AlreadyHosting.com has been online for nearly two years and has grown to be one of the most successful web hosting review sites on the web. I accredit the success of this site to my original mission, which was to provide our users with quality content that would help them to find the best web hosting providers. However, today I have learned that focusing on my own successes has distracted me from my original mission.
Today, for the first time in the history of AlreadyHosting.com I found a blog post that criticized our lack of quality content. This site (which name I will not mention) laid out some very compelling arguments:
1) They felt that our review pages were dishonest and were designed in a way to manipulate users into clicking on affiliate links.
2) They felt that our site was a scam because because of the lack of quality content.
At first, it was hard to see the negative criticism about our site; however, I now have changed my mind. It is never good to receive negative feedback BUT this feedback can be used for good as long as I act upon it. I must say (in hind-sight) that I have to agree with some of the comments left by this blogger and we will act swiftly to improve the overall quality of our service. (More on this in a bit).
Before I talk about where I will go in the future with this site, I would like to make a few things clear. First, I make my sole living off of this site. Does this mean I earn commission from users when the sign up for web hosting? Yes, I do. I have always felt that there is nothing wrong with earning commission as long as I provide honest and ethical content for my customers. Many web hosting review sites will create a top ten list that is in order from the highest paying host to the lowest paying host, we do not do this. Our top 10 list is in the order of who we “think” is the best web hosting providers based on our own experience, the host’s price, customer support, and customer reviews. Does this mean our reviews and rankings are perfect? Nope, but we really do our best to recommend on the best web hosting providers. We have on numerous occasions denied large sums of money from web hosts who want to be on our top 10 list and we have done this because we do not consider them a world-class web hosting provider. So we do have a history of providing honest and ethical reviews and rankings… BUT…
Now back to my original point…. Although this has always been our mission, I do think it is possible that we could have gotten side-tracked and lost focus of the mission. After reading the negative review from the blogger and I saw their comments about our lack of quality content I decided to make some changes:
#1 – I am going to hire a professional writer and I am going to give them the challenge of writing high quality web hosting/web design articles. I did this in the past and the writers did an excellent job of creating useful content.
#2 – I think it is time to look at web hosting on a much deeper level. If we are going to separate our site from all other review sites we are going to have to take the advice from the aforementioned blogger and create high quality content. Instead of spitting out articles every day, I think it is best to take time to fully research individual topics related to web hosting. Yes, this will take up a lot more of my time but my customers deserve it.
The article I read has opened my eyes to the fact that we are not perfect and can always improve. With this in mind, today I make a pledge to get back to the original mission that our site was founded on.
Over the next few days I will be brainstorming some possible topics that I think would be interesting to research. If any of you have an idea for an interesting research topic please let me know. I will be posting the ideas in just a few days.
Thanks to all of our visitors and thanks to the blogger who criticized our services, I assure you that your criticism will prove to be the catalyst that changed the way we look at our business.