First and foremost, I want to be clear: I am not writing this to put down any specific companies or mindsets. I am writing this to share our thought process and business ideals with you.
This story starts out many years ago when we were just getting started online. We needed a domain name and hosting plan, so we shopped around for the best deal – and got exactly that.
We ended up with the web host and domain registrar best known for sexy spokeswomen in tight t-shirts. At the time their advertising gimmicks were the least of our worries. We wanted to make money online without spending a small fortune and at the time they were the best deal going.
Why The Switch?
There were never any issues with the products or services we purchased from them. In fact, the way things were set up, we hardly had to know anything about domains, hosting, servers, and the like. We were sailing right along and then one day, crashed right into a wall. A client asked me to do something we didn’t know how to do. Enter: panic.
It was all well and good that our host made our life easy, but we didn’t realize they also made us lazy. We never had to learn ‘how to’ because they did it all for us. All of their back-end automation made it easy for us to grow our business without a thorough understanding of the process or technology involved. We were web amateurs to say the least.
Limping Right Along…
When we realized that our host had been a crutch for our skill set, we felt like frauds. We had been touting ourselves as a web designer and developer when in reality we knew just enough to squeak by.
What’s a duo to do when they realize their ability doesn’t meet their client’s (let alone their own) expectations? Research like crazy, read every web design and development book with a 5-star rating, and experiment until they understands it: that’s what! And we did.
In the process we realized that our host was no longer a good fit for us or our business. Not only were their low prices and fancy control panel keeping us stagnant professionally, they were keeping us quiet ethically – and through no fault of their own. They never claimed to be anything other than cheap and reliable. (Two very apealing qualities to small business!)
Every time we purchased or renewed a service, we felt like we were putting a great big stamp of approval on all of the boorish shenanigans they so proudly displayed. When clients and colleagues would ask who our host was, we felt embarrassed to tell them because their values were so far from our own.
Practice What You Preach…
It was then we decided to put our money where our mouth was. We did some digging, got some input from trusted friends and business owners, and made the switch to DreamHost. (At the time, they were running a fantastic deal and we were able to make the switch without emptying our pockets. Bonus!)
It felt so powerful.
Not only had we said goodbye to a bad business relationship, we stood up (in a little way) to the demoralizing message of ‘sex for sale’ and gave our money to a company we felt aligned better with our personal and business values.
Now, we urge clients and friends to put their money in companies that represent their core values. The few dollars they might save are worth placing in the hands of a business that they are proud to support.
We’re making it a point to do just that.