Web Hosting Interview - Hostway Corporation August 2003

Web Hosting Interview - Hostway Corporation August 2003

John Lee - Co-Founder and Director of Marketing - Hostway.com

One of the key players in Hostway.com - John Lee - offers HostSearch's Jason Butler an insight into what it takes to keep the global giant at the head of the hosting pack.

  • JASON: Hi John, can you reveal a little about yourself and your day-to-day role with Hostway.com.
    JOHN: Morning Jason, good to talk with you. Yes sure, I'm John Lee, Director of Marketing and co-founder with CEO Lucas Roh, and two other University of Chicago alumni, of Hostway Corporation. Day-to-day, I spend my time making sure that we are effectively communicating what Hostway products and services are and how these products can help customers enhance their Web sites and hosting experience. Whether the communication vehicle is via our Web site, email or print and banner ads, we want people to associate Hostway with the easiest, most-flexible products and the best choice in the Web hosting industry.
  • JASON: Can you give us a brief historical run through of Hostway's development since establishment, and explain the role the company plays in the industry?
    JOHN: Sure, Hostway Corporation has been providing Web hosting services since 1996 and has been growing aggressively every year since we began. The company has grown globally in the past three years with offices in London, Seoul, Amsterdam, Vancouver and Sydney. We expect further international expansion in the coming year. Our global focus distinguishes us from our competition, showing we are one of the few companies in the Web hosting industry that is growing by leaps and bounds, while at the same time, appealing to a wide variety of customers from different parts of the world.

    As one of the largest pure-play Web hosting companies in the market, Hostway's role is to be the thought leader in the industry. We are creating new, comprehensive products and services for our customers, including tools to overcome any barriers that customers may face when purchasing Web hosting. We want to make a customer's Web hosting decision quick and simple, and always end with choosing Hostway.
  • JASON: So what makes your hosting plans unique to the industry?
    JOHN: Well we offer a range of Web hosting plans from shared hosting and ecommerce to dedicated servers, for any size or type of company. We always try to provide the most value for our services. The first top-tier hosting provider to break the $20/month barrier, our Gold Plan, at $13.95/month, represents our best value in basic shared hosting. The Gold Plan features 200 MB of disk space, 6GB of traffic, and free shared SSL. We also offer feature-rich, value-driven ecommerce plans in addition to dedicated server plans for customers that require additional features and customized functionality.

    Hostway stands ahead of the thousands of Web hosting companies out there because of our solid reputation as a stable and reliable hosting provider, that's in it for the long haul. Since we're profitable and growing, we have the means to invest in developing the resources to partner with our customers at the start of their online businesses and at every stage of their growth and development. We owe our success to this practice of offering the services and products our customers want, when they need them.
  • JASON: Talking of products, can you give us an insight into your new TrafficBooster package?
    JOHN: Our customers demand a lot and we're always trying to help them make their businesses more successful. One of the most important things to our customers is figuring out how to attract more traffic to their sites. We've come up with a great solution with TrafficBooster. The TrafficBooster package is perfect for customers who want the best bang for their marketing bucks. TrafficBooster bundles all the best marketing and traffic-driving tools into one complete marketing package that costs about 50% less than buying the services separately. It includes search engine optimization and Web analytics tools, sub-directory domains and domain aliases.
  • JASON: What do you see as Hostway's main strengths?
    JOHN: Hostway was one of the first companies committed to the best customer value even while investing in resources and technology and establishing ourselves as a leader in offering superior service.

    The three most important factors in providing excellent service are dedication, experience and technology. First, the whole organization should be organized around providing dedicated support to customers. Second, experience counts. The Hostway staff includes industry veterans, who are experts in Web hosting. We've also established a state-of-the-art training program Hostway University to reinforce team members formal training programs with real-life experience. Third, the technology has to be in place to maintain our high day-to-day support level. Hostway has invested millions of dollars in building a dedicated Web hosting Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system long before CRM was even an acronym. Our system allows us to quickly and accurately respond to customer support requests while maximizing operational efficiency.

    In addition to service and reliability, we are very focused on globalization. Most other hosting companies do not have the financial stability or expertise to enter into foreign markets. We see globalization as a stepping-stone for developing a truly successful company.
  • JASON: How do you manage such rapid growth, adapt to local cultures, etc?
    JOHN: We keep ourselves very levelheaded when we open new offices in other countries. Before going into a new region, we work very hard to research the local cultures and develop campaigns tailored specifically to the audience, but with the same overall themes as our global brand. We have a very diverse workforce and are used to dealing with different cultures and working styles at all of our locations.
  • JASON: Where do you see yourself, Hostway and the industry as a whole in five years time?
    JOHN: In the past year, we have seen many financially unstable companies fold. Companies that do not have the innovation, knowledge, or stability to compete in such a competitive industry are being eliminated. In the next few years, I expect this to continue happening, which ultimately will come down to "the survival of the fittest" rule. Companies really have to determine their value-add to the market, and if they do not have the answer, their time will soon be up. This market shakeout works well for Hostway because we expect to be one of the last providers left standing and will eventually accrue market share from the weaker, less able players.
  • JASON: What is the first web site you visit when you turn on your computer?
  • JASON: Thanks for your time John.

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