Scaling Your Ecommerce Business With Cloud Hosting Services

You’ve probably heard that cloud hosting is better than shared because it offers better disaster recovery, more security, server monitoring, automatic software updates, and flexibility. All of that is true. Cloud hosting occupies a paradigm above shared hosting.

Right Scale’s 2017 State of the Cloud Report found 95% of respondents are now using cloud technology as their preferred enterprise strategy. It’s popular because it scales up resources on demand, so many firms have found it makes sense to host their e-commerce website in the cloud.

Shared hosting cannot scale up your resources as needed (bandwidth is a particularly critical item), and with the cloud, you only pay for what you use. The availability of on-demand resources makes cloud hosting essential if you plan to scale your e-commerce business.

Cloud hosting supports all other efforts to scale your business

Scaling your e-commerce business requires strategy and planning to ensure your growth is supported by available resources. For example, many e-commerce businesses achieve growth by outsourcing a good portion of the development.

According to, plenty of well-known, large startups owe their success to outsourced development, including Slack, Skype, Klout, Github, Basecamp, and Opera. Outsourcing tasks to teams in other countries empowered these firms to build their infrastructure at a fraction of what an in-house team would have cost.

The money saved by outsourcing allows for faster development and expansion, and more funds are available for non-negotiable expenses. When you expand rapidly on a shared hosting account, you’re one traffic spike away from a crashed website and lost sales, unfortunately.

Shared hosting means a provider places multiple users on one server with finite resources. Shared servers can be powerful machines with 16 cores and several hundred gigs of RAM. That’s a powerhouse with plenty of resources, but providers often assign too many users to one server, and that limits the number of resources available to each website.

Scaling an e-commerce business requires available server resources

Availability of server resources to support the demands of a growing website is imperative. Your website exists as files on a server, and when someone accesses your website, that server’s resources are called up for use.

Traditionally, servers have had finite resources. Servers are computers, after all. On a shared hosting account, you’ll have access to only one server with finite resources.

When you get a surge in traffic — the way you might experience during a Black Friday sale — if that traffic demands more resources than your provider wants you to use, your site will crash.

Cloud hosting avoids this risk by connecting multiple web servers so your website can draw on the resources of a cluster, not just one. This prevents any single server from crashing and can keep your website up during periods of unexpected heavy traffic.

In other words, cloud hosting providers want you to have access to more resources when you need them. Your e-commerce website needs to be available 24/7 to customers, especially during special sales and seasonal jumps. Cloud hosting is the solution to make that work.

Moving away from shared hosting will save your business

Shared hosting plans are cheap. Some cost as little as $3.95/month, provided you’re willing to pay for three years up front.

If you’re running a small site and don’t have to process payments, shared hosting might be all right. When you’re running a professional e-commerce store and have plans to expand and maybe even dominate your industry, shared hosting could hurt you.

How shared hosting hurts your e-commerce business

  • Shared hosting isn’t really “unlimited. Shared hosting plans have appeal. They’re sold as “unlimited” because the provider knows most websites won’t use a fraction of the available resources. But there is a limit to the number of resources one account can use, if demand spikes. These limits can usually be found in the hosting provider’s Terms of Service agreement. When you exceed your limits, you won’t get a friendly email reminder; your host will shut you down and your customers will wander elsewhere.
  • Watchdog scripts meant to preserve resources actually kill your business. Many shared hosts have a watchdog script installed to monitor the resources used by each account. They run additional scripts to kill user processes when they’re using too many resources. This sounds like a good way to preserve resources, but if you’re running a business, it translates to lost sales. For example, if your website is using too much RAM, the script will terminate your processes and serve 400 “Bad Request” or 500 “Internal Server” browser errors to your visitors. Some scripts terminate processes even when the account isn’t using anywhere near its fair share of the server’s resources. It can be an arbitrary call made by the hosting provider’s automated algorithm.The bottom line is, you can’t scale an e-commerce business on a server that could make your website unavailable when you increase your traffic and are poised for success.

How Skylands cloud hosting supports your e-commerce business

  • Access to more resources on-demand. Instead of monitoring resource usage and cutting you off, cloud hosting monitors your resource usage and allocates more resources as you need them. For example, say your traffic spikes after you’ve sent out an email promotion. A cloud hosting account will recognize that spike in traffic and call up extra resources to prevent your site from going offline, and it happens automatically. With Skylands cloud hosting, you can promote deals any time without worrying that a successful promotion might crash your site.
  • Pay for what you use. With traditional hosting plans, you pay for all the resources to which you have access, whether you use them or not. For instance, if you want to have additional resources available in case you need to cover holiday traffic, you have to pay for them year round. With cloud hosting, you pay for additional resources only as you use them.
  • Disaster recovery. If anything happens to your website, offsite backups are waiting to take over and preserve your online presence.

