TL; DR: As one of the most seasoned free hosting providers on the internet, x10Hosting has achieved the (almost) impossible — providing clients full-feature, unlimited hosting services at a zero-dollar premium without hidden costs or pressure to upgrade. The company continues to raise the bar through competitive pricing on premium shared and VPS hosting solutions with plans for extended features in the works. We recently caught up with Founder Corey Arbogast, who told us how he brought the company to life and what clients can expect now that it’s gained more than a decade of experience.
In business as in life, you should never underestimate the power of karma. Just ask x10Hosting Founder Corey Arbogast, who began growing his business in 2003 with hard work, determination, and unmistakably good vibes.
At the time, Corey ran a local computer repair business that managed a few websites for clients. Unhappy with the company’s shared hosting account, Corey decided to purchase a dedicated server.
“l got everything set up and realized we had a lot of extra space,” Corey said. “At the time, I was a member of a bunch of tech forums, so I started giving away free web space to people just to use up our server because it was a waste just letting it sit there.”
Word spread quickly, and the company set up a system to handle the influx of requests.
“People would sign up on our forum, fill out an application to get a free hosting account, and we would manually review and create an account for each and every one,” Corey said.
The system soon evolved into a website with a signup system.
“We ended up using WHMCS, which automated a lot of stuff,” Corey said. “The actual backend that still runs our free hosting was made 12 years ago now, and it’s still a service. It just grew from there as we adopted more technology over time.”
The generosity paid off, and, in 2005, Corey put aside his local business to focus exclusively on hosting. Fast forward 13 years and x10Hosting is now a leading provider of free unlimited hosting, affordable premium hosting, and self-managed VPS solutions. And though a lot has changed since Corey’s early acts of altruism, the company’s standards have not.
“We’ve been around a long time, and we’re still offering the same value and service that we did when we started,” he said.
Feature-Rich, Unlimited Cloud Hosting for Free — Yes, Really!
The free unlimited hosting package at x10Hosting is so feature-rich that Corey told us some users can’t believe it.
“We get a lot of people who will contact us and ask ‘What’s the trick? What’s the catch?’” he said. “There isn’t one. The goal is still to keep offering more features than any other free hosting companies without forcing everyone to upgrade.”
Those features include unlimited storage and bandwidth; forum-based support; the latest versions of PHP, MySQL, and cPanel; full access to email accounts; one-click installs for eCommerce platforms; and a website builder with more than 150 templates.
“We’re not forcing people to buy a domain name to get the hosting or tricking them into signing up and they get no features,” Corey said. “Our intention, ever since we started — even when I was giving away hosting on forums before we had our website — was to help people out.”
Competitively Priced Premium Hosting and VPS Solutions
Of course, while the company’s free offering is one of the most inclusive around, x10Hosting can’t offer everything for free.
“We can’t do everything because we wouldn’t make any money at all, and we wouldn’t be able to afford to keep our services online,” Corey said.
So, while the free plan offers complementary forum-based support with a community of experienced webmasters, an upgrade to x10Premium’s enterprise-level servers is available with 24/7 technician support and a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
Prices are tiered by contract length, with a month-to-month subscription rate of $6.95, one year for $5.95 a month, two years for $4.95 a month, and three years for just $3.95 a month. Traditional and Wildcard SSL certificates are also available for $9.95 and $49.95 per year, respectively. Perhaps best of all, upgraded accounts are automatically migrated at no cost.
Finally, companies looking for scalable resources with full control can opt for x10VPS’s affordable, unmanaged VPS packages featuring 99.9% uptime, instant setup, full-root OS access, and SSD RAID. Plans range from $8.95 to $47.95 a month based on storage, bandwidth, and RAM.
Industry Veterans With an Unwavering Devotion to Customers
Corey said the company’s tenure in the industry provides clients peace of mind.
“With how cheap it is to enter the web hosting market, the barrier of entry is very low — there’s a lot of startup hosts that come and go all the time,” he said. “A lot of people want a website for their business, and besides updating it maybe a couple of times a year, they just want it to be online and working. They don’t want to worry about it disappearing or anything like that. We’ve proven that we’re stable and we know what we’re doing.”
It’s also telling that even when people try to abuse the system, the company still looks out for its customers.
“The #1 problem for any free hosting company is abuse,” Corey said. “If you can’t keep it in check, you get shut down pretty quickly. It’s a constant battle, and it’s been like that for as long as I can remember. We come up with a way to combat that abuse; they come up with another way to get around it.”
The company has been forced to require pre-approval for free accounts in areas where digital attacks frequently originate, such as Nigeria.
“We very rarely give out approval in these countries, at least for now, but we try to get around that with a disclaimer that if you’re a teacher, you can contact us,” Corey said. “A lot of people use us for learning, especially in third-world countries where they don’t have as many resources for education. Someone will throw together a class to offer web development, and they will use us because we’re free and we offer all the features so they can get real-world experience developing websites.”
Corey told us the company relies on both customer feedback and industry trends for internal development purposes.
“We take all requests into consideration, and then we see what other people are offering,” he said. “We want to make sure, development-wise, that we stay updated so everybody has access to the latest features.”
“We’re looking at adding Node support because that is supported by CloudLinux now, which we use on our servers,” Corey said.
Because security is a top priority, the company is approaching the expansion cautiously.
“We’re still looking at what impact that would have,” Corey said. “Resource-wise, we’re very familiar with PHP applications, and, in terms of abuse, we have internal systems that scan files constantly, looking for phishing sites, botnets, and all kinds of bad stuff that people like to upload.”
The company wants to ensure the same security measures are in place for Node.js.