We are happy to feature an exclusive interview with COO Aviran Zazon of HostAdvice with whom we will take a dive into how HostAdvice started, their feature plan, some interesting facts about the Indian market, and many more.
Stromonic. First of all, please share more about you, your career, and your position in HostAdvice?
Aviran Zazon. My current position is the COO of HostAdvice. My journey with the company began in August 2020.
HostAdvice hired me to bring innovation, or as I like to say, to bring HA to the future.
Nowadays, with globalization, we are all facing immense competition, but this fact is especially actual for the web hosting niche. So, the thing is, we need to be the best we can be. I am also a backend developer and have been working in SEO for the past 11 years, so I guess that also helps a lot in my job.
Stromonic. Our audience would like to know about the backend story of HostAdvice. Can you share its history?
Aviran Zazon. Sure, HostAdvice was founded by two entrepreneurs – Eliran Ouzan and Idan Cohen who saw the need in a specific web hosting-related review site, as there was none at the time. They decided to launch HostAdvice, and since then, we have been the #1 Web Hosting review site globally. Over time, HostAdvice has evolved into an internet’s web-hosting information center, covering dozens of hosting companies and services worldwide.
Stromonic. Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Aviran Zazon. I have to be honest; my most significant challenge while working at HostAdvice is the Awards. Each and every company wants them, so I usually receive neverending emails and discord messages about getting them.
On the good side, HostAdvice has become more strict regarding the rankings and granting these awards. Better yet, we are raising the bar each year. With fewer providers in the pool, it’s easier to choose. One thing I learned is to always remain objective – it’s the only formula for success, especially when working for a web hosting-related review site.
Stromonic. There are lots of review websites out there, how do you make HostAdvice different?
Aviran Zazon. You’re right; there are a lot of review sites. However, they don’t have half of the content that we have. You can even spot a lot of spam in some of them. Also, I would definitely say that the main thing that makes us different at HostAdvice is being 100% objective and transparent at all times. We always strive to detect these fake or paid-for reviews, and while we might not guarantee this 100% (as 100% doesn’t exist in anything if you ask me), we are indeed acting on it and reaching it more closely with each passing day.
Stromonic. What is your future plan for the next five years with HostAdvice?
Aviran Zazon. We aim to make as much data as possible accessible to our clients without the need of researching it anywhere else; For instance, we have begun displaying uptime for each company. Also, when it comes to VPS, we will soon display the hardware benchmark, along with other cool features that will be handy in understanding who is the best provider out there. We are so focused on research that our clients don’t have to be. They should be able to find what they are looking for with only a few clicks on HostAdvice.
Stromonic. Please share some creative ways to ask clients for review according to your experience?
Aviran Zazon. One way we found useful is giving $5 discount to reviewers, another approach is by each closed ticket asking to write a review as sort of a “thank you for assisting me”. I found newsletters to be helpful as well in some campaigns, but you need a big client base to do so.
On a different note, we also recently became aware that one free web hosting provider forced their clients to write a review before they actually tested their service, creative – yes, against our rules – also yes.
Stromonic. As you have web hosting industry data from all over the world, so can you share some interesting insights about the Indian market with our audience?
Aviran Zazon. I can tell that the Indian market is price sensitive. But hey, aren’t we all? At HostAdvice, we can also see a major uprise in Hindu clients starting their web hosting business with a reseller package, which looks very promising. Now, we don’t have the actual numbers, but I can say that out of over 4,000 providers on our site, at least 25% are Indian-based.
Stromonic. Do you have any must-have criteria for web hosts to get featured on the first page of HostAdvice?
Aviran Zazon. Absolutely, It’s mainly about the user reviews, their legitimacy, the quantity and variety of offerings (i.e., Reseller, WordPress, VPS), Data Center locations, supported languages, and a positive expert review from us. Again, more factors are in that mix, but these are the most important things for us at HostAdvice.
Stromonic. Reflecting on your experience as a successful entrepreneur, do you have any advice for the budding entrepreneurs exploring business opportunities in the hosting industry?
Aviran Zazon. There are many hosting providers on the market at the moment. If I were just beginning in the hosting industry, I would focus on the unsatisfied demand of website owners, such as offshore hosting services, bitcoin payment, non-robotic-alike support, and so on. All of these and more crazy ideas can be of great help in getting lots of clients because, at the end of the day, it’s what the customers need.