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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb The End of WebHostingTALK?

    Is it just me or has WHT turned into the budget hosting forum? What happen to the old days? where did all the real business customers go? any way to turn this trend around?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by NetDepot - Terrence View Post
    Is it just me or has WHT turned into the budget hosting forum? What happen to the old days? where did all the real business customers go? any way to turn this trend around?
    I've noticed this as well. When I first started off, I used to be able to rent out servers for $150+/month on here. Now, the only servers I can rent out are for $50/month. I'm not even wasting my time with a Corporate Membership because it's a waste. I'd rather put that $1,200 into advertising.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Encrypted View Post
    I've noticed this as well. When I first started off, I used to be able to rent out servers for $150+/month on here. Now, the only servers I can rent out are for $50/month. I'm not even wasting my time with a Corporate Membership because it's a waste. I'd rather put that $1,200 into advertising.
    Someone at iNET needs to take notice and clean thing up very fast because the jewel of the industry is going to *%^#@.

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    I suppose it's the credit crunch, people are all looking for the "cheapest" and not the reliable providers... until it's two late and with the Unlimited gimmick allowed here, it's all going to change.
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  5. #5
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    Are you suggesting we start setting pricing minimums for providers?

    The market has become flooded, and with that the price wars began. We're not here to prevent cheap offers, and it's not what I'd consider our place to say who can advertise what here as long as it's legal and they can provide what they sell.

    As a provider of non budget offerings, it's up to you to convince buyers that basing a decision on price alone is not the best option, and show why your product is better for them, no?
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  6. #6
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    WHT is for the web hosting industry. Wherever the market takes them is what you'll see. You'll find plenty of providers who don't fit the "budget" title here - you'll just likely see more "budget" providers as time goes on as that's where a large portion of the market is going.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CW Mike View Post
    I suppose it's the credit crunch, people are all looking for the "cheapest" and not the reliable providers... until it's two late and with the Unlimited gimmick allowed here, it's all going to change.
    I really don't think that's the case, every new thread someone is looking for a $50 server and a few threads later they are complaining about poor service.

    Proper services cost money to maintain and that is why they come at a cost. Many of these new folks on here don't really understand the real cost because of all these cheap deals floating around.

  8. #8
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    Some price decline over time is to be expected. When customers see the price of bandwidth and consumer hard drives fall so much in recent years, they expect hosts to pass those savings on to them. Customers don't always understand all of the other costs linked to providing a hosting service.

    I am not really sure WHT can turn customer perception around, though. The recession encouraged a lot of people to pinch pennies.
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  9. #9
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    I'd say allowing unlimited offers didn't particularly help increase the quality of the offers here. Though as bear mentioned, the market is saturated to high heaven. When you have a ton of cookie-cutter providers who offer the same or very similar services from the same or near same locations, how can one stand out and appear to be different from the other? Sell for less, is one way.

    Having price limitations is also a horrible idea. Look at LET/LEB. That place has degraded so much and turned into a contest where small, unpopular providers have to compete on price and resource allocation. There are literally people selling 2GB+ RAM, multiple IPs, laughably large disk space, etc for $5/mo just to get a sale. It's sad.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by NetDepot - Terrence View Post
    I really don't think that's the case, every new thread someone is looking for a $50 server and a few threads later they are complaining about poor service.

    Proper services cost money to maintain and that is why they come at a cost. Many of these new folks on here don't really understand the real cost because of all these cheap deals floating around.
    I agree, however people will learn the hard way if they go that way, people need to make mistakes to realise he differences.
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by NetDepot - Terrence View Post
    Someone at iNET needs to take notice and clean thing up very fast because the jewel of the industry is going to *%^#@.
    Clean what up exactly?
    Last edited by WireNine; 01-20-2014 at 11:06 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by WireNine View Post
    Clean what up exactly?
    Nothing at all..