How cloud hosting helps you scale your business with load balancing

Load balancing is a process that uses an algorithm to distribute incoming traffic across various nodes to minimize the impact on any one resource. Load balancers also monitor the health of resources to ensure they’re sending traffic only to healthy instances. If any instance is overburdened, traffic gets directed elsewhere.

The more your business grows, the more traffic you’ll receive. Your web server needs to be able to keep up with those demands. Cloud hosting won’t let you down.

Ready to move to the cloud?

You’ve got a business to run. You need a reliable host that won’t shut you down when you start to expand. Contact Skylands today and we’ll answer all your questions about cloud hosting and why you should make the move.

5 Strategies To Grow Your Online Business

You’re probably familiar with the standard advice for growing your online business: create quality content, generate an email list, use social media, optimize your website, and deliver on your promises. This advice is solid, but there’s more to growing a business than how you deliver your product. If you’ve been following the standard advice for a while and don’t see much improvement, these five strategies will help:

#1 Focus on improving your customer service

Your customer service interactions shape customer perception, whether it’s through email, live chat, bot chats, or phone calls. You can always grow your business by improving your customer service.

Statistics show U.S. companies lose $62 billion a year due to poor customer service. A whopping 33% of Americans reported they’d consider switching to a competitor after one instance of poor customer service. What constitutes poor customer service for many people has evolved to include not responding to emails within several hours. Consumers expect an immediate or near-immediate response from a customer service inquiry. This means the first step to improving your customer service is to provide it around the clock.

The next step is to ensure the quality of service provided is top-notch. You want to resolve issues to the customer’s satisfaction and go above and beyond their expectations. For example, when a customer contacts your company for a no-questions-asked refund three days after their return period ended, give it to them anyway. They’ll say wonderful things about you to their friends, and probably write you a good review online.

#2 Improve your products and services; change what doesn’t work

Running a successful online business depends on your ability to continually make sales for as long as you want to remain in business. Your potential for growth directly depends on how well you can evolve your products or services to meet the changing needs of your customers. For example, Best Buy has been selling computer electronics since 1983, and their inventory changes based on the current trending technology. For example, in 1983, Best Buy sold VCRs. In the 1990s, they started selling surround sound systems, and in 2008, they began promoting Blu-ray discs and players. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a VCR in any current electronics store that isn’t coupled with a DVD player, and even that’s rare.

Like Best Buy, your products and services should naturally evolve based on current trends and the feedback you get from customers. Unless you’re selling household cleaning tools, your products probably aren’t timeless.

Eliminate choices, don’t add more

Many retailers mistakenly believe that offering 20 styles of the same item will help consumers find something they really like. The truth is, more choices lead to fewer purchases, as was discovered in the famous “jam experiment.”

In 2000, psychologists Sheena Iyengar and Mark Lepper offered samples of 24 flavors of jam outside a supermarket. The next day, they sampled only 6 flavors. When just 6 flavors were offered, 30% of tasters made a purchase. The first day’s sampling of 24 flavors attracted more tasters, but only 3% made a purchase.

When working out ways to improve your products, eliminate excessive choices and options, don’t add more. With a smaller selection, you can focus on improving the existing selections or trade them out for better options.

For example, say you’re running an ice cream shop and have 40 flavors, but people rarely order the unconventional flavors. Eliminate what doesn’t sell and stick to what does. The few people who ordered pistachio fudge will probably be just as happy with another fudge flavor.

In-N-Out – Southern California’s most famous drive-through hamburger business – built an empire around simple selections. You can have a hamburger, a cheeseburger, or a double cheeseburger. Their only side is fresh-cut French fries, and their milkshakes come in chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry. They’ve never given in to the craze of constantly creating new milkshake flavors as Starbucks does with their blended drinks, and they’ve been financially stable since 1948. In-N-Out’s creator, Harry Snyder, had a motto: “keep it simple; do one thing, and do it the best you can.”

#3 Stop listening to general gurus and heed advice from industry experts

General gurus are the people who say their strategies and systems will help every business owner regardless of industry. Chances are, they’ve repackaged basic business advice. It’s not that you won’t get value from their services, but they probably aren’t offering anything you don’t already know or have free access to.

