The evolution of Hard Hat Hosting
If necessity is the “Mother of Invention” then frustration is its Grandmother. In 1999 a graphics designer and a database programmer decided to create a web development company. Back in ’99, most companies that had a web presence we’re content with static web-sites that had very little aesthetic appeal. David Lowe and Eric Linberg wanted to create “Database driven web-sites that looked good”. The obvious choice for web hosting was to purchase virtual hosting from a company that offered all of the tools that Eric and Dave wanted to use in their web development.
The time came when the new company named Xeroscape(Hard Hat Hosting’s parent company) landed its first web development project. Programmers we’re hired, a virtual web hosting account was purchased from a popular web hosting company, and requirements we’re written. Since the office was small back then, most of the employees opted to work from home on their dial-up accounts. The pitfall came when the developers tried to overwrite the files that they had uploaded. Simple text could not be altered and viewed in the web browser because of a setting that the web host had altered on on its web servers that allowed them to host many more clients on a server then was probably legitimate.
After many frustrating attempts to explain the problem to customer service, the team decided to give up on the idea that they could develop websites without having a hand in the server Services. The company’s bright shiny new credit card afforded the means to purchase servers and the software they would need to manage the website infrastructure. The only thing that was missing was a network that had the capacity to handle the amount of traffic that could be generated by the application that was being developed.
Xeroscape opted to “Co-locate” their servers with a company in downtown Kansas City that was known for having a great network. This was a much better scenario. The new servers could be managed remotely and the hosting company would monitor the servers and reboot them when necessary.
When the opportunity to lease office space in the same building that their servers were housed in, Dave and Eric jumped on it.
For over 3 years, our company happily derived its Internet connectivity from Communitech.net. By that time, Xeroscape had developed a great relationship with the guys “upstairs” in which Xeroscape would manage and maintain servers for customers of Communitech.net. Interestingly enough, Communitech.net was purchased by the same company that hosted our first web development project. When the announcement was made that Communitech.net would be moved to Atlanta, the writing was on the wall and was plain as day.
Today, we maintain our own data center with redundant Tier 1 Internet Connectivity from Level3, Global Crossing, AT&T, Time Warner and Cogent/Verio and occupy 3,000 square feet in the historic Mainmark Building in downtown Kansas City.
Notable websites hosted with hardhathosting are: beastieboys.com – Official Site, foofighters.com – Official Site, XMFan.com – #1 Fan Site of XM Satellite Radio, OVGuide.com – Time Magazine top 10 best sites of the Year – Online Video Guide.
In April of 2003, 2004 and 2005 The Kansas City Business Journal rated HardHatHosting.com (Xeroscape) as Kansas City’s “Top Area Web Hosting Firm” based on the 30,000 plus domains we host.
This “DO IT YOURSELF” attitude has been applied to our web hosting offerings as well. Customers are encouraged to “Create their own” web hosting plans by choosing the appropriate amounts of resources such as: diskspace, bandwidth, email accounts, etc. Hard Hat Hosting customers purchase only the resources they need when they need them.
If you’ve read this far its probably only because you have had similar frustrating experiences with other web hosting companies. Our goal is to provide you with the right tools and a level of support that allows you to do what your good at. We are not looking to build a fully automated web hosting company that lacks human intervention or to farm our support out to third world countries. Give us a call during the day from 9am-6pm M-F or open a ticket to see what kind of response you’ll get. We think that you will be pleasantly surprised.