ClickHOST Simple. Honest. Safe. 2017-10-10T10:00:28Z https://www.clickhost.com/feed/atom/ WordPress Emory Rowland http://www.clickfire.com/ <![CDATA[How to Get the Most from Your Hosting Support]]> https://www.clickhost.com/?p=4572 2017-10-06T23:27:12Z 2017-10-10T10:00:28Z Imagine you pay $10/month for laptop support. Every month, your credit card is billed that $10, whether or not your laptop actually needs it. Finally, one day, your laptop busts a hinge.

Now imagine that after all that diligent billing, you never use your laptop support.

That would be silly, right?

Of course it would. But it’s exactly what you’re doing if you don’t use your hosting account to its full amount, especially when it comes to hosting support. You’re leaving your own money on the table by not taking advantage of something for which you’re already paying.

“Come on,” you say. “There can’t be that much money left on the table.”

Oh, no? One statistic suggests that a business will only hear from about 4% of its dissatisfied customers.

In other words, most of you reading this article are indeed leaving money on the table.

Be better than that. If your hosting goes south on you, take advantage of hosting support services to their fullest.

Be the 4%.

Here’s how.

Email or Ticket Support: For When You Don’t Have Time Now

I know what you’re thinking. “Sure, I pay $X/month for hosting support, but what’s more important to me is my time. I don’t have time to waste dealing with support.”

Fair point. Time is indeed valuable.

But, you don’t have to take a tremendous bite out of your day to involve hosting support.

Remember: They’re the ones offering the support here. They’re the ones who should be taking time out of their day.

Think of email support as putting an item on your “to-do” list. But rather than put it on your own to-do list, you’re putting it on someone else’s to-do list. You open a ticket with your details and your problem, and you’re free to rest while someone else gets to work. Later, you get notified of the resolution.

True: you don’t want to use email support if you have an urgent issue with your hosting. If your customers are trying to make orders and your site is down, that constitutes more of a hosting emergency that demands immediate and urgent attention.

But if you have a simple question—something you want to get out of the way—email support is ideal.

Think about it this way: if you had a check engine light and could fix it with an email…wouldn’t you?

Let the hosting company be the one to take care of that check engine light. You’re already paying them for the customer support—it only takes a few minutes of your time to enlist their help and put them to work.

Phone Support for Emergencies

Sometimes, your car has a check engine light.

And sometimes, it’s on fire.

Maybe your website isn’t quite on fire yet, but if you have a hosting emergency, you need a better solution than the delays typically incurred via email correspondence. Generally, the best way of solving an emergency issue is to talk to someone who’s ready to help now.

Yes, live chat is great. But, there’s more urgency to voice.

There is one disadvantage here: time. You’ll have to take time out of your day to deal with the phone call, which means that you can kiss any other phone meetings goodbye. You’ll also be distracted enough from doing other work.

The good news? If you truly have an emergency, you weren’t going to work on anything else anyway. When you work with a good hosting company, the phone chat won’t have to be a frustrating experience. In fact, it can be the fastest way to resolve what ails your site.

Talk With Your Mouth Full: Use Live Chat

You know how you’re not supposed to talk with your mouth full?

Those rules only apply to those who don’t know about the awesome powers of live chatting.

Live chat is a great way to get in touch with someone right away. It can be just as efficient as speaking on the phone. Or, in the case of ClickHOST and talking to someone who understands your particular issue—it can be even more efficient.

The great part about Live Chat is you don’t even have to do anything except keep sitting at your computer.

Keep your loud music blaring and coffee brewing during your jammy-clad lunch break.

Go ahead—do it all. Live chat means you can talk to someone about your issue right now without leaving any of the comforts of home behind. Even better, you can keep a different tab open to multitask while someone works on your issue for you.

Engage Your Hosting Support on Social Media

A service like ClickHOST pays attention to social media. If you’re constantly on forums like Facebook and Twitter yourself, there’s no reason you can’t engage them there.

In fact, we recommend that you follow ClickHOST online to make sure you’re up to date with all the information you need. Follow ClickHOST on Twitter, on Facebook,  and check the status of our servers on Twitter as well.

When you have access to a hosting company’s social media pages, you’ll receive the updates you need right away—without having to call in and report any of it. That means you’ll know when you can sit on the sidelines and wait for an issue to resolve, or whether you’ll have to take action yourself.

Tips for Using (Non-ClickHOST) Hosts that Won’t Play Ball

Thus far, we’ve seen three different avenues for getting the most from hosting. All conventional avenues. All conventional ways of engaging your hosting company.

But, what if they’re not as cool as ClickHOST and won’t play ball? Here are a few tips for getting the answer you want:

  • Hang up and try again. Sometimes, good support isn’t about the quality of their system. It’s about the quality of the individual you’re talking to. Keep trying until you talk to someone who’s willing to help out.
  • Move up the hierarchy. Don’t be afraid to be “that guy” or “that gal” who’s asking to talk to the manager. It’s your money, after all—you’ve purchased the right to be at least a little unreasonable.
  • Take your business elsewhere. If all else fails, let them know that the quality of hosting support might force you to take your business elsewhere—somewhere like ClickHOST.

