I reached out to 28 hosting companies’ live chat support. Here’s what I found

Last month I went undercover and did a survey of 28 different hosting companies and their live chat support.

For this experiment, I visited websites of those companies and asked for live chat support and recorded my experience in a spreadsheet.

Quantitative elements I tracked include:

  • Number of attempts to connect
  • Average wait time
  • Whether he was satisfied with the experience
  • Additional notes and remarks

For hosting support – I prefer live chats over phone calls because:

  • It’s easier to communicate using live chat system compare to phone calls as we (usually) speak in different accents
  • It’s a lot more to discuss technical issues using charts, images, screen casts, and words.

Partial Results

Here are the results I got with some of the hosting companies. For full details, please check out the original post at WHSR.

Web Host Attempts Avg. Wait Time Satisfied? Remarks
AltusHost 2 13 sec Yes Very quick response, my questions were answered professionally. Very good experience overall.
BlueHost 1 2 min 2 sec Yes Reasonable response time, questions answered professionally. Good experience overall.
Crucial Paradigm 1 Live chat support not provided.
HostGator 4 4 min Yes Response time was much quicker when I  signed into my HostGator account. Very good experience overall.
InMotion Hosting 6 40 sec Very Very quick response. We were having some technical issues with our private SSL certificate last month (June 2017) and I spoke to InMotion Hosting support multiple times. The support staffs were always ready to help and very efficient. Excellent experience overall.
Interserver 1 13 sec Yes Very quick response, my questions were answered professionally. Very good experience overall.
iPage 1 1 min 10 sec Yes Very quick response, my questions were answered professionally. Very good experience overall.
One.com 1 5 min 40 sec Yes Took a while to get a response, but their support staff was very friendly and helpful. Good experience overall.
SiteGround 1 30 sec Very Very quick response, my questions were answered professionally. Awesome chat support system (see screenshots below) and very helpful support staff. Excellent experience overall.
// Aug 1, 2017 . Web Hosting

Black Friday / Cyber Monday Deals in Web Hosting

If you have been thinking about starting a website or switching web host – NOW is the time.

Check out this *huge* Black Friday promo list: http://www.webhostingsecretrevealed.net/black-friday-deals/ that I have just published.

70 hosting deals, with discounts go as high as 95%.

It is the (not one-of) biggest list you can ever get for web hosting industry. The list is so big that I have to remove all the hosting company logos to save page load time.

It’s just crazy to miss this.

godfathers

// Nov 25, 2016 . Web Hosting

WHSR Web Hosting Survey 2016

More than 200 responses received. The number drops to 188 after taking off the unusable feedback.

60 different hosting brands were mentioned in our recent hosting surveys with +HostGator as the most mentioned name (30). +Pressidium and +InMotion Hosting were the two with highest overall ratings.

Admittedly the survey sample size is tiny and heavily biased (90% of the participants are WHSR visitors, which 60% male from India and United States).

Learn more: http://www.webhostingsecretrevealed.net/web-hosting-survey-2016/

// Jul 20, 2016 . Web Hosting

ICANN vs Domain Registrars / Users

I got an email from NameCheap today asking we users to "Save Domain Privacy" (read: "Save our domain privacy business instead"). 

What's your thought in this? Should we expose everyone's WhoIs data online? 

Background news: ICANN wants total control over everyone's DNS online – http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/04/28/internet_bylaws_dot_africa/ 

#ICANN   #namecheap   #godaddy   #domainname   #dns  

// Jun 25, 2015 . Web Hosting

WP Engine Review (Updated Jan 2015)

I'm having this love-hate relationship with WP Engine since 2012. It all started when I interviewed the company co-founder in 2011 (read http://www.webhostingsecretrevealed.net/blog/interviews/interview-with-wp-engine-co-founder-jason-cohen/). I was truly impressed by the vision of this company.

And these guys are more than just good in PR. They delivered!

The good – What I like about WP Engine (back in 2012)

I switched to WP Engine in early 2012. The migration process was 100% taken care by the helpful support team, site load time improved >100% instantly (see attached image), and I do not have to worry about site downtime or being hacked.

The bad – $29/mo and no email hosting

– $29/mo for hosting a single blog less than 25,000 visits is not cheap. 
– No email hosting. 

The ugly – something's not right!

But like many other great companies, I believe WP Engine had hard times handling their exponential growth in business. Customer experience dropped drastically, slow site load time, and a few of us caught WP Engine practicing some naughty SEO tricks on customers' sites. 

Fixing the damage

In regards of the negative feedbacks, Jason Cohen, co-founder of WP Engine, wrote the following in May 21, 2014:

To anyone that has had a support issue in the past, or is having one now, I would like to say I’m sorry for your experience. But as you can see, we’ve been busy. We will continue to improve, and are seeing our current efforts working on many fronts. We do this because we love every customer here at WP Engine and your success is incredibly important to us.

The last thing we can be right now is complacent. We are guided by staying humble, staying honest, and working hard. If things are pointing in the right direction, that’s great. The moment we stop being hungry, stop reading those UNSAT’s, stop striving to become better, that will be the beginning of the end.

Is WP Engine a go?

So should you host your WP sites at WP Engine? Well I cannot be 100% sure about this. 

The choice is yours. 

Personally I would love to give great company like them a second chance. After all what these guys did initially were revolutionary and superb. Good thing is that WP Engine does not lock in their customers (you can pay month-by-month) and offers a 60-day risk free trial period (simple cancel your subscription and get a full refund). 

Resources – Learn more 

Positive reviews on WP Engine – from +MMO Melting Pot +WP Mayor 

http://www.mmomeltingpot.com/2012/03/wpengine-review-after-1-month-and-250k-visitors-is-this-the-best-wordpress-hosting-money-can-buy/

http://www.wpmayor.com/wp-engine-review/

Critics on WP Engine – from +Matthew Woodward +Harsh Agrawal

http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/reviews/webhost-trusted-wp-engine-hijacked-business-avoid-them/ 

http://www.shoutmeloud.com/wpengine-cons-picing.html 

Official response to negative feedbacks from +Jason Cohen 

http://wpengine.com/2014/05/21/growth-hard/

How to deal with web host that does not host your email – 

http://www.webhostingsecretrevealed.net/blog/featured-articles/email-hosting-guide/

WP Engine Review: My WPEngine experience + uptime analysis

// Feb 3, 2015 . Web Hosting