RSS

IPv6 gets a boost from ICANN

Thu, 7th February 2008, 19:26

IPv6 adoption moved forward on Monday when ICANN announced adding IPv6 addresses to six of the world's thirteen root nameservers. What this means, in a nutshell, is that it is no longer necessary to keep Ipv4 addressing systems in order to access DNS. Previously, you had to keep IPv4 running in parallel with v6 since the root servers only accommodated IPv4.

IPv4 addresses are starting to run low, it is estimated there are only 14% left of the 4 billion available, even though a majority of the taken addresses are unused. With IPv6, you have 340 trillion trillion trillion addresses available. That is a lot.

To quote the press release:

“Today’s addition of IPv6 addresses for the root servers enhances the end-to-end connectivity for IPv6 networks, and furthers the growth of the global interoperable Internet,” added David Conrad, ICANN’s Vice President of Research and IANA Strategy. “This is a major step forward for IPv6-only connectivity and the global migration to Ipv6.”

It is still very early, but the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 has begun. This step makes it possible for full Ipv6 adoption. It is nice to see something finally happen.


AISO contractors posting fake hosting reviews

Thu, 7th February 2008, 17:16

Companies & their employees just don't seem to learn. After our exposé on fake hosting reviews from ipowerweb, surpass hosting and a number of others - you would think companies would take the hint and avoid posting fraudulent reviews to Hostjury.

Sadly, they don't take notice and continue to post feverishly. Today we had the opportunity to catch an employee a contractor of AISO (Affordable Internet Services Online) posting a review of their services. Directly from their own network, he even went as far as giving them a less than perfect score to make it seem a bit more legitimate.

After mentioning AISO in an article about green web hosting companies I assumed they took notice of the traffic & decided to get a few folks to post reviews. It's depressing to say the least as something like this won't go unnoticed.

A company that seemingly has such great care for the environment would willingly attempt to defraud potential clients & lie to them in order to get a sign-up or two.

Here's an image of the fake review that an AISO contractor posted:

AISO fake reviews
AFFORDABLE INTERNET SERVICES ONL AFFORDAB52-192 (NET-12-198-192-0-1)
                                  12.198.192.0 - 12.198.195.255


This industry is depressing. The length at which hosting providers seem to go to -- to defraud, scam and lie to potential clients is disgusting.

Just so we're clear, as it states on the add review form:

We do not accept reviews from hosts, employees, families of employees, contractors or anybody else associated with a host - if you're connected with a host in any way you should not under any circumstances be posting reviews.

Web Sites on the Internet

Wed, 6th February 2008, 13:37

A January survey estimates that there were last month 155,583,825 web sites on the internet. This number is really not the reality, as many sites containing thousands of users, may be listed as only one site.  

What I found interesting was that growth had slowed from 5.4 million new sites in December to just 354,000 new sites in January. Only time will tell if all the negative news and econmic uncertainty is effecting web growth Whether this is a fluke or the start of a longer term trend, the web grew by fifty million sites in 2007 which is still a relatively healthy increase by any measure.  


Canadian Web Hosting Provider Cirrus Tech Announces price reductions

Tue, 5th February 2008, 22:51

Canadian Web Hosting Provider Cirrus Tech Ltd. has announced reductions of “up to 30%” on Virtual Private Server (VPS) and dedicated hosting options. The company’s strong relationships with providers such as Dell and SWSoft have resulted in cost savings that the company is passing on to customers.

According to the company, the reductions will benefit its existing shared hosting customers that wish to expand services and can “now make the transition (to VPS or dedicated) at a much lower cost than previous occasions”. In addition, new and potential customers will have the “opportunity to improve their business without having to worry about the high costs” associated with these advanced options.

Cirrus Tech is a family owned and operated business operating out of Toronto. Established in 1999, the company caters from a range of customers (including small businesses and individuals) with plans offering the Plesk control panel. The company has subscribed to a number of “reliable and competitive bandwidth providers” and recently “moved to a well-equipped and secure data center”.

Green web hosting: Gimmick or green?

Tue, 5th February 2008, 17:16

It's not easy being Green. You've decided to do your bit to help the environment by choosing a “green” host. Thanks to marketing and convenience, you are starting to see a lot of hosts calling themselves Green. Say it loud, they're Green and proud!

What does it mean? I hate to break it to you, but generally not much. Part of it is marketing. Purchasing carbon credits. Maybe it is being dishonest. Are there real choices out there? We decided to investigate. We try to stay neutral here, but occasionally an issue presents itself that makes us throw neutrality out the window. We want you to be armed with all facts to make your decisions. That said, this is an opinion piece, and the more I read the stronger my opinion gets.

Investigating the claims, the first thing I found out is that there are no easy answers. Anything listed as a positive step has a detractor somewhere. Wind Power? Dead birds. Hydro-electric power? Flooded forests. Buying carbon credits? Unregulated and "fishy". Each positive has a well thought out negative attached to it.

AISO: Carbon-Free Hosting

Let's begin by looking at someone doing it right. Affordable Internet Services Online (AISO) was chosen as the host of Live Earth, being recognized as the only true “Green” host. They are 100% Solar Powered, not only their datacenter, but servers and office as well. They invested over $100,000 in their 120 solar panels, which bring the energy to the batteries that provide consistent power. A read of their “Commitment to the Environment” page shows a lack of buzzwords and a lot of concrete details. They aren't kidding. The serious thought put into the system shows an absolute commitment to being environmentally friendly. It also serves as a great resource to gather ideas to make your home or office green. They use:

  • Solar Tubes for lighting
  • Steel building materials and environmentally friendly insulation, giving them an R-value equal to R 50. Whut?
  • Propane powered backup generators
  • Water-cooled AC units
  • Virtualization used for both the servers and the office desktops
  • They are designing a “green roof”

The link above dives into much more detail. My point is that they aren't just buying some energy credits and saying they are green. They are setting a very high standard by which other “green hosts” should be judged.

Next up we have Dreamhost and Hostpapa. Both claim to be “Carbon Neutral” and “Green”. AISO is “Carbon-Free” The difference rests on if you buy into the idea of Carbon Offsets. I appreciate the effort to at least try something, but I am just not sold on offsets.

Update: It seems that a decent caring company towards the environment can still lack ethics & brains. AISO posts fake reviews to Hostjury.

Carbon Offsets: Big Business

Carbon Offsets, or Carbon Credits are something you can purchase to offset the carbon footprint you leave. It is a $100 million dollar a year industry. They are not regulated. There are a lack of standards and guidelines out there. They are notoriously difficult to verify. You are purchasing the hope that someone is going to follow through. Some ways carbon offsets work:

Tree Planting

Planting a tree to offset your carbon use sounds great, but there is a debate about the benefit. This route seems to be chosen because it is the cheapest. There are potential problems as well. When non-native trees are introduced (to save money) it can actually have a negative environmental impact. Can you be sure the tree planted by your host for you isn't contributing to monoculture? It is cheaper to plant eucalyptus and pine trees where they don't belong, and the effect can be devastating. East Africa has been hurt by this practice.

Renewable Energy

This type of offset theoretically funds renewable energy sources such as solar, wind or hydro-electric power and biofuel. This is a vague and confusing area and there is much debate as to whether there are tangible benefits to this. If a Renewable Energy Credit (REC) is purchased, the money goes to the owner of the renewable energy project. Your REC purchase has put money in the pocket of an owner, there is no rule as to what this owner has to do with it.

Energy Conservation

Energy Conservation offsets work on lowering the demand for energy. This is done by helping to fund energy efficient builings, fuel efficiency projects and cogeneration plants that generate both energy and heat.

