After extensive research I picked Arvixe to host my site over the other dozen of budget hosting companies due to the good online reviews, their quick reply to one of my presale questions, cheap prices, the size of the company guaranteeing that they will not evaporate overnight, the host allowing adult content and because they are not part of the Endurance International Group (EIG), a big hosting corporation worth hundreds of millions of dollars that owns HostGator, BlueHost, iPage, FatCow and other 50 different hosting brands marketed as if they were independent to hide that they belong to the same owner.
I was unhappy the way HostGator had been dealing with my hosting account since they were taken over by EIG and I wanted to make sure that when I switched host I would not be using the same EIG parent company under a different brand.
Feature wise, Arvixe provides a cPanel account with the same unlimited space and bandwidth that all of the other big hosts, with the pleasant extra of a free domain registered under your own name that you get to keep without having to pay for it for as long as you remain with Arvixe, and if you move host, you can transfer the domain name to the registrar of your choice. This alone is worth $10/year.
The signing up process is straight forward, with automatic approval if they payment isn’t flagged as fraud. I used Paypal and within minutes account credentials were received in my email inbox with standard information on how to configure DNS servers and SFTP.
Support is provided 24×7 by live chat, US based phone number, online forum and email. I opened five tickets in total and they were replied to in an average of two hours, I posted a couple of complaints in their online forums and they replied to me in five to six hours. I don’t live in the USA so it might have been night there when I posted.
Arvixe support was always helpful, the email address of their Quality Assurance team appears next to the tickets and you are invited to contact them if you are not happy with the support you receive, and if Quality Assurance does not solve your problem, you can escalate it to the Arvixe management team. Their contact email address is found in the signature of all Quality Assurance email communications, with a sentence encouraging you to write to the management if something is not addressed properly.
I have been with six different hosting companies in the last few years and Arvixe is outstanding when it comes to customer support. This is the only big hosting company I know of where you can directly contact the top bosses.
Now comes the dreadful part where I suffered multiple server downtime during my first days of hosting with Arvixe (langur server), sometimes as much as eight hours of downtime straight, other times just a few minutes, random and unexpected, making it impossible for me to update my blog, feeling unsure if the next mySQL error would allow me to save the data or go belly up and lose everything.
I posted a complaint in Arvixe public forums, thinking that since everybody can read them, they would take it more seriously than a private ticket. Arvixe response was to apology, stand by their 99.9% uptime guarantee and refund me one month hosting fees within hours of me bringing up the issue.
I decided to remain with them because Arvixe seemed to really care about the customer and no host is safe from possible server problems, but lo and behold, for the next three weeks my Pingdom account monitoring the website uptime sent me more downtime notifications. At the end of the month Pingdom indicated a total of 11 outages with a total server uptime of 96.68%, well below my expectations even for a budget shared host.
I believe they would have refunded me a second month hosting fees if I complained again but I decided that it was not worth the trouble. I lose five times refund fees in missing advertising revenue with just one day of downtime. It rattled me that in just seven days I had experienced the same downtime than for the last two years.
I decided to call it quits when I received an Arvixe notification informing all langur server users that we were going to be migrated to a new server because of hardware stability issues and during the next few hours of hosting we could notice sluggish performance visiting the site.
I took advantage of Arvixe 60 days money back guarantee, double the length of time that other hosts offer. After moving my sites to a more expensive semi-dedicated server with HawkHost, I asked Arvixe to cancel my account and refund me the two years I had paid in advance.
Arvixe Quality Assurance team offered me to promptly move my sites to a different server but I was too rattled about the time I lost moving sites and I already had a new host so I turned down their offer. In less than 24 hours Arvixe refunded me every single penny, they did not charge me any Paypal fee or domain fee, which according to terms and conditions, were entitled to.
I had a bad experience with Arvixe but I was only with them for one month and they acknowledged the problem. I think that they deserve a second chance to make sure that the awful server downtime was only an unlucky coincidence that happened right after I signed up. Had it not been for the downtime the rest of the hosting package was perfect and perhaps in the future I could be back with them.
They also have a BusinessClass Hosting costing $20/month, with less users per server and better hardware. But with the meager advertisement income I make here, this was not an option for me.
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