Hello URPad customers!

We asked, and we most definitely received! Firstly, we would like to thank everyone who participated in our recent Feedback contest. It was a fantastic learning experience for us!

We have gone through all the entries and have picked the winners!

How Did We Choose the Winners?

We based our decisions on a few things:

  • Best constructive criticism
  • Contestants understanding of the industry
  • How reasonable the implementation would be for the suggestions.

It was tough for us to decide but there were some very clear winners. The contest winners followed by their entry are:

1st Place Winner

Our first place winner is Lee W! The Prize? $500.00

Here is the first place submission:

Hi,

Ok, so with regards to the recent email you sent out I have 3 suggestions
in particular for you.

I could say that you should be looking at things like DDoS filtered IP’s
and SSD disk Caching along with others however these are already things in
the market and whilst not new you should already be looking at these
anyway. I really want to focus on areas that could change URPad for the
better or provide an “edge” over others.

*KVM*

Ok, it’s not new, however I think URPad need to start thinking about the
audience they are loosing by not having a KVM offering. As has been widely
anticipated the introduction of KVM as standard into Centos and other RH
distro’s is pushing Xen backwards.

But what is also very very visible in the VPS market is that more and more
see OpenVZ as their “not very important” box whilst the more important
sites/content are being placed on KVM setups.

It;s a sensible approach, more and more are becoming paranoid about
security and as a result it’s making KVM more and more popular as well as
common to see.

I believe URPad can use this as entry into the more “upmarket” section of
the VPS arena. You have always been known as the budget provider of choice
for quite some time with your offers that people simply can’t refuse
however you can still maintain that approach when it comes to the OVZ
service but give new and existing customers more by introducing a KVM
service that whilst pushes the pricing up it won’t hurt as people now
expect KVM by default to cost more. It’s like a gateway into a different
and more lucrative market which backed by the URPad name gives it immediate
presence.

*Backups*

This is still something that annoys me about the VPS marketplace, it is
really hit and miss whether you can get a full backup of your VPS from a
provider. This should really be a no brainer but the issue here is that the
majority are just not capable of managing this type of simple feature
because they either do not know how to do it or simply think it’s the
customers issue. And yes with an unmanaged VPS the client is really
responsible but how many services in such a large market can you say offer
a service that allows you to simply click a button and download your
container for safe keeping or transfer it off site? It does not even have
to be that complex, URPad don’t do silly disk space offers, they are right
and reasonable with the max being 100GB.

So throw up some backup nodes in that Texas DC of yours, use R1Soft or
Baccula and charge clients a fee to get a backup service, even those who
pay $7 for a vps will pay another $5 for a backup built in. Why? Because
they buy another $7 VPS somewhere else to backup the first one! You have
so many *cough* inexperienced clients that this kind of service would go
down very well. Not everyone will want it of course but I know a lot will
just for the comfort factor of being able to ‘see and touch’ backups and
not have to worry about node failure.

*Location, Location, Location*

Keep them coming. I fully appreciate that with RLT taking over there is a
strong drive towards own kit and being close to manage it. But don’t give
up on global locations, these are good for people like me and many others
who need different locations but would prefer to keep to one provider that
can be trusted. URPad still has that reputation with the majority. You
are missing a good EU location either in the Netherlands or Germany and
then further afield in Singapore or that area. Does not need to be many
nodes, just the 1 or 2 which then draws people in. I get dozens of PM’s
every month from newbies on WHT asking for advice about providers and the
same thing comes up all the time, people want a provider who has Global
coverage.

*Webhostingtalk Presence*
*
*
This is more a view than a suggestion. URPad did very well out of the
presence on WHT, URPad as Chris will tell you often managed to turn a
negative thread into sales. URPad was like a permanent house guest on WHT
and hardly a week went by without an offer or a thread good and bad. You
need to get that back and get someone reviving the URPad name as it was
before, you are not going to tell me the extra sales won’t be welcomed!

 

2nd Place Winner

Our 2nd place winner is Jamie M! The Prize? $250

Jamie M’s feedback:

Hi,

I saw your email this morning (Australian time) about wanting feedback
on URPad. I’ve been thinking about it today, so hopefully this helps you!

So… how do i think you should continue to improve URPad?

First of all, I think the business needs to be more transparent and
honest. As a client that doesn’t often go on web hosting forums or
follow the business on social media, the only indication that the
business changed hands was a small ‘Powered by Root Level Technology!”
at the bottom of emails suddenly. This isn’t really the best way to show
that URPad is still actively selling services, and what they plan to do
in the future.

Service wise, the email shows that you’ve done a few important steps
that i would have previously recommended – such as improving the support
aspect of the business. I’ve personally noticed an improvement in uptime
and server speeds myself, which is important.

