4D Hosting: From Shabby Chic to Geek Chic

(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) –  The year is 1999. David Barker, a techy schoolboy, starts a domain and web hosting company from his bedroom. Fast-forward 14 years and his company has bloomed into one of the greenest colocation providers in the world: 4D Data Centres. But what happened to his legacy hosting business? This is where the rebranding story of 4D Hosting comes in.

Not just a facelift

While 4D Data Centres was taking off as a multi-site colocation and connectivity business, the original hosting company was still running but the brand was looking tired and unloved. The site was designed with functionality rather than form in mind.

A successful rebrand was going to require more than a facelift. It needed careful consideration of the target market, their needs in terms of setup and on-going support and their preferred methods of communication. And it demanded that any visual revamp be backed by investment into an improved customer experience that would run seamlessly, both on and offline.

For many months, the 4D Hosting team worked on their visions for the business, identifying what would make them stand-out. 24/7 telephone and email support from qualified and experienced on-site engineers was already in place in the parent company and David’s team saw this as of paramount importance to a target market of developers and tech companies; competitors didn’t offer it or charged extra for something that is included in all 4D Hosting’s packages.

The rebranding exercise couldn’t have come at a better time. Despite the deepest recession for over 70 years the data centre business is growing steadily, so rebranding the legacy hosting business has allowed 4D to review its products, services, costs and messaging to offer something appropriate to businesses today.

For geeks, by geeks

The company is focused on the premium hosting market, hence “4D Hosting: for geeks, by geeks”. It mainly deals with web developers, IT businesses and ‘serious techies’ who work in-house for a variety of businesses. “They like our no-nonsense, no hidden extras approach and the fact that even the basic packages come packed with all the features they need; which is why 4D Hosting doesn’t offer small or medium packages – instead we offer Big, Bigger and Biggest,” comments David Barker, technical director.

5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 Lift off!

In August 2013 4D Hosting launched the finished ecommerce website. “It was a brilliant moment when we clicked on a live web link for the new site and could enjoy the fruits of our labour. And we surprised a few staff members with humorous shots of themselves on all the pages that had been kept tightly under wraps until launch!” adds Barker.

The project was managed (and to a great extent built) in-house. Creative concepts were supplied by Stylusnet and the website development was led by Mike Thomas at Mauva.

About 4D Hosting

Founded in 1999 and re-launched in 2013, 4D Hosting provides hosting for geeks, by geeks! Aimed exclusively at techies in the developer and tech communities, it offers high specification packages with no-nonsense pricing options and exceptional, round the clock service from highly qualified, UK-based engineers.

4D Hosting operates from its own data centre in Byfleet, Surrey which has had the latest evaporative cooling systems retro-fitted to give it a PUE rating of 1.14. This makes it one of the greenest data centres in the world today, which was recognised when it won ‘Green Datacentre Project of the Year’ in 2012. 4D’s operations have recently been awarded the ISO27001 quality standard.