What does it take to win a web hosting award? The criteria can vary greatly, and it’s not necessarily the host with the most impressive hardware that wins the gold—although that can certainly help, and sometimes that’s exactly what it takes! Offering options is critical, and there are still only a few web hosts who give their clients the option of virtual private server/VPS hosting. Are you really a great web host if you only offer shared basic plans and dedicated hosting? Probably not, since they’re on far ends of the spectrum with no middle ground.
However, options still aren’t the only thing you need. By far, one of the most critical elements is customer service. Your clients should be able to reach you around the clock in whatever manner they choose. It might be by phone, video, or other form of live chat, email, and more. If you’re not serving your customers 24/7 and making it easy to talk to a truly qualified expert, you’re not offering a major aspect of web hosting. After all, “hosting” isn’t to be taken lightly.
Snagging the Gold
Also bear in mind that not all awards are created equally. The “best” are those which you cannot nominate yourself for, but your peers and/or clients nominate you. This shows that your hosting prowess has earned respect where it counts. Yes, you can technically ask somebody—such as a peer who also owns a web hosting business and you make an agreement to co-nominate—but just like cheating in school, you’ll know the reality. Instead, aim to make your service so phenomenal that you earn a nomination on your own.
There are also some hosting awards that encourage self-nominations, but also require recommendations, a portfolio, and a comprehensive application. This gives you the chance to show off and explain exactly what makes your web hosting company unique. If you have to pay to enter or an exorbitant fee if you “win,” it’s a red flag that this award is really one that you’re paying for.
Does it Make a Difference?
Posting on social media about your win or having a JPEG image on your site of the virtual medal can be eye-catching, but it probably won’t make a big dent. That’s not going to be the deciding factor for many clients. It gives them a little confidence boost that you’re a legitimate web hosting company, but if you don’t offer prime service, competitive rates and the features they want, you’re not going to win them over with a medal.
The features you offer, such as an impressive uptime or a particular software program a client likes, is really your real bread and butter. Don’t skimp on this to chase awards. Just like any industry, you can find plenty of awards that are really a means of patting yourself on the back. It can make you feel good, but it’s not what’s important in business: Focus on the customer and you’ll never go wrong.