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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    336

    # of customers and date started

    I would like to know how long each of you been in the hosting market?

    Also, how many customers do you have? How many new customers do you get a week? How many do you lose?

    Especially the $30/year hosts... how long and how many?

    I currently host 4000 domains (separate IPs) since 1997.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
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    UK
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    4000 separate IPs? Doesn't that cost a fortune in IPs?

    David
    David Barker
    4D Data Centres - Independent UK based data centre operator http://www.4d-dc.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
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    thats a lotta IP's. i got into the biz in 1999, but never fully finished it, so i let it go.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Boston
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    He also sells dedicated servers so that most likely makes up a majority of the IP's

  5. #5

    Re: # of customers and date started

    Originally posted by davet
    I would like to know how long each of you been in the hosting market?

    Also, how many customers do you have? How many new customers do you get a week? How many do you lose?

    Especially the $30/year hosts... how long and how many?

    I currently host 4000 domains (separate IPs) since 1997.
    i would like to know that about your site

    how many customers do you have? How many new customers do you get a week? How many do you lose?
    www.rackfive.com
    Aquired by Data Provider LLC.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    336
    actually, I offer dedicated servers, but have 0 dedicated customers. The 4000 accounts are all shared. I lease 5 Linux servers from www.olm.net for all my shared accounts. Each server costs me $1100. I store around 600 domains per server so my cost comes out to be around $1.80 per IP. I also still have some individual reseller accounts I purchase from olm which I pay $8 for. Expensive yes, but the reason I have them is because that is how I got started. Once I was able to afford dedicated servers, I started to fill them up. I am still in the process of moving the $8 accounts to my dedicated servers.

    On the average I get about 3 to 5 new accounts per day. I also get about 3 to 5 cancellations per day.

    Is 4000 a lot of customers? Or do I still have a lot of work to do?

    Still, no one has answered the post…

    how many customers do you have? How many new customers do you get a week? How many do you lose?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    San Diego
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    3,407
    I must say I am very impressed with your openness and honesty. You can't believe the BS that piles up here on actual numbers. It is nice to see an honest host post here.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Plymouth
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    212
    Are you collecting some data for survey?

  9. #9
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    Jan 2002
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    Boston
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    Wow.. A person who tells real numbers not BS numbers,, Welcome to WHT.. I would think 4000 is a pretty decent # if I was you.. As for us we have 247 customers as of now on shared hosting and about 25 resellers, we operate 3 dedicated servers 1 for shared hosting 1 for resellers (newest) and one raq for all the old school people who dont want to use Ensim. We get from -5 signups a day and loose on average 1 customer ever 1-2 months (usually due to finding a cheaper host) we have been in business for about 2 years total including the time we used a couple reseller accounts to sell hosting which was a branch off of our local pc repair shop we ran back in January we purchased our first dedicated server.. well thats us..

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Monterey, CA
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    143
    Well as a newbie here is our numbers. Since opening the doors about 7-9 days ago we had 11 people signup for accounts. So we are averaging about 1-2 signups right now, but it doesn't include our local customers (we are targeting a majority of local businesses) we have 4 in the oven, but my partner is still working on designing their site. We see you can make a bigger profit with the local clients, we charge them $100/month but that includes my partner maintiaining and adjusting their site.

    I'll let you know how many we actually lose, since we do not invoice clients for 15-days (15-day free trial) and see how many of those accounts are actually bogus
    Sam C
    Blue Dog Hosting
    http://www.bluedoghosting.com
    "Your new best friend!"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    336
    Originally posted by combs
    Are you collecting some data for survey?

    I would just like to know what type of hosting companies are posting to the forums.... large or small... quick buck or long haul.

    It helps me decide whether or not their comments are valid. If someone has a large customer base, they obviously are doing something right.

    It seems to me that the hosts that offer $30/year hosting are just trying to build a customer base. I don't see how they could still be in business and offer dependable customer support for $30/year. But I am sure the $30's won't be revealing their numbers.

    Also, the reason I was interested in the $30 host is because I was interested in maybe lowering my prices... I wanted to see if anyone was getting a flood of orders? Does anyone still get a 'flood' of orders like back before the year 2000 during the rush?