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    Quote Originally Posted by MannDude View Post
    I'd say allowing unlimited offers didn't particularly help increase the quality of the offers here.
    Unlimited offers might be "against the rules" however a few shared hosting providers disregard this "rule" and setup accounts with unlimited disk/bandwidth anyways, and offer it on their website. I won't list any names here, but yeah.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_A View Post
    Unlimited offers might be "against the rules" however a few shared hosting providers disregard this "rule" and setup accounts with unlimited disk/bandwidth anyways, and offer it on their website. I won't list any names here, but yeah.
    It's currently allowed on WHT.
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    Just a thought: What if WHT split the Offers section into 2 parts, Managed and Unmanaged (read: budget). I know the terms are subjective but maybe setting the requirements for a managed service as "24x7 Phone Support" or something of that nature?
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear View Post
    Are you suggesting we start setting pricing minimums for providers?
    Not at all, I'm just saying the forum is heading the wrong direction in my opinion.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_A View Post
    Unlimited offers might be "against the rules" however a few shared hosting providers disregard this "rule" and setup accounts with unlimited disk/bandwidth anyways, and offer it on their website. I won't list any names here, but yeah.
    That's not against the rules of WHT, was changed over a year ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by NetDepot - Terrence View Post
    Is it just me or has WHT turned into the budget hosting forum? What happen to the old days? where did all the real business customers go? any way to turn this trend around?
    I think the economy is more to blame for the trend not WHT.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear View Post
    It's currently allowed on WHT.
    Quote Originally Posted by WireNine View Post
    That's not against the rules of WHT, was changed over a year ago
    September of 2013 or so.
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  19. #19
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    Is it just me or has WHT turned into the budget hosting forum? What happen to the old days? where did all the real business customers go? any way to turn this trend around?
    WHT audience isn't as large reaching as it should be, in age of startup fever you rarely see a mention of WebHostingTalk on HackerNews, /r/programming, Stackoverflow, Twitter (amoungst the developer community - granted you get same crappy spammy cpanel offerings every few minutes), highscalabiity etc..

    I think part of the blame falls on the hosting companies when innovative companies were pushing shared hosting to new limits (e.g. webfaction), paas (heroku, docker, cloud66), iaas (aws, rackspace cloud, railsmachine), most WHT companies were still resting on their laurels. For example, hanging on to cpanel (decorating the turd by switching some components - litespeed, cloudlinux, r1soft, mariadb, and calling it nextgen) or believing the LAMP stack was still the holy grail (because they read "facebook uses php"), or on a higher end believing that with half a dozen dedicated servers and an onapp license that could challenge AWS. tl;dr hosts got lazy, big or startup customers (i.e. those with horizontal scaling requirements) went elsewhere.

    Excluding resellers sitting on top of resellers, nowadays the majority of non-reseller punters that I can see are one-click WordPress users, or other off-shelf PHP apps, and if WHT does see any user that does scale it usually some clone file sharing site.

    There's still some great discussions here but mainly around colo, data-centers, bandwidth etc.. which are probably serving bigger customers through other avenues than WHT
    Last edited by MattF; 01-20-2014 at 11:13 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_A View Post
    Unlimited offers might be "against the rules" however a few shared hosting providers disregard this "rule" and setup accounts with unlimited disk/bandwidth anyways, and offer it on their website. I won't list any names here, but yeah.
    They allow them now.

    I don't entirely disagree with the notion as most consumers who buy into the unlimited marketing don't know any better. They genuinely have no idea that their little low traffic Wordpress blog about their homemade dog bow-ties takes less than <150MB disk to store. But they don't want 'restricted' by real and practical limits.

    Though to be honest, offering these services are probably good for business. Lots of big name unlimited providers that can finally advertise on WHT whereas before they could not. The average 'unlimited hosting' customer just wants their stuff up and running and don't know any better. Most are burned by these sort of hosts eventually, which is why most hosts who offer these services try to push 1, 2 and 3 year hosting plans.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by WireNine View Post
    I think the economy is more to blame for the trend not WHT.
    I really don't think its the economy if companies like Softlayer can pull out of here and add 2,400 customers in the last few months. They have one if not the highest prices in the industry.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattF View Post
    WHT audience isn't as large reaching as it should be, in age of startup fever you rarely see a mention of WebHostingTalk on HackerNews, /r/programming, Stackoverflow, Twitter (amoungst the developer community - granted you get same crappy spammy cpanel offerings every few minutes), highscalabiity etc..