There is a vigorous debate about the benefits of Carbon Offsets. One critic compared it to the purchases of indulgences in the middle ages. Some environmental activists argue that it is actually a negative, since it doesn't work to address reducing energy consumption. These purchases certainly don't reduce the amount of fossil fuels used to create electricity. Wouldn't the money hosts spend on these be better spent as reinvestment in their own business using more energy efficient hardware?

Purchasing something that is an abstract as opposed to changing my behavior seems like a cop out. It reminds me of eating fast food like a pig and paying someone else to diet. I can boast that I've lost 40 pounds, and it may be cheaper to hire an anorexic for the offset, but am I really doing good?

Apparent Dishonesty

I may not agree with Carbon Offsets, but I recognize their purchase as a a well-meaning step in the right direction. I definetely prefer them to unsubstantiated claims of being solar powered, like Iron Mountain claims. Their website brags about them being solar powered, but the evidence is lacking. There is a blog post from September 2007 showing two solar panels and describing how they will be installed, then a second post from a few days ago showing more solar panels on their roof. The September blog post said an update would be made when the panels were installed. Are we to believe that it took over four months to get them up?

There is a lack of information. We see pictures of solar cells. We are told that they break if you step on them. “Governments” are taken to task for not giving “a little extra effort for environmental efficiency.” I see a lot of vaguery and a lack of detail. What percentage of Iron Mountain's energy usage is handled by the solar cells? Does it power the break room, or all of their servers and offices? Are we to just take their word that they are solar powered? Stop pontificating and tell us what you have done, in real terms.

I was disappointed to read a post congratulating AISO for “following in Iron Mountain's footsteps”. Come on!
Edit: Within a few days of this post being made Iron Mountain did post pictures of their solar panels on their blog -- so it seems they're now in place at the very least.

Amusing Claims

I have seen other claims out there, setting the bar low for being considered green:

  • We telecommute, thus saving fossil fuels. If the nature of your work means you telecommute, it is disingenuous to brag about it. I slept last night instead of driving, I helped save the Earth!
  • We use a smaller space, saving on building materials. I will announce, here and now, that I will not build a fifteen million dollar dream home this year. The benefits to the environment will be tremendous, without that pull on resources and energy!
  • We recycle! This might be a big deal if it were 1975.
  • We will plant a tree for you! I find this really annoying. I am perfectly capable of planting my own tree, or donating five bucks to have one planted for me. This would be better worded as: We will spend five dollars (or less) for the marketing benefits!

I applaud the idea of going green, when it is motivated by the idea of doing better. When it is a meaningless marketing gimmick, it is a negative. When much fuss is made by Dreamhost and Hostpapa for making a purchase, or by Iron Mountain for the unsubstantiated “solar powered” claims, it doesn't seem fair to me that they get as much credit as AISO for being green. The move toward being green is welcome, but we need to verify that real steps are being taken.

If you are thinking of switching to a green host, ask some tough questions. Decide if Carbon Offsets make sense to you. If so, I'd be happy to sell you some. We can also look at our lives, where we can make the biggest difference of all. As the saying goes, “Think globally, act locally.”

What are your thoughts?

Switching webhosts in eight easy steps

Thu, 31st January 2008, 19:45

Moving your website can be an intimidating process. You may have decided to move from a hosted solution (blogger, wordpress.com, etc...) to the freedom self-hosting brings. You may have outgrown your current hosting provider and see greener pastures elsewhere. Whatever your reason may be, the thought of moving might seem overwhelming. Thankfully it isn't as hard as it may seem. We here at hostjury thought it might be helpful to provide a guide. This can't possibly cover all options, but will at least give you a general idea of what is involved in migrating to a new host.


Step 1: Find a Host

This can be the hardest step. Do your research. This site offers plenty of hosting reviews. Go to the forum sections of the hosts that interest you, if they are available, check out complaints and resolutions. Most hosting companies offer a status blog or section in the forum, use this to check uptime. Do a search with the host's name and the word “problems”. The results might be very interesting. Don't hesitate to mention your concerns to the host you are considering. Be firm, but also be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Everything may look good, but you read one very harsh review. Offer the host the chance to explain the situation. It may be this particular customer was very difficult to deal with. Overall, use your common sense and listen to your instincts.

If you are new to having a site hosted, I cannot stress the importance of this step. Some hosts offer great deals if you sign up for a year. You don't want to buy a year only to deeply regret it later. Put the same amount of care into this decision as you would any other important one in your life. It could have repercussions that last years. If you aren't new to paying for hosting, you already know how critical this step is. One rule of thumb, don't always jump at the cheapest price. Fully investigate everything.

Step 2: Plan

Count on giving yourself at least a week, probably two, for everything to happen. If you are switching hosts and nearing the end of a contract, the sooner you get going the better. You do not want to start three days before your contract expires and face billing issues or an inaccessible account. Go easy on yourself and give the process at least two weeks. Do not inform your current host you are moving.

Review this overview and base your plan on how long it will realistically take you, factoring in worst-case scenarios. Everything should go very smoothly, but you never know. Murphy's law might decide to appear.

Step 3: Backup

You should always have a full backup copy of your site on a local computer. If you don't, do it now. You are probably using an FTP client to upload files to your site, if not Filezilla is an excellent free FTP client (and Open Source!). Back up your entire site so you have it available.

If you use databases like MySQL, back up your database. This can be done through your webhost's control panel. There are a variety of ways to do this, depending on what you use. Wordpress, for example, has a plugin that will take care of it for you. If you use phpMyAdmin, you will want to log into that on the server. Once logged in:

  1. Select “Databases”

  2. Click the name of your database

  3. Click the “Export” tab

  4. Choose “Select All” from the left column

  5. Make sure the “SQL” button is selected; also check: Structure, 'Add DROP TABLE', 'Add AUTO_INCREMENT' and 'Enclose table and field names with backquotes'

  6. Make sure the “Data” box is checked, but leave the checkboxes inside unchecked.

  7. Check “Save file as” and leave the default choice

  8. Check “None” for compression

  9. Click “Go” and save the file to your computer. Then check “zipped” (or gzipped/bzipped if you prefer) and click “Go”again.

  10. You now have two backups.

Step 4: Upload to New Host

Upload your backup copy of your files to the new host. If you have a new domain, make sure all of your internal links are changed to point to the new domain. If you are keeping your domain, your internal links should be fine.

Restore your database to the new host, make sure your links to the database are changed to match the new host. This varies depending on what you are using, check the documentation for the CMS you use. It is possible your new host may handle this step for you. If you are nervous (I was), just ask.

To use phpMyAdmin:

  1. Logon to your new server

  2. Click the “Import” tab

  3. In the following “Location of Text File” screen, choose “Browse” and choose your backup

  4. Double-check that the “SQL” box is checked

  5. Click “Go”. Go get some fresh air, or have a cigarette

  6. After a bit of time, you will see a success screen. You are done.

Be sure to double check your .htaccess file to make sure it is up to date and correct.

Once you feel confident everything is working as it should, move on to the next step.

Step 5: Recreate your Email Accounts at your new host

Set up all existing email accounts at the new host. This is typically done through your webhost's control panel. Any forwarders, aliases or auto-responders you had set up on the old host need to be set up on the new. Set up your “catch-all” account if one isn't pre-set for you. Once your DNS change has gone through you will be all set to receive mail.

Step 6: Update your DNS Records

If your domain name is new or you are keeping the same name, this step is the same. Go to your registrars site, log into the control panel. Look for “Nameserver” or “DNS” and plug in the Primary and Secondary nameserver information you received from your new host. In theory it should take about 48 hours for your DNS records to propagate, in reality it may take a week or two. Aren't you glad you got an early start?

