Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: Endurance International Group is the Wal-Mart of web hosting companies.
And not in the cute, “let me take a trip to Wal-Mart and I’ll find everything I need” sort of way, either.
No. In this case, I mean the “giant conglomerate without a single personable face that is creating the need for viable alternatives” sort of way. To put it bluntly.
If you’ve come to this article in search of one of those viable alternatives, then there’s a good chance you agree with this central premise. That just leads us to the next question: what is the alternative? Is EIG pricing the quality guys out of the business, or are there legitimate alternatives that bear consideration?
Why People Don’t Like Big Web Hosting Conglomerates
Some people have a natural aversion to large corporations and big-time conglomerates out of loyalty to the little guy. Other people don’t care. But let’s zoom in a bit and consider why those customers with the need of effective web hosting don’t like the giant, faceless companies:
Dealing with them can be a pain in the butt.
Not specific enough? Good—let’s look at the exact reasons the “giant conglomerate web host” experience can be such a pain:
- Slow turnaround times. When you’re running a business that depends on a change occurring with your website, you don’t want to be caught in the old corporate runaround, waiting for those changes to take place. Slow turnaround times apply to just about anything you might imagine, and make the “corporate host” experience much more frustrating than it needs to be.
- Feeling more like a statistic than a customer. When you communicate with a company, you want a personal touch. You want to feel like your business is valued. When’s the last time you worked with a giant conglomerate and felt this way? Chances are, it’s very rare. Without good customer service, you feel more like a statistic than a paying customer.
- Getting connected to the right people—too slowly. We’ve all shared this experience: we want to talk to a reasonable human being on the other end of the line. We want to feel like we’re not talking to some bureaucratic zombie who’s only allowed to say a certain line after you complain. We need to feel like we have access to a decision maker who can make our lives easier.
- Borg action. Star Trek’s Borg are a cybernetic race bent on world domination through technological assimilation. Sounds kind of like a big conglomerate, right? When the big fish eat the little ones but don’t incorporate what made the little companies so successful to begin with, it ends up creating less quality for the end-user.
- Missing out on a great web host. Designers and web masters love a great web host. They know that all of that design work needs to come packaged with fast load times and a quality platform. They want to feel like the host is an actual company on the other end of the line, not just a robo-call center. When you work with the big hosting conglomerates, that feeling is simply not there 100% of the time.
If you’re experienced with this type of web hosting company, then you know all about these pains. But let’s talk alternatives. How do you improve life for yourself and find an EIG alternative that will work for you?
Where to Find Alternatives to EIG—and Why
Now we’re left with a basic question: if not EIG, then what?
Remember the “Borg” comparison from the previous section? The problem thus far has been that there were EIG alternatives. Perfectly viable ones, in fact. But, like the Borg, EIG consumed and assimilated many of these alternatives, leaving consumers scrambling for other hosting companies.
Don’t believe me? Check out ResearchAsAHobby.com. Here you’ll see an entire list of hosting domains and companies that have been bought out in the past, including:
- A Small Orange
Any of those sound familiar? Of course, they do; they’re hosts that have been around for a long time. But with EIG moving in, the hosts you’ll find on the ResearchAsAHobby list—which uses mainstream news sources for its research—might not be the alternatives you once thought they were.
As an SEO consultant, I get a chance to work with a lot of clients running WordPress on EIG hosts. I’ve used quite a few of these hosts before and after the EIG takeover. In the case of HostGator I can especially tell a difference in the way customer support works now compared with how things were under the founder.
That leaves us in a precarious position. With EIG dominating the hosting industry, where might we turn for a better hosting experience?
In this case, don’t think big. Think small. A small host could be better—not only because it avoids the trap of being gobbled up by EIG (or, at least, has thus far), but because there’s nothing wrong with a small company if it does things the right way.
It’s difficult to find a safe, family-owned, or even independent host. Like many other companies in the world, the “mom and pop shops” tend to be eaten up.
The key here: finding reliability. The advantage of the large conglomerates is that they tend to bring a big degree of stability and reliability. Think of them as the giant cruise ship that’s difficult to knock off course. They move slowly, sure, but they’re also incredibly difficult to knock over with just a wave.
ClickHOST, for example, is an alternative that brings this kind of reliability to web hosting. And because you want to have confidence that your host isn’t going to go belly-up any time soon, you know that ClickHOST can offer scalable hosting for WordPress, for example, based on Amazon Web Services. That means you’ll get all of that cruise ship stability from a giant company…while still working with one of the smaller hosting companies that takes your business very seriously.
Next Steps for Finding Your Alternative
If you’re still reading this, you know you’re ready for an EIG alternative that gives you all of the options and consistency one of the larger web hosts can give you.
But where do you find the alternative?
Use ClickHOST as an example. They’re small enough to give individualized attention and it works with larger platforms like Amazon Web Services to give you the consistent, on-demand hosting you need. This results in a “best of both worlds” scenario: you get the qualities of a larger company with the attention of a smaller web hosting service.
Put it together and you have an EIG alternative that’s ready to go. The only question that remains: what are you going to do about it?
Hopefully, you won’t get assimilated.