Interview with founder and CEO: Alfez Velji

Chances are by now you’ve heard of, who offer cutting edge affordable shared hosting, VPS hosting, as well as Dedicated hosting. We were fortunate to enough to have an opportunity to sit down with the brainchild, founder and current CEO Alfez Velji. If you’re looking for affordable and reliable hosting with immense scalability, this is a must read!


HRS: Hello Alfez, and thank you again for taking the time to sit down with us today. Let’s say we start with a quick into? Tell us a little bit about yourself and your company

AV: Hi Chris, the pleasure is all mine! Thanks for the opportunity to share HostUpon’s vision. Just as you mentioned, I am the founder and CEO of We are privately owned, and based out of Toronto, Ontario – otherwise known as the Tech capital of Canada.  We specialize in shared hosting, VPS, and dedicated servers, as well as reseller hosting and cloud hosting. We’re able to offer all of this via 5 data centers that we operate in North America; Dallas, Seattle, Washington D.C., and 2 in Toronto.  We also have data centers opening up in Europe in 2014 to expand our presence globally.

HRS: That’s a hefty offering…can you highlight a solution that you might call HostUpon’s “bread and butter”, and elaborate on it?

AV: Of course. I would have to point towards our Starter Unlimited and Business Unlimited plans, which are by far our most popular hosting solutions. They are competitively priced, and include the full extension of HostUpon’s resources, like unlimited domains, emails, bandwidth and disk space, as well as free script installers, etc. You get the picture. We also tend to see the natural migration from shared hosting to VPS, and then to dedicated hosting, within our client “ecosystem”. It’s something we’re very proud of actually. The ability to sustain and scale when our customers needs change and grow. We don’t hesitate to inform our customers if we have a solution that is better suited to their needs, especially if it costs them less in the long run, and I think this is something that sets us apart from our competition, and keeps our retention rate extremely high.

HRS: That’s good to know. Sounds like you guys place a lot of importance on customer service?

AV: You nailed it. Customer experience is paramount for us, far more than any other aspect of our business. We are constantly changing, growing, upgrading, all based on the feedback, needs, and even demands that we get from our customer base.  We invite all of our customers to keep the discussion going, whether it be through our live chat system, email, or over the phone, we’re always listening. Our support staff are all completely in-house, North American based, to help our customers should they ever have an issue. We’ve found that by not outsourcing, as many other hosting companies do, we’ve been able to better connect with our customers which in turn leads to faster, more efficient problem solving. Though we have a strict 24hr turn around window, most issues are resolved within minutes of us being notified.

HSR: Sounds like you’re on to something! With such a diverse offering, what would you say is your target market?

AV: That’s the beauty of what we do: its simple, inexpensive, and can be scaled to any size business. Plus, we use cPanel, which is arguably one of the easiest control panels to navigate, and at the same time can be extremely useful for someone who’s a more experienced user. With free site builders and literally hundreds of 1-click auto installers, managing your website has never been easier. Whether you’re new to web site management, an SMB looking to grow rapidly, or a well versed web site administrator, you’ll be in good hands with HostUpon.  Our current list of clients has grown so remarkably diverse, it’s led us to build non-endemic ad campaigns to really extend our reach.

Our core business is shared hosting and we’re one of the few hosts that offer FFmpeg on our shared servers.  FFmpeg is a server-side module that allows our customers to upload media and convert it to a web-friendly format.  Basically FFmpeg allows our customers to run their own social network sites and YouTube clones.  This is just one of our features that separate us from our competition.  We’re always looking for way to improve our offerings and meet the requirements for todays media based websites.

HRS: Interesting. So what you’re saying is you’ve been able to attract business from areas that aren’t traditionally known to need web hosting? How?

