US: 214-453-8700
UK: 0121 295 9392

Announcing hhurl.io – The Hugoton Hosting Free URL Shortener!

Today we’re delighted to announce the launch of our very own free URL shortener service – hhurl.io

The Hugoton Hosting URL Shortener (hhurl.io) is simple, powerful and easy to use, at its core it shortens URLs and turns them into easy to remember links. But the Hugoton Hosting is so much more than just another URL shortener … take a look at the below features to see what it can do:

 

Powerful Dashboard

    • All of your link management and metrics available in one place

 

Location and device specific targeting

    • Allows you to use a single hhurl.io link and intelligently deliver your visitor to a specific landing page based on the country they are located in or the device they’re using

 

Custom landing pages

    • Show visitors a landing page before directing them to their destination, perfect for promotional material or important news items

 

Event tracking

    • hhurl.io fully supports tracking pixels from popular social networks including Facebook, Twitter, and Google

 

Link expiration

    • Easily set your links to expire on a certain date

 

Robust API

    • Our powerful API allows you to build powerful integrations with our URL shortener

 

Custom Domains

    • Use your own domain to provide short URLs using our technology

 

Head over to our plans page to see all of the available features, and remember every Hugoton Hosting customer receives the ‘Silver’ plan absolutely free for the duration they are a Hugoton Hosting customer!

We’re confident our URL shortener will quickly become another reason more people are switching to Hugoton Hosting than ever before! As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts – please drop us a note via our Contact page with any comments.

Launching our Help Center!

Today we’re extremely pleased to announce the launch of our brand new Help Center! The new help center is home to our advice articles covering frequently asked questions from how to set up an e-mail address to how to add an SSL to your website.

We made the URL simple and easy to remember also …

help.hugotonhosting.co.uk

Over the coming weeks, we will be adding more articles so be sure to check back often to see what’s new.

We’d love to hear your feedback on our new Help Center, so please do drop us a note with your thoughts and any articles to see added!

 

Who are EIG Hosting? And why do you need to know?

In this blog post, we talk about the broadly unknown fact that a large proportion of web hosting companies are owned by one giant conglomerate, called the Endurance International Group (EIG).

Below we talk about who EIG are, how many web hosting companies/brands they own and why you should know them.

 

Who are EIG Hosting?

EIG was first founded in 1997 with its headquarters in Burlington, Massachusetts, USA and has been on a shopping spree snapping up web hosting companies ever since.

On the surface this doesn’t seem like anything unusual we know – but dig a little deeper and it’s quickly visible that EIG keep their ownership of 80%+ of their web hosting brands somewhat ‘secret’, meaning they don’t list them as being the owner on either their web hosting companies site or their corporate website. A quick look at EIGs “our brands” page shows a mere 11 logos. However, the list at the very bottom of this blog post (courtesy of researchasahobby.com) shows the full list of current EIG owned website hosting companies … yes, there are over 75!

Today, Endurance International Group Holdings, Inc. is listed on NASDAQ (EIGI) with a revenue of $280.7 million, a decrease of 3.7 percent compared to $291.4 million for the first quarter of 2018. They estimate to have around 4.8 million paying end customers/subscribers around the world (compared to approximately 5 million subscribers at March 31st, 2018). EIG reported a net loss of $3.5 million for the first quarter of 2019, during their last earnings call on April 30th 2019 covering the first quarter of 2019.

 

Why do you need to know?

The reason we wanted to highlight EIG’s mass ownership of so many hosting brands is simple – we don’t want you to think you’re switching from one provider to another for better service/stability/performance when actually you’re just changing to another brand name of the same company!

Within the web hosting industry, a misconception of “the best quality & service comes from the larger well-established companies” exists, but with so many of the large web hosting companies owned by EIG this can’t be true.

EIG acquires web hosting companies to then ‘squeeze’ and optimize them as quickly as possible. This often results in a deterioration in services offered to the end customer, a partial (or sometimes complete) reduction in experienced support staff previously employed by the now acquired web host, and migration to cheaper infrastructure. EIG’s core strategy is to aggressively expand its portfolio of hosting companies to increase its global subscriber base number & profits for shareholders.

Imagine a scenario where a dissatisfied customer intends to leave host number 1, goes to Google and searches for web hosting … the likelihood is that they will see several EIG owned web hosting companies (unbeknown to them of course). They then switch to a ‘new’ host (which turns out to be yet another brand of EIG Hosting) – the result is that the customer is extremely unlikely to see any improvement to their service as they’re dealing with the same company and EIG retain the customer’s revenue.

