The following inteview was lead my Michael Lederstatter from Buy-Hosting.net with HostGator's Sean Valant.
What is your name and what's your job at HostGator?
My name is Sean Valant, I oversee the social media and organic content aspects of HostGator.
Please tell me about HostGator. Who is this alligator, what does it eat and what does it know about web hosting?
HostGator was founded in 2002, and has since grown into a world-leading provider of web hosting and related services. The gator of which you speak is our mascot, Snappy. Snappy metaphorically eats up the competition, but in reality has quite refined tastes, moreso than any average gator normally would. He's a fine dining type of gator.
Q: What's your market approach and in which way are you trying to set apart from the competition? Except from eating them up... ;-)
A: One way in which we set ourselves apart is our support, in that we don't have a "scope of support" and instead do our best to support everything, or as we would phrase it: "all the things." If you are a customer of ours and you have an issue related to your hosting or website, then we feel it's simply our duty to provide you with a solution.
Of course sometimes things are simply beyond our ability to resolve, generally because it involves a third party, but we can show you the issue and inform you of what you need to present to whom in order to reach that proper resolution.
We never shrug off any issue, never ignore any email or message, and never leave anyone hanging out to dry (so to speak). As for our market approach, having been founded by a college student ourselves, we always want to ensure those young minds with fresh ideas have an easily accessible means of getting their ideas online; from the fundamental hosting aspect to the ancillary products and services, we never forget our roots and want to ensure that next generation of entrepreneurs are able to exceed and succeed.
HostGator Quick Facts
Offices: Houston, TX | Austin, TX
Employees: Hundreds! Customers: World-Wide base of shared, reseller, vps, and dedicated customers. Customers range from technology veterans to people starting their first web site.
Who is your customer? Tell me something about user personas and how you try to make these people happy.
Being that web hosting is something applicable to virtually anyone, our customers literally run the gamut from amateur bloggers and those trying their hand at learning web design up to Fortune 500 companies.
With such a diverse group of people, really the only way to proceed is to do the best possible job with any task put before us; in other words we really don't aim to exceed at one aspect of our business to the detriment of the other aspects, it's a moment-by-moment desire to exceed the expectations of our customers in every way possible.
Where is the web hosting industry heading in your opinion? And what are you guys at HostGator doing about it?
Excellent question. There's always speculation as to whether the future is cloud-based or otherwise of a de-centralized nature of some sort. Likely when the dust settles, we will see a prevalence of hosting whereby the server from which a website loads would be determined primarily geographically in order to give the quickest load times throughout the globe for everyone... so someone in Australia would be viewing a website served from an Australian server and someone in North America would be viewing the same website viewed from a server within North America.
Many larger websites already function in this type of manner, but as time goes on it will become more cost-effective for larger groups of people to utilize multiple servers in multiple geographic regions in this manner. Overall, we keep an eye on trends and potentialities, but we like to stay our course in order to ensure the most stable hosting environment possible; we certainly aren't a bandwagon or flavor-of-the-week type of company.
Please tell me something about your infrastructure. What is special about it?
We utilize multiple data centers in multiple regions, but most recently we've re-established ourselves in a data center back in our home state of Texas. This new DC was designed to our specifications and it's something we're truly proud of at the moment.
What will you alligators do in 10 years from now? Any future goals or visions?
The domain HostGator.com was registered in October of 2002, so we're coming up on our 12th birthday.. to speculate into our early-20's while also knowing how far we've come in the past decade almost feels overwhelming. We know that the future resides in the hands and minds of entrepreneurs and we will craft our service to best ensure those future business owners will have the proper tools to find their online audience in the most practical way possible.
Maybe in 10 years the Internet will be holographically three-dimensional with tactile possibilities allowing us to physically fist-bump our friends on the other side of the globe. As for our company, we are in this for the long haul and will certainly adapt our processes and services appropriately as we work towards that three-dimensional, holographic Internet.
Thank you very much for these insights, Sean. We are looking forward to see HostGator grow!
Check out this extremely funny 30 seconds video from HostGator: