TL; DR: WebhostGB, a trusted provider of web hosting and design solutions in the UK since 2013, knows that a robust support platform shouldn’t be an afterthought. That’s why customers are at the heart of the business, whether they’re seeking scalable hosting solutions or fully inclusive design services. We recently caught up with Founder Tom Goddard, who spoke with us about his self-motivated team, how WebhostGB has kept pace with industry trends, and the company’s range of offerings designed around customer experience.
It’s a dilemma hosting providers experience almost daily — a customer reaches out with an urgent request just outside the scope of his or her support agreement. How should the host respond? For WebhostGB Founder Tom Goddard, the answer is obvious.
“If a customer has certain needs or requests, we will do our absolute best to fulfill them,” he said. “If that means it shortens our margins or makes things a bit less profitable, then so be it — because that eventually builds the goodwill you need for a loyal customer base.”
And, as Tom told us, the approach has been fundamental to the company’s growth.
“Nowadays in this industry, the main thing is just to be on top of your customer relationships,” he said. “You need to be a good people person and be willing to put in the time.”
Tom founded WebhostGB in 2013. At the outset, the company was a two-man operation, with Tom focusing on website development and client relations and his brother running the content marketing arm of the business.
“We started very humbly, really, more on the web design and development side of things locally to our area — Merseyside, Liverpool in the UK — offering fully-managed web development and web design services,” Tom said. “That took off, and through recommendations, we ended up getting quite a few additional clients. We’ve just literally been expanding from there.”
Today, the company offers a wide range of competitively-priced SSD hosting plans and custom design services built to help businesses easily enhance their online presence.
Customers can even select a fully inclusive option where the company will design, build, host, and manage a site for a yearly fee. With services backed by 24/7 UK support and a 60-day money-back guarantee, the customer-centric company is pulling out all the stops to help SMBs grow and prosper online.
Reliable, Scalable Hosting with a Free Domain and SSL Certificate
WebhostGB’s hosting solutions cover a broad range of needs, from shared servers and reseller options to VPS and enterprise solutions.
“I think, especially with startups and small businesses, they like to sort of dip their feet in — they don’t want to commit to an expensive dedicated server or a VPS and then, all of the sudden, they’ve got to manage the back end of it, the security, and the monitoring,” Tom said. “The way we kind of think of it is, if they start with a simple shared plan, there’s scale for them to move up.”
That’s where the company’s plethora of hosting options comes in. Tom told us simply offering a shared hosting plan isn’t enough in the competitive hosting industry.
“When there’s growth, there is a defined limit to what a shared platform can offer,” Tom said. “That’s the driving factor behind why we offer as much as we can.”
And when customers do wish to upgrade, WebhostGB makes migration a breeze.
“We do it on their behalf,” Tom said. “We ask them a load of questions, get an idea of what they’re doing, what kind of setup they need, and then we offer a ream of suggestions and let them pick the one that suits them.”
If possible, the company will even complete the migration at no charge.
“If it’s not enormous, we will do it for free,” Tom said. “We try to at least beat expectations with every sort of interaction. I think you need to go the extra few steps, especially when it comes to customer service.”
Fully Inclusive Design Services Bring SMBs Online, Hassle-Free
WebhostGB’s monthly web design services help SMBs without the time or technical knowledge get online without hassle, freeing them up to run their businesses. Tom told us the idea behind the service is to provide a turnkey solution that allows users to run on the platform of their choice and start broadcasting their brands online.
“They don’t have to worry about a domain name, email inboxes, any of that,” Tom said. “We take care of it. They just simply pay a monthly fee.”
WebhostGB allows a specific number of monthly site updates, as specified at the start of the project, as part of all of its hosting plans.
“We allocate a certain amount of monthly hours to update sites, so they can request changes monthly,” Tom said. “ There’s no big deposit, there’s no big commitment, and we’ve actually had some great success with it so far.”
Customers also have the option to build their own website using the company’s free drag-and-drop website builder. The intuitive tool can be used without prior knowledge of HTML, CSS, or Java, and most sites can be designed within an hour. With over 200 pre-built templates and 50+ free widgets, users can create dynamic websites customized to fit their needs.
“It’s a great tool, and I don’t know if you can get by not offering it nowadays — there’s a huge section of the market going that way,” Tom said. “The classic five-page HTML-based websites that you could pick up quite easily have kind of fallen from the market. If you offer something competitive, you can keep hold of that customer base.”
Customer-Centric Internal Development That Spurs Innovation
When it comes to internal development, WebhostGB places a lot of value on customer feedback.
“Any interaction, whether it’s a request for information or a product or service, we note that in a database and look and see if there are any trends people are asking for or anything that we could do better,” Tom said.
Tom noted that the approach has already led to innovations. WebhostGB receives numerous requests from people looking for hosting. But the main thing they’re looking for in a provider is support.
“They want the security of knowing that someone is managing the service side of things for them,” Tom said. “That’s been our main area of growth over the last few months, especially with our larger clientele. They want someone to do pretty much everything so they can focus elsewhere on the business.”
And, according to Tom, ignoring customer feedback is just bad business.
“We find that if we listen to the customers we have, that tends to generate a better platform that pulls in customers itself,” he said.
Going the Extra Mile: A Dedicated Team That Puts Customers First
As his business has evolved, Tom said he’s noticed a shift in customer expectations, as well.
“People tend to want a more personal service,” he said. “They don’t want the huge call centers where they’re waiting to speak to someone who doesn’t have any relation to the company.”
As a result, WebhostGB provides in-house support.
“We’ve had people sign up saying that the reason they’ve chosen us is mainly because they want to be able to contact someone who is strongly tied to the company,” Tom said. “We reply to tickets at the time they come in. We won’t just, you know, copy and paste something from GitHub or anything like that. We will try to do it for them and then explain to them what we’ve done.”
The process ultimately saves companies time and money.
“There’s an ROI benefit to going with us, because if your servers are up and your systems are up, you’re not losing money and that is the main thing that’s sometimes underestimated,” he said.
Tom credits an extraordinary team culture for the company’s success as a brand. He told us the team is very self-motivated and that WebhostGB seeks to hire similar-minded people.
“There’s no one who works for us who will just sit and wait to be told what to do,” he said.
Employees are encouraged to make their own decisions and hold themselves accountable for their actions.
“We reward people for free thinking and give them space and the ability to add value,” Tom said. “Everyone has their own responsibility, and we rely on them to do what they do to the best of their ability.”