Why Hosting is Different than Other Support

Admittedly, web hosting can be different than other types of customer support. It’s more technical—and, more annoying. Your business website is down, which takes down the infrastructure of your entire business. And, customers of hosting support tend to have high expectations—expectations which always can’t be fulfilled.

That’s why it’s so important to know that 1) you have certain privileges because you pay for this support and 2) its okay to ask for what you want.

Getting the most out of your hosting means getting what you pay for, after all. And, since you’re already paying for it, don’t be afraid to get your hosting company to work for that money.

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Emory Rowland http://www.clickfire.com/ <![CDATA[EIG Alternatives That Don’t Leave You Profoundly Disappointed]]> https://www.clickhost.com/?p=4558 2017-08-08T14:19:38Z 2017-08-08T10:34:40Z Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: Endurance International Group is the Wal-Mart of web hosting companies.

And not in the cute, “let me take a trip to Wal-Mart and I’ll find everything I need” sort of way, either.

No. In this case, I mean the “giant conglomerate without a single personable face that is creating the need for viable alternatives” sort of way. To put it bluntly.

If you’ve come to this article in search of one of those viable alternatives, then there’s a good chance you agree with this central premise. That just leads us to the next question: what is the alternative? Is EIG pricing the quality guys out of the business, or are there legitimate alternatives that bear consideration?

Why People Don’t Like Big Web Hosting Conglomerates

Some people have a natural aversion to large corporations and big-time conglomerates out of loyalty to the little guy. Other people don’t care. But let’s zoom in a bit and consider why those customers with the need of effective web hosting don’t like the giant, faceless companies:

Dealing with them can be a pain in the butt.

Not specific enough? Good—let’s look at the exact reasons the “giant conglomerate web host” experience can be such a pain:

  • Slow turnaround times. When you’re running a business that depends on a change occurring with your website, you don’t want to be caught in the old corporate runaround, waiting for those changes to take place. Slow turnaround times apply to just about anything you might imagine, and make the “corporate host” experience much more frustrating than it needs to be.
  • Feeling more like a statistic than a customer. When you communicate with a company, you want a personal touch. You want to feel like your business is valued. When’s the last time you worked with a giant conglomerate and felt this way? Chances are, it’s very rare. Without good customer service, you feel more like a statistic than a paying customer.
  • Getting connected to the right people—too slowly. We’ve all shared this experience: we want to talk to a reasonable human being on the other end of the line. We want to feel like we’re not talking to some bureaucratic zombie who’s only allowed to say a certain line after you complain. We need to feel like we have access to a decision maker who can make our lives easier.
  • Borg action. Star Trek’s Borg are a cybernetic race bent on world domination through technological assimilation. Sounds kind of like a big conglomerate, right? When the big fish eat the little ones but don’t incorporate what made the little companies so successful to begin with, it ends up creating less quality for the end-user.
  • Missing out on a great web host. Designers and web masters love a great web host. They know that all of that design work needs to come packaged with fast load times and a quality platform. They want to feel like the host is an actual company on the other end of the line, not just a robo-call center. When you work with the big hosting conglomerates, that feeling is simply not there 100% of the time.

If you’re experienced with this type of web hosting company, then you know all about these pains. But let’s talk alternatives. How do you improve life for yourself and find an EIG alternative that will work for you?

Where to Find Alternatives to EIG—and Why

Now we’re left with a basic question: if not EIG, then what?

Remember the “Borg” comparison from the previous section? The problem thus far has been that there were EIG alternatives. Perfectly viable ones, in fact. But, like the Borg, EIG consumed and assimilated many of these alternatives, leaving consumers scrambling for other hosting companies.

Don’t believe me? Check out ResearchAsAHobby.com. Here you’ll see an entire list of hosting domains and companies that have been bought out in the past, including:

  • BlueHost
  • HostGator
  • UsaNetHosting
  • FatCow
  • A Small Orange
  • Site5

Any of those sound familiar? Of course, they do; they’re hosts that have been around for a long time. But with EIG moving in, the hosts you’ll find on the ResearchAsAHobby list—which uses mainstream news sources for its research—might not be the alternatives you once thought they were.

As an SEO consultant, I get a chance to work with a lot of clients running WordPress on EIG hosts. I’ve used quite a few of these hosts before and after the EIG takeover. In the case of HostGator I can especially tell a difference in the way customer support works now compared with how things were under the founder.

That leaves us in a precarious position. With EIG dominating the hosting industry, where might we turn for a better hosting experience?

In this case, don’t think big. Think small. A small host could be better—not only because it avoids the trap of being gobbled up by EIG (or, at least, has thus far), but because there’s nothing wrong with a small company if it does things the right way.

