The Website Sales Lab
Increasing Sales for Businesses through Conversion and Marketing

This blog is hosted on ServersAustralia. For about 2-3years I have been with them and i’ve been very happy. Here is a bit of a review of my experience over that time.

Customer Service
When I submit a ticket I do get an Indian replying to me. However I also get my issues resolved quite quickly by them. So from my experience regardless of my opinion about ‘outsourced’ support, their team is great. Also if I call during the day Mon-Fri I actually speak with Australian support which is AWESOME. Which is much better than my last host, which didn’t pickup at all!

I’ve got a short story too. When I first got setup I was bootstrapped so I used webmin. Then it got hacked and so did my website. I needed QUICK help. I emailed in with an URGENT request. They got back to me in about 10mins at 2am in the morning! Not only did they reply but they helped me out with good advice and gave me some help to get back online. First of all they gave me good advice and a plan of action. They suggested that I remove webmin and install cpanel. They offered to set me up with cpanel for free just temporarily to get my site back online until I decided what I wanted to do. However they also gave me a good deal on Cpanel so I went ahead with it. So at about 3am in the morning they helped me remove Webmin and install Cpanel and get my website back online. This is the kind of service I expect.

The Hardware Hosting My Site
I have one of these linux dedicated servers and its hosted in the Tuggerah data center. If you’re not sure what a dedicated server is check out wikipedia here. And so far i’ve never had a hardware fault or issue. So I am very happy. It’s running a e5, 16gb ram and a 120gb SSD and performance is flawless. I do a lot of development on the backend of this server so it was really important that the server have strong performance. The price is also VERY reasonable. I did a lot of searching around before I purchased. The two biggest things for me was being hosted in Sydney and having high performance. I wanted to be hosted in Sydney because I am in Sydney so the ping would be lower. I get about a 9ping to the server so everything is quick. And high performance so I could do all the heavy lifting for my development work.

The Price
Even though I touched on it in the previous paragraph I think it’s important to show how good their pricing is. If for example you look at Ozservers or Digital Pacific, they don’t give you the same thing. Ozservers is hosted in Brisbane. Digital Pacific try to pass of blades as dedicated servers. They are NOT dedicated servers. So when you start to realize that the end performance is going to be different the price becomes apparent. So with ServersAustralia i’m able to get 1TB of bandwidth, i3m 4gb for about $300 where as the others are charging more at the time of posting this.

Management Service
After the issue I had with webmin and a client issue I had on my service I decided to get a management addon. This means that they will help me with whatever I need done in Cpanel and on my server. I’m currently on the premium management plan and while it might be a bit expensive for some people, for me it is quite helpful. If you think about how much time you waste trying to fix issues that go wrong, it saves you in opportunity cost in the long run. That and they are super quick to respond to my issues. (I highly recommend getting this)

What’s Their Network Like?
In the time I have been with them there hasn’t been much down time. I think there has been a bit here and there (scheduled) but no DDoS (denial of service attack) attacks or anything like that. Also on my adsl2+ the fastest I have downloaded from the web was from my ISP iinet and I got about 2.1MB/s. From my server I also got 2.1MB/s so I think that for the most part in Australia I’m going to get the fastest speeds I can possibly get.

Is there anything bad?
Well yes there is. When I first purchased it took a bit of time to get setup even though they said they would have it in stock. Now to their credit they did waive my setup fee. However the wait was annoying. Now I have purchased another server from them since for a customer and I didn’t have the same issue so I don’t know if I just lucked out the first time or they have fixed it up.

Would I recommend Servers Australia?
Yes I would. No company is perfect, even Zappos or Amazon. So I don’t expect that they would be. However the experience with them has been good and I am quite happy to stay. If I had to give them a rating I would give them a 4.8/5, and the only reason i’m not giving them a 5 is because of when I first signed up and had to wait for the server to be provisioned. However based on my second dedicated server purchase with them I would give them a 5. I hope this helps you choose the right host for you in Australia.

For quite a while I’ve been working with My-spycam. I took their old website and redeveloped it to be better. Here is a picture of the before and here is the after.

So what you will notice is that the before is very spammy and it doesn’t look trust worthy at all. It’s full of keyword stuffing and it doesn’t really help the user, the user experience is appalling. Then the after has a strong focus on the user experience. The point of the second site is to help the user find the camera that is right for them. All customers are different, some want to get a spy cam because of elderly abuse, others want to keep their nanny in check. The reasons vary widely so there needs to be a way to help them. So I created a way for people to filter and sort the camera’s features, location and type.

For example the user wants to find a product with motion detection, can be used indoors and runs off the main power. So what they would do is select motion detection as a feature, then indoors as the location and mains power as a feature.

This came at a cost, we allowed people to share the URL so they could ask their friends for advice and help but what ended up happening is it took down our site. The site is using Magento and it is a resource hog so every time the page would load it would go through thousands of calls, taking down the site. Not good at all. The fix was to put the DNS onto Dyn and setup caching so the site didn’t have to do as many requests. Then while we were at it we put a CDN to reduce the amount of requests to the server and also improve the user experience.

Another thing we did was not sell the products. We just told the users the good and bad of each camera so they could make the choice on their own. I don’t know if it worked or not but it seems that some people like this blog by found it useful and began blogging about my-spycam. I even remember reading about it on Yahoo somewhere, I wish I could find the link again.

All things considered I think it did well. It’s not perfect, nothing ever is but i’m happy to be a part of this project.

This used to be my old homepage

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However things have to change

The internet is changing and this website could be better utilized if I share my knowledge. So from now on I will be writing and posting interesting things that are related to marketing or conversion that I think business people will find useful and even practical.

The reason for the evolution pic is because who knows if this will work out or not? Either way its evolution and it may turn out to be like the pic! lol