Lee Odden

Our New Web Hosting Company

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

VISI web hosting

If you follow the goings on at Online Marketing Blog, you’ll know we’ve had some issues with hosting the past few months. We had outgrown our host of 2 1/2 years and the subsequent host we moved to was not prepared to deliver the service we signed up for.

When looking for a new host, we realized there was already a proven hosting company right in our backyard that we’ve had experience with. Sometimes the thing you need is right in front of you and you don’t see it right away.

We’ve been hosting our PR agency web site with VISI out of Minneapolis for over a year and have been very happy with their service. VISI’s CEO, Mike Sowada has been a big supporter of the local interactive marketing community through MIMA and they actually had me give a presentation at the grand opening of their new St. Paul data center last year.

I contacted our Account rep for the the PR site to see about hosting Online Marketing Blog there on a dedicated server. Explaining that we had minimal resources to allocate to setup and support of the server, we also had a very short time frame to work with since our previous host realized we were not going to upgrade with them and were shutting us down with a 1, then 3 day notice.

VISI hosting engineers were able to get the dedicated server setup along with WordPress and MySQL over the weekend and along with our own refinements (Thanks Thomas!) and fine tuning, we were live by Monday morning. I am happy to say VISI came through for us in a bind from the start. It’s been a week so far and smooth sailing. No blips, no down time, no issues with CPU load, data transfer, etc at all.

Our PR site is on a shared hosting program and our blog is using the dedicated server program and I can honestly recommend either one. They also provide co-location hosting and a range of internet access services ranging from dial up to a DS3. VISI is one of the largest web hosting providers in the Midwest but the service has been very small town (as in friendly and responsive).

I think many business owners share a similar feeling as I do in that they just want a hosting company they can trust and that is responsive when they need it. I’m happy to say that VISI has seriously raised the bar on our expectations of and experience with a web host.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. This may have been a fortunate move – this blog has just made the bottom of the Technorati top 100, traffic will soar

  2. I agree totally with moving. I’ve moved from MSN Spaces because they couldn’t fit in with my ideas of creativity, then from Tripod because they didn’t support Layers, and finally from Freewebs because I wanted my own domain name, and found the name and the hosting cheaper than Freewebs could provide it for.

    My motto in life is – “If it’s not working for you, try something else”

  3. I know you’ve put up the name of your non-delivering host before, but you should have shamed them more. Maybe even putting up the correspondence trying to ‘persuade’ you to upgrade. Anyone using a bait-and-switch tactic like that should be outed.

    Seems the move went ok, I’m considering changing hosts too (too many DB outages) and will look into Visi.

  4. Search Engine Web, wow that’s pretty cool. I had noticed we were on the top 100 favorited list, but being on the popular list is pretty cool. Thanks for the heads up.

  5. Jack N, I have been tempted to use all of my resources to create a thorn in the side of that past host but the effort I would put into that could be be better used with continued promotion of our own business.

    Their shame will continue to come from poor processes, communication and service.

    Also, if VISI.com continues to perform well, I will do my best to spread the word.

  6. Lee- We’ve co-located servers at VISI for the past 5 years. Just one issue in those 5 years, a recent power outage. We are the ones that have to admin and service those servers, but the facility and backbone has lived up to everything promised. Good choice. Nothing worse then I want great info from this blog and it’s unavailable for me to be educated. 🙂

  7. I just went to the VISI site to look for a dedicated windows server. They layout 4 plans in detail with the exception of price. BIG RED FLAG! Waste of my time. No thanks.

  8. I’ve had to switch hosts three times in two years. It’s hard to find just the right fit.

  9. Stacy, interesting that you chose to make that comment anonymously, some would say that’s a big red flag.

    The bottom line is Pair Networks screwed us and VISI has gone above and beyond.