Geek Speak: Martin Hostinsky, owner of VeganWebHosting

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Martin Hostinsky has been in the web-hosting business since 2005. Incidentally, that’s the same year he went vegan.

A Vancouver resident, Hostinsky founded his own web-hosting company, Manicanet, in 2008. Earlier this year, the 29-year-old system administrator launched VeganWebHosting, a brand through which he offers Manicanet’s services to other vegans who want to support his vegan-owned business.

Hostinsky also created the sites AskVeg, FollowVeg, and HireVeg.

The Georgia Straight interviewed Hostinsky over the phone.

Why did you start VeganWebHosting?

Web hosting itself is normally vegan. There’s nothing not vegan about it. But what the name really means is just that it’s owned by someone who is vegan. Personally, I really like supporting other vegan businesses. I like to think of it as “keeping my money vegan”. I know that when I buy something from a vegan-owned company that they’ll spend it with the same ethical guidelines that I would.

For example, a little over two years ago, the CEO of GoDaddy was on video hunting an elephant. When this was discovered, a few registrars started offering deals to transfer domains from GoDaddy to them. They offered it only for a month typically. So, I started doing the same. I offered similar deals. That’s when I thought I should just come out with a name that [makes it] really evident that it’s vegan-owned. I thought of this name and created it, and I still actually offer that deal today, where I’ll donate for domains transferred from GoDaddy.

What services do you offer your customers?

The primary service is web hosting. There’s various types of web hosting. It can be just basic HTML or PHP hosting. Other ones are Ruby on Rails and Django. I also offer domain registrations as well as virtual private servers.

What sets Manicanet apart from other web-hosting providers?

I think the two biggest things are the level of customer service that you receive from us as well as our policies. With other web-hosting companies, it’s almost the standard that, if you use too many resources by just having too much traffic to your site, your site can be shut off temporarily. Some of them could take a week to turn it back on. I have no such policies. I try to keep fewer accounts to a server in order to prevent that problem of having your site go too busy for the server. In regards to the customer service, we make every effort to answer as quick as possible and just deal with any issues that come up as quick as we can.

Does your company do anything in particular to help animals?

We’ve created some web sites to help the vegan community. We created AskVeg, which is a more modern-style online forum for vegetarians and vegans. The next site we created is called HireVeg, which is a vegetarian and vegan directory of professionals. It is intended to help vegans keep their money vegan. Finally, we created FollowVeg, which is a central list of blog posts from vegan blogs. It discovers new blog posts and links to them all in one central place.

We also have a few ideas in the works right now. We are looking into a charity we would like to donate to on a regular basis. Personally, I’ve done some animal activism, including vegan outreach, and have donated to a few charities. My wife and I also went to Thailand on our honeymoon just to volunteer at Elephant Nature Park.

What has been the response to you launching VeganWebHosting?

As soon as the name came out, I think immediately vegans noticed it. We received a lot of messages from people happy that there’s a vegan-owned company they can use now for these types of services they were already using. Others, who didn’t have websites, said they are going to get one soon and they definitely want to use us.

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Tara-Lee Gardner
I love seeing compassionate entrepreneurs making a difference in this world :)
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John Alvarez
This is a great initiative. I hope it gains momentum and spreads rapidly. Best of luck!
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