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#1 schnieber

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Posted 10 June 2005 - 01:54 PM

:mad: I wish I had done more detailed research on this product before buying it. The product itself has a great deal of potential. However the support is sorely lacking. Communication is poor and the forums are begging for some attention. It concerns me that there are so many posts for help regarding bugs and how to issues and while there may be several views, there are generally very few replies, sometimes none. It is disheartening to see requests for assistance and help with bugs and they sit there alone, no one replying.

If the product is so great, then why is the support lacking so, they could at least respond better. I had an issue and tried email, wrong of course, beginners mistake. I then created a support ticket, another mistake, I got word zero from nobody and no activity on my ticket until it was closed, no comments, nothing, just closed. Yes, the problem was finally resolved, something stupid I did with my license, but communication is not geared towards customer satisfaction. I wish they wouldn't use the term 'partner' it suggests we are in this together, when in reality they make you feel like you are on a deserted island, alone.

My problem now, and my lamenting their lack of support is that I am ready to roll out at least one new site using Soholaunch and I am more nervous then I have ever been. I don't know what kind of support I can expect to receive going forward and am concerned that if I do have a problem it may take days just to get an answer.

I can see now why my ISP refuses to carry Soholaunch as a part of Fantasico, they warned me, but I didn't listen. After seeing the demo (which is very professional) I had to buy it myself. I only hope I don't regret it later.

Customer and Technical support should be major areas of concern for every software development company. If you can't support it, don't sell it. If you don't support it, it will never grow to be as good as it could possibly be.

And don't give me excuses about growing pains or lack of resources; plan, plan, and plan some more!

My 2 cents, take it or leave it. :(

#2 Guest_Joe Lain_*

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 04:08 PM

I think you are looking for this thread http://forum.soholau...hread.php?t=490

#3 schnieber

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 07:58 PM

It should be known, that a short while, well actually hours, later, I received a phone call from someone at Soholaunch wanting to speak to me about my problem. We talked about what happened and why and how things would work in the future. But this was about my problem, not about their level of support. Not sure if they read this post or not, but it was nice to finally get a response.

I have high hopes, and thus high expectations for this product and plan on using it on other projects too, if this first one works out well. That does not mean I regret being critical of the support, or lack thereof. I hope that my comments will be listened so that others, and myself will not be left hanging in the future. Even when there are circumstances outside of their control, it would be nice to at least recieve an email that they have not forgotten about you and will provide assistance as soon as they can. Left standing in the dark is a fear most of us have, from childhood till we die.

Again, I hope the level of support is raised and becomes consistent with what can be a very nice application. I see the potential, I hope it meets up with reality.

#4 demostorm

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 02:38 AM

I think Joe was pointing you in the right direction. It is well known and being addressed that Soholaunch Is superb in support by telephone and not yet equal in their email or electronic support system.

I don't know your ISP but I communicate with a number of them and the reason that hosts end up not providing it is because

A) The hosts are just too cheap
B) They are comitted to another product
c) They can't be bothered because they would tend to offer it fo free

Along those lines I think the one thing that Soholaunch has to do to improve support is either end the Free trial of Fantastico or limit support only to actual customers. They have admitted to being to accomodating to trial users. It can'tt work. It creates too high a load expecially when the reason many of the trial users arehaving problems is because their hosts have neglected to mention they are only offering the limited trial edition

#5 schnieber

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 02:21 PM

I finally read the complete post Joe pointed me too. I can see why the who Fantascio thing has made everything very difficult, for users and the Soholaunch folks. I was glad to see that the other thread is recent, I feel for them and us and hope that their ideas are implemented soon.

This whole Fantasico thing also explanins why an earlier post I generated has had no, nada, response (3rd Party Integration): I believe others think I am just another Fantasico trial-er. Being a partner and purchasing the lifetime license should come with some perks, like perferred support and maybe even a private forum???

Thank you Joe and demostorm; you have given me cause to have faith and see how this shakes out.

#6 draknet

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 07:22 PM

I don't know your ISP but I communicate with a number of them and the reason that hosts end up not providing it is because

A) The hosts are just too cheap
B) They are comitted to another product
c) They can't be bothered because they would tend to offer it fo free


Well, I'm providing it for free - I only found Soholaunch after it showed up in Fantastico, had drug my heels on a SiteBuilder because I didn't want to deal with the support headache, and I enabled it in Fantastico because, heck, it was there. A few people tried to install it, I found out I had to license it, and I put up a note saying that if there was enough interest, we'd think about licensing it.

There never really was, but my husband and his business partner got tired of waiting for me to design sites for them, and so I looked into it. I bought 30 licenses for each server about three weeks ago, and put a note on the front that we offered it for free. Just an experiment to see how it would go, more or less, and to my surprise, almost all the licenses in use are on the server we're putting new people on and nearly all of them are new sign ups.

Frankly, this doesn't seem to me all that hard to support - I created a site with it that I did for an organization (http://www.kidscareaustin.org) just to see what it could do so I could answer questions - and while it's not as fancy as I would have liked, the thing took me two hours from start to finish (and for an old hand coder like me, that was kinda fun. I feel guilty when I'm complimented on it. I feel like I sneezed in it's general direction and there it was).

