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The Shining New Webhost Dead Pool

Tue, 4th March 2014, 15:01

For the first time in decades the Great Lakes are almost ice covered and in the Middle East the phrase Arab Spring has taken on new meaning. Some places are like people: some shine and some don`t. Feeling blue and tired can be a byproduct of winter. Yes I'm aware of that masochist minority who find a morbid sense of enjoyment in everything winter.. 2014 is surely one for the records that didn't disappoint.  Still, with the Farmers Almanac calling for more of the same in the month of March, an increasingly disproportionate segment of the population is suffering from cabin fever. Not exactly the climate that would explain the demise of so many web hosting firms.

I believe it was Jack Torrance from the hosting outfit Redrum who was quoted as saying:

Have you ever had a SINGLE MOMENT'S THOUGHT about my responsibilities? Have you ever thought, for a single solitary moment about my responsibilities to my clients? Has it ever occurred to you that I have agreed to look after the web presence until May the FIRST. Does it MATTER TO YOU AT ALL that the OWNERS have placed their COMPLETE CONFIDENCE and TRUST in me, and that I have signed a letter of agreement, a CONTRACT, in which I have accepted that RESPONSIBILITY? Do you have the SLIGHTEST IDEA, what a MORAL AND ETHICAL PRINCIPLE IS, DO YOU? Has it ever occurred to you what would happen to my future, if I were to fail to live up to my responsibilities? Has it ever occurred to you? HAS IT?

Johnny sounds stressed but sometimes we overlook the obvious. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure so let’s see who's gushing blood in the latest HostJury dead pool!

WGOHosting

Straight-up getting auctioned off (the domain at least) for $600. Ten years of hosting and it all comes down to this. It’s like an elegant allegory for marriage. If you’re thinking of imping a webhost, though- now’s your chance! You’ll get all of the brand recognition of… you know, WGOHosting. 

The Simple Host

The Simple Host Ltd has ceased trading as of 28th January 2014. If you have questions regarding a service you held with us, please contact... thesimplehost@gmail.com

A tragic end for a service with such a modest name. Notice, at the end of that message, a very smart tactic used by the webhosts of The Simple Host Limited to prevent spammers from acquiring their Gmaill address.

UCVHost

The cream of the crap this month, UCVHost is a perfect depiction of what it’s like when a promoter bails. A Delhi-based company, UCV had its backend contracted to Softlayer, and when things got too tough for founder Rajat Khanna, he vanished, leaving behind only this page.

Screenshot of UCVHost homepage 

SoftLayer, for their part, explained that the service was terminated by Mr. Khanna himself, and so everyone’s data is gone! Look for Khanna’s mugshot in The Hindu Business Line soon!

VS-HS

VS-HS has been serving hosting customers with reliable web hosting since October, 2005. VS-HS mission is to provide reliable and affordable Web hosting services with great customer support by applying VS-HS experience and technical skills. VS-HS believe that all customers have different requirements and therefore listen to each and every one of them. Alas we finally got tired of listening.

Waveweb

There’s so little on Waveweb available on google the search engine basically just assumes you’re looking for Wavelab, an audio editor. Wavelab can’t restore the data you may have lost in the death of Waveweb, but it is still working, at least.

Servers.co.in

Servers.co.in is the world's leader in reliable and affordable dedicated server and VPS hosting solutions. If we had a dime for every time a ‘world leader’ in the hosting industry bit the dust, we still couldn’t buy a month of hosting with Servers.co.in. Because they’re dead and buried.

Rackbyte

Get this- Rackspace is getting hammered so hard in the markets by CEO Lanham Napier’s resignation that even their knockoff websites are going out of business. Ouch.

Saltire Hosting

You probably have a couple questions: one, who the hell is Saltire Hosting, and two, what the hell is a Saltire? Well let me tell you. A Saltire is the diagonal cross, the heraldric symbol on the blue and white flag of Scotland, representative of the cross St. Andrew was crucified upon. Saltire Hosting? We’d tell you, but they don’t exist anymore.

Urgent Host

Urgent Host didn’t last the month, which probably has something to do with their niche of NEEDING A WEBHOST URGENTLY. SERIOUSLY. JUST THROW YOUR CREDIT CARD AT THE SCREEN, WE’LL TAKE CARE OF THE REST.

Sanga Hosting

A new and honestly well-received hosting service, Sanga Hosting doesn’t seem to have made it a full two years. Better to go out on top than live to hit the bottom, right? We’re sure everyone hosted by Sanga totally agrees.

SLU Web Services

I love the way these guys shut down. SORRY BUT WE ARE NO LONGER OPERATING. Block letters on the front page. It’s very sudden. I wonder if a webhost has ever shut down with a screamer?

SoloHost

Frozen in carbonite. Note that while UK provider SoloHost.org is gone, alojamiento web Solo-Host.com vivirá para siempre! Jajajajaja!

UZR Hosting

So, 2HostU (which was a provider, not a tech-themed boy band) was acquired and became Pluto Hosting, which was then acquired again to become UZR Hosting, which has now gone defunct. And they say change is good.

Wiz Web Hosting

Wiz Web Hosting is dead, but what’s more interesting than that is their only review, by a man named Leland, who was apparently unable to register a domain at all. This review is interesting because despite not being able to do anything, Leland gave them 3 stars, which is just about the most generous thing we’ve ever heard.

This deadpool’s for you, Leland. Researching a new web host. Choose wisely and read the reviews!

Web Hosting

Gazing into the Rackspace Crystal Ball

Thu, 27th February 2014, 16:07

All is not well at Rackspace.

That much is certain, and frankly, it’s an understatement. CEO Lanham Napier’s untimely exit added injury to injury, and the depth of that injury is revealed by the markets: RAX took a dive to the tune of 18% after the announcement.

The loss of Napier comes at an awkward period for Rackspace, to say the least. After a relatively positive fourth quarter in 2013, the hosting giant showed signs of growth, necessary in the face of a long term decline. The retirement has undone that, and raised further questions about the stability and direction of a company beleaguered by the market and its competitors.

But what exactly has Rackspace on the ropes? We looked at this in an earlier article: the Cloud Hosting Price War, where we examined the impact of the juggernauts of hosting using their massive infrastructure to outcompete less… shall we say, financially deft companies. The writing was on the wall when Rackspace announced it wouldn't compete with the drastically lower prices, not because they couldn't, but rather because ‘lower prices don’t necessary mean lower costs’. Nice marketing judo, there.

And if the writing was on the wall then, the die is cast now. The departure of Napier leaves the company in the hands of new CEO/old CEO Graham Weston. Weston, as well as some analysts, focused on the positive growth of 2013, with higher revenue ($408.1 million, up 15.6%) if lower net income. The focus of all this doubt over growth is inevitably the divide between dedicated and public cloud options. Weston’s perspective is clear, “The future is dedicated,” he was quoted as saying, and so towards dedicated the ship sails.

Weston’s logic feels shaky. By the end of the quarter, Rackspace had 103,886 servers deployed, and was making $1,322 in monthly revenue per server – up just under one percent year-over-year. Certainly not a shady number by any metric and one that won’t go unnoticed by Rackspace’s salivating competitors. Anyone even remotely following the dedicated server market is well aware of the shakeup that has dedicated server prices plummeting to new lows.

The expanding market favors accessibility, despite any arguments of Rackspace’s PR department to the contrary, in the same way that consumers favor price, and not general notions of ‘ease of spending prediction’, as one marketer put it.

Indeed, the Rackspace strategy thus far has seemed to be something of a marketing blitz- with around $2m a year poured into a brand campaign. A shame, then, that their most public event in recent memory is the loss of Lanham Napier, who is remaining on for a few months as a consultant.

Time will tell the future of Rackspace, but things look dicey from here. It’s not merely that they've lost a CEO, it’s that they've for the time being failed to gain a new one. The direction of the past couple years has not been promising, and investors can’t be blamed for become somewhat uncomfortable without the assurance of innovation- now or in the near future.

In the cloud hosting market it’s not only AWS that Rackspace has to fear. Microsoft and Google are more than well-funded competitors, and the designs of other big names like Oracle and HP should prove troubling for Rackspace’s market share at a bare minimum. The list of well funded, established companies in the dedicated server market seeking a piece of Rackspace's meal ticket is notably longer. We’ll keep following this story as the year progresses.

OVH loyalty program created headaches. Ingenuity creates solutions

Thu, 20th February 2014, 16:24

A while back, Europe's second largest webhost OVH came up with an interesting plan to reward customer loyalty. It goes like this: if you've been with OVH for long enough for the company to have added newer, faster servers to their datacenters, you can rent up- improving your service without increasing cost. In fact, as some customers noted in the OVH company forum, the deals on some of the new technology actually outstripped the older servers, comparatively. It's a solid plan that says something positive about the OVH as a whole- a reinvestment in existing customers instead of a more ravenous strategy of growth.

There's just one problem, of course: turnover. After all, who could resist such a great deal? It worked better than OVH had intended- while the system is workable if customers look to move up each 2-3 years, as the company grew they ran into clients ready to upgrade to the newest servers after less than half a year- soon they'd lined up so many customers they were forced to 'sell out', that is, stop taking new orders entirely while they whittled away at the current backlog of customers looking to upgrade and filled the servers that were now empty.

The logistics of this are difficult to picture. After all, you're dealing with exclusively pre-existing customers, this isn't representative of expansion. And yet the technical side of OVH is now pegged down as moving a sizable chunk of the customer base from the old servers to the new, with all the headaches that entails.

What's more, the exodus left the company with a bunch of empty servers- a whole bunch. And these are the old servers- rapidly growing obsolete with ever-improving technology.

It's something of a nightmare, but was it predictable? As some have noted, OVH prides itself on its four pledges: No installation fees, no long-term commitments, monthly payments and regular addition of features. The problem with this is that most of the new features went to the new servers, and combined with the lack of installation fees… why not upgrade? There seems to be no reason to hang on to hardware that is only decreasing in value as more options become available. Here, then, was OVH- in such an enviable market position with no ability to grow, at least for the time being, and increasingly unsatisfied customers looking to improve or expand their service!

