TL; DR: Web host ICDSoft started out serving a handful of international clients and has grown steadily thanks to the value it has delivered to businesses for more than two decades. The company’s suite of solutions are feature-rich and were built to fit a variety of business use cases and budgets. ICDSoft maintains a high level of success due to its transparent operational practices and focus on providing high-performance hosting infrastructure. And the host’s commitment to customer support is exemplified by its impressive year-over-year retention rates.
Like many of the businesses it serves, web host ICDSoft started small. When the company launched in 2001, it had fewer than 300 clients. But what made that group unusual was its geographical diversity.
From the start, ICDSoft served customers in countries on four continents, including in Hong Kong, Bulgaria, and Canada. And that client base grew rapidly. By year two, ICDSoft served customers in nearly 50 countries and on every continent except Antarctica.
Today, almost two decades after its founding, ICDSoft has tens of thousands of customers in more than 140 countries — and even charts its growth with an interactive map. That rapid worldwide growth is evidence of just how much clients love its hosting services.
Another significant part of its appeal is its transparency, which it documents extensively through published metrics. In fact, ICDSoft set out to become one of the hosting industry’s most open businesses.
And Dimitar Dimitrov, CEO at ICDSoft, said it always focuses on the quality of the products and services it provides, not whether it is making the right marketing moves or attracting new business.
“I am aware of the fact that our competitors were and still are spending heavily on advertising, and this is allowing them to grow constantly, but my goal has always been quality and not numbers,” he said.
And users don’t need to hope that ICDSoft datacenters are efficient and available because they can see the real-time server data for themselves. The ICDSoft team created a place where anyone — whether they’re a customer or not — can view each rack and individual server and see its uptime, RAM usage, and more.
It’s a unique setup, but ICDSoft is a unique company, on a mission to provide reliable service to loyal clients around the world.
Providing Transparency Through Public Hosting Metrics
Although ICDSoft has been in the hosting business for nearly 20 years, it isn’t afraid to shift its business strategies if it feels customers could benefit. That is why it decided to go public with performance data.
“Like all successful businesses, we’ve always tracked and logged our most important performance metrics. Just recently, we decided to go public with almost all of those metrics,” Ivailo Ivanov, a Support Supervisor at ICDSoft, said.
Now, any customer, potential customer, or curious onlooker can view the company’s performance statistics and learn what the company provides its users. And the team decided that even more company information should be available — whether it’s the office floor plan or global sales map.
That isn’t just an uncommon step for a hosting company to take — it’s a refreshing step for almost any business. It is also a leap of faith, as any performance issues, spikes, or outages can be seen in real-time on computer monitors all over the globe. For many other businesses, that level of openness would be nothing more than a terrifying thought experiment.
However, many experts say that this transparency is well worth it. Forbes has written that companies have many good reasons to “trend toward transparency.” In another study concerning labeled products, researchers found that 94% of respondents were likely to be loyal to a brand that offered complete transparency, while 73% of those consumers would be willing to pay more for a product that provides full transparency.
Of course, hosting is a much different kind of product than the goods a consumer might find at the grocery store. But ICDSoft realized that its customers are just as concerned with the safety of the performance of their hosting architecture as they are with the ingredients in their food. It makes sense that people want to know exactly what they’re buying, and that’s the kind of information that ICDSoft provides.
Because ICDSoft offers such detailed data, users rest easy knowing their websites are in good hands. Putting that information online for everyone to see also motivates the ICDSoft team to ensure that the numbers look good.
“We openly show every single aspect of our business, from the actual support and infrastructure load to our financial stats,” said Ivailo. “Some stats are even real-time. It’s not standard practice in the industry, but we’re happy to provide the information.”
Helping Businesses Find Web Solutions Compatible with Their Missions
During its first four years, ICDSoft offered one hosting plan. As the company grew, it added two more plans to accommodate businesses as they grew. The company even outlines the evolution and popularity of its plans with another interactive graphic.
While it has expanded its plans, the underlying commitment to service and quality infrastructure remains the same as it was when the business was founded. The only difference is that, over the years, that foundation has become stronger.
One of the standard features that customers most value is ICDSoft’s fast and professional support. The company doesn’t ignore support tickets, and it keeps wait times short. An internal review of more than 500,000 support tickets showed that the average response time was less than seven minutes.
Most importantly, the team that responds to those tickets are a group of IT experts from diverse tech backgrounds.
And ICDSoft offers features that are just as impressive as its responsive support staff. It also performs free site migrations and offers a 100-day money-back guarantee for new customers to try its services risk-free.
The company also aims to deliver unimpeachable security. Customers will find free “Let’s Encrypt” certificates with just one click on the control panel. ICDSoft performs daily backups of everything from emails to MySQL databases and has password-protected directories, hotlinking protection for images, and real-time blocking lists that filter spam.
Whether a business needs reliable WordPress hosting or prefers managed VPS, ICDSoft has it covered. Plus, its servers run one of the most stable operating systems on the market — Debian Linux.
Focused on Satisfying its Customers, Not Chasing New Clients
Many companies — not just hosting providers — focus on reaching new customers over many other aspects of their operations. Of course, that’s the logical endpoint of today’s “grow-at-all-costs” business philosophy. But that philosophy doesn’t lend itself to customer service. That’s why the ICDSoft team focuses on satisfying existing customers before trying to gain new ones.
“Unlike most of the businesses in the industry, our renewal fees are lower for our customers than their initial costs,” said Ivailo. “All of our direct customers get a guaranteed renewal discount of 20% — even if they don’t order any other services from us. Our reseller partners get even bigger discounts for both orders and renewals — 50%.”
And ICDSoft’s own data proves that the strategy resonates with customers. While its competitors complain about renewal rates as low as 50% and boast about rates as high as 75%, ICDSoft’s renewal rate is consistently higher, often 85% or above.
Another reason those rates are impressive is that ICDSoft doesn’t automatically renew and bill its customers.
“We’ve never used automatic billing for any of our services, and we’ve never collected any payment authentication data. We didn’t achieve our renewal rates by being sloppy — we did it because of our support, performance, delivery, features, stability, and understanding of our clients’ needs,” Ivailo said.
Whether it’s sharing data or offering discounts to loyal customers, ICDSoft has found success in sticking to its transparent, client-first strategy.