Founding a Hosting Company in 1997 – Christopher Hughes’s Journey to Building a Seven-Digit Business

Back in 1996, hosting wasn’t really a big thing. But Christopher Hughes knew where it was heading and jumped in head-first to an industry worth tens of billions today.

From a small startup in 1996, Christopher grew the company to a size that, in 2002 attracted the largest UK hosting company of the time to acquire him.

Christopher enjoyed not just the financial aspect of starting and then selling a business, but the customer satisfaction along the way too.

Since 2002, Christopher has run multiple websites, mainly around the vertical of tourism and hospitality, but more recently back into the technical side of the Internet again.

First, he started providing consulting services and maintenance plans to customers with small to medium sized eCommerce businesses. Then, he formalised this by productising his service and branding it mintWP.

The business really took off in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Christopher says that customers started signing up by the dozen every other day. “People’s websites were literally buckling under the load of all this new online traffic” he says.

mintWP manages all aspects of customers WordPress websites – from the hosting, to the updates and daily maintenance that keeps the site running smooth, stable and fast. Something that is paramount to eCommerce owners as the slightest problem can lose sales and customers confidence.

Through mintWP, Christopher offers direct consultation services for larger clients that have typically outgrown their old website and setup and are looking at the bringing their business to the next level. Consulting makes up around 30% of Christopher’s business he says. This puts his business on a similar path towards 7-figures like his previous ones, too.

Already planned for 2020, Christopher was starting to form a sister company to mintWP. Whilst working directly with WordPress plugin authors over the years, Christopher saw a niche that he thought he could get involved with.

In early 2020, RedLettuce Plugins was formed and acquired two plugins fairly soon after. A short while afterwards, a third plugin was acquired and others are currently in discussion.

Christopher plans bringing a unified user experience to all his plugins. Making plugins more user friendly and easier to operate cuts down on support time and better a user satisfaction he says.

Currently, RedLettuce Plugins has three plugins under active development and hopes to release their first plugin in Q1 2021.

If you have a plugin that you no longer wish to develop or are looking for a partner, get in touch with Christopher via Twitter or Facebook.

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