Archive for the ‘webhosting’ Category

We’re BAAACK!!!

October 21, 2008

We’ve been busy the past 6 months growing and expanding our online marketplace at terrakeramik.com and although we continue to be busy (especially with the holiday season only a few weeks away), we are excited to share with you some of the things we’re doing on this blog. We’ll be posting in the next few days, so check back! Thanks.

Outsourcing webhosting

December 15, 2006

We built our own development and testing environment by installing and running XAMPP (which includes an Apache webserver, PHP 5 server scripting language, MySQL database) on a Windows XP PC.  Total cost = $0.

As mentioned in a previous post, we decided to out-source hosting of our website. Webhosting has become a commodity service with feature sets being largely the same across the dozens of service providers. What really differentiates webhosting companies is price, performance and service levels.  It was important that our webhosting company own the data centers and not act as a reseller for someone else, invest in state-of-the-art hosting infrastructure, be reasonably priced ($10 or less per month), and have 24/7 live, competent technical support.

We selected Bluehost located in Orem, Utah as our webhosting provider.  Bluehost’s main challenges have been managing incredible growth (including that of Hostmonster and Fastdomain, two affliates) and not investing in new capacity and more support engineers to support the fast pace of that growth.  While we were developing and testing the site this summer and early fall, Bluehost’s performance deteriorated and we almost moved the website to another webhost.  Just before launching the website, we upgraded from a shared IP to a dedicated IP (an additional $30 per year). That change, combined with Bluehost resolving their performance issues, has improved performance to an acceptable level.

Now we wish that Bluehost would become more customer centric (less feature-driven) and improve its communication with customers.  One example would be to consult with customers about proposed changes before implementing these. Now we recognize that not all customers will agree with proposed changes, but if one applies the 80/20 rule, that should be good enough. Consulting with customers could easily be done through a blog (their CEO has one but it is not interactive) or their user forum. It would be a smarter approach to business to assess customer impact and reaction to major changes first rather than react once customers express their views and possibly move their business somewhere else.