Recent patent filings appear to cover aspects of GoDaddy’s Hosting Connection service.
A series of four related patent applications filed by GoDaddy and published by the USPTO yesterday appear to cover GoDaddy’s “Hosting Connection” service that lets customers purchase add-on applications for their web hosting accounts. The patents were filed in February 2007.
The patent applications, including “Web hosting community”, “Community web site for creating and maintaining a web hosting community”, “Partner web site to assist in offering applications to a web hosting community”, and “Certification process for applications entering a Web Hosting Community”, describe a system that lets web hosting application companies offer their software through a community web site. These applications are certified by the web hosting provider (such as GoDaddy) to work with its hosting services (think Salesforce Apps). Customers can read about the applications, including through community forums and reviews, and then purchase and immediately install them into their web hosting accounts.
GoDaddy’s Hosting Connection appears to offer many of these features, including reviews and ratings on popular web applications.
Think of this system as Fantastico on steroids. Fantastico is a system offered by many web hosts that includes open source applications, such as WordPress, than can be installed on your web hosting service with one click. Fantastico automatically creates databases, installs software, and adjusts permissions as necessary without user interaction.
GoDaddy is well positioned to make a community like this work since it is the largest shared web hosting provider in the United States.