How to sell WordPress hosting to your clients at a premium

When it comes to website hosting, one of the most frustrating things that we’ve dealt with over the years is clients who use price as a major deciding factor to determine where their website should be hosted. They don’t understand that hosting packages are not created equally and that there are some that out perform others by far. So if you’re wondering how do you take penny pinching clients (you know the ones that I’m talking about) and get them willing to pay you a monthly premium to host their website…keep reading!

How To Sell The Value Of Quality Hosting

When you’re dealing with clients who are solely fixated on price, you need to get them to understand the significant role that web hosting plays (and how it can affect their sales.)  When you’re trying to get clients to comprehend the value of a kick ass, quality hosting package,  you can’t just throw out techy words and think that will be enough for them to comprehend what you’re saying.  Words like “Linux Server, PHP 7.2 and CDN” do not mean a thing to them.  So while big, fancy, industry buzzwords may sound impressive, it’s not going to convince your clients that it’s in their best interest to host with you.

How To Educate Your Clients

You need to start by using layman’s terms to educate them on the benefits of a quality hosting package. Then you need to combine their “education” with the negative impact that a low quality server could have on their business, the time wasting headaches they’ll likely face and how it can be more costly for them in the long run.

Business owners don’t want to miss out on single customer or waste time on unnecessary headaches. So once you get your clients to understand the concept that not all servers are created equally and how poor hosting can negatively affect them, there are usually very few (if any) objectives in getting them willing to pay you a premium to host their website.

Make Good On What You Promise

Just to be clear, when I say that you need to “sell the value” to your clients, while that’s true…it’s also equally true that you must be able to actually deliver what you promise. It’s super important that you are actually selling clients a high quality service that is beneficial to them. Otherwise, you are going to have pissed off clients who feel that you conned them into overpaying for a service they could have gotten at a much cheaper price. The hosting package that we offer to our clients is something that we 100% stand by (in fact it’s what we use for our own sites.)

The 6 Benefits To Help You Sell Hosting At A Premium

Below are the 6 benefits that we present to our clients and in turn get many of them to host with us (and how we were able to go from charging $39 per month for hosting to $75 per month.) Keep in mind some of the benefits that we are able to include in our hosting package is because they are included in our WP Engine reseller hosting package.

Important Note: Under each of the benefits headings (below) there is a section that describes how we start the process of explaining / educating our clients about that benefit. Then it’s followed by an “Our Response To Clients” section which is how we further explain to our clients what the benefit is to them and also addresses the negative consequences that can arise if they host their website on server that doesn’t include what our does.

Feel free to use the list below to help get your clients to understand the benefits of hosting with you. If you offer different benefits in your hosting package you can still use this list as a starting point and then tweak it to your needs.

Let’s get started!

Benefit 1:  We Handle All Server Related Issues

If you host with us and something should go wrong with the server, we will promptly handle it at no cost to you.

Client Asks:
How does this benefit me?

Our Response To Clients: 
Sometimes servers experience an issue that cause a website to go down.  Some of these issues can be time consuming to troubleshoot and resolve. By hosting with us, you won’t need to waste any of your time getting this resolved and it will save you from the headache of dealing with hosting customer support. However, if you choose to not host with us and an issue arises, you will be responsible for getting it resolved. If you need us to assist with your server issue, it will be invoiced by the time spent (at $75 / hour) and will be addressed when our schedule permits.

Why This Works:
As you can imagine your client probably does not have the slightest clue where to begin when it comes to troubleshooting a server problem.  If you let them know if they don’t host with you that they’ll be the ones who have to fix the issue or pay you your hourly rate, it gets them thinking.  They know that they don’t understand the first thing when it comes to dealing with servers, so more than likely they’ll end up spending extra money to pay you anytime an issue arises.  So when they hear that if they host with you that you’ll handle taking care of any server related issues and they won’t have to pay extra for it, they start to understand how it benefits them.

Benefit 2: A SSL Certificate Is Included

Client Asks:
How does this benefit me? 

Our Response To Clients: 
SSL Certificates display a tiny green padlock next to your domain and indicate that your website is secure. This helps let the people visiting your site know that they can browse the site with confidence. Also, Google is taking strides to make the web as secure as possible and now wants all websites to have a valid SSL Certificate.  Websites that don’t have a SSL Certificate will display a message stating that they are not secure (which can deter people from visiting your website, hence miss out on potential customers..a.k.a money.)

Google has also announced that not having an SSL certificate will impact a website’s search engine rankings (which can make it harder for people to find you in Google.) As you can see it’s important for sites to have an SSL Certificate which is why we include it with our hosting package. Should you choose to host your website elsewhere it will be your responsibility to order the SSL Certificate and it’s likely you will incur an annual charge from your hosting company.

Why This Works:
While non techy people may not understand what an SSL certificate is or does, when you break it down in terms such as “your site will display message saying it’s not secure” or “it may have an impact on your ranking in Google” they understand that this translates into missing out on potential sales.  So now they begin to realize that an SSL Certificate isn’t just some unnecessary thing.

