In any highly competitive market, you have to go above and beyond to rise to the top. There are thousands of web hosts out there, and the vast majority of them don’t market in traditional ways (the exceptions of course include the biggies like GoDaddy and HostGator). However, smaller, boutique web hosts are doing just fine by offering competitive rates and exactly what customers want.
It’s a quickly evolving, technical field, which means that hosts have to hustle to one up each other. There are a few common, recent additions that a few hosts (the ones on their A game) are offering up. Is it tempting enough to make you switch? It should be, because the latest offerings are seriously drool-worthy:
- Talk to a live person easily: Sadly, this really is a perk that you can’t find everywhere. More and more customers are demanding the kind of service they deserve. If you can’t easily reach a live person when you’re asking a basic question, what happens if the server unexpectedly goes down? The lack of this option in other companies is often enough to have clients switching hosts.
- Virtual private server hosting: Also known as VPS hosting, clients are getting savvy and realizing this offers the best of both worlds. You get the low prices of basic shared plans, but all the perks of dedicated hosting like the security, speed, and control. Yes, you’re still sharing a physical server with others, but it’s been split into virtual servers that act just like dedicated ones.
- Scalability: Just like number one, this is a so-called perk that should really be a given. You have no way of knowing for certain if and when you’ll have to scale your business up or down. The market is fickle. Your web host should help you out and offer scalability that’s easy and free (or at least affordable!). Do you know what’s written in the fine print of your host agreement?
- Blogging: Traditional marketing isn’t usually the best match for a host (plus, it’s expensive). Instead, hosts are offering up blogs that give their clients free information and entertainment. Hosts know their industry can be a confusing one. By helping their clients understand what they do, how they help, and what can be done to make websites even better, they’re fostering a community and engaging on a new level.
- Laymen’s terms: Yet again, this is a trend that should be a staple. Since web hosting jargon can read like Greek, some hosts are helping their customers out. Transparency and explaining things in laymen’s terms—instead of banking on the fact that most people don’t know the lingo for a profit—is helping many hosts get ahead.
Is your web host offering all of this, and maybe even more? If not, it might be time to switch, especially if your host doesn’t offer VPS hosting. Soon enough it will become standard and those basic shared plans will go the way of the dinosaurs and MySpace.