Site hosting news, tutorials, tips, How Tos and more

Archive for the ‘Customer spotlight’ category

Customer Spotlight: DataMine Internet Marketing Solutions



Today, we’re talking to Ron Gholson of DataMine Internet Marketing Solutions. DataMine is a web development company in Indiana. Ron Gholson implements marketing strategies for clients.

Hi, Ron! Tell us a bit about DataMine.

DataMine builds websites and web applications for clients across industry segments in both profit and non-profit sector, right here in Gary, Indiana.

DataMine is an internet marketing solution provider. It is our mission to establish a long-term relationship with each client, so that as our clients grow, we grow with them. Ongoing consultation, targeted online reporting and long term market planning are part of our services as well. We empower our clients by sharing our expertise and experience. Our willingness to serve and educate our clients sets us apart from other web developers, consultants and solution providers.

In addition, we offer licensed standardized software applications for content management, scheduling, membership, fundraising, and online marketing. Unlike many firms that outsource services offshore and domestically, our in-house team provides all services and is accessible directly for training and support. We can customize any of our standard solutions to suit specific needs, as well as develop proprietary solutions.

Since 1996, we have developed over 500 solutions across all markets.  Examples of our range include:,,,,,,,,, and

There seem to be quite a few non-profit sites in your client list. Do you do something to attract these clients?

As part of our mission of giving back to the community, we offer discounts (50% to 75%) to 501 (c)3 and 501 (c)6 organizations.   These clients range from small community development corporations and churches to national membership and event driven organizations.  It is our experience that many of these organizations do not have the support staff and funding necessary to develop a high-quality, effective internet presence without additional guidance.

Our experience with NPO’s has enabled us to grow our level of service and commitment, streamline our processes in production and customer service, and better understand the relevance of the organizational conditions we face with each unique client and project, for all market sectors.

What is DataMine’s marketing philosophy?

We use the phrase “We Flex the Web.” Jason (Beres, co-owner of DataMine) and I, were working late one hot summer night in July of 2011.  We decided to take a break, drink a cold one and relax for a moment outside on the front steps.  Well, right in front of us was a beautiful banana spider spinning its web between our bushes in front of our building. As we watched for what seemed like hours (actually 20 – 30 minutes) this spider meticulously and precisely  spun its web (service and attention to detail). We were wondering and contemplating how can we improve our system, our processes, and our company.

Well, lo and behold, just when we thought that the spider was finished after it anchored itself in the middle of the web to certain web lines (touch points of communication), it started to pull on these main web lines (core services) and then released them all of a sudden.  The spider did this numerous times.  We were wondering what in the hell is this spider doing?

Well, this spider was bending its web in the reflection of the outside porch light.  It did this to reflex the light within its web to attract more prey (customers). It worked.  The web became inundated with all kinds of insects.

So we decided to “Flex the Web” with our core services to attract and retain customers. We used to host client sites on our own servers, but decided to move our hosting and email services because of the time lost in troubleshooting and managing our servers.  After looking at a few companies and their service lines, we decided that Winhost would be our best fit. We moved 60% of all of our websites to your service (roughly 175).

We were then able to concentrate on SEO, which contributed to our growth.  So freeing up our time lost in hosting and email management services allowed for us to do what we do best – web design, mobile applications, and branding design. Since then, we have grown 3-fold.

Why did you choose Winhost as your web hosting solution? 

Your service lines are similar to ours (hosting platforms, compatible application hosting, SmarterMail, Google Analytics, etc.). Other reasons include:

  • Affordable ASP.NET hosting
  • Using the latest Window and SQL versionSQL
  • SmarterStats
  • Easy to use Control Panel
  • nopCommerce compliant
  • SiteLock

What do you consider to be the key benefits of using the Winhost web hosting solution?

Winhost is affordable, scalable and support-driven.

Which future technologies or trends are you most excited about?

Custom mobile applications. We are seeing more and more of our clients wanting to reach and target all aspects of their perspective audiences.

