JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- They build them so customers will come. Web.com, located off Old St. Augustine Road, specializes in building websites for small businesses across America.
The public company (WWWW), which employees 400 locally and 1900 in the US and Canada, recently announced its acquiring Network Solutions, a large domain registration company. If the pending acquisition is approved it would tripled Web.com's customer base.
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"The reason we decided to do this acquisition is that it gets us to three million small business customers," says Web.com's CEO and founder David Brown.
Brown worked for Barnett Bank and Florida National Bank for a number of years. He ran a bank in Washington, D.C. and then retired. Brown says he decided to go back to work and opened his own private equity firm. He founded web.com 14 years ago. The company went public in 2005. Brown says Web.com has built hundreds of thousands of web sites.
He says the company does everything on the internet for a small business, " "We will build it, host it, market it, optimize it, maintain it, market it, if you want to sell things online we could do that for you. All of that is done within our company."
Brown says employees don't have to be internet wizards to work at Web.com, "Let's say you're an english major out of college. Maybe we'll train you to be a copywriter for us. After a year or two of great work with us you'll graduate and become part of our Mod squad because we'll train you not only to do copy but train you to do optimization or something else." The "Mod Squad" is a group of Web.com employees who work on modifying customer websites. They handle highly technical customer support issues.
Heather Aleman, a recent University of North Florida graduate, has worked at Web.com for six months. She went to school to be a graphic designer and now her choice of career is paying off.
"The most difficult part is when you get a brand new industry. You don't know anything about them and it's kinda hazy and you just have to hope that you figure out what the customer wants, " says Aleman.
Sorcha Morency was a dog groomer before getting a Web.com job, "We have a really awesome trainer and she taught me so much and you learn so much from other people on the floor," says Morency.
Brown says he expects the company to expand by a few hundred workers due to the acquisition. He says the company is always looking for good employees, "I think you'll see a very significant number of new hires here especially in the technical areas, programming, software development, customers service, in design of websites, and in marketing and in some of our staff functions."