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  1. #1
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    Question 1 plan or 3 plans? how much space and bandwidth?

    When providing shared hosting is there really any reason to have 3 plans? at the moment i have 3 plans and people either buy the lowest or highest one most of the time. Is there really any reason for this? wouldn't it be better to give customers 1 choice for shared hosting and one price. And then have a page with good details on the features included in that plan. The only difference between my plans is basically the space.

    Also, lets say i wanted to offer a plan at $5.99 or so, with features like cpanel, unlimited email and database, and RVSiteBuilder. What is the best space and bandwidth people look for, I've thought about offering Unlimited like so many of the big companies do, but its not allowed here and i feel like i am scamming people if i did. But what sounds good , 10GB space 1000GB Bandwidth?

    I am currently looking at other sites for ideas because i want to redo a lot on the site but still keep my brand of course.
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  2. #2
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    1000 GB bandwidth for $5.99? That'd still be massively overselling (in that all your customers wouldn't be able to use close to that). Just sit down and do some basic maths to work out how much disk-space and bandwidth you can offer (based on how much you have available from your reseller/VPS/dedicated solution)

    Anywhoo, I always think that offering ~3 plans is usually better (than offering just 1). Consumers prefer a bit of choice, this has been proven in various studies.
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  3. #3
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    plans here

    8 gb space/40 gb bandwidth $2.95 - 6 domains
    16 gb space/80 gb bandwidth $4.95 - 12 domains
    32 gb space/160 gb bandwidth $6.95 - 16 domains + ssh access or (unlimited domains

    that is a good plan

    also you can have a custom plan were customers can make there on ... but that will be hard to manage.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by iloveunicorns View Post
    plans here

    8 gb space/40 gb bandwidth $2.95 - 6 domains
    16 gb space/80 gb bandwidth $4.95 - 12 domains
    32 gb space/160 gb bandwidth $6.95 - 16 domains + ssh access or (unlimited domains

    that is a good plan

    also you can have a custom plan were customers can make there on ... but that will be hard to manage.

    If WHMCS is the billing system that is being used than you could probably use their configurable package add on which is under the addons section of their website. And i think it should automate the creation of those custom packages.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric - Freebie View Post
    If WHMCS is the billing system that is being used than you could probably use their configurable package add on which is under the addons section of their website. And i think it should automate the creation of those custom packages.
    yah it automates the process but still when some one opens a support ticket you have no idea because everyones plan is different.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by iloveunicorns View Post
    yah it automates the process but still when some one opens a support ticket you have no idea because everyones plan is different.
    I would assume WHMCS would display the information under that particular clients products and services?

  7. #7
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    *

    Disagree.

    Keep it simple - if you are aiming towards noobs that it. Why do they need more than one choice with a shared host?

    The choices you give them are upgrading to dedicated.

    Overselling? Name one large shared host that doesn't oversell? I don't see any problem with it. God I worked as a warehouse manager and we oversold our space all the time - we knew that if people wanted to use all their space, we could use space that other were not using. If we ran out of space - we leased a new warehouse! Pretty simple! Simply dividing your vps / server up into neat equal portions it the quickest way to the poor house (unless you are specifically targeting people who don't want oversold space.

    I would love to see the studies you are talking about, because every accessibility case study I have ever seen says that when it comes to actually checking out, unless they know a lot about hosting (in that case they will not be using you because you are unproven) less is more - choice scares people.

    When I started online many years ago, I signed up for a host, then had to upgrade to use php, then upgrade again to add domains! That sucked because I had no idea what I needed or even what most of the stuff the host was spruking WAS!

    I think it depends who you are targeting. Imagine if I tried to give my small business design customers a choice... do you want add on domains, how much diskspace do you need, arrrgggg!!

    I don't even go over the technical aspects to them, all they need to know is that their website will be online 99 percent of the time and any problems will be fixed ASAP. Screw this up and you are out of business, both as a host or designer.

