My Host Was Bought By Other Hosting Company. What Should I Do?

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host got acquired title

This happens silently. Your host has been acquired. And when it’s already over, you wake up, check your inbox and find out an email from the CEO of your hosting. It says that today is the great day to let you know that new horizons are open for the hosting because it becomes a part of another super-duper company.

Should you share the CEO’s optimism? Or should you pack your bags and look for a new home for your website? With this article I will help you in this situation from a practical point of view.



 

When your host is under the risk to get acquired

host acquired danger

You need to know this as it will help you stay calm when (or if) it happens. After all, people want to feel stability when it regards hosting. So, this information will help you feel emotionally more stable when your host is sold.

There are three main situations when your host can be bought by another hosting company:

  1. Your hosting is very young (a handful of years). Many owners of new hosts create their hosts with just one purpose – to sell hosting as soon as they get enough customers. (More on this see below.)
  2. Your hosting flourishes for several years. And the owner received a very generous offer or just decided to change the career or to retire. This is the most painful (and risky) case to you. (More on this see below.)
  3. Your hosting stagnates or goes down the hill due to any reason and the owner lost interest into the hosting development. So the owner decides to sell the hosting while it has not lost all its reputation. (More on this see below.)

I will analyze these cases a bit later in this article. And right now I want to let you look at a hosting as a business structure. It will let you understand better what risks you have when your host gets acquired.

 

Understanding your hosting

host acquired it will help

When your host is sold your risks become higer. These risks are connected with bad performance of your website, lack of support, more technical issues like broken or lost website, lost backups etc.

In this section I will explain briefly these risks and what role the components of a hosting play in all of it. It will help you be ready for the risks and be proactively safe.

There are five main interconnected components of a hosting that matter from a client point of view:

  1. Technical support. This is how technical support team copes with the support requests. This is about speed and efficiency of resolving the issues.
  2. Infrastructure (servers, network, firewalls etc). This is responsible for hardware performance and maintenance. The better it is the less technical issues (such as slow speed, downtime, etc) you experience.
  3. Hosting spirit (client segment). Different people need different kinds of attitude. It regards aspects like client support style, user interface, available tools etc. If you feel that this hosting is your cup of tea, the hosting spirit suits you well.
  4. Business ethics. This is how ethical (from a client point of view) the hosting is. Bad ethics leads to your loss of money. Whereas a hosts with good ethics is like a reliable partner.
  5. Client satisfaction. This is how you finally feel dealing with this host. It correlates with and summarizes the above aspects for your final judgment.

If you host get acquired, these aspects will likely change. And it will affect your satisfaction with the host. In the following chapter I will explain it.

 

The risks you get when your host is sold

If your host is young and small

host acquired small and unpredictable

There are good chances that when you signed up with your host, it offered extremely low prices. This is a quite a common way how young hosts get new clients. And you may be even quite satisfied with your host for this price considering your expectations were very moderate.

The downside of this case is that the business of your host is not stable. And very often within a couple of years after starting the hosting business its owner sells the host. In a worst case your host may simply disappear one day and you lose the money you prepaid for the hosting.

So, when your host is sold, what matters to you?

The most significant risk is that a lot can change for you.

It’s likely that the main reason why you signed up with your hosting is its low price. Be watchful if the price increases for the renewal of your services. Since the payments can be automatic you may realize it when you are already charged.

Also, a very important consequence is the comparatively high risk of migration issues. When small hosts are acquired it’s very likely that the new host will use its existing hosting infrastructure and will not use the old host’s infrastructure. In particular, it means that all your data will be moved to the new hosting’s servers. And this may result into your data loss or configuration change (i.e .your website gets broken).

No doubt other aspects such as technical support, business ethics, hosting spirit and finally your overall satisfaction may be changed significantly too. However, the clients of the young hosts are more sensitive to price and data integrity changes. So, these ones are to keep an eye on.

Short advice: Watch for price increase. And always have a fresh backup of all your data.

If your host is already several years old and flourishes

host acquired strong and reliable

If your host works fine for many years, keeps on adding new desired features and you are happy you are using its services, it still can be sold. It’s a painful situation since host acquisition is always a stress to hosting clients. And you definitely don’t want this stress out of the blue sky when the things go so smoothly.

In many ways the price changes after your host acquisition are usually not the case. Very often the price stays the same for you. However, there’s a higher risk of getting migration issues which may be connected mostly with organizational procedure (emails which may disturb you, the changes in user interface of the client area etc).