It’s difficult to find a safe, family-owned, or even independent host. Like many other companies in the world, the “mom and pop shops” tend to be eaten up.

The key here: finding reliability. The advantage of the large conglomerates is that they tend to bring a big degree of stability and reliability. Think of them as the giant cruise ship that’s difficult to knock off course. They move slowly, sure, but they’re also incredibly difficult to knock over with just a wave.

ClickHOST, for example, is an alternative that brings this kind of reliability to web hosting. And because you want to have confidence that your host isn’t going to go belly-up any time soon, you know that ClickHOST can offer scalable hosting for WordPress, for example, based on Amazon Web Services. That means you’ll get all of that cruise ship stability from a giant company…while still working with one of the smaller hosting companies that takes your business very seriously.

Next Steps for Finding Your Alternative

If you’re still reading this, you know you’re ready for an EIG alternative that gives you all of the options and consistency one of the larger web hosts can give you.

But where do you find the alternative?

Use ClickHOST as an example. They’re small enough to give individualized attention and it works with larger platforms like Amazon Web Services to give you the consistent, on-demand hosting you need. This results in a “best of both worlds” scenario: you get the qualities of a larger company with the attention of a smaller web hosting service.

Put it together and you have an EIG alternative that’s ready to go. The only question that remains: what are you going to do about it?

Hopefully, you won’t get assimilated.

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Carel https://www.clickhost.com <![CDATA[How to Update WordPress for SSL]]> https://www.clickhost.com/?p=4506 2017-06-06T19:07:15Z 2017-06-07T11:15:49Z These days, shoppers turn to the internet for everything from groceries to garbage cans. And while having the goods you need delivered to your door is nothing short of terrific, customers who enter their credit card numbers online risk having their personal information fall into the hands of hackers and criminals.

That’s where SSL and HTTPS can save the day. Also known as secure sockets layer, SSL is a superhero technology that establishes a secure connection between websites for data transfers. By getting an SSL certificate for your ecommerce or lead gen WordPress site, you can protect the sensitive customer information while impeding the ability of hackers to listen in.

Just as you wouldn’t buy a new car from a shady dealer, your customers are unlikely to purchase goods from your website if it doesn’t seem secure. Installing a paid SSL certificate lends credibility to your biz while showing you care enough about your customers to keep their confidential data out of the hands of the bad guys.

So, clearly, SSL is essential to modern ecommerce business. However, setting up your WordPress site to work with SSL and HTTPS can be intimidating. I’m going to give you some steps for installing SSL on your WordPress site without the stress.

Backing Up Your Site

Before you update your site, it’s crucial to back up all your content. The last thing you want to do is lose something essential in an effort to make your site more secure. If you haven’t yet backed up your information, you can use the WordPress plugin Duplicator to do so.

Getting Your WordPress Site to Work with SSL

The first step involved in updating your site is securing an SSL certificate. While free certificates are available from Let’s Encrypt and other sources, they don’t necessarily offer the same level of protection as the paid options. Fortunately, for a small price, you can protect your customers and your reputation for the long haul.

Once you purchase an SSL certificate, you need to take steps to add SSL to your WordPress site. This involves changing your WordPress settings URL. Luckily, the Really Simple SSL plugin makes accomplishing this task a breeze. A lifesaver for web owners, this easy-to-use plugin offers automatic SSL detection and a fast mixed content fixer.

Start by downloading the plugin at wordpress.org/plugins/really-simple-ssl. Featuring minimal options, this plugin configures your website to operate over HTTPS. With one click, you can get started creating a secure shopping experience.

Here are the steps involved in updating your WordPress website:

Change the WordPress setting URL

Change the WordPress Settings URL

Go to Settings and then General. Add the “s” and save.

Install the Really Simple SSL plugin

Install the Really Simple SSL Plugin

This fixes a majority of the mixed content issues. Note: You should leave this plugin in place even after completing your updates.

The Pro version of Really Simple SSL has some extra goodies. For example: Extensive scan which enables you to detect the source of your mixed content, with a fix button. Use the special promo code: CLICKHOST_1F5YLA (affiliate link) to get 20% off the premium plugin.

Update Google Analytics URL

Update the Google Analytics SSL

Change your default URL under Properties.

Update Google search console URL

Update the Google Search Console URL

Add the new site URL; doing this ensures Google is aware of your new security measures.

Update URLs in functions.php and style.css

Update functions.php and styles.css URLs

Note: you might not have to make any changes here. However, it’s a good idea to check logos.

Update Genesis Simple Hooks

Update Genesis Hooks

Using the Genesis Simple Hooks plugin? Check code snippets and widgets carefully.

Run the Velvet Blues Update

Run Velvet Blues Plugin

Update your URL in the fields. Be careful, as this step is hard to undo. In most cases, you will want to skip the bottom check box.

Update ManageWP

Update ManageWP

Using ManageWP? Change to ‘s’.

