Considering offering free hosting for the traffic and to get people in the forums.
Small space 20megs/ 1 gig bandwidth... NO email.. but will NEVER offer paid hosting so no chance of getting anyone to upgrade to a paid service...
I am really not looking at what revenue can be generated. I am looking at costs wise of maybe capping it at 150 or 200 if it was to get that high.
I am just looking to get USEFUL posts in the forums and get the activity.
I am really not looking for a Yes or NO.. I suppose but if anyone out there is doing something similar is it worth it..
I will never go paid hosting so they will have to go to another host for email, more space, bandwidth and all that.. they can choose one of the hosts from our site if they want to pay, and that would actually be nice becuase then we can get some votes coming in..
Interesting idea actually - well - its all about how much work it will be to support those customers and if you see value in it. If the value you see is to increase the activity in your forums and create host ratings - then it will probably work...Just make sure youre prepared to handle the support - though with a basic offering - the support time/costs should be low -
You cant force the people to post in your forums. Sure, your offering them free hosting, but bottom line is, if they dont want to post, they wont. Which means, you will delete their account, and then it will just be a constant create account - delete account game.
HostingLimbo.com "Wait here, till you choose a host from our list"
Give them a time limit of say 60 days, and have them fill out a request form to search for a host that is in your directory listing. Then have them rate it every 60 days. Create a database for the reviews unless you already have it.
I had thought about that as far as the adding / deleting. But I think after some time of adding and deleting I would be able to get the 100-200 (maybe) in time that would be good as far as posting so that is when I would cap it and not offer any other free hosting. And just open it back up as some of the free ones go paid with someone else.
Maybe by that time some of the free ones go paid and go with some hosts on our site and then they can come vote.... just so we are clear, we do NOT accept any affiliate program or payment from webhosts for signups..
HostingLimbo.com "Wait here, till you choose a host from our list"
We will not be pushing for them to choose a host from our site, if they go else where and find one they like hopefully they come back to us and tell us who it is.. We can add them and then they can vote on them.
Give them a time limit of say 60 days, and have them fill out a request form to search for a host that is in your directory listing. Then have them rate it every 60 days.
Who said anything about there being a time limit? If we did this they can stay as long as they like as long as they obide by the rules..
I was really looking for some pros and cons.. Not that your comments aren't helpful cPanelSubs
Originally posted by top25hosting . . . I was really looking for some pros and cons . . .
IMO, it's a bit hairy, but could work. Folks like to congregate in communities anyways, so add that to free hosting (another thing that folks would like), and it just might work. Lots of variables there, as free hosting can attract an unwanted element onto your server/s. Could be worth a shot, but it could also fail. Only way to find out is to venture down that path. I'd probably try and find some other hosts trying to operate the same model, and see how they do it.
•AussieHost.com• Aussie Bob, host since 2001 • • Host Multiple Domains on Fast Australian Servers!! •
Originally posted by Aussie Bob IMO, it's a bit hairy, but could work. Folks like to congregate in communities anyways, so add that to free hosting (another thing that folks would like), and it just might work. Lots of variables there, as free hosting can attract an unwanted element onto your server/s. Could be worth a shot, but it could also fail. Only way to find out is to venture down that path. I'd probably try and find some other hosts trying to operate the same model, and see how they do it.
Of course it would work. If you offered someone free hosting just to post on a forum once a day no doubt they would jump at the chance. The thing you need to think about is weather you want all the hassle with it. IE: "My page is down" , "whats an ftp" all this will reflect on your forums and over time may damage them.
Well, we have a free webhosting service and in 6 months, we've had 5000 signups. However, for months we wrestled with pornsters and in the end we firewalled most of China. The server load would hit 200 sometimes when a link to a porn site on the server was posted on a chinese forum or something. We don't use Plesk or Cpanel or anything but a script called WebUmake that automates anything.
We used to offer FTP with it but after the porno problems, we now make people put up an index page and request FTP in our forum. Also, we only offer support via the forum but as the service doesn't allow cgi/php - any server side scripting or POP/SMTP, what is there to support? We have a webmail system and people use that but not too much. But that area of our forum is not active at all and people have to go there to get support - and it's still not active. So unless you offer free Cpanel/Plesk/DA etc hosting, I doubt you are going to get alot of forum activity. But if you are going to go with Cpanel/Plesk/DA etc, I would say that your forum would be very, very active if you make people go there for support.
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As long as you can start small with good expense controls
in place, just figure out if it's a risk worth taking.
Consider the benefits of having newbies learning how to
build sites on your network. Over time, can you build a
product line to market to these users? If not, do you have
the organizational skills to manage a relationship with
other product providers who could responsibly leverage the
You may be able to contact your hosting company, and offer
them some sort of great advertisement on the free host, and
attempt to work with them to create a mutually benefitial
deal that will allow you to launch this free host and experiement
with it until you can nail down the specific formulas that will
allow you to create profits, or at least have the free host pay for
You said that you will require your users to be making useful posts... how do you determine what posts are useful? How do the users know what posts are classified as useful and what aren't? How are you going to monitor this? Are you going to read every post every day and count how many useful posts each person makes?
Although I like the idea of offering free posting, having people pay does act as a filter. Those who are out just for a free ride (and perhaps misuse your generosity) will jump in as readily as those who will use the free offer for respectible purposes.
Unfortunately there are more of the former than the latter.