Sell Web Hosting Without the Hassle

Intrahost has recently introduced a partner scheme ‘friends of Intrahost’ designed for those who want to earn extra revenue and have customers looking for hosting services. This is a great opportunity to add an additional revenue stream without the hassle of maintaining their own servers. The web hosting business is a competitive one and it can be difficult for digital agencies to recommend services to their clients if the company doesn’t itself use a host. There are so many on offer at wildly varying prices that, for the layman especially, it can be an incredibly difficult choice.

Cheap hosting is rarely useful for businesses who are looking to have a reliable web presence, but many try to cut costs by choosing them. As a digital provider, you’re in the position of being able to influence that decision and point customers the way of a business-grade, and reliable, service.

Why Sell Hosting?

These days there can often be many companies dealing with a firm’s website in one way or another. You may sell digital content for example, or SEO services, but have little say in the servers that the company’s site actually lives on. This in turn can affect the services you provide. For example, if you’re selling SEO services and the hosting company servers perform poorly, then this will affect the bottom line – profits.

A study carried out by Kissmetrics found that most people leave a site that’s not loaded in 30 seconds and this is worsened if the user is viewing the site via a mobile device. Since we’re rapidly moving forward as a race that’s rather addicted to all things mobile, in order to compete a company must then ensure that the site loads quickly.

Likewise, an unreliable hosting service can mean that a customer arriving at a site that goes down once a week is unlikely to have much faith in that site and the company behind it.

So if you’re a:

  • Web designer
  • Marketing agency
  • Digital services agency
  • IT consultancy

Then get in touch to see what services you can offer to your customers through Intrahost. Take a look around the site first and you will see that all of our current customers are more than happy with the service that we provide.

Types of Hosting Available

We offer a range of hosting packages suitable for small sites on a shared server, to large ecommerce sites on a dedicated server and everything in between. Of course, we also offer cloud hosting and VMWare hosting too, as well as Hosted Exchange for those who want a decent and reliable email service.

Our UK data centres are open 24/7 and is backed up by fast and friendly support for those times when your customers need that little bit extra help. Intrahost are pleased to be able to boast 99.99% uptime and for those businesses that need more, we also offer bespoke hosting services, ensuring that you can offer your customers the complete service whatever their needs.

In the Business of Digital

As the number of digital agencies in the UK increase rapidly to meet demand, it’s now important for these businesses to offer a more integrated solution that can meet all of the needs of its clients.

digital agency surveyAccording to a benchmark study carried out last year, more than half of all digital agencies in the UK now offer the full range of digital services. For the most part, many of these services surrounded marketing and all of its accompanying services such as social media management and SEO. However, the agency that can also offer web hosting is one that will have an additional string to its bow that provides better value for clients.

When it comes to SEO services, including PPC, it’s a discipline that’s rapidly evolving. Many of the techniques that it used to be perfectly acceptable to use no longer are, thanks to the search god that is Google. This has meant for many agencies that they’ve had to seriously rethink their business and what they offer.

What better thing to offer then is there than a service that’s completely managed for you and all you have to do is put forward a recommendation and then sit back and wait for the commission to come in?

In business, especially when it’s concerned with the web, the company that offers a rounded package will be the winner, so why not get in touch to discuss our partner program today and see what we can do to help make your company one that offers an integrated package.

Quick Guide to Choosing a Web Host

choosing a web hostChoosing a web host can be a difficult decision for those not overly familiar with the technical aspects that are involved, not least because of the sheer volume on offer. Web hosting packages tend to vary quite wildly too on the surface of things, when it comes to price, making the choice even more confusing. With that in mind, here’s Intrahost’s quick guide to choosing a host to help you to make a decision quickly. We also sell web hosting, so this will be a completely unbiased guide. ;-)

How Low Should You Go?

Price is of course at the top of most people’s priority list, we all want to save money. However, be very wary of choosing the lowest priced hosts as often, this is reflected in the service, no matter what uptime the hosting company may claim.

Recently, a Twitter follower suggested to me that I should move my web hosting to a company that’s free. I politely declined. Free services are great if you’ve got a hobby site, but they’re never a business solution and neither are many of the services that charge around £0.99 – 1.99 per month. For business, you need a service that’s secure and reliable and in my experience, the really cheap end of the market is neither.

However, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t shop around, but you should be aware of what you need and always choose a business grade package for company websites.

Ups and Downs of Web Hosts

Many companies claim to have an up time of 99% or more and to be fair, most do. Again, companies that offer a lot for very little appear to have the worst outages. Have a look around and make sure that you read testimonials from existing customers before committing.

Ask if the web host:

  • Guarantees the uptime
  • Offers a Service Level Agreement
  • Bases its offers on a long-term or monthly contract

If you’re covered by a guaranteed uptime then you can be fairly certain that the company has a stable network that doesn’t experience many outages. Likewise, if you’re not tied to a long-term contract, then you can switch in the event of any problems without too much trouble.

Security Matters

Security is increasingly important to your website and absolutely vital if you accept credit card payments on your site. With this in mind, ask what security measures are in place at the data centre where the servers are stored. You should go for a host that chooses high-end hardware and software solutions, as well as physical security at the data centre premises.

