Whew. I just launched the new version of the NOCO Hosting site. It’s been about a month in the making and a long weekend of coding, but I’m happy with it. I’m sending out a notice to all my hosting clients and an announcement about the new referral rewards plan.
I’d love to get my hosting list up to 100 clients. That’s the next big goal.
I’ve been working on my hosting site redesign for a good part of the weekend. I wanted to launch it tonight and I’m so close to being done – everything looks fine in FF, Safari, Opera, and close enough in IE8.
However, the neat little jQuery login box is not working in IE7 and 6, and of course there are other problems with IE6. Not many, but just enough to cause a headache and a couple of hours of extra work. I’m so tempted to slap a ‘you’re using IE6 and you really need to upgrade to a modern browser’ label on the site. I’m not sure if I’m going to do that or not. But I’m really tempted.
I may finish it tomorrow night. I hope so. I’m going to just hide the login box in IE6/7 and replace it with a simple form. The other IE6 issues are positioning things and will take a little longer to work out (if I decide to go there at all).
I’ve been thinking about how best to redesign my hosting company’s old site for a few weeks now – lots of sketches to go along with the content refinements I’ve made lately.
Today I started converting aspects of two of the better sketches into Photoshop and I’m happy with how the combination turned out. I’ll begin coding this as XHTML/CSS later tonight…
I finally broke down and got a Twitter account for NOCO Hosting (@nocohosting.com). And I just built a little Twitter background for it too.
I’m not sure how I’m going to use this – I can see using it for alerts and service updates, maybe special promotions, but I wonder how other hosting companies use Twitter… Other than spamming for business. I don’t intend to do that.
This morning I spent a few hours make some adjustments to my reseller hosting:
- I changed plans to quarterly and updated pricing based on the new billing frequency;
- I updated the hosting plan tables in both my studio website and hosting site to reflect the new pricing, and also to update some of the offerings my host now has, such as additional software on the server;
- I rewrote the text on my studio site to focus more on the value of having the web designer/developer also host the website;
- I modified some text on the hosting site to reflect new prices and new specs from the host.
I also discovered that WHMCS had a new release – I’d noticed that there was a problem in one of the portal template pages, but the upgrade took care of it. Oh – and I noticed that my host is offering a free guide to reseller hosting, a big PDF download, so I got a copy of that.
I wrote up a short page to give to new clients describing why I’d like them to choose my hosting services:
- All hosts do things a little differently and I will bill at the hourly rate to work on unfamiliar servers;
- I won’t be able to easily contact their hosting support if needed;
- Most important, I host my own business sites and know how reliable my services are.
This effort is just a part of the wide-ranging ‘business mod’ that I’m working my way through. I’m confident I’ll have a much tighter process in place when I finish in the next couple of months.
This week didn’t start off so well, but it ended much better.
Because I was frustrated by a situation with a project, I forced myself to learn how to do something that will be of great benefit to my business. I love learning new things and I was irritated enough to sit down and work my way through most of it in a day, focusing on that and nothing else.
Now I have this brand new skill, something that’s in demand by clients and I know how to do it myself. That feels very good.
A panic-inducing problem with reseller hosting this morning led me to two good results.
First, I learned that HostGator can restore an account from backup in minutes. Go HostGator!
Second, I integrated my hosting account management software’s client side into my hosting website with a lot of styling effort. For several years, I’d spend many hours updating my custom templates whenever WHMCS came out with an update. It was frustrating and time-consuming.
This morning one of my clients pointed out that he had trouble submitting a support ticket. It was a templating problem, something I’d missed in the last WHMCS update. I turned on one of the default template sets and turned off my custom ones…
It’s no longer integrated, but the new support portal does look pretty good and it’s entirely functional. I made a few little changes and added links back to the main part of my website, but for the most part, I will never again have to touch these templates, even when a new release of the software comes out. So that’s a good thing too.