MojoHost: Emcee of Web Hosting
When Brad Mitchell and his friend Corey Baldwin took the first baby steps on a journey that would become MojoHost, one of the top web hosting companies in adult, it was still the 20th century. Founded in 1999 and then refocused as a hosting company in 2002, MojoHost has come a long way from its humble beginnings on Mitchell’s PC in his own home, where his customers paid him for server rental and bandwidth. One day Baldwin noticed that Mitchell had space for extra servers and suggested they start selling hosting, which he would manage. From there, MojoHost has grown into a powerful firm with offices in Michigan and Florida, serving more than 1,100 clients with more than 100,000 website domains. Today, the friends are still partners, Mitchell the CEO and Baldwin the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) of MojoHost.
“All of our staff are full-time employees who make competitive salaries and benefits,” Mitchell says. “The pressure in the hosting industry, which is no different than in other market and industry, has a lot of companies outsourcing labor. So we’re very proud to have everything under one roof. Our data center is in Miami but our network operation center is in Farmington Hills, Mich. This allows us to keep the value of our customer data very high, and we have high expectations on how our staff is trained and monitored.”
MojoHost primarily sells what is considered to be managed dedicated hosting in which the typical customer has one or more servers dedicated to their own use. Some clients have only one server while others have more than a hundred. MojoHost charges its clients a monthly fee based on how many servers it provides, the size of bandwidth, and the amount of support given. The monthly billing is consistent, based on the client’s historical or anticipated usage.
“We try to bundle everything together for our customers and make it an overall great value,” Mitchell says. “We’re not known to be the cheapest hosting company. We’re certainly competitive in any scale of volumes of bandwidth or quantities of servers. The reasons why we’re a little bit more expensive than the next host is the quality of our infrastructure in our data center and the highly qualified staff of professionals that we have. A lot of hosting companies are very small and don’t have people on staff at all times, as we do. There’s a big difference between just renting a server a la carte somewhere and having truly full-managed support. We give sort of an all-you-can-eat buffet of support. If a client asks us to research a complex issue that might take 20 hours, they receive all of that for whatever is the price of their rate plan. In that sense, MojoHost is a bargain.”
Obviously the customers agree, and for good reason. Mitchell takes great pride in the reputation his company has earned for outstanding service to its clients.
“A lot of web hosting companies are very automated,” he says. “They provide customers with some basic software tools to do things like adding domains. We take a more in-depth approach in terms of actually helping a client trouble shoot for their business model. Our support staff goes pretty far beyond what would be considered standard support. We help clients make changes to their business for delivering live streaming or streaming video.
“We make a big effort to customize our efforts to the client from the point of entry as new customers. Clients come to us with all kinds of skill levels. Some are experienced and some are technically not that savvy. As early as the pre-sale process we make an effort to understand who they are and what their goals are, and then we try to create a solution that’s right for their business. Sometimes clients think that they need more than they really do, and one of the reasons why we have such a great reputation is that we don’t ever over-sell clients. It’salways our goal to sell a solution that clients can grow into.”
Despite the highly competitive nature of the hosting marketplace — there are literally thousands of hosting companies worldwide — MojoHost has maintained its high position. The firm has made a specific effort to compete for adult hosting business. This, according to Mitchell, has reduced the serious competition to just a few dozen companies.
“We compete on quality and price, but we don’t compete on price at any cost to make a sale,” he adds. “We stand apart from the competition due to the quality of our system administrators and the quantity of them that we have on staff. We’re very principled while being committed to serving the adult industry. This has allowed us to work with customers all over the world.
“Our customers know they always can reach me directly. I don’t ever turn off my cell phone. My extension in my office goes directly to me 24 hours a day. The good news is that I don’t get many middle of the night phone calls. I think that speaks highly to our commitment. We always put the customer first, and we do whatever it takes to get the job done, regardless of whether it’s a $50-a-month customer or a $50,000-amonth customer.”
MojoHost also is known for doing whatever it takes to stay ahead of the technological curve, which is ever-changing and highly expensive.
“There’s always new technology coming out,” Mitchell says. “We consider ourselves an early adopter of great technology. We’re always searching for things to make hosting faster, whether it’s hardware components or smart software. We put our money where our mouth is, and we always spend money trying to be better than the next guy. We have four times the amount of Internet capacity in our network build-out than we need for peak usage, but we do that for quality of service reasons.”
A fresh boost in quality of service will arrive early in 2012 when MojoHost introduces a new company, Fast TCP, that will offer revolutionary server software to its own customers as well as to customers of any other web hosts. The software dramatically improves the customer experience in downloading, according to Mitchell, through server and content acceleration.
“Even today we’re working like it’s 1999,” Mitchell says. “There’s no resting on laurels, because this business is too fast-paced with too much change.”