What me worry?

A while back I had a conversation with a friend about what Bluehost would do if someone “huge” entered the market and starting competing directly with us. My friend’s specific thought at the time was that Google or Microsoft would enter the personal/small business hosting market and steal all of our business. What was my response? It was what any self respecting business owner would say to that kind of statement. Bring it on!

Hosting is ultra competitive. I think it interesting when people think that these huge companies could do what it takes to satisfy users at the ultra competitve price and service levels that our users demand. Have you ever called Google? Can you call Google? Their adsense department won’t even let you call them. Google is a complete joke on the customer service side of things. They are the pinnacle of arrogance with regard to the customer. It is obvious that they think you should be grateful for just doing business with them. Microsoft is a different story. They are completely profit driven and it shows, but they are also too big to be nimble enough to handle the custom requests of individual users.

So do we have competition? You bet we do! We compete with the best of them, but they don’t include companies like Yahoo, Google, etc. Yahoo and Google have hosting products, but based on what they have Bluehost and our peers like Ipower, Dreamhost, Lunarpages and others don’t have much to worry about.

Maybe I am the arrogant one? If so ,when Bluehost goes out of business would any of you out there give me a job? ;) I am a nice guy – really!

Thanks,
Matt Heaton / President Bluehost.com

23 Responses to “What me worry?”

  1. Hercules says:

    The only problem with Google is that everybody uses it, so if you want your website to be found among the billion other sites on the web, you better comply with their rules since everybody is using them as their favorite search engine :(

  2. Michele says:

    Matt

    My thoughts exactly. I worry about competitors such as you, or companies similar to yours. I won’t lose too much sleep over Google until they start to understand customer service.

    Michele

  3. destri says:

    I think no matter how many competitors you will get, bluehost will still alive. I already recomended like 4 people to use bluehost and all of them are very satisfied with your services. Based on this I will still recomend people to use bluehost.

    And yes I think you will have no problem in findind a job. There’s not many ‘big people’ who own a big company who write a blog including both personal ad professional. I think you’re a nice person :).

    Thanks for Blue Host!!!

  4. d says:

    Of course, Matt ;X

    Hey, you said it first!

  5. Alex says:

    Everybody learns :) They can create a new devision, for hosting. Even if they will lack of support, afterwords, they will realise ther mistakes, and do everithing right :)
    But, i guess it doesn’t happend. They care about corporate custumers, not the small ones like us :)
    Big companies -> Big custumers(with lot’s of $$$) -> Big Profit :)

  6. Bill says:

    Come work for Telus if that happens ;)

  7. jrh says:

    no, you’ve got the right idea, matt. and i’m glad to see it working for you. i’d love to see this simple, honest, basic idea take off all across America…that if you keep the focus on doing right by your customers, you succeed. imagine that shit. novel.

    and its why i keep referring people. because i am known to criticize just about anything that turns out to be false, and if it happened to bluehost, i’d tell the truth about that, too. but right now, the truth is you run a damn good company. thanks again.

  8. yakyakyak says:

    The last couple of months have been bad for you, but if google took over, the next decade would be hell for us…

    Cookie cutter web sites, are great for some, but innovation needs flexibility, you offer the flexibility that breeds innovation…

    Thanks

  9. David Sims says:

    You could work for me for free lol

  10. hdw says:

    I’m not in a position to hire you, but I’d give you a good recommendation. You really know customer service!

  11. Antony says:

    This os one of the reason I believe that I can compete against big companies such as Google and Microsoft – they’re simply inaccessible and hard to talk to. :)

  12. Heaton Fan says:

    Actually you can call their Adsense department… not that it would do you any good to do so, but you can call them. Imagine yourself calling a brick, and the brick thinks it’s better than you. You’re completely right about their attitude to client service… I’ve never come across a company that exudes as much arrogance as they do, and your comment about their attitude of you being grateful just to allow them to take your money is spot on.

    In my opinion, Google is enjoying the ride right now not because their product is better, but simply because other companies products aren’t as good… and I believe there is a difference. Right now I tolerate their attitude simply because I must, and Google knows this. Not using their service because of principle sounds great… but at the end of the day, doesn’t pay the bills.