Update Other Embedded ScriptsUpdate Embedded Scripts

Check old form plugins.

And that’s all you have to do. See how easy that was?

Credit and thanks to Mickey Mellen of GreenMellen Media.

Contact ClickHOST Today for Web Services

Want to learn more about SSL or domain hosting? Don’t hesitate to check out the ClickHOST blog or call to speak to one of our web experts. We look forward to serving you.

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Carel https://www.clickhost.com <![CDATA[The How, What, and Why of SSL’s]]> https://www.clickhost.com/?p=4493 2017-04-02T02:30:01Z 2017-04-04T08:55:22Z From books to cleaning supplies, furniture to frying pans, these days consumers buy just about everything online. However, if web shoppers find out your site is less than secure, the odds are good they’ll take their credit cards elsewhere.

Do you want to know how to keep your site running securely and draw buyers away from the competition? Are you interested in learning how to protect your customers’ credit card information and your own company’s reputation?

Here are a few of my tips on understanding the how, what, and why of SSL’s:

How Do SSL Certificates Work?

SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is used to protect websites by encrypting confidential info traveling between senders and receivers. With SSL, random characters are inserted into messages containing data like usernames, passwords, and credit card information. Sites that have SSL certificates are identifiable by the letters HTTPS at the start of the URL.

Also, browsers will see a green padlock (Chrome and Firefox) or a gray padlock (Safari) when they visit your site. This symbol tells shoppers they can use your site with confidence, knowing their credit card data and passwords won’t fall into the wrong hands.

Additionally, purchasing an SSL certificate for your site ensures that information is sent to the right server rather than one belonging to a hacker.

Why Do You Need SSL?

With hackers targeting small businesses in greater numbers, SSL is a crucial part of keeping your business and its reputation safe. Here are some reasons why you need SSL for your website:

  • Protect your customers’ credit card data
  • Avoid sending data to imposters
  • Safely use a third-party payment processing
  • Keep user log-ins and member info safe
  • Inspire confidence in current and potential buyers

What Should SSL Cost?

 As a website owner, you have numerous options when it comes to choosing the right SSL for your business.  Unfortunately, not all types of SSL offer the same protection for your company and its customers. When you opt for a free SSL service like Let’s Encrypt, you might find that site owners are not verified. As a result, the site could be securely downloading malware.

Additionally, web owners should know that Let’s Encrypt uses a simpler, less secure domain validation. Unfortunately, this means that it’s easier for hackers and criminals to abuse free certificates. Researchers at Trend Micro recently discovered a malvertising campaign that focuses its efforts on free Let’s Encrypt certificates.

The price of SSL varies based on the type of service and your website’s needs. However, you should be aware of the fact that choosing a free SSL option could put your customer information in a risky position.

Trust ClickHOST With Your SSL Needs

A family owned business since 2000, ClickHOST is more than a web-hosting company. We are also your source for SSL certificates. You can trust us to handle your single domain SSL installation job, which includes 2048 bit encryption and a $10,000 warranty. Our goal is to keep your customers safe and your business running smoothly, now and into the future.

Order your SSL today!

To learn more about our services, check out our hosting plans today!

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Carel https://www.clickhost.com <![CDATA[Let’s Get To Know “Let’s Encrypt”]]> https://www.clickhost.com/?p=4457 2017-04-02T02:29:10Z 2017-03-14T15:00:48Z If you own or operate a website, you’re probably familiar with the concept of SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer. A form of security technology, SSL creates an encrypted link between web browser and web server. The end result is that businesses can protect their customers’ payment information – and thus their own reputations – during transactions.

While SSL is a crucial aspect of web security in the modern age, not all traffic encryption options are created equal. Understanding all the services at your disposal – including Let’s Encrypt Free SSL/TLS certificates – is key to protecting your website, your e-commerce shoppers, and your livelihood moving forward.

SSL Connections and HTTPS

To form an SSL connection, you will need an SSL certificate, which contains a cryptographic key of your company’s private data. After you install an SSL certificate, web traffic between your site and the server will be secure. Doing this effectively changes your site from HTTP to HTTPS (hyper text transfer protocol secure).

When customers visit your secure website, they will see a green padlock (Chrome and Firefox) or a gray padlock (Safari). This symbol lets shoppers know they can use their credit cards with confidence, resting assured that their sensitive data is safe.

Additionally, having an SSL certificate can help your SEO endeavors. According to Google, transitioning to HTTPS will provide your site with a small ranking boost. The end result is more eyes on your products.

Choosing the Right SSL for Your Business

These days, e-commerce shops have numerous options when it comes to achieving web security. In an effort to cut costs, web sellers are often tempted to go with a free SSL rather than a paid service. A newer product, Let’s Encrypt, is a free, automated, open certificate authority that allows companies to set up an HTTPS server and secure a certificate without human involvement. Although convenient and free, this SSL option is not without its drawbacks.