What do you do outside of DataMine?

I love golf. I’ve been playing for 4 years and I shoot in the 90’s. I love going to church and participating in the service and the community based ministries. I serve on numerous civic organization within my city (as a board / executive member). I mostly enjoy being with my family (wife and 3 daughters). we travel a lot and enjoy one another’s company. And I’m expecting my first grandchild! And yes, it’s another girl!

That’s great, Ron! You must be very excited! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us.

Winhost customer spotlight: David Harney



Today, we’re talking to David Harney, who created the Ozaukee, Wisconsin bike routes site

Hi, Dave. Tell us a bit about yourself and your site.

My name is David Harney and I’m a retired software developer who recently volunteered to create a website for our local county  government – Ozaukee County, Wisconsin.  The mission of the site is to encourage local citizens and tourists to travel by bicycle when  visiting our many villages, parks and nature preserves.  Our county has 30 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, historic villages, and numerous  other scenic attractions.  The website is Ozaukee Bike Routes ( and features bicycle routes that use trails and quiet country  roads to visit our attractions.

What was your career in software development like?

I was hired in 1968 for my first programming position and retired in 2003 as a software development manager in the transportation logistic  field.  I was an early adopter of using a PC frontend for UNIX servers.  In the mid 90s I started with Win 95 and IE 3 for some limited  business applications.  When I retired, I was using XP/IE6 for many business applications.  After that, I only programmed a small personal  website until I was approached last year to create the Ozaukee Bike Routes website.


What are you using to run now?

Visual Studio, ASP.NET, VB, Javascript, JQuery, MSSQL with Entity Framework and LINQ

Why did you choose Winhost and what do you like about our hosting?

The hosting service I used for my personal website did not stay current with the MS technologies I needed for my new project.  I evaluated  several alternatives for MS technology availability, support and cost.  Winhost was the clear choice.

Winhost is sincere with its commitment to current MS technologies and support.  The cost is also a major factor for me as I foot the bill for  this volunteer project.  Also, my site does not use a lot of storage nor does it have a high transaction volume – I didn’t want to pay for more  than I needed.  Support is also a delicate balancing act at the low price point of my plan.  I fully understand the business economics involved  and appreciate the need for limits to the scope of support services provided at this price point.  However, my experience with Winhost  support for startup and a few other issues has been very positive – really an excellent value.

What do you when you’re not working on the site or biking around Ozaukee?

Besides bicycling, I have an interest in passive solar housing and might someday do a website of my experience in that area.

Is there anything you would like to say to our readers?

I would just encourage anyone with a passion in some area to share their experiences in a website.  Chances are that the rewards in terms  of new friendships will greatly outweigh the effort to build the site.  My site has been a very rewarding experience.

Thank you very much for your time, Dave. Happy riding!

Dave is committed to updating his site each winter (not much cycling in January in Wisconsin). He welcomes comments and technical suggestions to improve his site, so if you have any, please leave them in the Comments section below.

Winhost customer spotlight: Tony Jiang


Tony Jiang is the man behind the site He says, “I’m a programmer by nature and a guy who just likes to tinker with things.  In the past few years, I’ve noticed an enormous growth of “top ten” lists articles which are most of the time incorrect or are missing some items.  As a tinkerer, I can’t help but want to fix these lists or at least have a say in them.  Therefore, I’ve created an entire website dedicated to “top ten” lists, where anyone can create new lists, and anyone can submit items to the lists, rate them as they see fit, and basically let the world decide on the ranking of the items in those lists.  In geeky terms, it’s a site for Dynamic Top Ten Lists.”

When did you first become interested in web technologies?

I got hooked in college, during the great dotcom era.  Like many others, I taught myself html back then, adored Netscape, lived in Geocities, and had some blinking fonts on my website (who didn’t?). The dotcom crash happened shortly after I put the blinking fonts on my site but needless to say, my interest in web technologies never wavered and I eventually did remove the blinkies.

