Green TechInterviews

“Strong online presence is a necessity in today’s market”-Kelly Meeneghan, 1&1 Internet

6 Mins read

If you haven’t been living under a rock for decades, there’s no need to introduce you to 1&1 Internet, Inc., one of the largest web hosting providers in the world. With strongest small business customer base in the web hosting arena, 1&1 is one of the few Web Hosting providers who have taken an initiative to support renewable energy programs and provide Green web hosting. Considering the presence of the company in 13 countries and a large number of Data Centers it has around the world, it is indeed a tough task to pull off; but 1 and 1 has done it with panache.

One of the only web hosting providers to use TV to advertise its services, 1&1 recently released a new Ad highlighting must have elements for online success. So we reached out to them for an interview and they were more than happy to oblige.

Read away, as Miss Kelly Meeneghan, Manager for 1&1 Internet, Inc. talks about company’s best-suited solutions for its customer base, how it managed to create a strong foothold in the United States, 1&1 MyWebsite Do-It-Yourself website builder and obviously, the green initiative. But before that let’s have a look at the much talked about MyWebsite commercial.

The importance of having a strong online presence has become a necessity in today’s market for new business achievement. 1&1’s primary goal is to educate and guide MSMEs on how to succeed online and show that even the most novice of tech individuals can have a professional and fully functional website.

– Kelly Meeneghan, Manager, 1&1 Internet,Inc.

Q : What is your name and role with 1&1 internet? How long have you been in that role?

A : I am Kelly Meeneghan, Manager for 1&1 Internet, Inc. (North America). Being with 1&1 Internet for the last three years, I had the pleasure of seeing and taking part in the company’s immense growth which has made an imprint in the industry.

Q : For those who don’t know what 1&1 internet is, can you please brief it a bit?

A: 1&1 Internet, Inc. is a global leader among Web hosting providers and also considered to be a one-stop-shop for online solutions supporting both professional and personal users in developing a strong online presence. Products range from very user-friendly products like simple website design applications and online marketing tools to more complex solutions like cloud servers and shared hosting. Additionally, 1&1 is a subsidiary of United Internet, a profitable public company based in Montabaur, Germany and founded in 1988. With more than 12 million domain names and 11 million customer contracts, 1&1 has more than 70,000 servers housed in the company’s five state-of-the-art, green data centers. Today, 1&1 is present in Germany, UK, US, France, Romania, Austria, Philippines, Spain, Italy, Poland, Argentina, Canada and most recently, Mexico.

Q: 1&1 offers very low prices, yet is quite profitable. What are the key issues and strategies for 1&1 in managing costs and retaining a profit margin?

A: At 1&1, our goal is to provide users with everything they need to get online and manage their online presence. For the new business, our DIY website design solution, 1&1 MyWebsite, is a great tool to establish an online presence and comes inclusive with additional site creation features and online marketing tools. As the business grows and users may obtain more technical understanding, they will find our Web hosting solutions to be ideal for creating unique visibility. Over time, demands for additional and/or dedicated resources may require the support of a server, be it cloud or dedicated. By offering this entire range of solutions, we guide users throughout the entire business lifecycle.

With high competition in the market, we regularly conduct thorough market research and focus groups to ensure that we are producing the best-suited solutions for our customer base. Our 25 years of expertise in the Web hosting industry best positions us as an industry leader and popular option for consumers.

Q : 1&1 has enjoyed a relatively bigger success in Europe. How do you see the current competitive state of the Web Hosting markets in the US and Europe? How do they differ?

A: As a German-based and founded company, 1&1 has reached great success across the European market since its establishment 25 years ago. Within Germany, 1&1 serves as a top choice for DSL and mobile service provider option as well as Web hosting. Europeans have a clear focus on data privacy compared to that of US consumers and ranks it as a top priority. Creating a significant impact across multiple industries helps attribute to 1&1’s achievement throughout those countries.

Launching in the United States 15 years later, 1&1 conducted thorough research into the market to best prepare for its introduction. It was determined that with such an established market, competitors were offering similar products and possessed more advanced brand recognition so 1&1’s main focus was to find the unique differences between a US and European consumer. The US consumer has a higher expectation for innovative technology and is more knowledgeable in Web hosting products as compared to the European market. Therefore, 1&1 focused on providing fully functional products with inclusive feature suites at affordable price points. This continues to be 1&1’s strategy as we have enhanced our product lines over the years to cater to the needs of every consumer type, be it a small business owner or professional Web developer.

New Features Add Functionality to 1&1 MyWebsite

Q: Can you please throw some light on your relatively new product- 1&1 MyWebsite? Were MSMEs your primary target for it from the word Go?

A: 1&1 MyWebsite is a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) website builder targeted to small- to medium-sized businesses. Launched in 2009, the 1&1 MyWebsite was developed with the technically inexperienced business owner in mind. With a step-by-step process, customers are walked through the setup process where they can select a layout, include industry visuals, implement top brand Web applications, and suggested industry-specific content to create their business websites within minutes. The importance of having a strong online presence has become a necessity in today’s market for new business achievement. 1&1’s primary goal is to educate and guide MSMEs on how to succeed online and show that even the most novice of tech individuals can have a professional and fully functional website.

Q : 1&1 is one of the few Web Hosting providers who have taken the initiative to support renewable energy programs and provide Green web hosting. Considering the large number of Data Centers you’ve around the world, it must be a humungous task. What practices do you use in your Data Centers to limit the energy consumption?

A: In October 2008, 1&1 launched its Green Initiative, exercising our corporate responsibility to consider our surrounding environments. Globally, 1&1’s green efforts prevent over 30,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year by only using highly efficient power supplies with less than 20% heat loss, as well as omitting any unnecessary components within the servers. In the United States data center located in Lexena, Kansas, a partnership with Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) allows us to offset 100% of our energy usage through the purchasing of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).

Additionally, the structure the US data center was built with energy efficiency in mind. For example, the floors of the facility are raised by four feet, providing ample, unhindered space to cool the servers. Therefore, no energy is wasted on space within the data center that does not require cooling. Recycled water is also used for the cooling system for the entire facility in order to prevent any wasted resources. As a result of these Green initiatives, 1&1 has been recognized as a Green Power Partner by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Q: 2012 was a year rife with mergers and acquisitions in the hosting industry. There was also the growth of various newbie hosting companies budding day by day. How do you see the future of the web hosting industry in 2013? Are there any products/services you’re going to launch soon?

A: 2012 was definitely a year of growth and change for the Web hosting industry on a global scale. The advancements in technology and innovation across the markets have resulted in fierce competition and, in the end, the creation of more comprehensive solutions for the online success of consumers. As 1&1 looks to 2013, we see Web hosts adopting the cloud to offer a more cloud-based infrastructure within their product lines to consumers. Businesses are starting to demand solutions that are more flexible. Whether an experienced IT department or the business owner themselves will handle the online presence, hosts must quickly adapt to the needs and provide more scalable solutions.

Additionally, consumers are now requiring businesses to take their websites more seriously and move away from the typical “online business card.” By providing more interaction via this platform, there is a higher potential for retaining visitors and generating interest. In October 2012, 1&1 launched the implementation of Web Apps to our MyWebsite customer base. These third-party applications allow users to implement big brands into their websites and streamline all online accounts into one, central location. For instance, an eCommerce shop may want to incorporate their Ebay shop or PayPal while a restaurateur will benefit from Yelp and OpenTable. Throughout the year, we are planning to expand this portfolio to provide even more convenience to our customers and in turn, their visitors.

We also have other exciting launches and enhancements on the horizon but I cannot reveal this information publicly at this time.

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