The other reason general gurus aren’t the best source of advice is that there isn’t one formula that will work for everyone. The top gurus contradict each other when giving advice to business owners. Not because they’re sharing bad advice, but because they all have different ways of operating in the world.

An industry expert, on the other hand, can provide deep insight into your market and help you figure out what makes them tick. They might have ideas for how you can implement their wisdom, but once you know what to do, you’re free to get it done however you see fit.

#4 Hire an outside expert to take over your business (temporarily)

If you’re struggling in any area, hiring an outsider to take over temporarily might be your best road to recovering lost profits. It’s common to hire a consultant, but it’s most effective to allow that consultant to run the show for a short period of time.

If you resist the idea of handing over your business to an outsider, put yourself in the consultant’s position. Imagine being an expert in digital marketing psychology, and a company hires you as a consultant. You’ll be more effective if that company would give you carte blanche to make improvements than you would be if you were only allowed to make suggestions. The company could see soaring subscriber and open rates by the next day if they’d let you make immediate changes. Limited to making suggestions, you won’t see drastic results.

#5 Set clearly defined and measurable goals

You may have heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals. It’s an acronym for creating specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals. An example of a SMART goal would be to generate 100 new email subscribers by 8:00 P.M. next Friday. That’s a simple goal, but that’s also the point.

The problem many business owners face is having lofty goals that are not specific or time-bound, which makes them harder or impossible to meet. For example, if your goal is to become a millionaire by the time you’re 35, it’s not impossible, but you’re unlikely to achieve it the way it’s phrased. To turn that into a SMART goal, you need to start by defining exactly how much money will make you a millionaire at 35. You need to know what you’re aiming for in order to create a plan of action.

Then, you’ll need to work out how much money you need to generate each year and each month to reach your goal at 35, accounting for expenses and taxes. Chances are, with enough thought, a lofty goal will start to feel unrealistic, and that’s a good thing. It means you can narrow down your goal to something realistic and achievable, rather than living inside of a pipe dream that never comes to fruition.

You have to know what you’re trying to accomplish to create a plan of action. Without a time-bound deadline, a goal will seem open-ended and lose priority.

Experiment with different strategies

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to building and growing a successful business. Heed advice from others with a grain of salt when they’re not in your industry and learn to extract the essence of their strategy rather than attempt to recreate it. The strategies that stand the test of time are the ones that focus on improving your customer relationships, and customer service is where it all begins.

Website Live Chat Could Improve Your Conversions By 45%

In the arena of digital marketing, business owners focus their efforts on increasing a handful of conversions. Sales, email signups, AD clicks, and video views are among the most sought after.

But actually, any action you want a visitor to take can be treated as a conversion. Conversion is the process of turning a curious visitor to a committed participant, whether the commitment consists of making a purchase or consuming your content.

According to digital marketing expert Neil Patel, making live chat available on your site can boost your conversions by up to 45%, and he shares data and strategies to back it up. Patel notes the average conversion rate is about 2.35%.

A chat study released by ApexChat revealed that live chat can increase online leads by 40%. Patel was able to engineer a 45% increase for one of his clients, but he says anyone can do it.

He calls live chat “instant customer service,” but Patel notes that few businesses use live chat correctly because they don’t know how. If you’re committed to boosting conversions, this article will help you incorporate live chat into your website in a way that will be effective.

Live chat is a customer service tool

Live chat is the preferred form of customer service in terms of satisfaction. eDigital’s Customer Service Benchmark surveyed 2,000 consumers to find out which customer service channel pleased them the most.

It turned out that live chat has the highest satisfaction levels, at 73%, followed by email (61%), and phone (44%). Emails can seem to take forever to garner a reply. Phone support users are frustrated by long wait times, being put on hold, and automated answering systems.

Live chat is instant, and it should meet the requirements of any other customer service format you provide. For example, live chat should:

  • Ensure customer satisfaction by answering pre-purchase questions, help a customer place an order, or provide support for making a return
  • Support an ongoing, positive customer relationship
  • Create an empathic and courteous interaction
  • Be powered by knowledgeable representatives
  • Offer prompt solutions to complaints
  • Fully resolve issues or escalate the problem to the right team
  • Satisfy the customer’s needs without making them feel the need to call headquarters to speak to the CEO

Most important, live chat should be … live.