 

Conclusion

We oppose the fact that EIG owns so many website hosting company brands, but don’t ever publicize the fact for consumers to see. We’ve seen numerous reports of poor service & customer support from EIG owned hosts – yet with such a dominant market share and aggressive marketing campaigns, consumers are unlikely to know they’re retaining their relationship with EIG when switching web host from one of their brands to another.

Hugoton Hosting is a 100% independent web hosting company, offering affordable, premium hosting since 2005. We put our customers experience above anything else we do – from ensuring our superior uptime is always published online publicly, to priding ourselves on our unique onboarding experience for all new customers. Take a look at how we compare to other USA and UK & Europe web hosting companies today to see why more people (including those previously hosting with an EIG brand!) are switching to Hugoton Hosting!

 

 

Full list of EIG Hosting owned companies, as of 3rd May 2019, courtesy of researchasahobby.com

2slick (2slick.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

AccountSupport (accountsupport.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

ApolloHosting.com (apollohosting.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

AptHost (apthost.com)
Belongs to EIG as a part of wwwh.com since at least June 25, 2015

A Small Orange (asmallorange.com)
Acquired by EIG in July 2012

Arvixe (arvixe.com)
Acquired by EIG in October 2014

Athenix Corporation, Athenix Inc. (athenixinc.com)
Belongs to EIG since 2012 or earlier

Berry Information Systems L.L.C. (berryinfosysllc.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

BigRock (bigrock.com)
Acquired in January 2014

BizLand (bizland.com)
Former name of EIG. Founded in 1996

BlueDomino (bluedomino.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

BlueFur (bluefur.com)
Belongs to EIG since at least 25, June 2015

BlueHost (bluehost.com)
Acquired by EIG in November 2010

Directi Web Technologies (Directi, directi.com)
Acquired in January 2014

Domain.com
Belongs to EIG since October 2011 or earlier

DomainHost (domainhost.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

Dotster (dotster.com)
Belongs to EIG since July 2011 or earlier

Dot5Hosting.com (dot5hosting.com)
Belongs to EIG since May 2007 or earlier
iPower, StartLogic and Dot5Hosting were acquired by EIG at the same time in 2007.

EasyCGI (easycgi.com)
Belongs to EIG since July 2009 or earlier

EntryHost (entryhost.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

Escalate Internet (escalateinternet.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

FastDomain (fastdomain.com)
Has become part of Bluehost since December 2006 (or earlier)
Bluehost was later acquired by EIG (see above)

FatCow (fatcow.com, fatcowhosting.com)
Belongs to EIG since May 2007 or earlier

FreeYellow (freeyellow.com)
Belongs to EIG since May 2007 or earlier

Globat ([email protected], globat.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

Homestead Technologies, Inc. (homestead.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

HostADay (hostaday.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

HostCentric (hostcentric.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

HostClear (hostclear.com)
Bought by JustHost in October 2011, which was later acquired by EIG (see below)

HostGator (hostgator.com)
Acquired in June 2012

HostNine (hostnine.com)
Is a sister company of A Small Orange (ASO), which is an EIG hosting (see above).

HostMonster (hostmonster.com)
Is a sister company of BlueHost, which was acquired by EIG (see above)

HostYourSite.com (hostyoursite.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

HyperMart (hypermart.com, hypermart.net)
Belongs to EIG since May 2007 or earlier

IMOutdoorsHosting (imoutdoorshosting.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

IdeaHost (ideahost.com)
Belongs to EIG

Impress.ly (impress.ly)
BigRock, which is a part of EIG, launched impress.ly since 15, Dec 2015

Intuit Websites
Acquired in August 2012

iPage (ipage.com)
A tool used by iPage and turned into a brand.
Belongs to EIG since May 2007 or earlier

iPower (IpowerWeb, ipower.com)
Belongs to EIG since May 2007 or earlier
iPower, StartLogic and Dot5Hosting were acquired by EIG at the same time in 2007.

JustCloud (justcloud.com)
Belongs to EIG since February 2014 or earlier

JustHost (justhost.com)
Acquired by EIG in 2010

LogicBoxes (logicboxes.com)
Acquired by Directi, which was bought by EIG (see above)

MyDomain (mydomain.com)
Belongs to EIG

NamesDirect (namesdirect.com)
Belongs to EIG since 2011 or earlier

NameZero (namezero.com)
Belongs to EIG since 2011 or earlier

NetFirms (netfirms.com)
Was acquired by EIG in 2011

NetworksHosting (networkshosting.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

Nexx (nexx.com)
Was acquired by EIG in 2012 or earlier

PowWeb (powweb.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2006 or earlier

PureHost (purehost.com)
Belongs to EIG since May 2007 or earlier

ReadyHosting (readyhosting.co.uk, readyhosting.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

