HOSTSEARCH: Alex - thanks for this interview... much appreciated. Why don't you kick off by telling us a bit about HostEasier and what you do for the company?
ALEX BAGINSKY: Thank you. HostEasier is quite a young hosting company, we have only been in the hosting business for 2 years, but we have managed to find our niche. I am responsible for managing the questions and issues raised between clients and support staff. I also lead advertising campaigns, keep an eye on sales, cancellations, I look after abuse reports - those sorts of things.
HOSTSEARCH: Have you been with the company from the start? What's the company's underlying philosophy? What are you trying to achieve?
ALEX BAGINSKY: I was one of the founders of Hosteasier Inc. and it has been encouraging to see how the company has improved month by month. Obviously, we would like HostEasier to become one of the largest hosting companies and we want to get there by giving each client a reliable, quality hosting service.
HOSTSEARCH: You are based in Chicago - is there any particular reason for that? Are there any particular advantages for a host based in Chicago?
ALEX BAGINSKY: No, there is no particular reason, except the founders of the company live in Chicago and our servers are located at the Equinix datacenter in Chicago.
HOSTSEARCH: Any plans for expansion? What direction will you be taking if you have - domestic expansion? International?
ALEX BAGINSKY: We plan to offer hosting on Windows-based servers - about 30% of hosting customers use Windows servers. We offer all kinds of hosting services - from small packages on a shared server, to dedicated and colo-hosting. Our clients can start off with a simple plan and upgrade as they grow. The hosting market in the US is a bit overcrowded and hosting companies compete with each other for every client. We try to attract new clients from outside the US. The Internet business is growing fast in Asia, and the Middle and Far East, and people refer to us more and more frequently from these regions.
HOSTSEARCH: I have seen your excellent website and it is clear you have a solid range of offerings. How does it work in web hosting? Does your VPS section work in isolation from your dedicated section and shared activity, or is it all hands on deck, with the same staff doing a bit of everything?
ALEX BAGINSKY: Our support desk is divided into departments (General, Billing, Sales, etc.) and each member of the team is responsible for a specific department. Support is also divided into 3 levels. Level 1 is live. This is mostly for presales questions or problems that must be fixed immediately... a server reboot, those sorts of issues. Level 2 is for our "General Department" - most tickets go there. If problems cannot be solved in the General Department, the ticket is moved to Level 3 - a department for our Linux gurus! These guys are able to fix everything!
HOSTSEARCH: How important is teamwork in a hosting environment? How does HostEasier forge its people into a team?
ALEX BAGINSKY: Teamwork is a key to success. It helps to organize the work process and saves time, which is money. Our Support members are located in different parts of the world, but that does not prevent us from spending time in group chats, exchanging ideas and even holding corporate meetings. A common cause unites people into teams.
HOSTSEARCH: If you take customer care out of the equation what is key to a web host's success?
ALEX BAGINSKY: If you take customer care and service quality out of the equation, I think nowadays correct affiliate programs and advertising campaigns are key to success.
HOSTSEARCH: Any advice to our visitors who are thinking of getting into web hosting?
ALEX BAGINSKY: Think twice before starting a hosting business. It will take most of your time and money to reach at least positive results. I do not scare easily, but it really is hard work!
HOSTSEARCH: With so much going on you are obviously very busy... What do you do to wind down?
ALEX BAGINSKY: Most of free time I try to spend with my family... my wife and son. Our company does not forget to arrange corporate parties, which help us to relax.