IX Web Hosting has been around for quite a while and they host tens of thousands of websites. To learn more about how they work, Steven Johnson of Joomla Hosting Reviews spoke with Ben Gabler, Director of Hosting at IX Web Hosting, about IX Web Hosting.
Q: Tell us a little about the history of IX Hosting. When and why was
it established? Where did the name come from?
Gabler: Our CEO, Fathi Said, officially founded the company in 1999. Fathi had been working on getting into the web hosting business since he was 16, and starting a company had always been his goal. He chose ‘IX’ web hosting as a name because one of his earlier ideas was “Internet eXpress,” and the IX just stuck.
Q: How many people work at IX? Where are your offices located?
Gabler: Our data center, administrative offices, and call center are all located in Columbus, Ohio, and we employ approximately 200+ people... from phone support, to developers, to system administrators.
We also have a support office in the Ukraine that helps us with tickets, emails, and live chat.
Q: What is the IX Hosting Company Culture like? What is a typical day like?
Gabler: Our company culture is one of the best aspects of this business. We have so many different characters here.
In fact, when we look to hire people, for any position, one of our biggest considerations is personality. You can teach most people the technical ropes, but you can’t teach personality. We want to hire fun people that are fun to work with. It creates a fantastic, energetic work environment.
Q: What is IX’s philosophy on Tech Support? Where is Technical Support based?
Gabler: Our support staff is one of our greatest assets. Our biggest tech support philosophy is that we’re not done with a problem until it’s fixed. We don’t set time limits on our technical agents because it just rushes people, and that’s when finer details get missed. Think about it, would you bake a better cake if I gave you all day, or told you it had to be done in an hour? Plus, who wants to be told their problem couldn't be fixed because it would take too long? That’s just not an acceptable answer.
We give our reps all the time they need to fix an issue, and encourage them to take ownership of each issue until it’s completely resolved.
Q: What can you tell us about about the IX data centers? Where are they located? How is the technology kept current?
Gabler: We've been operating our own data center facility since 2004. We've engineered it from the ground up to be energy-efficient and built specifically for web hosting.
Since we’ve chosen not to co-locate or rent server space elsewhere, but rather decided to manage our own data center and servers, we don’t have the overhead that many other web hosts do. We pass those savings onto our customers.
As far as keeping technology current, we test out new technology here and there to see what the benefit is to our customers, but typically rely on our existing tech. It’s there for a reason, after all. Any company that switches to new tech the moment it’s available isn't doing enough testing and is putting the customer at risk. We’d rather keep our customers’ sites stable than have bragging rights about the newest shiny stuff.
Q: IX Hosting provides a range of hosting plans. Can you tell us a little about the plans? Is it possible for a company to start with a basic hosting plan and grow into larger plans?
Gabler: We have 3 shared hosting plans; Expert, Business Plus, and Unlimited Pro. They have similar features, but the Business Plus plan and the Unlimited Pro plan just have more of them. For instance, the Expert Plan has one free Domain Point, while Unlimited Pro has three. Essentially, the perks and resources scale up as you go from Expert to Business to Unlimited. If you’re planning on hosting 1 site, Expert’s for you. More than one? Business Plus. Quite a few sites? Go with Unlimited.
If you start getting too big for an Expert Plan and want to move up to Business Plus, it’s literally just a few button clicks on our website. And, if you get too big for shared hosting overall, we can help you move on to our more advanced hosting plans, like VPS and Cloud.
Q: What sets IX Hosting apart from the other hosting companies?
Gabler: It’s definitely our customer service. We get hundreds of compliments a day on how dedicated, professional, and most of all, personable our service staff is. And that’s exactly what we want. We want a support staff that can fix any issues that come up, but still treat you like a person instead of a problem.
Q: What is something people don't know about IX Web Hosting?
Gabler: If I told you, then I’d have to kill you.
Kidding. I’d say people don’t realize how fun it is to work here, and how we all have a sense of humor, even about ourselves. Humor is one of those weird things, different people find different things funny. You have to be careful because one person’s favorite joke is something another person finds offensive. That’s why our front page is all business. That may change, though. We've got a couple wingnuts in the marketing department that are helping us slowly loosen up a bit, and always testing us to see what they can get away with, so we’ll see if the coming months don’t reveal the ‘edgier’ side of IX.
Q: Any future plans you can tell us about?
Gabler: We have a Valentine’s Day Sale coming up on February 7th, so keep an eye out for that. We’re also looking into getting a second control panel option for our shared hosting customers as well.
We encourage every member of our staff to be as innovative as possible, so new ideas are always coming down the pipeline.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
Gabler: There are a lot of web hosts out there. I won’t sit here and call us the ‘best’ because we all have different features for different types of customers. It would be like saying apples are better than oranges.
All I can say is do your research. Don’t buy hosting based off a fancy commercial or because of a big sale. Read customer reviews, and look at the fine print. $20/year for hosting sounds good until you find out that each email address costs you $5 extra, or that their support is only 9-5, Monday-Friday. I can’t tell you how many people we get migrating to our service because some of the ‘bigger’ web hosts pulled stuff like this
So, I can say that we don’t have any hidden charges, we have a 30 day money back guarantee, and 24/7 support. We have a fantastic staff and we have a great, private data center. I think we’re worth a look from anyone interested in getting online, so if you’re looking to start a new site, or you’re moving away from another host, give us a call and check us out.
Thanks for your time Ben, we will look forward to hearing from you again soon.