    Also as for being honest with the numbers… wasn't this forum designed to help each other? Liars can leave

  12. #12
    I think the reason people are afraid to post their real numbers is because the people spouting BS are very capable of making legitimate numbers look horrid.

    I, for one, avoid posting numbers for that very reason. When you get a bum rush of BS'ers telling you that you suck because you don't have 99% retention over your 4 years of business, it can make a company look bad.

    One often overlooked factor in cancellations (after you've been in business long enough to see the entire industry reinvented) is technological change. It is very difficult to keep on the cutting edge and often isn't practical. You may be on the cutting edge one month and the next month you're considered out of date or out of style. As soon as you're off the cutting edge, you're going to lose the "technology hoppers" (as I like to call them).

    When you get back on that edge, you'll grow at a faster rate, but the damage to your percentage of customers retained is already done.

    Over time, regular churn will cause your percent retention to fall (albiet slowly) even though your total number of customers continues to increase.

    The only time that rule fails is during periods of rapid growth, but that is a false indicator of customer satisfaction since nobody has had a chance to determine if they're satisfied or not. I'm sure you've all read threads about Cyberwings.

    We've been in this busines long enough to know that there is usually more damage than benefit in publicly releasing real world numbers. They do little to help you gain/retain customers and can be used as ammunition by less scrupulous competitors.
    Sincerely,
    Andrew Kinney
    CTO, Advantagecom Networks
    http://www.SimplyWebHosting.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Australia
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    I'm about to be starting up, and I'm going to be writing a business plan sometime soon so I can apply for grants and hopefully get some.

    I'm wondering when you guys who host started out, what was your customer growth like in your initial months. Also what kind of prices did you set and what marketing did you do? If you also don't mind, what technique you used do you think gave you the best growth in customers.

    This will help me (hopefully) to form some conservative estimates and expecations.

    Best regards,
    - Kurieuo.

    PS. If you don't want to write publicly, PMing is good.

  14. #14
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    I host near 900 domains (this doesn't mean 900 customers), and we opened on may 2001, I get 6-8 new accounts each week, but things has been slow since the incrementation of cheap host, (I used to get 3-5 daily signups) althrough sales has been slightly picked up since we put our new design online

    I lose 1-3 customers per month too.
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  15. #15
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    Aug 2002
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    Jedito, who designed your site? Looks like Pixelbrick. Do you mind revealing the cost of your new site?

  16. #16
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    dique7.com designed it, but if you don't mind, I prefer to not reveal the cost in public
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  17. #17
    We sell 1GB space / bandwidth accounts for $30/year (starting at $30). We are hosting 1,400+ domains and we started 8 months ago (it's our first year).. We get about $100-$700 in sales (and bandwidth upgrades) per day so we add about 5-10 accounts per day.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    336
    Originally posted by NiceRsx2002
    We sell 1GB space / bandwidth accounts for $30/year (starting at $30). We are hosting 1,400+ domains and we started 8 months ago (it's our first year).. We get about $100-$700 in sales (and bandwidth upgrades) per day so we add about 5-10 accounts per day.
    How can you offer 1 gig disk space accounts for $30/year? Even if you had a 80gig hard drive installed to a server, your revenue would come out to something like $150-$200/month per server. That doesn't seem profitable. How many servers do you host the 1400 accounts on?

    Is your company in the positive? What is your domain name if you don't mind me asking?

  19. #19
    Well for example we have a 60GB hard drive on our Plesk server 44% is used, we are hosting 700+ accounts on that server alone. Clients don't really need that much diskspace they just think they do and like room to grow (at least that's what I think). I have made quite a bit of money thus far about $25,000 in 8 months . I'm still in college and hope to make this a full time job. We have 3 servers 700 on one 600 on one and a new one with only about 70.

  20. #20
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    Aug 2002
    Posts
    336
    so you're charging them for a 1000mb site and only giving them about 80mb per site? That just doesn't seem right.

    What happens when eventually the customers do start to fill their space and the serevr become overloaded?

  21. #21
    We'll upgrade the hard drives, simple enough I mean me mainly host small sites and there isn't much you can store that's 1GB (that we allow on the server). WE DO give them a quota of 1GB they just don't use it.

