Interview with Denis Motova of HostICan

Clickfire talked to Denis Motova, affiliate manager at HostICan. We asked Denis about the HostICan affiliate program, overselling and rumors about a new dedicated web hosting offering.

Thanks for taking the time to give the Clickfire visitors some behind the scenes insight into yourself and HostICan. Could you start off by introducing yourself and telling us how you came to be where you are at HostICan?

Thank you for giving me this interview. My name is Denis Motova, I’m the current affiliate manager at HostICan. I have been with HostICan since day one, so you may call me an “Old Hand”.

I’ve worked in the QoS (Quality of Service) side of the house for a while, and then finally moved over to the affiliate sector (when they needed more help). I have been working there ever since, providing our partners and affiliates with assistance as and when they need it.

Do you have a sense of who the typical HostICan customer is? Is he/she a corporate tycoon wearing a three piece suit sitting in his office suite or a pajama clad weekend webmaster kicking back in a loft?

From what I’ve seen most of the customers seem to be web savvy webmasters, or folks that are new to the web.

This is great; folks that are new to the web are the next generation of customers and webmasters. So it makes me happy to see / hear that new folks are going online to further expand their new or existing business.

How does HostICan serve the needs of the average webmaster?

HostICan is one of a few companies that I have worked at / for. In my experience it is also the best one I’ve ever worked for. The company constantly innovates, and works on new features and ideas.

We have a new feature set coming out that will expand the customers tools by about 15%, which will allow customers to achieve their results faster without having to really dig deep to find an answer to their questions.

There are many more features that will be provided, they are currently in development but, they will be out very soon… which is going to make a lot of customers very happy – I saw them in an internal demo at the companies show and I said wow! Literally.

I suspect that a lot of webmasters who have been able to monetize their sites with low cost shared web hosting are moving to dedicated hosting. I hear HostICan has a new dedicated product coming out. Can you tell us about the product? And, will it have cPanel?

Yes, the rumors are true. We do have a new product coming out. Its something that I have been reviewing from time to time, and I must say I’ve very excited about it.

Its going to focus on a certain market segment and allow us to expand our presence in that field while providing high quality service, that HostICan has become known for.

Yes! cPanel is one of the many options that this new product will have. We will support approximately three different version of the product on release with different options, but cPanel will be front and center.

Let’s talk a bit about the HostICan affiliate program. I know you recently migrated from Commission Junction and created your own program. Some affiliates are fans of the big networks. Why the move and what advantages does the current HostICan affiliate program offer over your competition?

Yes, this is true too. In my personal experience I have found that CJ (Commission Junction) is a great network. However, they don’t deliver the affiliate or the merchant the results that an in-house program can.

For example, CJ charges 30% commission on top of what you pay the affiliate, so if you pay the affiliate $100 per sale, you have to pay $30 to CJ meaning that you pay $130 total.

So instead of paying CJ 30% why not just give it directly to the affiliate? I think that would be much better. Hence I decided to take the program in-house as I feel that we can offer better value working directly with the affiliate.

One of the advantages of working directly with HostICan is we can provide higher commissions that we would be able to provide on a large network, and can provide higher performance bonuses to top performing affiliates.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that we provide FREE iPods to our best affiliates to show them how grateful we are for their support.

Where can someone sign up for the HostICan affiliate program?

Signing up for the HostICan Affiliate Program is easy and quick. Simply go to http://www.hosticanaffiliate.com and click the large “Sign Up!” button… and you’re on the way to making money!

HostICan seems to be pretty serious about capturing market share and growing aggressively. Where do you see HostICan going over the next few years in terms of growth?

Although it’s hard to tell the future, I look forward to HostICan growing in its current market share and being able to provide even more tools and features to its subscribers and allowing them to continue to grow their business. One thing we strongly believe in at HostICan is that success of our customers is our success.

Everyone seems to be discussing the business practice of overselling, ad nauseam, these days. Do you have an opinion on overselling? Does HostICan do this and if so how do you ensure that customers get their due disk space and bandwidth in times of high usage?

While I can not say that overselling is bad or good, we must really look at the cause of the problem rather then the façade.

When shared hosting started out originally, the offers where 10 – 50 MB (back then it cost from $15 – $70/mo) for one shared hosting account! But as we started getting more and more into PHP, XML, AJAX, JavaScript, the needs started to grow and expectations started to rise from customers.

Then we hit into a “media” age where music, movies, and things like this needed to be incorporated into websites, which drove the space and requirements even more…

So many hosts now rely on overselling their plans to be able to add more customers into their servers to make up for the lower prices and constantly growing cost of server software and hardware.

There are a couple of ways overselling, the light weight version and heavy version. Its ok to oversell a little like 2 – 3 more accounts per server, but not 100’s of accounts.

At HostICan we use a SAN network where the data is stored in a large array of hard drives, which allows us to add more drives and easily expand our hard drive capacity as much as 50% at one time.

You seem to have a lot of energy and enjoy your job. What do you do for fun? Not that web hosting isn’t fun :)

Yes, I really enjoy my job. After all, if you don’t enjoy your job, you can’t expect to be very good at it, especially in such a highly competitive industry.

For fun, I enjoy playing golf and tennis, and do some wakeboarding (when I get some time, and its not freezing outside)

Once again, thanks for having me on, I really appreciate it.

Emory Rowland

Emory Rowland is editor and keeper of the flame at Clickfire. He's a fanatical blogger, entrepreneur and builder of Internet things from way back. Emory's love for social media and success with organic search led him to start a SEO consulting venture. Apart from the Internet, he could be considered by many as pretty worthless. More...

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