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Thread: I need help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Western Mass
    Posts
    21

    I need help

    I started my little venture in 2003 and have sent out flyers, advertised on google and tried to start a word of mouth, yet the only people i am hosting are 4 clients.... I feel like a big failure, yet if I were to cancel it now I feel as though I'd be losing a lot of personal stuff, as well as try to explain it to my customers.

    I was thinking of trying to hit the local market again, but I guess I don't know how or where to start to try to gain customers.

    I'm at a loss and am looking for suggestions.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    166
    Hi,

    Your SSL certificate is invalid, giving warning messages - I wouldn't provide my credit card.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Proud She-Geek
    Posts
    1,722
    Well, what can your business offer me (in the general sense) that another business can't? What makes you stand apart from the rest?

    And don't think simply saying "personalized customer service" is going to cut it, because anyone can claim that.

    Try to find a niche and become an expert in that area. Like osCommerce? Mambo CMS? PHP or Post Nuke? Game Servers? Try not to appeal to everyone because unless you have a BIG advertising budget you'll never reach as many people as you would like.

    Try sponsering a website or forum in exchange for a link back to your site.

    And don't forget to fix your certificate

    Good luck!
    <?php echo "Signature here"; ?>

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    350
    There is nothing wrong with the certificate (it's not broken, or stolen)

    The reason the popup is that he's using a self signed cert.

    If you're not willing or able to buy a normal certificate my suggestion would be to inform visitors that you are using a self signed certificate, and that by continuing they will get a popup warning them that the orginazation that signed the cert (you) has been been identified as a trusted source, adding that they will need to accept the certificate before they will be able to continue.

    You may also want to think about using an alternative method of payment, allowing they to bypass your secured pages if they wish to.

    Buying a cert would be the best way to handle this however.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    481
    The members login form on your homepage is not a a functional form. You should either update the template you are using to remove the login form or make the login form functional. A prospective customer who see's this will be turned off. If a form on your homepage does not work, they would probably wonder what else would not work with their hosting account.

    As other have stated either get a trusted cert from a CA, you can get a very low priced cert from ev1servers, or do not use https at all and allow paypal via a 3rd party gateway.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Hudson, Wisconsin
    Posts
    560
    In regards to your marketing attempts, don't get discouraged. The 4 clients you have are 4 more than what a lot of hosting companies have. Treat them well and word will begin to spread.

    With your flyer's, whom did you target. Did you go door to door in residential area? Did you target local businesses?

    Have you joined your local chamber of commerce? You could put together informational seminars for local businesses that might not have a clue about how to get their business on the internet. If anything, it will get your name out there.

    Are there community classes in your area that you could do a free or very low cost class on how to create simple web sites and get them published on the internet?

    Advertising on Google is very cut throat and trying to round up web hosting business that way can be difficult. Many have tried, not that many succeed.

    Think local, not global. Good luck.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    350
    [Think local, not global]

    Best advice I've seen to date

  8. #8
    Try to be inuvative! Bring in some new services, there are a lot of niche markets that have not yet ben tapped! Don't loose hope, you just need to sit, and revise your hosting plan. Go for a makeover, introduce some special plans, and new services. Also advertise in places which are less saturated.
    Revo.in :: MyRevo.com
    Revolutionary Web Host, Programmer & Web Consultant
    Our Priorities - Client Satisfaction :: Quality Service :: Creative Growth ::


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Western Mass
    Posts
    21
    Excellent tips all. thank you very much. I'm away for the next week, but i'll be thinking a lot about trying to integrate these tips into my next business plan.

    thanks again.

    if anyone else would like to contribute, that'd be great... the more information i can get, the better off i am.

    thanks!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    1,891
    Firstly I did get this SSL error on your order page:

    This CA Root certificate is not trusted because it is not in the Trusted Root Certification Authorities store.

    Again I would not sign-up with this error (I am using IE6 on Windows XP Pro).

    The checkout process is confussing too. Your signup should be easier so you do not loose clients.

    Look at your stats do you get lots of hits to your plan page and less to your order page? Think about why that is...

    There are some excellent suggestions above but solving these issues will help you convert your current visitors to customers.
    Gary Jones

    BlueFur.com - Canada Web Hosting

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