hostgator, scam or normal?

we have multiple business websites that have been hosted on hostgator for 8 years.  not much has changed they are mainly informational sites, no eCommerce (unless they link/navigate off our site to paypal to book a reservation), just standard joomla 2.5 sites, with one integrated "contact us" form they can fill out.  we have a shared host and about 6 months ago supposedly started having a security issue for which they told us we needed to start monitoring (paying for them to "fix"...or could it be something they initiated so we pay them a higher monthly fee?).......we paid the fee/ransom and now today they are saying joomla is causing cpu issues and we should switch to a dedicated server.  they can never tell us what the exact problem is just sent us a suggestion for a smooth running joomla site.  they also said there is a "security token issued/or issue"

does having a dedicated server make sense?
should we move them to another company in case they are disingenuous?
even if we move to a dedicated server do we need to pay for monitoring?
does it sound fishy?  
is this in the right forum?

thanks
matteogalloAsked:
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MontoyaProcess Improvement MgrCommented:
I've been with hostgator for many years, and I find them to be extremely professional. Here are some things that may help you with Joomla.

Install the admin tools!   Go to joomla.org and search for admin tools. They are free and they really help you strengthen the security of your Joomla install.
Go to two step authentication.. this is new in Joomla. And oh, so welcome.
If you're doing a serious business site, shared may not be the best solution. You are sharing resources, IP's, etc.. It makes sense to have your own dedicated server.

Now, all that said, it may be easier to hire someone to just secure your install, then it would be to pay higher services. I had a situation once where my sites weren't even getting backups because someone had hacked into my K2 portion of a joomla site and they had added something like 50 thousand entries.
..Admin tools to the rescue...

Best of luck!

~Montoya
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GaryCommented:
It's very possible they have updated stuff on the server, which is quite normal, and now Joomla is not playing nice.
Support is ending for v2.5 in a few months - so it would be a good idea to upgrade and see if the issues continue.

As for dedicated server, depending on what you are paying you could go for a managed VPS (unless you are fairly conversant in Linux) - this will give you more dedicated resources instead of sharing a server with a 1000 other websites.
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COBOLdinosaurCommented:
The most likely scenario is that the host has recently upgraded PHP. If they are on or moving to PHP 5.5 you almost certainly have or will have compatibility issues.  As support for Joomla 2.5 end in Dec 2014, you should upgrade to Joomla 3.3.3.  Before doing the upgrade be sure that the host can support at least PHP5.3 or higher or you will continue to have compatibility issues.

It make sense that compatibility issues could cause both security and performance issues because of obsolete code in the old 2,5 PHP.  I would not consider any server plan upgrade until after the software is updated, as it may resolve the issues.  If you do need more server than I agree with Gary that you should go to VPS.

For future reference you should keep Joomla up to date.

Cd&
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Peter HartCommented:
it could be your Joomla website has been hacked and has malicious code and  they do not have the checks to  pinpoint it.
there is nothing wrong with Joomla 2.5 taking up too much CPU.
my hosting company allow me to choose what PHP version I use.
I would as k for more details about the problem
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