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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Santa Cruz, California
    Posts
    391

    Unhappy problem Targeting large clients

    I want to get more clients, this is my situation
    I'm running a neat server setup expanding every few months I have decent amount of cash.

    The problem is incline of customers, I'm stuck at two and 1 site hosted mostly for free...

    Client 1 pays 100bucks, client 2 pays 60bucks.

    If they have problems with their sites I'll manage it, their invision boards.

    I've been trying to host invision/vb forums, blogs, etc for awhile.

    The problem is my hosting is best for _large_ forums, blogs, etc. In the future when we have seperate php servers online for example the clients can be put on a idle server during high traffic times, to always keep their board online and fast.

    How would I go about targeting clients? I've tried getting cheap clients with tiny forums for 15usd amonth, thats alot of manual work for me just for 15 dollars, yet when they hear I don't have cpanel, I never recieve a email back

    Is a control panel that worth it to people?
    [email protected]
    www.xenserv.com Your High Performance Hosting Specialists - Try the Xen Experience Today!
    http://uploadpla.net - My free Media hosting site.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    11
    I think the answer is pretty apparent! A control panel, as silly as it seems, can be a real deal breaker for folks who need fast, easy access to their hosting. Even if you're just hosting a board/blog, it seems like they want something like that. I suggest cPanel, but that's what I'm used to so I'm biased.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    4,612
    Quote Originally Posted by cmanns View Post
    I've tried getting cheap clients with tiny forums for 15usd amonth, thats alot of manual work for me just for 15 dollars
    Automate it. Reduce or cut out the manual work required. If you follow a standard routine for each customer, then it's a good candidate for a script.

    Quote Originally Posted by cmanns View Post
    Is a control panel that worth it to people?
    Yes. I couldn't imagine trying to sell hosting these days without some sort of control panel.
    Scott Burns, President
    BQ Internet Corporation
    Remote Rsync and FTP backup solutions
    *** http://www.bqbackup.com/ ***

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    1,528
    The control panels are exactly for this - easily provision accounts and let the customers manage their account on their own.

    I would suggest one control panel : H-Sphere. Check at this forum what this panel can do and how can automate your business.

    From a single point you can manage a cluster, load balance services, automate billing, support, domain registration, sell dedicated servers, ssl etc. etc.

    As a reference what H-Sphere is capable to do, check some posts of these 2 WHT members (both have years of experience with the system and run a solid business) :

    - CartikaHosting
    - dynamicnet

    Check especially for some topics about Cpanel vs HSphere or something with grids etc. etc. You will find valuable information.
    Antonis Adamakos @ FuzzFree :: Fully Managed Web Hosting, Development, Online Marketing

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    697
    Quote Originally Posted by cmanns View Post
    Is a control panel that worth it to people?
    Small fish yes. Large fish no.

    Our control panel clients pay only ~1/3 of the non-control panel clients. Control panel clients open 3-5 times the number of tickets of non control panel clients. Stick with your niche - though make sure you get your name out, i.e. be active on forum boards etc.
    Control panels may also severely limit the ability to run the servers the way you need/want it.
    ReflexNetworks means Happy Clients!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    500
    How long have you been in business? Can take awhile for your name to get out and/or individuals to trust you.

    @andren - if his potential clients are asking for cPanel, why deny them? You are losing potential revenues for nothing. If they don't want cPanel, they won't use it, simple.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Houston, TX USA
    Posts
    345
    Having a control panel allowing your customers to fully control their hosting account with you is now almost a given. Customers love being able to easily change settings and add items like more email addresses from an easy to use and nice looking interface. The new cPanel 11 control panel is wonderful, show your customers some love and provide them the tools they need and they will reward you with their business.

