(Ping! Zine Issue 35) – Sarah, a member of Australian Web Hosting Talk has opened a thread in the forum’s “General Discussion “section. “I’m looking at starting up my own online clothing store, but I’m not sure which company offers the fairest deal. Everyone seems to have a catch. And I’m a little overwhelmed. To start with it’s on a small scale, low budget and designed by myself. Has anyone been through a similar experience? Or have any suggestions?”. See what we have responded to the thread, in order to explain our vision for the web hosting industry.
“Good to meet you. There are plenty of good web hosts around and honestly, I don’t think there would be a big difference between one or another. Of course one company has a better network than another or its customer support is more responsive. But I think that you might need help with the shopping cart and the organization of your new online clothing store and this is something what you would discuss with your prospective web hosting provider. I mean that you should talk to them about different CMS and software applications pre-installed on hosting account and about any future assistance you might need with your website maintenance. Web hosting business is moving from a “web hosting service” to a “website platform as a service” or let’s say to a Software environment as a service.”
Rapidly Changing Industry
Web hosting business is rapidly changing and the Cloud computing is accelerating this change. But besides the new Cloud approach to computing and to web hosting services in particular, there are many other factors that work a change. One of them is that the dot-com’s world has become too complicated. In the 90s we had very few opportunities to choose from when we needed to start building a website. We had a limited number of content management systems (CMS) on the market, or even didn’t have any pre-configured software to download and deploy. We also didn’t have any web development frameworks to use (at least not any in term’s of today’s notion of a “web development framework”).
Web Hosting Environment As A Service (EaaS)
Today we have plenty of choices and many web entrepreneurs get confused when they need to choose one from hundreds of options they have, especially when it comes to Linux based Open Source content management systems (CMS) or web development frameworks. We can mention only very few – MODx, Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, TextPattern – from hundreds of excellent software anyone might use for their web projects.
10 years ago, site owners needed pretty standard things as a part of any web hosting service – PHP and MySQL support, FTP and Email service. Today any Linux Shared Hosting service provider must offer at least 20 of the most popular software appliacations, as pre-installed tools with on customer’s account. However this is not enough for any hosting provider to position itself as a quality web host.
Tomorrow’s (Why not “Today’s”) web host will look much more as a Software as a Service (SaaS) provider. Host Color uses term EaaS to outline a successful hosting service that site owners appreciate. We call it web hosting “Environment as a Service” (EaaS).
Environment as a service (EaaS) means that any web host should be prepared to create and maintain a number specific web environments in order to serve different fields of online business activity. That’s what we do, or to be modest – that’s what we try to do.