    I think part of the blame falls on the hosting companies when innovative companies were pushing shared hosting to new limits (e.g. webfaction), paas (heroku, docker, cloud66), iaas (aws, rackspace cloud, railsmachine), most WHT companies were still resting on their laurels. For example, hanging on to cpanel (decorating the turd by switching some components - litespeed, cloudlinux, r1soft, mariadb, and calling it nextgen) or believing the LAMP stack was still the holy grail (because they read "facebook uses php"), or on a higher end believing that with half a dozen dedicated servers and an onapp license that could challenge AWS. tl;dr hosts got lazy, big or startup customers (i.e. those with horizontal scaling requirements) went elsewhere.

    Excluding resellers sitting on top of resellers, nowadays the majority of non-reseller punters that I can see are one-click WordPress users, or other off-shelf PHP apps, and if WHT does see any user that does scale it usually some clone file sharing site.

    There's still some great discussions here but mainly around colo, data-centers, bandwidth etc.. which are probably serving bigger customers through other avenues than WHT
    I agree this may have something to do with it. All I'm saying is that WHT fails to attract big customers like it used to. Everyone on here is looking for budget providers, unlike in the past, where there were legitimate companies seeking professional services.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by WireNine View Post
    That's not against the rules of WHT, was changed over a year ago.



    I think the economy is more to blame for the trend not WHT.

    Economy and competition. Seven years ago when I started advertising on webhostingtalk, I used to post an offer thread and it would stay on the first page for 10 days, now its down to a few hours. With so much competition, prices are bound to decrease for the consumer.

    However, I think a majority of the problem comes from illegitimate businesses. New hosts trying to get in the business with no business experience and pricing themselves out of business, kid hosts who aren't interested in a living wage or long term solution, and scam businesses who sell annual plans or loads of low cost plans and then disappearing after 6 months or stop paying their providers until they get shut down.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by devonblzx View Post
    However, I think a majority of the problem comes from illegitimate businesses. New hosts trying to get in the business with no business experience and pricing themselves out of business, kid hosts who aren't interested in a living wage or long term solution, and scam businesses who sell annual plans or loads of low cost plans and then disappearing after 6 months or stop paying their providers until they get shut down.
    You hit the nail on the head my friend, may people in the industry these days are just trying to make a quick buck and will take any route to do so.

  25. #25
    WHT has nothing to do with the offers or prices of hosting companies. Like what others mentioned already, there are so many hosting companies out there so the competition is at the roof. I don't think WHT can do anything about it. Unless of course, you want the admins from WHT to try each of the hosting (which is virtually impossible).

    Large companies can offer much lower prices while small - medium companies tries to match this with quality of service.

    But then again, in my opinion WHT is greatly needed this time because this is the most popular place to find reviews or even get support from hosting companies.

  26. #26
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    I understand Terrance's point. I don't think it is the end of WHT but right now there are certainly some crazy pricing points being floated around. Even reputable providers are hitting those pricing points to offload older inventory.

    Personally I just don't know what you can do about it as the market is being flooded with miner devices who need best bang for the buck without much care about redundancy etc.
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  27. #27
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    Technology has evolved.
    Prices have dropped dramatically for hardware.
    And is not even that alone, you guys are skipping or forgetting that knowledge in previous times was just limited to people with university degree. Now everybody who knows how to use Google and Youtube can go on their way alone. Meaning that hosting knowledge in general have expanded dramatically. What happens when knowledge of some kind expand so much? The related services prices start to fall. Why? Well anybody can do it, just like PC Repair Services, same thing happened.

    Anybody can get their own hardware and Colo it, is so cheap to colo now days...
    Anybody can setup a VPS/SERVER with google and youtube.

    --
    Another reason is that this forum and others have turned into a spamming pool. We see the same thing everyday. Nobody cares to use the search. What is the best? What is the cheapest? Then the same people go there and spam spam sig.

