Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Western Montana
    Posts
    261

    Default Email & web hosting question

    Not new in business, but have had email, web site, etc through a group provider up until now. Looking at all the things everyone else does when starting up a new business, though my concerns are a little different because I don't want to lose touch with my current referral base.

    1. Anyone can get an email account through Yahoo, Google, etc. How advantageous is it to have an email address and domain name patterned off your company name? i.e. joesmith@yahoo.com versus joe@homeinspector.com?

    2. For those that have business web host services with email included - how reliable is your email service? (and who do you use?) Yahoo and Google seem stable with 100% uptime. Everything I read about web host providers is that they all suffer some downtime, which I can not tolerate since email has become such a critical part of my business communications.

    3. Web sites are less critical than email reliability. And I suspect that the financial value of having a website is partly based on your regional location.
    Still, how important is a web site to your business? Even if it is not a significant source of referrals, at least it can be useful to refer the price shoppers to for info, sample reports, client reviews, etc.

    4. For those that are paying for web hosting services, who do you use, how easy are the controls and web design tools, and most important, do they have reliable uptime?

    side note: NACHI seems to be popular around where I live (I don't belong yet, but may be soon). How are their web site services? My concern about that would be that my site would look just like everyone else.


    Thanks

    Similar Threads:
    F.I.R.E. Services

  2. #2
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Email & web hosting question

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Beck View Post
    Not new in business, but have had email, web site, etc through a group provider up until now. Looking at all the things everyone else does when starting up a new business, though my concerns are a little different because I don't want to lose touch with my current referral base.

    1. Anyone can get an email account through Yahoo, Google, etc. How advantageous is it to have an email address and domain name patterned off your company name? i.e. joesmith@yahoo.com versus joe@homeinspector.com?

    2. For those that have business web host services with email included - how reliable is your email service? (and who do you use?) Yahoo and Google seem stable with 100% uptime. Everything I read about web host providers is that they all suffer some downtime, which I can not tolerate since email has become such a critical part of my business communications.

    3. Web sites are less critical than email reliability. And I suspect that the financial value of having a website is partly based on your regional location.
    Still, how important is a web site to your business? Even if it is not a significant source of referrals, at least it can be useful to refer the price shoppers to for info, sample reports, client reviews, etc.

    4. For those that are paying for web hosting services, who do you use, how easy are the controls and web design tools, and most important, do they have reliable uptime?

    side note: NACHI seems to be popular around where I live (I don't belong yet, but may be soon). How are their web site services? My concern about that would be that my site would look just like everyone else.


    Thanks
    If you do not have a website or do not utilize it well then of course you do not get much work from it. If you are busy with Realtor referrals then a website will only add to it increasing your business.

    I am not sure why you say websites work only regionally. I say that is pretty foolish thinking (no insult intended) as the world is hooked into the website for about everything today. No matter where you live everyone searches the internet, including in the middle of no where.

    I use aplus.net for hosting and I use their website builder. I actually have 2 websites thru them but only really work on the one.

    I keep things simple to set myself apart from everyone elses website and those are the folks that call me. The ones that like hype and fluff go to all the other websites but they still call me out of curiosity. More than not today folks are tired of being sold the miracle cure and snake oil, no matter how true all the fluff is.

    The website builder allows you to build a website with ease and you can make it your own style or blend in with everyone else. There are a lot of templates to start out with. Website builder, hosting for the year, countless emails, that I do not use by the way unless folks send me an email from my website.

    I have only a handful of Realtors that refer me but try as I may to not market them they increase in numbers all the time.

    In short, I do not do much marketing to Realtors, at all. I would like to be busier all the time but I have a hard time doing something I truly believe home inspectors should not do because I believe Realtors should be completely out of the business of referring any inspector or even group of inspectors.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: Email & web hosting question

    1. Advantageous? In what way? My e-mail is nick@strongfoundations.com. I like it just for continuity but I personally wouldn't place any stock in the whether or not somebody had a yahoo or gmail address as opposed to an address that included their company name.

    2. I have used Yahoo for my web hosting and business e-mail for 8+ years. Yes, there have been occasional glitches but they have been 99.9% reliable for me.

    3. My website is my bread and butter. If it wasn't for that, I'd be shlepping around realtor offices trying to look like I liked them.

    4. Yahoo. No issues.

    side note: I have no experience with INACHI. But I know I would not want my site to look like everybody elses.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Western Montana
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: Email & web hosting question

    My main concern is reliability of email uptime, because is it a critical part of my business.

    (the comment above about regional effects of web sites was suggesting that prospective clients in different parts of the country use different ways to find a home inspector. Yeah, some people may still use the old fashioned phone book. Others mainly use realtors, others use the web. It may differ in larger metropolitan areas vs more rural areas).

    There is a thread further down this page, "Web Sites" that dates back a few years. Lots of good comments there, but I was looking for an update.

