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  1. #1
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    How do free hosts keep going?

    Hi all, I'm just wondering here...how do these free hosts keep offering hosting for free?? All I see um getting in return our posts on their forums...

    Do any of um ask for donations or anything?

  2. #2
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    Re: How do free hosts keep going?

    Originally posted by DurixHost
    Hi all, I'm just wondering here...how do these free hosts keep offering hosting for free?? All I see um getting in return our posts on their forums...

    Do any of um ask for donations or anything?
    Some of them put ads on the customer sites, some do other things - but most go out of business soon thereafter if they don't have a solid biz plan for how to actually make money from giving hosting away. Obviously, the free hosting that they're providing is costing someone, somewhere money.
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  3. #3
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    I see you offer hosting with paid hosting as well. That seems like the best idea on how to offer it for free.

    Would asking for donations be a bad idea? Maybe a choice of posting on a forum or donating.

    Give me your thoughts.

  4. #4
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    Originally posted by DurixHost
    I see you offer hosting with paid hosting as well. That seems like the best idea on how to offer it for free.

    Would asking for donations be a bad idea? Maybe a choice of posting on a forum or donating.

    Give me your thoughts.
    Asking for donations for a "hosting company" isn't a good idea usually, it just makes the operation looks childish. However, LifelessPeople.com does offer "Pay-By-Post" Webhosting (i.e. you get a certain ammount of space/bandwidth per post on their forums). I think they're pretty much the only people that do it ATM.
    Simpli Networks, LLC :: http://www.simplinetworks.com :: Proudly 100% Owned.
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  5. #5
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    That's an interesting way to do it
    Ashworth Consulting
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  6. #6
    If you are a free host, asking for donations doesn't have the same stigma attached to it. We run a free host mainly for a hobby and it's subsidized by our paid business. It's also allow us to test edge technologies on them.
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  7. #7
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    Originally posted by sprintserve
    If you are a free host, asking for donations doesn't have the same stigma attached to it. We run a free host mainly for a hobby and it's subsidized by our paid business. It's also allow us to test edge technologies on them.
    Agreed - but if you don't have a paid business to fall back on for payments, etc......
    Simpli Networks, LLC :: http://www.simplinetworks.com :: Proudly 100% Owned.
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  8. #8
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    I think they could survive with Google Adsense...

  9. #9
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    In what sense? ...no pun intended

    Ads advertising free hosting only use up MORE resources right? What do you gain by offering free hosting?

    We have offered free hosting in the past to clients purchasing web design, which balances out.
    Ashworth Consulting
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  10. #10
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    There are quite a few "free hosts" out there - hopefully not against the rules but with my own servers I tend to offer it in return for ads (which evens out VERY nicely, with 5-10 sites per server and each site paying for a server works flawlessly.).

    That said I spend any profits on server audits/security but it evens out as I have no losses.

    Lifelesspeople is definitely one of the best free ones out there though - there are lots others offering pay-by-post but his is the best and most professional there is.
    David
    Web hosting by Fused — For businesses with more important things to do than worry about their hosting.

  11. #11
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    David, 5-10 sites google adds (or whatever adds) are enough to pay for a server? I find that hard to believe.

    What kind of adds do you put on their sites

  12. #12
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    MegaGeo,

    I've never said google ads.
    Normally hosting ads, the sites themselves (like e107.org, freeciv.org, etc.) are large traffic and normally open source.
    David
    Web hosting by Fused — For businesses with more important things to do than worry about their hosting.

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by mripguru
    Asking for donations for a "hosting company" isn't a good idea usually, it just makes the operation looks childish. However, LifelessPeople.com does offer "Pay-By-Post" Webhosting (i.e. you get a certain ammount of space/bandwidth per post on their forums). I think they're pretty much the only people that do it ATM.
    I've actually seen many free hosts do it that way :-).

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  14. #14
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    Interesting idea
    Ashworth Consulting
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  15. #15
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    Re: How do free hosts keep going?

