We’ve combed the world to find someone using SiteGround for website hosting in order to bring you the inside scoop. Today we welcome Ralph de Groot, of the Netherlands, owner of Web-Pepper.com. With his vast experience in website creation and design, we thought he would be the perfect person to interview. Let’s learn more about him!
Hi Ralph! Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your personal and professional background?
Hello! First off, my site, Web-Pepper is more of an “alias” because it’s really just a single employee (me!) company I started in 2003. I build and maintain WordPress websites for small and medium-sized businesses and various artists. I love to personally service my clients and customize websites for them.
Before Web-Pepper, I was a service and support engineer in the high-end computer business in the Netherlands, where I supported various ministries, government agencies and top companies.
I work from home, where I also live with my girlfriend and her son.
How did you get started in website design and optimization?
I started creating websites in 1995, by hand, programming them into Microsoft FrontPage. Maintaining them, however, wasn’t much fun and took way too much time.
About six years ago I started working with WordPress. Some guy told me to stop creating websites by hand and start using a CMS system. He was right – although he didn’t tell me which one to use. Since I had to start learning a new system from scratch, I decided to go with the one that was easiest for my customers to use: WordPress.
Back then it was really just known as a blogging platform but my idea was to use it as an entire website. Everyone thought I was crazy but obviously the idea has really caught on.
How many sites you are hosting with SiteGround besides Web-Pepper.com?
At this moment I have over 50 reseller hosting accounts and I host 60 websites. I started using SiteGround in 2008 so I’ve been with them over seven years. I signed up with them and within five minutes I was ready to go.
"I have over 50 reseller hosting accounts and I host 60 websites."
Can you tell us what made you choose SiteGround over other website hosting services?
Well, I had used a lot different hosting companies in the past but they all had the same problem for me: inaccessibility outside “normal” office hours. Once I had a problem with a website and in order to solve it I needed to contact the hosting company for one simple request. It was a Friday late in the afternoon, and I had to wait until Monday morning to contact them.
At that time I decided to look for a hosting company that suited me better, one with the same mentality as me: helping clients and treating them as you would with your best friend, your father or sister. SiteGround does this. I’m not a server-guy, and I don’t want to become one, so I needed a hosting partner who would do that for me, SiteGround does and they are fast and affordable as well.
Sounds like you did your research to find the right company. But, now that you’ve been with them for some time, does SiteGround perform up to your expectations?
They do even better! I wanted 24/7/365 support if there was a problem. But I soon realized that SiteGround support not only answers the questions I ask, they really work with me to solve problems.
Another thing I really appreciate is that they are open to new ideas. If there is something in particular you want in regards to reselling, they at least TRY to do something about that or explain to you why it can’t be done. It feels like a partnership.
"SiteGround support not only answers the questions I ask, they really work with me to solve problems."
That’s a rare level of service to find these days. Are there any special features that you like the most?
I love their connection with Cloudflare and their new SuperCache for WordPress. Reseller hosting accounts include WordPress, statistics, SEO tools, domain functions; whatever I need, it’s there!
They keep innovating instead of just hosting my websites and that’s why I will stay with them.
We’ve talked a little about your experience with customer support. Is there anything else you want to note?
With 60+ accounts, there can be a lot of issues, but they are fast and reliable. Great communication from both sales and support.
With the number of clients I have, I need to solve problems fast. SiteGround usually responds in 15 minutes. Worst thing they did is tell me, “We are working on it” but I knew they were, indeed, busy solving the problem.
Most problems they solve in a single support ticket, unless I am unclear about what I need.
"…I need to solve problems fast. SiteGround usually responds in 15 minutes."
It sounds like you’ve discovered a really great website hosting company. But, do you see any disadvantages in using SiteGround?
For me the biggest disadvantage is that their support department is not located in the Netherlands. If they were, however, I would visit them in person and bring them my compliments in the form of a big box of cake!
Did somebody say cake? Yum! Maybe SiteGround will consider opening a customer support division in the Netherlands to take you up on your offer (I know I would)! But seriously, Ralph, do you have any advice for others who are searching for a new website hosting service?
Get a hosting company that suits you. If you just want the cheapest service, don’t expect everything. If you want great support for a decent price, try SiteGround.
"If you want great support for a decent price, try SiteGround."
Ralph, it’s been great getting to know you and your business better. Thank you for your time. Readers, if you are located in the Netherlands and need a website, check out Web-Pepper.com for examples of the fine work and excellent service Ralph provides.
To learn more about the host, please read our editor’s SiteGround Review