SUCCESS STORIES: NameHero

“All vendors included, Liquid Web provides the best experience.” | NameHero Leans on Liquid Web

NameHero Leans On Liquid Web and InterWorx for Affordable, Reliable Hosting and Reselling

"Liquid Web enables us to promise our clients the best in the industry in terms of uptime, backup, and failover."

Lance Ferden, Co-Founder

NameHero
When Ryan Gray started NameHero in 2014, he already knew he wanted to partner with Liquid Web. In fact, he’d been working with Liquid Web for years on a variety of online businesses he’d started and knew the provider’s high-quality infrastructure and customer-first focus could provide the backbone for NameHero, which would deliver turnkey WordPress hosting built with the average web master in mind.

NameHero primarily serves two audiences: SMBs looking for high-speed, reliable, affordable, and scalable WordPress hosting, and WordPress agencies who build websites and/or resell turnkey hosting to their clients.

“With NameHero, I took the platform I had built for my own online businesses and, using Liquid Web, was able to deploy that to individuals and small businesses,” Gray said. “Liquid Web made it possible to scale, which was very important.”

cPanel Pricing Changes Throw a Wrench in the Business Model

Agencies and resellers have a particular set of needs — namely, root access to their server and the ability to quickly and easily spin up separate cloud resources for multiple clients. NameHero’s customers serve anywhere from five to 200 accounts each.

To serve these clients, NameHero relies on Liquid Web’s Private VPS Parent, the hosting provider’s robust, flexible, and isolated virtual solution. Instead of Cloud VPS instances running on a parent server within Liquid Web’s public cloud platform, the Private VPS Parent gives NameHero sole control over the parent server and its resources.

When a client needs to scale beyond a VPS, Gray said it’s easy to migrate to a Liquid Web cloud dedicated instance. And when NameHero needs to add Private VPS Parents, it’s also easy to migrate VPS instances to the new server.

When NameHero launched, the company and its clients were primarily using cPanel to access and manage their hosting environments. However, when cPanel announced it was changing its licensing structure from per-server to per-account, Gray knew it was time to look into other options.

“WordPress agencies and resellers live and breathe on having the flexibility to create an unlimited number of accounts for their customers. The ROI for a reseller customer is already tight,” he said.

The cPanel pricing changes meant resellers would see their fixed, per server costs turn into dynamic fees that would cost anywhere from 100 percent to 300 percent or more each month.

InterWorx Provides Per-Server Licensing and Better Ease of Use

That’s when Gray began to look into the InterWorx control panel.

“When I first saw InterWorx, I was quite impressed with the technology behind it. It provided all the features of cPanel if not even more, and it gives people the flexibility to be able to create accounts on a per-server basis. InterWorx is built to be scalable in an easy way,” he said.

Understanding that, as with any change, some customers may be hesitant to try a new control panel, NameHero launched InterWorx with a pilot group of customers first. The feedback was excellent.

“Our customers love the fact that they can create unlimited accounts, because it means they can focus on scaling their business without having to restructure and reprice along the way,” Gray said. “But they also love the features and usability of InterWorx. I think InterWorx has done a great job of simplifying it for the average web master who may not be as technically inclined as others. It’s a clean interface to easily create accounts and set up sites.”

InterWorx Includes Powerful Features as Standard

While Gray stressed that InterWorx is easy to use even if you’ve never worked with a control panel before, he’s excited to leverage NameHero’s YouTube channel and blog to educate customers on the full power and feature set.

The first feature Gray touted was the Network File System integration, which is helpful for larger resellers who need to add additional file structures.

“It’s possible to create additional file structures on cPanel and Web Host Manager, but they don’t make it nearly as easy as InterWorx makes it,” Gray explained. “So right of the bat, that was a great feature.”

He also pointed to the fact that Let’s Encrypt AutoSSL is included.

“SSL encryption has become standard for websites. If you don’t have it, your visitors are going to get a warning in Chrome,” Gray explained. “cPanel did introduce an SSL module, but I don’t think it’s as simple and straightforward as InterWorx is by default.”