    Good luck with everything!
    LaneHost.com | Professional Web Hosting Solutions
    Affordable Shared Hosting, Reseller Hosting & Dedicated Servers at Great Prices!
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    697
    Quote Originally Posted by boldoutlook View Post
    if his potential clients are asking for cPanel, why deny them? You are losing potential revenues for nothing. If they don't want cPanel, they won't use it, simple.
    He may lose revenue, but I guess he's in it for the profit.
    (plus technical reasons - try running a hot spare with cpanel)
    ReflexNetworks means Happy Clients!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Santa Cruz, California
    Posts
    391
    Quote Originally Posted by boldoutlook View Post
    How long have you been in business? Can take awhile for your name to get out and/or individuals to trust you.

    @andren - if his potential clients are asking for cPanel, why deny them? You are losing potential revenues for nothing. If they don't want cPanel, they won't use it, simple.
    I've been doing this for over a year now, we had some instability when moving (Lack of clients caused lack of funds) now I've been steady stable for over 6months, my current clients couldn't be hapier with the hosting I provide, one is a semi-experenced webmaster, since he got the site free he hasn't had one complaint, nor the previous owner whom switched the site to my hosting. He said I'm the only host that's had them up all the time and fixed all errors quickly, they were refered to me by the guy who colocates my hardware though :-(

    I've advertised here at wht last year, on a busy resource site for invision board. I contacted some people with large vb boards, I offfered them 2 months _free_ hosting and _free_ movment back to their hosting if they didn't want mine and just wanted to help me test hosting vb, yet that was still denied.

    I can't have cpanel and such it doesn't work with the webserver I use, one panel does work out of the box but it requires Centos5, why would I sell performance hosting with a os as crappy out of the box as a centos system?

    My systems are all being graphed on every service, when something is getting too high we upgrade. So it's alot better than some shared hosting that goes kaput when someone uses too much cpu!
    [email protected]
    www.xenserv.com Your High Performance Hosting Specialists - Try the Xen Experience Today!
    http://uploadpla.net - My free Media hosting site.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Houston, TX USA
    Posts
    345
    Quote Originally Posted by andren View Post
    He may lose revenue, but I guess he's in it for the profit.
    (plus technical reasons - try running a hot spare with cpanel)
    If you will be losing money because of not being able to afford cPanel or another control panel for your customers, then that means your pricing structure is all wrong and need to increase the amount you charge to be able to provide a service that customers want or you won't be picking up customers because you are refusing to address the needs of what customers want.

    In this case, the OP stated that he is losing potential money because potiential customers do not want to sign up for the service he is targeting to because he doesn't provide cPanel. Up the price of the plans if it is too cheap to cover the cost, so that you can provide cPanel and the customers will respond by rewarding you with their business as that is what they are requesting to have and use.

    If not offering cPanel to customers is because of a technical reason, then need to retarget the niche you are after to those that wouldn't need one. Ie...advanced web masters who prefer to work off a comand line instead of a control panel interface etc.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    697
    Quote Originally Posted by LaneHost View Post
    If you will be losing money ...
    We are not really talking about losing money, rather not (yet?) making it.

    Anyways, either you target the 'upscale' market with high reliability and speed or you have to compete with the cheap hosts and their one-solution-fits-all control panels.
    ReflexNetworks means Happy Clients!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    1,528
    Because you are targeting the 'upscale' market, this does not mean you can not automate the whole process and save you a ton of time on accepting orders, provisioning accounts, managing the servers/clusters, accepting support tickets, doing billing etc. etc. All the above also mean that you save a lot of money if you have integrated all these into one system (H-Sphere). No need for separate billing system, separate support system etc.
    Antonis Adamakos @ FuzzFree :: Fully Managed Web Hosting, Development, Online Marketing

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Houston, TX USA
    Posts
    345
    Quote Originally Posted by andren View Post
    We are not really talking about losing money, rather not (yet?) making it.

    Anyways, either you target the 'upscale' market with high reliability and speed or you have to compete with the cheap hosts and their one-solution-fits-all control panels.
    I meant potiential in lost revenue from the target market he is trying to attract.
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