I thought I post my experience with Hostgator. In september after several years with another host, I decided I wanted to move to a web host that offered better control panel functionality. I spent hours reading posts at places like WHT Forum. In general Hostgator had one of the best (if not the best..) reputation among webhosts there.
Within a few days I started having downtimes (as an example I posted some of the issues in this thread: forums.hostgator(dot) com/showthread.php?t=10934. The server (158) was frequently down, there were problems with creating MySql databases (Ticket ID: TEJ-138383), etc. On a positive note, support responded quickly to my chat messages and tickets.
I decided to move to a different host. I liked the general feel though of Hostgator, and I knew that some of the problems were not Hostgators fault (C-panel exploits, patches, etc.).
After being gone a few days I rethought my moving and thought that I should give Hostgator another chance. This time when I signed up I decided I would like to be on a server with MySQL 5 (If you look at the package plans it states 5.024 is available). Within 2 to 3 minutes of signing up, I sent an email to support and sales (on September 30ths at 1:23p.m.) asking that i please be place on a server with MySQL 5 (The pop-up on the package page says to ask sales about it). I hadn't heard anything back 25 hours later so I logged into the "chat" and was told by support he would take care of it. The next day (2nd) nothing had been updated/changed so I filled out a ticket (BML-254429). I received back an email fairly quickly with the following information which i thought was great:
I will have your site transfered to the PHP5/MySQL5 server very shortly. I am pushing this ticket to sales to update the billing information to the PHP5/MySQL5 server, and assigning this ticket to myself so it will get done.
If there is anything else we can assist you with please do not hesitate to ask.
HostGator Technical Support"
This was early in the afternoon on the second. I took "very shortly" as meaning that afternoon or evening. The next morning (3rd) I checked my sites and C-panel before going to work... no changes. I ended up having to work overtime on the 3rd at work. I decided to show one of the sites I was working on to a Resident at 7:40 p.m. and my site wouldn't come up. In fact, I couldn't get any of the sites to come up. I immediately began a chat session with a tech at Hostgator. While I was able to connect to him quickly, he could not help me because I didn't have my ticket number with me at work! Below is the chat session:
info: Please wait for a HostGator operator to respond.
info: Welcome to HostGator Live Chat! You are now chatting with 'Bill'
Bill: Welcome to HostGator Live Chat, how may I assist you?
Matthew Friend: Hi, my websites were supposed to be transferred today to a shared hosting account. I am not able to view my sites... It says to contact support..
Bill: What is your primary domain name?
Bill: And what is the domain that tells you to contact support?
Matthew Friend: learntheology(dot)com (Primary) you can also check at wczone(dot)com
Matthew Friend: Its a blue screen. It says something about whm... let me check...
Matthew Friend: It says" Great success" Apache is working on your cpane and whm server. I never signed up for whm or a reseller account.. I just wanted moved to a server that has MySQL 5 databases.
Bill: Yes, I see that.
Bill: Do you have your transfer ticket ID?
Matthew Friend: No, I checked my site from work. I would have to go home to get the ticket number.
Bill: Ok, I will need for you to please reply back to your current (open) transfer ticket to have an administrator look further into this error for you.
Matthew Friend: Ok, thanks. I decided to come back to Hostgator after some previous problems. I had hoped everything was better after the c-panel exploits...etc. Now I'm offline.. and have been for who knows how long. I'll be home later this evening.
Bill: Is there anything else I can address for you tonight here, in LiveChat?
Matthew Friend: no, not now
I got home at about 8:20 p.m. I had received an email stating that the transfer had been completed. The email time was a little after 10:00 in the a.m. (Meaning my sites were down all day). I immediately called tech support. The technician after some questions said that the add-on domains were not configured correctly. (I had been told previously that all the files and databases would be transfered wit no down time).
The Technician said that problem would be elevated to level two support and should be fixed within an hour.
At 10:40 last night (almost 3 hours later... after my sites were down for more than 12 hours) I again opened a chat with support. The support tech wanted a new ticket number, but when i had called I was not give a ticket number. Here is the chat:
info: Please wait for a HostGator operator to respond.
info: Welcome to HostGator Live Chat! You are now chatting with 'Nathon'
Nathon: Welcome to HostGator Live Chat, how may I assist you?
matthew friend: Here is my ticket number: Ticket ID: BML-254429 My site has been down for hours . How is the progress going on getting it fixed (Hostgator transferred me from one server to anothre but messed up the addon domains: check out wczone(dot)com akronchessclub(dot)com ...
Nathon: Just one second while I pull up the ticket
matthew friend: thankyou
Nathon: Have you updated the ticket to say that those particular domains did not transfer properly?
matthew friend: I called in at 8:21 p.m. I was told I would receive an email within the hour and that it would be fixed. It is now almost 3 hours later. The email earlier today saying the sever change occured was timed at 10:24. My domains have been down for more than 12 hours. I was told there would not be down time before the move.
Nathon: I do not see any updates on the ticket, you will need to update the ticket from there
matthew friend: Why would i have to update the ticket if I called in?
matthew friend: Do you mean that I've been waiting hours now and no one is working on fixing the problem as I was promised?
Nathon: Unless it is under a diffrent ticket number than the one that you gave me, I cannot see any updates
matthew friend: He didn't give me a ticket number over the phone.......
Nathon: I would say update the ticket just to be sure
Nathon: Most likely someone is working on it right now but the ticket was just not updated
matthew friend: Thanks for the info. bye
At that point I decided that I needed to go elsewhere for a webhost. All of the support techs were courteous and support responded quickly, but in the end often weren't very helpful. I really did like the community of folks here, but I need my sites to be up....
A little after 11:30 I decided to go with a different host. It took me till 4:00 in the a.m. to finish transferring my files, databases, updating the configuration files, etc (and of course I work days... but I couldn't leave my sites down...).