If the <blink> tag had been responsible for the crash, I suspect it would have happened years earlier and we would have never recovered. Which technologies are you using for your web site? uses ASP.NET and MS SQL.  For IDE, I use Visual Studio and upgrade to whichever is the latest version whenever it comes out.

How long have you hosted your site with Winhost?

Forever. In another word, my site was born with Winhost, it never knew any other.  It was born around summer of 2010 so it’s been around 2 years now.

What made you choose Winhost for the project?

There are a multitude of reasons.  Speed is probably the top one.  I’ve tried quite a few hosting sites before picking Winhost and compared to Winhost, their speed (performance in terms of a user clicking around on your site to delivering your site’s content) was lackluster.

I had figured that I could adapt to most other factors of a hosting site but at the end of the day even if my site is coded properly and optimized properly, the hosting company is the only one that can deliver my content to the users in a timely manner.  And this, Winhost does very well.

So you’re happy with your choice?

Yes. Speed, friendly staff, and cost effectiveness of the plans are the strongest points of Winhost.  I have to say that there are hosting sites out there that are more flexible and have better hosting solutions but they cost an arm and a leg.  Winhost is the only solution I’ve found that offers great service and hosting plans for great rates.

What’s next for

Since I’m a developer, I will be continuously adding new features onto  In the near future, beautifying the Forums area, adding more functionalities to it, and putting in filters onto forum postings will be in the works.

Are you excited about any new technologies or trends that you see out there?

HTML5 has my eye at the moment.  I’m extremely impressed by its canvas and video capabilities.

What do you do when you aren’t working on sites?

Unfortunately, I find myself devoid of much free time these days but when I do get an hour or two, you can usually find me playing the pc game Starcraft 2 and more recently, Diablo 3.

Thank you Tony, we appreciate you taking time out to talk to us.

Winhost customer spotlight: Jeremy Foster



Jeremy Foster works for Microsoft as a Developer Evangelist in Seattle, WA. By way of introduction he says, “It is my job to connect with developers in our northwest region – to inform and inspire them in the use of Microsoft’s amazing development tools and frameworks. I use my own website to blog and stay connected with the development community. I plan to expand it in the future to include robust developer resources, screencasts, podcasts, and more.”

When did you first become interested in web technologies?

I started doing software development in the early 90’s and built my first website around ’93. It was an exciting venture at the time to create a personal place on the web that was visible to the world. It was a venture that I have never really shaken. Around ’97 I started working with programmatic, data-driven website applications and it has been a strong part of my career track ever since.

Which technologies are you using for your web site?

I’m a big fan of ASP.NET MVC. I like using MS SQL for the data and usually interact with it using Entity Framework code first, although at this point my site doesn’t have any database dependencies.

How long have you hosted your site with Winhost?

I’ve been using Winhost for a few months – perhaps half a year, but I’ve only recently (February 2012) begun working at Microsoft and started up my site to support that.

Why did you choose Winhost?

I believe I found some positive reviews and was enough dismayed by my former host and enough attracted by the low introductory rates to just give it a try.

Thanks, we’re glad you did. What do you consider to be the key benefits of using Winhost?

Winhost has impressed me all around. The control panel seems more unified and intuitive than most, the temporary site URLs are good, and the support has been great (one time responding within an hour on a weekend).

What future plans do you have for your web site?

I will likely be adding test and demo apps within my site for educational purposes and will continue to flesh out the main site in whatever ways will best support my audience.

Which future technologies or trends are you most excited about?

I am very excited about Windows 8 and cloud computing. With Windows 8 I get to take my many years of web application development experience into the client platform that’s already installed on hundreds of millions of computers.

What do you like to do when you aren’t up to your neck in technology?

I really enjoy getting out on the water sailing or under the water scuba diving in the Pacific Northwest. My wife and I also enjoy hiking, traveling, and finding good happy hour restaurants in Seattle.

Thanks, Jeremy, for being the first Winhost customer spotlight interview, we really appreciate it.