Interview with Will Pemble - CEO of Web.com
What is your personal history in the web hosting industry, and with Web.com?
I came to Web.com, and to the world of hosting and domain names, in 1999. Prior to that, I built and grew a technology training company which I later sold for a profit. When I joined Web.com, we were initially a simple information portal, trying to compete with other sites that were offering information and services for free in an effort to gain mind- and market-share; but I quickly decided it would make good business sense to start trying to earn a profit, so we started selling domain names, including our own .web.com domains. That naturally led us to start offering other important Web services that would enable our customers to harness more of the Web. Today, Web.com provides domain names, e-mail service, Web hosting and e-commerce solutions to over 300,000 customers.
How did your company initially get the name Web.com? It's a good domain! Did you originally have a different name when the company started?
We've had this name since the beginning. Our founder, whose initials are W.E.B., purchased it in 1996 when he started the company and what better name could you think of for a company providing Web services?
For what reason(s) did you locate your headquarters in Brookfield, Connecticut instead of California where the company began?
While the company was founded on the west coast where we still have an important presence, I was hired to run Web.com from the Northeast where I could more easily manage our New York data center, as well as build a strong management team from my network of contacts located in that region. Most importantly, my family lives in this area, so the choice was relatively straightforward.
What is it that makes Web.com unique in the hosting industry?
Web.com provides a level of stellar customer service that sets the company apart from 99% of companies competing in the hosting industry. In today's world of reseller plans that allow almost anybody to sell Web hosting online, it is our goal to provide the most professional, prompt and intelligent customer service in our field. We start by making sure our descriptions of products and services as well as our online registration and administrative tools, are as intuitive as possible. We back that up with our top-notch customer service staff; when you call, email, or initiate a chat with Web.com, your inquiry is answered by real people twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
What is your most popular service offering and why?
Our most popular product is definitely our domain name registration service. Our intuitive domain management system is matched only by our rock bottom prices; we offer the same .com, .net, .org, and .US names that others sell for upwards of $15 to $30, for only $6.95 per year. Beyond that, we offer .web.com domain names, such as hostcompare.web.com, for only $4.95 per year.
You receive frequent awards from web hosting directories. For instance #4 on Top Hosts for February and a three star ranking on CNET. How does a hosting company rank highly on these lists?
We’ve been successful by making a point not to overemphasize price or underemphasize the value of our customers. We focus our energies on flexibility, customization and customer service. We find that these strategies translate into happier customers, who are glad to provide positive feedback on leading industry review sites such as TopHosts and CNET.
You've launched a recent partnership with Name Intelligence (www.nameintelligence.com). What benefits will result from this partnership to Web.com and its clients?