Check the email at both the old server and new server while this change is happening. Don't use your domain name to check the email during this period, use the IP address of both the old and new server. It is possible some mail is going to both, separately.

Step 7: Cancel your Old Account

Once you feel confident the change has taken place, you can cancel your old account. Your site has been available to the non-updated DNS servers, now that they are updated you no longer need two versions of your site out there. Leave on a positive note, even if you were unhappy.

If you had a free hosted site, change your .htaccess there if possible. For each page, do the following:

“Redirect permanent /oldpage.html http://newurl.com/page.html

Removing the quotes and putting the relevant info in. This works much better than a simple redirect page, it allows the search engine benefits you have built up to stay in place until your new domain has been indexed properly.

If your old host is also your registrar, be careful. This situation will be getting its own article very soon. You should have no problems, but you never know. Play it safe.

Step 8: Relax, Celebrate and Enjoy Life

You are done. Hopefully everything went smoothly. Enjoy your life with the new host and review them here!



If you have switched hosts, leave us a comment telling us how it went! Thank you.

 

Latest in domain name news

Thu, 31st January 2008, 14:08

There have been a couple of interesting news items about domain names and registrations lately:

Domain Study Results Released

1and1 released an interesting study last week, titled “U.S. Businesses Rush Their Choice of Web Address”. They found 42% of Small and midsized businesses spend less than one hour on the decision of choosing their web address, the same amount of time they spent deciding on which coffee maker or paper shredder to purchase. 60% sought no second opinion. More than half (57%) did not consider a .biz or .net address. 58% had to modify their choice because the domain they wanted was not available.

I find it interesting that 28% want an improvement in their domain name wording or suffix. 37% felt that their revenue would increase as a result of a domain change, but 23% felt a domain change would involve a lot of work. This looks to be an excellent area for consultants to focus on.

1and1 offers domain registrations, so it is no surprise they have promoted these findings. That said, the statistics paint a telling picture. The domain you choose is far more important and will have a much bigger impact than the paper shredder you decide on.

Netfirms and .ca Registrations

On a related note, Netfirms announced their recommendation that customers secure their .ca (Canada) domain registration. 2007 was a record year for .ca registrations, with 160,727 new .ca domains registered. One quarter of those (45,523 new .ca domains) were registered through Netfirms, making them one of the fastest growing .ca registrars. Their $9.95 registration fee, among the lowest in the industry, certainly helps.

One Millionth .fr Domain Registered

EuroDNS announced the .fr (France) registry reached one million registration with the registry of BlogArtDeco.fr on January 11th, 2008. Registrations by private persons account for 30% of total registations, since the .fr domain was opened to individuals in June 2006. A study reports 72% or respondents feel favorable toward the domain. You can only apply for a .fr domain if you are a French business or a French Resident 18 years old or older.

Have you been happy with your domain name choice? How did you go about deciding on the name? Do you feel there is a benefit to having a country specific domain? Leave a comment to let us know!

Web Hosting Controversies continue

Wed, 30th January 2008, 19:35

It has been a rough year in the Web Hosting industry. There are plenty of excellent web hosts, as this site's reviews will attest. The bad hosts grab the headlines and good hosts have created public relations nightmares for themselves. There have been some new developments in recent controversies. We decided to take a look at them.

 

Dreamhost billing fiasco 

The Dreamhost billing saga continues, as previously reported here. If you are unfamiliar with the story and don't care to click, Dreamhost over billed their clients a whopping 7.5 million dollars. The situation (which was bad enough) was made considerably worse by the cutesy and flippant tone taken about it. If your debit card was overdrawn and you were faced with the prospects of checks bouncing I doubt you found a cartoon of Homer Simpson or an email stating “We’re really really realllly embarassed (sic) about this” very comforting. I like humor and informality as much as anyone, but it was completely inappropriate in this situation. It has been said before, and I'm sure better, this was a public relations disaster of epic proportions.

 

Imagine you had convinced your boss to allow you to have Dreamhost host your companies website. You would look like an idiot giving this boss the provided explanation, like you had turned the website over to teenagers. If your personal site is hosted by them, I imagine you had to lose confidence in your choice. The gravity of the situation seemed completely lost. “Oops! LOL!” just doesn't cut it and is completely unacceptable.

 

The after effects of this continue. The Consumerist reports on a Dreamhost customer that got caught up in the confusion, thought she was overcharged (she wasn't) and had her credit card company reverse the charge. Dreamhost then suspended the account immediately. An argument can be made that this customer may have acted too quickly, but the lack of response reported is troubling. They seem to be capable of a serious tone when it comes to money owed to them. Dreamhost has been reasonably well reviewed, it is unfortunate for them that it looks like the anger and confusion continues and will for some time. They are caught in the uncomfortable position of the court jester now trying to be taken seriously.

 

Not only did Dreamhost harm themselves, they missed out on a tremendous opportunity. I have a background in customer service, specializing in handling difficult situations. Most of my best customers were created during a crisis. People are generally loyal. If you help them get out of a difficult situation, even if it is one you created, they remember that. They know that if you helped them when things were going wrong, they can count on you when things are going right. Crisis equal opportunity, and this was totally overlooked.

 

iPowerweb problems persist 

IPowerweb is a lot more troubling. It is hard to know where to begin. The unaddressed security issues that lead to StopBadware.org to identify them as one of five hosts having the largest number of malware-infected sites on their servers? The email outage and unannounced server migration, as detailed here? The problems the North Country Gazette has had, including the site being taken down as retaliation for negative press, only to have the problem escalate? More Gazette problems here and here. Non-existent customer service? Reducing themselves to posting fraudulent reviews on this site?! The problems are many and deep.

 

As if all of that wasn't bad enough, on Friday the North Country Gazette told the story of an attorney that after going through the typical customer service nightmare of getting FTP installed on her site, she was shocked to log in and discover that it wasn't her site she was logged on to. It was IPowerWeb's site. She had access to all of their files. Horrified, she notified them. It took over two days for the problem to be fixed. The fix involved installing something onto her website, which had the side effect of making her computer crash and forced her to reinstall programs. Nice. Good thing it was an honest person that had access to all of their data, and the data of their customers.

 

The article goes on to mention the newest problem with IPowerWeb's email. I'll quote:

“If you have a website that is unfortunately hosted by IPowerWeb and use their webmail, unless the intended recipient has actually requested the email that you are want to send, it will be considered spam and Ipower will be forced to “suspend or terminate your account”.”

 

That is mind-boggling insanity. If you use webmail, sending an email to someone that hasn't requested it causes your account to be suspended or terminated?! It is obvious that things are out of control there. Stay away at all costs.

 

It is sad to me that the Hosting industry gets affected by stories like these. How many people read horror stories like the ones above and decide to just forgo having their site hosted? How many others just quietly give up and accept the situation? We need to be vocal about the unacceptable behavior when it is exhibited. There is plenty of misleading press out there, when searching for a good webhost we should make sure we have done our part to keep the conversation honest.

 

Your thoughts? 

 


What do you think? Were you caught up in any of this? Do you feel Dreamhost has resolved the issue in a manner you are comfortable with? Are you still using IPowerWeb? Leave a comment! We want to hear what you think.

 

Global Warming Dilemma

Wed, 30th January 2008, 01:10

Global Warming Scenario One

One computer left on 24 hours a day will cost you $115 - 160 in electricity costs a year and dump 1,500 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere. A tree absorbs between 3-15 lbs of CO2 each year. That means that 100-500 trees would be needed to offset the yearly emissions of one computer left on all the time!

