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  1. #1

    * Is it the site that makes the sale

    Do you think it is the website that make the sail in this business. Is it about the appearance of your site that convinces someone to by hosting.

  2. #2
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    Have you ever bought web hosting? What made you choose the provider you did?

    For me the site plays a massive part, I was particularly looking for activity, so I knew I wasn't buying from a company that only had like 5 customers.
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  3. #3
    I bought from three companies so far reseller accounts then i bought from two dedicated companies i was looking for value and low price the company I went with had the features I needed that made the difference

  4. #4
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    The site is the first thing that gives you an impression of the company. Lets face it, most web hosts have the same features, same control panel, same everything, so the site has to stand out as something unique. As TenNet has said, a busy looking site will attract customers too.

  5. #5
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    I think what most people look for these days is:

    Design & Price... or at least their 2 major factors

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by markgrannum18 View Post
    Do you think it is the website that make the sail in this business. Is it about the appearance of your site that convinces someone to by hosting.
    It is not just appearance. The big thing is to have a clear message about what makes you different from other hosts and why the difference is important to customers. That clear message, when combined with a professional looking website, will help make the sales.

    So step one is to define clearly what makes you different and why that is better. Then design a nice looking site that is on brand with your message.
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  7. #7
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    Most of our clientele is offline, but yes we do get some comments on our incomplete website. But again its something that does not affect our sales at all.
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  8. #8
    The website shows virtual existence. I think for hosting company a website is the most important factor. There are very few that succeeded with no website.

  9. #9
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    I don't personally think it's a host's website that influences the user's final decision, but subconsciously it has a lot of impact.

    Firstly it gets the visitor/potential customers attention, and if it has the 'wow' factor, is sleek, professional and instantly reassures the customer, that can encourage the user to browse through the site.

    Secondly, if the layout is well planned and intuitive, i.e. plenty of calls to action, simple uncomplicated navigation and clear routes to order, support, etc then there should be a high visitor to customer conversion rate.

    Finally, if the website is jam packed full of animations and things to draw your eye away from the main point of the website, it doesn't instil confidence. Essentially, if it's a badly hashed template monster layout, I personally run a mile.

    Just my two cents

  10. #10
    I will definitely say the site does play a important role.
    Its the first impression on the customer.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by markgrannum18 View Post
    Do you think it is the website that make the sail in this business. Is it about the appearance of your site that convinces someone to by hosting.
    It only helps.
    example: if your site is the best evermade but you sell hosting for 50$ minimum pack ... that I can find at well know providers for 5$ ... you think I will choose you just for your design?
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  12. #12
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    Of course design helps, but so does what makes you unique and how competitive your packages and pricing are.
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  13. #13
    All hosting companies I've been with is not because of the design but word of mouth, recommendations and reviews.
    I look for trusted web hosting sites, features, support and prices.
    Now, I've been many time in front of 2 or 3 hosting biz that have similar features, prices and good reputations. How to choose the one?
    Then design and ease navigation can be a factor of choice.

    For general public that are looking for shared hosting design should be friendly, no tech stuff... complicated navigation..., too many hosting plans... You don't even need to put a picture of a server but something more friendly like a mascot, a woman.... If they want to host with you, they want to be able to click the order button or sign-up, pay and be ready to host.

    For people who are more tech savvy, looking for dedicated, vps, cloud, reseller... design should be more tech too with full details on servers, picture of servers,...... Should definitively looks pro.

  14. #14
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    Usually I would say yes, but regarding hosting is exactly the other way around. I know that most great providers have simple pages, smart to navigate, nothing fancy, some would say even ugly.

    And then you land on websites that sell hosting and say "ahh wow, this looks so brilliant" and the service sucks.

    Usually this very fancy websites are made by webdesigners that really know how to make a visual impact, but they know nothing about hosting.

    That is just my experience, in hosting the best companies donīt exactly stand for their webdesign. Simple, that works. Just look at google, keep it simple.

    Thats is my experience. Usually you choose this providers because of the good prices, quality and reputation, in hosting the last things that sells me is the webdesign. The things that sells me is to know who is behind it and if they are doing a good job.

    Yes, design helps, but in hosting, at least people looking for hosting are very techie and geek persons, and they usually are not sold like that rest of the crowd just with a fancy design and big graphics. They usually looks more technical info. I would say reviews and recommendations have a way bigger impact in hosting then just the website. Because you are not buying the website, but a service, and its very hard to see what hardware, network and service they will offer you just based on the design.

    Maybe they spend allot of money in the design but nothing in their end service.