But just as interesting as the conundrum itself is how OVH is dealing with the problem. First is their new loyalty program: long term customers get 1 free month on renewal after waiting 6 months, and 3 free months on renewal after waiting a full year. OVH also rolled out HubiC recently. The dramatically discounted cloud storage platform has pricing that should put more than a few of the old servers to good use. 

One wonders how effective these strategies will be at reducing (or eliminating!) turnover- while they should mitigate the problem, the core issue (the fundamental appeal of upgrading to better servers for competitive prices) remains.
 
If there’s anything OVH should take from this whole ordeal, it’s that business strategy is a long game indeed. It will be interesting to see how OVH continues to evolve in 2014.

 

The case for SSLs.com vs SSL.com

Thu, 13th February 2014, 17:37

Okay, how much do you know about SSL providers? A lot? Great. Then you should probably know CheapSSLs.com, the Namecheap brand (guess the theme!) and you probably also know SSL.com (Short and sweet.)

Well, CheapSSLs, in the name of brevity, has now officially become SSLs.com! Not to be confused with SSL.com which happens to be a horse of a different color. For example, SSL.com’s motto is Trust In Everything We Do, which sounds pretty culty for a SSL certificate vendor when you think about it, whereas Cheap- I mean, SSLs.com’s motto is… they don’t have a motto. And that needs to be fixed, frankly. My suggestion? SSLs.com- We Used To Be Cheap. Beautiful. Someone translate that into Latin and send it to them.

We figured since the two providers are clearly in competition with each other, it might be worthwhile to compare the two, see how they stack up, all things considered. We’re going to try to be objective here, but wouldn’t it be awesome if they were absolutely the same? You could buy from one and not even realize it’s not the other. Some days they could just switch sites, and no one would be the wiser. We can only hope this is the case.

The Terms of Service

The first order of business is the terms of service- what are we getting into when we get into bed with one of these guys? It’s just data security, right? Shouldn’t be too intrusive.

SSL.com

When you use the Site, you accept the Terms of Use; if you do not agree to the Terms of Use you may not use the Site. SSL reserves the right to modify content on the Site and these Terms of Use periodically without prior notice.

Oh man, can you even do this? We had no idea. Quick update to the HostJury TOS, by the way- when you use the site, you agree to the terms. And the terms are… uh… $15 a month. Just paypal it to us. We’re easy like Sunday morning.

By submitting information, you grant SSL.com a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sublicensable right to reproduce, use, modify, publish, adapt, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, and display such content throughout the world in any media.

Also known as the Zuckerberg Clause!

SSLs.com

If we are sued or threatened with a lawsuit, an administrative proceeding or any other legal or administrative proceeding in connection with Service(s) provided to you, we may turn to you to indemnify us and to hold us harmless from the claims and expenses (including attorney's fees and court costs). Under such circumstances, you agree that you will, upon demand, obtain a performance bond with a reputable bonding company or, if you are unable to obtain a performance bond, that you will deposit money with us to pay for our reasonably anticipated expenses in relation to the matter for the coming year. Such deposit will be drawn down as expenses are incurred, with all account notices sent to the contact information provided in association with your account. We shall not be obliged to extend you any credit in relation to such expenses and we may terminate the Services for a failure to make or renew such a deposit. We will return any unused deposit upon the later of three (3) months from deposit or the conclusion of the matter.

Damn, these guys are not going down with your ship, illegal websites. We can’t really imagine an instance when this might come into play- especially considering the ‘or’ in the whole matter is the loss of your SSL certificate. The best part of the clause, though, is ‘reputable’ bonding company. If you get SSLs.com sued, no sending Dog the Bounty Hunter to their offices with a handful of benjamins and your old Chevy, no sir.

The Prices

Alright, so the next thing to consider is cost, of course. The major difference between the two sites is that while SSL.com offers a specific suite of options, SSLs.com is more a digital marketplace in which you can choose your brand (and price!). This should be easy to remember- the s is for plural.
Prices (yearly) on SSL.com range from $36 to $240, whereas SSLs.com goes all the way down to $9- that is, if all you’re looking for is an unspectacular Comodo PositiveSSL. No bells and whistles here (that green bar…) The extended validation options take you all the way up to $870! That’s VeriSign, of course. We’re pretty damn sure you get a green bar with that one (plus a $1.5 million warranty, which ain't half bad.)

The Verdict

As it is Hostjury's policy not to make recommendations (allowing instead users to do the recommending), we can not in good conscience deliver a verdict. But hypothetically speaking, with tongues in cheek of course, based on what we see here, if we were to deliver a verdict, we'd have to recommend SSLs.com, mainly for their wide variety of options, snazzy layout, and slightly less terrifying terms of service. Then again we did hear that InstantSSL is planning on changing their website to SSSL.com, so who knows what the future will bring.

Domain Name Registration from Namecheap

Web Hosting deadpool. 2014 Flatliners edition

Wed, 12th February 2014, 15:46

January’s gone, it’s the dead of winter, and Punxsutawney Phil says there’s another six weeks of this stuff ahead. What better than throw another log on the fire and roast a few of the dearly departed webhosts in another hosting deadpool! These forgotten soldiers just barely crawled into the new year before being brutally snuffed out in 2014. So who’s the first dead of the year? Find out here!

PapaHost (papahost.co.uk)

Are you familiar with HostPapa? Yes? This segment is not about HostPapa, rather these erstwhile hosting minnow trying to capitalize on the name! Brand recognition, baby. It’s great, but apparently not great enough to save PapaHost from its inevitable patricide. Perhaps consumers were not quite as gullible as these parasites imagined. But hey, congratulations to the freeloading flunkies at PapaHost for winning HostJury’s coveted First Dead Doppelganger of the Year Award!

Orange Hosting (orangehosting.ca)

Oh! So close. A Small Orange these guys were not, and if only they’d expired the briefest moment sooner they’d have snagged that previous award! But they didn’t, and close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. The world’s most depressing silver medal goes to Orange Hosting!

Nginx Hosting UK (That's nginx-hosting.co.uk)

How fast is your website? With Nginx Hosting we guarantee that your site will be faster on our servers than your current host or you get your hosting for free...

Critical Error
Could not connect to the database

But they will give you your hosting for free!

Once ranked by a competitor site as the 4th best Nginx hosting solution in the United Kingdom! Shows what they know. Bet they didn’t even call the Super Bowl for the Seahawks, which, by the way, we did.

Midpulse (midpulse.com)

From their service description:

One of MidPulse main strengths and focuses is to provide people and businesses of even of the lowest budgets with possibilities of creating these identities online.

We don’t know what’s funnier: the trainwreck of a sentence you just read or the modesty of naming your service ‘mid’ anything. MidPulse. For when HiPulse is frankly just too expensive. While it’s admirable to focus on people, it rings hollow when your own business is flailing.

Melonmelon.io (melonmelon.co)

Oh man, what a great name for a hosting service... Melonmelon. A French Canadian web hosting provider, we can only hope for a speedy resurrection as Melonmelonmelon.io. Third time may be the charm!

Rackify (rackify.net)

Rackify, having accomplished very little in their hosting career beyond coming up with the world’s most unoriginal name, has finally expired. We’d love to give you more information, but even their WHOIS information was protected.

Note:The whois Privacy Protection is enabled on this domain/no physical contact information on website. When contacted by HostJury, Rackify responded "We believe the contact us form is sufficient for pre-sales contact". 

In fairness, they did have the courtesy to actually respond!
In lieu of any actual information, we’re going to be forced to speculate that they were a front for North Korean money laundering and/or SPECTRE.

 

RiversHosting (rivershosting.com)

According to one forum, RiversHosting is currently in the process of transferring their users to HalfDollarHosting, which is a really encouraging name. Still, we have to give them props for not leaving clients up the creek without a paddle. RiversHosting is doing something other than poofing on their poor clients. Hopefully HalfDollarHosting can hold up their end of the bargain.

MegaCloud (megacloud.com) 

Gee, what is it with all these brand ripoff sites? Serves MegaCloud right- the FBI ended up raiding them because they assumed a connection to that pirating kingpin hack (well at least that’s what is alleged by some Hollywood types and their gobermint allies) Kim Dotcom.
 
Nah, just kidding. They took them out with a drone strike. Thanks, Obama.

 

HostDedi (hostdedi.co.uk)

I’m just going to sit right here and let you make the joke yourself.

MegaByteHosting (domain is for sale)

There’s some chatter about MBH’s closing having to do with the admin’s health issues, which is sad. 

Due to some serious health issues I have to shut down megabytehosting for at least a year. You are advised to get your files backed up immediately. Any clients that are on yearly plans or recently paid will be able to email us for your payment reimbursements.

I am very sad to do this because I put so much effort into MBH. Thanks for your loyalty and when I have recovered I will be back online.

With the nature of small-brand hosting we’re not sure whether to believe that or not. Regardless may he outlive his hosting service by decades and if MegaByte does resurrect, HostJury will be the first to write an article trumpeting the triumph of human spirit over adversity.

Researching a webhost for your baby.. choose wisely and read the reviews before you decide!

HostPapa 100% Green Energy Web Hosting

WP Engine looks to accelerate growth and innovation: Is it sustainable

Thu, 6th February 2014, 19:59

Another day, another multimillion dollar injection from private equity directly into the veins of the hosting industry. The latest lucky recipient of the partnership is WP Engine, the CMS giant whose growth has been courting the investors for a long time now. They struck a bargain with North Bridge Growth Equity, a VC firm noted for its high-tech open-source designs, to the tune of $15 million and a spot on WP Engine’s board. The goal of all the new financing? Massive growth with international themes, coming on the heels of WP Engine’s plan to expand into Europe next year.

Allons-y, we guess! Hey, at least they aren’t gobbling up startups like everyone else.

