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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003

    WHT, it's time to get rid of the geek.

    Thanks to a lack of sleep [and of course pure curiosity] I've been clicking through people's signatures and taking a look at their sites. For the most part I looked at hosting sites and have pretty much pulled out one conclusion:

    It's time to get rid of the geek.

    Now, I don't think of myself as an expert, these are simply my opinions, so take them as you may.

    You know, for the most part I gather that you are trying to sell hosting to 'regular' people. People who might have a need for hosting but have no real idea as to what it is. Somehow, they'll find themselves on your website. Whether it's through some advertising that you did, word of mouth, or if they stumbled upon it through a search engine. These people will look around your site, get a bit uncomfortable and probably extremely overwhelmed and they will leave.

    Why are they leaving? Because you're committing one or more geek offenses. Here are some examples:

    Geek offenses:

    Hosting plan listings I was looking over a few sites which had HUGE tables. Tables which would mean absolutely nothing to non-geeks. Sure you know what "phpMyAdmin" is but does your potential customer? Probably not. Explain every little thing you are trying to sell. I personally won't pay for something if I don't know what it is.

    Expand on web space. 1GB is really just another number to the non-geek. Explain how many files they can upload into a 1GB account. Make a gross generalization, explain that with their 1GB account, they could potentially upload 250 MP3's (not that they should...) but that they could.

    Explain what Cpanel is. Again, WHT knows but we're not who you're trying to sell to. Show screenshots, give real world examples. Text just doesn't cut it for this kind of thing.

    Pricing: Make it clear and simple and make sure you list it. This one goes out specifically to the web designers out there: LIST YOUR PRICES. Believe me, I used to have a development site and I never listed prices, what a mistake. My thought process was "every site is different, how could I possibly post a price" Well I was wrong. You always start with a base. Put down the base price, i.e. a 5 page website with logo = $500000 [I wish ].

    "We": You're a one man operation and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, well, until you start referring to yourself as "we." I admit, back in the day I used to do it. Looking back know, it really didn't make any sense. I guess I tried to make my website look more profession but honestly in the end, I dealt with all the clients by myself. There weren't multiple people who spoke to them, it was just me and they had no problems with that. Say that you are a one man operation. If anything it will give you more credibility as you are CONFIDENT in what you're doing.

    Contact: For the sake of all non-geeks. Please, please, please list your contact information. Give me a phone number (if you don't do phone support, make it clear), an address, and an email address (even if you have a form). Believe me, if I see a hosting or web design company that doesn't provide me with fulfilling contact information, the page is closed before Firefox has a chance to see what hit it.

    Don't do templates: As soon as I see the large banner with a flash loading bar in the middle which is trying to show me an 'interactive' intro to the site, I exit. Don't buy general templates [there's nothing wrong with custom one-time use ones] they really make your site look tacky and give it a fly-by-night operation aura.

    Hopefully this little blurb gave at least one person an idea on how to make their site more customer friendly.

    Take care WHT

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    You probably described 99% of webhosts.

    To be honest, I only ever liked one host's website; very clean, very clear, nice design. Pleasing and refreshing. Like those cool towels you get in fancy restaurants.
    In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion.
    If you feel like it, you can read my blog
    Signal > Noise

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Newport Beach, CA
    Just a thought, I wouldn't want a customer that would make a business decision based on whether i had a template site, so it could be a mutual agreement.
    Show your reciprocal links on your website. eReferrer

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    chica go go
    I don't think hosting should be dumbed down.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by ub3r
    I don't think hosting should be dumbed down.
    I dont think he is saying that hosting needs to be dumbed down, just the way that packages are presented. Even linking terms located on a packages feature table (such as phpMyadmin) to a company dictionary of terms.

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