    When I get my car serviced he doesn't sign me up, then try and upgrade me half way through the job! (Good one anyway)

    Most of these people barely know how to turn on a computer. (They are best customers too by the way!)

    KISS -Keep it Simple Stupid - something tech guys find very difficult at times!


    Quote Originally Posted by DH - Tristan Perry View Post
    1000 GB bandwidth for $5.99? That'd still be massively overselling (in that all your customers wouldn't be able to use close to that). Just sit down and do some basic maths to work out how much disk-space and bandwidth you can offer (based on how much you have available from your reseller/VPS/dedicated solution)

    Anywhoo, I always think that offering ~3 plans is usually better (than offering just 1). Consumers prefer a bit of choice, this has been proven in various studies.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewKeath View Post
    Disagree.

    Keep it simple - if you are aiming towards noobs that it. Why do they need more than one choice with a shared host?
    To choose more disk-space and bandwidth than their previous package.

    If you don't oversell massively, and are a relatively good quality host aimed at relatively techy clients, are you suggesting that a host should only have one package - say "2 GB space, 20 GB bandwidh, $5 per month" - and no other packages at all?

    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewKeath View Post
    The choices you give them are upgrading to dedicated.
    I disagree. You seem to be suggesting a host's packages should be:

    Shared and Reseller: Unlimited everything - $5 per month

    ...

    Next package

    ...

    Dedicated: From $100 per month

    ?

    Edit: See below. I think we're just looking at this from different view-points.

    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewKeath View Post
    Overselling? Name one large shared host that doesn't oversell? I don't see any problem with it. God I worked as a warehouse manager and we oversold our space all the time - we knew that if people wanted to use all their space, we could use space that other were not using. If we ran out of space - we leased a new warehouse! Pretty simple! Simply dividing your vps / server up into neat equal portions it the quickest way to the poor house (unless you are specifically targeting people who don't want oversold space.
    I said massively overselling. Overselling is a pretty good thing. But these "1000 GB space, 5000 GB bandwidth, $5 per month!" offers are usually a bad thing, IMO. Since it's an utter lie (Not saying you can't have a quality host who massively oversells, of course; I'm speaking in general terms)

    Nothing wrong with a bit of overselling, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewKeath View Post
    I would love to see the studies you are talking about, because every accessibility case study I have ever seen says that when it comes to actually checking out, unless they know a lot about hosting (in that case they will not be using you because you are unproven) less is more - choice scares people.
    I agree, less is more. But no choice at all typically scares people as much as too much choice.

    How about the Compromise Choice principle (saying when you have, say, 3 options, and price them correctly, more people tend to opt for the 2nd option, thus maximising revenue)?

    The conclusion of this: http://www.columbia.edu/~ss957/whenchoice.html piece of research says that a little bit of choice is a good thing.

    Not *loads* of choice, but a bit. There are plently of studies and theories which support this theory.

    I've never seen a study that says only give one choice ever?

    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewKeath View Post
    When I started online many years ago, I signed up for a host, then had to upgrade to use php, then upgrade again to add domains! That sucked because I had no idea what I needed or even what most of the stuff the host was spruking WAS!
    That sucks. (And they sound like a poor host, charging for things like PHP and add-on domains!) But I'm not talking about that I think you're mis-understanding me somewhat.

    I'm on about a host who doesn't massively oversell. Their differential between packages would be price, disk-space and bandwidth.

    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewKeath View Post
    I think it depends who you are targeting. Imagine if I tried to give my small business design customers a choice... do you want add on domains, how much diskspace do you need, arrrgggg!!
    Hehe yes, I quite agree In that case (especially since they probably wouldn't use up much space and bandwidth), it'd probably be best simply to have one package.

    I'm mainly talking about a general, non-overselling host.

    I agree with that point though.

    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewKeath View Post
    I don't even go over the technical aspects to them, all they need to know is that their website will be online 99 percent of the time and any problems will be fixed ASAP. Screw this up and you are out of business, both as a host or designer.
    As above, I agree that web design firms shouldn't have lots of choice. Of course, an upsell or two may maximise revenue potential. But that's another story.

