Sitting casually on Twitter this morning I saw this link tweeted by one of our clients and great minds must think alike as I had already this blog post 90% written so I finished it off:
“We want to turn your website into the “Ferrari” of online businesses, so please don’t force us to put budget tires on it!”
My Uncle is 76 years old and drives a 15 year old Vauxhall Corsa. He literally only uses his car to get from his home to Tesco and to Church on a Sunday – that’s about it! So when he told me he found a local tyre shop to put budget tyres (formerly called remoulds I think) on his little Corsa I thought ‘Ok that makes sense as you most likely will never go over 30 MPH anyhow’
Now imagine if my Uncle owned a brand new Corsa, drove 400 miles per week including a lot of Motorway or A-Road driving. Were he to tell me (or my cousins) that he was putting cheap tyres on a relatively new car we would stop him and tell him for his safety and protection that he was mad and we would make sure he had correct tyres on his car.
The above scenario can be carried over into Web Hosting.
Recently we put one of our clients in contact with a local web design studio and the studio won the contract with them to redevelop their website. Whilst I am not a party to the contract this is quite a well known studio in Northern Ireland so I would imagine the design and development work was most certainly not carried out on a tight budget and the studio did a great job. The studio recommended this client get the most out of their investment in the website by upgrading to a fully managed Xen Server from us – the client said no and bought £34.99 per year entry level shared hosting. Of course our shared hosting runs on powerful servers so the website has been working well for many months but both us and the design studio felt this was not the most appropriate hosting environment for this 100% bespoke website solution.
This choice of hosting for a busy website was not the correct one in my opinion. In a sense it is like having a sports car (a bespoke professionally designed website) and putting cheap tyres on it (entry level shared hosting). The website, although works well, will most certainly not perform as well as it could do on a more suitable SSD powered private server yet the client did not think the benefits of a private server were worth paying for. The client has an awesome website but does not have awesome private hosting to go alongside it.
I see this daily working in web services and web hosting. Many freelance designers buy cheap reseller shared hosting which does generally work well but they do not see the clear benefits of spending a little more money on a private fully managed servers.
If you are a web designer here is why we feel you can do a lot better for your clients by hosting them on a private fully managed server.
Upsell Opportunities to your clients
When pricing your work we find most web designers appear to charge for the initial web work and then charge a recurring monthly or annual fee to give recurring revenue. Here are some suggestions from our experience that may help you get a little more revenue from these clients and help generate more profit for you and critically more money to pay for a private server as opposed to a cheaper reseller shared server:
Price your hosting monthly – a small amount each month psychologically sounds better than a large annual amount even if 12* the monthly amount is a lot more than the annual charge. Suggest to your client you can set them up a monthly automated direct debit at a time of the month to suit them. Direct Debits also help you with budgeting and planning. Why not sign up to GoCardless using this affiliate link (so it helps us!) and set up recurring direct debits for your clients to pay their hosting: https://gocardless.com/?r=KJ5D9QB3
Tell your clients you do not use shared hosting and you only host on a Private Server with SSD Disk Arrays and gigE Network ports for lightning fast performance and load times as well we to ensure there are no networking bottlenecks during peak times.
Tell your clients that as you have a private server the IP will be clean and there is less likelihood of that IP being on an email blacklist as can happen on shared hosting.
Explain to your clients that your hosting has a private backup solution to a remote server in another data centre (as is standard on our fully managed private servers) and that their data will be safe in the unlikely event there is hardware failure.
Tell your clients you have a disaster recovery plan in place and you can use some of the details from here – this will give them confidence that in the event of a failure their website will be back up and running in as fast a time frame as possible: http://www.bigwetfish.co.uk/whmcs/knowledgebase.php?action=displayarticle&id=42
Tell your clients that the server their website is hosted on is monitored 24/7 by a dedicated team of professionals. This is what happens for all our fully managed servers: http://bwf.co/gotyourback
Dedicated Resources – CPU & RAM
Your private server will have some dedicated resources just for you to use. Buy 2 CPU Cores and 3GB RAM then that is what you have to use and even if other users on the same node are maxing out their CPU allocation you are 100% shielded from this with our Xen Servers and your sites will not slow down.
Your IP Reputation is Yours!
