Interview with Arnas Stuopelis, CEO of Hostinger
Early on, Hostinger entered the web hosting market from a different angle than other web hosting companies by ensuring that web development was available to everyone – free of charge. We had the opportunity to talk with Arnas, CEO of Hostinger, to learn how the company still sees it as its mission to provide a high quality, cheap and supportive web hosting environment for web development regardless of their level of technical skills.
HA: Hi Arnas! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. Can you tell us about Hostinger? When was it founded and how did it happen?
Absolutely. The company was started in 2004, and we started with a free web hosting service. At the time, we saw a huge demand for a free web development platform, not only for developers but also for beginners with very little or no knowledge of coding. So, we started a free service, and that's how 000webhost.com was born! We were one of the first hosting companies that approached the market that way, and as a result, we became extremely popular. We grew quickly because we were recommended by so many happy customers.
That was the beginning of the company. Our mission at that time was to create an environment for as many people around the world as possible to gain and learn about technology – at least as many as we could afford at that time.
Over time we saw that our users were growing, and they needed more professional web solutions. And that's when Hostinger as a brand was born.
HA: You seem to offer two distinct plans: “Unlimited Hosting” and “Cloud VPS” hosting. Your Cloud VPS hosting offers 6 distinct plans. Can you tell me more about that?
Our target audience are small businesses and others who want to establish an online presence, who don't necessarily have the skills to build a website. Most of the time you need to be a web developer to build a website. Small businesses usually have a web developer who works with them to do this. Our goal is to offer both good prices for small businesses and a supportive environment for web development.
We have a powerful VPS package, but we also have smaller packages because we want users to be able to choose and operate according to these different prices. They can choose what plan it is they want to use and not pay extra.
I recommend small businesses start with web hosting, and if they are successful later they can move to VPS. VPS requires more technical skills in order to set it up properly. Web hosting, on the other hand, is very simple to use. For instance, you don't have to configure the server yourself, because somebody else does it for you. It depends on the skill set of the web developer.
If your website is getting a lot of traffic, you might want to upgrade to our VPS package, or have dedicated resources.
My advice: Start with a web hosting plan, and if you find any issues or have additional requirements later, contact our customer care and they will advise you on a new plan.
HA: You seem quite focused on delivering cheap prices and high-quality service, and you don't shy away from using the word "cheap" throughout your website. How does this serve the market you are reaching?
So many companies are afraid of the word "cheap." They think that if they use this word, they will become less attractive. We use this word on purpose because we want to make it clear that cheap does not necessarily mean low-quality. We want to show our customers that web hosting can include unlimited space, high-quality features and fast speed and be affordable to everyone.
We also want to make it clear to our customers that we are saving them money. For example, we're not overstaffed, we don't spend a lot on conventional marketing campaigns, we're using open source technology, etc. A lot of our technology was developed in-house, and it's a powerful service, which we are able to offer at an extremely competitive price. We are very proud of this, and we see that our customers love it: Good service at a good price.
It's the same as Ikea. It's the biggest furniture provider around the world, and they are not afraid to say their furniture is cheap but also high-quality. It's difficult to achieve this, but it is possible, and we're working very hard every day to make our product better, smarter, and stay ahead of the competition.
HA: Your website says that you've launched more than 24 million websites and that you have 20,000 new clients a day. How do you keep up with that kind of growth?
We are answering a very difficult calling. We want our websites to be very fast and stable, and the support should be good. At the same time, we want to be the cheapest provider that our customers can afford. This is something which is almost impossible to achieve, but it is possible. Companies around the world have proved that it is possible and they have seen tremendous growth.
One way that we do this is that we approach growth from a global as well as a local perspective. For example, in order to provide the best support worldwide, we've localized our services in almost 40 different languages so that our service would be available to all different kinds of markets.
Another way that we approach this is with OKR (Objectives and Key Results) team management, which helps us make our work much more efficient. This is an approach developed by Intel, and is used by some of the biggest merchandisers and business, such as LinkedIn, Google and Zynga. Google was built on this concept and it's become very popular around the world. OKRs help to clarify company goals, and align them with team and individual goals.
We're agile and we strive every day to do the best for our customers. We need to work very efficiently to do that, because either the service decreases or the price increases, and our customers won't be happy with either.
HA: How do you see the future of web builder market vs. WordPress and its impact on your business?
I don't see any problem with it. Website builders are good for people who don't want to work with or can't afford web development, or for those who don't want to learn any technology. The simplicity is one of the key points for this market. I am really optimistic about the web builder market and I think that it will grow.
At the same time, I see that there is a lot of growth with WordPress. There are new users every day. And with WordPress, you can do anything. You can customize without waiting for your provider. It's also generally cheaper for the customers than a website builder.
The world is big enough for both solutions. There will always be people using both. It depends on what you need. Everyone needs to do the research to see what they need.
HA: How many employees do you have? Where are your offices and datacenters located?
We have 200 employees around the world in total. We have offices in Lithuania, Cyprus, Singapore, Indonesia, and Brazil. Our data centers are located in the US, UK, Singapore, Indonesia and Brazil.
HA: What are your future plans for Hostinger and how do you intend to have an edge in the web hosting market?
It's very simple. We're going to keep doing what we're doing: Create a better environment for website developers and their clients to build and run websites on. We’re going to continue to be a little better, a little faster, and a little cheaper than our competitors.
We see the web hosting market as a huge market, with many new customers around the world. Web hosting is not a new product on the market, so everyone understands that you have to offer both good prices and high quality
We see that we are growing because of our efficiency, and our customers love our prices.
HA: Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
Never stop learning, growing and wanting more. That’s the base for technological advancement.
I want to encourage everyone to go online and learn new technologies. Do the research to choose the best provider.