It’s fascinating to get into the nuts and bolts of the deal- specifically its history, the growth that brought all the financial suitors running in the first place. Speaking to TechCrunch, WP Engine CEO Heather Brunner confirmed the company’s 25% quarterly growth since year one, and with expansion like that (dating back to 2010) one has to wonder just what extrapolating all this success means for the company. More success? If they’re lucky.

Heather Brunner in a statement to HJ said: 

“We’re very excited about our partnership with North Bridge Growth Equity. Given their extensive background in open source we knew they were the best fit to help us build on our rapid growth in the market. As our customers depend on us to bring their content to the world, we’re eager to continue providing them with digital ease, assurance and confidence.  The funding comes at a time of explosive growth for WordPress, which is now the most popular content management system on the internet.” 

It is and always has been easy to get caught up in rapidity of growth. To analyze that we’d have to make some utterly laborious points about capitalism, spare us all, so instead let’s focus on the concept of the business- in this case a WordPress hosting provider as the vehicle, and all this rampant growth as the motion of the thing. Maybe this is all reductive, but just how fast can the engine run?

WP Engine’s success is a credit to its core elements, its team and its leadership. Its clockwork 25% quarterly growth is a testament to the expansion of the CMS, the digitization of publishing, the continued dawning of the era of social media and the primacy of WordPress. What it will do with fifteen million incentives to expand its grasp is another question entirely.

There’s no end to the loaded phrases that come with the discussion of rapid internet expansion, and we won’t indulge those notions here, but it’s an inescapable fact that there is a level of growth that’s healthy, and a level where historically less so. 

Back in 2012, upon discontinuing their marketing program, industry veteran ICDSoft posted an extremely thoughtful blog post on this very subject.

“We believe that each business has a ‘critical mass’ - a certain size of the company, beyond which it becomes difficult to maintain the same level of service. More customers and employees leads to the requirement for more complicated company structures and procedures, and it is usually the customer who suffers because of the scale of the provider.”

Usually the customer who suffers. And there’s going to be 25% more of those customers at the end of this quarter, don’t you imagine? Of course, there’s always the complete possibility that the market will continue to grow and that all these new structures will be supported with the same level of care that got WP Engine into this position to begin with.

There’s also the opportunity that in 2 years they’ll be primed to sell to a bigger fish. Anything could happen, after all. (Editor's note: HostJury is hopeful for our own interview with WP Engine's Heather Brunner).

Thoughts? Clients of WP Engine can share their experiences here. 

Checking out the Revamped Namecheap

Tue, 4th February 2014, 17:55

Big things are happening at NamecheapYou can see it in the design of the website alone: the place is practically rebuilt from the ground up. And so tastefully, too. It’s nice to see a massive company like Namecheap eschew the overwhelming, in your face block images and matte colors that seem to enthrall so many web designers these days. And no stock models laughing at something just off screen- GoDaddy and Endurance International these people ain't.

No great change happens easily of course, and on closer inspection we did notice a bit of a snag with the page’s GTMetrix score, which could be expected growing pains, but eesh, an E? We reached out to the press department at Namecheap to try and put a finger on the somewhat sluggish, if gorgeous design.

(Editor's note.. Namecheap did ask for feedback on their new site design... We've left a space for their response but I guess they didn't like our question!)

Beyond optimization, there’s the question of mobile accessibility, which one could probably argue was the primary reason for the redesign. By that metric, Namecheap’s redesign passes with flying colors. The challenge with any mobile display is of course trying to free your reader from the unimmersive zoom feature. Content gets layered, and then the struggle is finding a way to nest the information without losing the viewer. But it’s gorgeous the way they’ve done it. In fact, it does go to show the staggering trend away from the PC, even if the desktop and laptop remain the central devices in the tech world. For websites, tablet and phone accessibility is a must, of course, but the design- the face of the internet, if you will, seems to be more and more tailored towards its appearance on a mobile device. It does lead one to speculate about the future of the website. Thus far, some element of desktop design has remained in the layout of most websites- Namecheap’s community page is a perfect example of subtle, scrolling tradition. Who knows how quickly that will change as form catches up to function- or how information will be displayed if and when the desktop becomes a mere limb of computing and not the backbone. Now, maybe you’re thinking that this is something of a navel-gazing way to talk about a site overhaul. Well, good design breeds conversation, doesn't it?

And the front-page redesign isn't the only newcomer to Namecheap’s oeuvre. They've also upgraded their OX App Suite, yet another concession to the mobile market, to make it easier to view documents and synchronize text and files. The OX App Suite, if you’re unfamiliar, is a wonderful project that helps mobile users free themselves from proprietary user-interfaces, putting power in the hands of content providers when it comes to user experience and accessibility.

Namecheap is a leader in the hosting industry, and what this redesign tells us is that in terms of form, they see which way the wind is blowing. A good sign for users and investors alike.

Domain Name Registration from Namecheap

Talking shop with Hivelocity Director of Operations Steven Eschweiler

Thu, 30th January 2014, 17:42

Hivelocity is a long-running company with a stellar reputation, one earned over years of focusing on one thing: solid dedicated server hosting, so with the recent announcement of Steven Eschweiler’s promotion to Director of Operations, we thought we’d take the opportunity to pick his brains for a look into what it takes to build a brand and keep it spotless- as well as seeing what’s in the future for a company with a real focus on its customer service.

Q. You've been with Hivelocity from the very beginning. What’s been the most rewarding element of starting and growing a brand?

Steven: We started Hivelocity with 5 guys in a basement and 2 cabinets of Cobalt Raq 3 servers...remember those? Here we are 12 years later with our own 25,000 sq ft data center, thousands of physical servers, thousands more virtual servers and 50 employees. When you are self-funded and organically grow like we have the rewarding events over the course of a decade plus are many. Our brand over the years has grown to stand for incredible customer service & support, impeccable reliability, and an exceptional user experience. None of these brand elements would be possible without the incredible team we have been fortunate enough to assemble. We have gone from 5 guys in a basement to 50 of the most talented and dedicated individuals in the industry.

Q. How has the hosting industry changed most radically from your first day to today? Are there any trends you think are interesting moving forward?

Steven: The industry as a whole has matured a lot over the years. Companies that were start ups along with us are now a piece of IBM. You don't get much more mature than IBM. Since hosting and servers has pretty much become a commodity we are all trying to find ways to differentiate ourselves from each other. Data centers and hosting companies are investing a lot in development and creating new software that more easily enables customers to find success. A successful customer is a growing customer and that is what we all want after all. The days of just offering power and pipe are over. People want solutions that envelope all of their needs today and provide a scalable roadmap for tomorrow.

Q. Your realm at Hivelocity has centered on solid customer service. Is there a particular philosophy that you've brought to this endeavor, or a more general corporate philosophy you uphold?

Steven: There is one core philosophy I ask our team to keep in mind with everything we do. "Provide a unique customer experience that is exceptional at every interaction, every time." When your goal is to create an exceptional user experience, every facet of service has to be included; uptime, ticket responses, technician expertise, our data center tour...everything has to be consistently superior. Our video tour, the live order tracker, the custom server pics we send, are all part of the Hivelocity experience. We want our customers to walk away from every interaction saying "wow, that was really cool."

Q. Your new position is Director of Operations. What are some of the new challenges you expect this role to bring? New opportunities?

Steven: I see our challenges and opportunities as very much the same thing. We are a technology company and as any IT company will tell you, technology changes fast. If you aren't nimble and quick to evolve, you find yourself selling something nobody wants. Likewise, if you are nimble and able to adapt you will find yourself at the cutting edge with products people are just realizing they want and need. Today, cloud and virtualized solutions with high-availability and scale are what the market demands. Every day we work towards broadening that segment of our product offerings.

Q. As General Manager, you introduced the Hivelocity Experience program, which streamlined the way the service was delivered to consumers and even included them in the setup process. We found the customer inclusion to be particularly novel: how important is this aspect of the service to Hivelocity, and do you have any future plans to ramp up customer participation even further?

Steven: Our customers are like family to us and when you have something great going on, you involve your family. Transparency and involving our customers to whatever level they want, is paramount to our brand and success. So to answer your question, we have only scratched the surface of what we have planned regarding customer inclusion and continuing to create that unique user experience I touched on previously.

Q. On a more personal note, tell us about your history and how it led you to hosting, and to Hivelocity in particular.

Steven: I was close friends with the founders of Hivelocity from the time we were teenagers. After graduating from the Florida State University with a BS in Business Administration and a major in Marketing, I took a horrible job working for a big US bank. Sometimes you learn the most by watching bad practices in action. Luckily, I was able to leave that position and walk away with a realization that if given the opportunity I would make sure whatever product I had control of offering was done with the customer's greatest interests in mind. My next position was working with a managed service provider here in Tampa. This position helped reinforce my IT aspirations and one day my old friends called up just as they were about to start Hivelocity. Their needs fit my strengths and the rest is history.

Q. What would you say is one big failure you've endured during your career, and what did you learn from it?

Steven:  We have not always had our own data center. Over the years we have gone from having a closet, to renting suites and cages within other data centers to finally building out our own facility. At each stage of our growth we have been able to say, okay what did we do wrong last time and how can we do it better this time around. An easy example of this is wire management. 10 years ago wire management was not something we spent much time on. It doesn't take long to realize if you don't take pride in your wire management you end up with a cabling nightmare. The next time we scaled up our operation we made sure that during the migration we wired everything perfectly. If you were to tour our data center today you would immediately take notice that miles of cables are incredibly managed.

Q. Finally, do you have any advice for the young graduates getting into the industry?

Steven: What you read in a book and what you learn on the job are 2 very different things. I have had applicants with all the certifications and accolades one can garner not be able to pass our tests during the interview process. The books are great for building a foundation but there is nothing like managing your own servers and getting your hands dirty with real life issues.