No-cost SSL’s from Cloudflare, and Let’s Encrypt are supported by ClickHOST. And while these services do encrypt traffic, it’s important to realize that the website owner is not verified. This means that your visitors have no way of knowing that they’re on the site they intended to be on as opposed to an imposter.

Moreover, studies found that malvertisers had developed subdomains under the authentic ones. In this way, Let’s Encrypt enables certain malware subdomains to achieve legitimacy online. As the owner of a web-based company, you should know that Let’s Encrypt gives out DV certificates, but does not monitor them moving forward. So, even if Google flags a domain down the line, Let’s Encrypt won’t take away its certificate.

On the other hand, paid SSL services offer a number of advantages. While free SSL certificates are often shared among multiple businesses, paid ones belong to you and you alone. Additionally, paid certificates are less likely to set off security alarms or be compromised. After all, if a hacker gets hold of the private keys for a shared SSL, all the websites that use it are at risk. Finally, paid SSL tends to provide superior customer support compared to the free options available.

The moral of the story is that website operators need to take steps to protect their domains and make sure subdomains aren’t being developed against their will. Hiring a reputable hosting company can assure you’re using the right SSL option, and taking precautions where necessary.

Contact ClickHOST for Your Web Hosting Needs

ClickHOST was founded with a belief that domain services should be uncomplicated. Our goal is to provide customers with improved customer service, lower prices, and increased uptime. To find out more about what we can do for your business, compare our hosting plans.

 

 

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Carel https://www.clickhost.com <![CDATA[WordCamp Atlanta 2017 – March 18-19, 2017]]> https://www.clickhost.com/?p=4444 2017-03-07T21:02:41Z 2017-03-09T14:00:55Z This will be the 6th year in a row that we will be at WordCamp in Atlanta!  This year we again expect 500+ attendees over 3 days at the Loudermilk Conference Center in downtown Atlanta.

Carel, our owner, will be presenting on Who needs a Server? Setting up WordPress in AWS without a server. Come and say hi and have some fun with us as we learn to use how to host WordPress on AWS (Amazon Web Services) without a server.

Carel will also be on a Website Hosting Companies Panel moderated by Aaron Reimann. Sunday, 10am.

WordCamp Atlanta 2017

WordCamp Atlanta 2017 Event details

Where: The Loudermilk Center is located at 40 Courtland Street NE in Downtown, Atlanta
When: March 18-19, 2017
Schedule: WordCamp ATL 2017 conference schedule.
Cost: $40 for 2 days (includes a t-shirt and lunches). $20 extra for the Friday workshops. You can get tickets here: WordCamp Atlanta 2017 tickets.
Ride: WordCampers get a free rides from Lyft. Use this link: http://lyft.com/invited/WCATL16 to get $50 in ride savings.

Will we see you at WordCamp Atlanta this year?

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Emory Rowland http://www.clickfire.com/ <![CDATA[5 Web Hosting Services You Shouldn’t Touch with a 10 Foot Pole]]> https://www.clickhost.com/?p=4435 2017-04-01T04:07:39Z 2017-03-07T06:30:49Z There are some things in life that you don’t want an intimate connection with. They can be dangerous or immoral or just uncool. Get close and their negative qualities may rub off on you or your business. Then people start associating you with the bad guys.

Your instinct?

Put as much distance between you and such things as possible.

While you might assume that all web hosts are created equally, the truth is that the service you select can have a profound effect on how people perceive your business. Here are 5 types of hosting services that you shouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole.

1. Companies That Post Fake Reviews

These days, people use online reviews to assess everything from restaurants to doctors, and plenty of business owners consult them before choosing web services, as well. Review sites, even the big reputable ones like Yelp, get criticized when inauthentic reviews slip through. Amazon even banned incentivized reviews that were seen as fake. If the web host you’re considering posts fake reviews about its services, move on.

Luckily, there are a few ways to spot a company that falsifies reviews. Fake reviews tend to be vague, filled with glowing language and few specifics. Are you suspicious of companies who suddenly have all five-star reviews from unknown users? You should be, says PC World. Over time, even good companies will score three or four stars due to a dissatisfied customer.

2. Hosts That Are Overcrowded

Few things will turn potential customers away faster than a slow-loading website. If your web host is overcrowded, expect slower load times for users. Page speed is even a Google ranking factor. Albeit one that you shouldn’t obsess over.

Lower-quality web hosting companies may oversell their resources and bandwidth at the expense of customer need. Processors become overwhelmed, slowing and degrading user experience. This problem is particularly relevant if your site uses a CMS and database instead of a few basic static HTML pages.

If your site runs off WordPress or Joomla, you might want to avoid overcrowded hosts that force massive numbers of sites to share a single server.