Benefit 3: Daily Website Backups

Each day a complete backup of your website will be made and safely stored. Should something on your website break or your website gets hacked, we can quickly restore the most recent backup and get your site back up and running.

Client Asks:
How does this benefit me?

Our Response To Clients: 
If your website is down it means that people can’t find you, buy from you, etc. This means you are missing out on what could have been a new lead or sale.  To avoid that, it’s critical to get your site back up as quickly as possible. If you don’t have a backup of your site, you risk losing your entire website. Meaning that you’ll need to spend additional money having a new one created and not have a website up during the process. But should something cause your site to go down and it’s hosted on our server, we can restore one of the backups of your website and have it up and running within minutes. Crisis averted!

Why This Works:
When a client hears this it hits them like a double whammy.  They realize without a proper system in place they could have to spend thousands of dollars rebuilding their site (which translates into wasted money.)  They also realize that their business will be without a website for a significant amount of time (which translates into lost customers / sales.) 

Benefit 4: CDN Included

A CDN (Content Delivery Network) consists of a network of servers located around the world. When a visitor goes to a page on your website the content on the page (text and images) need to load onto the device they are viewing your site on. CDN’s help to distribute the content of your site onto the network of servers which helps your website to load quickly.

Client Asks:
How does this benefit me?

Our Response To Clients: 
How fast (or slow) your website loads can be a determining factor on whether someone will stick around to view your website. If your site takes longer than a few seconds to load, it’s likely people will abandon ship.  Leaving you to miss out on what could have been a potential sale. On top of that Google uses page speed as a ranking factor for websites and has recently announced that beginning July 2018 they’ll be using page speed on mobile as a ranking factor as well. The CDN that we offer on our hosting package will help keep your site loading at optimal speeds.

Why This Works:
Just like with the other points above, when people start hearing that something could have a negative impact on their sales,  they are likely to do whatever they can to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Benefit 5: Monitoring Server Stats

Our hosting package include us monitoring the stats of your server. There are many different stats that need to be monitored on a server to ensure that the website stays up and running. A couple of examples include bandwith limits and disk space storage. The more traffic a website has and the more pages that have a lot of files to load (such as banners and image galleries) the more bandwith it uses. Disk space usage it made up of the files such as images, videos and pdfs that you have stored on your website.

Client Asks:
How does this benefit me?

Our Response To Clients:
To make sure your website stays up and running, we handle monitoring the server stats and take care of making any needed adjustments.  If not properly monitored, you could end up exceeding the bandwith that’s allocated for the month causing your site to go down. If you use up all of your allocated disk space it means you can’t upload any files to your website. Let’s say you’re running a time sensitive promotion and want to add a promo banner to the Home page of your site.  You won’t be able to upload it if you’ve used up all of your disk space. 

If you decide not to host on our server, it will be your responsibility to monitor the server and make adjustments as necessary.  Should an issue arise and you need us to assist, it will be invoiced at our hourly rate of $75 / month.  

Why This Works:
You’re client’s eyes are likely to glaze over when they hear terms like bandwith and disk space. However, both are important to monitor. Most non techy people don’t have a clue on where to find stats or how to make adjustments to a server and combine that with letting them know that their site can easily go down if the server isn’t properly monitored and it will cost them money to fix, usually gets their attention.

Benefit 6:  Server Designed To Host WordPress Sites

By now you probably realize that are certain features that are super important to keep your website up and running, which is why we only host sites on servers that are designed exclusively to host WordPress sites.

Client Asks:
How does this benefit me?

Our Response To Clients: 
Servers are not a one size fits all type of deal. Think of it terms of doctors. A general practitioner has a working knowledge of the human anatomy and can certainly help you maintain your health, however they aren’t specialists. If you were experiencing an ongoing foot problem you wouldn’t go to your general practitioner to get it treated, you’d go to a podiatrist because that is what they specialize in. It’s the same with website hosting. While there are servers that can host a variety of website platforms, they are essentially generalists. Meaning they weren’t specifically designed with WordPress sites in mind and therefore do not provide the most optimal hosting environment for a WordPress site.

Why This Works: 
While this benefit is important, on it’s own it probably wouldn’t be enough to convince you’re client that they need a high quality server, but after you’ve educated them with benefits #1-5, by now they’re much more open minded about the important factors to take into consideration when choosing where to host their site.

The Recap

Once your clients see the list above, they’re probably going to start to feel a bit overwhelmed when they realize that there’s a lot more involved when it comes to web hosting, than just price point. And how selecting a server based off of “what’s the cheapest plan” can cause a lot of headaches in the future, cause them to miss out on customers and sales and even cost them more money in the long run because they’ll likely have to pay you your hourly rate every time an issue arises.

And that’s it…by taking the benefits above and breaking it down in to terms our clients could understand and get them to see how a package that doesn’t include all of things that our does, could have a negative impact on their business, waste time and money, is how we were able to get our clients to willingly pay us a premium for hosting.  

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