ResellerClub (resellerclub.com)
Acquired in January 2014

SEO Hosting (seohosting.com, seowebhosting.net)
Was part of HostGator which was later acquired by EIG (see above)

Site5 (site5.com)
Belongs to EIG since the 4th of August 2015

SiteBuilder (sitebuilder.com)
A part of EIG since Q2 2015

Sitelio (sitelio.com)
A part of EIG

Sitey (sitey.com)
A part of EIG since Q2 2015

SouthEastWeb (southeastweb.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

Spry (spry.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

StartLogic (startlogic.com)
Belongs to EIG since May 2007 or earlier
iPower, StartLogic and Dot5Hosting were acquired by EIG at the same time in 2007.

SuperGreen Hosting (SuperGreenHosting, supergreenhosting.com)
Merged with JustHost, which was later acquired by EIG

TightHost (tighthost.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

TypePad (typepad.com)
Belongs to EIG since 2014 or earlier

UsaNetHosting (usanethosting.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

Verio (verio.com)
Belongs to EIG since the 4th of August 2015

Virtual Avenue (virtualave.net)
Belongs to EIG since May 2007 or earlier

VPSlink (vpslink.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

Web2010 (web2010.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

WebDevHosting (webdevhosting.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

WebHost4Life.com (webhost4life.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

webhosting.info
Acquired by Directi, which was bought by EIG (see above)

WebSiteBuilder (websitebuilder.com)
A part of EIG since Q2 2015

WebstrikeSolutions (WebstrikeSolutions.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

Webzai (webzai.com)
Acquired by EIG in the 3d quarter 2014

World Wide Web Hosting (wwwh.com)
Fictitious Names: PRESSED, WEBSITE.ME, WP MANAGED HOST [67]
Belongs to EIG since at least June 25, 2015

Xeran (xeran.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

YourWebHosting (yourwebhosting.com)
Belongs to EIG since April 2010 or earlier

Announcing our free hosting programs for startups & charities!

Today we’re delighted to announce the launch of our free hosting programs for startup businesses and registered charities!

We believe new business startups & new entrepreneurs should be given the chance to succeed. So starting today, newly registered companies formed officially in their country of origin, can apply to join our startup business free hosting program. Once approved, customers will receive 6 months hosting on our “Premium” web hosting plan, completely free.

Equally, we recognise and value the amazing work charities do every day. So in addition to our program for startup businesses we have also launched our free hosting program for charities! Once approved, charities will receive free hosting on our “Premium” web hosting plan for life.

We’d love to hear your feedback on these amazing new programs via our Contact Us page.

We now run on Intercom!

We’re excited to announce that we now run all of our live chats via Intercom. Intercom is the leading customer messaging application and clearly stood out from the competition when we looked around for a world-class live chat solution. Intercom now lives in the bottom right-hand corner of our site, and the team are online 24/7 to handle conversations.

Along with Intercom, we’ve developed a live bot called Hugo 🤖 – Hugo can help ensure you’re connected to the best person to help, why not say hello now and see how he can assist you!

Our implementation of Intercom is another way we’re putting our customers at the heart of everything we do. We hope it will also become yet another reason why more people are switching to Hugoton Hosting!

If you have any questions, please do let us know … or, ask Hugo 🤖 !

How to avoid summer web hosts!

With Spring officially underway, it’s time to expect “summer hosts” to start popping up. In this post we will explain what a summer web host is, why you should avoid them and of course, how to spot them.

 

What is a summer host?

A summer host is an industry term for a web hosting company that appears and immediately starts to offer low pricing for web hosting in the form of limited time offers etc. Only to disappear completely a few weeks or months later taking their clients websites offline and leaving the clients themselves frustrated & out of pocket. The summer host also typically offers large discounts/coupon codes for monthly or annual payments, money that the client never sees again once the host goes offline. These types of hosts are often referred to as “fly by night” scams and should be avoided at all times.

 

Why should they be avoided?

First and foremost signing up with a summer web host will result in a loss of your money, your website/data or both! While it will appear you’re getting a great deal on website hosting at the start, likely paying a fraction of what other web hosts are charging for fewer features than the summer web host is offering, the deal will soon turn sour when the summer host drops offline taking your website and e-mails with it. From that point onwards their support channels won’t respond and you’ll be left out of pocket and your website offline.

 

How can you avoid them?

Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed method to determine if a new host is going to stick around and not become an infamous “summer host”, but if you consider the below when selecting your new hosting provider you’ll be much less likely to end up subscribing to a scam:

 

  • Check their domain registration date
    • Take a look at Nominet WHOIS tool for .co.uk domains and ICANN for other domains to see when the hosts’ domain was registered – if it’s been around for only a few weeks or months take caution before subscribing

 

  • Validate their WHMCS license
    • WHMCS is a popular billing platform for many web hosting companies, if the host you’re looking at doesn’t pay for their WHMCS license then they’re using it illegally and should be avoided. Luckily WHMCS provide an online license verification tool, just enter the hosts’ web address to see if they hold a valid license or not

 

  • See if they are a registered company
    • While being a registered company isn’t a guarantee that the host will be around forever, it’s a good sign that they intend to conduct honest business as they have taken both the time and committed an investment to legally register themselves as a business in their country.

 

  •  Does the website look like a template?
    • Look for ‘sample’ template text that doesn’t fit the context of the website
    • Are all or many of the images stock images with no customization
    • Does the text on the site have spelling mistakes/typos
    • Are some links broken or link to a “#” (i.e placeholder links)

 

  • Check their Terms and Conditions
    • Have they been copied and pasted from another host, so they still refer to a host that is not them
    • Are they relevant to web hosting or are they generic T & Cs referring simply to ‘products’ or ‘services’ etc.

 

  • Are their deals too good to be true?
    • Web Hosting with ‘unlimited’ features for a fraction of the price offered by other hosts are often false representations of what you will receive
    • VPS’ with tons of RAM and CPU power is likely a clear sign of a summer hosts offering

 

  • Check their ‘About Us’ page
    • Does it give a history of the host
    • Are staff members listed with realistic titles (a new host showing CEO, COO etc. is a red alert sign)
    • Does the page detail where the host is physically located

 

  • Chat to them
    • If the host offers live chat, go ahead and open a conversation with them to talk about their services – a summer host will often be run by inexperienced individuals which will quickly come across during a live chat session
    • Ask about the payment methods they accept and any money back guarantees they have
    • If they don’t offer live chat drop them an e-mail and start a conversation that way to get a feel for how they communicate

 

  • Look for reviews & Google their name
    • Many reputable web hosts use independent review websites like TrustPilot to showcase honest reviews from their customers, along with Google and Facebook etc.
    • If you can’t find any reviews ask the host where you can find some
    • Google the hosts name to see if people have discussed them on forums, many poor web hosts will have been discussed on web hosting forums

 

 

Conclusion

If the hosting company you are looking at just doesn’t “feel” right, then it’s probably a summer host. Offers that are too good to be true likely are just that, your website is important to you – don’t gable its success & availability to save a few pennies.

Hugoton Hosting first launched in 2005, after 14 years in the business we’re confident that we will continue to serve our growing customer base for many more years to come. Why not take a look at our ‘An Insight Into Our Pricing & Infrastructure’ blog post to learn more about how we operate and why more people than ever are switching to Hugoton Hosting.

As always, we welcome questions should you have them, and invite you to take a look at our web hosting packages in both the UK & Europe and the USA!

 

 

Compare us to other hosts!

We know that choosing a web host can be daunting, whether you’re looking to host a website for the first time or you’re looking to transfer your existing website, with so many web hosting companies around the world to choose from the decision on who to host your website with can be a challenge.

With this in mind we set out to make the process a little easier and started to build comparison pages for both our UK & Europe customers and our USA based customers. The new pages make it easy for you to make an informed decision by comparing our offerings with our competition, no personal opinions or other bias are included just the facts to compare Hugoton Hosting to other big names in the market.

Head over to our UK & Europe Comparison and USA Comparison pages now, we hope you will see that our value paired with our excellent commitment to quality & outstanding features makes it easy to see why more people are switching to Hugoton Hosting!

Announcing our partnership with Cloudflare – Including Railgun™!

Today, Hugoton Hosting is excited to announce our partnership with Cloudflare, the website performance and security company!

Cloudflare is a content delivery network (CDN) that increases the performance and security of every website on its network, protecting from a broad range of threats and attacks. Over 13,000,000 websites run on the Cloudflare network—ranging from individual blogs to e-commerce sites to the websites of Fortune 500 companies to national governments. Cloudflare powers almost a trillion monthly page views—more than Amazon, Wikipedia, Twitter, Zynga, AOL, Apple, Bing, eBay, PayPal and Instagram combined—and over 25% of the Internet’s population regularly passes through the Cloudflare network.

 

Faster web performance

Cloudflare was designed to take a hosting platform like Hugoton Hosting and make it faster, more secure, and even more reliable.

Cloudflare runs 165 data centers strategically located around the world. When you sign up for Cloudflare through Hugoton Hosting, we begin routing traffic to the nearest data center.

