075: [Deep Dive] An Accidental New Offering That I’m Thrilled About

Sure this is a podcast about the tech of business but so much of what we need to work through is the strategies in the business – the tech fulfills the strategy not the other way around.

And that leads into my new offering and why it came to being in the way that it did.

As of about 10 days ago as of the time of this release, I started selling website hosting. So, over on the resources page at https://techofbusiness.com/resources/ you’ll now see three options for hosting instead of just two.

The two that were there before I started hosting were WP Engine and A2Hosting. They are both affiliate links and are great for those of you who want to keep things streamlined and not have any “middle men” or “middle women”. But what was lacking and the need I realized was that I was perfectly poised to fill for many of my clients was that of taking something else off their plates.

I’ve spent a lot of time in different hosting platforms, both the two I mentioned above as well as SiteGround, Bluehost, Cloudways, GoDaddy and a ton of others since I started working with WordPress sites back in 2010.

And one thing I’ve noticed is that as much as they want things to be easy, it’s just not the smoothest of places for a business owner to hang out. There are a lot of subtleties and complexities at the same time.

How are you supposed to educate yourself on hosting and how to do things without relying on your good friends Google and YouTube? And how do you know you’re getting advice you can trust and not advice being touted because of some back end affiliate program.

Frankly, you don’t – and for a long time, I wished there was a better way to help my clients feel confident that their hosting platform would support them.

Oh shoot… I jumped right into this rabbit hole without any context. Let’s take a step back and then we’ll get back into the accidental new product I’m selling and why I think it’s perfect for many of my clients!

The lack of context is that domains and hosting and IP addresses and such are a bunch of buzzwords that most people don’t fully grasp. So, let’s imagine the internet as a super long street with thousands of apartments on each block. OK, let’s look at one block on that street.

This block consists of a bunch of apartment buildings owned by A2Hosting. They bought the land and built the apartment buildings. Some of the apartments have wide beautiful views while others are just studio apartments. Some have snazzy elevators others are only accessible via the stairs. All the apartments have a security guard that you can employ, if you want. Each of the apartments are available for rent and, depending on how much you’re willing to spend you’ll get your apartment and it’s access.

Renting the apartment is like buying hosting.

Renting an apartment alone is never going to get your Amazon Deliveries and it’s not going to be a comfortable place to live.
For that, you need to announce to the powers that be your address. And in the online world, this comes about through your domain name. But it’s not quite that simple.

Buying your domain name without hooking it up to your host is like having the placard for your mailbox but not affixing it to your mailbox.

We need to affix the placard. And that is done by setting your domain to use the address of the hosting platform. There are a few ways to do this but that’s beyond the scope of this story, so I’ll leave that as tech-magic.

So now we have our domain pointing to our apartment and we can now get deliveries. But what about if you want to have a party? You can’t do that if there is nothing inside your apartment – and that’s where we begin to setup our website and our email addresses and our membership site and all that jazz.

And that IP Address… it’s the address of your apartment building. Even if your apartment building has a fancy name, it still has a physical address… that’s what the IP address is.

OK… I hope you haven’t tuned me out – and that you got some insight into what hosting and domains and ip addresses are all about. It’ll help so much as we move into why I now offer hosting to my clients.

But before we get there… one critical piece of the story is that of the optional security guard. He or she works to make sure that your apartment is as safe as possible. That’s the goal of an SSL certificate for your website.

There are paid SSL certificates which are important for financial transactions.  Then there are free SSL certificates which are much more like the security guard. The most popular free SSL certificate that I’m aware of right now is one provided by a company called Let’s Encrypt.

And this free SSL certificate is one of the reasons I started providing hosting. I wanted to make it easy for my clients to have access to the Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate… and my hosting does this automatically as soon as the domain is pointing to the hosting.

But that’s not the only or main reason I started offering hosting… the main reason I am doing this is because it is frankly way easier for me and my clients to get started on their projects. And I am 100% confident in providing the hosting that they need.

My reseller hosting is through A2Hosting. I actually purchased the reseller level of hosting back in November 2018 with the hopes of bringing hosting into my business shortly thereafter. But I didn’t have a compelling need to do it. So it sat… that is until a little over 2 weeks ago when I realized that one of my clients was a perfect candidate for my reseller package.

This client has hired me to build out her website and provide ongoing support and maintenance. It’s that last part that indicated to me that providing my own hosting would be a logical and mutually beneficial step for both of us.

She was 100% on board and within a few days, I had it up and ready for her to purchase.

I have another client who recently moved her primary site from Weebly to another provider. She hired me to setup redirection from the old Weebly links to the corresponding pages on her new platform.  She also hired me to setup a blog.

I was giddy because I knew my hosting offering would be perfect for her. She’s already successful in her business.  She doesn’t have the time or desire to deal with the technology side of things. She and I are in the process of setting up a longer term working relationship.  This is so that we can continue to optimize her online platform and grow her business.

All her Weebly links were under an SSL and accessed via https://. herefore we needed the new host to offer SSL as well. If we tried to do this with hosting from a provider that doesn’t have Let’s Encrypt then she wouldn’t be able to do the redirections which would cause her google traffic to plummet.

And because she’s not taking credit cards on her site the Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate is adequate. If I have a client who is going to take credit cards natively on their site, I would still recommend they purchase an external SSL certificate. We can go into that conversation if you want! Hit me up on Instagram I’m @techofbusiness if that’s of interest to you.

For years I’ve offered A2Hosting and WP Engine as hosting options for my clients. So, what’s changed? Why do I now believe that I can offer better hosting to help you accomplish the tasks at hand?

The shift was that I learned more about you! I learned more about what matters most in your business! And I found a way to deliver a better product.

In the past when I’ve suggested hosting, I left the door open for you to find someone else who could give an alternate suggestion. And this would just make you confused.

If you already have hosting and we start working together, I’m not going to force or even gently suggest we migrate you over to Tech of Business website hosting.  Why? Because we never need to do something with our tech if it’s not fixing a major problem or positioning us to reach a new goal or milestone. If your hosting is working– then by all means, stick with it like glue. It’s a PITA to change hosts.

But, if we start working together and there is something intrinsically not working in your tech stack, we’re going to figure out how to get out of that mess.  We will  get where we need to be. And that may include jumping into the Tech of Business hosting plan.

Our hosting plan is built on the A2Hosting servers and comes with the reliability that I have trusted since I moved over a couple of years ago. I’m confident that your needs will be met and that this is a quality foundational tool for your business.

If you have questions about hosting or want to see if Tech of Business hosting is right for you, head over to https://techofbusiness.com/hosting and fill out the form. I will get straight back to you. Hosting is only available by application.

And with that, let’s wrap this episode up with saying that it’s 100% okay to go all in on a rabbit hole if you have a pretty good idea where it’s going.

That’s what I did when I brought hosting into my offerings. I knew it would be successful and I knew I wanted to make things easier for my clients. I was fairly certain that the reseller package that I’m on with A2Hosting was going to be a great option for fulfilling the requirement.

Was offering hosting a must have part of my business… certainly not. But it was a necessary part of my business that became apparent recently.

Do you have a new goal or project in the wings? Or are you wondering if your current tech is ready to support that new initiative? Let’s do a Tech Audit and help you make some concrete decisions and lay a clear path for your tech stack.

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