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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,461

    What if a customer asks you for sites that you are hosting ?

    Sometimes customers are asking me for sites that I am hosting. This is something that I do not feel comfortable about because:

    - What if the site owner doesn`t want me to mention that I am hosting him ?
    - What if it is just a competitor trying to get my IPs in order to contact my customers.

    One time I sent a webhosting.info link listing all domains on a certain server and as a response the customer told me that if they sign up with me they do not want to be listed on such a list (which is impossible to prevent).

    Looks like whatever you do, you do it wrong...

    Any ideas how to deal with this ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    147
    Tell them you are unable to dispense that information because of privacy laws. That may even be true.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Maryland
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    534
    Ask couple of your customers if they don't mind you using their site for promotional purposes. Some will not mind and your problems will go away. If you're scared of them trying to steal your customer then find the customers that you're sure will not leave you.

    Additionally, find out WHY they are asking and see if you can help them in another way to achieve their goal.
    VERVE Web Solutions, LLC
    http://www.vervesolutions.com
    New Name Same Quality Service since 2000!!
    Now offering SiteBuilder :: Build your site in 5 easy steps

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
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    147
    Why even consider telling anyone who hosts with you?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    If you don't it sounds like you do not host anyone or have something to hide. But if you do it sounds stupid, too...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    233
    Quote Originally Posted by thomas.smith
    Any ideas how to deal with this?
    This is why we have a "testimonials" page so existing customers can voluntarily submit a public testimonial for our promotional purposes. Potential customers can simply reference our testimonials page for existing sites hosted on our network.

    I'm pretty sure that these potential customers that are asking you for other sites you host simply want to know if there's anyone else hosted on your network. People just need references.

    It's still very possible that someone will want to "steal" your customer. It's a valid concern, but I think the reward outweighs the risks. If you say that you have a lot of clients, you should have a solid number of loyal clients who will never switch providers, no matter what happens.
    IceStorm.com - Top Provider of Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, and Cloud VPS Plans.
    Why IceStorm? Two Words: Proven Reliability.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Indiana
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    Yup, I agree with icestorm, testemonials page!
    Last edited by Anky; 04-23-2005 at 02:51 AM.
    Ankit Gupta - Cernax Hosting
    "We're always second in the industry, the customer comes first."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    1,277
    Some contracts i've seen come across my desk have a Marketing clause in there allowing you to give out their site information for such reasons. If what you're doing is not contract basd, just ask a few people to give a bit of a write up.

    However, the more skilled a person you have asking you will want to know this information so they can test metrics as to latency, site load times, etc, if they were to be hosted on the same server.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    147
    Originally posted by thomas.smith
    If you don't it sounds like you do not host anyone or have something to hide. But if you do it sounds stupid, too...
    Thats why I said to tell them you cannot give out that information as it is private.

  10. #10
    Personally, i ask customers to be on a 'showcase page' it's nice advertising for them, and it shows only the customers who want to be shown

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    432
    Originally posted by rjerina
    Why even consider telling anyone who hosts with you?
    Its impossible to prevent ppl from making such lists. whois.sc can mostly do it for you automaticaly.
    Checkout www.crunzh.com for nice freeware programs. Including a program for monitoring your webserver.
    Any opinions in this post, unless otherwise noted, are my own personal opinions.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,461
    Yes, but who knows whois.sc ? Not the usual guy that makes a site about his cat.

  13. #13
    thats questionable, lots of my customers do :p

    but whois.sc puts people off, as you need a premium membership to see all the sites

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    432
    Originally posted by thomas.smith
    Yes, but who knows whois.sc ? Not the usual guy that makes a site about his cat.
    Nope, but if you are conserned about your compeditors there are good reasons to assume that they know of it or others like it.
    Checkout www.crunzh.com for nice freeware programs. Including a program for monitoring your webserver.
    Any opinions in this post, unless otherwise noted, are my own personal opinions.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    on the 'net
    Posts
    1,187

    Re: What if a customer asks you for sites that you are hosting ?

