One WebHosting Provider Goes Down, Many Follow
As we learned while exhibiting at HostingCon 2013, the hosting market is evolving and consolidating. So, when one brand-name hosting provider goes down it can actually impact several other “brands”, which many people think of as separate companies.
The Downside to Big Box “Retail” Hosting Companies
While growth for hosting companies is generally targeted at increasing average revenue per user (ARPU), churn is a danger for some hosting providers and an opportunity for other hosting providers. In the case of the Aug. 2 Bluehost outage, the “churn advantage” may be to some of the specialty small and medium business (SMB) hosting providers. In an outage event where a bigger “retail” hosting company is exposed as having several brands – but not separate infrastructures – end users may be more inclined to reject both their current hosting providers as well as any hosting provider associated with the parent company. The end users may see these brand providers as more marketing entities than as distinct organizations.
Bluehost Goes Down
As noted in an previous post, earlier today, Bluehost went down, as they experienced a massive network outage. In addition to Bluehost’s own website being down, thousands of customer sites worldwide were impacted, including their email servers and other hosted web applications. The outage, an unconfirmed (speculated) DDoS attack, impacted Bluehost’s parent company, Endurance International Group, which also owns HostGator, iPage, FatCow, Domain.com, iPower, and A Small Orange. Widespread outages primarily impacted HostGator and HostMonster, in addition to Bluehost.
Don’t Blindly Switch to Another Big Box Hosting Company
As a result, users who might decide “its time for a switch” and move from one EIG hosting provider HostGator to another EIG hosting provider like HostMonster, will instead look at niche SMB hosting providers who are more localized, or specialized. Especially, if those niche SMB hosting providers are leveraging the moment to position themselves as value-add alternatives by emphasizing support and integration with the latest-greatest web application ecosystem that is especially well-suited for certain users. During an outage “opportunity” event for (SMB hosting companies at least) their application environment for their users doesn’t even have to be that specialized. The basic user applications – like email, for example – just need to be available and stable.
Hosting uptime remains a key factor and hosting downtime creates competitive dangers/opportunities.
For further details on how SMB hosting providers are leveraging this niche approach see an article, written earlier this month by Brad Canham, VP of Sales and Marketing at Dotcom-Monitor, in a guest blog piece for InterWorx, Analyzing Market Opportunities for SMB Hosting Providers: Levers of Growth.