After more than 20 years of service, eHost hosting has shut down. Founded in 1996, this company has hosted over 1 million websites. For several years this host was established as one of the major providers and had a large number of devoted clients. It is certain that for some of them, today is going to be a sad day.
Nevertheless, the end of eHost has no tragic reasoning behind it. There will be no massive employee layoffs and if you host a website with them, it is in no danger. After all, back in 2010, eHost was acquired by the Endurance International Group (EIG), which owns many massive providers, such as Bluehost, iPage, and HostGator. One EIG corporation shutting down simply means the end of a brand name - the infrastructure, including servers and their datacenters will remain in use of another brand. As of today, 6th of September, the eHost homepage advertises the services of iPage - another name brand of the EIG family.
Why has eHost closed?
eHost shutting down came as no surprise to many people. One of the valid criticisms of EIG has been that the corporation never put enough emphasis on improving the services of the hosts they acquire. That was exactly the case with eHost, which has massively lacked behind the opposition for years now. The brand name has had a bad reputation attached to it, as multiple eHost reviews have mentioned the host "hacking into their sites" or "changing file permissions". It can only be assumed that such negative responses have partly been a reason as to why EIG decided to pull the plug and discontinue the services. eHost had reached a point of no return where dissolving a company was seen to be more profitable than improving its image.
This goes in line with a very intriguing trend that some of the Endurance International Group companies seem to have. After the acquisition, the acquired company tends to have a serious increase in interest, which in turn means more new customers. Eventually, the new interest fades. Clients stop their projects or switch to different hosts. If valid, criticism towards EIG for not improving the services of their hosts means that there are no major investments in the hardware and customer service. That means slower performance and inadequate support. Then, a service like this gets worse reviews, there are less new clients and even advertisements don't work as they used to. Finally, the host is forced to shut down as it can't generate a sufficient amount of funds.
This is why the closure of eHost has come as no surprise. A steady decline of the review ratings indicates that the host didn't have a good year. There was a surge of interest in 2015 - presumably when EIG attempted to promote the service. Later it faded away almost completely. This is what a Google Search analysis brought up:
As you can see, eHost has been on a steady decline, which easily explains the EIG decision to stop its services.
Another interesting detail is revealed when you check the interest in the two providers closely associated with eHost. The first one is JustHost - the provider to which all of the eHost websites will be transferred. The second one is iPage - provider openly promoted on the eHost main page.
It appears that all three of those companies have been suffering a steady decline for quite some time now. While the death of eHost came as almost no surprise to anyone, both JustHost and iPage appear to be doing just fine. Yet who knows - maybe iPage and JustHost are next in line to get closed down as well? It currently looks like a possibility that can't be completely dismissed.
UPDATE: Contacting eHost (Endurance International Group)
As promised in the previous edition of this article, we have contacted the owners, Endurance International Group, for comment. A corporate representative has both confirmed and dismissed some of our theories. For instance, the closure of eHost has been quoted to be the "optimization of resources" - by reducing the numbers of brands, so do the expenses of maintaining the entire operation. At this instance we were correct - it really just became too expensive eHost for what it was, so a simple migration helps this brand not to lose any more money.
The representative was also adamant that both JustHost and iPage are still staples of the entire corporation and there's no closure of either of those brands in the plans.
So for now, it's just the case of smaller brands becoming difficult to maintain. They get merged with the bigger names. Big fishes eat small fishes - even if they're under the same owner.
What will happen to my website?
If you had your share of one of the over million websites with eHost, there is no need to worry. Your files are safe - they are just transferred to a different service. cPanel users will be moved to JustHost. The provider expects no downtimes or other technical issues. In fact, some may see this change as a good thing, as the users will be subject to a new, improved dashboard. In addition to that, the company promises increased performance. Will the eHost users finally be able to enjoy great hosting? I will be happy to test that in the near future.
Even though EIG promotes iPage, we have done some tests in our reviews. While it is not awful hosting by any means, there were alternatives which we liked more than them. For instance - there's SiteGround. A little bit more expensive than iPage, this company beats EIG in almost every category. It's faster, more reliable, easier to use and has the absolute best customer service in the business. The best part is - they've been steadily improving and getting bigger, so I can pretty much guarantee I won't have to write about them closing anytime soon.
If you've been lucky enough to use the eHost website builder, your project will get transitioned to Sitelio, another EIG brand name. The websites will retain their content and not much will be different, except for the improved Control Panel and a bigger support team.
For the most part, that is it. I am interested to see what happens in the future. When the transition is finalized and all eHost clients move to either JustHost and Sitelio, stay tuned. There will be reviews of both of these services available on this website.
Some providers stay, some providers go. It will be sad to see eHost go but clients should always come ahead of brands. If this change means better performance and an increased ease-of-use, it's only for the better. We bid eHost farewell and hope that its users get the best hosting they can possibly find.