Milan, 21 February 2019. Having entered the year of the Pig, it is worth to take a look back and reflect on the progress that has been made in 2018. This is exactly what we did today with Simone Righini, the manager of Tophost, the most affordable web hosting provider in Italy.
We talked about how 2018 went for Tophost and looked over the projects this company has launched during the last year. Besides, Simone shared some of the Tophost’s plans for the current year.
How did the Tophost perform during Q4 2018?
Simone Righini: “It went pretty well, we improved our business. We successfully introduced the new product that automatically fixes and updates WordPress and Joomla versions.
Therefore, now, any new customer can buy our “Autofix”, the custom software that runs independently on our end. When the user presses “play” on this software, the program automatically updates old versions. It also removes malware and viruses and makes an automatic copy of all the files that have been changed. Just like this, the customer has the choice to keep the changes or to revert to the older version.
This software is updated daily in terms of the malware and viruses that are present on the web. Also, this powerful product is already available for all new customers and now we are working to deploy this software on all our customer base.
During the Q4, we also worked on electronic invoicing (Fattura Elettronica), which is a mandatory requirement from the Italian government. The new rule obliges all companies in Italy to electronically process their invoices that are issued to other companies through the government. Italy is the first in Europe to introduce such a drastic improvement and we are proud to be part of it, regardless of the decisions that every other European state will make in the next years.
Italy came first to implement the rule, but it was not an easy task. Up until the last month of 2018, there were rumors about a possible delay, but eventually, the bill was passed.
Therefore, during the last two months of 2018, we were busy preparing and developing the solution to comply with this law.”
Could you please tell me more about how did 2018, in general, go for the Tophost? Was it a successful year?
Simone Righini: “Yes, definitely, the numbers are pretty solid. The business is finally showing two-digit growth thanks to all the efforts we put in 2018. This includes the development of the new software, new features for our customers, and some new ways to upgrade.
At the beginning of the last year, we provided our customers with an opportunity to renew more than one website in one shot, and then we presented the backup project, which was very successful. Then, by the end of the year, as I mentioned before, we launched the new “Autofix” software.
In fact, we received a lot of positive feedback from our customers about these new products. Our competitors lifted their prices by around 15-20%, while we decided to stick to our pricing and not increase it. This also affected our business in a great way, since our customers have been spreading the word about us.
Aside from this, we are still by far the most affordable solution on the market.”
Last time we spoke, you told me that Tophost’s economic count related to the difference between transfer-outs and transfer-ins concerning clients was improving. Are there any updates in regards to this matter?
Simone Righini: “Yes, this count is still improving at the same rate. At the moment, we are steadily gaining more customers, when compared to the customers that we are losing to our competitors.
In general, the growth of the new customers has been on the rise lately.”
I know that Tophost worked hard on the project related to security and new power features during quarter 4. Please tell me more about this initiative.
Simone Righini: “This was the secret project I told you about in the beginning. Now, when a customer purchases a website, he or she is presented with a choice of buying our backup or our auto fix solution. As of the moment, there are some formal moments left that need to be sorted out. We are working on explaining how the software works to our customers.
I actually was not sure until the end of 2018 if we would be able to launch this project in time due to the tight timeline related to the electronic invoicing. However, I am glad we managed to finish both projects right in time. Especially, I’d like to thank Alex and Antonello for great assistance in bringing these projects to life.”
What are the plans of Tophost for the near future?
Simone Righini: “Right now, we still have to finish the work on our auto fix solution – finalizing and formalizing phases. Currently, the auto-fix is only available for a purchase with a new website, and we want to make sure our old customers also have an opportunity to buy it.
We are also planning to increase the number of services since this is proven to yield good results. Also, we are looking to maintain the same level of price, while adding new features for our customers.
Our strategy for the current year will be pretty much similar to the one from the previous year. However, we are eyeing to try out some new marketing campaigns with new providers.
We are also weighing the opportunity of having the social media challenge we implemented last year, which brought a lot of positive results to Tophost.
Presently, we have good progress in terms of our affiliates. Thus, we are planning to work closely with affiliates to see if something can be improved. Each month, we get around 100 requests to join our affiliate program, and we want to utilize this opportunity to expand our reach.”