Web Hosting Looks to the Future After cPanel 2013 Wraps Up

That's a Wrap! cPanel Conference 2013 Concludes(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – Attendees of cPanel Conference 2013 partied one last time Wednesday night as the company’s annual conference drew to a close in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The event delivered a number of highlights such as keynotes, networking, invaluable industry insights and fun as tech industry enthusiasts participated in the dash for cache and received some great prizes.

And while many heavy hitters in the industry set shop on the exhibit floor (SoftLayer, HP, CloudLinux & SingleHop just to name some), that wasn’t the only thing going on at cPanel 2013.

The theme of cPanel Conference 2013 focused on the past, present and future of web hosting. On Tuesday, if you were sitting in on one of the two keynote addresses, you likely heard a lot about the past and the present.

In the first keynote, eSigns.com CEO and hosting industry vet Robert March focused on his own time in the industry during a speech titled “If I knew then what I know now.” “You can trust your customers. If you’re open, honest and completely transparent, your customers will work just as hard for you as you work for your customers,” Marsh emphasized to attendees.

Tuesday’s second keynote, meanwhile, was given by Christian Dawson, a man known for his dual role as ServInt COO and i2Coalition co-founder. During the 30-minute talk, Dawson focused his attention to 12 primary lessons he’d learned from 18 years in the business. “Figure out what you do well and do it more,” Dawson stated while also urging attendees to be prepared for the unexpected, partner and set reasonable expectations in addition to giving it their all starting day one.

After numerous sessions, Day 2 marked cPanel Conference’s biggest party as attendees made their ways onto 6 Mardi Gras floats parked outside the Sheraton New Orleans. Throwing beads and accompanied by a marching band, the party made its way to the Republic New Orleans for some great refreshments.

Everyone’s eyes turned to the future as Wednesday kicked off with a forward-thinking keynote from Web Hosting for Dummies author Peter Pollock. There, Pollock urged companies to simplify web hosting terms so more users could understand the industry.

“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 commented. “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.”

One of Wednesday’s key sessions included a panel talk with participating representatives from companies like OnApp, SingleHop, Go Daddy and Demand Media. Company employees chimed in when asked about where the hosting industry was headed.

“It’s not about packages or specs. It’s about getting a website up. On the infrastructure side, people have diverse needs. They’re confused about the concept of cloud. I think flexibility is key. Offering dedicated  and public cloud and letting them work together…that’s a powerful thing. The buzzword is hybrid. I think that’s where it’s going,” commented SingleHop CMO Dan Ushman.

Just a bit later, Go Daddy Senior Product Manager of Hosting Ben Gabler provided his own perspective: “Web hosting is no longer an entry point. Look at website builders and domains, something you can sell on top of hosting and making it become a necessity to an SMB. I think that’s the direction the industry’s starting to head towards.”

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