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Update on Company Progress

It’s hard to believe how quickly time passes, but we are coming up now on 2 months since WestHost was acquired by Hosting Services. Based on my interactions these past several weeks with employees from Hosting Services and the UK2 Group, I’m excited about the additional services and features WestHost will be able to more easily provide our clients. Their strengths, coupled with WestHost’s strengths are only going to improve the level of services we offer.

As an employee of WestHost for over 5 years, I understand what has helped make WestHost successful in the eyes of our loyal client base. The key has been our friendly, professional, and prompt client support. All across our organizational structure at WestHost, we really do place top priority on the quality of service we provide. Whether it’s a client who has been with us 1 day or 10 years, we do whatever we can to help resolve their needs. So as we move forward over the coming months and years, I can ensure our clients that we will continue to place equal priority in this area.

As a brief introduction, some exciting improvements will be rolling out around the beginning of Q2 2009. One of the most significant improvements clients will see is with our control panel. Clients have been using WestHost’s Site Manager over the years, but that will be changing to cPanel. We have received significant feedback over the past several months from clients expressing interest in improving our existing control panel. We are excited to be able to offer cPanel to new clients tentatively scheduled to launch in March / April of 2009, and then existing clients will be carefully upgraded during the following months after the initial launch. Our technical staff, comprised of experienced and extremely skillful professionals, is currently working on these plans. More details of this upgrade will be announced as the launch time gets closer.

Our team here at WestHost will continue working hard to preserve what has helped keep us in business for over 10 years. Please stay posted to our blog over the coming weeks to hear of our progress with cPanel, as well as other exciting updates! If you would like to leave comments or suggestions, please do so.

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16 Comments

  1. don ellerton
    Posted January 23, 2009 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    I am a newcomer of just a few days. Yetserday I toyed with moving out due to difficulties understanding the file management system, having been used to a cPanel for years.

    Today I read that a cPanel system is about to be launched, I find that to be good news. I will hang on hoping it gets here soon. Don.

  2. Posted January 26, 2009 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Hello Don,

    I’m glad you’ll be sticking around to enjoy cPanel. We’re still on schedule to launch to new clients the first part of Q2. We will then start working on a migration plan for existing clients. If you have any questions prior to that time, please let us know!

    -Brian

  3. Corrado Fiore
    Posted January 31, 2009 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Will the new control panel bring any modifications in the underlying virtualization software?

  4. Posted February 2, 2009 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Corrado,

    Our current virtualization software will be phased out. Our plan is to allow existing clients like yourself to choose to migrate either to our cPanel shared hosting environment or to the upcoming VPS.net (http://vps.net) platform.

    -Jonny

  5. Posted February 18, 2009 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm… I am not sure I like my options for the change. Shared hosting or vps.net? I have been beta testing the vps.net system and quite frankly at this point it is way to expensive and complicated for me to want to mess with. :)

  6. Posted February 18, 2009 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Shawn,

    I definitely understand your concern. We are however very optimistic about these new changes and we are aiming to provide hosting solutions that will meet the needs of all existing clients. There are still some testing phases ahead that will give us more information on how we can better accommodate those with the same concerns. I would encourage you and others with these concerns to continue to look for updates that will help address these issues. We value your business and I can assure you that we want to do everything we can to make sure that you and other existing clients are taken care of through this transition.

    -Clint

  7. Andy
    Posted February 26, 2009 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    How will pricing be affected, especially from a reseller standpoint?

    I’m actually quite happy with the current Site Manager “VPS” setup, except that I wish they’d make Site Manager load faster.

    Going to cPanel shared hosting and vps.net seems like it will require major, major changes to the way we market the VPSes. Will the VPS.net accounts have a control panel included, for example, and will it have click-installable GCC and Tomcat?

  8. Andy
    Posted February 26, 2009 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    and furthermore, I do hope you are not thinking of forcing your existing clients to switch to cPanel hosting (like the blog seems to sound like its saying)!

    The features set between Site Manager VPS and cPanel hosting is very different and you can bet that a lot of sites will break if you do that!

  9. Posted February 27, 2009 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Hello Andy,

    The only reason we stay in business is because of the support of clients like yourself. When it comes time to migrate off of our current VPS environment we intend to be as flexible as we can to ensure we keep you as clients.

    The standard migration path for our shared hosting and resellers is to migrate accounts into cPanel. However, as you have pointed out, we’re already aware that cPanel won’t work for everyone. For those who can’t host their web site using our new cPanel shared hosting then we intend to migrate those accounts to VPS.net.