  22. #22
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    Feb 2002
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    Australia
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    Re: # of customers and date started

    Originally posted by davet
    I would like to know how long each of you been in the hosting market?
    Since Dec 2001.
    Also, how many customers do you have?
    226
    How many new customers do you get a week?
    About 10+ now.
    How many do you lose?
    Haven't lost an account for a month or 2. [seriously]
    • AussieHost.com • Aussie Bob, host since 2001 •
    • Host Multiple Domains on Fast Australian Servers!! •

  23. #23

    Re: Re: # of customers and date started

    Originally posted by Aussie Bob
    Haven't lost an account for a month or 2. [seriously]
    That's much more impressive than other statistic I've seen in this thread so far... you are clearly doing something right -- congrats Bob
    Jeremy » [email protected]
    Front Drive » Advanced multi-domain hosting solutions
    http://www.frontdrive.com/

  24. #24
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    Australia
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    Re: Re: Re: # of customers and date started

    Originally posted by tribby
    That's much more impressive than other statistic I've seen in this thread so far... you are clearly doing something right -- congrats Bob
    Once you enter, I hastily lock the door behind you and hide the key. Mhuhahahahahahaha
    • AussieHost.com • Aussie Bob, host since 2001 •
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  25. #25
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    Aug 2002
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    Australia
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    Hey I know! You all give me your customers and I live happily ever after

  26. #26
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    San Diego
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    Re: Re: Re: # of customers and date started

    A couple of points:

    Originally posted by tribby


    That's much more impressive than other statistic I've seen in this thread so far... you are clearly doing something right -- congrats Bob
    Churn doesn't really get felt until you are in business for a few years. I do not care what people say and how much BS they want to lay down, no one can escape the 1 - 4% monthly churn averages the industry sees on shared hosting. Until you get into the thousands of customers and a few years in business, you will not understand. Our first year we had 1000 customers. We lost a handful. We thought we had the answer. But over time, the percentages catch up. While 95% of our closures are due to non-payment or just stopping hosting all together, few come from moving to other host. And this includes the fact our lowest plan is $10.00/mo.


    How can you offer 1 gig disk space accounts for $30/year? Even if you had a 80gig hard drive installed to a server, your revenue would come out to something like $150-$200/month per server. That doesn't seem profitable. How many servers do you host the 1400 accounts on?
    davet, you will find that most host who come to these boards have no business sense. They are people who treat it as a hobby, not a business. Of course $30.00/yr will not be sustainable over time. Commen sense dictates this. My challange has always been to find a host who has been around longer then a few years who charges under $5.00/mo and gives away the farm (ex .. 1 GB of space or a lot of bandwidth). You just won't find any. Even with the low cost of entry to this business now days, there will always be a bottom line.

    People who have frequented these boards have seen this time and time again. Host closing doors because they had no clue, or host who started with stupid pricing, finally woke up and started to raise rates to make money to sustain.

    I have seen this analogy posted a few times. Anyone can go buy $50.00 worth one $1 bills and sell them for $.75. Sure you wilkl sell them quicker then the next guy, but eventually you run out of dollar bills and have nbothing to show for it. Like a shooting star. And I have seen my fair share of shooting stars in my almost three years of coming here.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
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    Tasmania, Australia.
    Posts
    3,587

    Re: Re: Re: Re: # of customers and date started

    Originally posted by UmBillyCord
    You just won't find any.
    I think you mean "many" . Your points are very valid, and some will only come to find this out the hard way unfortunately. We are well into our third annual rebilling with some hosting clients and the second with development/maintenance. We lose a few each month now, nearly all of which are from closed down sites, but that's no problem.

    Cheers

    Gary

  28. #28
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    Nov 2000
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    San Diego
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    I think you mean "many" .
    I can maybe change it to "hardly any - at all. "

    I know that some people in other countries can certainly servive off a much lower income and salary is not as high. So many vs. any would be better. However, even in other countries paper thin margins will not work once you get a few thousand customers.

  29. #29
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    Nov 2000
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    Tasmania, Australia.
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    Certainly. The results are right here. WHT covers a very broad spectrum. A bit of comic relief between support tickets sometimes.

