After 10 years in the digital marketing space, I have come to learn something interesting.
It seems like every industry has SOMETHING that every taxpaying adult should know. They often DON’T, but they would be well served if they did!
Pest control – People don’t realize that keeping firewood close to the house attracts termites that could easily start eating away at their home’s foundation. Also, when people think they have bed bugs, the first thing they typically do is take the bed OUT of the home, but that’s the worst thing to do. It spreads the bed bugs all over and makes them harder to get rid of.
HVAC – People don’t realize the importance of replacing their filter regularly, or they think that buying the more expensive filter means they can wait longer to change it!
Garage doors – People don’t realize the importance of having a balanced door. Did you know that if you unhook your garage door from the opener and manually lift it, say 3 feet in the air, it should stay at that height? I had no idea. If it keeps going up or falls back down, the door isn’t balanced, and the opener is working a lot harder than it should be. You are just asking for a broken spring (which can be really dangerous).
There is one for my industry as well, and despite how obvious it may seem, I see it ALL the time. My guess is it might apply to YOU as well.
YOU SHOULD OWN AND HAVE IN YOUR CONTROL YOUR WEBSITE DOMAIN, THE WEBSITE ITSELF, YOUR WEBSITE HOSTING, YOUR EMAIL, AND GOOGLE PROFILE.
You wouldn’t leave your extra car keys laying around with no idea where they are.
You most likely don’t have the title to your car in the glove box.
You have probably never said, “I have no idea where my passport is.”
You probably don’t have insurance policies (with a cash value) laying around with no idea where they are.
Some companies bully, intimidate, or outright THREATEN business owners because they have the company domain, website hosting, website access, or email hosting.
It’s complete bullshit, and I see it almost daily.
It’s YOUR website. You paid for it, and you shouldn’t have to ASK for something to be done to it or have to WAIT around for a response.
Everything to do with your website, email hosting, and your company’s profile on Google should be in the control and ownership of YOUR company. Nobody else.
My company’s job is to help our clients make the phone ring. That work starts with getting access to our their website (so we can make updates), and typically, this is when we realize their hosting is often very low quality (shared), which I’ll explain a bit more in detail soon.
If they didn’t come up in our initial meetings, this is when we hear the horror stories of the companies that threaten to charge them $100 every time they have a request, or being charged $200 for hosting that should cost $6—or having to wait a week to get a call back. We’ve also heard of companies being charged to “move” the website (complete rip off).
We have no desire to “take over” or control that piece of our client’s business. To us, that is THEIR property. They paid for their car, and I don’t expect it to be kept at my house.
I have helped some friends and clients with nightmare situations galore.
There is a transmission shop here in Wichita that we are going to help out. They’re super nice people who came to me from a friend. We typically only work with HVAC companies, and while this will be an easy one, I learned that they have NO IDEA where they purchased their domain, or when, or from what company. They also have no CLUE who built their website or when—no name, no phone number, no email, nothing.
The crazy part is that this isn’t unusual!
I met with a plumber last week, and just this morning, we realized that their website was down. Their GoDaddy domain that they’ve had for years expired 10 days ago! What happened was that GoDaddy sends SO MANY emails pitching this and that, and special offers, and discounts, and on and on. They started deleting these emails without reading them, and the important ones got lost in the noise, and nobody realized it. I ran over and got them logged into GoDaddy, renewed the domain, and the site was back up in minutes.
When I got there, the office manager, the owner of the company, and the receptionist had no idea what the username and password to GoDaddy was.
1) Do you know who has access to your domain? yourcompanyname.com
I could tell you horror stories about this one all DAY.
Companies get bought out. The owner gets overwhelmed, divorced, or burned out, and then he or she sells the business, and their “customers” have no idea until sometime, years later, the domain expires and the website goes down. Often, you will be at the mercy of some guy in another state that you have never talked to who bought that first company’s accounts, and HOPEFULLY, he acts quickly to get the domain renewed and doesn’t want 5x what it should cost. Since the domain only needs to be renewed once a year, often when the card it was put on expires, the domain can no longer be renewed, and it expires, too.
- Your domain only needs renewed once a year, and this should cost about $12.
2) Do you know where your website is hosted?
Website hosting (which is separate from your domain) is a necessary expense. It’s kind of like paying for phone service or cable at your house. If you have a live website, you’re paying for hosting.
Hosting is SUPER affordable, and—in a nutshell—this is how it works.
If you have cheap hosting, say $6-10 bucks a month, you have what most companies have, which is SHARED hosting. Your website is on the same server as thousands of other websites. Imagine a garden hose running full blast. If you poke a small hole in it, water comes streaming out. That water is the bandwidth available to your site. But that total amount of water passing through the hole never increases, and therein lies the problem. If you put thousands of holes in the hose, everyone just receives less water—less bandwidth—and during peak times, your website slows WAYYYY down. This hurts your chances of ranking well on Google.
The next step up is VPS (virtual private server). This type of server hosting is much higher quality and is NOT shared. This is available for as cheap as $20-25 a month. This is top notch hosting with 24-hour (English speaking) support.
I can’t tell you how many business owners I have spoken to in the last 10 years who are paying five to ten times what they could be—for shared hosting!
- Cheap (shared) hosting should be costing you $6-10 a month (not recommended)
- Quality hosting (not shared) should cost around $25 a month
3) Where is your email being hosted?
There is a big difference between a quality email host and a website hosting company that includes email as an “add-on” service. Often, you won’t realize the difference between a company that is GOOD at email hosting until you have a problem, and then you find out the hard way.
Your email might be with the same company that you bought your domain from. It might also have been set up through the hosting company, and sometimes the hosting company takes it over from the domain company. Sound confusing? You have no idea.
The thing is that everybody wants to provide you with email hosting—the marketing guy, the hosting company, the domain provider. Why? Because having your email makes you much more STICKY. You’ll be less likely to leave because of the hassle of switching and having to mess with settings at home, on your phone, tablet, office, etc. It’s easier to keep things the way they are instead of having to mess with it. I get it.
Quality email hosting comes with some amazing features, like support, search capabilities, backups, and auto-responders.
- IMAP is what most people have. It’s cheap and comes with no bells or whistles. It does require you to know the settings if you’re going to install it on difference devices. You can typically get dozens of addresses as part of your website hosting for often no cost at all. You will eventually reach the max of your allotted storage, but it works—just don’t expect much.
- Exchange is MUCH higher quality. All you have to do is enter your email and password to install and sync it on a new device. This will sync your messages, contacts, calendar, has additional mobile options, 100GB of storage, and backup services. This is a powerful option that will cost around $10 a month (per email account).
- Microsoft Office comes loaded with options and features galore at $8 a month. You can read more about it here if you wish.
Regardless of WHO hosts your domain, where it’s hosted, where your email is hosted, and regardless of what you’re paying—it should be in YOUR CONTROL. You should be the admin, know your login info, passwords. From there, you can grant users access as you see fit.
If any of this resonates with you, and you would like some help, we can refer you to world-class companies in all these areas with 24/7 support. They have friendly people who are good at these services and are happy to help walk you through any issues.