About Steven Eschweiler

Profile picture of Steven Eschweiler at the data center

Steven Eschweiler was recently named Director of Operations at Hivelocity after previously holding the position of General Manager where he was responsible for operations, marketing and product development.  Steve committed much of his efforts to making Hivelocity a premium solutions provider with a laser focus on customer service. Eschweiler has been with the company since its inception in 2002. 

About Hivelocity

Since the beginning in 2001, Hivelocity have backed their responsive e-business solutions with a robust infrastructure, the best customer service and superior technical support. A common misconception about the technology industry is “it’s all machines”. That is not Hivelocity’s approach. Although their state of the art data center and infrastructure are second to none, Hivelocity is successful because they are committed to exceptional customer service and unparalleled 24×7 Impressive Support. Because Hivelocity take support and client services so seriously, thousands of business across the globe have entrusted Hivelocity with their data. Hivelocity boasts and guarantees 99.9% network uptime which they fulfill year after year after year.

Endurance completes Directi deal: ResellerClub & BigRock now EIG Brands

Wed, 29th January 2014, 18:00

The consolidation in the webhosting industry continues with Endurance International Group (EIG) announcing that it has completed the $110 million deal struck last September to buy Mumbai-based Directi Web Technology Pvt Ltd. As part of the deal, Endurance International has acquired the web hosting entities ResellerClub and BigRock. The deal also included WebHosting.Info and LogicBoxes. 

Hari Ravichandran, CEO, Endurance, says:

We believe this acquisition represents an opportunity for Endurance to expand its footprint and positions us for further growth. Directi has managed to build a blue chip organisation without losing their entrepreneurial spirit, and the Endurance team also intends to learn from Directi’s approach to developing new markets.

The more we learned about Directi, the more impressed we became. Their approach to recruitment is highly selective, particularly for developers and is similar to that of major sports figures here in the United States. They have managed to build a blue chip organization without losing their entrepreneurial spirit. And in fact, the Endurance team intends to learn from Directi’s approach to developing new markets. 

Directi was formed in 1998 by Bhavin Turakhia along with his brother Divyank to develop mass-market web products with more than 25 product offerings. The combined product portfolio of various Directi businesses included communication and collaboration apps, social networking software, instant messaging, context analysis engines, anti-spam and antivirus solutions, large-scale billing and provisioning platforms, monetizing web traffic solutions, online ad solutions and web hosting control panels.
 
Directi has retained a number of its brands and products including instant messenger Talk.to; PW (professional web) registry; online advertising solutions for publishers Media.net, Skenzo and Domainadvertising.com; ongoing coding contest CodeChef; and Radix FZC, a top-level domain name registry business. Bhavin Turakhia, founder and CEO of Directi, is expected to be actively involved in the integration of the brands Directi shed into EIG.

 

More about the brands. 

ResellersClub: Founded in 1998, ResellerClub provides a full range of Web Presence products & services to Web Hosts, Web Designers, Technology Consultants and Domain Resellers worldwide. ResellerClub is a industry's leading provider of full-range products and services that enable them to become a one-stop shop for web presence products online. ResellerClub product suite includes Domain Registration, Web and Email Hosting, SSL Certificates and Website Design which enables our Resellers to cater to the entire Web Presence market.

BigRock: Powers over 100,000 websites worldwide, making BigRock one of the most reliable hosting providers globally. BigRock offer Affordable Web Hosting for personal websites, Business Hosting for small business websites, and Professional Hosting for large enterprises. BigRock Hosting plan gives you Unlimited Disk-Space, Unlimited Bandwidth and Unlimited Email Accounts. Our Web Hosting Plan comes with a free cPanel with Fantastico Control Panel and gives you access to over 50 Free applications such as Wordpress Blogs, Photo albums, Shopping Carts, Chat, Social Networking and more. 
 
LogicBoxes: A business automation technology and consulting solutions provider focused on serving larger companies including registries, registrars, ISPs, telcos and some of the world’s leading web hosts. The LogicBoxes platform currently claims to be serving over 100 registrars in more than 35 countries around the world and manages through its registrar base approximately 3.75 million domains. One of them is EIG earlier acquisition HostGator. (editor's note: EIG will likely add its approximately 25 other brands to that list)

 

WebHosting.Info: Provides statistics and research data about the web services industry. Tracks over 35,000 web hosting companies worldwide.

Web Hosting

Nexcess upgrades hardware on Magento server cluster plans

Tue, 28th January 2014, 20:39

Nexcess, a leading provider of Magento eCommerce hosting and Magento Platinum Hosting Partner, has announced that its powerful Magento server cluster plans will benefit from an substantial hardware upgrade. Responsiveness is of particular importance to eCommerce retailers, because faster sites have proven to provide increased sales.

Nexcess Magento server clusters are designed to provide the highly optimized and responsive hosting solution required by high-traffic eCommerce stores. As part of the company’s ongoing effort to ensure that eCommerce clients are able to leverage the performance and reliability of the most up-to-date server technology, the company has significantly upgraded the hardware on its Magento MCE-SIP clusters.

All cluster plans that were previously using Dell PowerEdge R410 servers with Westmere-based Intel Xeon processors on web application servers, database servers, and file servers have been upgraded to Dell PowerEdge R420 servers that take advantage of Intel’s newer Sandy Bridge processor architecture.

Chris Wells, President and CEO of Nexcess says:

As a company we’re dedicated to helping our eCommerce clients maintain performance that’s well ahead of their competition, In combination with our highly optimized software stack, these hardware upgrades ensure Nexcess’ Magento server clusters continue to be the best choice for high-traffic enterprise eCommerce stores.

Nexcess Magento eCommerce clusters are highly scalable and are designed to allow for modular expansion. Clients are able to scale out clusters with additional web application servers, databases servers, file servers, payment bridge servers, load, and staging / development servers, among others. All clusters also include generous data usage allocations and CDN data usage.

The new specs are presently available to all new clients but Nexcess says they will work with existing clients who are experiencing performance problems and could benefit from an upgrade to the latest hardware.

About Nexcess

Nexcess is a Southfield, Michigan-based managed hosting company founded in 2000, with wholly-owned data centers located in Dearborn, Michigan and Southfield, Michigan. Nexcess offers a variety of hosting services ranging from entry-level packages to custom clustered/complex hosting configurations, with an emphasis on mission-critical hosting for high-profile eCommerce web sites. 

Nexcess Magento Hosting banner

 

Russell Wilson Passing Academy vs Peyton's Payback Foundation

Thu, 23rd January 2014, 16:16

The Super Bowl is less than two weeks away, and it’s shaping up to be something special. Between the rising star the Seahawks have found in Russell Wilson and the inimitable Peyton Manning and his Broncos, it’s a fascinating clash of new vs. old. What comes out on top- the Manning dynasty, or the best damn corner in the league, is yet to be seen.

No, in case you’re wondering, HostJury is not opening up a sporting branch. But we did think it would be a novel idea to approach the big game and its star quarterbacks through the websites they run. Obviously many pro athlete participate in charity and community outreach, Wilson and Manning being no exception. Each has an online presence around these ventures. But the way the websites are designed and hosted reveals some pretty interesting disparities. See which one you’d rather pass your cash to with HostJury’s own Super Bowl match up.

Russell Wilson Passing Academy

Russell Wilson Passing Academy 

Now here’s a website with class- just look at that tasteful leather backdrop. Russell Wilson Passing Academy is a traveling program that sets up football camps for youth aged 8-17, teaching them not only the fundamentals of the game, and introducing them to various positions and techniques, but also looks to “promote the mental and physical development of youth, with the goal of encouraging kids to develop high character and moral standards, a sense of competitiveness and fair play, a respect for authority, service to others, and a love of God, family, and country.” Patriotic! If your family is anywhere near the locations listed in the FAQ, it might be a good way to introduce them to the game, or to brush up on their skills if they already have them.

As for the website, there’s a lot to brag about. It’s expertly put together, very stylishly designed, and according to GTMetrix, it gets top marks in terms of composition and pageload speed. What makes this website work is that despite a lot of graphics and data put together in one place, much of the interactive content is scaled down, which means there’s less applets that need loading. For an event or a charity, there’s really no need to inundate the page with a thousand little boxes. Keeping the information clear and up front is better in terms of design and better in terms of server load. Web hosting for RWPA is done by GoDaddy, which despite its checkered ratings on HostJury, seems to be working really well here.

So how does Peyton stack up?

Peyback Foundation

Peyton Manning Peyback Foundation 

The Peyback Foundation is a much broader charity that directs a sizeable amount of funds to youth organizations in Indiana, Louisiana, Tennessee and Florida. Peyback, and thus Peyton himself, partners with organizations to impact underprivileged and at-risk communities through outreach, summer camps, foster care and boys and girls clubs. Now that’s a goal that’s fitting for one of the best quarterbacks of all time. You can get involved by sending a donation, or if you know of a deserving organization, by contacting the Peyback Foundation and letting them know the focus of the group.

While the goal is admirable, in terms of composition, the website needs some work. In fact, we see a lot of the exact problems Russell Wilson’s website manages to avoid. Peyback uses Wordpress, but the downside to that accessibility for the designer seems to be a ton of requests that are jockeying to load… all for a page that’s oddly sparse. The less than stellar webhosting is provided by the Rackspace cloud! Maybe Peyton should use some of that Manning gold to revamp the website a bit and write a review asking why his webhosting doesn't stack up with Wilson's choice. Possibly GoDaddy's toned down 2014 Super Bowl adverts will seal the deal.

So in this match up, youth trumps experience! Based on our highly scientific method, HostJury is ready to call the Super Bowl for the Seattle Seahawks, 27-21. You can all feel free to place your bets. In the site’s long history, we've never made a single bad Super Bowl prediction.

SPECIAL OFFER! Save 50%* on New Web Hosting Plans from GoDaddy!