    Originally posted by DurixHost
    Hi all, I'm just wondering here...how do these free hosts keep offering hosting for free?? All I see um getting in return our posts on their forums...

    Do any of um ask for donations or anything?
    I started one years ago, after I started the pay aspect of my company, and within 2 years there were about 10,000 users. My user base got me some good software deals, and it definitely got the company name out there, and it got my company some goodwill - but eventually the market it was geared towards grew into a market I didn't want - which were spammers and so on.

    Eventually, I had to shut it down.

    It wasn't the cost of running it, it was the time and headache that it took trying to keep the nefarious people off of it. And, oddly enough, many of the free hosting folks were more demanding and more likely to get irately rude and insulting when things went wrong than any of my pay clients ever would dream of being.

    So, I dunno. But that was my experience.
    Jen Lepp
    “Customer service represents the heart of a brand in the hearts of its customers.” – Kate Nasser

  16. #16
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    Wow. You don't bite the hand that feeds you LOL

    People must tend to forget their places
    Ashworth Consulting
    Dedicated Servers / Reseller Web Hosting / Web Hosting
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  17. #17
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    Originally posted by ashworth102680
    Wow. You don't bite the hand that feeds you LOL

    People must tend to forget their places
    I think it was that more than anything else that got to me - I have this really weird thing with my clients.

    Demand something of me I promised to provide, and that's ok. I'd prefer a please, but if I promised and screwed up, I don't blame you for being peeved.

    Ask something of me that I say I don't provide but which I can do, and I'll probably do it as long as it's phrased politely as a request, and not a demand.

    Demand something of me while calling me names for something that I said I don't provide and which you're not paying me for?



    I really loved doing it - for a while. But I never got why the free clients were more abusive then the pay ones. It just didn't make sense to me to abuse the person that could wipe your site out with a keystroke - especially when you weren't paying for to begin with.
    Jen Lepp
    “Customer service represents the heart of a brand in the hearts of its customers.” – Kate Nasser

  18. #18
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    Yeah well heres the thing,

    Free loaders and cheap payers are always demanding the best support even when they don't deserve it. just a fact.

  19. #19
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    It just didn't make sense to me to abuse the person that could wipe your site out with a keystroke - especially when you weren't paying for to begin with.
    I wonder what they're thinking sometimes
    Ashworth Consulting
    Dedicated Servers / Reseller Web Hosting / Web Hosting
    Network: The Planet, TX

  20. #20
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    Well look at it: someone who expects value to be given to them for nothing on their end are typically people who are not responsible. As a group (I know there are some who are nice), the ones who scream for "free" service are the selfish ***holes who EXPECT something for nothing.

    Ayn Rand had it right in "Atlas Shrugged.:

  21. #21
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    We've been providing free webhosting since November 2003 and there is still quite a bit of interest in the service.

    Since then we have launched paid hosting and are looking at several other services to go into.

    We have tried a number of things to raise money, such as putting google ads onto the site, though that's pretty useless. In our early days we did say donations, but be realistic... you won't get much!

    We now "enforce" a rule where uses have to put one of our buttons on their sites, only a small one, and we check the sites now and again.

    The best money maker is when a free customer recommends us to a paid customer and we've had several of those.

    We're also thinking of "top-ups" (saying no more) for webhosting.

    As for support we do provide forum and tt, though it is stated in the t&c this does NOT have to be provided and only if "we feel like it"... which we usually do!

  22. #22
    Originally posted by Xboxking
    We've been providing free webhosting since November 2003 and there is still quite a bit of interest in the service.

    Since then we have launched paid hosting and are looking at several other services to go into.

    We have tried a number of things to raise money, such as putting google ads onto the site, though that's pretty useless. In our early days we did say donations, but be realistic... you won't get much!

    We now "enforce" a rule where uses have to put one of our buttons on their sites, only a small one, and we check the sites now and again.

    The best money maker is when a free customer recommends us to a paid customer and we've had several of those.

    We're also thinking of "top-ups" (saying no more) for webhosting.

