Advantages to upgrading your server resources
As most of you already know, July 1st REW is increasing it's
pricing for both labor costs and servers. However, as you likely
also know - we are providing the option for ALL existing customers
to "lock in" the current retail rates for both labor and hosting
for 2 years on regular hosting, and up to 3 years on dedicated and
super dedicated hosting.
During this process we are reaching out to customers to let them know about the changes and also to go over options and the one thing that has come up over and over again - the question of upgrades. Or more specifically....
Why should I upgrade to a dedicated Server?
There actually a LOT of really good reasons to do this and I'm going to take you through them in this post. At the end of the post, I'm also going to show you how you can offset the cost of the upgrade or even make it completely free by accessing our upgrades promo!
Ok, where to start? Our basic server / services. This refers to the $199 per month SAAS / hosting.
The reality is, for over 95% of our customers, this plan is completely fine, and you don't need to do anything other than lock in that rate.
These are customers who have:
- Less than 5 users in the system (agents, ISA's etc)
- Less than 100 leads per month
- Less than 5 years on the platform
- Less than 5 Gigs of data in the system
- Not a huge amount of traffic
- No desire to performance tune, customize or perform WPO on your site now or in the future
- No desire to add additional data sources now or in the future.
If this describes you, then as I mentioned above - you are ALL GOOD! You don't need to do anything to lock in the rates other than "lock them in" - nothing changes about your pricing, services etc.
What about other 5%? Top performers / High volume / Ferrari Drivers?
If you are anything BUT the "average user" then you should consider upgrading to a dedicated or super dedicated server. In fact, some of you MUST upgrade due to the fact that you're already exceeding the resources allowed in the $199 plan.
So what is the difference between regular vs dedicated / super dedicated servers? It's ALL ABOUT THE RESOURCES!
In server language, in order to be healthy and run properly we need appropriate CPU's (the brain) RAM (the short term memory) and storage (long term memory) - we also need to consider bandwidth (how much traffic / data you are sending / receiving)
I'm going to start with storage: (the amount of data you currently store or may need to store). These are things like your CMS pages, images, lead database, tracked visitation data, documents, agent profiles etc.
The concept of storage is actually not foreign to most because we have iPads, smart phones etc. You know when they offer you the "ok one" at 32 gigs or the "much better one" at 64 gigs? They are referring to storage - how many pics, files, movies etc can it hold. The same concept on servers.
So here is the breakdown for storage on our servers:
Regular user (as described above) - includes 5 GB's (Gigabytes) of storage with a tolerance of 10 GB's (meaning we'll let you go over 5 with a warning but there is a hard stop at 10 GB's. You either need to delete data (which we can help you with) or you need to upgrade at this point.
Most data is old history data, so it's a good idea to have us purge old history tables (past say 6 months) every year or so. That will help keep your storage needs down. Important note, as you approach your upper limit, your server (thus your site and backend) will also slow down.
Dedicated user: Dedicated servers allow for ten times the storage of regular users to a maximum of 50 GB's - this covers the vast majority of the rest of the 5% there are not a lot of users who need more than 50 GB's of storage and in fact there are less than 500 total that even need this amount of storage right now. So from a pure storage perspective, again if you're in this category - congratulations! You're in the minority of customers who has been so successful (you have so many leads / agents) that you need a bigger box.
Those of you who are not currently on dedicated but exceed our allowance for storage will be contacted for the upgrade as even with purging old data (unless you want to start getting rid of actual leads by the thousands or agents out of the system) you will need to upgrade. This is not a new policy or pricing, it's always been in effect, however unfortunately due to a communication issue between sales and server team, your servers were simply given more resources without us actually changing your plan - in essence we accidentally have been giving you dedicated servers for free.
Super Dedicated: These are our super elite clients, 500+ leads a month, 50+ agents on the team / brokerage, tons of traffic and lots of time with REW. You've accumulated VAST amounts of data and you probably need and want it all because it's likely leading to hundreds of millions or in many cases for our super dedicated customers BILLIONS of dollars in sales volume per year. Super dedicated has a hard storage limit of 200 GB's which is 4 times dedicated servers and 40 times regular servers. Again, this is something to be celebrated! Not only are you top 1% of REW's users, you are top 1% of all companies / teams in the world! There are even users who need greater than super dedicated (ie truly custom configurations) in our fold - those customers are already taken care of, and are pretty much all under our enterprise fold.
So that is the storage conversation: Pretty easy to understand I would think - the more traffic and leads you have and the longer you run your business, the more storage capacity you need. So from a purely storage perspective - this will address many of your decisions to upgrade or not.
Ferrari drivers / top performers care about speed!
It's fact that a faster website provides a better user experience, will lead to more conversions and in fact Google ranks websites now with speed as a leading indicator of quality.
