Web Hosting Industry from Experience : Changes over the years and the Future. Mitch Keeler of WebHostingShow.com speaks with Poornam Media
|The Web Hosting industry has been around for about ten years now and is still in its evolution. Constant changes are happening in the industry today and right now it’s tough to say where we are heading to. The dynamicity of this business is what keeps it going. Innovations are always on the rise in this ever changing and competitive field.|
As more and more people enter the fray, it’s becoming necessary for the web hosts to differentiate through quality of service, reliability, and price point. The amount of “Net savvy” customers has increased to a large extent and there are a lot of people out there who wants to know more about this ever evolving industry.
Mitch Keeler is today known as one of the Webhosting Industry’s experts and an excellent technology writer. He has been a leading contributor to the industry and has always made it a point to leave his marks in the field as he goes. Mitch loves explaining the Web hosting world in such a way that even the average people can really understand and wrap their minds around this business.
Mitch’s best known innovation is unarguably the webhostingshow.com, which is oriented for all the Web hosts and the Web hosting clients out there. The Web Hosting Show, Mitch Keeler’s multimedia hosting blog is probably the best blog in hosting industry. This is essentially because he works hard to produce a difference in what he broadcasts. WHS is the lone blog in the field which offers hosting related podcasts and that is exactly what makes it unique and popular.
Poornam Media Representatives, Linta Mathew and Kichu Mubarak covered an exclusive interview with Mitch, which covers a lot about this major contribution to the industry. The interview also goes around explaining the vastness of the Webhosting field and its future. Mitch also puts forward tips for a newbie joining the online business world.
Mitch Keeler speaks about the Webhosting Show, its impact on the industry and about its future.
Kichu Mubarak: Today, you are best known for the Web Hosting Show which focuses on web hosting related podcasts. For people who might not be familiar with the show, can you tell us something more about it?
Mitch Keeler says: Too often in the hosting industry, things are left unexplained.
Don’t know the answer to something? Well, you just haven’t been around long enough.
Want to be around a long time? Well, you had better know something!
It is a paradox I wanted to break. So I figured, why not do a weekly podcast where I try to help both web hosts and web hosting clients make sense of the big tent that is the web hosting industry. For over three years now, I have been producing a weekly 10 to 15 minute show that hopefully does just that.
Linta Mathew: What is it’s impact on the Webhosting Industry?
Mitch Keeler says: Well, I do consider myself one of the first people to do things outside of the “norm” in hosting. A few years back, the most of “media” you’d see coming out of the web hosting industry was a press release or two. These days, content is becoming more easily accessible, there is more of a variety out there and there are several ways how you can learn more about the industry we are in. Web hosting has caught up with the times. Not sure if I can take credit for any of that. I’m just one guy trying to help as many people as I can.
Kichu Mubarak: In your opinion, has Webhosting show exploited podcasting to what is currently its full potential? What are your plans (immediate and long-term) now? Are there any other projects in mind?
Mitch Keeler says: There is always room from improvement and growth. Right now I am pretty happy with where I am at the show’s success and growth rate. One thing I would really like to do is bring more voices in, so that we can create more of a community around the project with people helping people. Outside of web hosting, I also run two other web site projects:
Mitch quotes the inspiration behind the project and the challenges that were faced.
Kichu Mubarak: What was the inspiration behind starting this project? How do you see it developing?
Mitch Keeler says: Well, at that time I had just finished up an e-book project titled, “Lockergnome’s Guide to Web Hosting”. After writing it up, I thought to myself, I’m not really “done” talking about this topic yet. Podcasting had just really started at that time. So the mix just seemed to be the right mix at the right time.
Linta Mathew: What were the initial challenges that you faced for this project? Who was your targeted audience?
Mitch Keeler says: Learning how to record might have been the biggest challenge. At the time, not much was really known about how to produce audio. So you record something, see how it sounds, and then try again. Lather, rinse and repeat that a few dozen times till you find the best format for the show. I pretty much had to teach myself about bit-rates, file sizes and audio production. I have a big audience out there. I welcome in anybody who wants a simple way to learn more. Feedback has come from all walks of life too. I have had CEOs from some of the biggest hosting companies out there on my show, and I had the stay-at-home mom send me an e-mail wanting to know what to look for in a web host. I am happy to serve anybody who needs me.
Linta Mathew: What do you feel will be “the next big thing” after podcasting and how could it impact the webhosting industry?
