An Interview with Genko Penev, Founder and CEO, NextPointHost
Genko Penev founded NextPointHost with the challenging goal of proving the highest levels of quality, performance, and support – even for the smallest of web sites. So far he seems to be succeeding, including specialty offerings such as Managed WordPress hosting, Forex VPS hosting, and cloud hosting, all at reasonable prices.
HostAdvice: Can you please start by telling me a little bit about yourself and your background?
Computers and networking have been my passion since I was 14-15 years old. I have deep knowledge in many areas of information technologies. I got my first Cisco certificate when I was only 18 years old. Two years later I was one of the youngest Certified Cisco Systems Instructors (CCSI) on the planet. I have several additional certificates from various major brands.
I worked as a systems integrator or a consultant for a number of major Bulgarian and international projects. I have lead Cisco training and have participated in many additional IT activities. In a nutshell, my whole life is connected with servers, networks, data centers, etc.
HostAdvice: Are the founder and owner of NextPointHost? When and why did you decide to establish the company?
Yes, I’m the founder and owner of the NextPointHost. I decided to establish the company, because I wanted to use my knowledge for something of my own. I believe that I can build a large, successful, and well-known IT company. My idea is to create a different type of hosting company – one where the services offered are really reliable and without lies.
My experience so far has shown that many of the competitors are only marketing based, but they have very poor services - especially support teams. My company is different in that it offers high quality services and first-class customer support, because I know that even a very small web site is very important for its owner. I believe that such a good attitude to even the smallest customers is lacking in others companies.
HostAdvice: Who is your target audience? How do you market to them?
Our target audiences are clients who need high availability services. The clients who want everything to be under control. Customers who want their services to be 100% available and without any interruptions and delays. We don't do anything special in advertising. We are just honest and explain all of the details. People understand when you're honest and will recommend you to their friends.
HostAdvice: How do you feel you are better or different than your local competitors?
We are one of the few companies that do business without dependencies from 3rd party sides. So we have our own Internet autonomous system assigned by IANA. All our services are based on 100% ownership of the infrastructure. That’s why I and my team know every centimeter of network cables to last screw on each server, plus all configurations of each service.
Another major difference is that we rely on high availability and redundancy which cover at least the Tier-4 levels. In the hosting business no one else does such configurations because it is too expensive and leads to drastically reducing their profits. For us, the importance of quality is above all else.
HostAdvice: Are all of your customers Europe-based or do you also have companies from outside Europe that want to have a European a presence?
Our clients are from all over world. We have clients from 6 continents. The only continent where we do not currently have clients is Antarctica.
HostAdvice: Does the European hosting market differ in any significant ways from the US or North American market?
I think that the European market is different from US and North American market, because most of the clients in Europe demand much higher quality than clients in USA. The clients in the US pay a lot easier without many questions than clients in Europe. Europeans want to understand all aspects about of the service, while for the Americans it is enough for the service to just work, without caring how it works.
HostAdvice: I see on your web site that in addition to the usual shared and VPS hosting, you also offer a very specific Forex VPS. Can you please explain what exactly that is, how it differs from your regular VPS? Is this a very popular offering?
The Forex VPS servers are special VPS servers designed for financial trading. These VPS servers are built on the top of very expensive hardware for low latency. They have special software configurations which provide ultra-low latency for the traders. In a few words, these are special real-time and high-performance systems for traders. They cannot be used for anything else.
HostAdvice: I see that you offer “Managed WordPress Hosting” – How does that differ from your regular shared hosting? How many of your customers are hosting WordPress sites?
The Managed WordPress Hosting is different from standard shared hosting in its configurations. The servers for WordPress have special optimizations which allow WordPress to works faster than on a standard shared hosting server, where configurations are for general usage. This is a special type of hosting that we are working on very intensively. We hope to soon provide many unique features, which will allow administrators to create and manage WordPress sites much more quickly and easily. Recently, most of our new customers choose WordPress as the platform for their web sites.
HostAdvice: What can you tell me about your cloud hosting options? Do more of your customers choose the Linux or the Windows cloud? What drives their decision?
Our cloud hosting is created with the idea to provide 100% high availability and to have 100% identical performance with physical hardware! Most customers choose the Linux cloud, because most of the best web control panels like cPanel work under Linux. Linux also provides more freedom and flexibility. On the other hand, some applications require Windows. That’s why we offer both options.
HostAdvice: How do you see the hosting market evolving – in the next 1, 2, and 5 years?
The web hosting market is evolving every day. I don't know what will happen after five years. I think that many clients will be searching for hosting of mobile applications as well as hosting integrated with social networks and internet of things.
HostAdvice: About how many customers do you have today? How do they break down – percentage wise – among your different service offerings?
We have thousands of clients. Of course most of them use Linux based services like shared hosting, WordPress Hosting, Linux VPS and etc.
HostAdvice: How many employees do you have today? Where are they located?
I currently have 51 employees. Most of them work in our headquarters in Bulgaria, but I have employees in Germany and the UK where our data centers are located.
HostAdvice: What are your projections for your future growth?
I'm guided by the maxim of Winnie the Pooh: “The more, more!” I hope to have double-digit growth each year.
HostAdvice: What are some of the key points you would share with someone who is looking for a new web hosting service?
I would advise anyone who is looking for hosting to be suspicious and to check as many of the promised things as possible. The market is overloaded with resellers and affiliates of our competitors who lie about many aspects of their services. Also, take the time to do some research and read comments and recommendations on reputable sites such HostAdvice.com
HostAdvice: How many hours a day do you normally work? What do you like to do when you are not working?
I usually work a lot, because I am a workaholic. There are days where I work only a few hours, but there are also days when I work more than 12 hours. Since this is my business, I am really always working and thinking about it 24/7. I stop when I feel that I am tired and can't do my job well.
In my scarce free time I like to spend time with my family. We love to travel in our car without maps and to discover new places. I also do cart racing with my son on the racing track.
HostAdvice: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
I would like to wish all of your readers that they have a reliable hosting company that will allow them to build a profitable business. I will also add one traditional Bulgarian wish:
"to be alive and well, everything other will come after hard work or can be bought with money.”