Why share an IP with all the disadvantages that brings. It just takes one other user on your shared reseller server to have an out of date infected script that is being used to spam and boom – Your IP and Your clients are having email issues caused by spam email blacklists. Whilst we will of course work with you to have our shared IP cleaned up this can take a little time. With private hosting your IP is yours and no one else uses it. The only way it will get blacklisted is if you or one of your clients Spams.
Full Root Access
Whilst we do provide jailed shell on shared reseller hosting you can unleash the power of full shell access on our private servers. Of course we recommend you only connect this way if you know what you are doing and remember you never need to as you have a fully managed server. That said, we have many techie clients who could not survive without shell access on their server and with a Private server you get just that.
Customised Backup Options
On Reseller Shared Hosting whilst we back up your data you cannot change the frequency of what is backed up and you cannot install another backup app. With a private server if you want to use cPanel backup you can, if you want to install Idera CDP backup you can, if you want to write a script to do an rsync to your home server you can, if you want to backup every hour providing your private server has the resources and BW to cope then you can. Take control of your backups with a private server today.
Direct Support from a L3 System Admin
Need help with your fully managed server? We have a fully certified support team on live chat round the clock and as a managed server client you have direct access to them via chat. Of course for security reasons we still may need a helpdesk ticket but you can talk to the techs regularly for updates on any issues you have.
Complete White Label Solution
Don’t want your clients to know you use us – want to look bigger than you are? No problem! We will help all private server clients set up custom hostnames, custom name servers etc. Although you can use custom name servers on a reseller shared server the server hostname will still have our name in it and rDNS (PTR records) on the IP will show our server hostname. With private servers this is not the case and it would be a lot more difficult for one of your clients to know who you host with.
Need a different framework – no problem!
Need to install GHOST blogging platform or node.js for another project? Need to deploy a server for a Ruby project? Need FFMPEG installed? These services and frameworks will generally not be suited in most cases to shared reseller hosting yet with a private server you have total flexibility to deploy that server how you need it.
Security in YOUR control
With a shared reseller server ftp is always turned on for example and SSH access for jailed shell is open a any IP address. With a private server you can take control of your security. Close whatever ports are not needed, turn off ftp access and just use sftp if you wish. Limit SSH logins to specific IP addresses (we recommend adding our office IP though just for convenience sakes (submit a support ticket and we will provide this for you). There are many many other tweaks you can make to help make your server more secure and with a private server you are fully in control of that with us there to help you if needed.
Are you ready to upgrade yet?
If you are a shared reseller client we provide free data migration for any clients upgrading from reseller hosting to a private server. We also will keep the old reseller account active for as long as you need it should there be any problems with getting some domain DNS changed.
For non clients who want to buy a server we promise a best effort migration service at all times. This usually is free of cost but in complex situations where we need to spend a lot of time a nominal cost to cover technical time will be levied and of course we will talk about all this in advance.
So why should you trust us to supply and manage your Managed Server?
Here are some recent Linked In Recommendations from my Linked In Page. Please note our entire team need to take credit for these recommendations…
Stephen ‘knows his beans’. Customer service and devotion of time to your query regardless of size is second to none
I’ve been dealing with Stephen and Big Wet Fish since 2009. Not only is the pricing affordable but the support that comes with BWF is fantastic. I highly recommend them to anyone seeking web hosting. Each support ticket I have ever sent has been dealt with quickly and efficiently even at silly hours in the morning!
Stephen has been a total asset and supportive through a wide range of development and production problems I have managed to get him to help me out with. I would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone for a whole variety of roles, whether it be technology, production, management, support or training. He is a true star and does not confuse you with technical mumbo jumbo.
Stephen Kinkaid’s web Hosting Business, Big Wet Fish are competitive on price, competent, reliable, and have superb customer service. I highly recommend them.
Stephen the director of BWF is a cool person to work with, who always nurtures the new technological aspects to be brought into the hosting platform to help support the clients. It was a real pleasure to work with him, learning how to deal the clients in a way they feel they are at home.
He is one amongst the other hosting businessmen in web hosting industry, but he is a diverse person in helping the clients anytime with care and far more understanding to make them feel their business is in growing pace.
He has always given preferences to the customer’s voice rather than the other factors. I would recommend him at the first place to anyone who always needs some helping hand with web hosting while they plan to concentrate on their own business.
Stephen is a highly personable, highly professional person who cares incredibly deeply not just about his clients but about the web industry in Northern Ireland.
He consistently goes above and beyond in every client interaction and is a joy to work with.
The Web Industry in Northern Ireland is better for people like Stephen in it.