Archive for May, 2007

Tired of Jazz Posts Yet?

Monday, May 28th, 2007

I know this is “supposed” to be a blog about hosting industry issues, but until the Jazz lose there really isn’t anything that I feel like writing about.

Last nights game, where we KILLED the San Antonio Spurs, was great for a couple of reasons! 1st, the Jazz HAD to win or the series was over, but far more important was the fact that Eva Longoria (Engaged to Tony Parker of the Spurs) was at the game and was close enough that I could ogle her during timeouts and boring plays. My wife, sitting next to me, was very accommodating. She knows that I “secretly” watch Desperate Housewives and that Eva Longoria is my favorite of the wives on the show.

So to sum up – Eva Longoria, Jazz Basketball, A Win, and a pregame buffet :)

Utah Jazz…

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

My Jazz are down but not out… Last time they were down 0-2 they came out on top, but this time we face Tim Duncan instead of Yao Ming :( He is just a little better in my opinion :) Go Jazz!!!

Microsoft, take note!

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

I just spent the last 45 minutes trying to get my son’s Windows Vista activated (Again :( ) so he could play his games. The experience made me want to poke a fork in Bill Gates and Steve Ballmers eyes!!

Microsoft has also been pushing their patent garbage a little too heavily on the Linux community as of late. They have been claiming patent infringement for a little over a year with no proof. They won’t show infringing code yet they demand monetary compensation.

This is what I really wanted to say in my blog. I WILL NEVER EVER IN 1,000 YEARS USE A MICROSOFT PRODUCT FOR BLUEHOST! NEVER! We will never do windows hosting, we will never do Exchange hosting (Using a Microsoft product), and we will never use Longhorn server or advanced server.

Microsoft whores out its customer experience at every turn. They have completely thumbed their nose at what their users need and have lost touch technically with the internet community at large. I can’t preach about the customer experience for Bluehost users and then do business with a company that clearly violates everything I believe in. I wanted Bluehost users to know why I felt this way. I also wanted Microsoft to know that there are consequences for their despicable treatment of their customers. I have never been a Microsoft fan, but I was never their enemy. Now they have lost me forever as a client and I am sure many others will follow. Enough is enough, and now I am voting with my wallet. Goodbye Microsoft and good riddance!!

Matt Heaton / President Bluehost.com

Utah Jazz Dominate AGAIN!!

Monday, May 14th, 2007

If you aren’t a Utah Jazz fan by now you might as well move your site! Bluehost is for winners!! Everyone else go to Ipowerweb :)

Matt

Sound business practices win the race…

Saturday, May 12th, 2007

When I was 17 I started selling computer hardware to local businesses. When I was 23 I opened my first retail location. In the first 2 years we expanded into bigger retail space two times and opened two other locations. Business was good! There was only one reason we were doing well and it was price.

Our service was average at best, because we were completely cost sensitive the quality of our parts was average as well, and we hired the cheapest labor we could find. We succeeded largely because of my ability to speak Mandarin Chinese and obtain lower prices on virtually everything compared with my local competitors. We had an advantage that other local companies didn’t have and so it was easy to “win”. We could sell almost $10 million a year worth of computer hardware and not worry about the competition catching up. In Dec 2006 the last of the retail stores that I started called “Computer Warehouse” shut down. I had sold these stores off in 1997 or so, but it was still sad to see my baby that I had worked so hard on finally fade into the sunset.
Fast forward to December 2003 and Bluehost is just starting up. I have learned a lot since then. The first thing I learned is that a perceived advantage that you have in business will eventually go away or be negated in some fashion. Whether its price, a great search engine ranking, a low workforce cost, etc, it doesn’t matter. Your advantage will go away at some point either because competition catches up or the environment you are operating in changes.

Sound business practices and a REAL commitment to the customer is what will weather the storm when it comes to your small or large business, and it WILL come. Cost for labor, hardware, etc is enormously important, but if your business model relies on you being only the cheapest one out there then your days are numbered.

Thanks,
Matt Heaton / Bluehost

Growing faster and faster!

Saturday, May 12th, 2007

We are growing faster than I ever thought possible! When we started our first month we signed up about 50 customers the whole month, now we sign up that many customers in a couple of hours. I say this because I think it is astounding what our team has been able to accomplish. Some hard work, a ton of luck, and short hold times are the reasons we have been able to make it this far.

I believe we are now the 2nd or 3rd fastest growing shared hosting company in the world with all our brands added together. We are consistently adding 30,000 domains or more each month and I don’t think we will slow down anytime soon.