- Faster websites mean more leads. More leads = more sales.
- Faster servers mean better CRM performance. More efficiency = more sales.
So for anyone who is in an competitive market where every advantage counts even if you're not at your storage limit yet, or if your backend is slowing down because of how much data you have you should highly consider dedicated / super dedicated servers.
Here's an explanation as to how this works
CPU (the brain): A person can only focus on a few things at a time, if you overwhelm them with too many tasks at once they can get confused or will begin to perform poorly. If you have a lot of tasks, it is better to have more than person (and more brains) to share the work if you need to get things done quickly. A standard hosting setup only has 1 CPU (one brain) whereas a dedicated server has 2 CPU's (twice the brain power) and a super dedicated server has 4 CPU's (four times the brain power!)
So if you only have a few tasks (you're a regular user) then 1 CPU (one brain) is fine! BUT if you have a lot going on (lots of leads, lots of agents in the backend, any custom code / queries etc) you're brain is starting to get overwhelmed and you need help. Add another brain to cut the strain in half or add 3 more and cut it down to a quarter.
Not only will your site / backend perform better under stress (and even be able to function at all) - but when there are regular levels of traffic, agent usage etc your site will absolutely FLY compared to a 1 brain scenario!
Add CPU's = better performance and better ability to handle large volumes of work.
A genius without a memory
Seems like a silly concept, no? Of course no brain can function without memory, especially when it comes to complex tasks. In server language we talk about RAM (random access memory) - this is one of the most important factors in terms of allowing a server to perform tasks. What it does is allows you to do more things at once, therefore allowing queries to go much faster, tasks to be done at the same time and of course overall there will be noticeable improvement to your site both front and backend.
A regular server has 1 gig of RAM, a dedicated has 4 and a super dedicated has 12, huge difference in resources. Again speed = leads = time = $
And finally - for those of you who are in the 5%, those innovators, tinkerers and thought leaders; let's not forget about one of your favorite things - customization!
Sure you can do basic custom custuomizations on a regular server. But what about the crazy stuff, the last 10%, the things you can only do with a dedicated server?
A few examples:
WPO (web performance optimization): Want to add nitrous to your IDX? Instead of being on a shared IDX environment one of the best things you can do is have your own exclusive IDX feed. Not only can we then "remove" all data that you don't need (which means it will be WAY faster) but also we can put it right on your own server right beside your website. This means instead of having to travel across the network to get your IDX information, it can live right there with your site.
What if you want a custom tweak to "just" your IDX feed and you don't want anyone else to have access to it? Well first it's not even permitted on regular hosting, but on dedicated as long as it doesn't violate MLS TOS, you can do whatever you want to your feed to get it to perform exactly the way you want.
Data integrations: Want to innovate with new data sets? Generate / create your own? Datasets can be huge (many gigabytes) you don't have room on a regular server instance, it's not what it was spec'd to handle. So if you ever want to do anything creative with new data including generating your own, you really need to be on your own environment with enough resources to process the data and enough space to store it.
CDN (content delivery network): High traffic websites that
receive visitors from all across the globe use CDN's to speed up
the delivery of traffic to someone who may otherwise have to way
due to their distance from server location (it makes sense that it
would take longer for traffic to go from your hometown to you vs
from Alaska to you) - a CDN puts a local copy of the website data
in many different locations in order to deliver content faster to
users further way from our servers.
There are plenty more reasons why you would "need" to have a dedicated server if you are a high performance type user or a customizer, but hopefully I have made it clear why you need to upgrade to a dedicated / super dedicated server if you want to play in the the top 5%
But most importantly - compared to the cost of even missing out on ONE DEAL - the cost of upgrading is minimal - but the reality is, increasing your resources and performance will lead to many more deals long term because of better user experience, more efficient agents in the backend and even better search engine rankings!
But what about offsetting the cost? You said promo?
If you upgrade before July 1st, 2016 the following promotion applies:
- Texting: 2500 texts normally $50 per month included (5000 with super dedicated)
- Sold data: If you decide to do a sold data project, hosting for sold data (normally $40 per month) is included.
- Coming soon: New CMA / seller tool ($199 monthly value) - preview available at www.guaranteedsale.com
- CDN (content delivery network $50+ included)
And perhaps most attractive to our heavy customizers - we are
offering a ONE TIME discount on hours all the way down to $100 USD
per hour (savings of $25 per hour)
The difference (not including all those add on's) between regular and dedicated is only $3,600 per year - that means if you ordered 144 hours or more on this promo (which we know you'll use throughout the year anyways) - the upgrade and all the things we have talked about here will be completely free!
You rep will be in contact with your shortly - however if you have questions, please feel free to ask here, or on the REW Facebook Group