He pointed out that Cloudflare is also integrated and easy to deploy. Gray also appreciates that InterWorx includes as standard a PHP selector with PHP-FPM.

“It’s in there standard, and it’s very straightforward. Customers can point and click, and they can assign different PHP versions per site and subdomain, which makes it extremely easy,” he said. “What we see between cPanel and InterWorx is that the features are very similar, but the way to deploy these features is more complex on cPanel versus InterWorx, where it’s all point and click.”

Why Liquid Web’s Acquisition of InterWorx Made the Deal Sweeter

“When I heard Liquid Web had acquired InterWorx, I immediately gained even more confidence in InterWorx, because I knew that future development would continue at a rapid pace and it would be done right,” Gray said. “I’ve seen in my experience as not only a partner but a customer of Liquid Web that they do things the right way. They don’t release stuff halfway.”

He went on to say: “What makes Liquid Web so great is their team. Of course, the premium hardware and Storm infrastructure, it’s fantastic. But in my opinion, your company’s only as good as your people, and that’s what really separates Liquid Web from anyone else that we work with. All vendors included, Liquid Web provides for us the best experience because it really is that personal touch.”

According to Gray, NameHero has had too many exceptional experiences with Liquid Web to keep count. One that comes to mind is when an SSD drive went bad and Liquid Web was able to completely rebuild the server within 30 minutes, mitigating downtime.

“Several times they’ve completely saved us,” he said. “It sounds cliché but it’s true. When we reach out to Liquid Web, we get a knowledgeable level 3 technician who knows what they’re doing. So does the product team and the sales team. I’ve never felt like I was being sold or they were just in it for the revenue. The long-term partnership is important to us, and it starts with trust.”

He also appreciates both InterWorx and Liquid Web’s dedication to listening to customers and implementing their feedback. This gives Gray the confidence of knowing that he has some degree of creative control over the long run as his needs evolve.

“It goes all the way up to the top management that they actually listen and they want to work with us. There are many times I made a request and expected a ‘no’ and instead I got a reasonable response back that we could do something and work together. They really value their relationships, and I think that’s awesome,” he said.

After working with InterWorx and Liquid Web, Gray heartily recommends both:

“If you’re on the fence about InterWorx, definitely make the jump. We found it actually made things a lot better — it was a really positive change for us,” he said. “And you cannot go wrong choosing Liquid Web. They not only provide a premium infrastructure and a network that stays online and is extremely reliable, but the people behind Liquid Web who are supporting you and tailoring their solutions to your business make it a growth partner long-term. Liquid Web is not just a data center to house servers. They’re a full-service solutions architect, so you can focus on your business and let Liquid Web handle the tech behind it.”

About Liquid Web

Liquid Web powers content, commerce, and potential for SMB entrepreneurs, and the designers, developers, and digital agencies who create for them. An industry leader in managed hosting and cloud services, Liquid Web is known for its high-performance services and exceptional customer support.

With over 30,000 customers spanning 150 countries, Liquid Web owns and manages its own core data centers and provides a wide portfolio of offerings spanning from bare metal servers and fully managed hosting to Managed WordPress and Managed WooCommerce Hosting. The Most Helpful Humans in Hosting®, Liquid Web earns the industry’s highest customer loyalty and has been recognized among INC. Magazine’s 5,000 Fastest-Growing Companies for twelve years.

*2019 NPS score of 69

Pain Points

When cPanel changed its pricing model from per-server to per-account licensing fees, web hosting reseller NameHero decided to look for other control panels that would better fit the needs of its web agency clients. The company decided to try out InterWorx, and quickly realized it had better usability than cPanel, in addition to a more agency-friendly pricing model.

How Liquid Web Helped

Liquid Web’s acquisition of InterWorx made it an even sweeter deal for NameHero. As a long-time Liquid Web partner, NameHero knew that Liquid Web’s management of InterWorx would mean it was constantly updated and supported by The Most Helpful Humans in Hosting®.