Web host DreamHost (http://www.dreamhost.com/) has been in the news this week for apparently suggesting its customers could use email solutions provided by Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft. According to a number of reports, DreamHost suggested that as far as offering email is concerned, “it’s something Google can do better.”
The fuss was created by comments of Josh Jones’ on the company’s blog (http://blog.dreamhost.com/2008/05/23/what-web-hosting-is-for/). Mr. Jones, the co-founder of DreamHost, suggested that “Just over HALF of all the support requests we get are about e-mail. Everything else we offer, combined, doesn’t add up to the amount of trouble, expense, use, and effort that goes into ’simple’ old e’mail. And that’s kind of funny, because as far as I can tell, almost nobody CHOOSES a web host based on their e’mail features. Everybody’s just looking at how much disk/bandwidth they get, what version of PHP they run, how good their support is, do they have a funny blog, is their CEO really studly, do the data centers have water beds, and so on…”
A number of commentators have interpreted Mr. Jones’ comments as him admitting that DreamHost is unable to cater for the email business. Others have been more generous, with an interpretation that the company wishes to focus on its core competency of providing hosting rather than email.
Mr. Jones was further reported as saying:
“It’s just not something people are looking for from us, and it’s something the big, free e-mail providers like Yahoo, Microsoft, and Google can do better. In fact, as you’ve maybe already seen, we recently made it very easy to use Gmail for all your e-mail hosting with us, still at your own domain!”
DreamHost is based in Los Angeles, USA and caters for over 700,000 websites. The company’s comments come at a time when Google has begun charging for hosting applications and is very much starting to look like it could become get a web host with Dreamhost coupon.
Unless traditional web hosting can rise to the occasion, and maintain the quality of services its audience expects , the industry is ripe for a shake up, a clean out, and a quick and surgical take over by one of the Internet’s mega players. The end result will be hosting in a cloud and a very commodity-driven perspective of an industry that should be recognized for its quality and innovation. Letting the big boys take over this bit of hosting and that bit of hosting just won’t cut it. The profession has to lead rather than simply be led.