Shared Hosting Tips in Ukraine
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Shared Hosting Tips in Ukraine


Hello, Max! Hi Filip! Can you tell me who you are, what’s your company,
what are you doing? Yeah, we are Hostiq and we combine
several brands: HostIQ.ua, VPS.ua, SSL.com.ua, We work in the Ukrainian market and deal with selling hosting services and related services, such as SSL certificates, domain registration. I would like to say that our main approach is care about everything: first of all we take care of course about customers, we strive to provide high-quality support, and be a leader in this direction. Also take care of our team. and, in principle, we are for transparency. Market in numbers, what is the Ukrainian market? If we talk about Ukrainian
TLDs, then the main TLDs. which we have are .ua .com.ua and certain regional domains kiev.ua kharkiv.ua. If we talk about numbers in February of this year, then the number of domains is ~540K registrations unifying all these TLDs. Of which about 20K are .ua domains, main particularity of which is the presence of the brand, meaning it must be a registered business. And about 300k domains .com.ua. All the rest is regional zones. Also, registrations in the zones: .com, .net .org —
are also popular like in the rest of the world. And the market is still growing or is it
already steady? Somewhere from 2002 to 2012 there was a period of growth, and then due to the economic situation crisis some stagnation and even the fall was seen, then it has stabilized since 2014. But as such, growth in the number of domains is not seen. However, there is a worldwide trend that SMB’s aspiree to provide their representation on the Internet, so anyway the potential exists there is an opportunity and it is clearly not the limit where to develop. Have the events in Ukraine impacted on shared hosting? Do you mean the revolution of 2014? What we are shown on TV 🙂 This is such an interesting point that
we have a few years ago it was a decision
about limiting activities of Russian companies
in the internet in our country and it affected the fact that
significantly their representation in the market has declined. It also touched payment systems such like WebMoney and Yandex.Money,
if earlier they were substantial share of payment market in our country, then after people almost ceased to use them. Now we can say that
a leader among payment methods used by customers — is LiqPay, a payment gateway by PrivatBank system, the largest
the country’s bank as well as a number of companies that accept payment card payments. And those guys, Ukrainians, who
kept hosting in Russia, probably also got back to Ukraine, right? Well, yes. We continue to work somehow in the whole Russian-speaking market, but
nevertheless maybe and lost part of the audience. Many Russians said — “we lost in Ukraine ” Ukrainians say —”we lost in Russia”, but no one says “We have earned”. But on the other hand there is a tendency that people want some local business, there is no such common space
which was Russian-speaking. Ukraine after these events somehow marginalized and now number of clients is consciously choosing a Ukrainian company. And how many, average, does 1 account
have domains – there are countries where 1 account — 1 domain,
where 1— has 20 domains? You mean one
user? Yes, on an average. If you take the number of users
and the number of domains. One of the most popular bundles, is 1 site — 1 domain i.e. client buys hosting and buys a domain, but by looking at statistics, which exists on an average, we have 1.5 domains per client. And how do you promote support,
you have 24 hours or in Ukraine it is not very popular? We cannot say that it is very important. for customers in Ukraine, many are accustomed to the good old service from 8 to 17 and lunchbreak from 13-14 but thanks to us
and other companies that seek to raise standards of support, more and more people perceive it already as the norm. This is confirmed by the annual surveys that we conduct, about what’s important to customers
of our hosting services and in general and 24/7
support is not the last important factor now for customers in Ukraine. And in Ukraine, the average salary is relatively low, Of course, the IT sector is a bit
other thing, but do people prefer good price or still high-quality hosting, that is more expensive? A similar trend, like 24/7 support, if I may say so, the price remains very important factor, literally somewhere in 2nd place, by how customers choose their hosting, but in the same time, quality support,
up-time, and specification of the packages, every year are
more and more important and we see this very clearly from the statistics that we collect than the price. Average price tag if to speak
about this, of hosting is fluctuating from $2 to $8 per month, this is about
virtual or shared hosting if speaking an average,
it’s somewhere around $5, this is what people are now ready to pay. And on average, do people
love Ukrainian hosting more or they choose Russia, Amsterdam? People, as well as, possibly in the Russian Federation,
love hosting with support in their own language, and in our
case, it is Russian and Ukrainian languages, therefore
local companies are chosen but there is a number of clients who for some reason choose the location, the physical location of servers in western countries. There are no requests for locations in Russia, but European and US data
centers are on request. As an example, why this may be necessary, we have quite developed outsourcing market,
companies involved in development and providing services to foreign customers, accordingly, they should be somewhere closer to western customers. And support is 50/50 Russian and Ukrainian, or? Russian prevails. There are requests for Ukrainian
language, but still the majority is Russian. Everyone in Ukraine understands
Russian, therefore, the cheapest for the company is to provide Russian website, Russian support and everything else but we support
our country and our language, so we provide and Ukrainian interface website and Ukrainian support.
