Hostwinds: A Breath Of Fresh Air In Hosting


Bart Keating


2019 January 7th

Hostwinds Ceo Peter Holden

In the year 2010 Hostwinds entered the hosting industry with a new set of standards, trying to shine bright like a diamond amongst the competitors. They had a simple success formula - ensure that the client is successful, secure and satisfied.

Doesn't sound very innovative, right? Because it isn't. Unless you go an extra mile. And Hostwinds were determined to walk it.

So I've decided to sit down with Peter Holden, the man who founded Hostwinds being only 20 years old. And to be honest, even after 8 years in the business, Peter is still very young as a CEO of the company. Here is what I found out about this company, and how it is different from the rest of the competition.

Born of Frustration

I can ensure that Hostwinds were not born out of love and warm feelings. Peter experienced just too much annoying problems, misunderstandings, and miscommunications when dealing with the web hosting providers. It's was a no-brainer for future CEO to figure out that something had to be done:

Peter Holden review I used to have a lot of problems with my hosting providers. Going through various development processes and building out more and more systems I had to interact a lot with hosting support and it was terrible. Because of various situations, I've made a decision to start a hosting company and offer something better for the people.
Peter Holden, CEO of HostWinds

And this marked the start of a new company, called Hostwinds. The market was tight as the web hosting business was one of the most competitive and toughest industries to squeeze in (it's even more complicated nowadays). You had to take risks and to offer something unique.

The first step for Peter was to find the perfect balance for his business:

Peter Holden review Back then, you either get great service and support, and paid way too much money, or you got terrible service and support, without paying much money. I wanted to find a way to combine both great service, and brilliant customer support.Peter Holden, CEO of HostWinds

Let's be honest, every web hosting provider claims to have excellent service and brilliant customer support. On the other hand, one thing is to say and another is to stand behind your words. I checked lots of Hostwinds reviews and Peter Holden can stand behind his with ease:

hostwinds reviews Peter Holden interview

Secondly, being quite young in the market, Hostwinds needed a different approach to the hosting business. While other companies were throwing most of the income into the marketing, Peter prioritized spending money on infrastructure and support over the marketing:

Peter Holden review All of the money we make goes right back into the infrastructure or support of Hostwinds. Not spending much money on marketing allows us to have a great product and have that be the focus of our company.
Peter Holden, CEO of HostWinds

Sounds like a strange road to chose but it worked and even let Hostwinds to stand out in the advertising-based market.

And thirdly, Hostwinds is a hosting company that surprised us. In a good way and for the right reasons. So, now I will tell you a true story of how I've managed to actually win the bet with the help of Hostwinds.

It happened because my colleague was in pure disbelief when I told him that with a Hostwinds shared hosting package you would be getting a dedicated IP for your website. “It’s impossible, those things are expensive and others house like 20 websites on one!” he said. But guess what - in Hostwinds, every shared hosting user gets a dedicated IP.

It’s a monument to the amazing resources and premier customer care that this company provides. And I won a free pineapple pizza. I am more than certain that with the help of Hostwinds you can come out as a winner. One way or another.

Peter Holden Hostwinds CEO

Dustin, one of the Hostwinds engineers inspecting and maintaining the servers  

The Growth of Hostwinds

Peter started everything alone and in the beginning, the focus was on big companies. Hostwinds concentrated on enterprise-grade hosting solutions and all infrastructure was built around servicing these big clients in whatever they might need. As the company evolved over the time, Hostwinds drew extra focus into other services, such as shared hosting:

Peter Holden review

As we've started focusing more on regular shared hosting clients, we kept our backend the same. The infrastructure we have is enterprise-level. The hardware we have is common between enterprise-grade cloud hosting providers but is a rarity in shared or VPS hosting.
Peter Holden, CEO of HostWinds

As you can see,  in Hostwinds, regular hosting users are given the type of treatment more commonly seen in business-grade solutions. Eventually, this wasn't unnoticed and unappreciated by the buyers.

Today Peter is not alone anymore. Hostwinds have 75 engineers doing their best to deliver the best possible experience for the clients.

peter holden hostwinds ceo interview

There are lots of strong and experienced experts backing up Hostwinds

In shared hosting Hostwinds provide two type of services - regular and business. Shared hosting is focused on a regular user, looking to run a personal website, as Peter called it a passion project. Although business shared hosting is way faster, providing SSD storage, CEO reassures that satisfaction of regular hosting users is important too.

When the main priority is quality it makes sense to put fewer users on one server. Although this means making less money, Hostwinds restrain themselves from putting extensive amounts of accounts into servers.

Peter Holden review

In all plans and all services, we don't put more than 60-70 accounts per server. It's easier to offer great services when you put fewer users on one server. Sure, we may make less money than companies putting 400-500 accounts on a server, but we think that the overall user experience is worth it.
Peter Holden, CEO of HostWinds

Don't Stop Me Now

Hostwinds are not planning to slow down anytime in the future they don't even consider becoming Hostbreeze (ba dum tss). Future plans remain user-experience-orientated. Making sure that users get the best experience in the business, continuing the transition from HTTP to HTTPS and offering new features is essential according to Peter Holden.

One of the Hostwinds strengths is reliability and CEO of Hostwinds is pretty confident about his infrastructure:

Peter Holden review

All of our stuff is completely future-proof. We have invested into hardware and even in case of catastrophic failure almost anywhere within the stack, we could keep on running.
Peter Holden, CEO of HostWinds

Second major plus - Hostwinds operate most of their servers and being a direct supplier lets them afford very good profit margins and better pricing. More to add, a portion of Hostwinds clients are actually hosting companies:

Peter Holden review

Many companies would sell a shared hosting plan and then buy a dedicated server from a third party. We own and operate our own equipment, so we are our own supplier. It allows us to offer better pricing. A lot of our clients are actually hosting companies, which purchase our servers.
Peter Holden, CEO of HostWinds

In simple words, Hostwinds aim to make everything as reliable and simple to use as possible. They offer free domains when purchasing a hosting plan and Weebly website builder is another nice addition to the package:

Peter Holden review

 Users have been asking for a great way to build websites, so we identified Weebly as the leader in the field and started offering that for the users - a paid plan, free of charge.
Peter Holden, CEO of HostWinds

Weebly is surely a top-tier website builder and to have it included in the plan for free is a great deal!

Peter's Formula for Success

The potential is there and looks like this small American startup is on the right track. It really can be expected that Hostwinds will become better over the time because delivering a very good value for your money is an important keycard success of any business.

The key Holden of Hostwinds is Peter and he has a tip for everyone looking for some inspiration:

Peter Holden review

Just do it. If you want to go and do something, but something's holding you back, do it. It's not easy, wasn't easy for me. Worked crazy hours, but in the end it paid off. You have to put in work to make things good.
Peter Holden, CEO of HostWinds

I can see that Hostwinds has loads of promise and the mindset of their CEO assures that only themselves are responsible for their future. So I wish them the best of luck and to keep up the good work!

peter holden interview hostwinds
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