Over the years I’ve grown less and less enamored with HostGator, not that I was really enamored with them in the first place(they’re a hosting company after all.) However, over the years they have done things that just have been slowly pushing me away from them.
I would say the beginning of the end of my time at HostGator began with their price increases a while back. I don’t follow the hosting world much, but I think they raised their prices shortly after(or before?) they were acquired by EIG. I understand that sometimes prices do increase, but usually the quality of service or value of the service increases proportionally, unlike HostGator which seemed to go downhill.
I moved most of sites away from HostGator, but still kept paying my monthly bill(stupid), shortly after receiving a notice from them that I was abusing server resources. I had begun experimenting with a plugin called Prosperent which apparently caused the CPU usage to increase quite a bit due to the search engines indexing new pages. I ended transferring my sites to Prosperent cloud for a short time which ended badly.
I understand that my hosting plan was a shared hosting plan and there is a finite amount of CPU processing time on a server, but there’s just something about how they phrased their email message especially the word “abusing” that just really stuck in my craw. I mean it’s not like they advertise how much average CPU usage you’re allowed on their salespage.
No Response To Tickets
I submitted a few tickets for some issues I was having with my website. Not only did I get no response from my tickets, the tickets were put “On hold”. If that’s not a big slap in the face, I don’t know what is. They might as well have just responded to me and said “We don’t care about you as a customer”, but that probably would’ve taken too much effort on their part!
The final straw was earlier this year when I started receiving emails, phone calls, and voice mails from SiteLock saying that they had detected malware on my website. Apparently SiteLock is a partner of HostGator. The person from SiteLock refused to give me any relevant details via email and just sent me vague emails about how my website was compromised.
The funny thing about this entire thing, was that although my hosting account was still active I didn’t have any DNS records pointing to my HostGator hosting account. This means that most likely 1) if my websites on HostGator were hacked it most likely would’ve been due to a deficiency in their hosting system or 2) they detected that my websites were hacked on the other hosting company, but failed to realize that my domain DNS records were no longer pointed at HostGator.
To be fair, my websites were hacked earlier this year with that WordPress 4.7.0 and 4.7.1 vulnerability that allowed un-authenticated users to edit posts. However, these were the sites I was hosting at DigitalOcean at the time.
After all those shenanigans, I finally did what I should have done a long time ago. I downloaded all of my website files, emails, databases and other pertinent information from my account and submitted the account cancellation form. I’m happy to say that on my next renewal I’ll have about $13/month more in my bank account.
Over the last two or three weeks I transferred all of my websites back to Wealthy Affiliate‘s SiteRubix hosting platform. They have steadily made improvements over the years adding things like free SSL certificates(SiteSSL), ability to use SiteComments, and just in general made hosting there easy and hassle free. I have a feeling I’ll be hosting my websites there for a long time to come.