One of the things that encouraged me to start this blog was my lifetime hosting offered by Dragify with the actual hosting provided by Ahead Hosting. In a post on 7 April 2018, I said that apart from the teething problems that I had experienced on set-up, the hosting seemed to be generally okay: the site was fast loading and updating was a smooth process.
Well, I may have spoken too soon. My website was down for at least six hours on 10 April 2018. And so was the Ahead Hosting website. That wasn’t the first time that my site was down, there had been three or four occasions at least when my site was unreachable. But I didn’t worry too much because those downtimes did not last for long and my site was back up within the hour.
While my site was down, I tried to see if I could find out why. The Ahead Hosting website was also down but perhaps they had posted an announcement on their Twitter account? Well, I found their Twitter feed, I saw that their account hadn’t been updated since 15 February 2018. I searched on, and using the hashtag #aheadhosting, I came across a tweet from Pastry Fabius warning people to “stay away from #Dragify #AheadHosting” adding a link to a blog post ranting about his experience with Ahead Hosting which he describes as “a lifelong nightmare”.
Like me, Pastry Fabius was initially impressed because the hosting worked well, so well, in fact, that he signed up for a second account. But then “everything came crashing down”:
- his sites were regularly unreachable
- the control panel would not allow him to access his sites
- his emails to technical support did not get any response
- both of his accounts were suspended for spam
To cut a long story short, Pastry Fabius stopped using Ahead Hosting and moved all his websites to a different provider.
His concluding words were rather worrying:
By the way, it looks like behind this so-called company Ahead Hosting lies a single person, who owns (or rents?) a single server: when my websites were down/unreachable, the ‘company’s’ website would be down/unreachable too. How professional is that? In conclusion: as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. If you want reliable hosting, stay away from these ‘lifetime’ offers. And most of all, stay away from Ahead Hosting.
Now alarmed, I emailed Ahead Hosting though did not expect a response, based on what I had just read. Surprisingly, I did get a response, albeit a ridiculous one. It said rather curtly: “Are you running any process? I see very high load factor for your account.” I replied that I wasn’t doing anything and pointed out that their own website was down. They replied again, even briefer than the first time: “We are going to restart the service.”
Convinced that Ahead Hosting was run by a bunch of amateurs, I thought I would try a different approach: I contacted Dragify, the company who got me involved with them in the first place. I said:
I really regret taking up your lifetime hosting deal. The hosting with Ahead Hosting is horrendous. My site is unreachable very often. In fact, it’s been down for almost six hours now. This is not acceptable. I will be blogging and tweeting to discourage people from your lifetime hosting which is actually a lifelong nightmare.
Ahead Hosting managed to get my site up again (hooray!) while I was waiting for Dragify’s response. When it arrived, it wasn’t what I was expecting. It said:
I’m showing that the site is live. It may be that your IP is blocked from the ahead-hosting servers for some reason. Regardless we can get you switched over to our internal hosting. I have setup a new plan under your account. For us to transfer your site please give us the login credentials for the hosting you have now with ahead and we’ll get you moved over.
Well, well, well. Dragify did not just give me a bunch of excuses and insincere apologies. They were actually offering me a solution! We exchanged a few more emails. Dragify promised that the transfer would not take long at all and that they would contact me again once it was done.
Twenty-hours later, I’m still waiting. Dragify has ignored two emails so far asking for an update. I will give them 12 more hours before I carry out my threat to tweet and blog to discourage others from making the same mistake as me.
(Well, at least my website, as hosted by Ahead Hosting, is currently up which is how I can write this post.)