On a larger scale, if each household in the metro Boston area turned off their computer just one additional hour per day, we could save $3.2 million in electricity costs and prevent 19,000 tons of CO2 from heating the atmosphere. If businesses and universities were included, the savings could be much greater.(TUFTS CLIMATE INITIATIVE) Not Cool

Global Warming ScenarioTwo

Climate Prediction is the largest experiment to try and produce a forecast of the climate in the 21st century. To do this, they need people around the world to give them time on their computers - time when they have their computers switched on, but are not using them to their full capacity. It will run automatically as a background process on your computer whenever you switch your computer on. It should not affect any other tasks you use your computer for. As the model runs, you can watch the weather patterns on your, unique, version of the world evolve. The results are sent back to them via the Internet, and you will be able to see a summary of your results on Climate Prediction dot NET. You can download the program there. Not Cool but you can watch us fry

Death blow dealt to domain tasters

Wed, 30th January 2008, 00:25

If Google's recent stand against against domain tasters wasn't enough to stop domain tasters in their tracks, ICANN just finished the job. The ICANN board just passed the following motion to end Domain Tasting,

“THEREFORE, the Board resolves to encourage ICANN’s budgetary process to include fees for all domains added, including domains added during the AGP, and encourages community discussion involved in developing the ICANN budget, subject to both Board approval and registrar approval of this fee.”

This policy is expected to go into effect when the new budget is approved, and that process typically happens in the summer.

http://www.icann.org/minutes/prelim-report-23jan08.htm

Adieu, domain tasters! 

 

Helpful links for your website's content

Tue, 29th January 2008, 18:15

Creating content for your website can be difficult. Not all of us are English majors (or use English as our primary language, for that matter) and have become accustomed to the relaxed punctuation and grammar requirements having a blog provides. That doesn't mean we are free to discard centuries-old rules. For some people, poor grammar is enough to make them discount what you have to say.

I've assembled some simple links to refer to when writing. I hope you find them helpful.

First up is the gold standard for writing, William Stunk Jr.'s “Elements of Style”. The examples are simple and clearcut. You cannot go wrong to follow these rules. Are you joining independent clauses with a comma, instead of the fancy and dignified semi-colon? You won't be after reading this. It is easy to forget the purpose of proper composition is to help the reader. Why bother writing if people cannot understand what you say? If you use only one resource from this article, make it this one.

If you are like me, and hey—maybe you are, simple things when writing may trip you up. I get confused about using lay or lie correctly. I know there is a rule, but I am never certain whether I am following it or not. Is it who or whom? Who knows! “Common Errors in English” by Paul Brians is an outstanding resource. Click the link and you will see that just about every base is covered, including “cheese quesadilla” and “lol”. I love what is said about lol; “It is no longer considered hip or sophisticated, and you won’t impress or entertain anyone by using it.” That is the truth. You will be able to confidently write “I decided to lay on the bed, unsure for whom it was made.”

Do you plan to write fiction? Kurt Vonnegut provides Eight Rules for Writing Fiction. They are excellent. You will find out how to keep your story from getting pneumonia. Vonnegut also offers “How to write with Style” and the man knew what he was talking about. I like that he tells you to “Pity the readers”. Both links are entertaining and short reads. He also refers you to “Elements of Style”, giving that link more literary street-cred.

“Writerisms and other Sins: A Writer's Shortcut to Stronger Writing” by C.J. Cherryh will get your writing lean and mean. You will stand out from the crowd. Your vocabulary will not be more interesting than what you write. If you follow these twelve rules your writing will improve. I hope to follow them one day!

Having a bunch of rules handy is all well and good, but what if you are staring at the keyboard completely unable to get started on anything?

The effectively titled “7 Can't-Miss Ways to Kick-Start the Writing Habit” offers seven handy tips to, well, kick-start the writing habit. I've used them and they work. “Write crap without feeling guilty” is an excellent tip. Sometimes you really have to give yourself the freedom to just sit and write without worrying about the quality. Things will eventually start flowing. The site is a nice resource, as well.

“10 Killer Post Ideas” is helpful. I refer to this list whenever I am stuck. Tip two, about writing lists, took me from writer's block to the front page of Digg, twice in a row. I agree with Chris Garrett, people do love top ten lists. It is no accident the article itself is a top ten list.

Finally, this is a bit off-topic, but sometimes it is nice to refer to the Dalai Lama's “Instructions for life in the new millennium” to get some perspective on things. They aren't specific to Buddhism, they are written more from a humanitarian perspective. I find them refreshing to look at every now and then. Your mileage may vary.

If these links are of use to you, or you have your own, please leave a comment. We would love to hear what you think. Thank you for reading.

Hosting A Dummy: Register the Domain Name

Tue, 29th January 2008, 18:42

 What's in a domain name. ...This is everything we've existed for. The American dream. Our last chance at fame and fortune. We've spent months, years, maybe the last half hour, deciding its our time to get on line and show them how it's done ....

A cold bead of sweat breaks on my brow as I, one finger type, my new domain name into the box.  zip dot com and I push enter. *%&%&^#$ dot com is not available

  

ok ok Zip is getting ahead of himself again. What is a domain name. A domain name is your piece of Internet heaven and as long as you pay the yearly fee it will continue to be so. Stop paying and it will be covered in those nasty Internet Ad weeds.

It can end in Dot COM or Dot NET.

 

Which type of domain name is right for you?

  • If you are going to be a capitalist then you want Dot Com. (commercial)
  • How about an organization... then you'll want Dot Org. (organizations)
  • Maybe your looking for prestige... then try Dot Net or Dot your name
  • How about you Canadians Eh.... You'd want Dot CA (country code)
  • Dot Mobi is mobile.. dot info is information...you get the picture


If in doubt...buy them all and for about thirty bucks a year you'll own the whole city block. Ok ...you've got your name all picked and it's time to close the deal. Now what


(that was a question...not a statement!)

 

Go DADDY
You can read our Go Daddy Reviews by clicking here.

Click on the link and your an Internet Tycoon. A regular ol' Donald Trump. Just with internet property instead of something tangible!

 

Is your domain taken, they offer suggestions!

 

Go Daddy actually has a cool little feature that allows you to see who stole your name.

After they tell you that choice is taken, click the link for more information. They even offer you some suggestions. So once you got that name registered drop back and Zip will lead you through the tangled web of acquiring a place with the hosting company...

 

Web hosting provider, Hostgator shares revenue with charities

Tue, 29th January 2008, 17:43

January 29, 2008 - Shared, dedicated and reseller web hosting firm, Hostgator, after reporting a successful fiscal year, has given gifts to support cancer fighting initiatives, while promoting education in underdeveloped countries.

The company gave $100,000 to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, and $25,000 to One Laptop per Child. The gifts were decided upon by Hostgator management and staff, including a significant contribution to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

Brent Oxley, President of HostGator noted, ''The gift to Anderson reflected a mix of the wishes of the staff here at HostGator and suggestions from our users. It's pretty hard to find anybody whose life hasn't been touched in some way -- directly or indirectly -- by cancer. We gave to them, partly because we're located in Houston and some of our employees have had family members treated there, but mostly we gave because of their amazing country-wide reputation for treating patients and researching cancer cures.''

In addition. HostGator donated to the international organization, One Laptop Per Child. The Anderson Cancer Center received a gift of $100,000 and One Laptop per Child received $25,000. The goal of One Laptop per Child is spelled out in its name: to improve the educational opportunities for children in underdeveloped regions by giving every child access to an inexpensive, durable, web-capable laptop. At $100 each, the gift from HostGator should provide at least 250 laptops.

The gift to One Laptop per Child was another easy decision, according to Mr. Oxley, ''If it wasn't for the internet and computers we wouldn't be in business. If just one of the kids can further their knowledge in computers and make a career out of it, in some shape or form, it will have been worth every penny.''