Live chat shouldn’t be powered by a bot

Many businesses sense the potential power of offering live chat, but they compromise with software that provides automated responses, otherwise known as a bot. It’s okay when the bot’s job is to gather information to route a customer to the right human representative. It’s just not a good strategy for helping the person.

Chatbots powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) would change everything, but despite what’s been reported, AI bots don’t exist. AI is a misunderstood technology. The term “Artificial Intelligence” is being erroneously applied to any computer program that uses machine learning to increase its capacity to respond, but that’s not AI.

Until a chatbot can process incoming information autonomously and identify and respond to nuance, customers will know they’re talking to a machine.

Your customers want live interactions

Live chat is attractive to consumers not because they can type into a magic box on the screen, but because they sense the person at the other end is real. Customers are disappointed when they receive automated replies that don’t address the nuances of their question.

Even the most sophisticated chatbot can only answer questions it’s been programmed to answer. And it’s safe to say, even if a bot could answer questions exactly like a human, the experience would be ruined if customers ever found out they were talking to a robot.

Nicolas Cole from interviewed a representative from live chat software company Tagove — a firm whose well-known clients include Citibank and Upwork, among others. “Live chat adds that human touch that can’t be replicated elsewhere,” the company rep said.

“Even though much of the industry is moving toward automation, us included, everyone is hyper-aware of maintaining the human element. Chat software is what builds confidence in a user’s web experience.”

Bots can’t identify or respond to nuance, nor can they read human emotion to deescalate a complaint or deliver above-and-beyond customer service. They can answer simple questions, and a smart bot can hold a longer conversation, but none of them can provide authentic customer service.

If you’re going to use bot-powered software, don’t call it live chat. Doing so will frustrate, confuse, and anger some customers when they realize what’s happening.

Live chat gives customers instant gratification

Immediately available, live customer service reps are essential. In today’s IoT-connected world, consumers expect companies to be available around the clock. A large number of consumers prefer live chat because they don’t want to be put on hold for even a minute.

A chat box should never disrupt the visitor’s experience

Live chat should be noticeable, yet unobtrusive, to visitors. There’s no need to present a live chat box as a popup in a modal window upon a visitor’s arrival.

Not only does this prevent your visitors from seeing your call-to-action, but popups are an intrusion in the digital environment. If a visitor has to close a chat box to get to your content, that increases the likelihood that he or she won’t come back.

Skip the chat box pop up. Place your chat box strategically in the lower right corner of the screen. Remember to allow visitors to minimize the chat box and don’t force it to stay open and cover your content.

Chat agents should be available at all times

Once you’ve committed to making live chat available on your website, you need to manage the availability of chat agents. You may have to outsource to an outside company for the hours your firm is closed, or totally outsource your live chat. That’s up to you.

Make sure the live chat software you choose lets you designate hours of availability so people know when a live chat agent isn’t available.

Live chat should be accessible via mobile devices

There’s no way to avoid the mobile environment we now inhabit. You should have a mobile-friendly website already, but that’s not enough.

Since a majority of people use mobile devices to browse the Internet, it makes sense that 62% of shoppers expect access to live chat from their mobile devices. If you’ve had a live chat feature for a while, you might need to replace it with mobile-compatible software.

Does your web host support live chat?

If you’re unable to install live chat software due to an incompatible hosting environment, contact us to find out how we can help. We offer boutique hosting plans that are tailored to meet the needs of every company. Reach out to discuss how we can accommodate your needs.


Why Your Website Must Be SSL Compliant

As internet technology evolves, website best practices transform from courtesies to mandatory elements. For example, firewalls were once used only by tech-savvy enthusiasts. Today, most people wouldn’t dream of using a computer without a firewall. With cybercrime on the rise, providing an encrypted connection has become one of many security elements visitors have come to expect.

Website security is a big deal. Every bit of data transferred across a network is susceptible to being intercepted mid-transfer. While encryption can’t prevent hackers from stealing data, it does ensure stolen data remains unreadable. Encryption uses a complex algorithm to scramble data streaming across a network, making it unreadable by anyone without a decryption key.

Secure Socket Layer encryption, or SSL, is a high-level encryption standard that uses both asymmetric and symmetric keys to authenticate data and secure it. SSL uses a public key from the website server and a private key from the user’s browser. Since both keys are needed, an SSL certificate is a package of information that delivers a public key to the user.

Once a secure connection is made, all data transfers are constantly encrypted in real time by something called a cipher. This is where the word “decipher” comes from. When you decipher data, you convert it into normal language.

