FindMyHost Interviews Hosting Veteran GlowHost.com
What is your name and position with GlowHost?
My name is Matt Lundstrom and I am the President and Founder of GlowHost.com, Inc
Please tell us the year established and brief history of GlowHost?
GlowHost was founded in 2002 in my living room which was shared with 2 other roommates in the ski town of Crested Butte, Colorado. Since that time we have grown considerably from a small reseller that was barely known, to one of the top hosting brands in the industry. Today we have a call center in Ohio, offices in South Florida and our servers are primarily located in Atlanta and Dallas. Our plans moving forward include expansion into European markets.
What do you offer your customers that are unique to your company?
I”d like to say everything is unique to our company. However, top quality support is one of our primary focuses at GlowHost, in fact, it is why I started the company. I was tired of dealing with web hosts who could not be bothered to return emails, or when they did, it took days and the answers were irrelevant to my questions. We train our team members every day and much of the training never stops. We are one of the oldest web hosts around, and one of the first to adopt true cloud and virtualization technology which has filled a service gap between shared and dedicated hosting services. Another unique point is we offer a 91 day money back guarantee which is one of the longest if not the longest in the industry today.
What is the most challenging aspect to offering Web Hosting?
The most challenging thing is trying to make sure every single customer is satisfied with the services that GlowHost provides. It is a constant process between developing systems to make their jobs easier, our service more usable and efficient, and of course the human element which entails working with our customers on a personal basis for each of their individual needs. Every customer and web site has unique needs and accommodating everyone is something that is not only challenging, but rewarding for us at the same time.
What is it that makes GlowHost a competitive company in the Web Hosting market?
The main thing is price versus support services. In other words, we offer an extremely competitive price point inline with some of the budget hosting providers, at the same time we deliver much higher service levels in regards to both uptime and quality of technical support which is provided. 80% of our staff are highly trained systems administrators and our customers deal directly with them, instead of low level customer service representatives which is typically how most hosting companies are set up. The remaining 20% are working in specialized tasks such as billing, sales and customer service.
What new features have GlowHost added for its customers in the past year?
In the past year we have had a lot of cool new things. For example we are now offering free SEO tools by Attracta to help our customers get guaranteed inclusion into the search engines and better rankings. We have an entirely new cloud hosting platform which allows us to provision virtual machines in less than 5 minutes. We rolled out a completely new web site which makes it easier for our customers to find the information and services that they need. We now offer TRUSTe privacy policies, PCI scanning from McAfee and free SSL certificates on certain packages. We”ve ramped up our reseller offering and now provide our resellers with video tutorials which they can brand with their company logo to display on their web site, and we also have created a functional web site template and billing system which means they can have a fully operational hosting company in a matter of days or hours depending on how quickly they work. We have added a lot more goodies over the year, like improved control panels and better social networking. We also started a Youtube channel which has lots of funny and creative videos which are simply for entertainment value for both the staff and customers alike.
What would you say is GlowHost’s #1 asset to its customer base?
Our customers are our number one asset. We understand that quality of service usually means happy customers, and happy customers can mean long-term customers who will stay with, and recommend GlowHost to their friends and family. Making those customers happy is a never-ending task that our staff is always trying to improve. We have systems admins online 24/7/365 including holidays with a full team of network engineers behind the scenes to ensure business continuity to our customers. Reliable servers and a great team here at GlowHost is the main factor in keeping our number one asset happy.
Where do you see GlowHost and the web hosting industry in three years?
Unless some underlying software or hardware technology revolutionizes the market in this time, I see GlowHost as doing the same thing we are doing today, only better. After 10 years of web hosting, I can see with each passing year how we have been able to make things more efficient, fun and usable for both our customers and our team. With each year our team grows stronger and better, and that means better systems and support for our customers.
Do you own your own datacenter?
Like many larger hosts we elect to lease our servers in existing, high performance datacenters. Currently we work with AtlantaNap / GNAX in Atlanta and CoreXchange in Dallas.
Do you offer 24/7 support?
GlowHost is always open, and we have people here 24/7/365 ready and able to answer any type of question from simple sales questions to complicated server or web site optimization issues.
What is your average turn-around time on a support ticket?
We have a 20 minute first response target. It is fairly unusual for the first response to take longer than 20 minutes, in fact, it is usually around 2 to 10 minutes unless it is a particularly busy day. It seems like when people get back from the weekend, they really are eager to talk to us. I guess they spend all that time brainstorming ideas and want to get started on implementing them right away when their work week begins. After the first response, the issue may be solved, or if it is a complicated issue, the “turn-around” might take several hours. It really depends on how fast the customer responds to us, and not the other way around because our follow-up responses also have a 20 minute target.
Do you charge your clients for support? If so, please explain.
Our technical support services are free in almost all cases. Like most hosts, we have what is called “Admin Time” or “Paid Support.” The vast majority of our customers never need this type of service. Its usually reserved for complicated dedicated or cloud setups, clustered setups, or something that requires some extremely unusual configuration or highly specialized application or specialized server to run on their hardware.
Do you offer a money back guarantee?
We offer several money back guarantees, right now we have 3 total money back guarantees which cover things like uptime, and hardware, and we also have our industry leading 91-Day “for any reason you want to cancel” guarantee. However we have another industry leading guarantee coming out before the end of this year. Stay tuned for details!
Thank you for your time and insight into GlowHost.