    Inspector's Edge - the online website builder for home inspectors was mentioned as a web host provider. Has anyone used this host, and is their email service reliable?


  5. #5
    Eric Russell's Avatar
    Eric Russell Guest

    Default Re: Email & web hosting question

    As far as an email address goes, I don't think the customer cares whether you're at yahoo, gmail, hotmail, or professionalinspector.com. I use yahoo, and no matter where i am or who my internet provider is, I can access my email. Trust me, I learned the hard way.

    As for the website...you gotta have one...no brainer. The question is how elaborate do you get. The answer is...as much as you can afford. Think of it like this...

    Someone puts a contract on a house, and they get on the web and type in western montana home inspectors. If you've went the inexpensive, canned template route, you'll probably be on page 3...maybe page 2. If you pay for custom that's search engine optimized and you do all the things that move you to the top, that potential client is gonna see your URL first and ,more than likely call you and the next two or three for a quote. If you're on page 3, you're not gonna have any traffic unless they pick up a brochure and see your URL. Most folks I know have smart phones and they can type in "western montana home inspector" and pull it up sitting in the realtors office. Question is...do you want to be the first perwon they call, or not? If you answered yes, then you've got your answer. Like the man said..."you can visit the realty offices and pretend to be their buds and take em chocolates and coffee mugs to get their bz, or you can be the guy at the top of the search results.

    I'm in the process right now of reconstructing my website, because the guy that did mine won't return my calls or answer my emails to make changes that I need. go ahead and turn loose of the cash if you've got it and do it right.


  6. #6
    Eric Russell's Avatar
    Eric Russell Guest

    Default Re: Email & web hosting question

    Oh yeah...as for NACHI, I'm a member and there are lots of benefits to joining. Check with your state and with NACHI to make sure their continuing education is approved by Montana. As for their website service, they use a company called Inspector Pages. They have a free website for all their members, or you can pay for custom. I have contacted Inspector Pages and left emails on several occassions, as well as left messages with NACHI, but can't get anyone to call or email me back to find out more about the websites. Good luck.


  7. #7
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Email & web hosting question

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Beck View Post
    My main concern is reliability of email uptime, because is it a critical part of my business.

    (the comment above about regional effects of web sites was suggesting that prospective clients in different parts of the country use different ways to find a home inspector. Yeah, some people may still use the old fashioned phone book. Others mainly use realtors, others use the web. It may differ in larger metropolitan areas vs more rural areas).

    There is a thread further down this page, "Web Sites" that dates back a few years. Lots of good comments there, but I was looking for an update.

    Inspector's Edge - the online website builder for home inspectors was mentioned as a web host provider. Has anyone used this host, and is their email service reliable?
    As far as up time for aplus.net I cannot remember a time other than when they merged with another company when there was even a hic up. Even when they are servicing the site the only thing you cannot do in that time frame, which is very slight and off hours, is make changes to your website. Email is also not affected. I have been with them for years.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Western Montana
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: Email & web hosting question

    Thanks for the comments.

    There is a great thread below at http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...web-sites.html You have to keep in mind that the thread starts out in 2007, but still some helpful food for thought. Good comments about web design - if you pay someone else to design it, then you are slaved to that person for any future updates. If you get a 'free' domain name, it may not really be yours to keep. etc.

    Eric, thanks for the feedback about Inspector Pages. Also, saw your location map - if you live near the Great Smokies, you must live in a very picturesque area. Possibly similar to some of the foothills around where I live.

    My frustration has been trying to review all the web host services out there, there are thousands, and more daily. And for every good comment about one such as godaddy, yahoo, or hostmonster, there is another very unhappy bunch of comments. Makes it hard to judge where you want to put your money. Unfortunately, changing my business is not coming at a good time financially, having trouble budgeting all the things I want to do to. so what else is new.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: Email & web hosting question

    Email with your own domain name: IMO, it looks more professional and permanent. As long as you have the domain name your email address domain will stay unchanged. You can change hosts all you want. Having been through 4 changes on my personal email due to ISP change, ISP buy-outs and subsequent name change, then moved from cable to FIOS, making sure the address change was made at all important places was a bugger. Not to mention all the places where I forgot to change.

    I've not had to change my business email address ever. There is no guarantee that Yahoo, Gmail, MSN, Verizon, etc. will always exist much less never have a name change. If your email address changes, what do you do with the printed material you have that has the email address on it.

    Plus, there are spam filter issues and file size limits to contend with. As a business, you can't have an ISP blocking your incoming email because their filters think it's spam.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  10. #10
    Eric Russell's Avatar
    Eric Russell Guest

    Default Re: Email & web hosting question

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Brooks View Post
    Email with your own domain name: IMO, it looks more professional and permanent. As long as you have the domain name your email address domain will stay unchanged. You can change hosts all you want. Having been through 4 changes on my personal email due to ISP change, ISP buy-outs and subsequent name change, then moved from cable to FIOS, making sure the address change was made at all important places was a bugger. Not to mention all the places where I forgot to change.

