Professional Hosting Services and your Online Web Presence

I just had a customer E-Mail me content from a Bed and Breakfast online directory services newsletter that they received earlier today. (See excerpt below.)

I have to say I laughed when I read the quote ”Hey we have giant servers here. We have virtually unlimited bandwidth. Why not host inn web sites for free?…”

The innocence and lack of experience in this statement is very telling. The expertise required to successfully and securely support a large number of hosting customers is much more involved than having “virtually unlimited bandwidth.”

What you may not realize is that other major directory services have attempted to offer hosting services (obviously not for Free such as iLoveInns.com) to their Member Inns, and many have moved back away from hosting altogether, or have made it a premium cost. Hosting is not a “Free-Bee-Add-On”, it’s your primary connection to your guests, and should not be taken lightly.
The newsletter also says … “So we looked up Acorn and Blizzard’s hosting services and realized we can offer the same thing they do at no cost to you….”

Hosting services, when done properly, are simply not free. It requires both time and money to offer Professional Hosting Services and Support. Be careful.

  • Who’s going to back up your code? How often?
  • Who’s going to make sure you don’t get hacked? Or help repair your site if you do?
  • Who’s going to help you set up or change your e-mail account information?
  • Who’s going to setup and maintain reliable spam filtering?
  • Who’s going to change the text on your website, or add photos, or at least provide you the tools to do it yourself?
  • Who’s going to help you install or monitor your statistics?
  • Who’s going to make sure to remind you to renew your domain name?
  • Who’s going to be that professional GO-TO person when you need help?
  • Who’s going to answer the phone 24/7 if there is an emergency?

And the list goes on.

The non-negotiable parts of your business should be handled by professionals who specialize in these areas. And your Web site uptime and security is a KEY NON-NEGOTIBABLE. The small amount of money you would save vs. the amount of business you will lose when a problem occurs is not worth it. You shouldn’t settle for anything less than a proven professional when it comes to these essential basics of your web presence and success of your business. Think about it, if something goes wrong with your hosting, how motivated is the provider going to be to fix the problem since the service is “FREE”? We know it’s tempting to cut corners in today’s economy but this not the place to do it.

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iLoveInns.com Member Announcement – Free Hosting Service

Chris, our iPhone B&B application developer, came up with this brainstorm and I quote his email to me – “Hey we have giant servers here. We have virtually unlimited bandwidth. Why not host inn web sites for free? Hosting costs inns probably anywhere from $10 to $20 a month or more.” So we looked up Acorn and Blizzard’s hosting services and realized we can offer the same thing they do at no cost to you.

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Lisa Kolb
President and Co-Founder
Acorn Internet Services, Inc.

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