The Evolution of GoDaddy

Sat, 18th January 2014, 14:04

Recently GoDaddy announced that they were revamping their Linux Web hosting lineup with the addition of cPanel and its integrated Web hosting management software. At the time GoDaddy said customers were benefiting from a new Web hosting architecture that provided a fast and reliable experience and new Web hosting plans, which enable customers to find a solution that meets their specific needs.

GoDaddy Product Manager Web Hosting Ben Gabler said that “After studying the market and our customer needs, we went to work with cPanel and CloudLinux to create an optimized solution that provides a market-leading customer experience. GoDaddy is focused on bringing the best and most reliable services to our customers around the world".

GoDaddy has continued to evolve its product lineup and has announced a number of changes.. good or bad may depend on the perspective of the user.

Ruby on Rails

There isn't much to say on this change other than effective January 23 2014, GoDaddy shared hosting accounts will no longer support Ruby. Perplexing when one considers that managing Ruby on Rails Applications are incorporated into cPanel.

GoDaddy to offer Microsoft Office 365

GoDaddy and Microsoft Corp. have teamed up in a strategic partnership to offer Office 365 as GoDaddy’s exclusive core business-class email and productivity service for small-business customers.

Steven Aldrich, senior vice president of Business Applications, GoDaddy says:

Combining our small-business expertise together with Microsoft’s productivity offerings opens new doors for small businesses to easily get the tools they need to get more done in their day. We've created a simple way to attach Office 365 to a domain name, helping small-business owners look professional and work anywhere, making the business of running their business easier.”

The strategic agreement between Microsoft and GoDaddy provides small businesses with seamless access to professional email connected to their domain names, cloud storage and a full suite of Microsoft productivity solutions. As part of the agreement, Microsoft created a unique offering of domain-based email and storage especially built with GoDaddy’s very small businesses in mind.

Office 365 offers business-class email, shared calendars, instant messaging, online conferencing and access to the most up-to-date documents. These capabilities are delivered as a cloud service available to users wherever they are, online or offline and across a variety of devices, offering access to the most up-to-date versions of the files and tools they need to get things done. Unlike some offerings designed for consumers or small businesses, Office 365 includes built-in security features that help deflect malware, spam, phishing attacks and other threats. (editor's note: it's a good thing too .. you'll see why further below

Office 365 from GoDaddy is currently available in the U.S. and Canada and will expand globally within the next three months.

GoDaddy WordPress Managed Hosting

GoDaddy is launching a new Web hosting platform dedicated to optimizing WordPress content-management system. The new WordPress experience enables customers to focus on content creation, while GoDaddy handles the technical details of managing a Web hosting account including server setup, security, daily backups and performance optimization.

GoDaddy Director of Hosting Product Management Bill Watt says:

GoDaddy is committed to supporting the WordPress community with one of the fastest, most secure and reliable hosting platforms. The team created a product that is easy-to-use and is robust and scalable as an enterprise-level service. GoDaddy Managed WordPress hosting costs a fraction of other competitors prices and is backed by award-winning, around-the-clock customer service which makes this a great choice for anyone looking to get their website up and running.

GoDaddy is officially launching the product at WordCamp Phoenix and participants of the event have been able to test out the product leading up to the event, in order to give feedback directly to the engineers and designers.

Tom King, Waste Management Phoenix Open Tournament Chairman adds:

GoDaddy’s WordPress solution has really taken the Waste Management Phoenix Open website to the next level. We have had flawless performance since we started using the service. Our tournament is just around the corner and we completely trust GoDaddy to help us deliver a fast and reliable website, regardless of how many spikes in traffic we get.

Not so fast Tom.. Speed matters and Hostjury likes to know how fast, is fast.

GTmetrix uses Google Page Speed and Yahoo! YSlow to grade a site's performance and provides actionable recommendations to fix issues. Since studies have shown that users leave a site if it hasn't loaded in 4 seconds we decided to put Tom King’s perception of a fast and reliable website to the test. While using GTmetrix wouldn't pass the threshold required for a scientific study, (many variables can affect pageload speed), the tool is quick, simple, and convenient.

Our first test on wmphoenixopen.com http://gtmetrix.com/reports/wmphoenixopen.com/HrVG81MK produced an A although that YSlow grade of C was less than stellar. The 4.13 second page load speed may raise some googlebot eyebrows.

GTmetrix report on the pageload spead of the website wm phoenix open 

Possibly a second try...http://gtmetrix.com/reports/wmphoenixopen.com/0pimXWJq returned similar results and that third test… we are excluding and putting down to Friday afternoon traffic on the west coast! 

Over the years many people (editor’s first thought: think those MediaTemple types) have claimed that GoDaddy’s servers are congested and oversold. We checked and were quite surprised to see 361 domains hosted on the server. (The editor must point out: a domain does not equal a website. Many sites could have numerous parked domains pointing to a main domain. Secondly, 361 domains is not in and of itself, a crowded oversold server).

We noticed the domain wmphoenixopenbetasite.com on the server so we ran GTmetrix on that domain. The YSlow grade came in slightly faster with a 73% but the pageload speed was substantially faster (relatively speaking) loading in 3.60 seconds. http://gtmetrix.com/reports/wmphoenixopenbetasite.com/pUrqurrl. A second test produced similar results. To be fair, we ran one more test on Tom King’s wmphoenixopen.com when web traffic would be minimal and the page load speed did drop to 3.42 seconds. This is a fully loaded website with lots going on. So Tom, we’re giving it a pass.

Normally we wouldn’t take the time to scroll down the list or types of domains on a server. Today we did only because of the next heading.

Amazon top malware-host ahead of GoDaddy

A report released by security firm Solutionary reveals that Amazon was the top global malware hosting provider coming in with a 16 percent share, followed closely by GoDaddy ranking second with a 14 percent market share.

On a positive note for GoDaddy, the report found the ease of website creation, low cost and speed of deployment allows malware producers to create and remove malware serving websites quickly, easily and cost effectively, allowing them to infect millions of computers and vast numbers of enterprise systems… awesome.

GoDaddy evolution from a hormone driven budget webhost and domain registrar into a serious contender in the business marketplace continues to gain momentum. While its offerings will likely never appeal to the more ardent hardcore tech evangelists, (editor’s note: there is an adage about never saying never), a global study commissioned by Microsoft estimates if the 28 million small businesses in the U.S. and 125 million worldwide adopted the latest in IT tools, it could potentially boost their revenues by a combined $770 billion and create more than 6 million jobs.

About GoDaddy

GoDaddy now serves more than 12 million paying customers worldwide and is the largest Web hosting and domain name registrar on the planet. GoDaddy leverages its award-winning talent and personalized approach to help small business owners create their digital identity, build websites and grow online.

Put your business online! Save 50%* on Hosting Plans!

The shady whois on NodeKi imminent demise

Fri, 17th January 2014, 18:51

Not so long ago, a glowing article appeared on the wpmudev blog extolling a new webhosting outfit that was going to revolutionize the industry for wordpress users.

What if you could pay for hosting once and never have to worry about it again for the rest of your life? No monthly or yearly bills, no contracts to renew, nothing to worry about except building your websites. Sound interesting?

NodeKi: A New WordPress Hosting Company

NodeKi is a new WordPress hosting company that offers a unique pricing structure, which includes Lifetime Hosting plans…. yada yada yada

Way back in 2012 when Sarah was hyping this radical new concept being pitched by Nodeki, (editor’s hint: the one where you get something for almost nothing), pricing started at $39 USD. But you'd have to hurry because prices were going up ten bucks on April 1st.

As with any ponzi style business plan, the prices continued to climb until NodeKi founder and CEO Jonathan Tittle sold and relinquished the reins of his lifetime optimized wordpress hosting venture. Now those fledging magnates are telling clients that as of February 1st, 2014, the revolution is over, and they need to find a new webhosting provider... oh and by the way, there’s no refunds on those lifetime managed wordpress hosting plans

Dear Sir/Madam,

As of February 1st, 2014, NodeKi will permanently be going out of business. We want to inform you in advance that the NodeKi lifetime plans and server will cease to exist on February 1st of 2014.

Unfortunately, the “Lifetime” plans were not a sustainable business model. We can’t continue paying for servers, software, bandwidth and support if there’s no incoming money to cover these costs. It’s not remotely possible to provide any product “for life” that has recurring costs associated with it. The Lifetime plans were not something that the existing management implemented, sold, or received money for. Due to this reason and the “no refund” policy at purchase, we are not able to offer refunds. This is not something that is open to debate.

LIMITED support (password resets and MINOR server related issues) will be provided on a best effort basis up until the shutdown time. We have provided a two week timeframe so that you can move your domains and websites to a new provider.

Thank you for your support in the previous years.

Ouch… maybe the management should at least offer a 'thanks for the money' to clients!

Whois on NodeKi Management

Back in 2011, Jonathan Tittle registered the NodeKi domain using the following information:

Jonathan Tittle
1004 E. Watauga Ave
#109 Johnson City, TN, USA
37601
Phone: (423)598-2692
Email Address: jtittle@pressed.in

(Editor’s note: pressed.in still redirects to NodeKi.com)

Then in January of 2012, the whois information changed to:

NodeKi
Tabitha Buchanan
1004 E. Watauga Ave
#109 Johnson City, TN, USA
37601
Phone:(423)598-2692
Email Address: hello@nodeki.com

Again in December 2012 the domain contact reverted to Jonathan Tittle, same address but different phone number: (423)741-6116.

In May of 2013, a thread shopping a block of clients appeared on that forum frequented by those partisan webhosts purveying the only unbiased hosting reviews on the web jargon. The original poster Breakfree, hailing from Johnson City, TN, claimed “the reason for the sale is that we're simply looking to exit from the hosting industry so that we can focus on our other businesses

It is noteworthy that none of the clients being offered were on lifetime plans. Responding publicly to questions, Breakfree stated:

Only clients are mentioned in the thread above, and that's what we're looking to sell. We do have other clients and the brand, but we'd be looking at slightly more for everything if that is of primary interest to the buyer. The primary sale is of the 21 clients mentioned above.