3. Companies That Make It Difficult to Cancel

If you accidentally choose a web host that’s overcrowded, it might be hard to cancel your membership. In the worst cases, companies actively avoid canceling customers’ accounts so they can keep collecting the cash each month. They might also send you tips and special offers in an effort to keep you on board while actively ignoring your requests to bail. In other circumstances, it takes multiple emails to get a customer service provider to confirm that your account has actually been closed. When in doubt, check your credit card bill to make sure you aren’t still being charged.

4. Companies with Low Uptime

Well maybe a 20-foot pole. If it’s the case that you have a very mission uncritical or expendable website, perhaps a prank or joke site, sure, go ahead and use a free service. You won’t complain or care when, not if, it goes offline.

No web hosting service can promise you that your site will be up all the time. Internet issues happen, and just about every web business experiences some downtime. Still, web hosts have different ways of compensating businesses for down hours.

Along with providing speedy customer service, the best web hosts compensate their clients with free hosting time when sites are down for prolonged periods. Additionally, you can use tools like UptimeRobot and Pingdom to evaluate your uptime and determine whether you’re being overcharged.

5. Companies That Host “Undesirable” Businesses

Did you know that your web host’s reputation could affect your own reputation? Before signing up for a new web host, take a moment to evaluate its terms of service. If the service also hosts businesses that raise eyebrows with the search engines – like porn sites, bulk-email services, or pages offering stolen software – your website might be judged for the company it keeps.

Choose the Right Web Host for Your Needs

Don’t get too close to these five types of hosting services. Even touching them with a 10-foot pole may give them an opportunity they don’t deserve. To learn more about web hosting services that you can touch, start here or reach out!

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Carel https://www.clickhost.com <![CDATA[Great Hosting, Slack Customer Service? Run!]]> https://www.clickhost.com/?p=4415 2016-12-18T15:52:27Z 2016-12-20T12:15:34Z Let’s be real for just a second. Your business’ website is important. Period. End of story.

But, if it’s so important, why is it so difficult to find a reliable web host who understands your business, how important your web presence is, and wants to help you, the customer, at all times?

The short answer is, it shouldn’t be. In a perfect world, finding a reliable web host who focuses on customers and their needs should be the easiest thing in the world. And it’s not.

What’s even worse is that a lot of web hosting services have great sales teams who will tell you exactly what you want to hear to get you to sign the dotted line, and then shrug their shoulders when customer service falls short. Sometimes, this is genuinely a miscommunication between sales and customer service. However, at other times, it’s legitimately because the web host is more concerned with getting your business than keeping your business.

So, how can you find the right web host who will deliver on their promises and understands that the success of your business is just as important to them as it is to you? Here a few things to look for.

They Listen.

If the salesperson or customer service rep does more talking than you do, that’s probably a bad sign. They should listen and provide constructive, substantive feedback to your questions and concerns.

They Plan.

Your web host should have a contingency plan in place for down time, which will inevitably happen, including how they will alert you that there is a problem, as well as explain the ways they will compensate you if it lasts for longer than anticipated. You should know upfront who will call or email you to tell you your website is down. You should then be assured that the company has a plan for getting your site back up and running as quickly as possible.

They Understand.

As a customer, your success is the web host’s success. Without you, their company doesn’t turn a profit. They should understand this dichotomy and want to do the right thing by you, the customer, at all times. And if they can’t resolve an issue exactly the way you want, they should be able to articulate why and offer an alternative that both parties can agree on.

They Collaborate.

As a designer or agency, you have small business clients who need hosting services, and having reliable, collaborative partner makes you look good too. Find a web host who is willing to collaborate with you. What are the best ways you can work together to give the client the best experience and present a united front that communicates to your clients that you’re part of their team? How they work with you is just as important as how they work with clients directly.

I built ClickHOST on these principles. Listening, planning, understanding and collaborating are just as important to me as being honest, keeping things simple, and making sure everyone’s information is safe. If you’re interested in working with a company built on these values, and one that understands how important your business is, ClickHOST would love to hear from you. If you want to learn more about us and how we’re helping businesses make the most of their online presence, consider subscribing to our newsletter. We hope to hear from you soon.

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Emory Rowland http://www.clickfire.com/ <![CDATA[Selling Your Clients’ Web Hosting]]> https://www.clickhost.com/?p=4367 2017-04-02T01:16:32Z 2016-09-06T15:44:29Z Hey web designers. I often work with you. I feel like I know you, what inspires and motivates you. I even tried to be you but thankfully left my web design career back in the 1990’s where it belongs. You’re a professional web designer and care deeply about your clients. That’s why you personally tend to their hosting.

So let me ask you a question.

Have you ever considered selling your clients’ web hosting services to a professional hosting company?

Outsourcing certain tasks to trusted experts can benefit your business. In this case though, you’re not literally outsourcing. You’re just turning over your web hosting relationship to someone else with more experience. And at no extra cost to you.

I mean, what could possibly be less fun and more challenging than debugging CSS? How about reinstalling the latest version of PHP on your server during the Super Bowl? Wouldn’t it be great to let a server geek wrestle with technical issues so you can do what you’re actually passionate about doing – web design?

