HOSTSEARCH: Mr. Richfield - thank you for speaking to us. First of all, please tell us a little about Easy CGI and your role within the organization.
DAN RICHFIELD: Easy CGI is a leading Web Hosting Provider, offering Windows Hosting services in both shared and VPS environments. My role as CEO makes me heavily involved in almost every facet of the business. In addition to my everyday management duties, I act as the lead architect of all software and systems, including our web services, and Hosting Control Panel.
HOSTSEARCH: What's the history behind the company? How did it come about and what was the inspiration behind it?
DAN RICHFIELD: Easy CGI grew out of a regional ISP named SpyralNet, that was started in 1996. Over time, we found a greater customer need for quality Web Hosting services, and by 1999, Hosting had become our sole focus. We are proud to say that the majority of our Web Hosting clients from those early days are still with us as customers, some for longer than 10 years.
HOSTSEARCH: So, you have been 10 years in an industry where the bulk of providers just don't cut it. If there is a single factor that you can attribute to Easy CGI's success, what would it be?
DAN RICHFIELD: Our ability to adapt in a changing marketplace has allowed us to succeed where others have failed. We are very aware of the evolving needs of our customer base and strive to exceed their expectations whenever possible.
HOSTSEARCH: How did you decide on your current product range?
DAN RICHFIELD: Our core focus up until now has always been shared hosting, and over time we have continuous added features and services to our shared hosting plans to improve this product. In early 2006 we started to see an increased need for low cost private/dedicated server solutions. On July 1st, we finished our development and testing, and have successfully deployed VPS Servers (Virtual Private Server) as a new service. The VPS product line offers a perfect option for customers who have outgrown a shared hosting environment, but don't have the need for a dedicated single server solution. In only 15 days of offering this new service, we have already seen explosive growth.
HOSTSEARCH: Not so long ago VPS and dedicated offerings were not accessible to 'the man in street' as it were - someone had to know what they were looking for. Now, for people in or around the industry they appear quite commonplace... but exactly what sort of impact are they making? Is shared hosting ever in danger of losing its market share to VPS and dedicated?
DAN RICHFIELD: VPS and dedicated services will never take over the market share of shared hosting, but they will definitely give it a run for its money. Most websites on the Internet will continue to be a perfect fit for a shared hosting product. As the customer base on the Internet as a whole matures, however, they will find that more advanced services such as VPS and Dedicated services will better fit there needs in many situations.
HOSTSEARCH: Your current offerings include ASP.NET 2.0 and the .NET 2.0 Framework. Without giving too much away, what direction will Easy CGI's product suite go in the future? What will be on offer in the short-term future that you aren't offering today?
DAN RICHFIELD: We are eagerly awaiting the next release of the next Windows server and Windows Web server (IIS) version. These technologies will greatly improve Web services functionality as well as allowing for modular expansion of Web hosting services. In the short term, we will continue to improve our existing services on a set schedule.
HOSTSEARCH: And what about the long-term future? What direction do you think web hosting is going in? What would expect to be offering your customers in say ten years time?
DAN RICHFIELD: I honestly believe that projections and predictions outside of a 2 to 3 year timeframe become impossible to make, especially when detailing with technology.
HOSTSEARCH: What inspires you the most about the web hosting industry? What, if anything, would you change about it if you could?
DAN RICHFIELD: I've always been impressed by the virtual nature of the Web hosting industry. The ability and ease for any single person to provide these services fosters a greater level of competition and innovation than you can find just about anywhere.
HOSTSEARCH: If you were talking to somebody thinking of going into web hosting, what would be your advice? What would be your '5 golden rules'?
DAN RICHFIELD: Customer Service. Customer Service. Customer. Service. Customer Service. Customer Service.