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Affinity’s COO, Jim Collins On Offering The Right Brand For Any Small- to Medium-sized Business.

CWH: "How should a small to medium-sized business owner choose the best web hosting company to fit their needs? What can Affinity offer?"
Jim: "Driven by a customer-centric philosophy, Affinity provides hosting solutions through both premium and discount brands. Our multi-brand approach is an advantage for the customer, offering each SMB the specialized hosting service to fit their needs. Our premium brands include ValueWeb, SiteHosting and SkyNetWEB. Premium brands are set-up for customers looking for those added features and extra support. Discount brands HostSave and WinSave offer tech-savvy SMB’s the exact features they require to run their businesses at a competitive price point.

Affinity has been pursuing a multi-brand strategy with great success since inception. This approach is very different in the industry and allows us to offer our customers solutions for their specialized needs."

CWH: "How is a multi-brand strategy an advantage for Affinity?"
Jim: "Again, the multi-brand strategy is really an advantage for our customers. Affinity’s segment-specific brands allow customers to pick the tailored hosting services to fit their needs. Due to our unique business model in this industry, we have managed to become the third largest hosting company. The proof that we are doing something right lies in our high-rate of sign-ups – more than 8,000 new accounts every month."

CWH: "What does Affinity offer its hosting customers?"
Jim: "The company offers multiple brands so it can provide each SMB with a brand that meets specific needs. All together, we have 275,000 domains, for more than 100,000 customers worldwide and more than 2,000 reseller partners. Specific to features of the brands, Affinity offers a broad range of customizable shared hosting solutions for web and application hosting, email, and ecommerce for both the Windows and Unix platforms. The company also provides high-speed dedicated server solutions, offering a variety of platforms including Linux, Solaris, Windows NT/2000, FreeBSD and Cobalt®, and an array of managed products and services featuring load balancing, firewall, database management and VPN services. Customers can select from pre-configured server bundles or can work with Affinity consultants to create customized solutions meeting specialized needs. Affinity’s flexible Partner Program delivers a comprehensive suite of hosting solutions and service designed to provide turnkey hosting solutions to the reseller community."

CWH: "How does Affinity rank among successful hosting companies?"
Jim: "Affinity Internet Inc. is the third largest hosting services company. We are also the only profitable company in our space, to date. For the first quarter 2002, we announced positive cash flow. As a privately held company, we reported revenues of $7.3 million for the quarter, an increase of 280.8% over the same period last year. Gross margins reached 67% for the quarter, compared with 36% for the prior quarter. Reflecting Affinity’s rapid growth, EBITDA for March was $ $0.330 million, bringing first quarter EBITDA to $.437 million, compared with a loss of $0.4 million for the prior quarter. Other key metrics used to measure industry efficiencies and profitability include revenue per square foot of data center space, which is $6,000, and annualized revenue per employee which is over $160,000. All told, this is pretty positive news for a company that is private and starting to color outside the lines when it comes to a business strategy in the hosting space.

The company has offices in El Segundo, Calif., and Fort Lauderdale, FLA, with data centers in Baltimore, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale.

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