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  Post #1 (permalink)   01-11-2005, 11:53 AM
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I do most of my thinking in the shower, don't ask me why - but when I am in the shower my brain starts workin' overtime. Maybe to make up for the rest of the day when I don't use it so much...I dunno. Anyways, on with the post.

This morning I was thinking that what the Hosting Industry needs is some sort of certification/governing body. An owner would have to be certified before becoming a host. I don't know what certification would entail - if it'd be similar to that of most other certifications (pay us $150 you get to take the test. Fail - come again another day and pay another $150. Pass - go home happy).

I also don't know how certification would be handled. If there'd be a master list of hosts that are certified, then, perhaps, some code would be placed on the host's website in question that would run through some sort of credentials, or checks system to display a *Certified* link. Illegal use of the code would be disabled as the master host list would be like the ACL (Access Control List) for the code to verify against.

Certification couldn't be cheap, as the fly-bys would get past it too fast. Certification would also have to be renewed each year, perhaps at a discounted rate and a harder quiz? I am unsure.

Problem with this whole theory is namely: getting people to use it. Not just hosts but those who are seeking hosting. Who would govern it?

Thoughts?
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  Post #2 (permalink)   01-11-2005, 12:32 PM
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Personally ... I do not think you would be able to institute a certification program for people deciding to open a web hosting business. Just as you can't really require someone wanting to open a book store or variety store or a music shop to pass a test before they open for business.

However, it would be nice to set up an association of web host professionals where its members must meet certain criteria and pass specific minimum requirements with their abilities & their business. Then as a member they could them display a "certification logo" that the governing association approves them as a web host.

Trouble is ... it would have to be strictly governed & its members monitored regularly to insure they are still in compliance.

It would be nice to have something whereby an end user, company or reseller could go to a site ... see the logo ... and KNOW that "this web host" meets a high standard of honor, integrity and service to their customers.

JMHO
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  Post #3 (permalink)   01-11-2005, 02:09 PM
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Its much harder to regulate something that doesn't have a physical location, because a host can just pop out of nowhere. It would be much more practical to have a "seal of approval" system that would tell people that this host is qualified and has met a strict requirements as Peter was referring to.

P.S. I think a lot in the shower too.....there's not much else to do besides get clean.....
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  Post #4 (permalink)   01-11-2005, 02:42 PM
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Some other problems with creating certification for web hosts:

* how will consumers *understand* - and therefore value - what's being said with the certification?
* how will consumers know that the regulatory body is trustworthy?
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  Post #5 (permalink)   01-11-2005, 03:36 PM
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A "Quality Seal of Approval" system. I don't know what terms would be applied to said "Seal" and what would help get the word out about how said hosts are more likely a better "cut" than the rest.

And glad to know that I'm not the only one who thinks in the shower
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  Post #6 (permalink)   01-11-2005, 03:39 PM
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Two very valid points, however if you can get your regulatory board a decent reputation, it eventually falls into place. I am part of a watch-dog organisation in my country, whereby a group of hosting company owners get together and comment on each others businesses twice a year, whilst runnnig watchdog-surveys on other companies. We will eventually be able to offer a directory of the good the bads and the uglies, which could then transfer into some sort of local certification amongst web hosts.
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  Post #7 (permalink)   01-11-2005, 04:32 PM
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I don't think all hosts should be required to pass a certification test. I think that a test should be given and if the host passes that test, there will be a quality seal on that host's website. The quality seal would link to some page where potential customers could read about what that seal actually means.
 
 
 


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  Post #8 (permalink)   01-11-2005, 04:51 PM
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I agree with Peter's idea of an association of web host professionals. In fact I think there could very well be more than one such association.

I must tell you that AFAIK the creation of such associations has been attempted a few times, but none really took off. Too many hot issues to be agreed on, too labor intensive and the lack of enthusiasm after the initial excitement were probably among the reasons for the failures.

Last edited by ldcdc : 01-11-2005 at 04:55 PM.
 
 
 


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  Post #9 (permalink)   01-11-2005, 05:47 PM
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What would be considered "Hot issues"?

I'm sure most here agree about the issue of Unlimited Storage/Transfer.
What about unlimited databases/E-mail addresses?

What else do any of you consider to be "Hot Issues?"
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  Post #10 (permalink)   01-11-2005, 05:50 PM
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A "semi-hot" issue would be cheap website hosting.
 
 
 


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  Post #11 (permalink)   01-11-2005, 06:16 PM
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Define cheap?

Would you be thinking that a "seal" requires the host to sell packages at... 20cents/GB transfer or more? Would you have to require that?
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  Post #12 (permalink)   01-11-2005, 06:36 PM
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I'm a bit unfond of unlimited databases and unlimited emails - only because some people see "unlimited" and think that they can go nuts. Most people don't realize that most web sites don't use but a fraction of their allotted resources. Of the others...how many sites would actually need unlimited email accounts (as opposed to aliases or forwarders) or databases?
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  Post #13 (permalink)   01-11-2005, 06:44 PM
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To add to your questions Exon:

Is overselling a bad thing?

If not, when does overselling start? What's too much overselling?

Is 24/7 support required?

Is support by phone a must?

What's the minimum techs/customers ratio to be used?

If all unlimited is bad, should support be limited then?

What's the lowest price/bandwidth ratio to be permitted? $.20/GB that you noted above? why not $.50? why not $.21? Is that for premium bandwidth or cogent like?

Is outsourcing OK?

And the list could go on an on. Take 100 hosts and you'll always have some of them argue on some of decisions or some good hosts being left out for a reason or another.

Last edited by ldcdc : 01-11-2005 at 06:47 PM.
 
 
 


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  Post #14 (permalink)   01-11-2005, 06:56 PM
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Maybe there would need to be more broad regulations or qualifications to obtain the seal?

Problem with that is you get too broad and then everyone fits into it.
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  Post #15 (permalink)   01-12-2005, 03:23 AM
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Here I go again ... commenting on things I know far too little about

As a consumer ... I guess what I would like to see is ... everything about a company, its services and its policies, and the do's & do nots allowed by their customers. I don't think pricing should be a governing factor. But rather ... if the company stands behind everything they say on their website.

Like with support ... if they say they have 24/7 support but its actually only during normal business hours in their time zone ... then they cannot be a member of the association. If however they say their support is only during normal business hours ... then fine. They are not advertising something they do not do.

My biggest fear when I sign with a web host is ... that they are suddenly going to disappear on me without warning. Or suddenly my webspace is gone 2 months after I have paid for a years hosting. Both scenarios I have experienced over the years.

As I mentioned previously ... pricing is very subjective and web hosts are governed by how good a deal they get where they are. For instance ... I like to be on a server in the USA. For a specific set of criteria I want ... I have a pretty good idea what I would be willing to pay. But if I wanted the same criteria in a web space but was insistent it be on a server in Canada ... then I would fully expect to have to pay more for it just because I have read bandwidth costs more in Canada.

I also hate it when a host states in their TOS that they will not tolerate SPAM being sent from their servers ... and yet when evidence is provided to them that one of their customers is spamming ... they do nothing. That would be a violation and the company would risk losing its "seal"

Or if they say they have a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee ... but never give one ... then they too lose the "seal".

Or maybe the way to go is for web hosts to start striving to be recognized by the ISO organization ... a world standard certification of quality which has criteria companies must meet in various business sectors. They have one for manufacturing, the service industry, industrial wholesale etc. That increases a company's costs a bit of course ... but to be honest if I knew web hosts were now being ISO Approved I would be less sceptical & cautious about considering them as a new web host if I ever decided to move again.

Gad ... I really have to learn to be more concise

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