I can think of at least five sensible reasons why you would want to sell your clients’ web hosting services to a professional web hosting company like ClickHOST.

  1. Lower Cost – Time spent dealing with your clients’ hosting issues costs you money. In the long run, it can be much cheaper to have a professional web hosting company do this for you.
  2. Automated Billing – No need to worry about managing your client’s billing for their web hosting. The billing will all be taken care of by the web hosting company. Your clients’ billing information will be in the hosting company’s system and billed monthly without any hassle on your part.
  3. More Free Time For You – Less time dealing with your clients’ hosting concerns leaves you that much more time to do the things that are most important to you. That could be more time for cool designs, growing your business, acquiring new clients, or just relaxing or spending time with people you love.
  4. No More Tech Headaches – Your specialty is design. You rule in the world of colors, style and beauty. But web hosting is not so beautiful to you. Save yourself from the stress and headaches of dealing with technical problems with your clients’ hosting.
  5. Compensation – Depending on the type of deal you cut with the new host, you’ll be rewarded for bringing them new business. You will receive at least the benefit of their affiliate commission.  Some hosts like ClickHOST pay an ongoing commission (20%) commission to web designers and developers who entrust them with the care of their clients.

Do you sometimes have trouble explaining downtime to clients?

Nothing to see here says Leslie Nielson

Source: funnyordie.com

So, at this stage, I’m sure you have some doubts about the idea. Like… why would you want to risk compromising your trusted relationships with your clients that you’ve cultivated over so many years?

Think about this. By handing over your web hosting responsibilities to a professional company like ClickHOST you give your clients the gift of expert service. You give yourself extra time. And you give your host a new web design partner.

Still with me?

Let me pretend to get inside your head a bit more. Lets walk through some objections that I know you’re going to have. Stay with me…

One of the most important things in a web host for my clients is security. I would not even consider moving to a new web host without seeing statistics on security with the new host. What if I move my clients to a new hosting company and they get hacked?

Most professional hosting companies provide you with security statistics. If you partner with an hosting company like ClickHOST, all of your websites’ hosting plans include free Sucuri malware and hacking monitoring. This way they can protect your websites and alert you if anything suspicious occurs behind the scenes.

The web host could go out of business or be bought by EIG (music from Psycho shower scene).

If you’re concerned whether your potential web hosting company might go out of business, follow their financial status and form some relationships with people in the company to keep your finger on their pulse. Talking to members of the company can also alert you to takeover threats.

Endurance International Group buys up and absorbs web hosting brands in a Borg-like fashion, some have said. Size makes hosting companies a target for buyouts. Take a look at this list of companies they’ve gobbled up. You can see that they are mostly large brands and not small, family-owned,  community-friendly companies like ClickHOST.

If there’s an outage, my hands will be tied. I will look like an idiot.

Almost every hosting platform is going to suffer an outage at some point. If you’re partnered with a team of web hosting support geeks who have your back, they’ll be accountable for getting your clients back up and running ASAP. Suddenly being pulled away from your creative world to troubleshoot an outage is a stress and distraction you won’t miss. Professional web hosting companies know how to deal with outages and respond to customers in the event that it happens.

My web design clients are used to getting someone on the phone to help them (me). They don’t want to email for support.

If you don’t like getting phone calls at 3 AM from your clients with technical issues then you might really want to consider delegating support to a professional hosting company. A web hosting company will normally offer 24/7 customer service and support. ClickHOST’s technical support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Save hours of time by having a partner like ClickHOST run your tech support. One phone call with a client working through technical problems can easily take up an hour of your time. Imagine how much time you can free up without the burden of hosting tech support on you.

Ha! My clients are going to call me anyway so I might as well keep supporting their web hosting (trust me I have some really rude clients, I’ve got this one guy… but don’t tell him I said that).

If you have a true and trusted web hosting partner to support your clients then they’ll work with all types of clients, the ones you love catching up with and the ones you dread talking to (you know it’s true). Tell them that you can help them, but that your web hosting service provider can do a much faster job.

My clients will never accept outsourced support.

Your clients will be able to appreciate the expert help and 24/7 customer support of a professional web hosting company. Inform your clients that they will have less waiting time and less response time to questions and problems by being connected to your partner hosting company even if they’re not always working with a domestic support person. It’s a win-win situation for them.

What could a small web hosting company possibly offer that’s better than EIG – bigger is better right? Their hardware network and infrastructure is always going to be better and better managed.

With a small web hosting company, your clients will get more personalized service with them compared to a larger hosting conglomerate. Smaller web hosting companies can run the risk of having their systems managed with less security though. When working with a smaller hosting company, just make sure that your clients’ files will not be lost.

A small hosting company could go out of business and leave me hanging dry then I would have to move all of my clients’ websites myself to another host without access to their files. 

