TL; DR: The passionate team at Valcato Internet aims to provide customers with quality shared, dedicated, and virtual solutions at an affordable price. Since 2002, the company has fostered a family-like environment where clients come first. Now, as Valcato turns to the cloud to create a new hybrid shared hosting service, the user-centric company plans to offer even more value at a great price.
When Jay Everall speaks, it’s clear that his devotion to Valcato Internet stems from a genuine passion for helping others — and that passion is shared across the whole team.
“We didn’t get into this to become millionaires or retire at 42,” said Jay, who founded the company and now serves as Managing Director. “We got into this because we enjoy hosting technology, and there’s no better feeling than going the extra mile to help people.”
Jay launched the company in 2002 out of his small home office before recruiting a dedicated team to manage the day-to-day operations. Since then, the company has grown into a trusted resource for quality hosting services worldwide.
“The vast majority of our customers come to us because we’re a respected name in affordable shared hosting,” Jay said. “And then they stay with us because we find out what makes their businesses tick and help them grow over time.”
Valcato boasts a range of shared, virtual, and dedicated solutions that can be customized to fit the needs of any growth journey. The customer-centric company, based out of the U.K., continually invests in its network to provide the latest technology needed for uncompromising performance. To that end, Valcato is working to help users better harness the cloud via a hybrid shared hosting service currently under development.
Shared, Virtual, and Dedicated Solutions from a Trusted Provider
Valcato’s entrance into the budget-friendly hosting market couldn’t have occurred at a better time. “We were active members on Web Hosting Talk and forums where we could talk directly to end users, and we were hearing a lot about companies going out of business seemingly overnight,” Jay said.
After another significant player in the value end of the market met the same fate, Valcato found itself in the perfect position to take hundreds of abandoned customers under its wing. Many of those customers, Jay said, remain loyal to the company.
“That gave us our start, and today, many of our users still have been with us all those years because we’ve been able to adapt to meet their needs as their sites have grown,” Jay said. “Our cPanel hosting service meets industry standards, and we offer a lot of support benefits.”
To that end, the independent company still retains a startup mentality, which affords employees more control over how they can meet specific needs through customization. And when it’s time for growing customers to make the leap from shared servers to dedicated or VPS solutions, Valcato’s goal is to make the transition as seamless as possible.
“Feature-wise, we try to keep our VPS platform as similar as we can to the Shared Hosting platform,” Jay said. “We want people to know that everything they’ve come to like, everything that had supported them on their previous plan is going to be right there waiting for them when they move to VPS.”
Fast, Personalized Support in a Family-Like Environment
The importance of customer service in any industry — including the increasingly crowded hosting space — can’t be underestimated. The proof is in the numbers: According to a study by Harris Interactive, 89% of customers will take their business to a competitor following a single poor customer service experience. And you may not even know it, as 91% of unhappy customers will abandon a business before they complain.
Valcato is exceedingly strong in the customer service arena. “What people find with us is a home where they can feel valued as part of the family,” he said. “We keep things personal: We know them by name, know their business, and several of our clients have my cellphone number.”
Jay said that personal touch adds immeasurable value for a company that’s providing an intangible service like hosting. Just knowing that there’s always someone on the other end of the phone line offers tremendous comfort.
“Personal service is something that we started with and something that we very much stand by today,” Jay said. “If someone comes up to us and says ‘I’ve had my hours cut at work,’ we can give extensions on their bill to help out, because we’re human, too.”
That passion for service speaks volumes. Ironically, it spoke to one long-time customer so much that he decided to join the Valcato team. “Our customer service manager used to be a client,” Jay said. “He set up a website with us back in 2004, loved what we did, loved the support and now runs our customer service department.”
Jay said that employing someone with firsthand experience to lead the department is invaluable. “He knows how to go above and beyond what customers expect,” he said.
Enterprise-Grade Hardware Ensures Performance and Reliability
Valcato may have been born in a small home office in 2002, but its dedicated servers and the hardware that supports its shared and virtual solutions are now housed in multiple datacenters worldwide, including Chicago and the U.K. The company also expanded its client base to serve users on six continents.
The company’s Shared Hosting provides a simple and reliable solution at an affordable price point. Users may install WordPress, Joomla, and osCommerce, among other vital pieces of software, in just one click. Alternatively, Valcato’s U.K.-based VPS solutions are both scalable and able to withstand large spikes in traffic.
The company’s Dedicated Servers are an ideal option for customers who need maximum control over the hosting environment, though managed options are available for those looking for private hardware without the technical work. By default, all managed dedicated servers are provisioned in the Chicago facility, but users may choose another location if desired.
In terms of ongoing development, Valcato is continually focused on providing the high-tech services customers need while maintaining affordability and a personal touch. “It’s not so much a matter of keeping up with trends for the sake of it as it is listening to what our customers tell us,” Jay said. “It always starts with the customer.”
The key for Valcato is understanding a customer’s needs and then finding the best way to fulfill those needs using years of technical expertise.
“We’ve had a few people asking about customizations and optimizations for things like WordPress,” Jay said. “We’re going to weigh in there and look at ways we can use the cloud and EC2 instances to provide a more customized environment for different types of software.”
Up Next: Helping Users Better Harness the Cloud
The company’s developers are also exploring how to leverage cloud-based infrastructure to create a hybrid shared hosting service. Jay said many people with non-technical backgrounds remain understandably mystified when it comes to the cloud, and Valcato’s goal is to make the front end of the service as intuitive as possible.
“We’re already running tests on a package that’s similar in look and feel to the traditional shared hosting package but uses the cloud for the backend,” Jay said. “Databases, backups, and DNS will all be handled by the cloud, but the end user will retain a familiar working environment.”
If users want to get underneath the hood and access some of the more advanced features, they will have the option to do so. Otherwise, the service will bring clients the power and reliability of the cloud to the shared hosting space. For growing businesses, this will fill a gap between traditional shared hosting and existing virtual and dedicated solutions.
“We want our customers to be able to grow and handle any associated demand seamlessly, without any changes, without any migrations — and that’s why we’ll keep launching tests throughout the summer before we bring the new product online,” Jay said.