    As for support we do provide forum and tt, though it is stated in the t&c this does NOT have to be provided and only if "we feel like it"... which we usually do!
    Hello,
    Weird. We make very good money off of Google, about the same we do off of paid hosting. You must not be placing them correctly....


    Best Regards,
    Former owner of 275mb, DKMHosting, and Easy-Upload

  23. #23
    I would think they make good money off advertisments. Probebly things like google adsense helps out a lot.

  24. #24
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    lol, they were placed at the top of every page on over 300 websites and little money was made.

  25. #25
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    Well, 300 isn't that much but you should have made a lot more...

    I know sites that are making $100's a month off free hosting because of the ads (they have over 4,000 hosted)

  26. #26
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    Well I don't see how then sites can actually make money.

    What you quote as having 4000 sites, and $100's a month, for a decent server (that can stand say, 400 websites) its something like $150-200.

    x 10 for 4000 sites and we're talking $2000... which I'm pretty sure can't be made entirely by google ads... it could, but it's doubtful.

    I just think its a matter of choosing the right features, not overcrowding servers and basically offering upgrades to people who out grow the free hosting!

  27. #27
    Hello XboxKing,
    I'm sorry but I think you misunderstood what the guy said. He just pretty much said a random number, he didn't email each free host asking "How many sites are you hosting and how much do you make a month?". I'm not attempting to brag but I have a server for $105/monthly and I make a good $xxx a month off of free hosting.
    I only have 2,000 websites hosted. And out of that 2,000 only TEN bring in bandwidth so far. So technically, we're making $xxx/monthly off of eleven websites (including ours). So before you bash free hosters and say that you can only make money off of upgrades understand that you are totally wrong.

    Might I add our server is running perfectly.



    Best Regards,
    Former owner of 275mb, DKMHosting, and Easy-Upload

  28. #28
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    Originally posted by JohnGladen
    Hello XboxKing,
    I'm sorry but I think you misunderstood what the guy said. He just pretty much said a random number, he didn't email each free host asking "How many sites are you hosting and how much do you make a month?". I'm not attempting to brag but I have a server for $105/monthly and I make a good $xxx a month off of free hosting.
    I only have 2,000 websites hosted. And out of that 2,000 only TEN bring in bandwidth so far. So technically, we're making $xxx/monthly off of eleven websites (including ours). So before you bash free hosters and say that you can only make money off of upgrades understand that you are totally wrong...
    I would have to agree with John,
    We have been looking into starting a free service that is ad supported. I've talked to many people in the area (NYC, DC) and have gotten some tips from an ad placement guru at AOL that I know. Depending on placement on clients pages, what the ad offers, compared to what your views needs are, they can make alot of money off a few sites that get a good share of bandwidth.. It's crazy what people will click on when they see something blinking, etc.. It still amazes me..
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  29. #29
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    As far as I can tell, most Free hosting sites make money by getting a bunch of users and then selling the "business" on WHT for an outrageous price based on questionable income numbers.

  30. #30
    ^Excuse me but, what are you talking about? I see the same amount of paid hosting bizs being sold as I do free hosting.
    Former owner of 275mb, DKMHosting, and Easy-Upload

  31. #31
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    Originally posted by JohnGladen
    ^Excuse me but, what are you talking about? I see the same amount of paid hosting bizs being sold as I do free hosting.

    And your point is?
    What does paid hosting have to do with this?

  32. #32
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    Post

    you can find free hosting from some professional hosting companies. They would provide an extremely basic package with no add-ons. I guess that is one way of marketing the higher end services. Although, it is not guaranteed success and probably doesn't turnover that many new paying clients.
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  33. #33
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    I am always suspicious when the word 'free' comes along on the www. That's why I still doubt which host to pick ; some of the candidates also offer free hosting, and I don't want to pay first then to see the company get in trouble over free users.

    I know a guy who runs a hosting company and he says though that he makes more money off ads on free websites than he does off paying customers...

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