For years I recommended iPowerweb.com to my friends and several small businesses. I was impressed with their robust hosting as well as the relatively inexpensive costs, not to mention a great up-time. On the few occasions I had to call support, their representatives were knowledgeable, frank and efficient. However, all that has started to change over the last 6 months or so. I’m not sure what the root of the change is (perhaps their recent merger with Endurance International Group?) but it been very frustrating to see a company who I used to champion quickly turn into a quagmire.
General Scenario: An error occurs on the server (generally something mis-configured upstream from me or some magical, undocumented limit/feature hit). I call in to report it and seek resolution. I’m told that its something on my end and that its an isolated incident. After a few graphic examples (other corroborating errors, other sites on the server, etc), they finally concede that the problem occurred on their end and they fix it. The explanation and hold time generally take 45+ minutes while the fix itself generally takes <1 minute.
The situation this and yesterday morning is typical. I reported that their server was reporting that I had exceeded the maximum hourly database queries and connections would be refused until it reset. This error only occurred on the Wiki page and not my WordPress blog. I knew this was not legit since they had explained on multiple occasions that the query limit was SITE wide. If that is the case then why would one database-driven portion of the site respond but not the other? Why would other hosted (seperate) sites be experiencing the same problem? Are my quotas affecting them? I call BS.
After listening to technical support explain how a database, blogs and wiki work (thanks for the refresher, sparky), they reset the connection limit and poof all is well… until the server decides to go on vacation again at some point in the near future. Their only suggestions have been “move to a less crowded server” (sounds like an MMO, right?) which strongly suggests that this one is either oversold or under-maintained or to go to a dedicated host. Thanks for the later suggestion, but your dedicated hosting solutions are hardly competitive and if I don’t have confidence in one of your products, I’m sure as heck not going to “upgrade” to solve your deficient product or support. Show me your basic services and products work and I’ll consider increasing our relationship.
To make matters even more disheartening, while researching similar experiences, I learned that iPowerweb.com has even resorted to filing fake positive reviews of themselves on web hosting review sites. Pathetic.