Published: October 31, 2014Topics: Did you know...

Let’s Talk Reliability – Our System Hasn’t Hiccup In Over 2 Years

Recently, I was speaking to a potential member about setting up his website. He was mostly concerned about choosing a provider that offers reliable services. After assuring him several times that our hosting services are reliable, I was anxious to move on, and discuss other advantages of using our products and service. But it seem that he did not want to move pass that issue. He kept recalling the many issues he had with his previous vendor, and how their website and email services hurt his business. And as he kept on explaining numerous instances where he was negatively impact by either his website or email been down, I suddenly got it! I suddenly begin to empathize with him. Because I realize that I was having a conversation with a person who seem to have done everything right to grow his business. He researched and acknowledged that online marketing is essential to a real estate professional, and he knew that having a website is at the core of it all. But yet, his business end up suffering of no fault of his own. Simply because an irresponsible website provider took his money, and did not deliver on their promises. I try putting myself in his shoes, and realize that the reason he kept stressing the issue of reliability, is because he did not want to make the same mistake twice.

Now you may think that I must be naive to work in the real estate website hosting business and not quickly understand the importance of reliable service. The truth is, system downtime is simply a non-issue at Zealder. We encounter so little downtime, and so little of our conversations with members is concerning this issue, that we sometime forget how dreadful it can be when a real estate agent’s website or email is down. Now I’m not saying that our members’ websites or emails never go down. But most of the time it’s because of reasons that are outside of our control. For instance, a member may forget to renew his or her domain name. Or, a member may accidentally delete a page on their website (which of course we can quickly restore since we keep at least 14 days backup of our entire system). But the type of downtime where your website vendor just simply “screw up”, rarely happens at Zealder. To complete this article, a staff from our tech team researched and discovered that the very last time that our system had even a slight hiccup was on Oct 7th, 2012.

After the conversation with the potential member (who is now a proud new member of Zealder), I recalled a story that I read a while back about a company named Palm Inc., who created the PalmPilot. PalmPilot, launched in the late 90s was the first product of it’s kind. It was the world’s premier PDA (personal digital assistant) device and it was revolutionary. This mobile device allowed you to connect to the internet, check your email, chat, etc. PDAs are now obsolete but remain the predecessor to our current smartphones and tablets. When smartphones first came on the scene, Palm’s reaction was to add more bells and whistles to their product, and in doing so, they lost their identity. This is why at Zealder we don’t compromise on the values that sets us apart from our competitors. While, it might be more exciting if we can say that, “we sell websites that looks hot even on Mars!” But that simply isn’t what we do. Since 2001, our focus has been on delivering more reliability, more control for our members, more compatibility, easier to use, and better results.

For the past 3 years, I witness a slew of new real estate website vendors entering this space. Offering all the bells and whistles you could imagine. I have to admit that, Zealder has been guilty at times for putting too much emphasis on the list of features that are included with our website plans. But what I have noticed is that, many of our members who canceled their account and return to us, do so for primarily 2 reasons: 1: They miss the comfort of using a service that simply works, (almost) all the time. 2: They miss having control of their web presence.

As cliché as it may sound, that basically sums up the key advantages of using our services. Our promise to our members is to provide them a reliable platform that gives them complete control over their web presence. And we deliver!

If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you’ll know that we take matters like making our products intuitive, customizable, pleasant to use, and effective at delivering results, very serious. But what may not be as obvious is, how much we do in the background to ensure that our services are very reliable. Here’s a few quick facts that our developers would like to share that demonstrate how serious we take reliability:

  • Recently, we invested over $135k to increase our system response time, by just a few milliseconds.
  • Our Design Engine still support Internet Explorer 7, although less then 0.3% of web users still use this browser, and almost all other website vendors only support as far back as Internet Explorer 9 (fyi, the current version of Internet Explorer is version 11).
  • If any part of our system ever goes down, we employ software that will automatically detect the issue, and notify key members of our development team to start working on a solution within 10 minutes (and yes, even if it’s 4:00am).

How important is reliability to your business? We’d like to know. Please feel free to share your experience in the comments section of this article.