I went to hear Andrew Griffiths last Wednesday at the ANCC business lunch. Great speaker!
If you missed him, he has talks on TED and YouTube.
Anyway, in his marketing session he said … if you’re doing good things, and you never tell your customers, how will they know?
Well it sounds a bit obvious when put like that.
But it got my attention because our web-hosting service is an aspect of our business in which we, perhaps like the majority of web companies, have operated under the opposite paradigm. That – ‘the better we do our job, the less our customers should hear from us’.
The old idea was that if a client hears nothing from us, they’ll somehow know their website is running smoothly and that we’re doing a great job. Drawing attention to the good work would just be ‘blowing our own trumpet’ and nobody likes that. The trouble is, that meant most customers never heard anything from us, and those that did, well it was probably only when they were late in paying an invoice, or worse, when their website had been hacked and they were about to get hit-up for repairs. Not ideal!
So we really do need to do better with our communication. All the things matter, good and bad.
For example, over the last few years three significant trends have emerged …
- WordPress websites have boomed in worldwide popularity, and so are increasingly targeted by hackers and organised crime
- The number of WordPress websites we manage has significantly increased
- And yet, our need for conversations with clients about hack repairs have reduced to almost zero!
Don’t get me wrong. We’re very proud of those results. We have worked hard on our products and systems to achieve them. And they’re due in no small part to our special ‘managed hosting’. But Andrew would rightly ask – if you haven’t told your customers, how will they know?
So why is our managed hosting so much better than your normal web developer / GoDaddy / Crazy Domains / NetRegistry (etc.) type hosting?
Well with normal hosting, you’re on your own!
You are the webmaster. Even if you don’t really know what one is, you’re all you’ve got. Now if you’re on your game, you schedule in regular time for website technical review, maintenance and improvement activities. But who has time for that or even knows what to do!?
And so, it’s not surprising that hackers love those type of websites so much. They make easy targets to either deface or crash. Which leads to costly repairs, because no matter how good your website used to be, now it’s out-of-action.
It might surprise you though, that more commonly these days, hackers don’t want to stop your site. They hope you never notice what they’ve been up to! They just want to infiltrate and quietly syphon off your resources to support their illegal activities. Most other hosting providers don’t even tell you this. Yet no-one wants their website to be used for organised crime!
But our ‘managed’ hosting service is different. We not only provide the hosting, we become your webmaster.
Now that alone wouldn’t make us entirely unique. Because we know that a number of the more reputable web developers round Albury Wodonga also maintain an active interest in their customers and happily respond to webmaster type requests. Sure, we occasionally hear horror stories from clients who migrate to us, particularly when their ex-developer was not local. But most could call on their web developer if they knew they needed something done and expect a professional response.
But sadly, a reactive webmaster is no longer enough. Proactive is essential. And that’s why we term our web hosting, ‘managed’. We literally schedule and complete some form of maintenance, security and/or improvement activity on your site every day!
You see, being software engineers (and not just kids who learned WordPress watching YouTube) we’ve steadily developed a proprietary suite of automated systems that care for your site. These work tirelessly to make sure they are regularly updated with the latest settings and security patches. Our systems also scan for, alert us about, and actively block hacker and malware activity and intrusion attempts. We have zero tolerance for these black-hat hackers!
We also make regular improvements. For example, we’ve nearly finished upgrading all your sites so they’ll be individually backed up to a secure remote location. This is because we want to stop hackers, with their nasty tricks and ransomware, from being able to infect both your website and your backup. And we’ve also started a review of websites built before 2016 because we want everyone to benefit from the latest version of ‘php7’. Now you really don’t need to know what that is : ) But with it, your visitors will enjoy moving between pages with less lag, and your site will be more secure against attack.
We also take steps to make sure your website does its job well. Our systems do lots of nice little things like report when one of your pages has a broken or missing link. Details like that matter. At the very least, your visitors and customers can’t click on a broken link and get to the right place. At worst, Google might conclude you don’t care for visitors. If they drop your (SEO) search page ranking the flow of customer traffic to your site could diminish or dry up all-together!
What else should you know about our managed hosting? Well, like everyone else, we have the usual range of size, speed and traffic options. We’ll help you mix and match the right ones, as your customer needs and expectations change.
Because of all that (and more things that we get excited about, but I won’t bore you with) over the last few years, our holistic approach to hosting has maintained the fight against hackers and kept your sites humming. And, humming websites sell more products and services and attract more customers.
That’s it from me, but I’d love to hear from you. Are there aspects of our hosting products that you’d like us to improve? Are there things about our other services you’d like to know more about? Please give me your feedback, good or bad: what has your experience been, what should we do less, what should we do more?
0149 563 801