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Economic Impact of Open Source on Small Business: A Case Study by Mike Hendrickson, Tim O'Reilly, Roger Magoulas

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Chapter 3. Bluehost Customer Analysis

Web hosting firms typically provide a variety of services to their customers: one or more named domains, data storage and file transfer, email, and software for building a site. They may also offer ancillary services such as web design. Prices start as low as $4.95 a month.

EIG and its Bluehost subsidiary host over 7 million domains for more than 2 million customer accounts, most of them SMBs. For our analysis, Bluehost provided us with anonymized data from more than 1 million accounts, plus the results from a survey of approximately 4,000 customers.

Based on our Bluehost domain analysis, we see an average of about 2.5 domains per customer. Domains have been active for roughly 35 months at an average rate of $7.49 per month. Of the domains created, roughly 73% point to the registered name, 12% are redirected to a separate site, and 15% are parked.

More than 77% of the hosting plans have a relational database system installed (almost entirely MySQL), averaging roughly 3.8 databases (i.e., schemas) per system. Multiple databases on a system show companies engaging in, and capturing some form of customer interaction, whether a guest book, product list, product information, transactions or some other dynamically served/captured content.

About 32% of users have email addresses hosted, with an average of 7 mailboxes per user.

As far as web applications go, WordPress dominates in the Content Management category with a 55% share; the next closest is Joomla ...

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