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We are delighted to announce that Smart has joined forces with Krystal! (as of the 1st of February 2017)
 
 
Dear {fname},

We are delighted to announce that Smart has joined forces with Krystal! (as of the 1st of February 2017)

Why Merge?

Smart has enjoyed tremendous growth over the past 2.5 years, thanks to keen pricing and loyal clients. With such extraordinary growth comes additional challenges. The whole team here has been so focussed on supporting clients 24/7 that there has been little to no time to nurture and improve the business itself. Important projects have been postponed and we've experienced some capacity issues as a result.

We realised we needed assistance, and while there was no shortage of companies keen to buy us, we knew that most would destroy the brand we'd put our heart and soul into building. This was something we were not prepared to do.

A few months ago we received a call from Krystal, who like us were also worried about the mass consolidation occurring in our industry. A majority of larger hosting companies are now owned by the same parent group(s). Impressed with the quality of our customer reviews, they floated the idea of us joining forces to provide a viable, UK-based, and most importantly, human alternative to the soulless international mega-corps.

With a team twice the size of Smart's, 14 years in the industry, excellent reviews and an ethos that clearly matched our own, we knew we could trust Krystal to maintain the brand and look after our valued clients.

Smart will continue to operate as it's own brand. The website, your login details, how you obtain support and your affiliate earnings and links also remain unchanged.
What's Changing?
More Staff

As of Wednesday our support team has joined with Krystal's, so we now have over 20 staff dedicated to supporting your website. 5 new staff are also being hired to improve support. Both Dave and myself will be staying on indefinitely.

Client Area Upgrades

We've already made a number of improvements to your client area and there are more to follow;
  • 1-click firewall unblock
  • Optional free SMS alerts for domain renewals and invoices
  • 2 Factor Authentication using any 3rd party 2FA app (time based tokens)
  • Ticket position tracking
A new sales number will be going back up on the site once we've integrated with Krystal's VOIP system.

Security Scans

We've deployed a number of scripts to clean up the servers as some were being reported for spamming and/or phishing, damaging every account hosted on the same IP. In addition to scanning current files the script will also automatically detect a malicious file as it's uploaded (in the event of a compromise) and instantly suspend the account to prevent further damage. Initially we will send a warning email if the issue isn't too severe. Please act on these security warnings promptly otherwise you might find your account suspended to protect the server and other users!

New Hardware

Krystal were aware of our requirements and have allocated over £250,000's worth of brand new, state of the art, SSD-based hardware for our clients to migrate to. This includes new shared, reseller and VPS capacity. We'll be moving everyone to the new platform as soon as possible but if you'd like to move sooner simply reply to this email and we’ll schedule you in for an early migration.

Centralised DNS

We have now unified all disparate Smart nameservers under 2 shiny new ones;

ns1.cloudhosting.co.uk | ns2.cloudhosting.co.uk

We’ve set all new domains to use these and will be updating all existing domains to these in the next few days (the old addresses continue to work in the interim). You can also change any you hold externally to use them too. Centralising DNS provides a number of benefits including simplifying migrations between hardware and providing DNS related services like SpamExperts, see below.

Regrettably during this process a number of clients were adversely affected because old accounts had been left on their origin server. This caused DNS to serve old content for a subset of transferred users. Our sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused you. We have now rectified the problem and there will not be a repeat.

Hosting Improvements

All services on the new platform will benefit from;
Free SSL Certificates for life via "Let's Encrypt".
500GB DDOS Protection (25x the previous protection).
"SpamExperts" for mail filtering that actually works!
New Platform - Massive resources and 4TB SSDs.
As a result your hosting will now be faster, more stable and more secure. These features are already available on the new platform and will be deployed to the existing one as soon as practical.

Pricing for existing clients remains unchanged on the old platform though it will be brought into line towards the end of the year once everything has been upgraded. Plenty of notice will be given.


New Services

"Smarter Backups"
Backups have been radically upgraded to now provide 30 daily snapshots as an optional extra for those clients that need them. Some customers may be aware of the issues in intermittent reliability of the free backup system. This overhaul is long overdue and provides the revenue required to provide a rock solid backup solution. (Krystal have already spent over £70k on backup hardware alone for our use)


Premium Unlimited Hosting
We're proud to finally launch a new shared plan that has larger LVE limits for more intensive accounts, such as e-commerce platforms and large personal sites. This will give customers a big boost in memory and processing power over our basic plan. It also comes with free Smarter Backups! You can upgrade instantly via your client area once moved to the new platform. Prices start at £7.99/month


Premium Reseller Hosting
We've taken the Master Reseller package and added all of the improvements listed above (Let's Encrypt, DDOS Protection and SpamExperts) to create a new and improved Premium Reseller plan. We've also included a discount on "Smarter Backups", which will cover all of your cPanel accounts. (This is also available as an addon for normal Resellers.)

Please note that to we have archived the Master Reseller package - it is no longer available to order on the site as is superseded by the Premium Reseller.

Any existing Master Reseller with only 1 WHM account e.g not actively using WHMPHP (or an equivalent) to resell, can convert to the Premium Reseller package once on the new hardware for no additional cost. Existing Master Resellers can of course continue where they are.


VPS's Improved
We've repositioned our VPS offering to make it clearer that it's intended for clients who have experience managing a server. For those that don't, we've introduced 2 management packages to ensure that you're getting the support you need and staff aren't spending valuable time fixing issues that don't relate to the security, stability or speed of the platform.

If you're currently on a VPS and think that you might be better off in a 100% shared support environment contact us to discuss options. In most cases we can move you without downtime to a more suitable platform.

We've also extended "Smarter Backups" as an optional package to VPS's and have plans in the future to provide more upgrades, such as SpamExperts.



The Future

We hope you will share our excitement at this new chapter in our history. We're really looking forward to being able to provide you with a new and improved Smart Hosting in the years ahead.

Kind regards,
Adrian, Dave and the rest of the team

p.s Please accept our apologies to those affected by slower than usual support over the past week. As you can imagine we've been super busy upgrading servers and systems and integrating the teams to provide a better service to you going forward. We truly appreciate your understanding and patience.
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