hosting company hijacking 404 pages

by Melody
14 replies
I won't name the company here - don't want to cause the WF any issues - but a very large and well known hosting company is hijacking it's customer's 404 pages and redirecting them to their own marketing pages. Some are for the company (they are trying to launch their own MLM company) but others are simply to other affiliate products (and yes, you can see the company and sometimes the owners name in the redirects). I have confirmed with the company that they are doing this, and they see nothing wrong with this.

I have a LOT of websites there, and am in the process of moving them - this was the absolute last straw for us. I have set up custom 404 redirects so no issue, but we also discovered today that they are hijacking the https version of the pages too - and no simple redirect seems to work yet. Not a major issue from a customer standpoint, but it can be from Google's perspective from what Google reps have told me, so I am not happy about that.

This practice is costing them a long time customer - but I wanted to remind everyone that you need to set custom 404s, and check all versions of your site.

Your domain belongs to you - so does your traffic. Your host should not be siphoning off visitors just because they hit a typo when trying to access your domain.

Melody
#404 #company #hijacking #hosting #pages
  • Profile picture of the author l1one
    Get your own VPS at Softlayer and never look back. Buy your WHM/cPanel license from LicensePal and install WHM yourself to save money and make sure nothing has been modified.

    A number of the bigger hosts play all kinds of games with their shared accounts. Doing things like 404 hijacking.
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    • Profile picture of the author Melody
      Originally Posted by l1one View Post

      Get your own VPS at Softlayer and never look back. Buy your WHM/cPanel license from LicensePal and install WHM yourself to save money and make sure nothing has been modified.

      A number of the bigger hosts play all kinds of games with their shared accounts. Doing things like 404 hijacking.
      Agree! We've done the same thing but with another provider- just a pain in the tush to move
      40+ websites and time consuming - so we left the smaller ones there longer than we should have.

      But not many people realize what a wide spread issue this is becoming!

      Mel
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  • Profile picture of the author micksss
    Originally Posted by Melody View Post

    I won't name the company here - don't want to cause the WF any issues - but a very large and well known hosting company is hijacking it's customer's 404 pages and redirecting them to their own marketing pages.
    You won't be causing the WF any issues by naming the company. You are free to say whatever you want. You'd be doing this community a favor. Please do share
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    I've seen hosting companies do that before, this sounds like it's a little more than a small ad. Good reminder to always check everything around your website!
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  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    In your .htaccess file create a command that everyone is sent to a certain page if there is a 404 error. It could be a custom page you create, or I usually just use the home page.

    More info:

    How to Redirect your 404 error to a Custom Page - Htaccess Basics

    .
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    Well, for all you bronies, the seobro will give you a clue, as this company belongs in a swamp. Yeah, they are SWAMPED with many issues. Really can't believe I am still using em. Thanks for the heads up... any way...
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  • Profile picture of the author TheMostCreative
    To be honest that just low, really low from them.
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  • Profile picture of the author wasa1
    Wow thanks for the heads-up I will look into this closely. What happened to serving the customer and keeping them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim Franklin
    Yes, I know who you are talking about and that is not the only questionable practice they have, grrr, bad dog, It is getting to where you have to wonder about doing business with a company, (I bet you get spammed too) emails from companies you don't recognize...

    That hosting company is without doubt Evil.
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      Thanks Melody !

      Of course I do not think WF minds at all to name names.
      It will only benefit our members here to be educated in the future



      - Robert Andrew
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      • Profile picture of the author agmccall
        Originally Posted by discrat View Post

        Thanks Melody !

        Of course I do not think WF minds at all to name names.
        It will only benefit our members here to be educated in the future



        - Robert Andrew
        agree. but, to comply with the rules here you should post it in the product review sub-forum.

        al

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        • Profile picture of the author ksmusselman
          I've been using a WP plugin called 404 to Start. Then I built custom 404 pages that have either my sitemap or recent blog posts on them using another free plugin called "Content Views."

          Easy to set up, works like a charm, no 3rd party involvement and it's free.

          I just checked all of my blogs using a fake blog post link and they're all working, so I know it's not the hosting company I use!
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  • Profile picture of the author MaybeImYou
    I thought they were going to eat up everything? that is lame. and i have noticed it before. Can you imagine how much money they make off of this. I also have never once seen anything like that in their terms of service.
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  • Profile picture of the author HDRider
    Years ago I caught a hosting company I was using doing the same thing, I moved away from them right away. I make all my own custom error pages, you would be surprised. they get more traffic than you think.
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