One of the respondents was IQBreck aka Breck Burgess. Way back in 2003, Burgess was the owner of InterQuad Communications. It is purported that Interquad was sold to ServerCentral in 2005, although the domain records suggest a change was made in 2006. But not to ServerCentral, rather to WingSix which is part of the UK2 Group. In 2009, it appears the domain was transferred to Hosting Services Inc. and then back to UK2 in 2010. In December of 2012, the domain reverted back to where this all started, Breck Burgess. In January of 2013 the privacy whois was enabled to hide the domain owner.

In May of 2013 the NodeKi nameservers switched to Interquad, the domain registrar changed to NetEarth, and the domain whois privacy was enabled.. always a bad sign with a web hosting company. It also appears the NodeKi about page was never updated to reflect the changes… especially that part about “the most transparent and hands-on management teams in our industry”.

Other domains owned by Breck Burgess

Interquad.net and dot com is owned by a Breck Burgess
nexuscast.com is owned by a Breck Burgess
MyShoutServer.com is owned by a Breck Burgess
Verushost.com
prismavps.com
LOADEDSERVERS.NET

Are there more.. likely but I got tired looking. If your webhost’s domain whois privacy is enabled and the snail mail contact information isn’t clearly spelt out on their website… find a webhost to transfer your data for you... most will handle it for free.

Meanwhile it appears our lady friend Sarah scooped us on the breaking story of NodeKi impending demise… how fitting. The Reg put it best: Agreeing to a "lifetime" deal does not normally refer to your lifetime - it's all about the sustainability of the biz and its eventual death warrant, which in this instance was signed by NodeKi.

Choose wisely and read the reviews!

Is Ghost just a blogging platform marauding as a webhost?

Wed, 15th January 2014, 15:47

Blogging services and content management systems are great, right? Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal and the like are the perfect marriage of form and functionality- godsends for the end user: writers, bloggers, e-marketers, anyone with the desire to publish web content on their own terms.

Thus far, the one crucial step beyond actually learning to operate the system is, of course, finding a suitable host. If you're reading this article, chances are you know something the depth of the hosting world- maybe daunting to some, but endless in its opportunities for any who care to look, including hosts with an eye towards these services, like HostPapaArvixeSitegroundHostGatorA2 HostingWP EngineMDDHosting ... The list is endless.

But it does seem a logical progression of the consolidating, streamlining forces of progress to try and cut out the middleman, taking the middle ground of customizable but user oriented services and inching them ever closer to the public by wrapping hosting up in the mix: enter Ghost.org, the trendy not-for-profit that turned heads with its successful six-figure Kickstarter campaign.

Now, with a few months passing since their successful launch in October, Ghost is launching the hosted version of their platform, and the end result is worth taking a look at.

Ghost describes itself as entirely oriented on publishing, and there's something to be said for the style and ease of access provided by their blogging-hosting combination. But there's a number of pitfalls to hosting that have to be avoided, and ultimately raise the question... Is it all worth it?

1. Hosting is not easy- or cheap.

If dedication to making the best blogging platform available is Ghost's goal, incorporating hosting is an odd choice. Despite partnerships with Fused Network and SingleHop (as well as Site5) one can expect that keeping their ever-expanding hosting operation under control will be a major priority for Ghost's ambitious creators. This in a niche which is growing at a breakneck pace- Ghost may be off to a head start, but how long will that last?

2. Ghost's hosting is... Adequate. Their prices? Less so.

We checked the domain whois to see where Ghost hosts their website and found cloudflare nameservers which masks where the domain is actually hosted. They used Vidahost when Ghost.org became active (domain was first registered in 2005 by a nameless domain squatter)

2013-06-23 Sedoparking.com to Vidahost.co.uk

2013-08-06 Transfer Vidahost.co.uk to Vidahost.com

2013-11-27 Transfer Vidahost.com to Cloudflare.com

A simple speedtest of Ghost's new servers reveals that what you're getting is not that bad, but it's certainly not cutting edge, and if you're willing to pick and choose you can probably find a service better optimized for your needs.

A speed test of ghost.org using GTmetrix.. The results, although adequate, are nothing special: http://gtmetrix.com/reports/ghost.org/e22X8PfJ. One could question (and you should) whether that page load time of 4.02 seconds is going to impress the google bots! 

Not so terrible, until you consider Ghost's prices: forget bandwidth, you're paying for pageviews, and that's something that should make prospective customers more than a little uneasy: sudden success, even with intelligently decentralized, embedded content can take you to a class of service you're not ready to pay for... Leaving you wishing you hadn't stuck with the proprietary option.

Perhaps, in time, like Wordpress, Ghost will evolve into a full on content management system, with it's complimenting hosting service to make it just right for the boutique website/blog with no setup hassles. But for a company that prides itself in being 'just a blogging service', Ghost sure is piling on the functionality. Maybe it will turn out to be the perfect recipe to attract casual bloggers in droves: or maybe there's something to the maxim 'Jack of all trades, master of none.'

SingleHop : Best in Class Dedicated Hosting

HiVelocity giving away 10GB of cloud storage with every server Free

Wed, 15th January 2014, 14:30

Infrastructure services and hosting provider HiVelocity is now including an additional 10GB of free cloud storage with every new server. While each server is provided 10GB of free storage, there will be options for customers to choose up to 2TB of cloud storage per server they have with Hivelocity. One of the interesting details in this announcement is that the free storage is not dispersed on a per client basis, rather on a per server basis. Customers with numerous servers will have multiple free storage plans provided to them. 

Barry Stetler, Hivelocity’s Development & Operations Leader speaking about the additional feature says:

We are always looking for new ways to reward our customers and improve our service. Obviously some free storage on the cloud gives our customers an avenue for backing up data and peace of mind. I think the simplicity myVelocity offers in setting up and managing the storage will be just as rewarding to our customers as the fact it is free.

Over the last year Hivelocity has introduced several free services available to customers within their myVelocity portal. From managing DNS, creating A records, remote reboots and now free storage.

Hivelocity customers are empowered to manage their online presence as much as they like. Alternatively, Hivelocity has made a name for itself by offering an exceptional level of customer service and support giving customers the option of having Hivelocity experts handle things instead. Existing clients can expect to receive instructions on activating and managing their storage using Hivelocity’s custom built myVelocity portal incrementally throughout January.

About HiVelocity 

Founded in 2001, Hivelocity provides dedicated server, VPS and Cloud hosting services to customers from over 135 countries worldwide. Their state-of-the-art data center was upgraded in 2010 with brand new generator, UPS, batteries and 200 tons of computer room AC. Because they buy server hardware direct from Dell and Supermicro, they are able to provide extremely reliable servers at a great value. With our flexible options in hardware, software and bandwidth, we are able to service a wide range of businesses. Hivelocity’s servers are utilized by tens of thousands of businesses every day. Some of the common uses for our servers include; online gaming, web site hosting, virtualization, cloud computing, credit card processing, video and audio streaming, rendering, software development, email, data storage, VOIP and much more.
 
HiVelocity offer 24/7/365 tech support with live reps on site every minute of every day to service the thousands of customers they maintain from all over the world. Hivelocity has over 100 Gbps of fiber optic connection to the internet with multiple tier 1 carriers. Hivelocity is privately held and carries zero debt so you can be sure our industry longevity is as solid as our network.
 

Spiral Hosting acquires Australian webhost SpeedySparrow

Tue, 14th January 2014, 00:57

Spiral Hosting, one of Ireland’s largest cloud computing and web-hosting company just got a little bigger with the announcement that it has acquired a foot hold in the land down under with the purchase of Australian webhost SpeedySparrow.

Speaking about the announcement, Peter Armstrong, director of the Irish HSP explained:

Spiral Hosting are delighted to announce the acquisition of SpeedySparrow. This acquisition allows us to expand and invest in our operations in Australia. It represents a significant investment in our webhosting infrastructure, customer service and technical support.

SpeedySparrow is a first-class webhosting provider that is in many ways similar to Spiral Hosting. It has an excellent reputation of offering friendly personal support that will go the extra mile for customers.

The new merged company will result in improvements for all Spiral Hosting and SpeedySparrow customers. Our top three objectives are excellent servers, fast support and most importantly happy customers. The SpeedySparrow team will be joining Spiral Hosting. We’ll be taking the best of both businesses and continuing to build our hosting services, cloud infrastructure and 24/7 support. 

Based in Melbourne and Victoria, Speedy Sparrow has been trading for over six years with a reputation for delivering a high-quality service backed by first-rate customer support.

Spiral Hosting has a large Irish and expanded into the American hosting market after acquiring the webhosting division of Eideashop in May 2010. Spiral Hosting then went on to acquire Adventure Host in 2011. Spiral Hosting is headquartered in Ireland with offices in the UK and USA.

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DreamHost's $30M financing deal. Great for them but what about you!

Mon, 13th January 2014, 13:41

If you followed the hosting world through 2013, you've probably noticed a common theme cropping up again and again: consolidation, consolidation, and more consolidation. Endurance International Group(EIG)Host Europe GroupIBM acquiring Softlayer, and in general the market moved towards the ever-growing giants and away from the small-team start ups that have characterized a lot of the industry for years.

DH Capital, an investment banking firm serving companies in the Internet infrastructure, communications, and SaaS sectors, is pleased to announce it served as exclusive financial advisor to DreamHost, LLC, (“DreamHost”), a global leader in Web hosting and cloud services, on its recently completed $30,000,000 credit facilities from Goldman Sachs Bank USA.

The new financing, which is structured as a $25 million term loan and $5 million revolver, will go towards buying back the stake of one of the Company’s founders, paying down equipment financing, and making cash available for growth and working capital. 

Well, the end of 2013 was no exception, and in December, investment banking firm DH Capital announced the completion of a $30M financing deal between Goldman Sachs and DreamHost LLC, notable for being one of the few remaining small-scale firms to retain a focus on developers, instead of merely serving as a budget alternative for lightweight consumers. The money secured by the deal "will go towards buying back the stake of one of the Company’s founders, paying down equipment financing, and making cash available for growth and working capital," according to a press release, and it's that first bit that we'll focus on first.

