I'm offering FREE hosting, and I'm still struggling for customers!

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by Preemo, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. Preemo

    Preemo
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    I've started to offer a free months hosting, and I'm still struggling to get customers for my hosting business!

    Anyone have any ideas? I'm completely stuck now.
     
  2. JPM

    JPM
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    Are you advertising your business?
     
  3. GamingOn

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    There are allot of competitors try offering free hosting for forums on sites and free hosting for games and blogs then people will be interested. I like free hosting allot I thought this thread was about u giving away free hosting. Does your hosting have cpanel?
     
  4. Jay

    Jay
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    It takes time to get clients, the only tip I can give you is purchase as much advertising space as possible for your host and get your host's name know throughout the web.
     
  5. Fergal

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    What have you been doing so far to promote your hosting business Preemo?

    Your hosting site looks great, a couple of things I noticed were;
    • I don't see the free hosting offer promoted there
    • I'm not sure if you offer a free trial or money back guarantee. If you don't you should seriously consider it and if you do you should probably highlight this more on your site.
    • There is an issue with the left hand margin of your Hosting Plans page. Here's a screen shot of how it looks in my browser (Google Chrome) - http://www.diigo.com/item/image/17mfp/vj4e
     
  6. sigma

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    You need promotion, you can't expect to get customer without promote it
    Try to promote it at those webhosting related forum, sure you can get customer
     
  7. Preemo

    Preemo
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    I'm only offering free hosting here, I personally don't like hosts who offer free hosting, I just feel like it doesn't reflect the company well.

    We do indeed have cPanel! :)

    I have been promoting, both email marketing and word of mouth - do you think it's worth signing up to webmaster forums then?
     
  8. sigma

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    webmaster forum or web hosting related forum is good place, quite number of newbies are looking around for the cheap/free hosting, they might be the potential customer. Either using your signature or buy a banner/sticky thread there
     
  9. daytrader

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    i guess that's how tight the competition in that business. and you're not the only who provide free hosting to anyone.
    what i could suggest somehow is encourage people to create a site for themselves but provide them a .info domain to start with and free hosting.
     
  10. Preemo

    Preemo
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    I'm really siding towards a free hosting trial, like a 7 day trial with us - if you like us and have no problems, then hooray! If not, then we've not lost a lot, as at the moment I'd rather have some customers paying nothing and giving me something to do, than no customers and an empty client list. Right, now I've wrote that, I'm going to go with offering a free 7 day trial!

    I can't do the .info domain idea, I think it could work, but not for a new business, well not in my opinion anyway. It's a good idea though, and if RHP Hosting grows, we'll definitely think about doing it to attract new customers!

    Thank you
     
  11. TheNova

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    Hello Preemo. Many visitors to your website scroll down the page and view the content. I know from my experience that when I'm at the bottom of the page I find it easier to click the links on the footer to take me to the pages I want. However, I think you will be losing potential customers due to the fact that all the links you have placed in your footer are broken. All of them have been replaced with a # tag, which just refreshes the page if you will or jumps back to the header. People may think you've opened up too quickly without thoroughly finishing off your website and therefore leave before even checking your packages. I would suggest that the links in the footer lead to their actual pages before any more potential customers leave.

    I would also take out the 'Forum - coming soon' text in the navigation. This also suggests that you have not yet finished your website or have rushed it to get online. If you are getting ready to launch a forum, then add a link to the navigation once it has launched, with a news page which highlights why it would benefit your company.

    You do have an 'About Us' page which describes what your company is, there is no information on it regarding who's working there, where the servers are located and some more needed information. The grammar is also a little off as it says "As a company, we want to progress from strengths to strengths", that should really be "As a company, we want to progress from strength to strength".

    I would also highly suggest you have your terms of service and privacy policy finished as soon as possible. You have no information or even guidelines as to what people can upload or that you won't be sharing people's information with 3rd party websites.

    I hope this helps you and good luck with the future of RHP Hosting.
     
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  12. Preemo

    Preemo
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    Thank you for that!

    I really shouldn't, but I do agree with almost everything there! I need to get some Terms of Service written up and get all the pages checked over for spelling and grammar errors.

    I'm going to perhaps have to spend the next week or so getting the website set up correctly. I suppose I've probably just been so eager to get this all set up and started that I thought it'd succeed just like that. Obviously looking at it as if I was a customer, I wouldn't buy from it.

    Hopefully, in a couple of weeks I'll have everything ready, and I'll be welcoming new customers!

    Thank you again!
     
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  13. JPM

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    Some really useful advice there. Also - have you thought about targeted a specific type of hosting? Like forums for example? So you can target a niche?
     
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  14. Preemo

    Preemo
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    Yes, for now, I'm going to aim at small websites such as small businesses, where they're either just starting up (obviously the majority won't have their websites set up) or aren't getting lots of visitors.

    The reason why I'm aiming at these, is because I'm just on a Reseller account. So if I aim at forums, and a forum gets really popular and starts hitting thousands and thousands and thousands unique visitors per day, and they're outselling my Reseller account limits - then I'll have nowhere to move them onto (apart from another host).

    I've got to admit, but TheNova writing that has made me think about this all properly. We're getting some Terms and Conditions written up soon, where hopefully customers can't exploit them. Although we'll be copying another companies T&C, we're going to edit them as much as possible to suit our company.
     
  15. TheNova

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    Not necessarily. Being on a reseller account gives you the ability to log into your main WHM account and check which websites/forums are using the most bandwidth. If you come across a forum which is going to outsell your reseller account limits, you simply ask them to upgrade their account a little for more bandwidth, which then gives you the profit to upgrade your reseller account. Many of these popular forums started off on shared hosting and once they became popular had to upgrade to a VPS etc. So, if you check regularly, you will be fine if you target forums.

    But I like the idea of the small business niche. The only problem I could find is that many of them use a Facebook page to post their news etc. Quite a lot of companies do that, which is a shame for many web hosts really.
     
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  16. JPM

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    That's true, however; with the right hosting package and company that might be different.
     

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