HostGator expanded its operations to India, aiming to attract more business customers by offering localized servers and easier access to live support.

However, businesses expecting the same level of service quality as the parent company often find themselves disappointed. Numerous businesses that have experienced HostGator India’s services have reported subpar performance.

As an example, we hosted several news websites with HostGator US for nearly eight years, and the experience was satisfactory. When we learned about HostGator India, we decided to migrate our websites there. Based on our positive experience with Hostgator U.S., we subscribed to their services for one year without any hesitation and promptly paid the entire amount. Unfortunately, the service turned out to be pathetic. The India team fell short compared to the service provided by HostGator US, lacking basic knowledge of hosting practices.

For instance, one of their technical team members suggested installing Cloudflare services to enhance website performance after we faced intermittent breakdowns. HostGator India attributed these issues to our websites’ technical problems. When we agreed to install Cloudflare, the support team also advised subscribing to a third-party mail server like Gsuite, claiming that all webmails would stop working once connected to Cloudflare. However, this advice proved incorrect, as we had never encountered such issues in the past when our websites were connected to Cloudflare. We followed their advice and went through the process of subscribing to Cloudflare and migrating our emails to Gsuite, which entailed additional time, cost, and effort. Later, we realized that Cloudflare does not affect email services.

These issues occurred between August and September 2022. HostGator India led us to believe that the problems stemmed from capacity issues, PHP issues, cache/plugin issues, and security vulnerabilities; the blame was on our websites. They suggested solutions one after another. However, we eventually realized that the problem was not with our server but with HostGator. Many customers also reported similar issues during that period, as mentioned in the forum. However, we discovered several instances of server downtime that were not addressed in the forum.

We made another significant mistake by subscribing to HostGator India’s managed services. Their team appeared ill-equipped to serve customers effectively. For example, when we upgraded our VPS server, we also subscribed to Acronis backup, assuming it would provide secure backups. However, the HostGator India technician mishandled the configuration. They set up the backup server on our old server without realizing we had migrated to a new one. Consequently, no data was backed up. Simultaneously, they created a new backup on the real VPS server without realising there is an existing third-party backup service, Acronis, which needed to be configured with the current server. As a result, we faced capacity issues and frequent website failures.

After going through a series of issues with Hostgator India, we cancelled our services and swiftly migrated to another provider. We have now been with the new provider for 11 months without encountering any issues. There have been no performance issues, PHP or website problems, or any other complications.

When contacted, HostGator declined to comment on the news about issues associated with HostGator web hosting services.

When we approached HostGator India to request a refund for the unused services, they declined to refund the amount for managed services and Acronis backup. The managed services amount was held as non-returnable credit (NRC), which we could supposedly use in the future. However, as a business that needs to operate 365 days a year, 24/7, we will never choose HostGator India again, rendering our money lost. The Acronis backup, being a third-party service, was non-refundable according to their policy.

It is essential to note that we suffered significant loss during the last two weeks with HostGator India, all attributed to their unprofessional approach. We faced continuous website downtimes, frustrated clients, diminished website performance in search engine rankings, leading to severe impact on our business.

TIPS

Based on our experience, we offer the following suggestions for businesses considering purchasing hosting services:

Opt for monthly billing plans rather than committing to long-term plans. This way, you retain the freedom to withdraw without losing your money.

Thoroughly research the hosting provider’s credibility in terms of customer service, downtime, and customer feedback, which can often be found on social media.

Don’t always trust the statements made by hosting company officials regarding your websites. The issue might be on their end, and your codes or plugins may not be the culprits.

Regularly backup your data independently, regardless of the hosting provider’s backup services, to safeguard against potential mishaps or data loss.

Rajani Baburajan

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