HostJury has always been skeptical of consolidation, not least because of the often precipitous dip in service after brands with stellar reputations are acquired by larger conglomerates, but it's always been hard to put into words just exactly how this process works. One can assume that the infrastructure of these operations are still intact, and will only grow with the influx of working capital and big brand support. But perhaps the reason is as simple as the first sentence of the quote: the stake of the company founder.

DreamHost, for example, has grown organically towards the end of development oriented services, their service suite reflects this. In a sense, this is what differentiates them from their competitors, not market share or profit margin. But while a influential stake from Goldman Sachs will no doubt leverage this reputation in the future, it seems unlikely that its interests are solidly within the realm of experimentation and principled purpose. Goldman Sachs makes money. Bottom line.

DreamHost, which is headquartered in Los Angeles, offers a full suite of hosting and cloud services including Shared Hosting, Virtual Private Servers (VPS), Dedicated Server Hosting, Domain Name Registration, the cloud storage service DreamObjects, the cloud computing service DreamCompute, and the managed WordPress service DreamPress. 

So, here we start to get a better picture of the problems of consolidation: the exchange of purpose for profit. This is not unique to hosting, of course, it's practically a law of business, but it affects hosting uniquely. DreamHost's suite of products is mentioned in the press release: an impressive list of content that will be 'expanded upon' with the new capital, but to what end? To our knowledge, no DreamHost customers have been clamoring for an influx of new features or services- it seems unlikely that the new interests at play will work towards serving the loyal niche that DreamHost has worked so well for.

Consolidation, of course, doesn't have to be a bad thing, and there's nothing inherently wrong with casting a wider net with a service that's already proven successful in serving those it appeals to. There are a lot of ways this financing deal could utterly disprove our generalized unease with consolidation as it relates to DreamHost- but it really is a singular battle in a much larger war. How small operations will continue to thrive and compete in a deepening pond of big brands is something we'll continue to cover as 2014 unfolds.

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Certified Hosting BOGO Time Deals

Thu, 9th January 2014, 21:31

It's BOGO Time at Certified Hosting!

So just why is it called BOGO Time... well we haven't got a clue either but for a limited time buy any hosting term and get the same hosting term for FREE! 

Buy 1 month, get 1 month = 2 Months of Hosting!
Buy 3 months, get 3 months = 6 Months of Hosting!
Buy 6 months, get 6 months = 1 YEAR of Hosting!
Buy 1 year, get 1 year. 2 YEARS of Hosting & FREE Domain
Buy 2 years, get 2 years. 4 YEARS of Hosting & FREE Domain
Buy 3 years, get 3 years. 6 YEARS of Hosting & FREE Domain
 

Remember to enter the BOGO code when you check out. The promotion is available on any shared unlimited web hosting plan.
DORK - GEEK - NERD

Certified Hosting will transfer your data and files to your new hosting account for FREE. As if that isn't enough, Certified Hosting has some more JANUARY 2014 PROMOS. Maybe somebody should tell these guys that Christmas was last month. 

Dedicated Servers - 75% OFF First Invoice: Promo Code: SUCCESS
Reseller Hosting - 20% OFF: Promo Code 2014
Shared Dedicated Hosting - 20% OFF: Promo Code 2014 

Enter the promo code at checkout.

HJ Disclaimer

As always, HostJury recommend that while price may be a consideration when choosing a web host, it should only be one of the many factored into your research. Page load speeds, additional features, good communication, and a fast knowledgeable support team will always top saving a few cents per day... or in this case, a few bucks! As always, HostJury makes no recommendation or endorsement of any listed providers. You are encouraged to practice due diligence.. and at some point leave a review of the services provided.

Coupons may also be found on review pages of many of the web hosts reviewed on HostJury. In the right column under the related blog post section. Discount coupons are added regularly!

Webhosts and websurfers alike are welcome to send us the details on any promos, specials .. or webhosting coupons and we’ll get them posted (don’t even bother sending that fluffy 10% off stuff) Email the details to: reply@hostjury.com.

Netrouting merges xenEurope business operations

Thu, 9th January 2014, 18:12

Netrouting, a provider of web hosting and Internet service solutions has announced the merger of two separate business divisions — Netrouting and xenEurope. Since acquiring xenEuope in 2008, it has quickly grown to become a leader in European Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting with expanded locations in the United States. This merger effectively integrates the business functions of both divisions under the Netrouting brand to capitalize on the natural synergies between each operation.

Savvas Bout, CEO of Netrouting said:

We are excited to combine these two companies to better service our clients. This new organizational structure is necessary to streamline our business processes and continue the same level of customer service they have grown to expect”. Bout continues, “We wish to extend a warm welcome to the xenEurope family in joining with Netrouting and they can always count on us to deliver the same quality hosting experience they know and trust”.

We are pleased to announce that the integration has been successfully completed without interruption or downtime. (editor’s note.. I would hope so. Netrouting already provided the hosting services for xenEurope!) 

A recent post written by Netrouting sale director Ray Womack in the company blog acknowledges the importance of support:

 

You have a lot of choices when it comes where to host your website or application. There’s a million other places you can buy the exact same servers we sell, and if you search, you can find them sometimes cheaper. We know this. So how do we compete, how we set ourselves apart, and how do we even survive? It’s the support, stupid. (editor’s note.. ‘stupid’ only sounds harsh when taken out of the context of the whole post)

We should shift our focus to selling service, not servers. Our commitment to support should run marrow-deep and be ingrained in the very DNA and fiber of everything we do. We should seek to tap the hoster’s basic instinct and primal desire for support.

Even though the hosting industry is ever-changing, the one thing that always remains true is support sells. Quite simply, no company has ever struggled, lost customers, or gone out of business because their support was too good.

Netrouting clients can share with others just how well the company is doing at ‘selling service, not servers’ by writing a review on HostJury.

About Netrouting

Headquartered in The Netherlands, Netrouting is a global Internet Service Provider (ISP) and a premier provider of web hosting and data services solutions. Since 2007, we have consistently delivered reliable, scalable, and secure products by utilizing first-class connectivity and industry leading equipment. With networking and data center operations in Spijkenisse, Miami, and Stockholm, our clients realize low-latency services at cost-effective pricing.

 

Announcing the new and improved LogicWeb

Thu, 9th January 2014, 17:49

In other churnalism news, LogicWeb has announced a number of changes aimed at improving the company's web hosting, security, and superior optimizations for data and IT infrastructure.

The first enhancement is the company's move to the new Data I/O data center in Edison, New Jersey. Data I/O is the largest data center in the New York City metropolitan area.

Chad Abizied, owner and operator of LogicWeb says:

Unlike many of the web hosting companies in the market, LogicWeb operates within its own networking and hardware infrastructure at the Data I/O facility. We are not a reseller of other web hosting companies. We focus on quality, not 'budget' services.

LogicWeb also announced the acquisition of a large Legacy Block of /14 IPv4 addresses (/14 is 262,000 IPs or 1,024 C classes). (Editor’s note: Okay with available IPv4 addresses dwindling in number, LogicWeb securing more may be great for its clients but I thought we were suppose to be moving to IPv6 already)

LogicWeb is also upgrading their Virtual Private Server (VPS) product offerings. Similar to dedicated server, VPS provides a more affordable alternative. LogicWeb's now include a free 25GB backup vault, added XEN PV and KVM virtualization options, as well as an added Windows VPS options in addition to the current Linux VPS plans.

In addition to web hosting and VPS hosting, LogicWeb also provides cloud hosting and reseller hosting, domain registrations, managed dedicated servers, Linux, and Windows dedicated servers, and software installation. LogicWeb provides a 90-day guarantee on all reseller web hosting, cpanel web hosting, and VPS hosting services.

"Our customers are satisfied with our proven quality and web hosting credibility," said Abizeid. Clients of LogicWeb can share their thoughts by writing a review of the new and improved LogicWeb.

About LogicWeb, Inc.

Chad Abizeid's LogicWeb, Inc., has been surpassing customer expectations for 10 years with smarter web hosting services that focused on quality over quantity – all at a reasonable price. LogicWeb provides both Linux and Windows web hosting with self-management and managed options.

LogicWeb Hosting

Total Server Solutions acquires Hands-On Web Hosting

Thu, 9th January 2014, 15:56

Total Server Solutions has announced the acquisition of Hands-On Web Hosting. This marks an influx of new talent as well as an increased number of accounts under the technical management of Total Server Solutions.

Hands-On has been in operation since 1999 have grown to become a leader in providing hosted services ranging from shared hosting packages, cloud based hosting, virtual & dedicated servers, and e-commerce hosting. It is expected that the products and services offered by Hands-On will merge with what is offered by Total Server Solutions. This process will result in a wider array of options to existing and new customers at Total Server Solutions. The product options and levels of service provided by Hands-On staff members aligned well with Total Server Solutions operational capabilities and provides services to customers. As part of this acquisition, members of the Hands-On staff are joining forces with the technicians at Total Server Solutions.

Emerson Nogueira, COO at Total Server Solutions states:

This acquisition is about more than simply acquiring a competing company. The influx of expertise from Hands-On provides a great boost to our already top-notch technical team here at Total Server Solutions. The result of the incoming technicians is an increased pool of talent which our customers can draw upon."

In addition to bringing new product offerings and additional technical personnel, this acquisition provides existing customers of Hands-On with access to the world-class infrastructure and facilities of the Total Server Solutions family of brands.

Ryan DiRocco, CTO at Total Server Solutions adds:

We are working closely with existing customers of Hands-On to migrate their accounts, data, and entire servers on to equipment and facilities on the Total Server Solutions network. In the majority of cases this will result in significant upgrades to the server specifications of customer equipment.

