You would be forgiven if the name IX Web Hosting doesn't immediately ring a bell. Despite being around for almost 20 years, IX Web Hosting has never really made a big splash in the web hosting arena.
Well now, things might change.
IX Web Hosting has been acquired by Site5, an EIG (Endurance International Group) provider. This wouldn't be the first time and won't be the last that a small fish in the hosting pond is eaten by one of the sharks. We've seen hosts get swallowed up by EIG brands before, so this comes as not much of a surprise.
If you're an IX Web Hosting user you might be thinking to yourself: 'What now?' Well, initially at least, not very much. The acquisition itself actually happened way back in the 4th quarter of 2015:
During the quarter, the company acquired the assets of Ecommerce, LLC (IX Web Hosting). The total consideration for this acquisition is approximately $28.0 million, of which $23.8 million was paid at closing.EIG fourth quarter 2015 results
It has been almost 3 years since then, and the only big change so far is that most customer accounts are now supported by Site5. EIG has started the process of migrating IX Web Hosting users accounts over to Site5's infrastructure, but it is still ongoing as of the time of writing.
In this article, we are hoping to provide some insight into why this is happening in the first place.
What Changes For The Users
We actually stumbled across this news whilst in the process of making a review of IX Web Hosting. We were checking out the domains tab on its site and well, this appeared:
Interesting, we thought. So, we did some digging!
IX has proudly joined forces with Site 5, more details on this are available in your account helpdesk. As part of this transition, this page is no longer monitored but you can still contact us by visiting the @site5 Facebook and Twitter pages.
— IX Web Hosting (@IX_Web_Hosting) March 20, 2018
This is the last tweet we could find from IX Web Hosting, dated March 20th, 2018. After this, the account has been deleted and all customer queries are now being directed to Site5's support. So how are customers taking this? Not well, it seems...
— Mountain Bike Mayhem (@Rip3d) May 6, 2018
— Lex Sheraton ♠️ (@lexsheraton) May 4, 2018
As you can see, people aren't very happy with the way IX Web Hosting, Site5 & EIG has handled the migration of their services.
As for what this means for users, at the end of the day we simply don't know. The only people that can answer that question are EIG themselves, but as we all know, they aren't exactly the kind of company that likes to be entirely transparent.
Update 2019: As you can see from the comments on this article, the migration process was not smooth. Many former IXwebhosting found their data lost. Also, some of the users were not able to edit their sites due to the website builder mismatch.
Differences Between IX Web Hosting & Site5
Comparing the two hosts leads to more questions than answers, in all honesty. Let's compare some of the most important features on both of their entry-level plans.
As you can see, in terms of disk space & bandwidth, IX Web Hosting and Site5 share a common trait - Unlimited access. That is where the similarities end, though. Do you want more than 1 domain? IX Web Hosting gives you as many as you want. Maybe you need unlimited email accounts? Site5 is your guy. So far everything is a draw, right?
|IX Web Hosting Expert Plan ($3.95 p/month)||Site5 hostBasic ($6.95 p/month)|
|Website Builder||Included||Not Included|
Well, then we look at SSL encryption and the inclusion of a website builder and we can see that IX Web Hosting offers both here, whilst Site5 offers neither.
Why IX Web Hosting was acquired?
Well, since neither Site5 or IX Web Hosting released any kind of official reason for this move, we have to theorize. Taking a look at Google search trends for the two hosts over the past 5 years paints an interesting picture, however.
Both hosts have been on a similar trajectory over that time period, and both seem to be declining pretty rapidly.
Now, since both hosts are EIG brands, it's very likely that this is simply a case of two underperforming hosts that aren't making money, so EIG is simply sacrificing one to save the other. And as you can see from the graph, of the two, IX Web Hosting is the worst performer.
As you saw before, IX Web Hosting offers more in terms of features than Site5 for almost 50% less money! It's starting to become more clear as to why IX Web Hosting is the brand that EIG decided to chop.
As we have seen from other EIG brands that ended up closing shop, this doesn't mean it's the end of the road for IX Web Hosting employees, or its servers or any other infrastructure, it simply is an end to the brand name.
What Should You Do Next?
If you have been using IX Web Hosting already, you won't have to do anything. As far as the plan, the migrations should take place to Site5 quickly and seamlessly.
However, as we have seen from some user's experiences, that doesn't always go as planned. There shouldn't be downtimes or other issues, and in some ways, things might improve. When moving to Site5 you'll be able to enjoy cPanel, instead of IX Web Hosting's poor proprietary one.
Even though existing customers will be transferred to Site5 and new customer prompted to go the same way, we have done some tests in our reviews. While Site5 is not the worst hosting by any means, there are many alternatives which we liked far more. For instance – our list of best web hosting providers.
Not only many of them are cheaper than Site5, but they also beat Site5 in almost every category. They are faster, more reliable, easier to use and have the absolute best customer service in the business. The best part is – all of our recommended hosts were steadily improving and getting bigger with each day!