Sometimes even support staff and infrastructure may stay the same. And the hosting performance and the technical support you have got accustomed to stay the same. At least during some time after your host is sold. It makes the transition period smoother for clients.

However, the biggest risks you have are the changes in hosting spirit, business ethics and your overall satisfaction. Since you do not go for the lowest possible hosting price, you have some idea what you pay for. And there is something you don’t want to lose or be changed.

Sometimes you don’t notice an undesired change in performance or support professionalism. And the hosting acquisition issues which are connected with the organizational stuff are temporary.

But you may feel that something is changed in the way you and the hosting communicates. And this becomes the serious issue for you. You feel like your hosting does not understand you as it did before and you speak different languages.

Spiced up with the technical or support issues which may take place you feel like you want to find a better place for your website or web project.

Thus, the biggest risk for you is losing the overall satisfaction which may consist of multiple factors. Also, disturbing performance or technical support issues may take place as well.

Short advice: Have a fresh backup of all you data and be ready to switch the host if it stops satisfying you. This is especially important when you have to pay for the hosting service renewal.

If your host stagnates or goes down the hill

host acquired it still can do something

There are may be two cases – you have been generally satisfied with the situation or you have been thinking of moving to another host. In the first case it’s similar to what I described in the previous section, but less stressful to you. In the other case, your hosting acquisition may be a chance for the changes for the better.

Stagnating in hosting industry is strategically bad. But naturally it’s not disturbing for most existing clients. In any way, after some time the clients may notice that the performance suffers and the support is not as top-notch as you would like it to be. These are the most risky factors with this sort of hosting. In other words, this is a soft kind of a degrading hosting.

In both cases your hosting acquisition can be a chance for the better changes. But at the same time there’s a risk that something will become even worse. After all, compared to the situation that I described in the previous section, you are in the better position, because it’s time for a change already or on its way. You do need or will need a new host anyway.

Short advice: Basically the same advice like in the previous section. But pay more attention to the performance (speed, uptime) of the new hosting.

 

Sad real life examples when you host gets acquired

host acquired bring me the cases

A story when a great host gets sold and immediately or soon after that start experiencing different issues is the least desired. Unfortunately, it happens. And it affects a lot of clients.

One of the most shocking examples which have brought a lot of headache to hosting clients are the cases of several hosts being acquired by International Endurance Group (EIG). And this company has gained a bad reputation of ruining the hosts after it acquires them for the sake of a financial profit without a proper care of clients.

I have a page dedicated to EIG. This page is useful not only because it helps to avoid this hosting giant which is considered one of the most unethical among the biggest companies. But also because this page has a lot of stories of people who share their painful experience dealing with this corporation after their host was acquired. Reading the stories like this one can help gain the intuition of avoid such situations.

Here are some of the real-life examples what may happen when you host gets acquired:

 

Conclusions

In short, if you host got acquired, this is a bit of a stress. Because there’s a risk that something will break – your website, your backups, communication with you hosting at last.

In the best scenario case you will not notice anything bad. Perhaps, a couple of emails from your hosting and that’s it.

However, in many cases you will notice at least the changes in how the things at your hosting are done. For example, the support channels may change, or you may need to re-configure the billing settings etc.

Finally, if you host got sold, there are the recommendations for you:

  • Be psychologically ready for something undesired or unexpected that may take time to resolve or get accustomed to. For example, communicating with the new host, setting up new routines (billing, support) and even migration to another host.
  • Have a fresh backup of all you data. Be ready that something at hosting or your website may be broken. You will also need a backup of your data in case you decide to move to another host in case of emergency. Don’t rely on hosting’s backups (they may be corrupted or simply failed). Have another fresh backup somewhere else.
  • If you have doubts about the performance of your website, use at least a free monitoring service to monitor uptime of your website. By the way, I’m using a paid service for my detailed Hosting Contest reports, but there are also free services for basic uptime monitoring.
  • In case you have made your mind to switch the hosting, make sure you make the right choice. These articles may help you to avoid many tactical and strategic mistakes.
  • If you are in emergency to move to a new hosting, check out my hosting recommendations for different types of people.

This will help you take it easy whatever happens if your host gets sold.

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Comments

  1. Both times my host was bought, it was bought by EIG. I left as the service worsened.

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