TL; DR: Mecca Hosting strives to build its clientele by providing the best customer experience and focusing on fast, reliable, and secure services. The company has a loyal following of individuals and businesses that enjoy its hands-on approach and responsive support. In addition to robust hosting services, Mecca Hosting plans to branch out into the Voice over IP (VoIP) space to help its clients grow.
When Peter Howell decided to get into the hosting business in 1999, the world — and the internet — was a very different place.
“At that time, there were probably around 10,000 hosting companies internationally, and it was a much different marketplace,” Peter said. “We’ve had to evolve because the hosting space now has more companies than you can count.”
His company, which became known as Mecca Hosting in 2001, has made it through many market evolutions through the years. And Mecca Hosting accomplished that longevity by adopting new strategies and products early on.
He said the company was an early adopter of Google Adwords and the pay-per-click model — now industry standards. That foresight helped direct plenty of customers to Mecca Hosting, which led to Mecca Hosting’s steady growth.
Peter said that, although much has changed since the business started, it has always focused on three primary tenets.
“That’s why our motto is ‘Fast, Reliable, Secure,” Peter said.
One example of how Mecca Hosting lives up to that motto is its responsive customer support. On average, when customers need help, they receive assistance within 30 minutes. That rapid response time is rare in the hosting industry.
Peter said that level of care shows the dedication of Mecca Hosting and helps set it apart from competitors.
Differentiating Through Customer Experience
Mecca Hosting offers a range of web hosting services, including mini, value, basic, express, and corporate service packages. And none of its packages include upgrade fees.
“A lot of our customers are mom-and-pop businesses, and they don’t want to hire a web developer,” Peter said. “We allow them to just focus on their businesses and not on web hosting or site-building. So that’s one of our value propositions.”
Another central value proposition is its 30-minute response time to customer support requests. According to Peter, that’s a differentiator in an industry that is notorious for lack of support — and automation is key.
“When you contact us, our automated system looks up your account and tests every aspect of your accounts. That means when it gets to a support person, they have all the info and know every potential issue,” Peter said.
The company understood from the beginning that one of its most significant costs would be customer support, and it was happy to make that investment. Mecca Hosting took its time to develop a system that’s easy to use, so it doesn’t need as much support in the long run.
“That allows us to provide better support to those who call on us,” Peter said.
And customers show their appreciation for that approach.
“We resolve most support tickets with the first response,” Peter said. “We actually solve problems.”
Automation and customer-centric support aren’t add-on features that customers pay more to get. They are standard operating procedures that provide customers with everything they may need.
“We believe that customer service is not only about resolving problems, but making sure that our customers are completely satisfied with our resolution,” a post on the Mecca Hosting website reads. “We also believe it is important that the customer be fully aware of our pricing structure, our service terms, and related policies before signing up for service with us. There are never any hidden fees with our services.”
Taking a More Customized Approach than Competitors
Mecca Hosting has an array of proprietary and custom-built software and automated systems that distinguish it from other hosts. In fact, Peter said the Mecca Hosting platform was built from the ground up with a custom kernel.
The company offers a product designed to block spam emails, and developed it well before others understood its importance. The blocker is also built on a proprietary algorithm.
Mecca Hosting is serious about security and has a system that automatically detects when a patch or new version of any software becomes available. The system validates it and then prompts a team member when it is ready to push to the cloud for customers.
“Our systems are patched within 30 minutes,” Peter said.
Mecca Hosting also deploys an automatic blocking security feature that has been around for more than 15 years. It helps clients keep their websites safe, even if they don’t know they’re vulnerable.
“We have software that scans every site on our servers, so we’re notified if something is hacked,” Peter said. “We fix it for the customer and take responsibility end to end. We never put the onus on the customers.”
The company also offers a fraud detection system for online order forms based on 40 different metrics. Mecca Hosting’s knowledgeable and experienced DevOps team builds and maintains all of those proprietary tools.
“Our customers aren’t paying for every little feature,” Peter said. “All of that is included in the low cost of our service. So it’s a no-brainer that you’re getting a lot for your money.”
Mecca Hosting: Bringing Its Successful Business Model to VoIP
Peter said the next horizon for Mecca Hosting will be partnering with a voice over IP (VoIP) provider to give businesses more options.
“We’re extending the technology that makes our platform so reliable,” Peter said. “We can leverage those tools and that automated monitoring into the managed server space.”
Because VoIP is so latency-sensitive, Peter said it makes sense to bring Mecca Hosting’s deep knowledge and experience with quick solutions into the space.
“Anything happening on a server has huge ramifications on VoIP,” Peter said. “We saw the VoIP opportunity as a perfect blend with our technology to move into that space and provide better reliability on these server platforms.”
He said VoIP is a service that must be “fast, reliable, and secure,” similar to the company’s motto.
The VoIP industry has experienced its share of cyberattacks and bot interference in recent years. Peter said that is another opportunity to build up security to stop problems from ever materializing.
One of the common problems with VoIP attacks is the material impact that often comes after interacting with a fraudulent account. It happens in hosting, as well.
“Bots are wreaking havoc and can bring anybody down. Keeping them out from Day 1 is the key,” Peter said. “Because then they don’t retaliate. We want to be a part of helping create a more resilient and secure environment in VoIP.”
Peter said between its decades-long reputation as a customer-friendly hosting solution and its plan to enter the VoIP space, Mecca Hosting is set up for much more success.
But it won’t forget its roots.
“We’re a hosting company that serves small businesses,” said Peter.