At Anderson, one of the country's largest cancer treatment centers, HostGator's gift will go to support a variety of programs -- from research and clinical trials, to education, counseling and treatments. Mr. Oxley says as HostGator continues to grow and earn profits, it will continue increasing the amount of its annual gifts.

Mr. Oxley added, ''As a company, we expect to go on making charitable donations, and letting our people decide each year where our gifts should go. We want the benefits of our success to go beyond our own narrow interests, so that's why we'll keep on doing it. Some other companies may donate for 'political' reasons, not because they really want to help -- but that's still good. Whatever the motives and whatever the amounts given, it all helps. The more corporate giving there is, the better.''

Hostgator is a provider of shared, dedicated and reseller web hosting services focused on the consumer and small business markets. Founded in 2002, Host Gator has become a leader in reseller hosting, assisting over 15,000 businesses become web hosting companies, currently hosting over 700,000 domains. Host Gator has offices in Houston, Texas and its data center operations are co-located out of The Planet's facility in Dallas, Texas, enabling it to access Tier-1 backbone providers such as UUNet, Sprint, Level 3, Global Crossing, Verio and AT and T and AboveNet. HostGator's shared hosting plans are supported by HostGator's 24/7/365 phone support, and comes with a 99.9% uptime and 30-day money-back guarantee.

You can read more Hostgator Reviews here on Hostjury.

Web Hosting Solution Provider, Fusepoint, Experiences Record Financial Growth

Mon, 28th January 2008, 20:42

TORONTO, ON – January 22, 2008 – Fusepoint Managed Services, the leading provider of
outsourced managed IT and infrastructure services to the mid market in Canada, today announced
record financial results for the 2007 fiscal year. Fusepoint ended the year with over $36 million in
revenue and experienced its highest level of newly contracted sales in its history, increasing 50%
over 2006. The company, which has been EBITDA positive since mid 2005, also experienced
record EBITDA in 2007, and achieved Net Income positive in the latter half of the year.

Fusepoint has continued to experience a dramatic increase in demand for its solutions in 2007,
adding over 50 new, managed and colocation customers such as The Canadian Football League,
Bell Canada’s Videoplay, InsurancePay Canada, DeepCove Labs, and Chip Hospitality. In addition,
the company signed several significant renewal contracts with existing customers such as Mountain
Equipment Coop, Colliers, Direct Energy, Qtrade Financial Group and the Royal Canadian Mint.
“Fusepoint has realized a tremendous year both from a financial and operations perspective,” said
George Kerns, President and CEO of Fusepoint. “We have continued to reinvest in the
infrastructure and operations side of the business, ultimately solidifying our leadership position to
meet the strong demand for high-availability managed hosting services.”

Today’s news comes on the heels of announcing significant investments in Opsware data centre
automation software; achieving Tier-1 (the highest level) Payment Card Industry Certification from
Visa; and adding support for VMware virtualization software to its services portfolio. In addition,
Fusepoint has once again successfully completed its annual CICA 5970 and SAS 70 Type II audits
from external parties to ensure its rigorous processes are tested and certified.

Having recently expanded its Vancouver data centre to accommodate new business opportunities,
Fusepoint will be expanding the Vancouver data center again in 2008. In addition, the company is
working on expansion plans for Montreal and Toronto and hopes to make announcements about
both in the first quarter of 2008.

"We believe that managed hosting services have become a vital component of the IT strategy for
mid-tier companies and enterprises alike, and that Fusepoint's excellent financial results reflect
both a strong market demand that will continue to grow and the applied expertise and experience of
its seasoned management team," said John Van Hooser, General Partner at M/C Venture Partners.


About Fusepoint Managed Services

Founded in 1999, Fusepoint is a privately held company with offices and data centres in
Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City. Through our proven record of success we have
built a loyal base of over 400 customers and strong, strategic relationships with Canada’s leading
technology and communication companies.

Fusepoint’s managed IT solutions are SLA-guaranteed, scalable and designed to reduce cost
structures while mitigating risk. Fusepoint is also SAS 70 Type II, CICA 5970, and most recently
PCI compliant, which means our processes are rigorously and continuously audited by an
accredited third party and consistently operate at the highest levels within the industry. For more
information, visit www.fusepoint.com

Google takes a stand against domain tasters

Sun, 27th January 2008, 10:22

 Domain tasting, or domain kiting is the underhanded exploitation of a loophole in domain name registration rules that allows unscrupulous SEO ad jockeys to grab a domain name and make money off of it without paying for it. What this means for legitimate web users is that they often can't get their hands on the domain names they want because the domain names are being wasted on these money making schemes.

One simple 5 day grace period loop hole has been the backdoor for domain tasting scammers, who will "try out" a domain name for the 5 day free grace period, stocking it full of generic ads and other money-making schemes. Google aims to put a stop to this nefarious practice.

From Information Week: Google is planning to introduce a system to detect a form of domain registration abuse known as domain kiting. In so doing, the company stands to lose millions in advertising revenue, though it may gain far more in user trust and goodwill.

The Google machine is planning to fight off the tasters and kiters by creating a new Google algorithm just to track them.

When the new detection system finds evidence that a site is a domain taster site, Google will now pull the AdSense for Domains ads from it. Once the source of revenue is gone for the scammers, the site should start to dry up, in theory.

Kiss your revenue goodbye, scammers! 

The kited domains are spam, and often have issues with malware and other problems. You would think that people would be smart enough not to click on the ads when they get directed to one of these pages that are so obviously devoid of content, but click people do. As long as the pages make money, domain kiters and domain tasters will continue to push the envelope of acceptable internet behavior.

Google and ICANN both hope that better control of domain kiting and domain tasting will help stabilize the domain naming system. Currently the system is under duress from the stress of domain kiting and other money making schemes, and has been battling a loss of consumer trust and reliability.

Hosting for a Dummy

Sun, 27th January 2008, 00:03

 

I'm sure that people like me are a web hosting provider's worst nightmare. I'm the person that  companies foresaw when they placed "is it plugged in" as the first statement in their troubleshooting manual. 

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me introduce myself.   I'm Zip.

Thought that was a cute name. Techie like a zip file (as if I knew what that was). I've been graciously offered the opportunity to write a blog here at Hostjury about web hosting providers, how-to's and some tutorials on different web hosting terminology.   (I almost wrote a “column”)

 

At first, I was surprised that I was being recognized so quickly for my geek like suave. Then when I first woke with night sweats, it occurred to me that maybe it was more like, "if he's busy blogging about web hosting companies, then he won't be out surfing the web or worse, hogging the support line asking unforgettable questions!"

 

So what am I doing. Really, I haven't got a clue. (which Joey, Tom, Frank, and Mary from Tech Support will attest to). But I'm going to enter the world that has made so many overnight success stories. 

I'm going to enter the web hosting world. Maybe as a client, first. 


Really, why shouldn't I. If a bunch of kids who haven't even finished school can do it, well lets just say “I hope their money is made”.


So I'm hoping you'll follow my adventure into the high speed world. No slowskies here. From signing up a host to retirement.


This is Hosting A “Dummy”

 

Liquid Web Sees 2007 Growth

Sat, 26th January 2008, 20:25

Web hosting provider Liquid Web announced on Thursday that over the past year it has more than doubled its head count and grown its revenues by more than 60 percent, a trend that looks to continue well into 2008, says the company.

For the past 12 months Liquid Web says it has consistently broken its own monthly revenue records and currently employs 107 people, adding approximately 10 to 12 new employees every month.