When an SSL encrypted connection is terminated, so is the private encryption key; a new key is generated for each connection. To learn about SSL encryption in-depth, check out this Beginner’s Guide to SSL.

Website encryption has been standard for a while, but some website owners have been dragging their feet. If you haven’t given serious consideration to securing your website with SSL, here’s why you can’t put it off any longer:

SSL protects your visitors from identity theft

You care about your visitors – they’re the reason you’re in business. Protecting their data from hackers should be your number one priority.

Chances are, visitors submit some kind of information through a web form on your website. It could be a simple signup form, an account login page, or a complete e-commerce transaction requiring credit card information. All of this data is susceptible to theft and should, therefore, be encrypted.

It makes sense to encrypt an e-commerce website that handles credit card information, but what if you don’t sell anything on your website? What if you run a blog, and only collect email addresses from your followers? Even if your visitors only submit their name and email address, that transmission needs to be encrypted because hackers piece together information from various sources to eventually steal someone’s identity.

All visitor data needs to be protected

Any website with user accounts should use SSL encryption to prevent account information from being stolen. Stolen account information is how cybercriminals obtain enough information for identity theft.

Against good advice, many people reuse passwords for multiple accounts. Once a hacker has an email address and a password, they’ll use that password to gain access to other accounts they can find. Most user accounts have a personal profile where people provide links to their other accounts; it’s all low hanging fruit for the cybercriminal. If your website visitor uses the same password for their Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram accounts, leaving their data unencrypted could cost them more than a compromised account.

Protecting your visitors’ data is no longer the only reason to use SSL. Browsers are starting to monitor and inform visitors of the presence of SSL encryption, and Google officially made SSL encryption a search ranking signal.

Using SSL makes you look better and rank better on Google

On August 6, 2014, Google reinforced its commitment to making the internet secure by informing webmasters everywhere that the presence of SSL/TLS encryption is officially a lightweight search signal. At the time, Google said the signal would affect fewer than 1% of global queries, but they might strengthen it in the future to encourage website owners to switch to HTTPS.

Browsers are telling visitors if your site is secure

A securely encrypted website connection between a client (visitor) and the server (website) is what enables the use of the HTTPS protocol. Google not only gives more weight to websites using HTTPS, but its popular browser, Chrome, warns visitors when a website is not using HTTPS.

In September of 2016, Emily Schechter from Chrome’s security team published an announcement that Chrome was going to start labeling HTTP connections non-secure. A small information icon (i) with the words “not secure” are displayed to the left of the webpage URL in the address bar. As of January 2017, all HTTP pages, including ones that collect passwords or credit card information, are being marked as non-secure. In the future, Schechter says the HTTP security warning will be a red triangle with an exclamation point in the middle, currently used for broken HTTPS.

Firefox implemented a similar strategy to warn of password security vulnerabilities. When login credentials are requested over HTTP, Firefox gives a warning to the user by placing a red slash through a lock symbol in the URL bar. According to the Firefox security team, each page is checked against the W3C’s Secure Contexts Specification to determine whether it’s secure.

Firefox and Chrome are popular browsers, and these warnings may not look sinister today, but given time, they will evolve, and it’s only a matter of time before visitors start bouncing from unsecured websites.

SSL protects public Wi-Fi users unaware of potential threats

A secure browser connection prevents Man-In-The-Middle (MITM) attacks, which are fairly common, especially on public Wi-Fi.

Unfortunately, consumers don’t realize the urgency of securing their own data over public Wi-Fi. Studies have shown that over 60% of Wi-Fi users believe their personal information is protected when using public internet. About 50% don’t know they’re responsible for securing their own data, with 36% believing it’s either the website owner or Wi-Fi providers job.

Although everyone should do their part to protect their data, at the end of the day, the website owner will take the legal blame if data gets stolen. Even when a consumer is careless with data security, they can sue a business for any data breach that caused them provable harm.

Get hosting from a provider that offers SSL

Your visitors depend on you to protect their data. You might not have SSL enabled, or you might find it difficult to implement site-wide. At Skylands, we offer SSL encryption and handle the setup for you.

Contact us today to find out how our fully managed boutique hosting can create a secure website connection for your visitors.

How To Spot A Reliable, Secure Web Host

A high level of customer satisfaction doesn’t necessarily mean a web host is reliable or secure. A customer is satisfied when their needs have been met. Most web hosting customers have simple needs, and wouldn’t notice if a host lacked specific security features.

