Changing requirements for small business hosting
Whilst there are very many small business owners that consider domain names, web hosting and e-commerce and all the associated jargon to be confusing and new, the domain and hosting industry has been around for at least 18 years.
In fact I started a domain and hosting business in the UK called NetBenefit - now Group NBT Plc - in 1994, so I know this industry about as well as anyone. Over the years, the basic services of domains, hosting and eCommerce have remained largely the same. However, the same can't be said of the type of small business person who engage with our industry to buy and use hosting services.
A decade ago the typical profile was a male aged between 18 and 35 with a keen interest in technology - your typical tech early adopter. They came to companies like Netregistry with the time and interest to discover what we did and to figure out how they could use it.
In 2012, the profile is quite different. Nowadays - somewhat paradoxically - our customers are if anything less tech savvy. Often they really don't know or care about technology at all. Nor should they. Largely we deal with business people who only know the very basics of hosting and just want to get a website up and running for their business. And they want a service provider they can trust to get it done without confusion and fuss. Where before the minutiae of features may have been relevant, today hosting services are all much the same in features and are all universally low in price (even at the top end price of say $100 per month for a shared hosting price it isn't a make or break sum for a small business). What they do care about is quality of service, reliability, reputation and technical excellence. 24x7 support is a must. A one man band renting servers in the USA is no longer good enough. And that is a good thing - you can save $50 by searching for the cheapest provider in the market, but a website down for a few days at the wrong time can cost far more than that in damage to your business - and it is far more likely to happen with a cheap and cheerful hosting provider.
Our job at Netregistry is to support our small business customers with the best quality products at the lowest possible price. But quality must come first - quality in tech, in support, in systems, processes and HR. And although our industry's customers are generally less tech savvy today than they were last decade, they are much more aware that their website is a mission critical resource for their business. As one of the largest hosting companies in Australia, we have the resources to meet that mission critical challenge and ensure your website does your business proud.