Where did the FeaturePrice customers go?

This year has been one of turmoil for FeaturePrice customers, with prolonged outages, and commercial issues which have prompted an investigation into the company by the local state attorney’s office.

At the end of May the company’s assets were purchased by altantic.net. However, news sites have struggled to keep up with events as they have continued to unfold. Most recently the company’s DNS has been directed at Yahoo! WebHosting, and it is not clear to outsiders who might be in control of the featureprice.com domain, though it is almost certainly not atlantic.net.

Although about a dozen different companies have placed competitive advertising on google to attract Featureprice customers' attention, as far as we can tell the major beneficiaries to date have been Verio, Rackspace and Rackshack and their resellers, with around 8,000 of Featureprice’s 40,000 sites moving in the month to mid June.

Movements of Featureprice Sites mid May - mid June

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The table is taken from our Hosting Provider Switching Analysis which identifies movements of sites from one hosting provider to another. The analysis is updated monthly and is available to hosting companies on a company license basis.

1&1 Internet and Rackshack Fastest Growing Hosting Providers

A table of the Hosting Providers who grew the fastest over the year March 2002 to March 2003 is provided as an excerpt from our Hosting Provider Server Count. Companies are included in the filter if they started March 2002 with more than 600 servers, and finished March 2003 with at least 1000, and grew at a rate of 33% or better, year on year. This removes hosters which can show a significant percentage increase si1mply by virtue of being small at the start of the period.

Fastest Growing Hosting Providers by % Increase in Web Visible Servers
March 2002 to March 2003
Parent CompanyMar-02Mar-03% ChangeMain Business Area
1&1 Internet 1,4488,811+508%Mixed Hosting
Rackshack 2,121 9,374 +342% Dedicated
Time Warner Cable 659 1,611 +144% Broadband
Host Europe 1,934 3,356 +74% Mixed Hosting
Colt 1,332 2,243 +68% Telecoms
Speakeasy 1,503 2,481 +65% Broadband
Hurricane Electric 693 1,117 +61% Dedicated
Inflow 696 1,086 +56% Application Hosting
Rackspace 3,260 4,955 +52% Dedicated
Datapipe 805 1,207 +50% Dedicated
Easynet 718 1,057 +47% ISP
Interland 4,906 6,947 +42% Mixed Hosting
Korea Telecom 2,711 3,792 +40% Telecoms
SBC Communications 2,190 3,055 +39% Telecoms
Global Media Online(GMO) 1,044 1,427 +37% Mixed Hosting
Telus 1,058 1,412 +33% ISP

Comparing with last quarter shows percentage growth down somewhat amongst the companies at the top of the list, although absolute growth in terms of servers is larger in this quarter. 17 companies, almost evenly spread between North America, Europe and the Far East grew servers by more than a third over the year.

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July 2003 Web Server Survey

The Netcraft Web Server Survey is a survey of Web Server software usage on Internet connected computers. We collect and collate as many hostnames providing an http service as we can find, and systematically poll each one with an HTTP request for the server name.

In the July 2003 survey we received responses from 42,298,371 sites.

Market Share for Top Servers Across All Domains August 1995 - July 2003

Graph of market share for top servers across all domains, August 1995 - July 2003

Top Developers

DeveloperJune 2003PercentJuly 2003PercentChange
Apache2585650563.162695187963.720.56
Microsoft1099219526.851097634225.95-0.90
Zeus7799821.917669431.81-0.10
SunONE4199681.036745711.590.56

SunONE's significant increase of 254,603 sites is primarily attributable to Network Solutions' migrating around a quarter of a million parked sites back to a Solaris platform. NSI originally ran its domain parking system on Solaris, but moved large numbers of parked domains to a Microsoft-IIS system hosted at Interland over a year ago. NSI still hosts a significant number of parked sites at Interland.

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Netcraft tracks migration of sites between hosting providers

Although there are many forums where people solicit and receive customer experiences on hosting companies, arguably the essence of all these opinions is condensed into buying decisions that site owners make, firstly in deciding where to host their site, and later if they should move it to a different one.

Each day Netcraft contacts approximately 100,000 sites queried by users of our Whats that site running? form to determine the operating system, web server, hosting location, and time since last reboot. From these results we can show which sites have changed providers since last queried, and where sites queried for the first time are located.

This addition to the Netcraft pageset is updated hourly, showing the hosting locations which have gained the most sites over the previous 1,7, and 30 days periods. It is aimed at the individual web site owner who wants to see, at a glance, who in the hosting industry has momentum, identify companies that are respectively gaining and losing customers, and validate this by seeing which sites are moving to which hosting companies.

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During June, the hosting company that gained most sites, net of any sites lost to competitors was Rackshack. Comite Gestor da Internet no Brasil shown as second is in fact the ip address registry for Brazil. So far as we know the Brazilian registry does not make ip address delegation information available, and so the ip address space controlled by that registry shows up in this table as if it was a single hosting location. In third place is the leading German hosting company, Schlund.

Particularly notable is the 1066 sites that Rackshack gained from competitors, over three times the number of the second most successful company, and that Rackshack's gains from competitor's outnumbered losses by two to one.

For a more comprehensive coverage of site losses and gains at the largest 1000 hosting companies on the internet, Netcraft produces a comprehensive internet-wide analysis based on the 40 Million web sites found by the web server survey.

Certificate Authorities Careless About SSL Security?

Certificate Authorities regard it as a badge of the trade to offer their main websites over SSL. However, John Airey points out that several CAs have not checked that the SSL versions of their sites can be used without generating errors. Verisign and Baltimore's sites both give warnings, and in some browsers so do Geotrust and Globalsign. This occurs because the sites include links to offsite images, but these images are only served over HTTP, causing browser warnings about insecure content when included on an SSL site. The point may seem small and obvious, but inconveniencing users by triggering warnings makes it more likely that they will turn off the warnings, which reduces their security.

Hosting Provider Performance Comparison Available

Buying a dedicated server or moving a site to a new network provider can be a stab in the dark in that it is often not easy to see the quality and reliability of the provider’s network performance until after the purchase has been made. Netcraft’s view is that lack of transparency on network performance and outages harms the whole industry, both consumers and providers. Just as the customer suffers from not being able to make an informed choice between suppliers taking into consideration network response times as well as price, vendors with fast and reliable networks have no easy way of empirically showing the prospect the relative quality of service of their network relative to other players in the market. Ignorance plays into the hands of the companies investing less in their networks, since they will be better able to discount, and their longer response times and network outages will be less obvious to the customer. More widespread knowledge helps the industry as a whole, because better informed customers are more willing to pay more for superior connectivity, and the extra revenue coming into the industry can be invested in further improving resilience, performance, and support creating a virtuous circle. Key metrics include;
  • fewer outages – no one wants to be on a network that suffers frequent loss of connectivity.
  • Shorter outages - customers will be more tolerant of short outages which may be operationally difficult to avoid;
  • faster response times - the shorter the response times, the better.
Netcraft is measuring and making available the response times of fifty leading hosting providers' sites to give an indication of the relative and absolute response times currently available in the industry. The performance measurements are made at fifteen minute intervals from four separate points around the internet, and averages are calculated over the immediately preceding 24 hour period.
Ranking by failed requests and connection time, 14:00 GMT, June 24th performance-graph-4.png
Using the performance of a hosting providers own site to determine the performance of the hosting companies network is only indicative. By default the sites are ranked in order of fewest failed requests, and shortest time to connect, in order to give the clearest indication of network capacity and congestion, with the least impact from the performance of the companies’ own web servers, though it is possible to sort by any column by clicking on the column heading. If you are using the table as a guide when choosing where to locate a dedicated or collocated server, remember that connection times fluctuate continually, and only hundredths of a second separate the top companies. Avoiding companies showing prolonged outages is likely to be a better strategy than necessarily going for the company with the fastest connection time. Factors other than network performance, including quality of support and price will also be important. If you are considering shared hosting then the load on the shared hosting system will likely be a greater constraint on the performance of your site than network connection time. If you represent a hosting company and would like to be included in the table, or if you are researching prospective hosting locations and would like more detailed performance information please mail us.