  15. #15
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    i started a thing where i would only buy from a site after contacting their support for a simple question. Too many instant websites are run on "autopilot".
    Doesnt matter what your buying, even if your bidding on an item from ebay, it pays to make contact.

    nibb is right about some of the old hats having well, outdated looking websites, but while the site looks outdated, a few questions later you find out that they are active, good support and so on. Whereas you find flashy sites which are ripped by a 13year old during his school holidays, send them a few questions, and you can judge their response times and see if they are someone that you can do business with.

    i think too many old hats put all their effort into their services (oh the hummanity!), whereas the new kids put all the effort into the sale of their services.

  16. #16
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    I think the design of the website is a big part of the sales that the business will receive. A rubbish design is likely to make the company look unprofessional and not grab the sales where as professional looking site is more likely to grab the sales as it gives the impression that they are serious about the business.

    Thanks, *******.

  17. #17
    image is everything in business. So yes if the first thing you see is a website that looks like junk, you expect the hosting to be junk.

    Perfect example, datashack! Most of us know that when it started out his site was just whmcs with a logo on top that wasn't very good looking. It turned alot of people off and had alot of people asking if he was a legit host. He built of cheap prices and quality products and service. Most of us know he has been nothing but a solid provider, just a good example of this.
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  18. #18
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    A lot of companies try to cram as many links and images on the home page as they can fit. Trying to give as much info as they can as soon as you hit the site. I find and a clean layout and easy to navigate site is worth clicking a few links to get the information I want.
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  19. #19
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    I would rather buy from a simple no nonsense and no BS site like prgmr or buyvm than some company that spends more time developing there own site than providing good service/hosting. Not the only reason I like those two but it didn't hurt that there wasn't a bunch of crap splattered across the page. See what you're getting when it's available and where who gives a crap about the rest?
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  20. #20
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    Ecatel doesn't even have a site and they're doing well

  21. #21
    It's hard to tell now, because I've seen a hosting that is making money and maybe most new clients than any of us here with a crap website (just WHMCS) but targetting the right niche and forum with a great offer. Now that other saw this gold rush, they go there too and competition is a bit harder for him but still profitable.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ureimer View Post
    Ecatel doesn't even have a site and they're doing well
    Haha this is very true. But i see they are active on some forums. Like WHT i have seen threads regarding the selling of Ecatel servers. Also could the fact that there isn't much choice when it comes to buying Netherlands servers? Well i don't think there is. Another thing is the fact that there is a large market for people wanting offshore servers.

    Large Market + Little Choice = High Sales

    Thanks, *******.

  23. #23
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    I think that the site plays a huge role for a majority of customers. Let's face it: No matter what your price point or feature configuration, there are a few dozen other sites out there offering the same thing. With the proliferation of reseller accounts and hosting templates, it's very easy for anyone to set up a cookie-cutter website and start taking customers.

    In all my years of sales and sales management, I can say with authority that most customers make their purchasing decision within several seconds of being exposed to you or your site. Most customers purchase based on their emotional connection to your brand or marketing material.

    Look at the number of WHT newcomers who post threads asking why their hosting business isn't getting anywhere. Most of them have template sites filled with technical specifications and keyword salad. While their site may be informative or search-friendly, it doesn't get the customer's juices flowing and doesn't give the customer any incentive to choose them.

    Spend the money on a good designer who can create something that you really love. It WILL pay off in the end.
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  24. #24
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    Design is a wrapper and little to nothing more. Most websites are designed by people disassociated from the day to day operations and it shows no matter how pretty the visuals are.

    That said, there are plenty of non-existent companies who are nothing more than resellers and typically lousy at that, who have fancy eye-appealing websites.

    Then you have real companies who are busy taking care of customers, doing installs and running a business who have a website that they did (Datashack likely). Those sites tend to be straightforward and they just work, but not a visually stimulating overcompensation.

    I never buy anything because of advertising fluff. I look for real details on the company - how long in business, what sort of experience, where are your services provided from, do you own the facility or resell, who are your upstream providers, what do you provide free of cost that is useful, how much does admin time cost, etc.

    I encourage folks to differentiate themselves by providing the answers to the most common questions we all face over and over in an upfront on the website manner.

    One company I've long liked for having a good visual website with enough technical info is FDCServers. Like their "Looking Glass".

  25. #25
    The site is definitely a variable when securing NEW customers. However, you'll find that word of mouth and reputation management is what REALLY counts when retaining those customers.

    Customer service/satisfaction, friendly and knowledgeable staff mixed with a quality product and appealing landing page is what works for us!

