Yeah i will also offer free support. so is it easy to get free hosting customers? and do you lot allow free hosting customers to run sites on a sub domain of your site or do you require them to use register domain?
A free hosting company would work out fine but make sure that you can afford the servers with the ad revenue and make sure that you scan your users' websites thourougly to make sure there are no illegal files hosted on your servers. Making sure that there are no illegal files on your server is very important and if you do not do this you can get shut down quite fast by getting unplugged by the data center or you could get a lawsuit against you.
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I ran a free hosting service for a year and still have it, but I'm looking to sell it. It takes a lot of time checking accounts for illegal content and deleting spammers. Be prepared to go through 50-100 accounts a day. Once your service is out there, that's how many signups you'l have a day. I would not recomend starting on a reseller account if you're serious about it.
It was profitable, but I've had to shut down the signup form for right now because of so many spammers signing up. I've kept it closed until we figure a way to stop spammers or the site is sold. When the signup form was open the site was actually profitable without ads on members pages. We still have not placed ads on members sites, but it can be done.
saghir69, we havn't placed any ads on members pages at this point. The programmer who created the site had an easy way to place ads on members pages, but i don't remember exactly what it was. I would have to talk to him about again.
thanks rogueslayer, I plan on starting a paid service too. and free acounts will be very basic. i think running this site will give me an idea of the industry and the demand of web hosting on the internet.
The free and paid hosting customers are two different kind of animals. One always thinks that you should give free services all the time and they take your services for granted. While the others know what they want and they are ready to pay for that services. Do not try to get one experience and then think that this will match to other. Also you will get discouraged more if you have bad experience with free hosting customers.
I started out with paid hosting and first year was very slow but slowly i gained customers and most of them are referrals from my exisinng customers. So watch out, do not learn chinese cooking to serve italian people !
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things is its too complicated to run a paid service as the expectations are much higher( i don't mean support wise) i mean i need to have a proper web design, billing system , credit card proccessing etc. I guess i can start the free one and then use this one to drive traffic to my new service when i'm ready!