TL; DR: Named for the company’s fanatic enthusiasm about keeping customers’ websites online at lightning-fast speeds, HostZealot aims to provide a more personalized alternative to the massive hosting providers. CEO Daniel Ieromka shared the company’s dedication to building a powerful and cost-effective global network that, along with efficient automation and helpful customer support, have resulted in steady, grassroots growth.
When Daniel Ieromka was working for a company that handled outsourced IT, development, and technical support, he regularly needed to source web hosting infrastructure and servers for other businesses. After a while, however, his desire to connect with clients inspired him to strike out on his own.
“I realized that I could do something more than just providing services for customers I have no contact with,” he said. “We started from scratch with a couple of rented servers and started providing web hosting and dedicated servers.”
Daniel started HostZealot in 2009 and quickly grew alongside a small but loyal customer base — as the clients’ businesses grew, so did their hosting needs. Today, HostZealot maintains eight points of presence around the world, including London, Hong Kong, and Seattle. As the name suggests, HostZealot is driven by a passion for innovation and collaboration in web hosting.
“That’s our main goal: to spread our enthusiasm to what we do,” Daniel said. “HostZealot is not a big player in the market, but we may be faster or more flexible than the competition.”
Providing Stellar Support, Automation, and Security Since 2009
As a people-first company, some of HostZealot’s biggest selling points are pricing, convenient setup, and outstanding customer support. HostZealot offers shared hosting and Linux VPS for those with lower budgets, while dedicated and Windows VPS hosting is available for businesses that need the extra storage and performance. Regardless of which hosting plan users select, they can automate repetitive processes such as malware scans and backups.
“A lot of customers, of course, require some specific configuration, but as long as the server is in the cabinets, everything is automated,” Daniel said.
On-demand or full server administration by HostZealot’s tech team further streamlines the customer experience, he said, adding that the team designed the deployment process to be as easy as possible for users. With so many automated processes, HostZealot’s support team can tackle remaining requests with impressive speed.
“That’s not something the big companies always offer,” Daniel said. “With them, you can expect a response in 24 hours or more. Our response is usually within 15 minutes, and we do our best to deliver a remedy within an hour.”
In addition to prompt customer support and streamlined setups, HostZealot gives customers peace of mind via enhanced security and redundant storage. Each VPS or dedicated server has a bypass connection via IPMI or VNC that is accessible only by the intended user, hwile remote control for critical actions like reboots are available in the client portal.
“High security is key,” Daniel said. “All of our servers come with IPMI access by default, which is secured with VPN so that it can only be connected to privately by a specific customer.”
Lightning-Fast Connections via Fiber Optics
Aside from the company’s emphasis on support, automation, and security, HostZealot offers fast and reliable servers powered by SSDs and a broad range of Intel processors. These servers natively support the IPv6 protocol, while the cabinets are interconnected via fiber cables to ensure sufficient network capacity.
Fiber cables comprise various glass polymers that enable transmission over higher bandwidths and longer distances than their predecessors, making them an increasingly popular option for hosting some of the web’s biggest and most important sites.
As the latest trend in high-speed Internet connections, fiber connections enable HostZealot to offer some of the fastest server speeds available. Reliable speed and performance are essential to everyday business operations, especially for those relying on remote access.
Because latency and reliable uptime are prime concerns to any webmaster, HostZealot has partnered with CenturyLink, one of the world’s largest fiber carriers. Cogent, GTT, Hurricane Electric, and Telia are among the other carriers available in the multi-homed network. HostZealot customers can choose the uplink configuration, satisfying both price limitations and power needs.
“I would call these companies the foundation of the Internet, as they’re truly everywhere,” Daniel said. “I’m proud we have dedicated agreements with them, which help us maintain stable operations and provide lower-latency solutions for those who deal with premium loads.”
Improving the UX with a Brand-New Customer Portal
Since the company started in 2009, HostZealot has undergone several revisions and expansions to suit the ever-evolving needs of site owners. The latest change involves a new customer portal that further automates tasks such as server setups and SSL registration. With the GDPR deadline on the horizon, Daniel said SSL certificates are top of mind for site owners.
“We’ve put a lot of work into our customer portal, which is based on some solutions already on the market like WHMCS and Solus,” Daniel said.
The company is also preparing to launch an account finances module in summer 2018 designed to give HostZealot customers a comprehensive overview of monthly expenses and scheduled service renewal dates.
In addition to detailed usage statistics and more predictable billing, customers can plan more accurate budgets and better gauge when to scale up. As always, according to Daniel, these improvements are inspired by customer feedback.
“Day to day, we receive feedback and try to figure out how to further improve the user experience,” he said. “Our main focus is on the customer. They always come first.”
Up Next: A New Site for Multilingual Support
In addition to the new customer portal, HostZealot is overhauling its website to include a knowledgebase and in-depth blog posts for customer convenience. The additional information will help customers self-diagnose and fix some of the most common issues, according to Daniel, who added that the site will closely tie in with the revamped account portal and support systems.
“As soon as we launch the website, the next step will be to add new languages to customer support,” he said.
As HostZealot’s customer base grows and diversifies, the need for more localized servers and support languages becomes more apparent, Daniel said. The company currently offers support in English and Russian, but the growing customer base in North America and Europe means HostZealot will soon add Spanish and German support.
Daniel also told us how HostZealot is in the early stages of developing an infrastructure management platform that any organization — including other hosting companies — with independent servers can use.
“When you are a provider working with several datacenters and companies, you need to manage everything in different client areas,” Daniel said. “With your rack space, for example, you input all of the hardware you have, and it will keep track of spare parts.”