TL; DR: Marc van de Geijn started hosting as a hobby in 2003, but then he turned it into a career by launching bHosted. Now, the hosting company differentiates itself by offering packages to clients who want to run their own sites but still have someone to call when they run into trouble. And bHosted’s independence from larger companies also gives it the freedom to adapt its packages and support to better address customer concerns.
In 2003, Marc van de Geijn started a hosting service as a side project. He enjoyed that he could offer hosting packages and domain registration that clients could mostly operate on their own. It was also one of the most affordable options available in the Netherlands at the time.
Initially, Marc’s day job kept him from pursuing his hosting passion full time. But one day, he decided to devote his time to his company — bHosted.
And, even though the business became his sole source of income, he said he still wanted to keep the same core mission. That included offering mostly do-it-yourself hosting and domain registration at one of the most reasonable price points in the country.
“I wanted to let customers do almost everything themselves, but if they didn’t know how to do something, they could send us an email or call us,” Marc said.
Over the next 17 years, bHosted has expanded to offer that same level of service to customers worldwide. The company has attracted more than 7,000 clients who have registered domains — including .nl, .be, .eu, and .com — and use its virtual server or colocation packages.
bHosted continues to focus on robust customer service and affordable packages. Even as other larger hosting companies limit their relationships with clients, bHosted remains faithful to its founding mission by continuing to offer exceptional client support.
“Our basic focus on customer support stays true, even though other providers started to close their support by phone,” Marc said.
Clients also appreciate the simplicity of the packages and services they can operate themselves. And bHosted’s straightforward control panel allows them to understand each component intuitively.
Independent Packages Not Dictated by Large Providers
Many independent hosting companies are eventually acquired by larger firms that drive up prices and limit options.
bHosted has resisted those changes, remaining independent from both larger companies and investors. That autonomy allows it to gear packages to clients, instead of maneuvering to drop prices or cut services.
And the company has always sought to shift practices to meet client needs. Before 2017, bHosted didn’t have a standard control panel. Instead, it used separate servers controlled from a primary server.
Some clients weren’t happy with that option, so bHosted migrated its customers to a new hardware and software configuration that leverages Cloudlinux and DirectAdmin.
“We had to migrate each client manually. The whole project took more than a year to finish, but after that, we started growing again, and customers were happy again because of the speed of their websites and the new features we could offer,” Marc said.
Hosting packages start at 1 GB of web space per year, with 20 GB of data per month, 200 mailboxes, and automatic backup. The largest package offered is 50 GB of web space with 640 GB of data per month and 10,000 mailboxes.
Whether clients choose the company’s smallest or largest package, they’ll also receive access to Installatron, which offers simple installation of WordPress, Joomla, and other scripts. Additionally, some packages include SSL certificates.
bHosted also offers an email-only package, so a company can have unified email addresses and a registered domain name without needing to operate a website. The base package gives customers 500 MB of space for mailboxes and 100 email addresses. If clients need more than that, they can scale their packages easily.
A Level of Customer Service that Other Companies Can’t Match
Large hosting companies may offer clients cut-rate prices, but that doesn’t mean that they’re saving money. If hosting firms don’t have effective customer service to solve problems, then clients may lose both time and money in the long run.
Marc said he thinks the bHosted help desk is his company’s greatest asset. That’s because if clients can have their concerns addressed efficiently, they can get back to work.
“Unfortunately, clients sometimes find out the hard way about other companies’ help desks when they need them. They might not get an answer or discover they can’t call them,” Marc said.
Many customers who once used other hosting companies have turned to bHosted after a frustrating experience. That’s why bHosted’s help desk is easy to reach, and clients can contact it through email, Facebook messenger, Twitter, WhatsApp, and, of course, by phone.
Those options mean that clients can contact the help desk quickly to resolve their issues. The bHosted team can even take over their computer and solve the problem using TeamViewer.
“Our greatest strength is to save hours, and therefore dollars, when clients have an issue,” Marc tells us.
And the company is always on the lookout for solutions that add value for clients. For example, bHosted noticed that as WordPress has become more popular clients have started installing more plug-ins. That slows down their WordPress sites, but they often don’t understand why.
“We are in the process of improving our shared web hosting settings and are already offering Redis caching. At the moment, we are looking into offering a CDN to improve more demanding websites even more,” Marc said.
Implementing Customized Solutions to Customer Problems
bHosted’s value proposition of affordable packages, user control, and customer support appeals to many clients around the world. That is why customers offer such positive feedback in online reviews.
One bHosted customer wrote:
“As a simple WordPress website owner, you just want to put your content on your site. Everything else doesn’t matter. I have no idea what PHP is and whether I can use one email plug-in and not the other. I panic if the website is suddenly gone and call the help desk. They give me a quick answer, personally, by telephone. You can only find that here, at bHosted.nl.”
Another customer echoed that sentiment and singled out the bHosted help desk:
“I called the help desk with high blood pressure and was put at ease fairly quickly. I had to change something in the settings. I had no idea what he was talking about. So, he took over my computer and modified the settings. After that, the email worked as usual. I only have praise for this customer-friendly help that guided me patiently.”
bHosted has remained relevant in the ever-crowded hosting space because it listens to its clients. The company’s proactive attitude has added value. And bHosted is currently planning to switch to the new version of CloudLinux.
“The new features look promising, and we are looking forward to offering those features to our customers,” Marc said. “We are a small team compared to most other companies. We are sitting in one room and hear a lot of what everybody is working on. So, if a customer calls back, we all know about the issue and can almost always help them right away.”