    Serious people in the industry have forgotten about this forums, nobody have time to crawl into the million of offers both legitimate and damn illegitimate in the offers section. Therefor the big fish (the serious one) is never around. Who benefit of that? The biggest companys the ones with a PR so high... For example: Singlehop. They are very very very expensive compare to what other offers nowdays. But they are up and running good. People now rely more on google searches than on forums.

    Big companys can pay lots for advertising at google and facebook.

    --
    Another reason based on the previous. The forum audience is more young now. Therefor the crave for slow cheap prices. Which relates to summer host or kiddi hosts.

    Also I bet that the majority of the audience nowdays is out of the US and UK, probably India? The budget is not the same...

    --


    So if you are a company that lease servers and your competitor are giving away theirs at damn low cheap prices, and it is affecting your sales, what would you do? I only see 2 options:

    1)Demonstrate your value, why yours is better? Which the majority of times dont work.
    2)Just lower your prices and try to kill your competitor.

    #2 seems the obvious one.

    Something like what Digital Ocean did? ^ ^ "Launch at damn slow prices, let's kill them all?"

  28. #28
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    I wouldn't think staff here could set limits as to minimum prices for plans or maximin prices for plans it's insane and like telling most hosts how to run their business. Doing something like this will make members run away. WHT has been here long time so has some providers and after time prices change they go up they go down it's all a matter of if you can close the sale or not with that customer.

  29. #29
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    I've been around the industry for 10+ years. It's cyclical -- the market always corrects itself. The loss leaders get bought out, financing terms change, business models change, or sometimes, people grow up and need to make a better living.

    Currently customers are placing a premium on IaaS & PaaS providers, leaving shared providers to compete on price. Guys like WPEngine, Pagoda Box... etc are able to maintain healthy margins, as they've differentiated their offering. Eventually the market will shift, either through adaptation, or customer demand changes, and the market will again place high demand on shared providers.

    That's not to say shared is dead right now. Certain shared providers out there have done however done a tremendous job at projecting their value, focusing on niches; Site5 has really differentiated themselves with the number of locations they have, while guys like Rochen have been able to demonstrate expertise with certain applications.

    Again, I don't think WHT has much to worry about: as long as they provide an open medium to discuss web hosting, the forum will always maintain a continued high level of activity.
    Last edited by IGobyTerry; 01-21-2014 at 12:06 AM.

  30. #30
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    Something like what Digital Ocean did? ^ ^ "Launch at damn slow prices, let's kill them all?"
    DigitalOcean didn't just push forward by lowest prices otherwise every LEB kiddie host would be a success story, a large part of their success is attributed to targeting developers, same as Linode, commissioning articles, sponsoring/attending rubycon, oscon, recently ng-conf, or local dev meetups etc... Now more than ever you have to win the hearts and minds of startups and developers in startups, a PHP version selector just doesn't cut it.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattF View Post
    DigitalOcean didn't just push forward by lowest prices otherwise every LEB kiddie host would be a success story, a large part of their success is attributed to targeting developers, same as Linode, commissioning articles, sponsoring/attending rubycon, oscon, recently ng-conf, or local dev meetups etc... Now more than ever you have to win the hearts and minds of startups and developers in startups, a PHP version selector just doesn't cut it.
    Oh but you can't compare DO with kiddie hosts. DO have a big board of investors, I think we all know that.

    And yes mainly is because of the prices and the Cloud marketing. I don't know if you have noticed but DO main competitor is Linode which is another company that claims to be Cloud. Linode prices are far higher. Entry $5 vs Entry $20.00 , oh plus DO is SSD, thats a damn bargain. Of course they did pushed prices MAINLY.

    And Linode compete with RackSpace, which makes Linode look like a WOW deal. So yes, prices...

    With that prices I can deploy destroy all day...Why bothering installing the LAMP locally...