    In all cases we hope to keep prices the same for existing clients. We’ll certainly have more specific information when we draw to migrating away from our current clients to our new hosting environment. If you would like to get a preview of what that new environment will be we are accepting beta testers at https://corp2.westhost.com/wh4betasignup/. We would love to hear any feedback you have!

    -Jonny

  10. Bruno
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Shawn and Andy.

    I am very disappointed in your decision to phase out Sphera for a lower end shared environment. It would be a good alternative to keep Sphera in the middle in my opinion at a mid range price figure like Jumpline did. Sphera has been the core of Westhost and has proven very stable. Why would you throw that out the window and radically changes things?

    I personally hate cpanel, it looks too amateurish for me and doe nothing more that Sphera, The sitemanager is quite slow but that’s not something you go tweak all day and it’s not a major drawback. And I don’t how moving to a lower quality environment (shared that is) can be considered an improvement…

    For example, I currently don’t see how a VPS offering with the current Pricing (Version 2) will be able to match the offering of a current semi-dedicated plan with 60GBs of Space at the same price and with similar features, especially since each node seems to be locked at a 10GB space block. That’s basically more resources and speed for less disk space or the other way around with the shared alternative. And the apps auto-installer or at least many apps are going to change apparently, which is a nightmare.

    I host both with Westhost and Jumpline on Sphera, for different purposes given the different restriction policies. But if you are going to break stuff and force us on a price increase for a complete different platform, I am afraid I will have to move all my sites elsewhere.

    I can only assume right now that Hosting Services Inc. was only interested in your data center operations, and buying your customer base, not caring much about westhost’s previous commitments to its customers. Sadly I see that that as a 180 degree turn from Westhost which I always valued for its great customer support and flexibility.

    I personally think you are heading for a disaster with your customer base and that a Jumpline approach would better serve you and your customers.

  11. Posted March 2, 2009 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Bruno,

    You make some valid points. Everyone’s situation is entirely unique with the changes that are in the coming months. These are largely considered positive changes that have long been awaited (i.e. cPanel) by many existing clients. However, given that everyone’s situation is unique we are working to provide a better or comparable solution to all of our existing clients. Remember that our existing client base is our top priority and we want to do our best to help each client find the right hosting solution. As we move closer to this transition I am certain that we will have more information that may alleviate some of your current concerns. We have not lost sight of how we have gotten to where we are today and what changes we need to make to take WestHost and our clients into a brighter future. I would encourage you to stay up to speed on any additional information as it is released before making a decision to look elsewhere. We are committed to do our best to provide a solution that meets everyone’s needs.

  12. Posted March 6, 2009 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    There are many things I do like about the vps.net set up. If WestHost is willing to get me setup under that system and not increase my cost then I think I can live with the change.

  13. Posted April 29, 2009 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    I share my concerns with some of the previous posters. As much as I like cPanel, the change it causes in the server setup is quite a drawback, not really an improvement.

    One of the reasons that made me switch over to Westhost was the VPS like environment. I do not really need a 100% VPS account, but I wanted my own database server. On my previous host I had recurring downtime because of overloaded database connections. Now my concern is that the same issues will happen again.

    Of course I don’t know yet what Westhost’s offer for existing clients will entail, feature- and price-wise, but what I can read so far is not that exiting. VPS.net might be fantastic but I would prefer a plan with fixed monthly cost, so I know what I have to deal with.

  14. Clint
    Posted April 30, 2009 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Sabine,

    VPS.NET is a great alternative to meet your hosting needs. Ditlev our CEO has mentioned the possibility of a fixed price break for existing WestHost clients that would like to transfer over to VPS.NET.

    I would recommend reading through the WestHost 4.0 forum as there has been a lot of discussion regarding this and other relevant items.

    http://forums.westhost.com/forumdisplay.php?f=143

    I hope this helps. We will continue to provide updates as often as we can here on our forums or this blog.

  15. Posted September 8, 2009 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Any progress on this? I’ve applied for beta testing and have received no invite. I waited until Q2 of 09 and still no update. Am I missing something? My admin panel is definitely NOT cpanel. ;)

  16. Posted September 9, 2009 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Leon,

    I apologize to you for the delay. Although Beta testing has not yet launched I can check to make sure you are registered on our list for this testing. Could you please email me directly with your full name, e-mail address, and domain. (creeves@westhost.com)

    Thank you for your patience.

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