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Web-hosting firms helps companies save money.

Forget about all the dot-bombs. If you want your business to communicate effectively today–with customers, partners, and prospective employees–it’s still essential to establish a compelling presence online. Lucas Roh, CEO of Chicago-based Hostway, tells us how turning to a Web hosting firm such as Hostway is smart business practice for companies working to minimize internal costs.

What does Hostway do?

We provide Web hosting services to more than 100,000 small and medium-sized businesses around the world. Our products range from very affordable shared hosting packages to fully managed dedicated servers, which include 100-percent system administration. We are dedicated to bringing the best value in Web hosting to the market and providing outstanding customer support.

Why should companies outsource to a Web hosting company?

Most small and medium-sized companies don’t have the IT staff or the budget to support buying and maintaining a server and paying a team of system administrators to maintain it. By outsourcing to Hostway, our customers are able to leverage our experience in system administration and the kind of state-of-the-art facility that only large companies can afford. Outsourcing to a Web hosting provider saves not only money, but also time, allowing a company to concentrate on their core business, not the performance of their Web site.

Of even greater importance is the added security you have by outsourcing to an experienced company like Hostway. Hostway’s servers are updated with the latest security software, and have multiple connections to the Internet and a fully redundant power supply. By outsourcing to Hostway, companies can be confident that their Web sites will always be online.

Why is it still important for companies to establish a compelling presence online?

Despite what happened over the last two years, the trend is clear: You need to have a Web presence. The Internet is a big part of our lives. When was the last time you made a major purchasing decision without first checking things out on the Web? Your Web site is not just for prospective customers anymore–it’s there so you can effectively communicate to your existing customers, your employees, partners, etc. It’s not a question of “Should I have one?”– it’s a question of “In which direction should we take our Web site?”

What are the biggest mistakes companies make when migrating to the Web?

Not having a clear vision for the purpose of the Web site. Is it for your existing customers? Is it for your prospective customers? Do I want to generate leads? Do I want to close sales? Do all of above? You have to be very clear about what you want to accomplish. Otherwise, you end up with a site that is half-baked and ends up confusing the readers. Don’t assume that your Web designer is going to know what’s best for your business.

Hostway is still growing and hiring. What has enabled Hostway to succeed in a time when other, larger firms have not?

Call it our Midwestern sensibility or lack of imagination, but we never did trust the so-called new-economy business model of eschewing profit for growth, certainly not to the extent that some of the dot-bombers were promoting. We also knew that if we got into a habit of operating one way, it would be hard to change in the future.

We did not rely on outside funding. That enabled us to concentrate on the long-term strategy of growing the company sensibly. It’s true what they say: It’s those who control the flow of capital that control your destiny. For us, from day one, the ones who controlled the capital were our customers. That meant that everything we did had to enhance the value proposition for our customers.

As a result of our approach, Hostway has been profitable every quarter since the beginning and is still growing.

do you know a local company we should cover? Let us know about it. Send your local profile candidates to Christy Mulligan.

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