Interviewing Mr. Ryan Gray, the founder, and CEO of NameHero was a real pleasure because I got to learn many valuable lessons and hear an amazing success story that started from scratch, with more than 500.000 clients worldwide now.
Take a few minutes to read this excellent interview and learn more about it.
Can you tell us a bit more about NameHero, what was the idea behind it?
Ryan: I didn’t like where I saw the web hosting industry heading in 2014. It seemed like many
of the “industry leaders” had all sold out to larger corporations and customer service/system performance was declining. At the time, I was running three other unrelated online businesses, one being a private Internet Marketing discussion forum, where I was unable to comfortably recommend a web host for my members. Given my businesses relied on high-performing, always online web hosting, I had the idea to take what I was already running, scale it, and make it affordable for individuals and small businesses of all sizes.
You founded your company in 2015 and you have been on the market with great success. There are many start-ups out there who are struggling since they are at the beginning. What were the challenges you faced when you opened NameHero?
Ryan: I’ll be frank with you, many of those close to me said I was crazy to enter such a flooded market, especially in 2015. It was a tremendous challenge, especially competing against companies that are backed by billions of dollars in capital. Given NameHero’s premium infrastructure, we use top-of-the-line servers to build our private cloud, so our operating costs were much higher than if we used more “traditional” equipment that was out there. We had to make every dollar count, and this meant many long nights staying up answering tickets, live chats, and monitoring servers myself. Once people began to experience our platform, getting customers wasn’t a challenge, but ensuring we scale our team and resources along with our growth was and is an ongoing daily challenge. But thankfully we have built a family amongst our Superhero’s who have made this possible. The passion and dedication our team has amaze me every day; I’m extremely blessed to work with such talented people.
We entered 2020 with a lot of hopes, however, the Covid-19 pandemic shook a lot of industries. How do you think this pandemic affected the hosting industry?
Ryan: The Covid-19 pandemic moved the industry ahead of five years (or more) in under a year. We saw businesses (and individuals) that may have had an informative website before have to re-develop into a fully functional website if they were to survive lockdowns. Everything from restaurants offering online ordering to fitness instructors moving their personal training sessions online.
I think if we take a wider look outward this was the inevitable, a more e-commerce/online-centered economy, but Covid-19 was the catalyst to send this forward a lot faster. For the web hosting industry specifically, we have had to really double down on making things simple for those that aren’t that technically inclined or for those that may have relied on a third party to complete their online work.
What are the main services and products of NameHero?
Ryan: We provide high-speed web hosting for individuals and small businesses of all sizes and experience levels. From beginner bloggers to large e-commerce stores, we provide a reliable service that’s affordable and easy to scale. Our standard web hosting packages work for the majority of our audience but we also have a fully managed private cloud for those that have high demanding applications and require their own VPS or dedicated instance. Additionally, we have over 20,000+ Resellers that use NameHero as their backbone so they can provide web hosting services to their customers. These include everyone from website design agencies to local entrepreneurs helping others get online. We also provide an affordable and easy domain registration service.
There are a lot of companies that are offering hosting services. How NameHero is different from them?
Ryan: We put people first and revenue second. This means we don’t make decisions solely based on our own interests, but rather on what is in the best interest of the customer. This creates an innovative spirit as we’re constantly tweaking and developing our technology to continue improving each day. We take all feedback seriously and try to help make life easier for our customers.
A lot of people rely on the customer service of their hosting company to solve their problems at any given time. How the customer service is set up in NameHero and what are the most important traits that a customer service sector needs to have in order for the clients to be satisfied?
Ryan: We look for quality vs. quantity when bringing on new team members. All of the technicians we bring on at NameHero have vast experience within the industry and carry extensive qualifications. Our tight-knit corporate culture brings together individuals that are very passionate about the work they do as well as being of service to other people. So aside from the technical qualifications you expect, good communication is key. Above everything though is integrity. It’s one trait you either have or you don’t but it’s the keystone to providing superb customer service.
We did a little research and we found out that NameHero has been named one of the best hosting companies by FindBestHosts. This is a huge accomplishment. What was the main thing that helped you achieve this accomplishment?
Ryan: Without a doubt, our Superhero team made this possible. I frequently say in our team meetings, we can have the best hardware running the latest and greatest hardware, but without 110% rock solid support and customer service behind it: it’s all worthless.
The hosting industry is changing by the hour. How NameHero is keeping pace with those changes?
Ryan: We enter each day using the acronym ADP which means: Adapt, develop, and progress. Being stagnant or complacent in this industry is moving backward. We must continually work towards innovation based on changing technology and feedback from our customers. Some examples of this recently are the upgrading of our entire network from Solid State Drives (SSD) to NVMes.
How customers can recognize a great hosting provider? What are the signs they need to look for?
Ryan: Deciding a provider for your website is a big decision, especially if you rely on the income to support a living. Since a website never “closes” uptime is extremely important and shouldn’t be limited to just network or server uptime, but actual website uptime. Additionally, speed is particularly important with the ongoing increase in mobile devices, tablets, and other devices that can now access the Internet. Given there are a number of web hosting providers that make these claims, I frequently tell potential customers, the best way to know what is best for you is to test a provider and see how it goes. That’s why we offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
You are hosting more than 500.000 websites worldwide. What are the plans for the next 5 years?
Ryan: We’re just getting started. While we’re certainly not a start-up, we’re still just scratching the surface with our plans in the industry. We plan on continuing to strengthen our position with ongoing optimizations and innovative products to continue making web hosting simple, fast, and affordable to individuals and businesses with websites of all sizes. You also won’t hear of NameHero selling out for the quick exit as I won’t even entertain those opportunities, I’ve already passed up plenty.
What advice would you give to the hosting community for the following 12 months and the changes that we are expecting?
Ryan: Keep working for the customer and look at the big picture. It’s easy to get blind by trying to increase revenue quickly, which leads to recklessness. The Internet in itself is still very young and we’re only going to see the market grow larger as more and more industries move to the Internet as their primary driver of business. There is enough business out there for us all – so let’s all keep the customer #1.