February 6, 2002

Hosting company finds profitable niche with Open Source

Author: JT Smith

Shared and managed hosting company Modwest has found open source technologies
make for a profitable niche market.

While they may not have the marketing budget and glossy brochures of the Nasdaq-traded big boys, one web hosting company has shown that you don't have to be all things to all people in order to acquire marketshare.

"By targeting PHP developers, we have found that technical support needs are minimized. Also, many developers sign up for more than one account to accommodate the multiple websites they work on," says John Masterson, VP Business Development for shared and managed hosting company Modwest.

PHP, a recursive acronym for "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor," according to php.net, allows web application developers to quickly develop robust, database-enabled websites. While similar to Microsoft?s ASP (Active Server Pages) or Sun's JSP (JavaServer Pages), PHP is an open-source project, which means that it has the added benefit of being a free download for server administrators.

"The price tag is certainly attractive to us, but the driving force behind our decision to pursue PHP hosting as a niche is our great faith in open source software. In fact, nearly all the server software we run is open source," says Masterson.

According to Netcraft and php.net, PHP is the most popular optional add-on for the most popular webserver in the world, Apache. As of December 2001, Netcraft estimates the number of websites running PHP at 7.2 million and growing.

By offering full-featured PHP-enabled web hosting accounts from as low as $11.95 per month, Modwest hopes to carve out a portion of those 7.2 million sites. "I'd be happy with two percent of them," jokes Masterson.

About Modwest

Modwest is a provider of shared and managed outsourced hosting services. Founded in early 2000 by Internet veterans focused on user interface design, server administration, web application development, and business management, Modwest specializes in open source platform hosting and development. For more information, visit the company?s website at www.modwest.com.

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Copyright 2002, Modwest Inc. All rights reserved."

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