From a modest basement dorm room in Florida to expanding worldwide, HostGator has come a long long way. It was on October 22, 2002 that hostgator.com was registered and Snappy, the gator mascot, was born. And looking back at the thirteen years, no one can deny that Brent Oxley’s pet Snappy, the Host Gator, has redefined the dynamics of the web hosting domain. On February 1st, 2003, HostGator had 112 active customers. On the same date, one year later, the numbers had increased to 1,031 active customers. Today it hosts over 8 Mn domains. From a startup with 3 servers, we have grown into a leading provider of Shared, Reseller, VPS, and Dedicated web hosting.
Thirteen years is a long time, and the HostGator team has strived together through good times and bad times. As the HostGator family celebrated the thirteenth birthday of its favorite gator, Snappy, with celebrations at our offices worldwide, we reflected on the 13-year journey, pondering over the nuggets of wisdom that we had picked up along the way. Throughout this journey – while growing to the ginormous size that he is now – Snappy along with the whole team has acquired quite a few key learnings. These learnings have become our yardsticks, and we look at them as lessons that keep us grounded while helping us grow.
Lessons learnt in the last 13 years
Strive for happy customers: At the core, we believe in truly caring about the customer’s experience. This has been our biggest driving factor. Starting from our revamped support centre to incorporating interactive guides in the control panel for users, our engineers and teams spend significant amount of time and resources to provide the best experience. The end goal is to figure out processes and products that keep our customers satisfied and happy!
Be available 24x7x365: One of the key aspects of providing good support and making customers happy is just being there for them when they need. It’s really that simple – one has got to be available to customers 24x7x365 since there is no such thing as a weekend for online platforms.
Become a true Site-Kick (pun intended!): The idea is to showcase the value proposition or the +1 for customers at all times. To reach our destination, we had to become more than just a hosting provider for our customers. We became their hosting partners, a Side-kick if you will.
Work hard, play hard(er): All work and no play, does make Jack a dull boy. It is critical to stay focused but equally important to take time out and blow off steam. We believe that the adage ‘Work Hard, Play Hard’ holds true for Snappy and the team here. External customers will be happy only if our internal customers (i.e. Employees) stay happy.
Be humble: We couldn’t agree more with the folks at Zappos on this one. Despite all the awards and accomplishments under Snappy’s belt, we see the need to stay grounded. Success is great but being humble / grounded is the way to go.
Progress, not perfection: Learning never stops at HostGator and there’s always room for improvement. With that in mind, we say, forget about perfection; aim at bettering yourself every day.
Change is the only constant: Things change. We learn. That’s pretty much how we sum it up and offer newer solutions and products that cater to the constantly evolving Internet landscape.
Honesty is indeed the best policy: Sure, it’s easier said than done. But in the long run, honesty does get rewarded. Our customers deserve the truth and we believe in giving it to them Non Sugar-Coated. Honest feedback from our customers, employees and stakeholders is also what we need to help us improve our services.
Have your ear to the ground: Adding value to your customers begins with first understanding what they need. We believe in having our ear to the ground and listening to what customers are talking about. If support needs to be fixed, we fix it. If a new product is needed, we add it. Listening to customers ranks high in our books.
Evolve: Snappy sure has evolved over the years and he has made sure everything else did too. Keeping up with the times, we’ve made it our business to add products that complement the ever-growing needs of our customers. This has been one of our core strengths and an area we actively focus on.
Connect with your Customers: We believe in truly connecting with our customers. We observe their challenges, we experience their hurdles, and then we develop solutions that help them overcome those challenges.
Stay Local, Stay Focused: We are where our customers are. We are a global brand but we want to be where our customers are.
K.I.S.S. – Keep it simple, stupid: We want to make Going Online, Simple. That’s what it all comes down to in the end. Everything we create, we do with the only intention to help our customers go online.