Web Host Interview with HostMetro Manager, Kyle Dolan

The world of hosting is continually evolving with players changing positions and new ones entering the market – such is the case with HostMetro, an Illinois-based hosting company established in mid 2012. In case you are not aware, I have been tracking and testing HostMetro for couple of months; a detail Host Metro review was published here in August 2014. This Q&A is a followup for those who have this web host in their shortlist or merely looking for a budget hosting option.

Without further delay, let’s delve into the interview.

Introduction

Hello Kyle. Thanks a lot for being with us today. Could you share a few words about yourself and your role at HostMetro?

Any time, Jerry! I’ve been in the web hosting industry in some form or another for almost 10 years now. I started off as a level 1 support rep and worked my way up to senior admin, then transitioned into a marketing role. Now, I’m the affiliate and marketing manager for HostMetro.com. Having spent so many years in various roles I have a unique understanding of most every aspect of the industry.

HostMetro is a relative new company. What can we know more about the company? Can we know more about its founder and perhaps some background story?

The owner and I met at affiliate summit a few years back, and have kept in touch ever since. We both shared very similar outlooks on the hosting industry, especially the trends that we didn’t like.

We decided to start HostMetro.com as a different type of web hosting company, mainly one that stays true to our customers.

HostMetro Hosting Services

Please give us an overview on HostMetro hosting services in web hosting.

We are exclusively a linux shared hosting company and offer two hosting packages. Our Mega Max plan is perfect for beginners as well as advanced users who need hosting for any type of website, whether it be informational, a blog, or anything else.

Our Business Max plan is for customers who are looking to host an online storefront, or any type of e-commerce website. It includes everything needed to accept secure payments through the website itself, including SSL, dedicated IP, as well as several SEO benefits.

Both hosting plans offer the same core features, including Max Hosting Space and Bandwidth, a full 30 day money back guarantee, 24/7 support, 99.9% uptime, and more.

HostMetro Hosting Packages

HostMetro Hosting Packages

I understand that HostMetro offers “Renewal Price Locked Guarantee” to all customers – which I think is astonishing. Can you please elaborate how this policy works?

This is the feature we offer that I am most proud of, and is one of the trends I mentioned earlier that we didn’t much care for. Many popular hosting companies today offer low introductory rates, but their renewal rates are very high, approaching the costs of some VPS options.

Our price lock guarantee is simple. We will never raise the renewal rate for your web hosting. The price you sign up for is the price for your renewal. The renewal price won’t include any coupon you may have used at the time of sign up, though.

So, for example, if a customer signs up for 3 years of hosting at $2.45/month, but uses the 25% off coupon found on your website, the renewal rate would be $2.45/month*.

*Note: More on shared hosting pricing comparison at the end of this interview.

How do you handle sudden surge in users’ web traffics? What would happen to a HostMetro-hosted site when it hits “the viral jackpot”?

We do everything we can to make sure all of our customers websites run smoothly and efficiently. Having said that, all customers are on a shared hosting environment which does have its limitations. If a customer’s traffic suddenly spikes we will do whatever we can to make sure our servers can accommodate that spike in traffic while also ensuring our other customers accounts aren’t affected.

If there is a case where a single website is simply getting too much traffic we will attempt to contact the customer letting them know that their account is using a high level of server resources and try to figure out what we can do to mitigate that while ensuring that all websites stay up.

In the case that the customer can not be contacted and the account in question is causing problems for our other customers we will temporarily suspend the account. Like I said earlier, shared hosting does have its limitations, and we unfortunately can’t run the risk of having one account potentially shut down other accounts on the server.

Businesses & Future Plans

In your opinion – How will growth in demand for cloud computing and virtualization compare to traditional hosting solutions?

I think there will always be a need for more traditional hosting solutions, if for no other reason than for security. While cloud computing is a great technology, there are still so many security issues that need to be worked out before it becomes more than just a hosting buzzword. The recent iCloud highlights that issue.

Having said that, we ourselves implement certain cloud technologies on our servers because they do offer for a much more stable and resource friendly environment. CloudLinux, for example, partitions all the shared hosting accounts but allows them to use the same resources freely. This partitioning makes the accounts themselves more secure, but their use of resources is more efficient.

Eventually, as cloud computing becomes more secure, I think we will see a gradual shift to cloud hosting becoming much more popular.

It feels like we just stepped into year 2014 but it is September already. How is HostMetro doing in business this year? Will there be any major changes in HostMetro’s services in coming 12 months?

Time really does fly, that’s for sure. Our business is doing very well and we are doing our best to ensure we continue our stable growth. We don’t want to spread ourselves too thin or grow so quickly that we can’t support our customers adequately, which is another thing we notice other hosting companies trying to do. What good is getting all these customers if you can’t support them?

While we don’t have any major changes coming in the near future, we are always working on ways of making our hosting better, whether it can be seen by the customer or not. We want to make sure we have a long lasting relationship with every customer we have and that starts with giving them the best service possible. As technology changes we have to change too to ensure that stays the case.

That’s all for my questions. Anything you would like to add?

Nothing to add, really, other than I appreciate your time, and that if anyone has any questions about our company or hosting in general they can feel free to contact us toll free at 800-485-9730 or sales@HostMetro.com.

Thanks for reading!

Learn More

HostMetro Office: 415 W. Golf Rd. Suite 5 Arlington Heights, IL 60005. You can get in touch with HostMetro via: Twitter, FaceBook, and email.

HostMetro’s Renewal Price Lock Guarantee

What I like the most about Hostmetro – Renewal Price Locked Guarantee

Most other budget hosting organizations offer new subscribers with fantastically low rates – however, when subscribers need to renew their hosting contract, they are forced to do so at a much higher rate. Not at HostMetro – the web host subscribers get to renew at their same low introductory rate forever. See table below for long term (5 years) hosting price comparison.

HostMetroWebHostingHubHostgatorBlueHostGreenGeeks
Signup Price (per month)*$3.45$3.99$6.26$4.95$5.90
Renewal Price (per month)$3.45$8.99$8.95$6.99$6.95
5-Year Hosting Cost(Signup for 2 years + renewal for 3 years)$3.45 x 60mo=$207($3.99 x 12mo) + ($8.99 x 48mo)=
$479.4
($6.26 x 24mo) + ($8.95 x 36mo)=
$472.44
($4.95 x 24mo) + ($6.99 x 36mo)=
$370.40
($5.90 x 24mo) + ($6.95 x 36mo)=
$391.80
* All hosting price based on 2-year contract (via WHSR’s exclusive deals) on first signup except for WebHostingHub (option N/A).