Mitch Keeler says: I am not sure we will see the next big thing for a long time. Instead, I think we will see things slowly evolve instead. Everything is moving more towards a social stream of content and ideas. I post somewhere I need help. A guy around the world says, “here is how you fix that”. We are all going to soon become one big user group.
Kichu Mubarak: Please tell us about your Web Hosting Guide. What was the purpose and how is it different from the other guides that are available.
Mitch Keeler says: The Best of the Web Hosting Show Guides e-book, which can be found here:
http://www.webhostingshow.com/web-hosting-guides/, was a collection of some of the most popular shows and topics I have talked about on the Web Hosting Show. I grouped them together, mainly after a lot of user demand for it. I also use it as a sampler pack for those who may have not checked out the podcasts before to see what type of content the show covers from week to week.
Mitch Keeler speaks about the Webhosting Industry from his experience.
Linta Mathew: Mitch, please tell us how you became involved in the web hosting industry?
Mitch Keeler says: Well, I had always been interested in web development and design. At the time, I had been helping out answering questions on my web host’s forums and they offered me a job. It wasn’t much, but it got me into the world of freelance contracting. From there, I worked for a web host during the day and worked on building up my own writing resume over night. Five or more years later, I am the H-list celebrity you see now. Give me a few more years, and I might even move up to the C-list.
Kichu Mubarak: Mitch, you are a knowledgeable and well connected person in the hosting industry. Tell us how big is the industry as such.
Mitch Keeler says: Web hosting covers a big area of business. You have web hosts, domain people, and everybody in between in the mix. We are a part of what makes the web go around, so that is something we can all be proud of.
Mitch points out professional tips to enter the Webhosting Business World.
Linta Mathew: What are your professional tips to a person entering the webhosting business? What will they need to do to be successful?
Mitch Keeler says: Best advice I have to share is find the people who know the most, and follow them around. Web hosting is an information driven business, which means if you don’t know how to do this or that, you will not last long. Find ways to learn as much as you can.
Kichu Mubarak: What are the most important qualities that a web host should look out when he chooses a support team for his customers?
Mitch Keeler says: Working freelance, I have seen the worst and the best when it comes to support teams. If it were me, I would be looking for reliability. I don’t mind if you let me down one or two times as long as you have a good enough reliability track record. I want to be able to come to you, and know you’ll get the job done. Plain and simple.
Linta Mathew: What do you feel is preferred today – Windows or Linux hosting and why?
Mitch Keeler says: I think Linux hosting is still king of the hill these days. Windows hosting does have it’s advantages, but is still a niche market. Linux is cheaper, has a bigger user base and is arguably easier to use.
Mitch speaks about the changes happening in the industry and the future.
Kichu Mubarak: What are the most significant changes that has been seen in the industry over the last few years?
Mitch Keeler says: The number of places and people becoming web hosts is staggering. There are more web hosts this year than there were last year, and there will be more there next year, than there is this year. As long as that growth keeps up, we will all keep getting our paychecks.
Linta Mathew: What do you see in the future of the web hosting industry?
Mitch Keeler says: The best part about looking ahead into the future, is that I cannot see a picture where web hosts aren’t in the picture. As the Web grows and evolves we have to be behind the scenes making the magic happen. Webhosts may not get much of the credit – but without us, there would be no Web at all.
Linta Mathew & Kichu Mubarak: Thanks Mitch, for your time. 🙂
Mitch Keeler says: Thank you
Readers, please feel free to visit http://www.mitchkeeler.com
About the Interviewer:
Kichu Mubarak, a Systems Engineer at Bobcares, has been in Poornam since the 14th of February 2007. Just within 2 months of joining Poornam, he was noticed for his innate ability to understand people and deal with different angles of vision, and was thus selected to be a reporter for Poornam Media. Kichu displays a unique confidence to tackle problems in critical situations. This mission oriented man, portrays an intense passion about anything he puts himself into. These qualities have made him the Team Manager of Poornam Media within just 1 year.
Linta Mathew, a Systems Engineer at Bobcares, has been in Poornam for one year and four months. Her very lively nature, excellent communication skills and commitment to every task she takes up, found her a place as a reporter for Poornam Media in February 2008. Today, she is the Deputy Manager of Poornam Media. Her tendency to grab all opportunities that come her way, and habit of working hard to achieve them are the keys to her success.