TL; DR: Just over a decade ago, HostPapa was founded as a solution for small- and medium-sized businesses to build online presence through turnkey, scalable web solutions. More than 500,000 SMBs and entrepreneurs have since turned to the company for its top-tier hosting, domain registration, intuitive site builders, and hyper-focused support network. But these aren’t the only features attracting customers. HostPapa’s commitment to running on 100% renewable energy sources provides a strong appeal for environmentally conscious organizations looking to cut waste, save time, and give back to their communities while turning profits in the online marketplace.
Running large datacenters has historically come with the caveat of high operational costs and large carbon footprints. Servers must be kept running constantly to guarantee the high uptime rates today’s organizations need. Thus, a large amount of energy is used to power customers’ web apps — and, ecologically speaking, this can add up over time. In fact, the power consumed by datacenters in 2014 accounted for 2% of the total power consumption in the US, equivalent to what it takes to power 6.4 million homes.
As a result, eco-friendly hosting is gaining in popularity with modern, environmentally conscious businesses. When selecting a host, an increasing number of organizations are looking for reliability, stellar customer support, and — now more than ever — a provider that fits with their corporate social responsibility initiatives. And, for the last decade, HostPapa has been delivering all three.
As one of the 500,000 small- and medium-sized businesses that turn to HostPapa, Highway 24 Vet Clinic in Waterloo, Ontario, was attracted to the host because of its ease of use and ethical operational practices.
“We have registered and host several sites with HostPapa for ourselves and our customers,” said Mary Gombas, the clinic’s Spokesperson. “One reason we chose HostPapa was for the green hosting, as we value our environment and want to do our part while delivering technologies and services. The setup is quick and easy, and questions are answered very promptly.”
HostPapa employs energy-efficient servers run by 100% renewable energy sources. Obsolete equipment is also recycled when possible. In addition to eco-friendly hosting, HostPapa has won the favor of many small businesses with its outstanding support and service offerings.
“Most of the customers we deal with have less than 10 employees, so they tend to be entrepreneurial-type organizations,” said HostPapa CEO Jamie Opalchuk. “Generally, they don’t have an IT, creative, or marketing person on standby, and we try to supplement that.”
By providing enterprise-level solutions and world-class support to even the smallest of businesses, HostPapa demonstrates its strong connection to its customers.
Perfecting the Hosting Formula in the Evolving Tech Space
In the mid-2000s, tech trends underwent several major changes with the advent of smart technology in late 2006. While smartphones, in essence, have existed since the 1990s, the modern smartphone emerged with Apple’s January 2007 announcement of the very first iPhone, with the first Android smartphone released shortly after in 2008.
Coincidentally, HostPapa was founded in 2006, a time when social media was still young, and continuous, location-blind internet access was inaccessible for most people — even small businesses. With that in mind, HostPapa initially thrived on providing basic site and email hosting.
In the following decade, HostPapa would have to perfect its formula to include more than just email and web hosting.
“There has been a change over the last 10 years. When the iPhone came out, that was a game changer,” Jamie said. “Before smartphones, unless you had a BlackBerry, you rarely took your email with you. After that, everyone wanted to check their email and social media all the time.”
With the rising popularity of web builders, some of the industry’s large providers have urged HostPapa to implement its own advanced web-building tool to stay competitive.
“We have tens of thousands of customers who use that product,” he said.
Additional tools and extensions for eCommerce, online chat, and email list building have also been implemented to keep pace with demand as HostPapa onboards an increasing number of customers in the SMB space.
In its more than 10 years of existence, HostPapa has had to implement not only the latest website tools, but advancements in its support and consultation services to back up its user base.
“Our support people are always working on continual insight,” Jamie said. “We’ve had to keep up our skills and knowledge of things that weren’t really there 10 years ago. Whether it’s content management systems, like WordPress and Joomla, or extensions, plugins, or security for emerging ransomware, we need to be on the ball.”
Leveling the Playing Field With World-Class Support
Luckily for its customer base, HostPapa offers a knowledgeable support staff that has evolved along with its products over time. As much of its user base consists of small businesses and entrepreneurial ventures, HostPapa must compensate for its client’s subsequent lack of IT, marketing, and creative departments.
This places HostPapa in a prime position to differentiate itself by offering a personal, hands-on approach to support.
“A lot of small businesses want the benefit of these solutions that the big businesses have, and it’s become a level playing field for accessibility,” Jamie said. “However, they’re still looking for some company to give them the recommended products and provide support.”
HostPapa’s support system extends far beyond simple technical support. The company acts as a business partner to its SMB clients. Aside from housing their web presence, HostPapa helps businesses that lack the means and guidance to outsource and scale effectively.
“What they’re looking for is somebody to lead them down that trusted advisor role,” Jamie said. “In the end, if you find a good partner, you don’t necessarily need to hire that staff to back up your files, launch an AdWords campaign, or make sure your email runs.”
Delivering an Enterprise-Grade Bundle of Web Solutions to SMBs
Aside from filling the advisor role for its customers, HostPapa offers a comprehensive tool set for businesses. Over time, this bundle has accumulated an expanded feature-set built with its customers in mind, and has delivered a consolidated and centralized means for companies to manage their online presence.
“Not only do we support the web builder, but we also support things like email, security, and other cloud products for these entrepreneurs,” Jamie said. “These small businesses also don’t want to deal with 25 different vendors. They only have time and energy to deal with one or two.”
HostPapa’s web hosting solutions include a user-friendly UI that consists of a drag-and-drop site builder. All packages come with unlimited storage and bandwidth and include support for basic email accounts.
HostPapa also offers domain registration, VPS hosting, reseller hosting, and advanced email plans for larger businesses. Collaborative office suites such as, G Suite and Microsoft Office 365, are available for additional fees. Additionally, HostPapa plans to implement managed and cloud-based services to keep with the rising SaaS trend.
Looking Toward the Future With VPS and Managed Services
Given HostPapa’s history of adopting the latest tech trends, it should be no surprise the company plans to offer IaaS, SaaS, managed servers, and cloud app services in the near future.
“We’re moving towards infrastructure-as-a-service, software-as-a-service, and being a managed cloud service provider to these small businesses and providing them a single invoice,” Jamie said. “Generally, they’re looking to our internal talent to bundle the recommended solutions for them.”
With more and more offerings coming down the pike, HostPapa is sure to continue to help businesses migrate to solutions that best fit their needs — even considering their social connections with advanced email servers and instant messenger protocols.
“We relaunched with a whole new platform in VPS, as well as a new knowledgebase,” Jamie said. “We’re also going deeper into the managed services side, like an optimized WordPress launch, as well as infrastructure solutions in the works.”
According to Jamie, HostPapa’s goal to achieve trusted-advisor status through its dedication to innovation and putting customers first.
Since its inception, HostPapa has helped prepare small businesses for the changing dynamics of the web. With more than 500,000 customers who host web apps on its servers, HostPapa has gained the favor of organizations worldwide, providing personalized support, advice, and an effective software portfolio to manage their web presence — all with an eco-friendly approach.
“Ten years ago, we weren’t talking about social media or WordPress. The question is, what we will be talking about in a few years.” Jamie said. “Mobile is getting huge, and the dynamic is always changing. I still think the internet is in its infancy.”