As your traffic passes through the data centers, Cloudflare intelligently determine what parts of your website are static versus dynamic. The static portions are cached on Cloudflare servers for a short period of time, typically less than 2 hours before they check to see if they’ve been updated. By automatically moving the static parts of your site closer to your visitors, the overall performance of your site improves significantly.

Cloudflare’s intelligent caching system also means you save bandwidth, which means your web application will run faster and more efficiently than ever. On average, Cloudflare customers see a 60% decrease in bandwidth usage, and a 65% in total requests to their servers. The overall effect is that Cloudflare will typically cut the load time for pages on your site by 50% which means higher engagement and happier visitors.

 

Broad web security

At the beginning of 2016, Cloudflare experienced and mitigated against some of the largest distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks ever seen. As attacks like these increase, Cloudflare is stepping up to protect websites.

Cloudflare’s security protections offer a broad range of protections against attacks such as DDoS, hacking or spam submitted to a blog or comment form. What is powerful about our Cloudflare’s is that the system gets smarter the more sites that are part of the Cloudflare community. Cloudflare analyze the traffic patterns of hundreds of millions of visitors in real time and adapt the security systems to ensure good traffic gets through and bad traffic is stopped.

In time, Cloudflare’s goal is nothing short of making attacks against websites a relic of history. And, given Cloudflare’s scale and the billions of different attacks they see and adapt to every year, they’re well on our way to achieving that for sites on the Cloudflare network.

 

CloudFlare Railgun™

As a CloudFlare Optimized Partner, we are thrilled to offer the CloudFlare Railgun™ technology to all our customers completely free for all new & existing customers!

Railgun is CloudFlare’s latest performance optimization technology that gives you significant improvements in site load times. To activate Railgun, log into your cPanel, select the Cloudflare option, enable Cloudflare and then select Railgun “On”. If you don’t have the toggle to enable Railgun just open a support ticket and will get you up & running in now time.

Railgun ensures that the connection between our network and the CloudFlare network is as fast as possible. Railgun achieves a 99.6% compression ratio for previously uncacheable web objects by using techniques similar to those used in the compression of high-quality video. The average website can expect a 1.43x performance increase.

When a request is made to a CloudFlare server for a web page that is not in cache CloudFlare makes an HTTP connection to the origin server to request the page. It’s that HTTP connection that Railgun accelerates and secures.

Railgun consists of two components: the sender and the listener. The sender is installed at every CloudFlare data center around the world. The listener is a software component that Hugoton Hosting has installed on our network for customers, on all of our nodes.

The sender and listener establish a permanent TCP connection that’s secured by TLS. This TCP connection is used for the Railgun protocol. It’s an all binary multiplexing protocol that allows multiple HTTP requests to be run simultaneously and asynchronously across the link. Or in other words, a persistent connection is opened between CloudFlare’s network and ours and eliminates the overhead of TCP.

 

Activating Cloudflare and Railgun™

Any website can deploy Cloudflare and Railgun, regardless of your hosting package or hosting location with us. By integrating closely with Hugoton Hosting, Cloudflare make the process of setting up “1 click” through your existing Hugoton Hosting control panel (cPanel). Just look for the Cloudflare icon, choose the domain you want to enable, and click the orange cloud, you can then enable Railgun straight after!

We’ve kept the price as low as possible, and the basic plan offered through Hugoton Hosting are free. Moreover, we never charge you for bandwidth or storage, therefore saving you tons via reduced bandwidth costs.

For site owners who would like to take advantage of Cloudflare’s advanced offerings, we also offer a ‘Pro’ tier of service for $20/month. The ‘Pro’ tier includes all of the ‘Free’ tier’s offerings, as well as extra features like image optimization, mobile acceleration, basic web application firewall (WAF), and 3 page rules.

 

If you have any questions about our new partnership ands the benefits it brings our customers check out our new CloudFlare dedicated pageCloudFlare & Railgun knowledge base articles or let us know via our contact us page!

 

All new status page

Trust and uptime are at the heart of everything we do. Unfortunately, over the past 2 months, our previous status page was reporting issues when service was completely stable, painting a false picture of our availability.

Our new status page, powered by Uptime.com, is now much more reliable than the old one so you’ll always see the accurate status of all our components 24/7. The URL remains the same – status.hugotonhosting.co.uk – so there’s no need to update your bookmarks.

You’ll also notice that our uptime is now displayed in the footer on every page of our website making it more accessible than ever!

Please note – we changed the provider of our status page on January 29th 2019 so you only see data from then onwards.

New Year. New Website

Is 2019 the year for your new website?

Use coupon code HugotonNewYear for 25% off all services for a limited time only!