I would like to thank my website hosting provider for their excellent service; for giving me the experience, described below, in the very beginning of my web carrier, so I can evaluate and get the important lessons on time and for inspiring me to write this article.
There is something you and your hosting provider can learn from here.
Recently, I had very bad experience with my hosting service. That nice morning I tried to visit one of my websites and…Yak! – A scary message appeared instead. I tried another 3 websites and got the same message stating that I have an issue with my hosting account.
So, I logged on into the hosting website to realize that my bill for that month was late!?! But I sign up for recurrent payments via PayPal, following the very same hosting service suggestion? From my point of view there was no reason to be punished at all. That didn’t make me feel better, as the anger started to build up, after the initial confusion.
I was running Google Adwords campaigns on all 4 websites uploaded on that hosting service. If you are in the web business you know exactly what that means. The customers are clicking on your ads. You pay for the click. They don’t get to the site. So, they click again; you pay; they don’t get it and so on… And all this happens while you sleep or have no idea about what is going on.
The first thing which came to my mind was: Pause the Adword Campaigns and try to find the solution of the current situation. So, I paused the campaigns and realized how practical this feature is. Then went to the hosting website and submitted my monthly fee, using again PayPal.
Meanwhile, the confusion and anger were building very strong within. What was the reason for all that mess? Why, due to some issues between the hosting payment system and PayPal, I have to be punished so badly?
It turns out that the hosting service sent 3 notifications via email on that issue. So, they thought that I know about it and after the final notice they decided to pull the trigger and play hard. But they were wrong on that assumption. All their emails were labeled (unknown sender) in my gmail account, which means – junk!
How comes, that professional webmasters misidentified themselves, by using unknown account to notify their customers for such an important issue? I have no answer on that. All I know is that there is a nasty cookie, placed in my mind about hosting services. It is full of anger and confusion.
In a short run, my hosting guys won, they got there money on time. In a long run they lost me as a customer. What is the lesson here for all of us? How to protect your business from hosting troubles like that?
Treat the hosting as investment. Investors have a simple rule: never put all your eggs in a single basket. In fact, money generating website is an investment and it should be protected as such. Imagine all your websites placed in a single hosting account and all shut down, due to bad management decision.
What else may have a negative effect here? – Spam complains! Recently, a famous marketing guru’s website was shut down for almost a month due to spam complains. If you have several websites, hooked on a single account, such complain may put all of them down. That may cost you a lot, too.
Another unpredictable and out of your control factors are natural disasters. Earthquakes, flooding, hurricanes, fire and the water brought by the firefighters may destroy physically management or data centers of your hosting services without any possibility for recovery. That brings up another, very practical tip: always keep a complete and updated copy of all your website files, ready to be uploaded to a new provider.
Another thing to consider here goes to autoresponder services. Everybody knows that your money is in the list, right? So, where is your list? In the autoresponder service center which, in fact, is another hosting service for you. Make a habit to download, on a regular basis, your lists. It is built with your money, so you must protect your business from any autoresponder malfunctions, too.
So, human errors, natural disasters and spam complains are those major factors, you will never have control on. The only wise decision here is to spread your businesses around several hosting services to minimize the effect of the unpredictable, but always possible events. And don’t forget to keep updated copy of all your web files, too.
For your web success!