Last week a friend of ours mentioned he was having website issues. As we dug into the conversation, we found out that ‘issues’ actually meant his site had been offline for 4+ months. Yikes! Now he hosted his site with a friend, who was “working on getting it back up”. But 4 months is too long for any level of friendship when it comes to business if you ask me!
So why do you need to host with a reputable company.
To avoid the horror story we just heard, here are a few things to make sure you have when finding a good web site host.
- Server load. How many clients do the have on one server. Some of the cheapest companies have thousands of accounts on one server. Think of that like a roach motel.
- Server access. Do you have FTP and control panel access? You want to be able to log in, and manually save down files, run backups, etc. Maybe not you directly, but you want to make sure you have the access so you can hire someone else if needed.
- Storage and bandwidth. Most businesses need under 1gb of storage, and 5 – 20gb of monthly bandwidth. Churches that podcast are a different story. You want to make sure you have a hard number. Companies that offer unlimited have a limit, they just hide it and decide on a case by case basis. I know far to many people with normal usage sites, that have been suspended for “resource abuse” by these unlimited companies. Frankly It baffles me that they can advertise this.
- Support. Can you actually get a hold of someone when you need to? Many companies have amazing support, some make you wait hours. Find one you are comfortable with, because it hurts to have a massive site issue, and no one to talk to about it.
- Backups. Do they run nightly and weekly backups? Are they offsite? Is the database included with that?
- What restrictions do they have on WHAT you can host. More important, what are they keeping off the server that other users may be hosting. You never want to be on a server that allows porn, torrents, file sharing, etc. Its bound to tie up the server, and possibly get shut down.
So next time you need to find a great place to host your site, make sure you think through these points. And in case you are wondering, YES the factor1 severs meet all the above with flying colors and we are super picket who we host. We rarely, and I mean rarely host anything unless they are a client of ours.
In this hyper-connected era people come to your web page long before they come to your restaurant, your store, your church, your meeting or employ your services. What does your web site say about you? Does it connect with your current followers or is it aimed at reaching people who aren’t yet in your loop of influence? Does your site clearly and quickly convey your core message? Does your site reflect your style, your values or your unique position? These are all very important factors to consider because whether or not you have intentionally designed your site with these things in mind, these are the types of things that people are inferring about you based on the experience on your web site.
Huge reminder = People DO make decisions based on your web presence, fair or not.
Some quick and easy things tim make improvements:
- Determine your audience – Identify your target audience and always have them in mind when doing anything on your website.
- Clean up your content - Keep it straight forward and easy to understand. Most people say to much and don’t get to the facts and basics fast enough.
- Less is more – If you don’t have high level of graphic design abilities or insights then certainly error on the side of ‘less’. Keep your site clean, fresh and under control. Don’t over use graphics (especially ones you copied & pasted), fonts, font colors and amateur photos.
Factor1Studios.com is donating a website to a deserving West Seattle non-profit.
Factor1Studios.com is a web, design and marketing agency that has just opened a West Seattle office. As part of our grand-opening introduction we are completely gifting the design and deployment of a custom website for a high-impact and critical non-profit in the West Seattle area.
West Seattle, Wa (October 15, 2009) — Factor1Studios.com is now open in West Seattle, WA. We believe in positive change for our world, we believe in people, and we believe in leaders who sacrifice to make these things happen.
Our hope is that our new community will participate in selecting the recipient of our website gift. This is no gimmick. There are no strings attached. Our hope is to be a integral part of the fabric of our new community. A critical requirement in making an impact is communicating effectively and creatively with many people on a consistent basis. An effective web presence can be a powerful asset in accomplishing this objective. Help us say ‘hello’ in fine fashion. For details, see http://www.factor1studios.com/nonprofit-gift
Co-owner, Factor1Studios.com – West Seattle
Factor1 is a team of creative individuals who passionately believe that great service and good design work always win. Founded in 2004, Factor1 has grown to a small staff of 4 based in Maricopa, AZ and a new office in Seattle, WA. We have created hundreds of websites across the US, and internationally in Canada, UK, and Australia. Factor1 has primarily grown by word of mouth and continues to rely on their great reputation. Matt Adams is the president and creative director in the day-to-day operations of Factor1. In 2008, long time friend and business strategist, Ryan Russell joined Factor1 to enhance the impact and breadth of the company’s influence for positive contributions in the world through non-profits, churches and good business.
Lately some of you may have noticed a few articles on the blog that “didn’t seem like Matt”. Well, that’s cause they weren’t from Matt. To protect Matt’s reputation from being altered (he is such a great guy) I thought I would take just one post to introduce myself.
Factor 1 Context: Matt & I have been friends for a few years now. We started collaborating on creative projects together while he was still at his first place of employment and while I was a pastor in a local church. Those early years helped us refine some of the products we deliver today. Matt, as many of you know, is a pretty uber creative dude. Together we decided last year to officially join forces as “Partners”; we’re pretty pumped about what the future holds for Factor1.
Personal Vital Data: Married w/ 3 awesome boys (www.Russell5.com) – I am older than Matt by almost a decade; I am younger inside than I look on the outside – passionate about Mtn. Biking – excited to get up each morning and make a difference with my life – need to begin each day with a Starbucks coffee fix (Venti Pike’s w/ room for 1/2 & 1/2 + 3 raw sugars just in case any of you should need to order if for me)
Professional Skills: – VARIED – for Factor1 I bring business & creative development skills to the table. Most of my practical skills as they relate to our clients are in Marketing; helping you reach your audience & customer w/ a high degree of impact.
I hope this helps you get a flavor of the ‘other guy’ at Factor 1. While there are times when Matt & I vary in our styles & approaches to challenges put in front of us you can know 2 things for sure:
1. our partnership is rock solid w/ the unified goals
2. we aim to deliver creative, original, excellent & high impact products for every one of our clients