This is the second acquisition Total Server Solutions has completed within the past three months. In November of 2013, Front Range Hosting was acquired and is currently in the process of transitioning into the Total Server Solutions line up. As with Front Range Hosting, Hands-On provides not just an increase in customer base, but an increase in technical staffing.

Gary Simat, CEO at Total Server Solutions states:

Providing outstanding service to our existing customers as well as to customers of business we acquire is key to our long term success. We believe that we provide one of the best customer experiences in the hosted services industry and we know what with our team standing behind them, our customers will succeed.

About Total Server Solutions:

Total Server Solutions was founded in 2005 with the goal of providing unsurpassed support and technical services to the web hosting community.  Total Server Solutions provides fully managed dedicated servers, system management, and a full contingent of monitoring services. The Total Server Solutions family of brands includes colocation services provided through COLO@ as well as a full range of industry leading e-commerce solutions through the EWD Hosting brand.

Web Hosting

Astutium announces the acquisition of not one but three WebHosts

Thu, 2nd January 2014, 16:43

With the buzz of New Years celebrations still ringing, 2014 promises to be another kick-ass year for keyword stuffed press releases from webhosting firm touting everything including the kitchen sink. Early out the gate is European Business and Enterprise Web Host Astutium which kicked off its new year by announcing the completion of the acquisition and integration of not one but three Greek Web Hosting firms: Ultranet Web Solutions, HostGreece, and UFastHost. All three webhosting providers specialize in providing local clients (editor’s note: I assuming very local as we’ve never heard of any of these companies) with cPanel based web hosting, email, dns services and .GR domain registrations.

Rob Golding, Head of M+A’s for Astutium says:

We are really excited to have completed our latest strategic acquisitions. Astutium have extend our domain registration services by becoming a directly accredited .GR domain registrar, and immediately added more than a thousand .gr, .com.gr, .net.gr and .edu.gr registrants.

Following a comprehensive review and analysis of the existing hosting platforms, the company migrated all the existing services to new Hardware on the Astutium multihomed network, so clients gained the benefits of fully redundant high-performance connectivity and dual-stacked IPv4-IPv6 connectivity.

The Ultranet and HostGreece brands primarily served local business websites, so were a perfect fit for Astutium, kickstarting our growth in Greece with hundreds of SMEs and end users, and look forward to working them and many more clients from the region over the coming years.

The completed integration grants users access to ‘Unified’ – the online Astutium Client Portal – allowing for realtime management of web hosting accounts, domain registrations, virtual private/dedicated servers, dedicated servers, colocation and cloud servers hosting from one single location.

All clients now have the assurance that their emails and websites are online at a host with a 17+ year proven track record of uptime and quality in-house support, and domains managed by a registrar handling over 200 gTLDs and ccTLDs.

There you have it folks… the first churnalism of 2014. Have a Happy New Years!

About Astutium

Since 1996 the team behind Astutium.com have been on a mission to help individuals and businesses succeed online. Astutium take pride in offering a complete range of reliable and affordable services, backed up by in-house 24/7 technical support and using the latest technologies. 

Customers in over 150 countries now rely on Astutium’s easy-to-use online tools for domain registration, web hosting, 1-click software installs, virtual private/dedicate servers, colocation and cloud services to power more than 100,000 websites – including individuals, bloggers, publishers, creatives, business of all sizes and web hosts – find out more about us at http://www.hostjury.com/reviews/astutium+ltd

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Amazon's moves into China. Offers new Geostriction Service

Mon, 23rd December 2013, 17:27

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been implementing a new feature that allows users to select border restrictions on the content given out from its cloud services. Cloud Front, the content distribution service from AWS, now has an option to only allow certain countries or a bunch of countries to access your content. This is to ensure that there is no unwanted access to those files by any rogue nation, and can be cloaked in privacy. With this service, you can also choose the places that Cloud Front will be willingly able to deliver the goods. The end choice of the delivery of the products will rest in your hands.

Amazon Web Services also made the news this past week with the announcement that it will be launching a limited preview of its service in China. This is to tackle the growing popularity of Alibaba and its partner networks in the world's most populated country. Prior to this announcement, people in China wanting to use AWS were forced to use AWS servers from other regions like Europe, South America, etc. With the introduction of this service in China, and collaborating with local networks already located there, AWS is going to go one up over its competition.

AWS Geostriction service will be highly beneficial to users that would like to restrict their content to specific regions. User will also have the ability to create a custom 403 page, explaining to the end user on the unavailability of the product in their country. The best feature about this service is that it is free. No need to apply for third party geo-filtering services, and end up paying a bountiful amount to them.

Geolocation,geo-filtering, geo-blocking, or geo-ip-filtering software,(whatever you want to call it) has provided companies a simple way of complying with legal prohibitions dealing with certain countries (ie Iran or North Korea). But it's popularity extends much further. Under development since the late nineties, the first patents for Geolocation were granted in 2004. The technology has gained wide spread adoption in multiple industries, including e-commerce, banking, media, education, travel, hospitality, entertainment, health care, online gaming and in law enforcement, for preventing online fraud, complying with regulations, managing digital rights and serving targeted marketing with content and pricing. Additionally, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission(FCC) has proposed that geolocation software might be leveraged to support 9-1-1 location determination for voip applications.

 

Geofiltering: How to Alienate Business Customers Without Really Trying

While filtering locations may serve a purpose in targeted marketing or complying with legal requirements, as anyone who has ever tried to watch a legally acquired DVD with a region code that differs from the one on your DVD player, there is always a chance you will alienate the market that will float your boat in the coming years. Historically speaking, when users in a global marketplace try to access your product and get that customized 403 page.. they could just look elsewhere. Then again, where there is a will there’s a way. Geo-dodging has become easier than ever. But that article is for another day.. or maybe another website!

 

What Geolocation Isn't

While some enterprising types may possibly see geolocation as a medium to circumvent American laws, it should be noted that companies with an America foothold, (even in the most remote sense) are considered subject to American law. All data hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and their servers anywhere in the world is subject to American laws including those copyright laws in the land of America.

Hostway acquisition is all about growth.

Tue, 17th December 2013, 17:12

Private investment firm Littlejohn & Co has announced the acquisition of Hostway Corporation. Hostway, a global leader in Web hosting, brings proven Web presence management to over 400,000 500,000 customers worldwide. Hostway's services, designed for personal users, small and medium businesses and enterprises, include domain name registration, Web hosting, Ecommerce Web hosting, Web design, online marketing, email, dedicated servers and colocation…. yada yada yada 

Hostway President John Martis states in the press release: 

We are extremely pleased to partner with Littlejohn and gain access to additional resources to help us grow our managed, cloud and web hosting businesses. The Littlejohn Team has deep experience growing businesses across a variety of industries and can help us further differentiate our offerings and build on our customer base. 

Martis then writes on the Hostway company blog:

 

Valued Hostway customers, I write to you with exciting news about the future of Hostway.

Private investment firm Littlejohn & Co. has become the majority investor in Hostway Corporation, and joins us in our continuing objective to provide world-class, hosted IT solutions to a broad customer and partner base. Hostway’s management team will immediately begin to put their investment to work for you.

As decision-makers at businesses of all sizes, you will understand the importance of adaptation to the growth potential of any company. Hostway views this transition as an immense opportunity to create an unparalleled user experience, while continuing to improve and reinforce all of our current services. Our new partners at Littlejohn & Co. will enable us to aim higher than previously possible. We owe this opportunity to further grow Hostway to you – our customers and partners. Our relationships with you contributed greatly to Littlejohn & Co.’s decision to invest so heavily in Hostway’s future. 

 

Change is good… right  

 

The blog post states that clients will experience no change to the flexible, scalable and affordable solutions they already receive from Hostway. Data and hardware will not be moved. Support and account contacts are the same. That Hostway's goals in this regard remain unchanged: still striving to offer tailored customer solutions through a broad portfolio of managed, cloud, web and email hosting services, and support them as efficiently as anyone in the business. And that the client's needs inform their every decision and influence each step forward.

 

So if nothing changes, why the announcement? 

Hostway John Morris points out that …

Littlejohn & Co. is a private investment firm focused on investing in companies that can benefit from operational and strategic support as they confront change in their industry, operations or ownership. Since 1995, Littlejohn & Co. has invested over $2 billion in 30 companies in a variety of industries and has helped these businesses achieve their growth objectives. They have significant experience investing in and professionalizing founder-owned businesses. Hostway represents a significant investment for Littlejohn, and they will work closely with us to significantly grow the company.

First and foremost, growth: Hostway’s operations, product offerings, sales and marketing efforts will expand and upgrade. As Morris says ”Hostway clients have no one to thank but themselves for this opportunity to further grow… for you” (editors note.. okay so that wasn’t an exact quote rather a collection!)

Hostway has created a page to answer any further questions about the transition FAQ, and one question in particular stood out from the rest: What will happen to Hostway executives that founded the company?

The Answer) Most will remain active supporters and shareholders within Hostway moving forward. Many have been offered and accepted positions on the Hostway Board of Directors. Most but not all..

Michael Kaplan, Managing Director of Littlejohn & Co. said:

Tremendous demand for traditional outsourced IT solutions and emerging demand for Software and Platform as a Service is fueling the growth of the hosting industry. Hostway serves as a great platform to capitalize on this opportunity due to its unique hosting platform, world class customer service and robust data center infrastructure. We look forward to working with Hostway's management to accelerate growth by continued investment in Hostway's technology platform, enhancing its sales and marketing efforts and selectively making acquisitions targeted at enhancing the customer experience.   

This acquisition is all about growth. Valued Hostway customers.. Growth in the webhosting industry can mean many thing and it's not always good! Littlejohn will serve as an active shareholder and board of directors in support of the Company's plan to capitalize on the tremendous demand for hosted IT solutions.

About Hostway

Hostway delivers customized Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and Cloud solutions, a robust suite of web presence and web optimization solutions, hosted exchange and a variety of other value-added applications and services in customizable managed, shared, cloud or hybrid environments.