  32. #32
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    The problem with hosting is that it's pretty much turned into a turnkey operation. Anyone with a few $100 dollars can have their own web hosting business setup in no time and with little experience about hosting. For example, here's a breakdown of what it would cost to get setup for shared hosting:

    • WHMCS License: ~$250
    • VPS (with cPanel License) or reseller account: ~$20/mo
    • Softaculous VPS License: $12/yr
    • Logo: ~$30
    • Domain name: ~$12/yr
    • SSL Certificate: ~$12/yr


    If you add that all up, it's about $320 to get setup and then you pay whatever recurring costs down the road. Compare this to years ago when none of this software was around and you would pay $1000s of dollars to get setup, and with any luck you would get your money back in no time because there was not a lot of competition around.

    Because of how easy it is for people to start a web hosting company and all the competition people have no problem in charging low prices for their services. They're also usually a one man show so they're not having to pay anyone for their time.

    There's really no solution in setting standards on who should or shouldn't be allowed to use WHT. WHT sort of already filters out people with their reviews section.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CBH-Nick View Post
    The problem with hosting is that it's pretty much turned into a turnkey operation. Anyone with a few $100 dollars can have their own web hosting business setup in no time and with little experience about hosting. For example, here's a breakdown of what it would cost to get setup for shared hosting:

    • WHMCS License: ~$250
    • VPS (with cPanel License) or reseller account: ~$20/mo
    • Softaculous VPS License: $12/yr
    • Logo: ~$30
    • Domain name: ~$12/yr
    • SSL Certificate: ~$12/yr


    If you add that all up, it's about $320 to get setup and then you pay whatever recurring costs down the road. Compare this to years ago when none of this software was around and you would pay $1000s of dollars to get setup, and with any luck you would get your money back in no time because there was not a lot of competition around.

    Because of how easy it is for people to start a web hosting company and all the competition people have no problem in charging low prices for their services. They're also usually a one man show so they're not having to pay anyone for their time.

    There's really no solution in setting standards on who should or shouldn't be allowed to use WHT. WHT sort of already filters out people with their reviews section.
    You can even get started with less than $100 actually with almost no knowledge. Most reseller hosting providers now offer free WHMCS, domain, and SSL for just about $20/m. You could also just dump something on paint and create your logo for free. It's so easy starting a web hosting business these days which is saturating the marketplace.

  34. #34
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    I don't know if you have noticed but DO main competitor is Linode which is another company that claims to be Cloud.
    I *did* specifically mention Linode in the post you replied to, Linode have large market share because they target developers not because they compete with rackspace on price. Developers sing Linode's praise all day long twitter, conferences, irc etc...
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  35. #35
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    There is a reason that my participation here has dwindled significantly...

  36. #36
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    *

    Quote Originally Posted by MattF View Post
    I *did* specifically mention Linode in the post you replied to, Linode have large market share because they target developers not because they compete with rackspace on price. Developers sing Linode's praise all day long twitter, conferences, irc etc...
    LOL how you can know all of them are developers from just such small tweets, with nothing related to development... RANDOM / / /

    Now continuing the reply: Is because of the value they are getting for what they are paying.

    Linode best feature is the support staff... If you read all the tweets, that's all is about. Oh and free upgrades... Again--> big value, low price.

    Now raise that price at 300% , and let see how many good reviews we will see.

    We can argue in this for a few days back and forward.
    You got your point I got mine. Moving on.

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  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by IGobyTerry View Post
    Again, I don't think WHT has much to worry about: as long as they provide an open medium to discuss web hosting, the forum will always maintain a continued high level of activity.
    I might be dreaming, but...I noticed activity growing (e.g. more discussion threads in Web Hosting) in WHT over the years. Additionally, there are now more specific threads for more specific subjects.

  39. #39
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    WHT is not the market (the just control a fair share lol). If you can't convince your own target market to pay your set pricing, you have more to worry about than the WHT business model.

    You either need to adjust your target market, adjust your business plan, or adjust to other means of advertising.

    Pricing limitations is a terrible idea. I may be able to get servers at a much lower cost than some other guy and therefore I could offer them at a lower cost. Just wouldn't work. Plus it's none of WHT's business how much of a margin I'd like to set on servers I sell.
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  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
    Many read, many are smart, many never post.
    And many are banned as well.

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