cPanel Acquires Small Web Hosting Company Siteocity.com to Increase User Testing

cPanel, Inc., announced that its subsidiary, Hostbed, L.L.C., has acquired Siteocity.com, a small website hosting solutions provider.  The purchase gives cPanel a direct platform for real-world testing of its products.  Siteocity.com will continue to operate under its current name.

cPanel Vice President Aaron Philips said that with the Siteocity.com acquisition, cPanel will be able to gain a deeper understanding of how website owners use cPanel’s software. “This will be accomplished by having direct access to live server data, help desk tickets, and hosting company feedback”

“By running Siteocity.com, we hope to achieve a deeper connection to the hosting industry as a whole,” Philips said. “We are certainly not operating Siteocity.com in order to compete with our customers.”

Now that the formal legal stuff is over with, let me provide some straight talk in relation to this acquisition. cPanel has no intention of becoming a major player in the web hosting industry, rather we will harness data and analytics from a small web hosting company in hopes of making our product better. This project was started 12-18 months ago and getting this directly from our customers was very difficult.

In the end we chose to acquire a small hosting company that would allow us to remain connected, engaged, and have the ability to use data to help make our product better. Early on, we decided that the purchase of a hosting company might assume some risk or bad press, in relation to cPanel entering the game, but I would like to assure you these are not our intentions or goals.

Understanding our customers is really the game here by operating a small hosting company. It provides us a great deal of information that was either impossible or previously difficult to gather. We also decided that upon acquisition we would remain transparent, open and honest about this acquisition.

“We are very happy to see cPanel take a step to gather data directly from end users,” said Ben Welch-Bolen CEO of Site5.com. “We believe this will help them create a better product and develop a better understanding of the needs of hosting companies. ”

A special Q&A forum has been created to publicly address any questions you might have about this and at the same time we have answered what we believe are some of the top questions.

As a company we are very excited to use this new tool to make our product and overall experience better. We hope you feel the same!

Join the discussion on our forums:
go.cpanel.net/siteocity

Quick Facts

Which host did cPanel buy?
cPanel acquired Siteocity.com.

Why did cPanel buy this specific host?
We spent more than a year looking for the perfect company to purchase.  We had the following criteria:

  • 3+ years of ongoing service
  • 100 percent cPanel & WHM
  • No dedicated or VPS plans
  • Around 1,000 customers

Why did cPanel buy a small hosting company?
cPanel acquired a small web hosting company for user experience testing and “real world testing of installation, configuration compatibility and reliability” with live accounts. One of the primary challenges we have is implementation of new features without real world testing, trials and feedback from end users, server administrators, and resellers.

One of the longer terms goals cPanel has been engaged in is ways to make our software more usable. The original goal started with trying to gain insight from our customers and their customers. This was a difficult process as hosting companies have their own set of goals and operations to run.

In the end we wanted to be able to gather deeper analytics into the utilization of our software, provide a model shared hosting company for others to use as an example, and have direct access to data that can make our product better.

Does cPanel have plans to buy any other hosts?
No, our primary focus is developing software that allows hosting providers to grow and achieve success. This will remain the primary focus.

Is the goal of purchasing this host to compete in the hosting market?
Definitely not!  We are not operating Siteocity.com to compete with our customers. Our goal and mission is entirely focused on user testing.  We will maintain no more than 1,000 hosting accounts on our infrastructure.

In fact, the hosting company we run is operating at a net loss for us. If we continued down the path using the same model utilized for this acquisition, it would not help the financial health of cPanel.

How will Siteocity.com help cPanel’s partners & customers?
There are numerous ways this will help our customers:

  • Have access to internal analytics on the features customer use.
  • Remain engaged with the hosting community by understanding how they use cPanel & WHM.
  • Test and gather feedback on integrated 3rd party add-ons.
  • Create a model of an ideal web hosting company that can be used as an example for others success.
  • Real world testing of installation, configuration compatibility and reliability with live accounts.
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