    I've not had to change my business email address ever. There is no guarantee that Yahoo, Gmail, MSN, Verizon, etc. will always exist much less never have a name change. If your email address changes, what do you do with the printed material you have that has the email address on it.

    Plus, there are spam filter issues and file size limits to contend with. As a business, you can't have an ISP blocking your incoming email because their filters think it's spam.
    I see what you're saying stuart, but some domain services don't come with email. Regardless if your stuart@stuartsinspections.com or what, you're domain email is usually a hosting benefit and is not connected to your domain except in name only. what i'm saying is, if you use...say...verizon as your IP, and your email is stuart@verizon.com, and you leave verizon, you can't take it with you. Mine was charter.net, which is a local internet and cable tv provider. When I changed IPs, the email didn't come with me. With yahoo or gmail, its universal.

    The question you pose is the very one I addressed in my last post. If you've got biz cards and brochures or other forms of advertising with the email on them, then you've go to get new. I really don't think yahoo or gmail or hotmail are going anywhere anytime soon, anyway. If they did, we're all in the hurt locker and it won't matter.

    I still contend that your email address, while "looking" more professional, won't be the swaying factor of whether or not a customer chooses you or another inspector. On the other hand, a cheap, boxed up website with no video, no links to facebook, twitter, linkedin, etc. and a blog will. I ask everybody who calls how they heard about me. Never have they said yellow pages. It's either a referral from a past customer, a realtor referral, or web search. Mostly web searches. THAT'S what Terry needs to be concentrating on. Again, that's MHO.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: Email & web hosting question

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Russell View Post
    I see what you're saying stuart, but some domain services don't come with email. Regardless if your stuart@stuartsinspections.com or what, you're domain email is usually a hosting benefit and is not connected to your domain except in name only. what i'm saying is, if you use...say...verizon as your IP, and your email is stuart@verizon.com, and you leave verizon, you can't take it with you. Mine was charter.net, which is a local internet and cable tv provider. When I changed IPs, the email didn't come with me. With yahoo or gmail, its universal.

    The question you pose is the very one I addressed in my last post. If you've got biz cards and brochures or other forms of advertising with the email on them, then you've go to get new. I really don't think yahoo or gmail or hotmail are going anywhere anytime soon, anyway. If they did, we're all in the hurt locker and it won't matter.

    I still contend that your email address, while "looking" more professional, won't be the swaying factor of whether or not a customer chooses you or another inspector. On the other hand, a cheap, boxed up website with no video, no links to facebook, twitter, linkedin, etc. and a blog will. I ask everybody who calls how they heard about me. Never have they said yellow pages. It's either a referral from a past customer, a realtor referral, or web search. Mostly web searches. THAT'S what Terry needs to be concentrating on. Again, that's MHO.
    You register a domain name. As long as you renew and pay for the domain name it is yours not an ISP or hosting service. The domain name can be moved to any host. Been there done that. I have yet to find a host service that does not provide email service. Different limits, different number of mailboxes, different sizes, but the POP or IMAP service is provided. 90% of my work comes from the web. I've put a lot of effort into SEO and ratings and I didn't pay anyone $$$$$$$$ to do it for me.

    No, a domain name email address isn't going to "sway" anyone for anything. It is part of the package and that does make a difference to those who are looking for something other that the "cheapest price".

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: Email & web hosting question

    It's MUCH more professional to have email @yourdomain.com. It's also very easy to setup, for free.

    All the sites that we host come with free email. That email though is coming from Google Apps. This is a free service (there's paid options too) which gives people up to 50 emails for their domain for free. You get the advantage of your email being hosted on Google's awesome servers, not relying on your internet company (which could change), or your web host (which you could change) and having your personal email.

    Go to Google Apps to sign up. Make sure you select the free plan. Let me know if you have any questions.

    Home Inspector Pro - Home Inspection Software & Home Inspection Website Hosting
    Runs on Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone & iPad. Import HomeGauge, 3D & InspectVue Narratives!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: Email & web hosting question

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Humphries View Post
    Well put. If you are going to do these things yourself, then you need to become a student of it.

    -
    Yes, because the criteria is constantly changing. I need to put up two more sites very similar to primary but with area specific URLs and enough difference to make it NOT a simple redirect to my primary. I should do a social networking thing but the concept itself isn't natural to me and I wouldn't be good at keeping it fresh.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: Email & web hosting question

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Humphries View Post
    In that case, take a look at this.

    -
    Might work for a while until the search engine developers realize what's going on. It might look a lot like web site farming.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: Email & web hosting question

    He means link farming which is real. It's just not what you have going. Like you said, what you have is like a series of blogs.

    Home Inspector Pro - Home Inspection Software & Home Inspection Website Hosting
    Runs on Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone & iPad. Import HomeGauge, 3D & InspectVue Narratives!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •