TL; DR: For nearly two decades, Cirrus Tech has been a leader in the Canadian technology space, helping businesses of all sizes find success online through an array of hosting solutions. Today, the company’s Toronto-based servers deliver scalable, high-performing IT infrastructure that powers more than 100,000 domains for organizations worldwide. We recently caught up with Mehdi Salek, Cirrus Tech’s Director of Sales, who filled us in on the company’s latest offerings, which include a feature-rich WordPress plan built with the security of the modern enterprise in mind.
“The main factor was to come up with a truly Canadian hosting company,” said Mehdi Salek, speaking of the Founders’ early vision for Cirrus Tech.
As Director of Sales for the company, Mahdi told us Cirrus Tech entered the market in 1999 with the goal of creating a web hosting company that would make users feel at home.
By planting its datacenters firmly in Toronto, Cirrus Tech began nurturing a connection with the community while satisfying a growing consumer desire to support local businesses.
The strategy proved effective in more ways than one. For Canadian businesses and those just across the border, close geographical location meant lower latency and improved performance. And, as businesses worldwide became increasingly concerned with US surveillance laws, the security of Canada’s privacy regulations attracted customers in droves.
This made Cirrus Tech one of Canada’s largest web hosting companies, supporting a broad share of the market through Cirrus Hosting, which supplies small- and enterprise-level businesses; and HostMDS, which was acquired in 2016 to focus on the mass market. The idea, Mehdi said, was “to draw a distinction between two brands and at the same time offer quality solutions catered toward different audiences.”
The company’s entire infrastructure remains rooted in Toronto, offering local and international businesses a wide range of web services. Cirrus Tech’s SSD-based, managed WordPress is the latest in that catalog, furthering a commitment to improving the customer experience through innovation. The Canada-based company is pulling out all the stops to help businesses flourish — now delivering 24/7 support and security through automatic WordPress updates, SSL certificates, and built-in email filtering.
Canada-Based Hosting That Ensures Compliance With Privacy Regs
Cirrus Tech chose to build its datacenters in Toronto in part because the city represents one of the fastest growing IT markets in North America. The company’s primary facility is based downtown, and two others are located in the central and northern parts of the city. The short commute times and convenient locations enable Cirrus to attract a skilled pool of talent in the area.
Mehdi said Cirrus Tech takes into account “business continuity and disaster recovery considerations” when selecting datacenter locations. But the company must remain in Canada to ensure it meets local privacy regulations. The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), established in 2011 governs data privacy for Canada’s private sector, specifically protecting information owned by individuals and companies.
Canadian laws also mandate where federal government institutions may host their data.
“For instance, the hospitals and some of the universities are required by law for the data to stay in Canada,” Mehdi said.
According to Mehdi, those institutions and businesses worldwide find assurance in Cirrus Tech’s adherence to industry security standards as well as Canada’s privacy regulations. The company’s new WordPress Hosting plans will follow the same security standards.
“WordPress is becoming one of the fastest growing and most popular website publishing tools,” Mehdi said.
With that in mind, Cirrus sought to leverage its existing expertise to help clients manage the software through SSD-based, managed WordPress hosting plans.
The new packages help users harness the power of the open-source software and its various themes and plugins, automatic backups, security updates, free migration, and a free domain with a yearly subscription — all with 24/7 support and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Improve WordPress Security With SpamExperts® and Let’s Encrypt®
Mehdi told us Cirrus developed its new WordPress offering around the user experience.
“We talked to different users and web designers, and we attended different seminars and meetups to identify what our clients were looking for,” he said.
Based on feedback, the company zeroed in on concerns regarding backups and security. Cirrus includes daily backups and the option to restore files, which, according to Mehdi, allows customers to essentially manage and restore files themselves with little effort.
Adding to the already robust security of the package, Cirrus partnered with SpamExperts® to filter out hazardous and unsolicited email.
“Using its tools and solutions, we managed to reduce the spam clients were getting by 95%,” Mehdi said.
And, following Google’s push to secure sites through encryption, Cirrus partnered with Let’s Encrypt to offer free SSL certificates. Mehdi told us the email filtering and SSL services are both included on all WordPress hosting plans at no additional cost.
An Intuitive System with 24/7 Support Built Around Customer Need
“The most important thing for us is customer experience and ease of use,” Mehdi said.
For many clients, that means easily navigating the system to efficiently manage their sites. And, when questions arise, Cirrus Tech’s phone, email, and ticketing support system guarantees a response in less than two hours.
Users can resolve many frequently asked questions by using the company’s effective knowledgebase, which is updated regularly to help clients troubleshoot.
In addition, Cirrus makes a trouble ticketing system available to customers for fast assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. According to Mehdi, the ticketing system was fine-tuned over the years to provide the most efficient support possible.
The system’s user interaction is also recorded so the company can make continual improvements.
“Feedback about user experience and the changes [customers] would like to see is invaluable,” Mehdi said.
Committed to Community Engagement and Helping Businesses Succeed
Cirrus Tech takes seriously its responsibility to serve the community that helped make it one of Canada’s largest web hosting companies.
“We are trying to engage with the community on different levels,” Mehdi said. “Every given week there is a team member of ours attending a meeting, seminar, or event.”
Mehdi himself attends meetings devoted to community outreach at least once a month.
“There are communities here helping small businesses, so we engage with them, provide our services, and — in some cases — offer free hosting solutions for startup companies,” he said.
The company also works to further education in the IT world. Mehdi noted Cirrus aims to engage with educational institutions and universities to encourage students to explore new innovations in information technology.
These efforts may very well come full circle, as those students may end up working for Cirrus one day and help advance the company through innovation. For Mehdi, that’s an exhilarating prospect.
“What excites me most is basically the introduction of different technologies and trying to evolve with the market,” he said.