In my "real" business, I spend a LOT of time working with various web hosting companies. The range of experience on hosting ranges from the good (Hostican) to the AWFUL experience I had about a year ago when I signed up for hosting with a company that I won’t dignify with a link here.
I’m always "testing" hosting providers in case the one I use turns on me. See, web hosting is all about SERVICE! Give me unreliable equipment but a staff dedicated to providing GREAT support over great equipment and a staff that doesn’t know or care what they’re doing any day. Each year, open DOZENS of hosting accounts just to "test" their services.
My "test" account with Hostican is EZMarketing Tool. I set it up to test:
- how well their hosting supported Word Press
- how well their hosting supported the Semilogic Theme.
Hostican gets a gold star on both tests! Both have been running quite nicely ever since.
Prior to hosting with Hostican, I had set up an account at Midphase and while they supported Word Press quite nicely, when the semilogic theme was applied, things went to heck in a hand basket. Sending email to their support left me with "we don’t support Word Press" type of a reply.
The problem? I was succesfully running a Word Press blog on HostGator with the Semilogic theme with no problems. Same set up on Midphase… problems. Some people swear by Midphase. I have noticed that the people who love Midphase don’t use Semilogic though.
Again, I was out testing because, while Hostgator has been very, very good to me over the past three years, I have SERIOUS trust issues when it comes to hosting.
One thing about doing business in a post Y2K world, if you provide exceptional value, you’ll soon develop a fanatical following. People will tell their friends who in turn tell their friends. That’s how Hostican has grown their business…. and it’s a great model for your business as well!
Sure, affiliate programs help reward your followers… but there are LOTS of hosting companies out there and that I have signed up as an affiliate and then NEVER promoted. One such hosting company crashed, burned and is trying a "phoenix from the ashes" kind of rebirth. They send me affiliate notices which began with promises that "this time we’re going to do things right!"
My mental reply: "Of COURSE you are!!!" However, I doubt I’ll ever be able to trust something as important as my hosting with them again. I had canceled my test account and removed my affiliate links with them LONG before they did their final swan dive into the empty pool.