Choose Your Hosting Clients Selectively
Should you be selective about the kinds of clients you want to use your site? It may seem strange to filter out perfectly good (and by “good” I mean “paying”) clients, but it's a strategy that a lot of small businesses are currently taking to heart. Why?
The Concept Behind Selectivity
A few bad sites can ruin a hosting company's reputation. How? Consider this scenario: more than five adult sites have signed up to host with your company. All five of those adult sites have been flagged by Google for having inappropriate content. Suddenly, your company's name winds up on a hosting news site like this one. Before you know it, people have begun to associate your hosting company with those bad sites.
It doesn't take much to ruin a reputation. It takes even less if it's a small business reputation that is fragile. A company like Amazon can deal with negative press thanks to large marketing teams, but you may not have that luxury. It's tough to take down a bunch of bad press when it happens, so it's better to avoid it in the first place. But, there's just one more part to this equation: how do you know who is going to set up one of those dangerous sites?
How to Be Selective
Hosting companies don't generally dig too deep into the happenings of soon-to-be websites. When a site owner signs up with a hosting company, that site tends to be set up without too much investigation on the part of the hosting company. This could be a mistake, though. It's a much better idea to ask each client what kind of site they intend to set up.
Adult hosting sites aren't the only types of sites to be wary of. You'll want to filter out any site that attempts illegal activity, can be a magnet for viruses and complains, and might cause a lot of bad press. It's hard to tell people that they can't set up a particular type of website, but you have to think about your company in the long run.
Choose Your Hosting Clients Selectively: The Fine Print
My advice is this: don't beat around the bush when it comes to a hosting contract. Let your prospective clients know that you have certain rules, and make sure that those rules are clearly labeled. Some hosting companies bury site restrictions amidst lots of fine print, and this can be tough for clients to find and read. Don't be one of those companies.
If you start off with a positive reputation and positive press, you will soon find that the right kinds of clients follow. For some reason, hosting owners tend to think that the “bad” type of sites are those sites that have the most money – this can be true when it comes to advertising, but weight the costs of that money compared to a damaged reputation. It's not worth it in the long run. Really.
Need some help filtering out clients? Do you think that this is a bad or good idea? Leave us a note below.