Domain registrar and web hosting provider GoDaddy has announced that its Hosting Connection service, offering easy installs of third party scripts and software, has topped 1,000,000 application installations by its users. This milestone is just the latest in the effort by web hosts to provide easy access to the many thousands of popular scripts available online, giving their users the ability more easily launch and maintain sites.
Where many hosts stick with standard script packages like Fantastico and Installatron to deliver the same service, GoDaddy wanted to offer its clientele a customized installation experience and, more importantly, access to a greater number of scripts. Applying the same focus on ease-of-use that is seen throughout the rest of their web site, GoDaddy developers compiled a library of web applications ranging from free blogging platforms like WordPress to premium software like Feedzilla and made it freely available to their all of their customers in August 2008. Achieving 1,000 installations per day in only its second month, Hosting Connection allowed new webmasters and hobbyist developers alike to take advantage of robust software packages with none of the technical knowledge necessary for a manual installation.
GoDaddy’s foray into accessible web applications for its customers and Hosting Connection’s growing popularity outline the general trend that web services are taking towards making technical products more accessible. Where web hosting and site building were once foreign concepts to many people, a new surge of potential customers have entered the arena by way of the promise of things like a one-click installation of Drupal. GoDaddy may be currently leading the pack in terms of recognition but many hosts are quietly working to improve their accessibility, fulfilling the web 2.0 prophecy and encouraging more and more people to establish an online presence. Lesser-known firms like FatCow.com and inmotionhosting.com have been rolling out features like custom script libraries and extended multimedia capabilities in order to draw users in with the promise of more time spent designing and adding content and less time mired in databases and code.
One million application installs for Hosting Connection is proof in itself that hosting users are hungry for accounts that allow them to create full-featured, robust web sites with as little technical knowledge as possible, and why shouldn’t web hosts oblige? Between the noble idea of giving the less technical among us the chance to present their ideas to the world and the more practical notion of bringing more clients into your fold, there really is no downside to increased usability from a provider’s point of view. Whether the improvement entails the use of more intuitive user interfaces, better access to open source software or tools to help non-designers design, customers everywhere appreciate it.