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Taking Things To The Next Step

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  #1  
Old 08-29-2004, 05:08 PM
DLee DLee is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Tampa, Fl
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Taking Things To The Next Step


I think all web-hosting sites begin the exact same. Someone with some knowledge likes what he/she is doing and finally makes that big step to creating some sort of a company and hosting a few websites for friends, family, etc.

In the past years there has been sort of a movement from the gaming community and now our newest designers and hosters are gamers and media lovers; they have more friends to host and more clans and guilds to do websites for.

But there is a problem here, and i'm getting to my point soon i promise. My company did not originate from a gaming atmosphere. We are not l33t h4xors trying to make a buck by getting some shared, making a website, and putting up a few paypal buttons.

But because we are new and do more local business then anything else, we are thrown into a "newbie" category and sometimes not taken seriously. Our packages are well thought, our support has never been flawed, we run on very good hardware through well known resellers. But we aren't big.

Although our client base is getting stronger every day, we are still in this sort of a no mans land where were surrounded by literally 1000s of small businesses, some like us, and others being kids with some spare time during their summer break.

THE POINT: How do we, as a small, beginning, but professional company, prove to our target client, that we are not the run-of-the-mill web host and design team? How can we show that we are in this for the long run and not until the end of the Counter-Strike Competition Season?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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  #2  
Old 08-29-2004, 05:16 PM
Amish_Geek Amish_Geek is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Duluth MN
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Well, one of my suggestions would be to be sure you own the .com for your domain, especially if you are using the .net mainly.

Secondly, constantly be encouraging your customers for referrals. And reward them when they do refer. Word of mouth is THE BEST form of advertisement. Just the other day, I had a customer refer someone new to me. And as a thank you, I gave that customer a nice credit on their account for a few months free.

Build a reputation here at WHT. This isn't the be all/end all place for web hosting, but if you build a personal reputation for not only your company, but also yourself, you will easily differentiate yourself from among the rest.

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  #3  
Old 08-29-2004, 06:11 PM
Orc Webhosting Orc Webhosting is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Posts: 762
Just a couple of suggestions on more professionality:

Don't use a top frame for your logo, it's 1990s' technology and looks very unprofessional.

Add some QAs to your FAQ Center, I was looking for some info there and found it empty. Quite a turnoff for someone who looks for more info.

"Do I Need Extra Services?
Many times, our clients are looking for special services such as PHP, Forums, Galleries, etc. If you are looking for these special features, make sure you view our Packages Page to make sure the plan you choose includes these services."
I went to the packages page and found that every single plan you offer contains all of the "special services" listed in your plan choosing guide. It'll make a bad impression exactly on those customers who use their heads for thinking, i.e. people who don't look for the cheapest deal available.

I couldn't find any technical information anywhere on the site - connections, location, datacenter, server etc etc... if you've got only a reseller account or a VPS, then of course there isn't much you can tell - but at least things like OS used and connectivity should be mentioned IMO.

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  #4  
Old 08-30-2004, 03:37 AM
Diamond Edge Diamond Edge is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: NZ
Posts: 88
Hi,

I agree with the idea for referal programme, if you encourage your clients/Prospective clients to refer people and receive rewards, it re-assures them that you are not a run of the mill host, you have the resources and experience to maintain a healthy referral program and provide your clients with substantial rewards for referring. It proves that you are A)Confident with your services and B) have enough revenue to maintain your company for the long run, and not just during the School Holidays.

Thanks

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  #5  
Old 08-30-2004, 03:48 AM
Tehk Tehk is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 37
"to the next step" Reminds of American Pie, might of been next level though.

IMO You should also offer yearly or bi-yearly prices on top of monthly...a lot of people prefer it and it makes it seem like your in it for the long run.

  #6  
Old 08-30-2004, 05:10 AM
Orc Webhosting Orc Webhosting is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Posts: 762
Another thing, your AUP says you take absolutely no responsibility for client backups. While it's pretty much OK in case of a dedicated server, IMO in case of a shared hosting the provider should make regular backups of customers' data, since exactly on a shared hosting many users don't even know how it all works - but they'll be mad at you all the same if they lose their website to find out you can't provide them with any backup, several years of their work going down the drain. It doesn't have to be the latest daily backup, but IMO a hosting provider should be able to provide customers with a full backup of their site not older than a month at any given point of time (i.e. monthly backups kept off-server and archived) to be truly professional.

  #7  
Old 08-30-2004, 06:01 AM
GordonH GordonH is offline
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Even hosts who do take backups will have a disclaimer in their TOS. Its necessary to have such a clause.

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  #8  
Old 08-30-2004, 06:15 AM
Walter Walter is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,057
Quote:
Originally posted by GordonH
Even hosts who do take backups will have a disclaimer in their TOS. Its necessary to have such a clause.
Exactly.
Even if such a disclaimer sounds absurd to a customer, it's necessary as nobody is able to guarantee that the backup will work.

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