Liquid Web has specifically hired and trained more than 70 new "Heroic Support Engineers" in 2007 to support its rapidly expanding global and local client base, which includes TechSmith Corporation, Neogen Corporation and Granger Construction.

In September of 2007, Liquid Web has also completed the first of three phases in its second Lansing, Michigan-based data center facility, DataCenter2. It has added over 30 tons of new redundant power equipment to enhance total building resiliency as well as support the second phase of the build out. It has also added an additional Kohler one megawatt generator, Kohler generator paralleling gear, Powerware parallel redundant UPS systems, additional Powerware PDU's and Liebert CRAC units.

Dreamhost Billing Issues!

Tue, 15th January 2008, 14:10

I was surprised to awake this morning to a notice saying my dreamhost accounts were overdue. Concerned, given that each had almost a year of service left I decided to check their status page. It turns out that every Dreamhost client was mistakenly billed ahead of time for service -- some for up to 2-3 years of service totalling at least $7,500,000!

 

Brad Fitzpatrick had this to say...

 

To add fuel to the fire, there's seemingly hundreds of Dreamhost users suspended right now due to this mishap. It's been ongoing since much earlier this morning. There's a great deal of unhappy users spouting off on their status blog about overdrafts, bouncing mortgage cheques and leprauchauns.  Oh thank you, Paypal. It seems that this billing error has affected nearly 100% of their clientbase.

What a headache to wake up to -- but at least it isn't a Monday!
Additional information for anyone affected is on their Dreamhost status page, they're aware of the issue and dealing with it:
Dreamhost Billing Issues - Status
Dreamhost Billing Forum - More information
Dreamhost Blog - Um, whoops

The Dreamhost team seems hard at work resolving the issue so don't fret. (Although I admit I am very glad I use only paypal)

Dreamhost Update

It seems that the issue has been fully dealt with and refunds are being processed for the erroneous transactions. A number of users are still suspended and given the number of accounts that Dreamhost hosts, I suspect this will take at least 24 hours to deal with. 

"Our sincerest apologies! I completely understand that when dealing with money, panic is quick to set in. I definitely understand the frustration. The problem has been found and fixed. Erroneous charges are in the process of being refunded now. I’m very sorry for any and all problems this has caused.

Please check back soon for a full accounting of what happened."

Patrick
Dreamhost

Additional Dreamhost Update Tue Jan 15 07:25:16 PST 2008

"Scripts are still running to correct the original problem. Last night, this guy ran a standard billing cycle to clean up stragglers from 2007. Unfortunately, the biller was ran for 2008 (December 31st, 2008 to be exact). This caused everyone to be billed as if today was 2008-12-31, wreaking the havoc that we are so sorry you had to be put through.

There is currently no ETA on when the “fix it” script will finish, but this post will not be resolved until it is. The script will reverse all erroneous charges and notify you via e-mail of the transaction reversal. If you receive an all clear e-mail, and are still having any problems with your account and/or charges, please contact support immediately.

Once again, we are all *extremely* sorry for the mishap. Thank you for your continued patience while we clean up our mess."

At this time, at least we know it wasn't malicious & was just a result of Josh screwing up again.

Review your host and win!

Mon, 14th January 2008, 21:04

Web hosting reviews for rewards!

Win an ipod!

We'll use any excuse to give stuff away and with 631 889 1,750 3,514 quality hosting reviews from real users in our database - we're greedy though, we want to get more! In a race to be the number one web hosting review site on the web, we've decided to give away an ipod every three months!

Hosting Review Giveaway

Submit a web hosting review of your previous, existing or new hosting provider for your chance to win a beautiful 30 80 gigabyte video ipod. Submit your hosting review today by using the links below.

Add your web hosting review

Giveaway Rules

There's a limit of one winner per househould and if you've submitted a review previously you'll automatically be entered to win the prize.

The first ipod up for giveaway is a beautiful black 30 80 120 gigabyte ipod video. We'll choose a winner for this beautiful little gadget every three months. All users who submit a review starting now will be entered to win!

*Infinity depends on how finite our bank account is. But submit your hosting review anyway.

Recent winners

Tim Brown posted an ipowerweb review and won a 30 gigabyte ipod video.
Want to be next, if so post your own web hosting review!

Network Solutions holding domains hostage

Tue, 8th January 2008, 22:24

Network Solutions, one of the few companies left in the domain registration world that I had retained my trust in has just bit off a bit more than they can chew. Slashdot & a number of other sites are running stories about Network Solutions purchasing domain names immediately after a user checks if they're available.

 DomainNameNews has some additional information on the story:

Domain Registrar Network Solutions Front Running On Whois Searches

"A story is developing regarding domain name registrar Network Solutions front running domains. According to multiple sources on DomainState.com, it appears that domains searched via NSI are being purchased by the registrar thereby preventing a registrant from purchasing it at any other registrar other than NSI. As an example, a random domain which DNN searches such as HowDoesThisDomainTasteTaste.com can be seen in this whois search to now be unavailable to register at other registrars but at NSI it can be purchased"

While purchasing domain names in advance to resell them to clients isn't directly forbidden by the ICANN rules and terms of service, it certainly leaves a bad taste in anyones' mouth who uses Network Solutions to search for available domains.

In the future use sources like Enom or Namecheap to search for available domains. Stay safe!

This isn't the first provider to have done so but it's certainly the most vocal, given Network Solutions' size. A number of providers in the past have been caught redhanded with similar tactics.

More information regarding this story is available at Slashdot and Dotsauce:

Network Solutions Scandal: Hijacking users' domain name searches
Network Solutions Scandal: Registering Every Domain Checked

 

 

Escape from iPowerWeb: How to leave iPowerWeb

Fri, 28th December 2007, 13:09

Escape from iPowerWeb: How to leave iPowerWeb.

After countless hundreds getting in touch with us over continuing iPowerWeb problems, we decided it was time to write a thorough guide on how to cancel an iPowerWeb account.

The success of our free ipowerweb transition program hasn't gone unnoticed, so we're still continuing it.

Below, we'll document the movement process step by step! It's a surprisingly simple process and the only arduous part of the journey is actually cancelling with iPowerWeb. If you follow the guide below, you should be able to get over to a new web hosting provider within 24 hours.

Choosing a new web host: The first step

The first step of getting out of iPowerWeb is to choose a new web hosting provider. In order to have a place to move your content and domain name, you'll need a new web host. Given the thousands of reviews Hostjury currently has from real clients, you've come to the right spot.

You can check out our web hosting reviews to help you select a new provider. There's a number of companies that clients moving away from iPowerWeb have had success with including:

You're certainly more than welcome to research your own though on our site. There's more than enough information here to get a good idea of who is who in the web hosting industry. Remember to thoroughly research each web hosting provider that you're considering -- after all, you don't want to be stuck with another iPowerWeb. There's a number of other companies out there actually owned by the same folks at Endurance International Group as well including PowWeb, so be very careful!

Here's a list that we know of:
AccountSupport
BizLand
BlueDomino
Dot5 (Dot5 Hosting)
DomainHost
eHost
EntryHost
FatCow
FreeYellow
HostCentric
HostYourSite
HyperMart
ImOutDoors
iPowerWeb (iPower)
NetWorksHosting
PowWeb
PureHost
ReadyHosting
Startlogic
USAnetHosting
VirtualAve
Xeran

Avoid the above companies like the plague!

Try testing the companies support prior to signing up. The more testing you do, the higher the likelihood you'll end up with an excellent web hosting company. Once you've selected one.. you're ready for step two!

Retrieving your domain name


This step only applies to those clients who have registered their domain name through iPowerWeb. If you haven't, you can skip this step entirely and move onto the next one. If you have, the information below should allow you to get the access details to manage your domain name.