My surprise, though, was that my husband and his partner were both able to create sites they like with it in record time - they can't stop praising the software or thinking I'm a God for putting it on the servers.

Yesterday, I spent hours putting up expanded information on it and have made it the major feature of our hosting because free or not, I have no doubt it's going to help my business grow. It's the first time in 8 years that I am comfortable answering someone with "Don't Worry About It." when they say "I don't know *anything* about making a web site."

Just because a host is offering something for free doesn't mean we're not going to work to support the product. I'm already pretty impressed with it.

DrakNet Web Hosting | (Or just me: jenlepp.com | Twitter: @jenlepp)
Please note that DrakNet no longer offers licensed Soholaunch as of 9/1/2010 - if you are looking at an old forum post that recommends us as a Soholaunch host, please note that situation has changed since the post was made.


#7 demostorm

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 08:19 PM

Well, I'm providing it for free - I only found Soholaunch after it showed up in Fantastico, had drug my heels on a SiteBuilder because I didn't want to deal with the support headache, and I enabled it in Fantastico because, heck, it was there. A few people tried to install it, I found out I had to license it, and I put up a note saying that if there was enough interest, we'd think about licensing it.


That was going to be my fourth category. I've seen hosts say there wasn't much of an interest and decide not to offer it which would appear to be reasonable.

However I think thats due to three reasons and your situation greatly illustrates one of them (thank you for sharing that) - For one, existing customers don't like to admit they need a sitebuilder. Makes them look like a newbie. Secondly existing customers already have had to make some arrangement to have a site made. Third, many people just don't get what the application can do until they see it in action as you did when you built a site (as did ours when they saw it in action).

Some people disagree with me but I have alway felt SOholaunch was under marketed as an ecommerce application. When we hosted all our customers loved dropping a product anywhere they wanted it and having it instantly connected to a cart. I know seasoned clients know the value of a cart much more than a sitebuilder.

#8 draknet

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 09:04 PM

However I think thats due to three reasons and your situation greatly illustrates one of them (thank you for sharing that) - For one, existing customers don't like to admit they need a sitebuilder. Makes them look like a newbie. Secondly existing customers already have had to make some arrangement to have a site made. Third, many people just don't get what the application can do until they see it in action as you did when you built a site (as did ours when they saw it in action).


I had one person inquire about it when it was put in Fantastico, and I have about 1300 customers, so that was really not a justification for me adding it. I understand where those hosts are coming from in thinking that there isn't a demand for it. What we found was, though, that the demand that we thought was not there was actually there when it was available for clients to use at no charge, and it did bring in new business.

I started out as a geek who liked to tinker who thought I could do this as a sideline and 7 years later, it's a full time business. Years ago, I had a haughty attitude that if these people didn't understand FTP, I did *not* want to deal with them. We even had lines in our TOS that it wasn't our job to introduce them to the Internet and they would have to work on their own to figure out what was up. I got lots of geeks, and had minimal support. My customers would often email with with the problem, and the solution. Life was grand.

The market changed, though, and what I've found is that no, not everyone wants a site builder - but the option is essential. The site builder stigma is also ridiculous since we all code things in snippets to make things easier - I mean, I could code my FAQ by hand.

I *don't*, but I could. ;)

They've made it very easy for me to get my feet wet for under 100$ a month in offering this. I monitor my licenses, will up them when I need to, and despite everyone rolling their eyes at the site builder and it getting very little discussion on my business forum, when I announced the page that I put up yesterday on there, I sat and watched that page get hit quite a lot. I've also had a few long time customers that I know can code wipe out their sites and switch them to Soholaunch, which surprised me.

I think hosts that don't offer it are over-estimating the cost, and underestimating the desire for it. And frankly, though I've read far enough in that Fantastico was a bit of a double edged sword, the fact is it made it really, really easy for me to offer it, much easier than anything else I found.

DrakNet Web Hosting | (Or just me: jenlepp.com | Twitter: @jenlepp)
Please note that DrakNet no longer offers licensed Soholaunch as of 9/1/2010 - if you are looking at an old forum post that recommends us as a Soholaunch host, please note that situation has changed since the post was made.


#9 Guest_Joe Lain_*

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 12:59 AM

They've made it very easy for me to get my feet wet for under 100$ a month in offering this. I monitor my licenses, will up them when I need to, and despite everyone rolling their eyes at the site builder and it getting very little discussion on my business forum, when I announced the page that I put up yesterday on there, I sat and watched that page get hit quite a lot. I've also had a few long time customers that I know can code wipe out their sites and switch them to Soholaunch, which surprised me.

I think hosts that don't offer it are over-estimating the cost, and underestimating the desire for it. And frankly, though I've read far enough in that Fantastico was a bit of a double edged sword, the fact is it made it really, really easy for me to offer it, much easier than anything else I found.


Great to hear it Draknet! Thank you for your support. It just goes to show, once the decision is made to add Soholaunch, clients love it(and the host too)! ;)




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