TL; DR: When James Gardner and Charles Yarbrough founded WebHost.Pro in 2001, they wanted to provide a quality hosting service to people like themselves — entrepreneurs running online businesses. From the beginning, WebHost.Pro aimed to differentiate itself by delivering hands-on support to customers. The goal has always been to give all customers the attention they deserve, whether it’s a blogger asking about web-building tools or an SMB seeking answers to high-level eCommerce strategy questions. And, as Charles told us, the team has developed a series of new tools to deliver even more value to site owners.
In the late 1990s, James Gardner and Charles Yarbrough both ran online businesses. When the two met in Los Angeles, they discussed the difficulty of finding web hosting they could trust. The providers of the day offered spotty service, and, when they tried to get problems remedied, effective support was hard to come by.
So the duo decided to team up and start their own web hosting business with WebHost.Pro. Charles and James were passionate about helping other business owners succeed, and they believed the best way to do that was by building a reliable hosting service and deliver personalized customer care.
“We had a lot of experience managing businesses, and we wanted to pass that experience onto our customers,” Charles said. “To this day, we consider ourselves to be more of a business partner than simply a service that people can pay for.”
Today, WebHost.Pro has offices in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Arizona. The company offers a broad range of products for web businesses, including shared, virtual, and dedicated hosting solutions and domain registration services.
We asked Charles what his team’s been up to for the past year. And, as suspected, he and the crew at WebHost.Pro are continuing to meet the evolving demands of businesses in the modern online marketplace.
Building Solutions That Cater to the Needs of Modern Businesses
WebHost.Pro’s customers now have access to faster and more powerful technology than at any time in the company’s 17-year history. The company recently launched its enterprise-level SSD servers, and the results have had customers talking.
“We call it the super-speed upgrade,” Charles said. “It costs an extra $5 per plan, but these servers are so insanely fast, it’s unbelievable. It’s nice to be able to offer the service to customers who run complex sites that shut down if they’re not supported by the best technology.”
In response to customer demand, WebHost.Pro has also developed a new SEO tool.
“We incorporated it into our system, and it’s working really well,” Charles said. “Customers can buy it as an add-on or purchase it after signing up.”
The company also gives site owners a lesson on best search engine optimization practices with an SEO tutorial housed on its website. The goal here, like most of WebHost.Pro’s initiatives, is to give customers the tools they need to succeed online.
And another move that speaks to this aim is the construction of a new datacenter in Phoenix. The new strategic location will help WebHost.Pro better serve customers throughout the US.
“Building this center is the biggest expense we have on our calendar,” Charles said. “We’re hoping that it will be up within the next six to eight months.”
Maintaining a Presence in the Rapidly Changing Hosting Marketplace
Although they’ve built powerful new solutions, 2018 hasn’t been entirely smooth sailing. In fact, the team has run into choppy waters unlike any they’ve previously encountered.
“The strange thing that happened this year is that we’ve had huge fluctuations in business. For example, we had one of our best-ever months in April, which was followed by our worst month in June,” Charles said. “Then July was more or less in the middle. While summer is always a little bit slow, this has been different. The entire year has been really sporadic.”
Charles told us that this pattern is unusual. While some fluctuation is expected from month to month, signup rates normally don’t differ so drastically. But it’s something that seems to be happening industry-wide.
“While we’re not entirely sure what’s causing these dramatic shifts in the market, we’re definitely going to figure it out,” Charles said.
Right now, Charles has a working theory. He thinks the hosting marketplace as a whole is going through a significant shift.
“It’s kind of like when a downtown neighborhood gets popular,” he said. “All of these cool restaurants move in, but eventually people think, ‘I don’t even know where to eat anymore! There are too many choices.’ The scene gets too crowded and some of the weaker restaurants have to close.”
The hosting business might be the same. Charles cited the dramatic increase in new companies and services that have hit the market recently.
“People see them everywhere and get disoriented,” he said. “They don’t know where to go. Fortunately, when they find a company like ours that has been around since 2001, they think to themselves, ‘Okay, these guys must know what they’re doing.’ So it seems to be working out for us.”
From Powerful Hosting for SMBs to Web Development for Nonprofits
Charles told us he sees the hosting marketplace making additional shifts.
“The entire industry is starting to move in a new direction,” he said. “Instead of web hosting, customers are signing up for web-building systems. We’re trying to create our own product that’s better than Weebly or any of the other big builders. I think that’s the future.”
The WebHost.Pro team has paired this new direction with a commitment to supporting nonprofits. Charles noted that one WebHost.Pro employee has begun working with his church to start a Christian hosting division. The idea is to cater specifically to churches and pastors, and offer pre-built templates made just for congregations.
“Many of the people we’re working with devote all their time to overseeing their ministries,” Charles said. “Because they’re so focused on their community and their faith, they haven’t developed much technical knowledge.”
WebHost.Pro’s Christian web builder will include a variety of options. Pastors can choose the template they like most and fill out a form that will include all the information they want to share.
“From there, our employees will do everything for them,” Charles said. “Plus, we’ll give them a discount.”
WebHost.Pro isn’t only helping churches. The company’s creating an entire nonprofit automated system.
“Right now, we’re also working with schools and animal rescue services,” Charles said. “We’ve branched out to those three types of nonprofits. All of them will receive at least a 50% discount, if not more.”
Thanks to WebHost.Pro’s new solutions, hardworking nonprofits will have professional-quality, easy-to-use, and extremely affordable websites supported by an infrastructure that has been expanding and improving for almost 20 years.
“It makes business sense to deliver niche products to the consumers that need them, but it also makes moral sense to prop up the people who support our offline, real-world communities,” Charles said.
Nonprofits won’t be the only organizations that take advantage of WebHost.Pro’s new direction.
“While it’s on the back-burner right now, we’re working on a full-service web builder,” Charles said. “The problem with so many other builders is that they might be easy to use, but they churn out identical sites. If every small business has the exact same homepage, it will ruin the internet. That’s one of our fears. We want to solve it with this new product.”
The WebHost.Pro team’s goal is to create a web builder intuitive enough that people with zero design experience can use it, but also powerful enough to provide everyone with a unique and distinctive web presence.
“That’s our focus,” Charles said. “We want our customers to be able to create original designs on the fly, using a template that’s extremely flexible and customizable.”
The Aim: To Foster Lasting Partnerships With Customers
While the hosting industry may be changing, WebHost.Pro’s fundamental values remain the same.
“The real reason we started this company was that we had our own small startups,” Charles said. “That was our original passion.”
And it’s that attitude that separates WebHost.Pro from the competition.
“We have a personal relationship with all of our customers,” Charles said. “We don’t outsource any of our support. When we talk to our customers, we discuss their entire business plan. We do whatever we can to help, even if that means answering questions that have nothing to do with us. I’ve talked to businesses about email campaigns, banner ads, and so much more. If a customer wants some insight, we’ll try to provide it, no matter what.”
WebHost.Pro’s powerful solutions attract many online businesses. It’s a high-performance hosting service with strong uptime rates and a great value. But those features aren’t what make people stay.
“In this industry, businesses retain customers for an average of two years,” Charles said. “But our average is over three years. It’s because of that personal connection. That’s what makes the difference.”