Web hosting had a pretty decent start to 2008 with plenty going on within the industry. To start off with, HostSearch added yet another vendor to its Value Added Service to support members with LIVECHAT Software S.A. throwing in a pretty decent 30% reseller discount for members to resell or purchase their products for their own use. Thanks for that LIVECHAT!
The web hosting company probably most mentioned in the news in January had to be -- you guessed it -- Go Daddy. Apparently, a few "beavers" got in the way of this year's Go Daddy Super Bowl commercial being approved, although the powers that be did eventually give another version of the commercial the green light. Not only that, but Go Daddy even got its own segment on Fox TV 's sports program. In other news the 'Go Daddy Girls' - Go Daddy's elite team of professional web hosting evangelists - were giving interviews at CES International. The company also recently announced it would market and operate .ME extension domain names.
A few moves that might give the people at Google cause for reflection, tyBit^(TM) will move from beta to full production by the second quarter of 2008 (see Clarence Briggs interview) while USSHC was chosen to Host Wikia. At the very minimum both these options will give web hosts options as far as advertising budget is concerned, and that's not likely to please the boys in the Googleplex! Also in January, Microsoft and WebFusion joined forces to offer science, technology, engineering mathematics and design (STEM-D) university students free web hosting, while SWsoft's name change solidified with a new Parallels website and logo -- I wonder if people will ever stop referring to them as SWsoft though!
Plenty of awards won in January. The UK's "worst website" was named and Easyspace stepped in with a makeover! Aplus.net made it 10 years in web hosting while 1&1 Internet celebrated 20. Verio was a finalist in the Small Business Computing Excellence in Technology Awards, and Frontpages Web Hosting Network achieved Microsoft Gold partner status.
People on the move in January included former Microsoft architect Mark Zbikowski taking system-level Windows expertise to SWsoft, Rolla P. Huff joining EarthLink as Chief Executive Officer, The Planet appointing a New Data Center Operations Executive, and Netcetera appointing a new Head of Sales and Marketing.f partnerships forming and companies acquiring other companies. iomart was chosen to provide web hosting services for UK Online, Hostway and Vocus partnered on an SEO press release service, Arizona Web Services renewed NaviSite's hosting contract, and The Planet partnered with TechAssist. In addition, Sonasoft signed a partnership agreement with Integra Micro Systems, Affiliated Computer Services bought Syan, Fat Jack Hosting acquired Host My Proxies, Dialpoint Communications Corporation acquired Hostigation.com assets, Frontpages partnered with Neverfail, and Macquarie Hosting partnered with ReachLocal Australia. Pipex has yet to choose who will acquire its web hosting and business services though.
Lots of new products and services saw the light of day in January. Easyspace launched a new range of dedicated servers, A2 Hosting offered new VPS packages, AptHost redesigned its shared and reseller web hosting plans and launched new semi-dedicated hosting services, and Prague-based mobile technology start-up Wirenode launched a mobile platform. In addition, Future Hosting introduced 'Future Protect' backups, GeekStorage announced a Virtuozzo VPS offering, Empowering Media launched HostCube and offered managed and unmanaged VPS, and Hostopia launched a Palm operating system.
As ever, instead of offering new products and services, many hosts enhanced current plans. Host Color did so, as did Artmotion who introduced 'Unlimited Traffic Solutions', OurChurch.Com who announced a new website builder, and Verio who launched a new control panel. In addition, Lunarpages announced an upgrade to basic and business plans, iNFRENION.com added vShare licenses to its FFmpeg plans, and UK Web Host Machine Networks offered Site Builder and SSL discounts.
Of course, being the start of the year, there was the usual round of promotions. The Planet announced a "Super Server Sale" and a 'Private Rack' promotion, and Web Go maintained its "New Year Specials". In addition, Top Hosting Center extended its hosting offer until around Valentine's Day, Cirrus Tech Ltd. announced VPS and dedicated reductions, Eskhosting offered 2 months free hosting and Aplus.Net offered a number of promotions.