This would be a bad situation for any web designer. But it could happen to even the largest web hosting companies too. As a safeguard, you’ll want keep a recent backup of all your clients’ website files in an offsite location. You can then restore from these backups if necessary. Make sure you have access to the domain name registrar too – you would have to make DNS change as well.

Right now, the reseller web hosting service I use has worked with me to improve the speed and load time of my clients’ websites. It’s not perfect but it’s fast. What if I move my clients’ websites and it turns out that they are slower?

Don’t ever move your clients to a slower host. Any new hosting partner you take on needs to be  an improvement – faster, more secure and better customer service. Make them prove it!

ClickHOST tested the before/after performance of 53 websites that were moved from other hosts and found these results:

Average load time before: 3.11s
Average load time after: 1.84s
1.27s average faster load times
69% faster

OK, let’s say a web designer is able to let go of their pride and sell their clients. How would it work?

Your new web host will help you transfer your clients’ files over to their servers. They’ll most likely even pay you a commission for every new client you send to them. ClickHOST does both. Once the transfers are made, its business as usual except that now you don’t have to worry about untangling hosting issues.

Selling your clients’ web hosting services to a professional host can seem like a bad idea at first, but there are actually many advantages for you and your clients. It’s a step toward efficiency. Do the research and you will find that this can be very advantageous to your business as a web designer.

If I knew of any fellow web designers who have actually done this, I’d do it myself.

Okay, you ask for it. Here are a few…

Syrup needed to streamline our business – do what we’re good at and offload what we’re not. Hosting had always been one of those things that we did for our clients because it was easier for them to have one company to deal with for hosting, design and development. However, it was not our strong suit and our business model wasn’t built on it. So, I went shopping for a hosting partner who does it well and ClickHOST was it! Carel and his team (thanks Rhonda!) were great in teaming up and communicating with clients to get them shifted from our servers to theirs.

Lars Miller
syrupmarketing.com

I switched to ClickHOST because I value companies who have moral values. I appreciate on-demand live chat support and prompt email replies from support. I expect a company to value relationships and to be seen in public with nothing to hide.

-Kris

Kristina McInerny
www.WebsitesByKris.com

We love our web designers and they love us. Contact ClickHOST right now to hear more about how partnering with the pros is a winner for everyone!

Call 404.220.8110 during business hours or email carel at clickhost dot com.

ClickHOST Team at WordCamp ATL Booth

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mickey http://www.greenmellenmedia.com <![CDATA[The speed you rarely think about: FTP]]> https://www.clickhost.com/?p=4331 2016-07-28T01:22:13Z 2016-07-28T01:22:13Z In 2016, website speed is crucial. All hosts think about it, and the good ones make sure that your site loads as fast as possible. However, most hosts do not seem to care about FTP speed on their servers. After all, FTP speed doesn’t affect Google rankings so why worry about it? As a developer, I can tell you it makes a big difference.

At GreenMellen we manage roughly 150 WordPress sites. While we use tools such as ManageWP to do much of the heavy lifting, we still spend a great deal of time in FTP each week fixing stubborn plugins or adding new pieces. For reasons beyond my technical understanding, the FTP speeds on ClickHOST absolutely blow away every other host on the planet, making my life much easier.

As a test, I took a clean copy of WordPress and uploaded it to a variety of different hosts. This consisted of 1,472 files totaling around 23.9MB. I ran this over a fiber connection, so speed on my end shouldn’t come into play.

The FTP speed results

The first one I tried was BlueHost, where the upload took- 2 minutes, 48 seconds. Not bad.

The next one was GoDaddy. They were a bit faster, as the upload only took 1 minute and 29 seconds.

After that, I uploaded the same files to WP Engine. They’re well-known as a solid WordPress host, but their FTP speeds were roughly the same as GoDaddy at 1 minute and 28 seconds.

Finally I did the same test on ClickHOST. The result? Just 28 seconds, more than three times faster than any of the others.

ClickHOST

28 seconds!

WP Engine

1min 28 secs

GoDaddy

1min 29 secs

Bluehost

2mins 48 secs

Why does FTP speed matter?

In looking at the list above, you may be wondering why this is a big deal. After all, it’s only a few minutes difference between the best and worst. As someone that manages a lot of sites, I can tell you that those numbers add up very quickly. If there’s a major WordPress update and we’re having to push tens of thousands of files out to various sites, we *love* how quickly the ClickHOST sites respond to make our life easier.

In fact, just a few days ago I had to move seven sites over to ClickHOST that included more than 50,000 files weighing in at nearly 17GB. I didn’t time the upload, but it was somewhere around 20 minutes to upload everything, which is simply incredible. On a lesser host, that would have taken hours.

There are a lot of very important aspects to hosting, and this is admittedly a lower priority. I want a host that has fast servers, solid security and excellent technical support. Once you find that with someone like ClickHOST, having blazing fast FTP is just icing on the cake.

Not a customer yet?
Click here for blazing fast FTP starting at $5/month

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