Web Hosters: Join, or Die!

(Ping! Zine Issue 35) – The concept of Join, or Die; originated a little more than 200 years ago, created by Benjamin Franklin and was the first political cartoon published in the Americas. The basic principle is that several small groups cannot hope to defeat a larger one as separate entities. In order to be successful, the smaller groups would have to unite. This ideal helped fuel the birth of the United States, join together and fight as one or die separately.

This concept is not new, even back then. T’ai Kung in the Six Secret Teachings and Sun Tzu in the Art of War both describe how numerical advantages, when used properly, can destroy opponents centuries earlier. We can see this is a practical business sense as companies like Google continue to eat up their competition. Buying out companies and adding their software and technologies to further the power of Google.

I guess the next question is so what? Well let’s now switch gears.

As the weeks go by, in fact, we are seeing large companies moving into the Web Hosting arena. Though this has happened many times in the past, and has failed main times in the past, companies like Google and Amazon are making serious attempts to grab at the Budget Hosting, Online Storage, and SMB Hosting markets. Will they succeed where others have failed? Hard to say. Though each has already made good gains and the current economic climate increases the likelihood of success, they might yet be fought back by Web Hosts who focus on providing a quality service.

What sort of elements make up a successful Web Host?
When we think about the complete package for a Web Host we often think of things like hardware (data center, servers, network), software (interoperability of the OS, software service packages, etc), support (customer, billing, technical), domain name (many of the complete package Hosts provide domain name registration), and perhaps extras such as Web site design and marketing.

So let’s take these elements and move them around a bit:

■Data Center
■Software features
■Customer support
■Billing support
■Technical support
■Domain Name
■Web site design
■Web site marketing

In each of these categories, you have two choices, make your own or purchase it from another vendor. It would be absolutely ludicrous to manufacture your own servers for your company as it is also equally insane to program your own operating system when several already exist and have software that is compatible.

Certain companies specialize in providing certain products, certain services. Among these companies are those who provide the best products and services. Why would you want to build your own servers, operating systems, shopping carts, email collaboration suites, automated billing software, control panels, etc, when you can purchase one?

Taking this further, why purchase products, services, etc from other companies when you can form partnerships and alliances that can reduce costs, increase support, and increase opportunities for marketing ventures? Making partnerships with other companies augments your strengths and improves weak areas. As an added benefit, it makes it possible for you to focus on your business and not on the ancillary details.

In an economy where businesses are looking to reduce costs and to weather the storm of possible buyouts and hostile takeovers now should be the time to seriously consider the words of Ben Franklin, “we should hang together for we will most assuredly hang separately.”

Until next time happy hosting!

About David Dunlap
Over the past ten years David has been a prolific author of hundreds of blogs, commentaries and reviews found here on WebHostBlog.com, as well as WebHostMagazine.com and other sites around the Internet. David manages the daily operations at both WebHostBlog and Web Host Magazine & Buyer’s Guide, and as the head editor, David uses his unique analytical skills to ensure that both sites maintain their integrity and tough, but fair minded, reputations. Prior to his active career analyzing the Web Host industry, David specialized in networking and communications for the U.S. government. David’s expertise in traditional and search engine marketing has helped boost companies both inside and outside of the Web Host industry.