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We’re Getting Famous!

Earlier this year I was interviewed by Keystone Edge.  If you haven’t heard of the site, Keystone Edge is an online publication focusing on the new economy of PA.  It’s a narrative of creative people and businesses, new development, cool places to live, and the best places to work and play.  So it was an honor to be featured among their midst:

Harrisburg entrepreneur compares quality Web hosting to the perfect cup of coffee

During the interview, I talked a little bit about why I chose 2012 to launch Fresh Roasted Hosting.  A lot of factors came together to create the perfect climate for a new tech startup in Harrisburg.  And in hindsight, I nailed our launch time.  I’ll talk about this more in a forthcoming post, but put simply, Central PA is a massive untapped ocean of creative talent, technical skill, and business finesse.  It’s time we had more technology offerings in the region to give everyone a home-grown place to flourish.

And just a few days ago, I was interviewed for Web Host Ranking, an unbiased observer for the web hosting industry.  Just a week ago, Fresh Roasted Hosting was honored with the “Best Customer Service” award for outstanding customer support.  The interview expanded on that, and gave me an opportunity to really dig into why we do what we do.  Here’s my favorite paragraph:

One of the biggest problems in the web hosting industry today is oversaturation.  Web hosting has become a “me too” industry, and unfortunately, the customer is often the one who gets punished when ill-fated startups go under.  I started Fresh Roasted Hosting to be different.  While everyone is in a race to the bottom and trying to out-cheap their competitors, we head in the opposite direction.  I saw a need for a host that focuses on delivering “above and beyond” customer support, even if it means we cost a few cents more than our competitors.

The web hosting industry has exploded over the past few years.  Hundreds of new web hosts spring up every day.  Almost as many close up shop every night.  With the advent of what’s known as “reseller accounts”, anybody with $10 a month can launch their own web hosting company.  With this much competition, many of these new hosts choose to compete solely on price.  And while this may sound like a great thing for consumers, it’s actually terrible.

There are a lot of tricks that new hosts keep their operating costs down.  Outdated servers are cheap, but can wreak havoc with reliability and uptime.  Discount carriers offer cheaper bandwidth, but usually on oversaturated networks.  And although cramming a few dozen extra users into a server can help drive down costs, it does so at the expense of everyone’s performance.  Ever been to a website where every page takes a few seconds to load?  Yep – overcrowded server.

But the single most common area where costs get slashed is customer service.  There are no two ways about it:  providing great customer service is expensive.  Even providing mediocre customer service is costly; having skilled system administrators on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year is downright rich.  And it’s because of this that most startup hosts don’t offer true 24-hour customer support.  Of the few that do, many are little more than a cell phone connected to the owner.  It’s a nice thought, but what happens if the owner is sleeping?  Or sick?  Or on vacation?  Or working with another customer?

And as someone who has been using web hosts for the past decade, that’s infuriating.  If my website goes down or is running slow, I want to know that I can get in touch with someone ASAP.  That’s why we not only offer true 24×365 support, but I make sure my staff goes out of their way to do an outstanding job.  We call it “above and beyond support”.  It means that my team is obsessed with helping you when you need it.  Whether you need us at 3am or 3pm, we’re here.

It’s a lot like the difference between coffee from your neighborhood truck stop and coffee from your neighborhood coffee roaster.  Sure, the truckstop coffee is cheaper.  It’s dark, it’s hot, it’s (usually) liquid, and it’s got caffeine.  And you can fill up a whole thermos for $1.49.  But your favorite coffee shop is richer.  The coffee’s aroma tells you a story while the flavor jump-starts your day (or night).  The staff is friendly and remembers your favorite brew.  A cup might cost a little more, but you know what?  You get what you pay for.

When I put together my financials and business plan, I bet everything on the fact that people would be willing to pay a few cents more for a better hosting experience backed by truly amazing customer support.  And only six months into my venture, that bet has paid off.  I’ve had to upwardly revise my business plan not once, not twice, but three times in just six months!  Apparently, people like being treated with respect and actually getting something for their money.  Who knew?

I realize this post has been uncharacteristically self-serving, but I wanted to drive home a point.  Fresh Roasted Hosting provides the best customer service in the web hosting industry.  Period.  I invite anyone who disagrees to email me directly at [email protected] to let me know how we can do better.  From help setting up your new email accounts to complex management of your dedicated servers, we’ve got you covered.

Thanks for making these past six months absolutely amazing.  Thanks for helping me show the world that Central PA is an untapped goldmine of technological ideas and innovative design.  And thanks for spreading the word about Harrisburg’s best web hosting company — Fresh Roasted Hosting!

Happy cupping!

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