In this regard, the majority of web hosting customers are easy to satisfy. As long as their website stays online and their email isn’t interrupted, they’re happy.

Happy customers often post reviews sharing their positive experiences, but a positive review doesn’t equal a secure experience. Some customers use the word ‘secure’ in their review without ever having an experience that tested or proved the existence of security. In their world, their site is secure because they’ve never experienced a problem. In reality, their site might have multiple vulnerabilities just waiting for a cybercriminal to find.

For example, many people wouldn’t know if their host provides them with an SSL certificate because they don’t need one. At least they think they don’t need one.

This July, Chrome began displaying warning messages on all non-SSL websites that the site is ‘not secure.’ In response, hosting companies have started offering free SSL certificates to customers. The truth is, an SSL certificate has become necessary to earn a visitor’s trust because just filling out an unencrypted web form can result in a data breach.

Rave reviews will tell you a company has excellent customer service, but to find a truly secure web host, further investigation is needed. Here’s what to look for:

What secure services does the web host provide?

Figuring out if a web host is secure begins with knowing what secure services they provide. The following services are considered best practices in the hosting industry:

  • Backup and restore points: With all hosting accounts, you’re responsible for backing up your website. Web hosts don’t guarantee their backups because anything can happen to digital files. Regardless, good hosts will provide backup and restore services that either run automatically or can be manually configured. Some will help you restore your site from backup files, and others will go the distance to restore corrupted files.
  • Firewalls: Firewalls are a standard in website security and help prevent attacks that crash websites. It helps to know what kind of intrusions your web host’s firewall is likely to stop, and what other security measures they have in place.
  • Antivirus and malware scans/removal: You’ll probably have to pay for these services since they eat up precious resources, but your host should make them available to you.
  • Disaster recovery: Does your web host have a bare-metal image of your server to recover from a system failure in a pinch? If they do, your website is in good hands. Disaster recovery is more than saving a copy of your files. It begins with encrypted data backups and also involves a plan for file restoration and database recovery.
  • Redundant hardware and software: Your English teacher told you to avoid redundancy, but that doesn’t apply to web servers. Having redundant hardware protects against downtime caused by hardware failure. The same is true for software. Redundancy is best when the backup device is separate from the primary device. You can ask support about this but your host’s customer service representative may not know these finer details.
  • Load balancing: Hosting your website on a server that uses load balancing makes your site less likely to crash due to excessive traffic. The server uses an algorithm to distribute increases in traffic across multiple servers so that no single resource becomes overburdened.
  • Restricted physical access to servers: Cybercriminals and hackers aren’t the only threat you need to be aware of. Remember, servers are physical computers and must be stored Usually they’re housed in a data warehouse. With poor physical security, anyone can access and potentially sabotage the servers that house your website. If you can, find out if your host limits physical access to technicians with security clearance.
  • Strict policies for employees and their passwords: Hosting company employees have access to areas that would be a hacker’s playground. A secure hosting company will have a routine for changing passwords when an employee leaves and will have rules for not sharing passwords through unencrypted emails.

Reliability is about more than 99.9% uptime

Web hosts pride themselves on being able to offer 99.9% uptime (or higher), but are they available when you need them? In addition to having a reliable server, you need a host with a reliable team of customer support agents who respond to requests and resolve issues to your satisfaction.

If you’re going through customer reviews, look for reviews describing pleasant interactions with chat agents and phone representatives that ended in resolution.

Transparency from start to finish

You should have no problem relying on your host to provide you with accurate information in a straightforward manner. What you see should be what you get. If you can’t figure it out, keep looking.

Many popular hosting companies try to bring in customers through misleading prices. For example, they’ll publish an unbeatable low monthly price, but the catch is you must buy three years of hosting at once to get the deal.

They don’t tell you the real cost until the end of the checkout process. If you decide to make the purchase anyway, when your three years are up, you find out the deal ends with it, and you’ve got to pay full price. Many people choose to switch hosts at this point.

There are professional hosting companies that don’t need to obscure hosting plan details to get customers. Skylands Networks is one of those companies. Our base prices are transparent, and we will customize any hosting plan to meet your specific business needs.

We employ best practices including load balancing, disaster recovery, security scanning, firewalls, and patch management.

We also offer server monitoring so you can define your own criteria to monitor more than just server up/down status. You can run premade conditional responses to thwart problems before a critical alert is triggered.

If you’re looking for a reliable host that takes security seriously, contact us today for boutique website hosting tailored to your specific business needs.