For just under a year, the Pryor Media Instant Website program has been an efficient service aimed to make the website creation process immediate and smooth for everyone, without needing to have us build it for them, or have us take the time (and therefore saving people money) building it. It’s a novel concept that sites like Weebly have embraced as their service offering to some pretty great effectiveness (with a bunch of help from their advertising budget). Originally, I wanted to compete with these guys, because I figured if there was a part of the market worth going after, it was the “automated” part of the industry. It was efficient, and it ran fast and true. – Unfortunately, it wasn’t very effective.
My goal was to make website creation awesome for everyone – but I didn’t understand my customers. It’s a valuable lesson that will guide me to better things in the future: You have to understand your target market in order to capture their business and help them. I simply didn’t, even though I thought I did pretty well and spoke my thoughts well.
But, at the peak of my Instant program… I had 15 customers at one time. Just 15.
Now, the 10-15 that were here, come and go as you may, have been instrumental at providing exceptional feedback and have allowed me to support your website endeavors with great effectiveness for the most part. Many of you have been very understanding when there were bugs associated with things I didn’t build (third-party themes and plugins having bugs with each other for example). Some of you not so much, and that’s okay. I acknowledge that there is no way to please everyone, and while I may try – I accept that I can’t sometimes. People’s needs are very diverse, incredibly complex sometimes, and always time consuming.
That last part is key here. Time consumption. We only have so much of it, and it is for this reason that I’ve decided that it’s better to end the Instant program than it is to tirelessly support it and attempt to fix the pitfalls that it has. While it likely could have taken off with a bit of tender love and care, there’s no way for me to adequately finance the solution that will make this program shine and compete. It’s more expensive than competing services, and even though it offers VASTLY more features, it’s far more complicated than competing services as a result. People want simple – and admittedly, Instant wasn’t easy for most of you. There was a learning curve. There shouldn’t have been… so until I can make a system that has little to no curve, we’re gonna take a break from the system.
In reality, as I step back and attempt to observe things from a customer perspective, our VPS Hosting is a far better deal for people anyways. While it does cost more money, the functionality, expansion ability, the freedom to install and use any theme or plugin you want, and the better technology built into that service is far superior. It’s also a much cheaper system for me to maintain and support, compared to Instant, which was a 2-3 hour per day drain on my life for a while there… and that was with a mere 15 customers. I don’t know what would have been happening if it expanded any faster… but it just wouldn’t have been fair to anyone, especially myself.
The few existing subscribers on the program have been notified of this, and will automatically be getting upgrades to their own VPS hosting solution just before January at a special price for them (for 6 months). If I’ve missed you in the notifications for this, please contact me immediately. – Please note that those of you on a “FREE TRIAL” of the program are excluded from this transition, and will need to find an adequate alternative for your website needs. I’d highly recommend our VPS HOSTING SERVICE to you as well, but there are plenty of options out there you can of course explore. I’d love to offer you a service discount if you want help transitioning, but beyond that – I suppose this is your 60 day notice.
New subscriptions to the service have been disabled. The program had great potential, but ultimately I’ve found that people want something different, and my resources for it are better utilized someplace else. This is how you do life and business effectively and efficiently. Put time into what works, and phase out what does not. Timing is everything… and it’s time for Instant to go, until it can be implemented in a way people will like more.
In the meantime… I’m going to push our hosting services harder with some capital investment into it, and some marketing money – because it really is a superior service, and while Instant truly was inferior to competition… WordPress hosting at Pryor Media is actually superior to competition, at a cheaper price point. That’s the kind of service I’d rather push. I want the best for my customers, and thats what this is.
Appreciate the understanding, and I apologize if this becomes inconvenient for you – although so far, the reaction has been fairly affirming towards me for doing this, especially from the few people who have already made the switch to our hosting service, and are relieved to find it better for them in the end.
The light side of this situation, however, is that I finally do understand 100% of my target market – because I’m removing the 50% of the website business that isn’t working, and focusing entirely on the part that is: Providing premium quality products and services to those who know the value in it, and love experiencing it every time they need me. My focus will be renewed with this transition, and I welcome anyone looking for a website to contact us so we can show you why we’re great. – With the right service offering, this time. 🙂