    Good post.

  13. Michael says:

    Sure I’d give u a job. But first how about monthly billing at Bluehost?
    That would be a start. I have all my domains at crystaltech.com and although they have outstanding support and sales, there prices are a little out there. When shopping around and calling your company I was on hold for over 5 minutes, waiting on sales, oh sure you can leave a message but for what? Than finally your tech support guy picked up the phone. He answered half of my questions. But paying in full for a year, not everyone can afford to do that.

    So what do you say?

    As far as the job, send me your resume when your company fails. BUT I dont think it will, at least I hope you dont, need more like you.

    Also loose the beard and comb your hair.

  14. Hey Matt, just wanted to drop a comment,
    I just got off the phone from tech support, and I felt like this might be a good way to write a comment
    seeing how there is absolutely no other way to pass feedback on with out needing tech help or wanting to buy something lol

    I agree with what you say, google and microsoft are not very good at customer service, most people usually scoff when they hear the word Microsoft, and why would I trust a microsoft server for my web site, hey its not exactly a big important site, but it is to me, and we know how reliable Microsoft is, and even if we don’t talk about system crashes, the company themselves releases things far to quick, so, who could trust them.

    Google is a great search engine, and good email, but as far as customer service, I wonder if they have any?

    Profit drivin companys don’t tend to draw or retain loyal customers and that is a huge selling point.

    I have used Ipowerweb, and a few others, and I honestly can’t think of their names, IpowerWebs customer service is not really all that great, and they are hard to talk to, or get any help when it comes to terms of things going on that are their fault, and their 99.99% uptime doesn’t even feel 99.99% lol

    I passed them over on renewal because their poor service, and began to look for a new host, http://www.BlueHost.com was advertised on google.ca, and their price was right, their services seemed good, so I gave them a try, and I just a week or so ago renewed with bluehost.com again, proudly, with out hesitation.

    Bluehost.com has the absolute best tech department, they don’t speak over your head, they don’t make you sound like a number, their obvious priority is customer service, and that is such an oddity, cause in all reality, you don’t find that very often, and to be honest with you, I’ve called a few times, and that is consistant with every time I call in, they are great customer service, easy to understand, and when they say they will do something, they do it period, you don’t have to sit and worry about it, you don’t have to wonder if they really will do it, cause they will, and I’ve had providers “forget” me for weeks, while I waited to get things done.

    Customer care for sales, is just as good, who can compete with that? Even Godaddy and registerfly at the level of domain name hosting, can’t even compare, I’m sure there are tons of peeps out there who offer realitvly the same service, but not one of the 5 providers I’ve used in the past years, can even come close to customer service.

    And for those reasons, you don’t have anything to worry about, as long as service stays like this, I hope to be a life time customer, and hey, thats what I tell countless friends online and offline who use your service, and I belive 3 of them do use you too.

    Thanks for such an awesome service.

  15. Redrum says:

    Interesting post!

    I greatly doubt Google or Microsoft would be any deal to you, if you continue your service the way you do. :) I like the service BlueHost Provides.

    But if there was ever a reason for BlueHost to be closed down. You and I can Open up a business together :) lolz.
    I greatly doubt you are the type to go work for someone else. You are the type to assign work to others. Not get assignments from others.

  16. John says:

    Matt,
    I can’t wait to see you in that McDonalds hat! Just kidding. But I wanted to make the point that I don’t think your the type to work for someone else. If Bluehost went under, I’d be asking what your next venture was so I could buy the stock early.

  17. Deven says:

    Interesting post, and some interesting responses. I don’t think that being profit driven is a bad thing, since at the end of the day, if we don’t earn money for our hard work, the business folds and nobody wins.

    I have to agree that neither Google or Microsoft look like they would be competitive in hosting space as it presently stands if they decided to directly compete against companies such as Bluehost.

    Microsoft doesn’t want to compete with companies such as Bluehost. The strategy that Microsoft has chosen to pursue over the past 5 years in regards to hosting is to provide technology solutions to partners so that they in turn can provide hosting solutions for sale to the end customer. While it is true that Microsoft has provided some mass market “hosting” solutions, they are ultra-low cost, whose only purpose is to drive market demand. The ultimate winners of this market demand generation are hosting companies such as bluehost, and the technology providers who assist them in creating great hosting companies.