*What else can i suggest?*

I would highly recommend updating the web design for URPad. URPad is
growing, and as such, is becoming a larger business offering many
services. The current design doesn’t really fit the services you’re
offering now, and the design of the pages seems a bit cluttered. Some
issues that i can pick up from a quick look include:

– Broken dedicated server table on the dedicated server page
– Menu buttons (with dropdowns) don’t link anywhere
– No real emphasis on different bandwidth limits for Iceland VPSs on the
VPS page
– Facebook social networking button and link at the bottom don’t work
– Blog isn’t integrated into site design
– Billing doesn’t integrate the top menu in the design, making it
difficult to continue browsing the site while ordering

A new design will:
– Show that URPad is still actively selling services, not just
maintaining the current client base or trying to shift them to another
name from the sale (which is easy to find when Googling)
– Improve the face of the company
– Fix the above issues…

In addition to a new design, i think larger emphasis should be placed on
the multiple locations being offered by URPad. Not many businesses do
offer this, so it’s a great selling point. One way to do this might be
expanding the shared/reseller offerings from Kansas to the other
locations. (Maybe start by selling them on a large VPS, then
transferring to a dedicated server once business grows?). The only real
business i can remember offering multiple locations (and on that, more
than 2-3) is Site5, so there is potential there.

On the note of an improved support team, another suggestion might be to
offer live support and sales.

Lastly, i think that URPad should play a larger role in social media.
Looking at the Facebook page, questions aren’t being answered or replied
too, while posts are still being made anyway… you’ve improved the
support team already, so it wouldn’t take much time to keep an eye on
it. From the perspective of a potential buyer, seeing unanswered
questions isn’t a positive sign.

So, to summarise, I am suggesting that URPad could improve by doing the
following:

– New/improved site design – revitalise URPad appearance…
– Make proper use of the multiple locations URPad offers – fairly unique
part of business
– Live chat
– Improve social media presence

Hope this feedback is useful for you! Sorry it isn’t really done in a
creative way…

Kind Regards,
Jamie

 

3rd Place Winner

Our 3rd place winner is Gregory B! The Prize? $100

Here is the 3rd place submission:

Hi Chris,

URPad.net have been hosting my basic VPS for almost 10 months now. Thinking
back to when I was first looking for a hosting provider, I chose URPad
based on a few peer recommendations as well as the very affordable monthly
fee. Over the first few months I logged quite a few tickets with your
support team regarding various issues, many of which turned out to be
system wide problems which affected more than just my VPS.

The reason for my introduction brings me to what I think would be a simple
but a great improvement to the way URPad handles system wide issues.
Looking at other providers, be it Rackspace, Blue Lock or a local ISP in
New Zealand, they all frequently and publicly announce any problems with
their services. This is something I am yet to see from URPad and utilizing
Social Media, would be a great way to inform your customers of any system
wide problems.

While I worked for an MSP I came to appreciate how much customers like to
be kept informed about any issues and just to know that someone is looking
into it. Not only does it reduce call and ticket numbers but also keeps the
customer happy.

Therefore, my idea for improving URPad, is to keep your customers informed
regarding any system wide issues by utilizing Twitter.

A simple tweet such as, ‘Issue with the Dallas node, engineers looking at
it’, with an update every 15-30min makes a big difference to the end user.
Once resolved, you could email out an incidence response report to the
affected customers so we know that steps were taken to prevent this issue
occurring again.

On a happier note, I am glad to say that my VPS has been working great and
there have been no issues for the last 3 months. Fingers crossed!

Thank you,
Gregor.B

 

Congratulations contest winners!!

If your feedback is listed above,  you will be contacted via email to claim your prize!

Once again, thank you all for your entries! We will now work on the items above as well as many, many other items that have been brought to our attention.

We have already implemented many new team members to better support you all. In the past week we have almost doubled our support staff. We have always had a 24/7/365 support team. But, based on your feedback we felt that team needed to be reinforced so we have more then doubled our team here at RootLevelTech. In addition, we have also added a couple new phone support team members. Our phone lines will now be open for you 9am – 5pm CST Monday through Friday.

These are the start of many more changes to come in order to better support our clients. We genuinely want to provide the very best support possible. Thanks you for helping us start down this very long road. We hope that you will stay on the journey with us and enjoy the new things coming.

TEASER: We have a surprise for you all next week. It will be available for all VPS customers! We will update you in the next blog post about this new feature!!

We are here for you,
The URPad.net team!

 

  1. Wayne says:

    Congrats guys… and wow, Gregory B is spot on. You guys have been mum every time you have issues. I have seen random 5 – 10 minute outages on my servers without any word from you about thats going on.

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