Andy Beard is thinking about moving his blog to a dedicated server. The move appears to have been put in motion by the recent experiences of Tricia and myself with regards to our treatment by our web hosts. (Vlad also pinged me today about his experiences with hosting from Yahoo!)
Now before I go any further I must admit to being remiss and say that it’s been a while since I’ve dropped a comment on Andy’s blog, although I never miss reading a post. I’m sorry mate..
Anyway, Andy’s post started a great discussion about problems with web hosts but one thing that got to me about it is something that appears to have slipped under most peoples radar.
and the viral nature of the blogosphere passes on the bad experience that bloggers are having with their web hosts
Isn’t that a shame?
I actually once posted about how well One.com had stood up when O’Flaherty was getting hammered by traffic for the Krak.dk thing.
Unfortunately that praise probably went unnoticed.
Bad news travels. It’s a fact and I’m sure if it’s speed could be measured it may prove to be the fastest traveling thing known to man.
Web hosts don’t appear to realize how important peer recommendations are to people that are looking for good hosting. After all, 99% of web hosts promise the same stuff so there’s not very much to differentiate them.
Web hosts need to realize that providing web hosting does not make them “active on the web”.
It facilitates other people to be active on the web. If those people are anything like me, they’ll have no problems slating your service when fail to deliver.
Web hosts need to be proactive on the web.
Customer support is all well and good when it works. Unfortunately, for a large percentages of web hosts, it doesn’t. The limited information they provide in many cases leads to frustration and anger and invokes enough wrath in many end users to obliterate a small country.. maybe Luxembourg.
Web hosts need to make themselves part of the discussing when things go wrong.
When a bloggers fires off a rant about his web host then they need to be there commenting on the blog and trying to work with the blogger to address the issue or explain the situation.
A complete lack of comments from the host only reinforces the bloggers point as the blogger remains unchallenged.
Maybe unchallenged is the wrong word here, maybe unanswered is better, but you get what I mean.
Even if the web host has completely cocked things up then a comment on the users site which simply explains what went wrong will earn them some brownie points.
They will, at least, appear to be part of the solution.
Also, and equally as important, is the need for a web host to be gracious when a blogger gives them praise. Dropping a comment to say thanks will put them in better standing.
Us bloggers like to know that you’re listening. It means a lot to us when we give praise to something that we get an acknowledgement for it. A little “thank you” note.
If we get a little “thank you” comment, we may even post about your service again!
We don’t give out praise that often you know. We can be a pretty mean bunch 😉
Web hosts generate a lot of bad PR for themselves simply by staying out of the conversation.
Bad news travels, and bad news for a web host means a loss in potential revenue.
Thankfully it’s very easy to reduce the impact of the bad news. Get involved in the conversation.
You don’t need to give away stuff, spend more money on advertising or AdWords, all you have to do in join the conversation.
You’ll look better and you’ll be in the minds of bloggers everywhere. You’ll get a reputation for being part of the solution and the conversation.
That, alone, will ear you a lot of free WOM marketing from bloggers. Everybody knows a blogger and bloggers are the voice of the internet.
(Image by Bright Meadow)