  26. #26
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    When I used to sell hosting, my new customer rates doubled when I upgraded to a much better design, which was radically different than what I had. The old one was not so bad, but the new one was very good, and it had a very noticeable impact. I didn't change my advertising media, just the design.

    That experience taught me that an attractive and bold website is an extremely important factor in giving a first idea about your company to a potential customer.

  27. #27
    Turn On:
    - Sign up process is easy and clear.
    - cPanel/WHM.
    - WHMCS (unless you can build a BETTER control panel).
    - Live chat actually responds.
    - Past customer quotes.
    - Lifetime coupons (because your costs only go down after the first month).
    - Easy to read terms of service.

    Turn Off:
    - Website is overly cluttered.
    - Huge affiliate payout (unless I get a discount for not being referred).
    - Copyright is out of date.
    - Design seems outdated.
    - Difficult to navigate.
    - Fake live chat (I see it all the time).
    - Trying to sell all kinds of things when I know what I want.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by markgrannum18 View Post
    Do you think it is the website that make the sail in this business. Is it about the appearance of your site that convinces someone to by hosting.
    No, spelling, spelling is what makes the sail, for sure.
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  29. #29
    No, spelling, spelling is what makes the sail, for sure.
    Sailing is what makes the spell. If you can't shell, sometimes you will lose the sail. That's why I use a spill checker.

  30. #30
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    Spokane, WA
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    Bad spelling and poor grammar. I can't stand it when I come across a site with bad grammar.

  31. #31
    I don't think it is the website that makes the sale.
    BUT I think the website can certainly KILL the sale.

    I can say that when I am looking at an online purchase I will go to google. Make a search and open up about 10 different providers. I will then run through and close out any that don't have professional looking sites. I am not saying the site has to be crazy graphical and top notch, but it certainly needs to look professionally done.

    I have probably missed out on a few good companies but generally I figure that if they don't have a professional website then...

    If they don't care about their own business why would they care about mine
    If they don't take time to work on their site how will customer service be?

    THings like that.

    So in short I don't choose the company because of the website but I rule out the ones that suck.

  32. #32
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    i've goten around 20 clients purely off websites, which is the majority of my clients.

  33. #33
    a web hosting company's site influences a buyers decision whether to buy from them or not. it's the same as to how you look at another person's appearance. when you first meet them, it's their first impression that changes how you think of them. in this case, it is the same. first impression MATTERS!

  34. #34
    Greetings:

    I guess the lesson of don't judge a book by its cover hasn't happened for some people.

    Thank you.
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  35. #35
    I realize that no, site is not what make sales.
    Your hosting page can be old time but what people cares is support, services, price and trust.
    Some big money hosting makers don't even care of Live Chat, hosting plans, nice website...
    What they have in common is their name=trust, they do forum post with great plans... word of mouth do the rest. Some also are in a marketing niche and have like thousands of subscribers, they advertise hosting to their subscriber and BAM!

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by dynamicnet View Post
    Greetings:

    I guess the lesson of don't judge a book by its cover hasn't happened for some people.

    Thank you.
    I would call it a "saying" rather than a "lesson", but to each his own. In any case, it's commonly said simply because people nearly always do the opposite. You wouldn't have a saying "drink water when you're thirsty", nobody needs any encouragement for that.

    Should people judge you based on how your website looks (your cover)? Yes, yes they should. Because as the business owner, you should know that people are judging you based on that. People *are* judging you based on how your site looks, and if you haven't done anything about it, it can only mean one of three things: 1) You are so clueless as to not recognize that your website reflects on your company, and for that reason you have not worked to make sure it looks good. 2) You can't be bothered to make sure that potential customers are comfortable with your company and its offerings. Or 3) Your organization is incapable of making sure your face to the world looks acceptable.

    Would I want to do business with an organization that can't get it's act together for any of those three reasons? Probably not.
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  37. #37
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    I want to think people in this post because its helping me a lot with my own site. Giving me a idea of what people looks for.

  38. #38
    Your welcome

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynamicnet View Post
    I guess the lesson of don't judge a book by its cover hasn't happened for some people.
    You've got that right. But they're the ones with the money, so it makes business sense to appeal to them.

    In this day and age where nearly everyone is offering the same thing plus or minus a few bucks, I'll take an interesting, attractive, well-organized site that gives me the information I need over an inefficient, uninteresting, disorganized site with walls of spergy text about what brand of Ethernet cabling they use.

    Even worse are the cookie-cutter hosting templates that feature stock photos of Important Business People Looking Thoughtfully At Servers.

    Whether people want to accept it or not, looks matter.
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  40. #40
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    I think the site is majorly important. If a client thinks your site looks out of date or neglected why would they think that your hosting will be any different?
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