TL; DR: Aspiration Hosting is a performance hosting provider that specializes in open-source ecommerce and site-building tools, especially Magento and WordPress. The company has established itself as a trusted Magento host, and it also has expertise in applications including PHP, Joomla, and Drupal. Its solutions come with reliable, always-available customer support, so clients get help when they need it. And that support extends to helping clients build websites from scratch at no extra cost.
Consumers spent more than $791 billion on ecommerce websites in the U.S. in 2020. That’s up 32.4% from 2019 and accounts for 14% of all retail sales in the country. The COVID-19 pandemic sped up the shift toward digital storefronts, but the retail market has been moving online for years.
Today, SMBs have access to many website-building options, and Magento offers an all-in-one ecommerce platform that makes setting up a site and selling products easy. Magento launched its first beta in August 2007. Since then, entrepreneurs and businesses have used it to build more than 100,000 online stores.
Aspiration Hosting saw Magento’s potential early on. That’s why it decided to focus on hosting Magento sites soon after it started in 2008.
“Before the end of 2008, we decided to focus on performance-based Magento hosting,” said Les Barton, Vice President at Aspiration Hosting. “We got into it just before Magento started to become popular. It became our niche, and everyone on our staff, from billing to engineering, had to learn the intricacies of Magento.”
About 12% of ecommerce websites use Magento, and discerning businesses desire a hosting platform that can solve their unique needs. Aspiration Hosting specializes in Magento, and has plenty of experience with the most popular website builder on the market, WordPress.
WordPress is the largest player in the site-building industry, commanding 40% of the market in 2020. And it doesn’t just serve small websites, as 38% of the 10,000 most trafficked websites rely on WordPress.
Because of the dominance of WordPress and Magento in their market sectors, Aspiration Hosting helps many businesses who rely on one of those applications.
“We are experts in hosting for just about anything based on that start. Our main client base is still a mix of Magento, with WordPress taking the second spot,” Les said.
Aspiration Hosting also offers solutions for Drupal, Joomla, and WooCommerce. The host aims to provide solutions and support that can take entrepreneurs from an idea to a fully functional, well-maintained ecommerce website.
Staying Ahead of the Curve with Cloud Hosting Solutions
The digital landscape is known for its frequent changes, and what worked as recently as 2016 may no longer be viable in 2021. Companies that have survived more than a decade in the online space understand that staying in business requires a quick response to shifting market forces.
One significant change in the hosting world is that the most prominent players are carving out larger shares. AWS, Azure, Google, and Alibaba have slowly taken over more than 60% of the cloud hosting market, which has profoundly changed the environment.
“It’s going to sound odd, but buzzwords are the biggest challenge to stay ahead of. Especially once AWS, Azure, and Google started offering cloud-based hosting,” Les said. “Before that, it was more of a buzzword that everyone used. In the hosting industry, one company may coin a certain term for a service everyone offers; then you get them coming to you asking for this thing you’ve never heard of.”
When large companies began offering cloud hosting, every hosting provider had to offer some version of that product. And even though cloud hosting has been around for a long time, those hosting companies created some uniformity in what service offerings customers are now expecting.
Many hosting providers have also been scrambling to respond to recent limits on the volume of cPanel clients on a single server.
“Outside of terminology, the most significant change in recent times would be cPanel/WHM changing its licensing. A lot of our competitors had to completely reorganize their offerings, and it caused us to do a lot of math in a hurry,” Les said. “It turned out we didn’t have to change anything because we never put too many clients on one server.”
Dedicated Developers Work With Customers as Partners
One thing the big four hosting companies don’t provide is dedicated support from ideation through fulfillment. Aspiration Hosting distinguishes itself by partnering with clients to develop the right web solutions.
“We have a team of two Magento, WordPress, and PHP web developers on staff that we provide as a complimentary service for most hosting plans,” Les said. “Our developers can assist with programming, theme, or module installs for free. It’s a huge selling point, and I love sharing it.”
Though the largest hosting providers can often compete with low prices, they don’t have the capacity to build unique client-specific solutions — especially not for free.
Many SMBs feel compelled to turn to public infrastructure because, on the surface, it appears to be the most cost-effective. However, companies with industry-specific needs may not benefit from a one-size-fits-all offering that adds unnecessary components and isn’t customizable.
Aspiration Hosting works with customers from idea to finished project and ensures that solutions fit their needs while saving them time and money.
“A good portion of our clients are developers who are hosting their own clients with us,” Les said. “We are fully managed and go as far as helping with web development at no extra cost to our clients.”
Larger providers don’t have the resources to help customers on a granular level. At Aspiration Hosting, it is a service that’s included in every package.
Product Development Journeys Begin With Feedback
The clearest predictor of success for almost any company is to look at customer satisfaction. Companies that listen to their clients typically renew contracts and expand. Aspiration Hosting understands that dynamic and builds all of its product offerings by focusing on clients.
“I’d say 90% of any new offerings or changes to our platform are based on customer feedback. If one person mentions something, we take a look,” Les said. “If two people mention it, we start figuring out what we can do about it.”
Customers have the final say on everything from products and pricing to service and offerings. Aspiration Hosting’s customer base has grown, so the company now sees a broader base of needs and responds quickly.
“Trends lead us on how we handle pricing and resources,” Les said. “As we own all our own hardware and run a private cloud, we can offer better performance than most competitors at a lower rate. We try to make it as fair as possible.”