New Google Ads Could Influence Hosting Affiliate Programs

Web hosting companies are paying close attention to Google’s entry into pay-per-action (PPA) advertising, a major source of customers for shared hosting companies. Google’s program, which was announced Tuesday, is in limited beta testing with both advertisers and publishers. But with its huge existing base of pay-per-click (PPC) advertisers, Google is expected to quickly become a disruptive player in PPA, also commonly known as affiliate marketing.

PPA affiliate programs offer a fee for customer referrals from third-party web sites, and have grown in importance over the past year as more web hosting companies have launched referral networks. While pay-per-click programs offer a fee each time a visitor clicks through to their site, pay-per-action programs only pay out when a customer signs up for a hosting account.

The fierce competition for customers is reflected in the lucrative bounties being paid for affiliate conversions. There are currently at least 10 hosting companies offering between $100 and $150 per referral at Commission Junction, which manages a network of affiliate programs. Those fees are typically offered when a customer signs up and pre-pays for a term of at least one year.

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Two RegisterFly Sites Online as Ousted CEO Returns

ICANN is continuing to press RegisterFly to repair its management systems so domain owners can manage their names, but is now dealing directly with company founder Kevin Medina, who has been awarded control of RegisterFly by a New Jersey court. ICANN met Saturday with Medina to demand immediate action on RegisterFly's failure to provide adequate WHOIS information and make critical transfer codes (known as auth-info codes) available to customers.

ICANN's task would appear to be complicated by the fact that there are currently two RegisterFly web sites running on different infrastructures - RegisterFly.com at The Planet, and Registerfly.net at Sago Networks.

The dueling web sites are the result of a nasty split between Medina and business partner John Naruzewicz, who claimed that he owned 50 percent of RegisterFly and said the company's board had fired Medina. At the direction of "new CEO" Naruzewicz, the company filed a lawsuit accusing Medina of mismanagement and misuse of company funds. Medina denied all charges, saying he remained the sole owner of RegisterFly. Last Thursday a Newark, N.J. court agreed, awarding sole control of the company to Medina. Naruzewicz indicated that he would not appeal. "We lost and it's all over," Naruzewicz told Business Week.

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RegisterFly Site Goes Offline

The web site for troubled domain registrar RegisterFly went offline early Tuesday and remains unavailable. The downtime follows weeks of problems with the registerfly.com site, with domain name owners saying they have been unable to manage or transfer their domains. Amid growing concern about the status of domains at RegisterFly, ICANN has asked a California court to force RegisterFly to turn over its database of domain data and compel an emergency audit of its books and records.

ICANN has also reached out to central domain registries to protect domain owners. "Last Friday, ICANN convened a telephone conference among those needed to implement a plan that will help cease unintended deletions," ICANN said on its blog. "This will prevent names from being deleted from the registry and becoming available for re-registration by others."

Registerfly.com Web Site Performance

A dynamically updating chart of RegisterFly's web site performance is available. Netcraft offers a web site performance monitoring service that provides similar charts, along with e-mail alerts when an outage occurs. Continue reading

Globix, Hostway and Kattare Most Reliable Hosting Companies In February 2007

Ranking by Failed Requests and Connection time,
February 1st - 28th 2007

performance_february2007.PNG

Globix, Hostway and Kattare are the most reliable hosting companies for February 2007, followed closely by Demon Internet, Affinity Internet, Hostopia, Hurricane Electric and Tiscali.

Hostway has been the most reliable hosting provider eight times since 2004. The company is based in Chicago and has operations in six countries. Katarre is a colocation and dedicated hosting provider based in Corvallis, Ore. that previously tied for the top spot in our reliability ratings in July 2006, and has been second twice since then. Globix has a lengthy history as a managed hosting provider, but recently sold its hosting business and shifted its focus to network services. Last week Globix officially changed its name to Neon Communications.

Eight of the 10 most most reliable hosts run their web sites on Linux.

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WordPress Distribution Compromised, Update Released

A recent distribution of the popular blogging software WordPress was compromised during a server intrusion, the development team said late Friday. All WordPress users who have downloaded and installed version 2.1.1 are urged to immediately upgrade to version 2.1.2. Earlier versions of WordPress are not affected.

"This morning we received a note to our security mailing address about unusual and highly exploitable code in WordPress," developer Matt Mullenweg wrote on the WordPress blog. "The issue was investigated, and it appeared that the 2.1.1 download had been modified from its original code. We took the website down immediately to investigate what happened. It was determined that a cracker had gained user-level access to one of the servers that powers wordpress.org, and had used that access to modify the download file. ... They modified two files in WP to include code that would allow for remote PHP execution."

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March 2007 Web Server Survey

In the March 2007 survey we received responses from 110,460,149 sites, an increase of 1.64 million from last month. The Web crosses the 110 million mark just five months after reaching 100 million web sites in the November 2006 survey, continuing the strong growth trend seen in the last two years.

In the web server market, Apache gains ground in our tracking of active sites, as two large domain registrars see reductions sites on in Windows this month. Microsoft has an overall decline of 242K active sites this month, as it loses active sites at Go Daddy and Demand Media (owner of eNom and BulkRegister). Those setbacks were partially offset by gains at other hosting providers, but Windows loses 0.47% share while Apache gains 0.24%. Web server market share in hostnames, our broadest metric, remains little changed.

Total Sites Across All Domains August 1995 - March 2007

Total Sites Across All Domains, August 1995 - March 2007

Graph of market share for top servers across all domains, August 1995 - March 2007

Top Developers
DeveloperFebruary 2007PercentMarch 2007PercentChange
Apache6386954358.706474751658.62-0.08
Microsoft3383356631.093426532131.02-0.07
Sun18455841.7018512691.68-0.02
Zeus5305960.495254050.48-0.01

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