Thank you SO MUCH to all of you who send your friends, family, and anyone else who needs hosting our way. Without you we wouldn’t be anything!!

Thanks,
Matt

When companies lose their way…

Friday, May 11th, 2007

How and why do new companies start up? If you answered money you are wrong. Making money is the score card, but its not the reason most entrepreneurs start a company. If it was they would get a job instead of creating jobs for others around them. Entrepreneurs start companies to scratch an itch and beat out competition that they view as weak. How many people want to start a company against competition that they think is doing a fantastic job at a great value? Not very many…

That is why small businesses will ALWAYS have a place against big business. Big business is inherently inefficient and in most cases the entrepreneurial spirit was killed after the 100th employee started. What makes these companies “lose their way”?

They start down the path to nowhere the second they make a decision that impacts the customer experience in a negative manner for financial gain. Its really is as simple as that. Anyone that says differently is an accountant or a moron. So with that being said, here are a list of a few companies that have traded their customer experience for some short term $$$.

1) Comcast – They just announced a “partnership” with several media companies for their DVR (Their Tivo equivalent). One of the requirements was that the commercials couldn’t be skipped/fast forwarded by the consumer. Who wants to have recorded content that can’t fast forward? While I understand the loss of revenue to them the reality is that customers won’t put up with that after tasting what its like to have it. This is a HORRIBLE decision by their management.

2) Microsoft – The have gone completely overboard with their “Windows Genuine Advantage” that tries to make sure you have a legit copy of windows. I don’t dispute their efforts to get rid of piracy but their methods throw the baby out with the bath water. Their draconian measures to implement DRM into EVERYTHING and protect themselves at the expense of the consumer has marked a turning point in Microsofts management. They used to be all about the customer and profit. Now they are simply trying to stave off competition and maintain their stock price. Microsoft will never be what they once were, and based on their recent decisions I can’t say I am disappointed.

3) Google – Yes Google! Their technology is great, but their treatment of customers is truly abhorrent. They REFUSE to protect their customers from fraud in their adsense department because it affects the bottom line, and their phone service is nonexistent or utterly useless. I could excuse this in the early days because of growth and infrastructure problems, but with todays demanding customers the only excuse they have is that is costs them money.

Ask yourself if you are trading your customers experience for a little cash. If you are then shame on you :)

Matt Heaton / President Bluehost.com

Netcraft, Stats, and other works of fiction…

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

In my early days on the web in 1996 and 1997 I wrote my first online service at www.freestats.com. I gave away web stats tracking for sites that didn’t have access to log files or other means to track their visitors in exchange for advertising on those sites (Freestats is now owned by United Online – The Netzero guys and is still in operation today). I had access to an enormous amount of data back then. I even tracked stats for some huge sites at the time such as altavista.com and others. The collective data gave me an insight into the web that others simply didn’t have access to. I could see trends with browsers, javascript, operating systems, etc as they were happening. I loved this information because it was valuable and ACCURATE.

Today there are many ways to track stats for your site, and there are services that sell collective trend information to companies that are willing to pay. One such company is Netcraft. The reason I mention them directly is that they are often considered “the standard” for information about market share for web companies, web server market share, and so on. Here is the problem. A couple of different companies have shown us our “status” with Netcraft. They attempt to break down how many domains we manage, our hosting market share and other critical market information. The information is flat out wrong. In fact, its not even close. We are MUCH larger than they show. This got me looking closely at other services that peddle this type of information. Some were accurate, but most were off in their data by 30-50%. Why is this so hard to pin down?

Sometimes the information you need just doesn’t exist and you have to approximate the data. Other times the information is made to appear a certain way because large customers must show gains in their respective area. This is common in the web server market breakdown where Microsoft will do anything to show gains in IIS by not counting Googles results as using apache, or paying off Go Daddy to use Microsoft servers for their default parked pages before a real site is loaded.

Information and data is only as good as the view to that information. Its always good to know more than less, but looking at information with a little skepticism is sometimes a good thing.

Matt Heaton / President Bluehost.com

The Utah Jazz!!!

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

Despite another rough game where the refs tried to steal another one from the Jazz they still pull it out in the end! Game 7 is done and so are the Houston Rockets!! I know this blog is “supposed” to be about web hosting, but when the NBA playoffs are happening its hard for me to think about anything else. The Jazz are now set to take on the Golden State Warriors who are incredible to watch right now. It will be a great series! I guess I will break down a write a couple of blog entries that have something to do with web hosting… :(
Matt Heaton