Wednesday 20th March 2019

Customer service

  • Web host vary markedly in the provision of customer service;
  • Some offer live chat, some don’t; some are responsive on live chat, some aren’t;
  • A number of web hosts have recently discontinued ticketing as a form of support.

Customer service

  • Web host vary markedly in the provision of customer service;
  • Some offer live chat, some don’t; some are responsive on live chat, some aren’t;
  • A number of web hosts have recently discontinued ticketing as a form of support.

Compare hosts

We compare 18 web hosts against 56 metrics, including monthly and annual pricing and bandwidth, CPU, read/write, storage and database restrictions.

Compare customer support

Listed below are comparisons of the many ways web hosts deliver customer support.

  • Live chat: this is increasingly the support option of choice for web hosts, however responsiveness and helpfulness varies markedly between hosts; some web hosts, e.g. Heart Internet, Fasthosts, etc., only appear to make live chat available at certain times;
  • Ticketing: many web hosts, e.g. GoDaddy, Bluehost, HostGator, etc., no longer allow customers to submit support tickets;
  • Phone: in some cases, this appears to be the primary, preferred or only support option for certain webs hosts e.g. 1&1.
  • Remember: organizations dedicate resources accordingly. The resources dedicated to sales chat are unlikely to be equivalent to the resources dedicated to support chat;

Live chat support?

The table below identifies which hosts provide live chat as a form of customer support.

N/A = Not applicable NS = Not specified RBNS = Restricted but not specified

Click on a host to read the full review.

Web hostLive chat support?Visit
GoDaddyLimitedVisit
Heart InternetYesVisit
1&1NoVisit
NamecheapYesVisit
HostingerYesVisit
FatCowYesVisit
Just HostYesVisit
GreenGeeksYesVisit
FasthostsYesVisit
A2 HostingYesVisit
DreamhostYesVisit
HostGatorYesVisit
InMotion HostingYesVisit
iPageYesVisit
Host PapaYesVisit
BluehostYesVisit
SitegroundYesVisit

Some analysis:

  • GoDaddy discontinued ticketing support in 2014 after likening its status as a method of support to the “cassette tape”. We disagree and so do, we suspect, the people across the world who collectively account for sending 269 billion emails every day;
  • We experienced disproportionately high live chat wait times across most Endurance International Group hosts (e.g. Bluehost, HostGator, Just Host, etc.). We also suspect their live chat funnels into one place – one Just Host chat operator ended our chat by stating “thank you for contacting Bluehost”.
  • Some live chat operators, particularly EIG hosts, are guilty of what we refer to as “chat buffering,” or the process of typing meaningless platitudes into a chat to, we suspect, make it easier to balance incoming enquiries;
  • We’ve waited over 10 minutes to receive a response from Hostinger’s live chat operatives (we gave up at this point);
  • Siteground is probably the best host we’ve reviewed for customer support – they dealt with our support tickets in less than eight minutes and their live chat is very responsive.
  • 1&1 doesn’t appear to offer ticketing or live chat for support (they provide the latter for sales). Rather, they emphasize their phone number at every opportunity.

Phone support?

The table below identifies which hosts offer phone as a form of customer support.

N/A = Not applicable NS = Not specified RBNS = Restricted but not specified

Click on a host to read the full review.

Web hostPhone support?Visit
GoDaddyYesVisit
Heart InternetNoVisit
1&1YesVisit
NamecheapNoVisit
HostingerNoVisit
FatCowNoVisit
Just HostYesVisit
GreenGeeksYesVisit
FasthostsYesVisit
A2 HostingYesVisit
DreamhostNoVisit
HostGatorYesVisit
InMotion HostingYesVisit
iPageNoVisit
Host PapaNoVisit
BluehostNoVisit
SitegroundYesVisit

Ticket/email support?

The table below outlines which hosts provide ticketing or email as a form of customer support.

N/A = Not applicable NS = Not specified RBNS = Restricted but not specified

Click on a host to read the full review.

Web hostTicket/email support?Visit
GoDaddyNoVisit
Heart InternetYesVisit
1&1YesVisit
NamecheapYesVisit
HostingerYesVisit
FatCowNoVisit
Just HostYesVisit
GreenGeeksYesVisit
FasthostsYesVisit
A2 HostingYesVisit
DreamhostYesVisit
HostGatorYesVisit
InMotion HostingYesVisit
iPageNoVisit
Host PapaYesVisit
BluehostYesVisit
SitegroundYesVisit