There comes a time with every web host, when they feel they have outgrown their current services they provide, and they want to do more than just web hosting. When a web host diversifies into other things, they often branch out internally or with the help of a third party into other services. If you are a web host out there looking for a way to branch out, I have a few suggestions that you might want to look into.
Domain Name Registration – This one is the most obvious additional service a web host can provide. Who doesn’t want to give customers the ability to register a domain and buy the hosting in one place? By doing so, you keep you customers from looking elsewhere for one of the most important add-ons you could branch out into.
Backup Hosting – Many web hosts move into backup hosting too. You could provide off site personal backup as a secondary service, or you could offer a subscription based service for the customer’s web site backup and the process of restoring that backup.
SEO or Marketing Services – When it comes to selling search engine optimization or any sort of marking packages, make sure you have the support team to back you up. This sort of service has a bad reputation, because many people see it as selling snake oil. It is a tricky one to show real results from, so if you do move into the SEO and marketing business, just make sure you provide your customers with the goods.
Gift Cards – Providing gift cards can be an excellent way to make yourself look more compassionate about the customer’s needs. It might not make loads of money, but providing a way to give your services as a present is never a bad thing. It could help out beginning web hosting gurus, and help young webmasters in getting their first works on the Web.
Affiliate Programs – Why sell your web hosting plans yourself when you can get somebody else to do it for you? By giving people a “finder’s fee” when they bring you a new customer, you give your community a reward, just for sharing their opinion. Now it might be hard to lure affiliate professionals, when some companies pay 95% of their profit to affiliates, but start out low and work your way up.
Web Site Design – Like domain name registration, offering a web site design service or an internally built WYSIWYG editor is another nice extra service to add. It is one of those web hosting necessities that everybody needs, and not everybody has the time to do themselves.
Other Flavors of Web Hosting – When it comes to adding extra services, do not just look at things outside web hosting. You could offer more web hosting plans. For example, if you only provide shared web hosting right now, you could move into VPS or dedicated web hosting services. You could even make shared hosting plans that are a little cheaper (with less extras) or a shared hosting plan that is a little more expensive (with more extras).
There are many ways a web hosting company can diversify. The important thing to remember is to keep your quality of the service as high as possible for each new service you provide. I have seen web hosts launch a new product, then forget about it the next month, too many times. Make sure you give yourself ample time to build up each new service you decide to provide.
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