    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewKeath View Post
    When I get my car serviced he doesn't sign me up, then try and upgrade me half way through the job! (Good one anyway)
    Of course. But also there are plently of (mainly bigger) firms who have different "levels" of service. The first 'level' may just do the basics, the next may also shine and clean the car, the next may also check and change the oil and tire pressure, etc.

    And if that second option is only (say) $10 more, and the third option is then (say) $30 more, the consumer will (as surveys and statistics show) tend towards the second option (straying away from a quasi-decoy option), which may maximise revenue.

    I know what you are saying though. All I'm saying is that various surveys have shown that things like compromise choices, decoy options, giving a bit of choice (etc) can raise revenue.

    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewKeath View Post
    Most of these people barely know how to turn on a computer. (They are best customers too by the way!)
    Again, I quite agree

    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewKeath View Post
    KISS -Keep it Simple Stupid - something tech guys find very difficult at times!
    I agree. But with a relatively good quality host, aimed at somewhat techy clients, I see nothing wrong with offering a bit of choice.

    In conclusion, I agree with many of your points. I feel the confusion is coming from different view-points.

    I think you're arguing predicated upon the view of a web design firm, and an "unlimited" host. Whereas I'm arguing from a different POV - that is, one from a relatively good quality host with relatively techy clients. Nothing wrong with either view-points, however I think that this is where the mis-understanding is coming in.
    Last edited by Tristan Perry; 11-01-2009 at 05:53 AM.
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  9. #9
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    Great points,

    Thanks for taking time to respond. I agree with you fully. I think different situations require different strategies, that is the beauty of business.

    'What works for you may now work for some'

    Hang on - isn't that the theme to Different Strokes!

    Cheers, and may I say I am only new to this community but I think it is great!

    Matt

  10. #10
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    Hi Matt,
    Firstly, welcome to this community

    I agree with your post completely, and that quote is a good one And a fairly important one IMO, since as you say different businesses (and different types of owner, I guess) may well require different strategies.

    Tristan

    Edit: P.S. I forgot to say that I didn't read the whole report that I linked to. It was mentioned/summarised in a virtual report called "Pricing for big profits" that I purchased a short while ago
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  11. #11
    The amount of disk space, bandwidth and other account features...and price you charge for each plan... is entirely 100% dependent on who is your target market.

    If you are selling "high availability" web hosting to website owners who want absolute reliability.. then you can easily charge upwards of $50/month for a basic 1gb disk and 10gb bw package. (Assuming you actually do have a high-availability server setup, and you're not simply reselling some low-cost server...)

    If you are targeting people who currently use hostgator or bluehost or 1and1 or walmart hosting.. then you can offer unlimited everything for $1/month and you'll still have major problems attracting customers.

    As far as the number of packages you offer... that also depends on your customer target market. If you offer unlimited everything, then there is obviously no need for additional packages. However, if you offer reasonable packages at a reasonable price.. then yes, you want a smooth 'upgrade path' for your customers to pick from as they grow and need more space/bw/email/databases/whatever.

    I hope that helps.
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  12. #12
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    If you oversell then the 1 plan route is a good option. We personally don't like overselling so we offer 3 hosting plans with realistic specs and realistic prices. Our focus is quality over quantity. I'd rather have 100 good clients @ $5/month than 500 "bad" clients @ $2/month even though the income is higher for the "bad" clients.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by iloveunicorns View Post
    plans here

    8 gb space/40 gb bandwidth $2.95 - 6 domains
    16 gb space/80 gb bandwidth $4.95 - 12 domains
    32 gb space/160 gb bandwidth $6.95 - 16 domains + ssh access or (unlimited domains

    that is a good plan
    No offence, but IMO that's a bad one. Charging from $2.95 with 8:40GB is ridiculously cheap and indicates overselling and/or undercharging. A ticket submitted by the customer can easily cost around there already.
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