Interview with Mike Lavrik, CEO of Interserver
Mike Lavrik created a business right out of high school -- and that business today is still his core focus. Interserver, based in Seacaucus, NJ, provides hosting services (and a lot more -- keep on reading!) to the masses. He recently told us all about his experiences in the hosting world and his company's offerings.
How did the company come to be? I see it started with a "single domain name and virtual hosting reseller account."
InterServer was started in 1999 with the purchase of a single domain name and a virtual hosting reseller account.
The main objective was to focus on affordable prices while maintaining a high level of service and support. We currently operate our own datacenters in Secaucus, N.J. providing services such as virtual hosting, cloud VPS, quick servers, dedicated servers, and colocation, while our focus still remains on quality service at affordable rates.
Can you explain the synergy between Mike Lavrik and John Quaglieri and how the company grew from its start?
John and I met online 18 years ago as we were both selling software tools for AOL called Progs at the time. We were both one another’s greatest competition and after a short period of time we decided to team up to start InterServer. Back when we started, there weren’t many web hosting companies within the industry and we took that opportunity to build our business.
John’s a bit older than me and went on to college for a couple of years. I knew that once I graduated high school, my main goal was to focus on building InterServer. Once I graduated, John transferred his college credits to a local school in NJ and we rented an apartment and pretty much worked 24/7 from that point on. Looking back, it was a bold move because we really didn’t have a plan B. But I can tell you one thing was for sure, we believed in what we were doing and that was our daily driver.
Our partnership remains rock solid because we both have invested our life’s work into our company and admire one another’s respective areas of expertise. John primarily focuses on the support aspect of the business while I focus on business development and datacenter operations.
Can you tell us about the hosting packages that you offer? Feel free to drill down to specifics.
We are truly a one stop shop when it comes to hosting we offer fully managed WordPress hosting, Windows hosting, Drupal hosting, VPS, Dedicated servers, and Colocation services.
Where are most of your clients from, and where are they based? Are they businesses or consumers?
Our customers are all over the world, and they range from small businesses, bloggers, day traders, gaming sites, to large e-commerce sites. Overall, we cater to a wide range of consumers and have built our business on being able to support them adequately while also providing proper guidance throughout their growing process. We have customers who have been with us for years and started off with one server and with our input they grew their business and as a result as they grew we grew along with them.
How are you able to keep your costs so low? Do you ever worry about overselling claims?
Our ability to offer competitive prices is because we own and operate our facility with no middlemen costs. Before building our own datacenter we hosted in large datacenters but understood that in order for us to be able to build the business the way we intended to. We needed to take that major step and build out our own facility. In 2005 we built our datacenter and 11 years later I can honestly tell you it was the right move because it allows us the flexibility to do business the way we choose and work with our customers individually without having to worry about unnecessary overhead.
Our pricing is very straightforward no gimmicks or additional fees. We don’t make you commit to a contract in order to get the advertised price. As a matter of fact, at checkout, we give you an additional discount of the listed price if you pay for a year up front. Again, these are all the features we have implemented over the years because we truly make the customer experience as our top priority.
Another added feature we introduced this past year was our price lock guarantee which locks down your rate for the entire life of your account. So essentially the price you sign up at will remain the renewal price for the lifetime of your account.
Where is your datacenter based out of? Do you plan to expand to other markets?
We operate our two main datacenters out of Secaucus, New Jersey and have gained representation in the Los Angeles over the last 5 years. We are always looking for key markets that would serve as great platforms for growth. Our goal is to be strategic with our growth plans because our main focus has always been not to compromise our service and performance standards.
How many employees currently work for InterServer? Where are your offices located?
Currently all departments combined 22 people work for InterServer including John and myself. Our offices are located in the same building as our datacenters, making Secaucus our main hub.
Do you plan to offer other services, or is the focus exclusively on hosting at this time?
Our main focus has been and continues to be to focus on hosting solutions. However, in 2016, we will also shift some efforts into growing the domain registration portion of our business.
I see you have a WordPress call out on the front page, so clearly it's a big deal for your company. Can you tell us a bit about the demand and what you have done to address it?
WordPress has become one of the most in demand hosting packages that we provide to our customers. We watched WordPress grow into a leading blogging platform and its desirability along with popularity has grown as a result of its user friendly platform. In This past year we set out to partner with WordPress by sponsoring WordCamp NYC in November 2015 and then went on to attend WordCamp USA in Philadelphia in Decmeber 2015. We also serve as the local WordPress Meetup location for the north New Jersey area.
We offer fully managed WordPress hosting for $8.00 per month that includes unlimited storage, unlimited data transfer, free migration, along with daily and weekly backups, and includes 1 domain and 1 parked domain. This also includes free support 24/7.
What are your plans for the next 5 years?
In the next 5 years I see our Cloud and VPS hosting services to continue to grow rapidly. We will continue to develop new features to add to our client management interface in an effort to continue to enhance the overall experience.
Our main priority has and always will be to ensure that we maintain the highest quality over our service and support to our thousands of customers worldwide.