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Interview with Robert Crull - CEO of Catalog.com

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What is Catalog.com committed to as a company?

Providing the best product and service at the best price in the industry. We are also committed to helping our customers be successful on the web.

What are the most important things to look for in a web hosting company?

Stability and history.

Why are these things so important?

Stability is important because you need to know that your hosting company isnít going anywhere in the near future or that, in the worst case scenario, theyíre going to bottom out and take your website and email offline. Catalog.com has been around since 1994. Weíve proven ourselves as an ICANN Accredited Registrar as well as being one of the leaders in the web hosting industry. Itís also important to make sure the company you end up with offers quality support with decent response times. Find out how many people they have employed for Technical Support. Test how quickly they respond to questions and how accurate their answers are. If they canít or wonít meet your needs as a prospective Ė donít expect them to meet your needs once they have your money. Another important thing to check is the type of hardware a company is using for shared hosting. There are plenty of companies out there running on cheap, bottom-of-the-line systems stored in massive data centers. You want to make sure the hardware is dependable when youíre putting your livelihood in someone elseís hands. If they arenít running smoothly 99.9% of the time, this affects you and your web traffic. Your web site and email services should be running error free at all times.

How do you think customers can guard themselves against web hosting companies with bad products or services?

Do some background checking on the web hosting companies you are considering. Find out how long the company has been in business, read reviews on the company, talk to current customers and find out what the company does to keep their customers satisfied. Donít just ask the standard questions for the features youíre looking for. Try to find a host you can stick with for the long run. Transferring hosting providers and registrars is a pain and can cost you money and time in the long run.

How do you ensure that your customers are getting their needs met?

We listen to our customers. We take advice from them. If you donít know your customers, you certainly canít meet their needs. We want to establish a working relationship with each customer Ė and then continuously build on it to meet each otherís needs.

What is your most popular web hosting package, and why?

If you look at the stats, our Free Hosting with domain registration is the most popular package. Itís an all-in-one package that customers can start off with and upgrade as they grow. It includes every feature you need to get started. If youíre looking for the best deal for your money, the Extreme Hosting on Windows or UNIX is the way to go. Itís affordable at $9.95 a month, and it has enough features to keep you from worrying about upgrading anytime soon. The less you have to worry about as a customer, the better. Once you start developing web pages, itís not unusual to have 10 to 15 projects going on at one time. The more you can focus on building your business website and the less you have to focus on upgrading and renewing subscriptions, the easier it will make your life.

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