    If only Bluehost would deliver a windows-based hosting platform, that would help them to take advantage of the market buzz that Microsoft is creating.

  18. Anthony says:

    Hey,

    Is this the reason why you offer Yahoo Search Services and not google ads.
    Or they just rotate.

    Don’t worry about google and yahoo. They are too big.

    Cheers

  19. Alvin says:

    I agree with you. I tried calling Google Adwords many times and i never had an answer… It was so frustrating… I don’t think Bluehost will ever go under, not this lifetime! Everytime I search for Top Web Host your company always appears as number 1 or included in top 3. You have a long way to go… :-)

  20. Jimmy says:

    I’ll tell you why Google doesn’t have the kind of support the Bluehost requires. Its because their engineers are actually smart engineers, and they’ve come up with as many scenarios as you could possibly think of and allowed their web applications as much utility as the end user needs. Bluehost, on the other hands, enables some things, but a majority of things has yet to be automated and thus REQUIRES the assistance of a support person in order for the process to be completed. I know the end goal is to have software automate everything and replace these support people but your offering falls short by quite a bit so far.

    The two examples I’ll reference:
    1) The 8 step domain transfer process. Now converted to 4 steps. I’ve been doing this for a month and I’ve had to contact support 6 times as Bluehost has tried to get this working. With Google, you’ll never have to say, .. oh, you HAVE to send an email to support about this to get it working again, or we’ll have to wait until the level 2 support technician can reset the database.. etc. Rather they’d write the software to allow this.

    2) I’ve had to change the MX records to have my mail hosted elsewhere (yes, Google Apps.. the migration is starting…) but that too, had to contact support to change my DNS records. In fact, I had to contact support 5 times before they finally modified the records according to the instructions I provided them. On the Google side, once you guys changed the records, everything started working smoothly. No contact to support needed.

  21. Douglas T says:

    I figured I’d do my part to help you stay in business, so I’ve recruited someone else to bring their sites to your hosting. I’ve only brought you one new client, but I’ve been working on a few others.

  22. Zorlak says:

    I had to comment on this despite how long ago it was written.

    Plainly put, you don’t see the vision that I think Google would see. First and foremost, contacting Google is currently not their way of doing business. Does that make it bad? No… The reason why is because Google is a choice based system. Every service they give you as an end user, is free. I don’t know about being a business and buying into ad-sense, I’ve never done it before, but millions of people do it everyday, which leads me to believe that system isn’t fatally flawed…

    Secondly, what Google KILL Bluehost? In subscribers, yes, and they’d do it in less than 30 days. Would they knock your business out of the arena? Maybe, that depends on what you did as a company to compete. I think you would stay strong though, just maybe with some slower growth.

    Lets pretend for a moment that Google found a free way to do real hosting. We’ll say you can sign up for a domain for free, and get 10 gigs of hosting, 200 gigs of bandwidth each month, and have it all be ad free (somehow?).

    You’re telling me that all the personal bloggers in the world wouldn’t drop their monthly subscription fee and latch onto a free, dependable, host – giant or not – such as Google? Not to mention, Google would market on an unbeatable scale. They’d get plenty of users, and some of those, might be stolen from you, or might be persuaded away from signing up with you.

    I don’t know how Google could accomplish a totally free, non-ad based web hosting service (that is up to them to figure out), but I have no doubt that if they did, the hosting industry as a whole would be effected. After Google accomplished it, Yahoo and Microsoft would follow. Then you’d get a few third-party sites doing it, much like Flickr and Photobucket have become homes to images on the web.

    Maybe they’d just stick the ad’s in C-Panel, or offer you more space for throwing ad-words on your homepage. Being that a huge percentage of sites use ad-words anyway, I don’t see how people would complain.

    Anyway, it is a fun thought to think about. For the record, I would still keep my hosting with you guys. I have no problem with my fee. ;-)

  23. Wang Cheng says:

    I don’t know how is hosting, but I feel your are one leader.

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