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Hosting Discussion > Operating a Web Hosting Business > Web Hosting Business and Legal Issues > Uptime Stats on Hosting Web Site! Death Trap or Sales power house?
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  Post #1 (permalink)   09-10-2005, 04:53 PM
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Hi Ya'll,

So, we have started monitoring BHN server with an outside provider. They allow stats to be public displayed. I have very good uptime; however, we also have a 99.9% uptime guarantee that backs up our uptime.

The question for you, is if the 99.9% uptime gauarantee states that the client must contact you for credit does this mean instant death or is being honest and showing your excellent uptime give you a better chance against the big guys? What is your thought of public displaying stats?
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  Post #2 (permalink)   09-10-2005, 07:34 PM
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Hmm... all from a marketer's point of view:

Once you make them public you can't go back without losing a bit chunk of the trust you gained initially. Probably even more than you gained.

Most likely, you'll feel like taking them off if something bad happens and uptime falls under a certain level. Now, this is something that can happen to any host (and if given sufficient time, it will happen), but it's one thing to have 10 servers and have problems with one of them, and another to have only one server and that one server to have uptime problems.

Just some odd thoughts on the matter...
 
 
 


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  Post #3 (permalink)   09-10-2005, 08:15 PM
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Dan,

I am impressed with your thinking and your site. I have been admiring them for a long time now.

The issue that many people have is that one server. Everyone always assumes that you have one server so your small. That might be the case; however, smaller sometimes is better. Like I had posted before I know everyone on a personal basis and clietns are referred to us because of the size.

Throughout the 5 months we have had the server up we encountered maybe an 1 hour of downtime. It was for a Kernal upgrade.

I understand that once you put them up you cannot take them back without losing a lot; however, personally I like to be the one who stands out and tells it like it is. There is nothing right about lieing. If we do only have 99.7% uptime instead of 100% that is what we had. Clients will notice it. Only a few visitors will noticed it.

What are your thoughts?
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  Post #4 (permalink)   09-10-2005, 08:57 PM
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Telling it straight is the best form of marketing in my opinion.

We have been straight forward to the point of purposely pushing a potential client away, because we didn't meet his needs.

At least this way, they get exactly what they expect, without false promises.

In regards to the uptime stats...

This can be a double edged sword so to speak. As long as you are doing the job of making your customers happy, server stats will only factor in slightly to whether they leave or not. They may not like seeing the server load high, or a service stop running, but what they care about is how fast you're fixing it.

We find server stats help the customer feel like they are part of the solution, in the ring, not just a number, or just someone paying us money.

If however, you're not doing your job, then a bad stat for 5, 10, or 20 mins, could send a client packing.

It really comes down to how you treat your customers, and how well you do your job. All of the other things fall into place, but aren't as important seperately to a client as the way you treat them or how fast you fix problems.

In general, I truly look at our customers personally, and while it may sound strange, sort of tend to them like neopets lol. When they're sick you give them medicine, when they're hungry, you give them food, etc...your goal is to keep your neopet alive and happy (or keep your customer).
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  Post #5 (permalink)   09-10-2005, 09:50 PM
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Mark,

I do like the neopet thought. And, it is the truth. And, I do agree with what you say. Doing support and manageing it and then having a design staff allows me to actually sorta become friends. How's the family, What festival is going on this weekend, those shorts of things come on IM and e-mails instead of how to set up an e-mail account. It is those weird things thtat happen when your small.
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  Post #6 (permalink)   09-10-2005, 10:25 PM
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Thank you very much for the nice words!

Quote:
The issue that many people have is that one server.
Yup, very good point. Making the uptime records public would also imply stating how many servers you have. Unfortunately, if your target market expects to see a certain minimum number of servers, it can affect the sales closure rate.

I have yet to see a new host state on their site: We've just opened the door. We don't have any customers yet. If we don't manage to make a profit by the end of our first year (or whatever) chances are we won't be able make it. Also, you might want to know that 90% of the new hosts don't make it past the first year. 98% of the rest don't make it past the third. Please host with us.

BTW, that is why I hate marketing.

PS. Those percents are imaginary, of course. I have no idea what the real statistics are.
 
 
 


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  Post #7 (permalink)   09-11-2005, 06:29 AM
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I am impressed with the last posts Dan. I have yet to see that too. Someday thought I am sure someoene will do that and will probably succeed with it too.

Many of our customers are local or fromt he forums so by the time they do reach the site they have already read or talked to someone personally. Being small is kinda of like having a website as a information portal instead of a sales closer. Yes, someday it will be there to generate sales and at the moment it is too. With us looking into the local market and picking up hosting customers there its not what it should be.

I do wonder what the real numbers are for hosting companies that make it in the first year, three year, five year. It would be interesting to read about.

Stats good or bad? Throw in your 2 cents. I am not saying you'll get your money back though.
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  Post #8 (permalink)   09-12-2005, 03:57 PM
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While those are imaginary statistics I wouldn't mind trying to find out what realistic ones are...at first I thought you were serious with that, what's worse is it didn't surprize me

I'd say, if you're going to post your stats publicly - why not have a log below them that shows what the downtime was for, like a public log:
----------
3:28AM CST Server went down for a reboot to apply updates.
3:52AM CST Server was fully functionaly after the reboot.
----------

That'd be nice, then the customer knows, oh, it wasn't down from 9:30AM to 10:00AM when 90% of our traffic occurs.

My two cents.
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  Post #9 (permalink)   09-12-2005, 04:37 PM
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Johm,

A public stats log is a great idea when your small. lol What happens when our dedicated servers come out and we go to incorporate that into a control panel for each dedicated client? What happens after 7 shared servers. I guess for me it would not be a probablem. I work very hard to keep them running properly, updated when they need to be, and loads low. No no No I am not bragging its a joke.

One site that personally I can think of that probably should have never put their upstime stats up is netbunch.com back when they were mesopia. They showed load, ram, ect and you could see that they did not plan very well with how many, what kind, and so on.
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