The first step to retrieving your domain name is contacting the OpenSRS Compliance Officer. OpenSRS is a domain reseller system owned by Tucows. It's also the system in which iPowerWeb sells domain names through so you'll need to get in touch with Tucows to retrieve it.

The compliance officers' contact details are:
E-mail: compliance@tucows.com

You'll need to explain that you've exhausted all methods of retrieving your domain name details & that you're just looking to move at this point. The provider will give you what are known as 'OpenSRS' login details or at the very least -- they'll resend them to the original e-mail on file. You may need to provide them with some additional information in order to verify your identity, but as long as you're the contact on file you should have no trouble with Tucows.

Unlike iPowerWeb, they're a great company.
Once you've retrieved your login details, you'll be able to access their OpenSRS system through the following link:
iPowerWeb Domain Management Panel

Inside you'll find all sorts of goodies including the ability to manage your nameservers / DNS. As long as you can modify your DNS / Nameservers, you can change hosting providers fairly easily. Now, onto step three!

Moving your content


Now here's where things might just get a bit tricky. In fact, that's why we have our free ipowerweb migration assistance program for users who need help moving. A number of the providers we have on our review list probably won't hesitate to assist you move though, so don't be bashful and forget to ask! It might save you a lot of hassle.

Moving your content itself though is essentially as easy as reuploading your data. If you have your new account details, you can FTP your information using them & that should just about sort everything. One step that a number of users may need to take though if they have dynamic sites like forums & other content management systems though is 'backing up your database'. Backing up your database through iPowerWeb can be done via your control panel.

Once inside your iPowerWeb control panel, you'll see a mysql or database management section. You'll need to login using your databases' login details (Contact us if you don't have them, this part could be tricky!). Once inside follow the directions at this site for backing up and restoring databases from phpMyAdmin. That part isn't necessarily going to be a cakewalk, so if you have any questions at all don't hesitate to contact us at feedback@hostjury.com and we can try to help.

Once you've moved all of your content, you're ready to point your domain name!

Pointing your domain name


By now, you should have received an e-mail from the Tucows Compliance officer about your domain name if you registered it through iPowerWeb. If you have access to openSRS, these changes can be made via the 'nameservers' panel there. If you've registered your domain name elsewhere (you smart cookie, you!) you can manage them through your specific panel.

You'll want to switch the nameservers over to your new providers' (the one they've given you) only after you're sure that 100% of your content and databases have been copied over. You'll also want to ensure that any e-mail accounts you require have been created ahead of time to avoid any e-mail loss. The rest, of course is history!

Once the switch takes place there will 'potentially' be some availability of your domain name for DNS propagation but that's almost ancient history these days. If you change your dns and still can't see your new site, try clearing your DNS cache on your local computer.

For windows uesrs, it's simple:
1. start, run, type: cmd
2. ipconfig /flushdns
3. try reloading your site!

For the rest of you, google it!
Once you're done with that, bravo. You've escaped from iPowerWeb.

The remainder of the steps are fairly easy.

Cleaning up with iPowerWeb!


The last few steps are just insurance of sorts. The first thing you'll want to do after escaping from iPowerWeb and seeing your site back up and online is cancelling with iPowerWeb. Cancelling is surprisingly easy and can be done via phone. On average it takes about 30-60 minutes to cancel so be sure to have some free time before sitting down.

“In order to discontinue your services we will need for you to contact our billing department at 888-511-4678 or 602-716-5399. Our billing department is available 24/7.”

Be sure to have your customer ID, mother's maiden name, city of birth & last 4 digits of your credit card number available before calling. They'll help you through the process fairly promptly. Note that a number of users have experienced 'rebilling' from iPowerWeb even after cancellation in the past so keep an eye on your credit card payment logs.

After cancelling, you'll want to transfer your domain name to another registrar. I'd personally recommend using the one with your provider or Namecheap. The only information you'll need to perform a transfer is the AUTH or EPP code from your OpenSRS panel. The information is readily available there & Namecheap and other companies should be able to provide you with instructions for transferring.

Enjoy the new provider, thousands of others already are.
Escape from iPowerWeb

Midphase acquired by UK-2

Fri, 21st December 2007, 14:54

UK2 Continues Expansion by Acquiring Shared Hosting Assets from midPhase Services Inc.

Leading web hosting organization UK-2 Group announced today that it has completed the acquisition of US hosting provider midPhase Services Inc.'s Shared and Virtual Private Server businesses. This acquisition continues the expansion plans of UK-2 Group and closely follows the recent acquisition of clients from US host Stargate.

"We are extremely happy to announce our acquisition of midPhase" commented UK-2 Group CEO Ditlev Bredahl. "It is the next step towards achieving our ambitious growth strategy and the continued international expansion of UK-2 Group. This acquisition now makes UK-2 Group one of the largest international hosting companies, which will allow us to have a hugely positive impact on the marketplace."

UK-2 Group has been a significant player in the British and European hosting markets for many years, and recently underwent a large restructure, making important organizational changes in readiness for customer growth plans and challenging the bigger hosting brands. UK-2 is one of the largest domain registrars in the UK having registered over 1 million domain names.

"Zak and I are both very happy to announce the handover of our shared and VPS customers to UK-2. We're very happy to have been able to reach a deal which results in minimal disruption to our customers," said Dan Ushman, Co-founder and President of midPhase Services, Inc.

UK-2 Group intends to continue operation of midPhase's various brands, including: midPhase.com, ANHosting.com and Autica.com, due to its successful approach and market leadership to date. UK2 will not integrate midPhase into any existing UK-2 Group brand. This means there will be no impact on existing midPhase customers in terms of products, services, prices and support. UK-2 does not plan to migrate servers and has chosen to collocate the existing midPhase servers with SingleHop, Inc., a company owned and operated by Zak Boca and Dan Ushman.

About UK2

UK-2 Group, a major player in the British hosting industry since the late nineties, provides domain name registration and web hosting services to many customers through its family of hosting brands - UK2.net, US2.net and Resell.biz. The group operates its services out of several state of the art, multi million pound data centers and are committed to providing reliable, secure and great value products and services underpinned with excellent support. UK2-Group is also a major shareholder in the merged Redbus Interhouse and Telecity Group, the leading European data centre provider.

About midPhase Services, Inc.

midPhase Services, Inc. is a privately held web hosting and Internet services company founded in 2003 and based out of Chicago. midPhase provides budget, shared, advanced and other types of web hosting services to a wide range of clients ranging from small business to individuals. By providing a robust technological base and reasonable pricing, midPhase is able to offer customers an unbeatable value. midPhase is able to distinguish itself from countless other providers by offering an incredible value to our customers. This combination of advanced products and affordability has helped midPhase retain a record-breaking growth pattern, faster than the industry average every month since inception. Unlike most web-hosting providers, midPhase owns all of the hardware it uses. midPhase does not rent or lease servers.

iPowerWeb Clients: Free migration service from HostJury staff!

Wed, 12th December 2007, 02:23

This program is no longer in effect.

Web Hosting Provider, Canada Web Hosting, Receives Eventi Capital Investment

Mon, 10th December 2007, 16:38

Managed web hosting company, Canada Web Hosting, has relinquished an unspecified equity stake to Eventi Capital Partners Inc. Canada Web Hosting CEO, Brian Shepard, said in a release that the company is on track for another record year.

According to the company, the investment ''will enhance the quality and scope of service, expand capacity and accelerate growth,'' the companies said. ''Eventi will also contribute management guidance from their deep level of experience with rapidly growing, technology-based service companies.''