    Gary

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    The South
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    over 5500 domains (over 3000 are hosting, and then you have resellers accounting for around 2000 domains).
    12-20 signups per day for hosting or reseller
    a dozen cancellations a week roughly

    First customer was Oct 24th 2001.

    I don't understand the "paper thin" margins of under $5 a month hosting. Our margins is around 30-40% after all expenses, I'd call 5500 sites "a few thousand" and our lowest priced plan is $19.95 a year, most of our signups are $3.95 a month. Of course I have to say the monthly (only) reseller plans REALLY does a lot for the bottom line and there is less tech support per server full of resellers than there is server full of web sites. And there's more than a few customers paying much more than 3.95 for a month, with one site paying over 100 a month for their web space.

    Hell I couldn't be more pleased with it.
    Gary Harris - the artist formerly known as Dixiesys
    resident grumpy redneck

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,963
    Dixie,

    I am impressed. That's great. Nice to see it's working out nicely for you.

    a dozen cancellations a week OUCH LOL

  32. #32
    Man... I don't understand people saying how people selling low priced accounts will fail. Let's lay things out here:

    You can buy a server from rackshack for $100-200 per month.

    You can add about 600-1000 domains per server (since we are hosting small sites) load times are still .5-3 even on a server with 700+ domains...

    Let's do some math here:

    $30 per year per account X 700 = $21,000

    Total cost to rent the web server is about $1000-2000 per year) so that's about $20,000 profit on one server........ Anyone tell me what doesn't work with that ????

  33. #33
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    Originally posted by NiceRsx2002
    ........ Anyone tell me what doesn't work with that ????
    You're overselling like a mad man, that's the only way that you can get profit from your plans.

    From my point of view, its very dangerous, but, who the hell I am?
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  34. #34
    Well if people don't use it should I just let it sit there? I mean almost no one needs that much space, how is this dangerous I don't see it...

  35. #35
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    Depends on the accounts you're selling on those servers, 100 megs space and a gig transfer each and you're overselling by a factor of roughly 1.9 (not quite selling double what you have) on bandwidth and say 700 x 100 = roughly 70 gigs space on a 60 gig drive (call it 55 the OS takes up space) isn't horrendous overselling. Probably safe enough.

    Of course that's not what most of these guys are doing, they're advertising GIGS of space and multiple gigs of bandwidth and they're still putting 600 and 700 accounts per server, overselling by 10 fold what they have, dangerous to say the least.
    Gary Harris - the artist formerly known as Dixiesys
    resident grumpy redneck

  36. #36
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    Originally posted by Dixiesys
    are doing, they're advertising GIGS of space and multiple gigs of bandwidth and they're still putting 600 and 700 accounts per server, overselling by 10 fold what they have, dangerous to say the least.
    He said in a previus message that he sell 1GB Space for $30/year and he put 600/700 accounts per server.

    Very dangerous to me.
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  37. #37
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    Originally posted by NiceRsx2002
    Well if people don't use it should I just let it sit there? I mean almost no one needs that much space, how is this dangerous I don't see it...
    Yes, you have to leave some space just in case that some of your customers need it, you'll have bigs problems if only the 30% of your customers use 500 MB.

    Just to show you an example, my main site (downtownhost.com) use near 300 MB, you may ask how? well, I have some old files that I forgoted to delete, I moved old designs to a folder and I keep all the htmls and graphics there.
    Also, I have 3-4 pdf, and nothing else

    Also, you have to take in mind Mysql, some forums can use 600-1 GB space in database space + emails + + + + + + + + +
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  38. #38
    I would upgrade the HD, $19 per month for a 60GIG HDD no big deal..

  39. #39
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    Sweden
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    There are several other costs as well. Not everything is hardware related

    Support and transaction costs.

    Heck..just the transaction for a $30/ year account would probably be 5% of the total order.

    How do you solve the support? Are you a one person company?

    A regular email support ticket (with staff answereing) is worth about $1.50 per answer.

    As long as you are one person, and do not have any employees, it might work.
    I like to help

  40. #40
    Join Date
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    There are so many factors to running a successful business and it's not about the number of clients you have etc. Being debt free, cashflow positive, growing and happy with your life is right up there too.
    • AussieHost.com • Aussie Bob, host since 2001 •
    • Host Multiple Domains on Fast Australian Servers!! •

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