A2 Hosting high jinks

I’ve had an encounter with another bad actor in the hosting game. You may remember my encounter last year with host4geeks , a webhost who allows (or actually does the hack themselves) evil actors to log into your website and plant virii and mal ware, then asks you to purchase their extremely expensive anti-virus/mal-ware software (do they really give you that or do they give you a fake program and then remove the virii themselves?).

So this year, after having been hit with a renewal amount that was three times larger than the original (my own fault actually) I started looking around. A2 Hosting came highly recommended for WordPress sites, so I plucked down the money and gave them a spin around the block.

About two weeks in, I noticed that my usage was out of control.  Now, I have not just one site but three domains, with about four subdomains.  I’ve been webmastering these sites since 1999, and I’ve been on about a dozen web hosts.  I’m always hoping that the one I subscribe to will be the last, as moving sites is a real pain in the back, particularly with the advent of .php based sites.

Any way, my usage was out of control. That is usually indicative of an infection (as I learned with the host4geeks debacle).  This time was no different, but A2’s support was less than effective. They suggested all sorts of remedies, not knowing I guess that an infected file could be the culprit (or maybe not caring).   Oh, they had a hosting upgrade that was suggested would fix things, but it didn’t and I continued to have troubles.   I finally decided to change hosts, since the trouble did not appear until after I had gone to A2 in the first place.

There were other problems as well. For instance, A2 promised a refund if things turned crappy.  Only the refund was only available the first month, and not available for a partial month. In other words, that was a big fat Trump, er, LIE.

The second thing was they offered to migrate my site from the previous host to theirs.  Well, that turned out to mean only the primary site, and not any of the other sites or sub-domains.

I ended up with doteasy.com, a Canadian based host that I had actually used back in 1999. At that time I only had the one site, and that was all I could have.  But doteasy has evolved, and now offers multi-site hosting.  So I’m hoping to be able to stay with them a long time.

It was after migrating my files to doteasy that I discovered that the database for my main site was infected.  Thousands of .php files (executables) were in the database.  The only fix was to recreate the database from scratch, but since that is our online store, it was easy.  It was time to inventory our stock anyway.

Anyroad, so far everything is kosher and the anti-virus/mal-ware plugin I’m using on all my sites seems to be doing the job so far.

My conclusion:

Do not do any business with host4geeks. They are out to victimize you.

Do not do any business with A2 Hosting.  I don’t believe that have any ill intentions. I think they are just naive and not careful.

Please consider taking your sites to doteasy.   They are in Canada, and that may be much safer, during the reign of Trump, than any US based host.

As with everything, YMMV.