AV: Exactly. We have found that if we truly want to offer a 360 degree hosting solution, we have to be able to build, and then support business from every area of the internet. We manage a very healthy affiliate network, that helps us spread the word to specific verticals and industries. Our affiliates aren’t just selected at random either, we maintain very high standards for our partners, and this translates into the business they help us bring. I won’t go into too much detail, but between our ever growing affiliate network and some savvy SEM campaigns, we’ve found a very beautiful intersection, where impressions, traffic and ultimately business converge and produce an almost harmonic result.

Over the past two years we’ve been working on our Cloud Hosting platform as more and more people want to take advantage of cloud services.  We now offer Cloud Hosting which is geared towards clients who require a level of redundancy that shared hosting simply cannot provide.  Our cloud hosting is based on N+1 technology meaning if a server fails another server is online instantly with no service interruption.  We also use IBM storage area networks which means that customer data is spread across multiple redundant hard drives providing performance and stability.  Without getting in to too much detail our cloud hosting truly is one area where we’ve spent time and resources researching the best platform for customers looking for scalability and reliability.

HSR: That’s great stuff! Going back to the “hundreds” of scripts and 1-click script installers – you were speaking figuratively right? Can you elaborate?

AV: Sure – but so we’re clear, I was being literal! Softaculous is a script suite that brings scripts like Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, all to your control panel to be installed with simply the click of a button. To date, Softaculous offers just over 300 different scripts in various categories, giving our customers the power to deploy anything they want! We also offer full support with installation and migration, naturally. With full cPanel integration, Softaculous delivers endless possibilities to our customers.

If you’re looking to switch to us from another provider we offer a free website transfer service and generally can move a customers entire account over within a few hours making switching hosts seamless with no downtime.

HRS: “I’d like to try HostUpon, but I’m too amateur/inexperienced/lazy/busy etc.”  How do you help these potential clients?

AV: That’s a great question. We often interact with potential clients like this initially through our live chat system on our homepage, where they basically let it all out. This is where our above average customer service comes into play: not only is our team of experts technically inclined, they will make your experience with HostUpon as painless as possible! Even if it means holding our customers hands and carrying them through every step of the way. Our free site migration and transfer, as well as new site setup is all supported in real-time, by real people in house, that know exactly what they are doing.

Getting goal is to provide a hosting service and home for your website with no headaches and technical skills required.  We take care of the hosting and that gives our customers the ability to focus on their website and business.  From our easy to use cPanel control panel to our detailed video tutorials we’ve got you covered.

HRS: As the web hosting industry grows and adapts to emerging technologies, where do you see HostUpon in the next 3 to 5 years? Do you have any short term plans?

AV:  Our short term plan includes expanding our cloud hosting infrastructure and offerings.  On the back end we are constantly adding new hardware to our ‘cloud’ to provide additional layers of redundancy and performance for our existing client base.  Cloud hosting is already taking off and we’re one of the few providers who offer a true cloud hosting platform.  In addition to our cloud hosting we recently partnered with CloudFlare allowing our customers to take advantage of their intelligent global network which automatically optimizes the delivery of your web pages across the globe.  Our thirst for innovation and improvement is constant and our short term goals are simply to offer the most reliable hosting using the latest technologies available.

Like any successful business we do have a long term goal but in reality the hosting industry requires us to stay current with the latest trends and technologies and we like to keep our focus on this.  We do have plans to add additional data centers specifically in Europe, Asia and South America.  Expanding our network is definitely in the works as it not only allows us to reach more customers but also expand our cloud hosting platform.

HRS: Great. Listen, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us today and sharing your vision, your business, and your formula for success. Is there anything you’d like to add before we wrap this up?

AV:  It was my pleasure!  As I mentioned earlier our goal is to provide the latest and greatest when it comes to web hosting.  We strive to provide a stable home for your website and we will continue to provide the best customer service and uptime when it comes to hosting.

I’d also like to offer your viewers a special discount on all of our shared hosting plans!

Simply use the coupon code hrs30 to save 30% OFF on any billing cycle.


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