Bang for your Buck

Pricing is important but so is what you get for your money and you should pay attention to this when checking out one package against another. The features that you need will depend on what kind of website you have, including:

  • If you need more than one site – some of the cheaper sites offer unlimited sites for as little as £1.99, but are generally not worth it in terms of outages and support
  • Email – how many mailboxes does the host allow
  • How much storage is allocated – will it be enough to host your site once you have a blog uploaded with lots of images and video, for example
  • How many databases are you given
  • How much CPU/memory are you allocated and what happens if you use more? Many hosts don’t allow you to go over your allocated resources but some will bill you. Others might have a service where each user isn’t measured and you could then find yourself sharing the server with a resource hog, which will slow your site

If you have a large site, then shared web hosting is probably not for you, as the resources won’t be enough. Likewise, if you have an ecommerce site then it’s a better, more secure bet to invest in a dedicated server where you are not sharing space and resources with other sites.

Pay attention to whether the host offers SSL certificates too, some people choose their hosting and when it comes to the certificates, find that they have to pay for an upgrade before they can get them.

Is Web Hosting Support Good Enough?

Choosing a host which is located in the same country as you is the best bet when it comes to support, as although most hosts claim to offer 24/7 support, this is often not the case. If your site goes down in the middle of the day, or you have some other problem and your host is located on the other side of the world, there’s not much you can do if nobody’s answering the phone.

I’ve had many different experiences when it comes to support and again, the bargain basement hosts are the ones to avoid. I’ve waited days for support, or even had my questions on an issue that the hosting company didn’t have an answer for completely ignored. This is clearly unacceptable and of course, this is a problem I’m citing from the past, but it is something that you will come up against if you choose a host that doesn’t really do business grade hosting.

Again, look for testimonials when you’re checking out web hosts online and check out forum posts too. A company with a bad reputation will easily be found, there’s nothing people that who have had a bad experience online like doing more than letting the rest of us know.

Choosing a web host isn’t particularly difficult, it’s really just the sheer amount of hosting companies that are around that muddy the waters. However, follow these tips and you shouldn’t go too far wrong.

It’s a competitive market and hosts don’t tend to vary wildly on price if it’s a professional service, but do be aware that free doesn’t always equal good and if something appears to be too good to be true, it usually is.

We did say that we do web hosting, didn't we? :-)

Image: Spiceworks (CC)

Top five trends for Cloud Computing

Technology is all about staying ahead of the curve. The best way to do that is to be able to see what’s coming and how you can fit your strategy to adapt and grow with new innovations and developments.Cloud Computing is one of the biggest factors to have changed how we work, store our data and information online and connect with other people.

Whether we choose Cloud Servers or Dedicated Servers, opt for Hosted Exchange or simple Web Hosting more and more people are becoming switched on to the flexibility of the Cloud.

Yet we still need to stay ahead of the curve. Identifying trends and how we might be using the technology in the next ten years helps us to plan and invest now to make the most of developments.

1. The growth of a hybrid solution

The power of the Cloud comes from its flexibility. Expect more of a mix and match approach in the future. Customers will expect to be able to combine a private cloud server with a public server. They want a hybrid environment. It is about managing what you need and creating the solution that fits you. As Cloud Computing grows, and inevitably the Cloud term gets dropped and it just becomes computing, it will begin to define the service offered to clients, matching their needs. That will be the key that helps companies to grow as they begin to offer much more tailored solutions for clients and customers. Software as a Service means no need for infrastructure, merely defining the set-up you want and then designing it.

2. Industry set and led guidelines for security

Expect a bigger debate on how we manage data and how we share data. Security remains the major hurdle for cloud adoption. If there is to be greater understanding then they are forced to ask big questions, the most important being “what are you doing with our information?” Many cloud providers like Intrahost, focus on security, both virtual and physical, and are already addressing the issue and allaying fears. This is not happening across the board, though. Expect more industry set and led guidelines, defining what is best practice and making sure the standards to be adhered to. This will remove much of what is perceived as the risk factor. An open cloud community or offer for a company that doesn’t set down exactly how it is secure, how it protects information from virus, spam or from being stolen will be pushed out the of the industry. It will mean a safer Cloud community.

3. How are you using Big Data?

Linked in to that last point is the question of Big Data. The onus is not just on Cloud Providers but also the companies holding data. The consumer is worried about what will leak out. There is a growth in the idea about “digital showing” managing your online profile and helping customers expect more in terms of how data is stored. Increasingly this will be the focus of the service level agreements signed with providers and also the deal you sign with your own clients. That change will mean a shift in applications as well. If more people are using a hybrid solution, companies are opting for a flexible approach, they don’t necessarily want the same information to be available on both sides. Say, for example, you’re a health organisation. You have private information, stored in a private cloud. The public cloud, say, is for organising appointments but you don’t want people in public cloud to be able same access same information about you as they do in private cloud.

4. Less of a focus on cost, more on value

There is an understanding about the cost effective nature of cloud computing. But more and more that will become less of a concern. Remember when cost was all we talked about with mobiles. It’s less of a concern now. It is seen as a human right to own a mobile so cost becomes less important, or less of the focus. It’s the same with the Cloud, increasingly the discourse will move to measuring the value the cloud has, rather than how much money it saves. That will foster a changing practice, looking at how it is adopted and the impact on culture. The Cloud will become more creative.

5. More mobile access

Mobile has changed everything and more devices are on the market helping us work on the go and stay connected. As cloud take up increases expect more access and more growth in terms of where you can use it and how. Hosted Exchange has been important driver in this, a number of email aliases, linking up with mobile devices. The trend set to continue. Why? The genie is out of the bottle. We work on the go, work from tablets, laptops, collaboratively and independently. Expect the Cloud to match that and expand.