I’ve spent the better part of this week wrangling my WordPress sites around with the different hosting companies I use. It’s insane how inconsistent the service offerings can be between different web host companies. What’s even more insane is how much time you can spend trying to get support.
The New Trend in Hosting Support
The new trend is to bypass the ticket system in favor of phone or live chat support. In the old days, you created a ticket explaining your situation. No more. You need to wait on the phone or in your browser for a support agent to respond to you in real time. I’m not sure why this is considered better, but let me tell you, it is not.
My favorite culprit is Hostgator. As a WordPress hosting customer, you will have to fill in your issue specifics at least twice using their online forms only to be greeted with a meaningless progress bar suggesting your wait time. Once an agent responds to your chat request (average wait time for me is 20 minutes), you’ll have to answer more questions to prove you are a customer.
My Web Hosting Company Situation
I have one site on Site5, two sites on Bluehost, one customer using GoDaddy hosting, and one site on Hostgator. I’ve been systematically moving my client’s sites to Hawkhost. So far, Hawkhost has been the winner by far. As mentioned previously, these are all WordPress sites.
My issues in detail are:
- Speed – My sites are slow
- Incompatibility – Mostly with plugins. I pay for the WPMU Dev service. They have a slew of plugins that are integral to maintaining a WordPress site. I love it when I log into my admin panel after a few days to find that WPMU Defender, Wordfence, or ManageWP have been disabled by the host. Thanks for having my back, guys.
- PHP – I had a support issue with Bluehost and their solution was to downgrade my PHP to 5.2. I had an issue with Hostgator and their solution was to upgrade my PHP to 7.0.
The EIG Debate
In case you did not know, small independent web hosting companies are being bought up by a company called Endurance International Group or EIG. I’ve personally seen each non-EIG company I use get bought and then turn to shit thanks to them. I’ve been a Site5 customer for a decade. As soon as EIG took over, my sites started to have problems.
I am currently switching my sites (as well as my clients’) to Hawkhost thanks to the research I’ve read. If you are considering a new web host company, give them a look. Yes, that is an affiliate link.