I was asked a question the other day: “How is HostGator support?” The person asking was looking for new web hosting and had been referred to HostGator from another blog.
It got my attention because I have a story to share about that…
It Started With A New Web Hosting Account
I’ve helped a lot of people get their websites up and running. And I’ve seen a lot of things when it comes to web hosting companies. Unfortunately what happened with a guy I talked to awhile back — we’ll call him Albert — wasn’t a very good experience.
By the way, I’m not saying anything negative about HostGator, I’m just telling you what happened to Albert.
He had signed up for a new web hosting account there and they offered to move his site from his old hosting company for him.
So far, so good.
They went ahead and copied over all of his website files.
And they copied over his database, too. Gotta have the files and the database to make a site work, after all.
They even changed the DNS name server settings — a fancy way of saying they pointed his domain name to their server.
Then they told him everything was done and ready to go.
Then A Request For Help For Tech Support
You may have an idea where this story is headed. Albert — who had just paid for a full year of web hosting under the premise that his site would be moved to the new server — went to his website.
But it wasn’t working.
What he saw there was a bunch of PHP errors. Lines of error messages filling the page. So his website wasn’t up.
Something has gone wrong when his site was moved. That’s not uncommon so it just means things need to be fixed as part of the process.
But the tech support people at HostGator hadn’t fixed it. They made his site “go live” to the world even though it wasn’t working.
You don’t put a customer’s website up when it’s not working… but they had done just that.
But They’d Fix It, Right?
Albert contacted HostGator support and asked them for help. He wasn’t worried at this point or thinking, “how is HostGator support?” because he knew that sometimes things like that happen and they just need to be fixed.
Then they told him it was probably a broken plugin and it was up to him to fix it. They wouldn’t help with it.
Now, remember, his same website had been working perfectly at his previous web hosting company.
Part of moving his site was supposed to include making it work on the new server. But they didn’t make it work. They just left him hanging and refused to help him with it. I was shocked when he told me that.
So… How Is HostGator Support?
Look, I’m not going to write negative things here about HostGator. It would be bad form to do something like that. I’m just sharing this story of what happened to Albert and you may draw you own conclusions.
I’ll tell you that most hosting companies will check to make sure a website is working after they’ve installed it. Most web hosting companies will fix anything that needs to be fixed after a site is moved. And most web hosting companies will apologize and offer to fix something they may have missed by mistake the first time around.
So I just recommended that Albert should check out SiteGround for hosting. I’ve worked with lots of people to move their websites over to SiteGround and I know they wouldn’t just bring up a broken website like that. In fact their support is always really responsive.
Good hosting means more than just copying files to a server and walking away. It means providing real support and actually caring about customers. I hope this gives you a better sense of what kind of support you should get with your web hosting account!