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Hostgator keeps going down like an LA porn star

Hostgator hosting tens of thousands of clients websites recently got massive business problems. Leading to their clients websites being offline from the internet.

If you don’t know anything about Hostgator or don’t know what it is consider yourself lucky. For the rest of us mortals who host our websites on Hostgator, the past couple of weeks had been quite an ordeal. Hostgator , lucky or not, is one of the largest website hosts on the planet. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of separate accounts and possibly millions of websites being hosted by this network. That’s how powerful and wide-reaching Hostgator is that’s why there was a lot of turmoil, crying, rage, and frustration online when Hostgator suffered several outages in the past few weeks.

Many Hostgator hosted websites simply couldn’t be reached but the whole point of getting hosted is for people from all over the world access your website whenever they want. Many people make their money off their websites. Having no website means no money. See why there’s so much drama? A lot of speculations are swirling in many hosting forms and webmaster forms regarding the reasons for the outages. Hostgator’s official’s explanation is that it’s part of their service transition. This makes a lot of sense. Moving from one system to another or one system acquiring another obviously requires a lot of consolidation and streamlining systems but the problem is it goes beyond this. A common refrain among website owners is whether it is going to persist. How do we know that this is just a one time glitch or that we’re just going to go through a few weeks of living hell and then everything will be okay? Everything is pretty much up in the air and there are no solid answers as to the long term sustainability of Hostgator.

How Hostgator got huge?

Hostgator got massive in the web hosting field. This is not a small achievement. You have to understand there are hundreds of thousands of other players in that market. It’s a very lucrative market because month after month people pay you money for you to host their websites. It seems like everybody has a webhost and wants to make money selling hosting services. You really can’t blame them because it’s a very productive business model. If you have a tight system, it will really cost you much to host websites on a server. As a result, this market became highly saturated but Hostgator totally dominated the web hosting market and became very competitive in it. How did it get this big? First of all, Hostgator historically had great service. We’re talking about top notch customer service and technical support. Another factor that made it the dominant player in the retail web hosting business is that it has a great affiliate program which is easy to promote. They would give you a discount code and you then share this code to your blog visitors, put it on your Facebook page or put it online somewhere. If somebody somewhere uses your discount code, you get a commission. That’s how nice and simple Hostgator got huge.

Takeover blues

Just like most good things in life, all good things have to come to an end. It appears that that’s what happened with Hostgator. The smooth ride many people had with this host started becoming rough when it got taken over. You really can’t blame them if they had been taken over by EIG (Endurance International Group) which is a big corporation that has a lot of money. They probably pay the pretty penny for Hostgator and it was a smart move on their part because they’re buying a dominant player and a proven winner in a very competitive market. But just like any other takeover or merger acquisition in the rest of the corporate world, there are bound to be hiccups and bumps on the road. This is true when a conglomerate takes over a set of factories and it’s also true when one internet company buys another internet company. Nothing new here but the problem is when it comes to hosting and there are bumps on the road, not only do the website owners feel it, their visitors do as well. Also, another point of differentiation in the hosting industry and another industry is that if your website goes down even for five minutes you stand the chance on using traffic permanently. Part of your online brand is your accessibility. If your website is gone for an extended period of time or people can’t be sure that they will have a smooth experience when they are browsing your pages, chances are they won’t come back. The stakes are high and it seems like Hostgator dropped the ball in this past few weeks but considering how much money is at stake and how big they are, my bid is that they will get the rocks together and once the transition is complete things will be smooth. The truth is Hostgator is just too big to fail. While it probably lost a lot of customers during these outages and considering that the competition is quite erratic themselves, there’s a good chance those lost customers will come back once its operation proceeds smoothly once again.

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