Accordingly, what language we received inquiry — we answer in it. So far unfortunately, or to
our luck, most requests are in Russian. How does website builder popularity in Ukraine grow? According to our statistics, it is one of the most popular countries. Yeah, indeed? Requests exist, if we talk
about the audience, the audience, which comes for buying
not hosting, but in order to create a website, then site builder is exactly what can we offer them
and what we offer. And the query grows, the model,
which we have chosen at the moment, i.e. as this is
naturally much broader audience who just wants a website much broader than the audience that comes for hosting. These people in many ways can be afraid that it’s too complicated, i.e. the task that
we are trying to solve is to show how easy it can be. Website builder is most often very simple. We provide customers the opportunity to
try for free to create a website and if
they get everything, everything is understandable they stay with
us and start paying money. Maybe there are some Know-Hows of
the group of companies in which you are working? What we are trying to do is such weird marketing, that is very funny,
we aim to shoot some actual and important videos we hold interesting and cool promotions. For example, one of the last
promotions was in honor of Gogol’s birthday – “Don’t burn your labors better come to us and get a
discount”, this kind of. Birthday of Bruce Willis, etc . And, it works. This way we are building recognition of your brand,
more people start talking about HostIQ some
videos become viral. And what could be the most big failure which you know, maybe you did something,
have invested a lot of strength and it didn’t work? Few years ago we
decided that hosting is developing and cloud
technology is taking over the world, Shared hosting will die soon, therefore, there’s an urgent need to develop a cloud. We have invested a lot of work and effort in building own cloud platform, got really quality product like a real cloud in which you can build virtual infrastructure which may be needed for some large organizations but haven’t yet learned how to sell the product. By the way, a familiar story,
a lot of hostings say same that there’s a need to invest in a revolution,
doing some kind of super platform, heavily investing but it doesn’t work out. Yeah, this takes place, but we have some sales, also several big customers, so the product itself pays off, but would like more. And some viral videos,
they are really picked up and people send them to each other? Yeah, for example, there was a video parody of the popular enough movie Three billboards outside Abbing, Missouri, we shot same video, there with frames from this movie but about hosting. We had a lot of reposts in various soc. networks in hosting communities. Can you also share some Lifehacks for selling hosting or domains? Maybe it has already worked before
but people watching in Brazil or China can still use this trick. Our trick is extra honesty, we always strive if we have some problems occurred, then we speak absolutely honestly and openly to customers. There was the case, when we had a very long and heavy DOS attack with which
we fought for several days, even up to a week, service fell off partly for our users. In the end, we wrote a very
detailed letter, almost like chronological:
“we had this situation we fought, did something like that,
then have blocked such and such IP, but the attack came from the other side ” and customers, it was a project VPS.ua oriented
on more technically literate customers, they very appreciated, of course, besides honest and frank conversation about what happened we offered people compensation, but
many refused because they said “DOS is such a thing, thank you for writing about it honestly and openly.” Also within the company we
we build similar processes, when business seeks to convey to every employee what and why are we doing to
everyone had some kind of shared vision and understanding of how the company is running. And this honesty and openness,
when there is nothing to hide leads to good results. In general, is the Ukrainian market very competitive regarding advertising, one
competitor is living out another or is the market still warming up like Latin America? Rather, I tend to the second
option, i.e. there is a number of large players among which
we are, and another 5-10 major competitors, but such a war of annihilation doesn’t exist. What we do to
get our part of the market is we provide a free relocation service from another hosting, i.e. our
technical specialists analyze current consumption
resources, offer package, perform the transfer of the client
and we even host for free for the period that was paid by the client on the previous hosting. Well done! Really, a good thing! And I wanted to say Ukraine is a really cool country I visited it last year: Odessa, Kiev — all that is shown on TV is not true — Ukraine is a wonderful country. Thank you, very nice to hear! Thank you, Max! Thanks for the interview!

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