Customer Service As A Foundation For Webhosting Companies

Oli Dale of WPLift.com has published a great article that goes behind the scenes of SiteGround. SiteGround CEO, Tenko Nikolov, answered questions that provide insight into how the company operates on a day to day basis. I was surprised to learn that the company is just a few months younger than WordPress and will be celebrating their 10th anniversary in March. Check out these numbers that represent an average day of customer support:

The story behind SiteGround is actually pretty cool, it was founded in 2004 by a group of university friends, with a handful of people working from their uni dorm rooms and has grown to the point where today it has 120 employees and is still growing. SiteGround claims to host over 250,000 domains and process 400 tickets, 150 phone calls and 300 chat requests per day.

Customer Service Used As A Foundation

When the company started, Tenko mentions the company’s vision was to provide more help to the customers than a standard host did at that time. This is interesting to me because ten years later, WordPress centric hosting companies are being started with the same vision. Flywheel hosting is the most recent example of a host that puts customer service at the forefront of everything they do. At this point, what else is there to differentiate webhosting companies from one another besides customer service?

I’ve been vocal about the problems I’ve experienced with webhosting companies such as HostGator. As I said in a recent interview with Web Hosting Warriors, how a webhosting company treats you when a major problem surfaces tells you everything you need to know.

My Thoughts On Webhosting Companies

I hope you’ll tune in and listen as I share my experiences with webhosting companies I’ve used in the past to host WPTavern.com. I also explain what I as a customer expect out of the company, especially from the customer service stand point. While I initially talk about the history of WPTavern and how I turned it into a successful website, you can fast forward to the 13 minute mark to hear me discuss my woes with HostGator.

What Do You Look For In a Webhost

In 2010, I shared my list of fourteen things to consider before choosing a webhost. Many of the things I listed in that post are still relevant today. Having a great experience with a webhosting company is almost like winning the lottery because it’s so rare. Ultimately, it comes down to gathering as much information as possible in order to make an informed decision as to whether a particular webhost is right for you. Price should not be the only determining factor for hosting your site, especially if you plan on taking things seriously. What is the most important factor you look for in a webhost? What influences your decision to go with one particular company over another?

5 Comments


  1. Most important is three things in my book:
    – Answers all support tickets within 15 minutes or less on average.
    – Is a Solid State Drive host for super fast MySQL loading.
    – Includes free daily malware scanning and reporting.

    JIm’s pet peeves:

    Beware reviews which “affiliate link you” out to the host discussed in the article. Totally lame and borderline unethical unless the author clearly states they are writing the article to get affiliate payback revenue (was a big problem in 2013).

    And stage left any web host who automatically shuts your site down for being hacked. They don’t care enough about you to leave your site up and give you a chance to resolve the matter, then they don’t want your business- time to find one who does.

    ++++
    Easy questions to ask your host:

    1. Will you shut down my website without notifying me if I’m hacked, and if not, how much time will you give me to resolve the matter before suspending my site?

    2. Will you scan my website for malware every day and notify me if my site is compromised?

    3. If I have a basic WordPress question are you able or willing to help me resolve the matter?

    4. When and how often do you run backups, and how can I recover my website from backup if I need to do so?
    ++++

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  2. Service will likely emerge a key differentiator in many sectors of marketing technology as users are increasingly overwhelmed and undertrained. Vendors that provide top-tier service will compete on more fronts than just pricing, as you point out. Current service levels from so many suppliers are so horribly bad that there is a lot of room for improvement. Good article. Thanks.

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  3. Totally agree with Jim about promptly answering support tickets. It is even more critical to try to solve the customer’s issue quickly as well.

    My company has found providing quick solutions, and going above and beyond for the customer, always results in a positive customer experience. Seems like common sense.

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  4. Hi Jeff
    “What Do You Look For In a Webhost”

    Obviously performance and value for money but when I first started out with WordPress I needed lots of help.
    I’d never heard of a MySQL database never mind knowing how to set one up and connect it to a WordPress install, HELP!

    Even now when things go wrong I contact my webhost and usually they come up with the answer.

    Maybe the list of requirements should read:

    1 – Technical assistance

    2 – Site performane

    3 – value for money

    Unfortunately when we start out that list is often inverted.

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