(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – cPanel Conference 2013’s Wednesday keynote was given by Web Hosting for Dummies author Peter Pollock.
In his hour-long speech, Pollock told the audience of how he started his own hosting company and described the needs he saw in the evolving market.
Starting out, Pollock saw a gap during the early days of the internet. “There were these big companies that could afford to pay for the latest and greatest technology. The rest of us were stuck with more basic websites. Everyone should have a level footing, I thought” he said.
Pollock also thought things were a bit too hard to understand for those looking to get into web hosting. “There were things I didn’t understand as a geek. I figured if I was having problems, then non-geeks were probably having even more problems.”
That led Pollock to start his own hosting companies, “Heavenly Hosts”, “Stoneage Hosts” and “NewBlogHosting.com”
“My customers would get a bunch of me and my passion for helping them. I would teach them how to use FTP and tell them what the best software was. This was 2002. I had Microsoft office installed on my computer so I built my first websites with FrontPage” (the crowd gasps). “11 years later, I’m on WordPress. I no longer suggest that anyone use FrontPage at all.”
In the following years, Pollock kept his customers satisfied. However, he was able to eventually sell his company and focus his work on writing a book, Web Hosting for Dummies.
Web hosts need to simplify the terminology and make things easier to understand. “It’s always been the case in any industry, as soon as you get together as a company and start discussing something, you start to create industry terms. But very quickly after that, you can’t talk to your friends and family about it anymore because they don’t know what these terms mean,” Pollock emphasized.
“Our customers are stuck not knowing the things we find extremely basic. We try talking in simple language to them, but we’re actually talking way above their heads. We might as well be talking Klingon.”
However, Pollock looks optimistically towards the future of hosting as long as people learn how to dumb things down, if just a bit. “Our responsibility is to find ways to make hosting understandable for people. If you help your customers to understand, they will stay with you.”