Mr. Shepard added, ''We welcome Eventi as a key partner as we take our business to the next level in 2008, providing us with additional expertise and capital to deliver more services and build out state-of-the-art facilities as we expand our loyal customer base.''

Bill Di Nardo, Managing Director of Eventi remarked, ''Canada Web Hosting has shown "a powerful combination of operational excellence, customer focus, corporate values and employee dedication.''

Canada Web Hosting endeavors to deliver mission-critical hosting solutions to Canadian and American clients from its world-class operations centers in Toronto and Vancouver. CWH's mission is to provide the highest-value enterprise-class hosting solutions available in Canada through a comprehensive, customer-focused sales and technical support model in combination with robust network and data center services from key geographical locations.

Candid interview with Brent Oxley, CEO of HostGator

Sat, 1st December 2007, 18:33

HostGator ReviewWe were recently given the opportunity to have a short interview with Brent Oxley, the CEO & Founder of HostGator. HostGator is a web hosting provider started in 2002 that has skyrocketed into the spotlight. Their company now provides service to over 500,000 websites and doesn't intend on stopping there.

During the interview we touched on a number of topics ranging from HostGator's success, growth & plans for the future. I'd like to personally thank Brent for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions.

Enjoy the answers!

 

 

Q: HostGator as we both know is one of the older, more reputable providers in the industry. Prior to launching in 2002, what made you start HostGator?

Brent Oxley:

"My entire life I was always starting some type of business with the little money that I had. I used to go around doing car washes at the age of ten. At twelve, I had about half a dozen kids selling candy for me at their schools. When I turned fourteen I had my own business selling watermelons on the side of the road. (2 for $5) It wasn't until I was 16 that the internet became my friend and I started playing with different business ideas. It wasn’t long before I was receiving few hundred dollars a week for doing nothing but updating my web sites.

I gained a lot of hosting experience over a few years of web mastering, and in 2002 HostGator was formed from my college dorm room.

We all have to make a living and many of us do that by going to college in hopes of one day getting a good job. I went to college for one reason and that was to buy time until I could figure out a way to be successful. Towards the end of my first year of college HostGator began to take off. I was constantly walking in and out of classes to take support calls. It became very clear that I wasn't going to have time for both HostGator and college. I had to make a choice between putting school on hold and giving my dream a chance or quitting the gator. I chose to drop out of school to run HostGator and have never looked back."

Q: Hostgator's name is one of the more memorable aspects of the company. What made you choose the name Hostgator?

Brent Oxley: 

"I probably tried at least a hundred other names first that were taken. HostGator was the best I could come up with that was available. If you think about it our name isn't even all that great! It just seems like a great name after all the years of branding and brainwashing we've done. <laughs>"

Q: How & when did the mascot & tagline come into being?

 

Brent Oxley:

"Both our Slogan and mascot were created just a few days after our domain was purchased. I wanted something a little more interesting then your average slogan which is why I gave it some bite. The blue gator we have was actually green in the first draft. We then tried red and a few other colors before deciding on the blue. I look at our gator so much I often forget that gators aren't blue in real life."

With the good sometimes arrives bad though. After their start in 2002 some potential issues arose in a facility that they had chosen & HostGator was left with the decision to move somewhere else.

Q: After you began having problems in the facility (in Atlanta, if I recall correctly) you were in, what made you choose The Planet as your next location to setup shop?

Brent Oxley: 

"We were with DedicatedNow prior to switching to The Planet. Our short stay with DedicatedNow was a great one with very few issues. We left DedicatedNow when we discovered they were planning to move our servers from NAC to a brand new facility they purchased. The combination of thousands of servers being relocated and a facility with no track history was more risk then I was willing to take.

The Planet was chosen based on reputation, support, price, and most important of all proven stability. Had HostGator chosen a different partner to go with there’s a good chance we wouldn’t be having this interview."

Q: With companies like Dream host, Hostrocket and many others that are (or have) building or own their own facility, is that something that we may see down the road from Hostgator?

Brent Oxley:

"Anything is possible for the future, but as of right now we do not have any plans to build our own facility."

Q: As the owner & CEO of Hostgator, what type of daily operations are you involved in?

Brent Oxley:

"I'm pretty hands on with all aspects of the business. A few things I do are advertising, paying the bills, firing, hiring, monitoring servers, tickets, and the hundred+ emails a day I receive. The majority of my time goes to helping customers. I ask all our customers to request for me personally if regular support channels ever fail."

Q: You're one of the few CEOs I know of that interact directly with
their own clientbase. As your company has grown have you ever found it
hard to find time to interact with them as much as you would like?


Brent Oxley: 

"The customers come first so finding time for them hasn’t been the problem as much as trying to find time for the rest of my duties. I’ll remain personally available for every one of our over 700,000+ hosted sites for as long as humanly possible. I just require that regular support channels are attempted first."

Q: What are your thoughts on today's increasing bandwidth, space and resource offerings?

Brent Oxley:

"The majority of hosting companies began offering unlimited disk space and bandwidth plans months, if not years ago. They might not say “unlimited” but with the size of current plans being offered there’s no difference. The top hosting companies could 100x their current offerings and it wouldn’t be any different than what they offer now."

Q: Do you feel that technology is growing at a sufficient pace to meet the demands of the clients?

Brent Oxley:

"I believe if anything it’s growing so fast it’s overwhelming for many. It seems by the time you learn how to do one thing it’s already being replaced by a newer and even better technology."

Q: When looking back on the companies beginnings, what thoughts come to mind when comparing then and now?

Brent Oxley:

"I remember the day we moved into our first office. It was about 2k sq feet, and I didn’t think we could fill even half of it. Less then a year later we couldn’t breathe we were so packed. HostGator is now using about 8ksq feet in our 30,000sq ft building, and I know it’s only a matter of a few years before we have people jammed into closets.

Things used to get so slow we would all take a break to play StarCraft, and now if we did that people would panic that we went out of business.

Years ago I received a call from another company offering a million dollars for HostGator. I wasn’t interested, but it did give me a sense of accomplishment. Fast forward to the present and we could easily fetch 40x that amount. We aren’t interested in selling, but it is sometimes cool to think about what we would go for. I love what I do so I don’t see letting go any time soon."

Q: If you were to have started HostGator today, would you have done
anything differently?

Brent Oxley:

"There was a very short period of time years ago when it was just me and
I couldn't afford 24/7 support personnel.

I worked myself every second I was awake, but in order to cover shifts
while I slept I chose to try outsourcing. This was by far one of the
costliest mistakes I’ve ever made. The amount of money lost from
customers leaving and damaged reputation far exceeded any amount of
money saved. If I could go back in time and do it all over I would have
found some way to come up with money to pay for in house support."

 
Q: What are your next goals as one of the leading reseller and shared hosting providers in the industry?

Brent Oxley:

"I want to take HostGator more mainstream. I’m not sure where this will take us, but we’ll be experimenting with print, radio, and quite possibly TV commercials. We are a leader with anyone online looking for a web site, but when it comes to the offline world we're non-existent other than word of mouth."

About HostGator

HostGator is a provider of shared, dedicated and reseller web hosting services focused on the consumer and small business markets. Founded in 2002, HostGator has become a leader in reseller hosting, assisting over 11,000 businesses become web hosting companies. HostGator has offices in Boca Raton, Florida and its data center operations are co-located out of The Planet's facility in Dallas, Texas, enabling it to access Tier-1 backbone providers such as UUNet, Sprint, Level 3, Global Crossing, Verio and AT&T. HostGator's shared hosting plans are supported by 24/7 phone support, and comes with a 99.9% uptime and 30-day money-back guarantee.

There's a number of Hostgator Reviews available here on HostJury.