TL; DR: Hostpoint, Switzerland’s largest web hosting company, is an all-in-one provider of web, email, ecommerce, and domain solutions. The company manages approximately 800,000 domains and 300,000 websites, all of which come backed by experienced, on-demand customer service available in four languages. With a laser-like focus on the customer experience, Hostpoint is poised to maintain a healthy growth trajectory for years to come.
Countries, sovereign states, and dependent territories have long used flags, coats of arms, color schemes, and anthems to establish a sense of identity in the physical world.
And today, thanks to the country code top-level domain (ccTLD), these groups also have an option for digitally displaying national symbolism.
Each ccTLD consists of two identifying letters — most people are familiar with .cn for China, .us for the United States, and .uk for the United Kingdom. Other ccTLDs aren’t quite as obvious. For example, the ccTLD for Switzerland is .ch. The code comes from the Latin name for the country, Confoederatio Helvetica (or Helvetic Confederation).
The .ch domain has been available since 1987, making it only two years younger than the ubiquitous .com. Until 2014, .ch was mainly administered and sold through the Swiss Foundation SWITCH Information Technology Services. That year, however, the Swiss Federal Office of Communications ordered SWITCH to discontinue its .ch domains service as part of the Ordinance on Internet Domains, which went into effect December 31, 2014.
“Originally, the Swiss domain registry SWITCH was involved in selling and registering .ch domains in Switzerland,” said Mauro Landolt, Communication and Marketing Specialist at Hostpoint. “However, after a lengthy legal dispute and a decision by the authorities, they had to give up this line of business.” this episode made us grow predominantly in our domain business while we were already growing in all of our markets, especially web hosting.
As a result, large swaths of customers fled to trusted private providers like Hostpoint, which had already built a reputation as a leading domain business and web hosting company. The company is now a leading ICANN-accredited domain registrar and Switzerland’s largest web hosting provider.
Bringing Affordable, Intuitive Hosting to the Swiss Market
Hostpoint’s history extends further back than its 2014 entry into the .ch domain market. In fact, the company is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2021. It was founded in 2001 by Sandro Bertschinger, Markus Gebert, and Claudius Röllin at a time when Switzerland’s hosting industry was still in its infancy.
“The offerings available at the time were often very expensive and too complicated to use,” Mauro told us. “There wasn’t any simple website management application (e.g., control panel). Therefore, there was a niche in the market for affordable and easy-to-use web hosting services.”
Hostpoint’s founders were dedicated to providing high-quality service from the start. Early on, they focused on creating powerful, technically solid, and user-friendly software for managing websites, including their own control panel.
In addition, they set out to offer competent, friendly, and responsive customer service. With all of these benefits provided at an affordable price, it wasn’t difficult for Hostpoint to stand out from the competition — and eventually rise to the top.
“We are the largest web hosting provider in Switzerland as well as one of the first and leading domain name registrars,” Mauro said. “Our infrastructure meets the highest performance and security standards. We develop a large part of our software in-house. More than half of our 75 employees work in customer care and tend to our customers’ needs and concerns 365 days a year. Our support service is considered to be one of the best in the Swiss web hosting industry.”
The company also provides support in four languages: German, French, Italian, and English.
An All-in-One Hosting Provider
The Hostpoint team has witnessed several critical technical developments over the years — and has expanded its range of products accordingly.
“The emergence of virtualized solutions has certainly made a big difference in the market,” Mauro told us. “Thanks to today’s cloud solutions, space-consuming and power-hungry server landscapes are no longer a necessity. Nowadays, server infrastructure is more flexible, more redundant, and has more scaling options.”
Hostpoint currently maintains its own high-performance infrastructure to guarantee that services are both secure and reliable. The company invests millions each year to maintain server resources, expand infrastructure, and update software.
Hostpoint stores all customer data on servers in Swiss data centers that boast rigorous security standards — so strict that they are approved for use by banks. For extra protection, the company backs up all web, e-mail, and database data multiple times a day to independent storage clusters located in different fire protection zones. Free SSL certificates via Let’s Encrypt and robust DDoS protection round out the host’s security offerings.
Ultimately, Hostpoint’s mission is to offer customers a centralized source for a wide range of simple web products and services.
“Hostpoint is a one-stop store for internet services,” Mauro said. “Are you looking to build your own website and buy the right domain at the same time? Create the required number of email addresses directly with your web hosting? Use the SEO tool for optimizing your own web shop? These are precisely the kind of cross-product constellations that we want to offer to our customers.”
Putting the Customer Experience First
Hostpoint has developed a strong ability to navigate change after observing and reacting to shifts in the industry for more than 20 years. The company leans heavily on this strength when it comes to updating products and bringing new ideas to life.
“Both management and employees keep a close eye on technological developments in the industry and identify potential innovations and developments at an early stage,” Mauro said.
Of course, Hostpoint also takes a customer-centric approach to product development.
“Valuable suggestions from customers find their way into Hostpoint’s planning considerations as well,” he said. “The management assesses internal and external suggestions and decides on their consideration and prioritization within the planning cycles.”
The company structures all planning cycles within four-month periods for maximum efficiency.
“In doing so, strategic goals are converted into projects that get prioritized and then implemented,” Mauro told us. “In software development, we work with an agile methodology (scrum) and can therefore react well to new developments.”
Last year, Hostpoint used this strategy to quickly launch its free videoconferencing solution, Hostpoint Meet, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The technology, which requires no registration or installation, offers video and audio conferencing, an integrated chat function, screen sharing, and background blurring.
In addition to Hostpoint Meet, the company is offering its website-building kit, Sites, and ecommerce solution, Webshop, free of charge for three months. Through this initiative, the company intends to help SMBs worldwide weather the pandemic.
Maintaining a Steady and Healthy Growth Trajectory
By continuing to develop upon its original mission, Hostpoint has enjoyed consistent growth in recent years — typically coming in around 10% year over year.
“We certainly are on the right track and obviously want to remain on this course,” Mauro said. “However, we are aware that this is a very challenging prospect.”
Mauro said Hostpoint’s goal is to expand its leading role in the Swiss market for both web hosting and domain registrations. “In addition, we are always striving to develop our products further and to diversify our product portfolio in a meaningful way,” he said.