We are a small team of WordPress experts and our mission is to help small & medium independent publishers grow their online businesses on a rock-solid foundation.
Simplenet is trusted by thousands of paying customers. We are completely independent, self-funded and bootstrapped. The legal entity is incorporated in Romania, our team is based in the EU and we work remotely.
We are funded solely by the money that our customers pay us. We are not interested in raising funds or taking investment. We are small and ok with it.
Company: Simplenet Hosting srl
Address: Str 22 Decembrie 3/B/16 Bacau, Romania
VAT ID: RO22199266
IBAN RON: RO07INGB0000999902302401
Bank: ING Bank
IBAN EUR: RO85BREL0002001613480201
Bank: Libra Bank
How we started
My name is Andrei Chira and I am the co-founder of Simplenet Hosting srl.
In 2006, when I was working in sales at an IT&C company, where I sold computers, servers and datacenter solutions, my boss decided to focus on B2B and give up on B2C.
That’s when I got the idea to build a website where I could sell to B2C, acting as a reseller of the company I was working for. I knew the prices and all the suppliers, and it seemed like a good deal.
In the middle of the following year, in August 2007, I started the adventure of online entrepreneurship together with my wife, Elena, with the 500€ I had saved and another 500€ borrowed.
I opened an LLC, bought a license for an e-commerce platform, a domain name and a web hosting plan and launched the website. I was in charge of the technical side and suppliers, while Elena was in charge of order processing, invoicing and shipping.
We ended 2007 with a turnover of a little over 10.000€, but a profit of less than 100€. We knew we couldn’t go on like this, we couldn’t compete with the big players and it was time to change something.
I discovered the Magento platform, made its first decent translation into Romanian and used it to launch an online shop for printed t-shirts. The idea was to create something original that would differentiate us. We wanted it to be something different, and unique, not to sell what everyone else was selling and compete on price.
In addition to our own project, I also created online stores using Magento for some friends, but the platform did not particularly appeal to me and I could not see myself making websites for others.
Providing services didn’t appeal to me, I was still blinded somehow, I wanted to do retail and I really wanted to build a streetwear brand, not just an online printed t-shirt shop.
I discovered WordPress and was impressed by how easily I can build all types of websites. Using WordPress, we launched an online portal where visitors could rate and review online shops.
We started writing articles with the coupons and promotions of the respective shops, we discovered affiliate marketing and the fact that we could generate income from content pushed us to write more and more, and Elena dedicated herself to content creation and search engine optimisation.
I focused on the t-shirt store, but since the income was not even close to our expectations, I also continued to build websites for various clients who had offline businesses and wanted an online presence as well.
I began to see things more clearly, and to accept that providing services was better suited for my personality. I realised that I was better at the tech stuff, and that it is more profitable to help others with this tech stuff.
“Sell what you know to do best” was the mantra I told myself and that’s how I launched the Simplenet project.
Initially it was a single plan that included everything we could do for a business that wants an online presence: website creation, domain and web hosting, search engine optimization, maintenance and monitoring, loading speed optimisation, security, and technical support.
Along the way we have separated them into different plans to make them more accessible.
In addition to small brochure websites, we also started hosting blogs or online newspapers and shared hosting plans were sometimes insufficient for traffic spikes.
We started studying the Nginx web server and how we can configure a high-performance setup with Nginx to provide managed WordPress hosting for clients who needed performance.
Apart from my personal blog, on which I write quite rarely, and the website on that Elena continued to do affiliate marketing, we closed all other projects and decided that our future is Simplenet.
We were joined by Radu, my best friend from high school, who has a rich experience in both IT and customer care.
We changed the company name to Simplenet Hosting srl. The original name was no longer relevant to what we were doing and we wanted to be 100% on-brand.
Elena left affiliate marketing and brought her content creation, technical SEO and optimisation expertise to Simplenet to further help our clients.