    Originally posted by thomas.smith
    [B]- What if the site owner doesn`t want me to mention that I am hosting him ?
    You talk to your customers, right? Why not ASK a few of the happier ones if this would be OK?!?

    - What if it is just a competitor trying to get my IPs in order to contact my customers.
    That info is public knowledge anyway. It's all in Whois.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    egypt
    Posts
    286
    in our biz i got this question alot from new customers ...
    they need this to monitor that site on your server to check the speed around the day and the up time ...


    when someone ask i give him 2 sites so he can test our service

  17. #17
    why not put a test 1mb file. They can check the speed on it. It's a simple first-step solution.
    Need reliable hosting?
    titaniumline.com

  18. #18
    surely you have another website?

    just show them one of your other sites lmfao.

  19. #19
    Seems it would add credibility to a business having other customers give good recommendations about your services. Just one more positive aspect about your business that would potentially drive new consumers towards initiating a new account.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    120
    Originally posted by datadeacon
    Seems it would add credibility to a business having other customers give good recommendations about your services. Just one more positive aspect about your business that would potentially drive new consumers towards initiating a new account.
    I agree. I think there is value in showing who hosts with you. Why? It’s just human nature. Why is one interested in restaurants with a line out the door and suspicious of those with no patrons? In a traditional bricks and mortar business you get to access the public interest and add that to your perception of the establishment but in e-world you don’t always get that.

    With respect to testimonials, I think they can be perceived as contrived even though the vast majority are not. Seeing other “peers” host sites like you might want to host is, in my view, more compelling.
    Sam Elsamman
    http://www.sitemagix.com
    Advanced Site Builder Software for Web Hosts

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Saint Paul, MN
    Posts
    826
    We get this question a lot. A number of our customers link to us, either in the context of reviews, or a little "hosted by" slug somewhere on their site. We figure that equates to their not minding being known as customers of ours, and usually provide a few of their URLs, on request. For that matter, we have a number of blogs that are something.redpin.com, which makes it pretty darn obvious who they're hosted with... we also try to provide sites that are hosted on more than one of our servers.
    redpin.com - offering amazingly competent email, dns, and web hosting since 2002... because someone has to!
    Because Simple Things Should Be Simple - YouCANHasDNS

  22. #22
    If a thief is going to con you out of information in an attempt to steal your clients he wouldn't ask who you host. He would ask for an IP "to test". So, I am not certain of the motivation. I have never (in 6 yrs) had anyone ask me "who we host".
    As for testimonials, I do not want to discourage anyone from using them or submitting them. But, I want you to take a look at your testimonials page views, and you will see my point about that. How effective do you, really, think a testimonials page is?

    Now, to the point of this thread:
    It has already been stated. However, I will reiterate. Choose several current customers who you know will never leave you, or, can not be contacted. I would make certain these current customers do not mind being, basically, a reference.
    Bill
    Bank of America Rip-Off
    I'm Mad as Hell, And I'm not going to take it anymore!

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    The South
    Posts
    5,403
    I just reply "we don't give out any client info like this however you are welcome to ask our clients directly in our forums for the names of some sites hosted here". Or something similar, and I give them a link to my forums.
    Gary Harris - the artist formerly known as Dixiesys
    resident grumpy redneck

  24. #24
    Hi,
    I don't really understand the problem you have giving out who you are hosting.

    The way i'll work with it: I will tell 2 or 3 good-looking sites i host. They have to look professionnal and preferably owned by a known company or community.
    It's good for your host. You look like the kind of host able to host important community or big company...

    Second thing, people that stealing customers doesn't have to ask you for that... They just have to go to webhosting.info and ask the site
    Try it: webhosting.info/69.20.37.114

    Stealers don't have to ask you. They already have the tools

    -----
    Sorry for my poor english ...

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