As the topic says, how can a company profit from a free webhosting business?
As the topic says, how can a company profit from a free webhosting business?
Adding adverts and offering permium accounts is a good way.
When i did free hosting, it sure wasn't a profit for me.
I never took the advertising step though on clients site though.
I did offer premium accounts at that time, but no free client would budge to buy one.
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I do still believe that Premium Upselling is one of the best models out there. (I think it works best when the host adds additional services rather than just more raw specs.) But a crucial part of the whole free side is less initial risk to try out hosts to see if they have enough stability to warrant sending real money to. Unfortunately, you tripped yourselves up in my study program enough to lose my longevity cert. So my advice to hosts is they need to be prepared like any other business to have things in place for a year and change so that free clients see that they just might be better than my phrase of "7 month specials".
I will be sending some funds over to Seraphim because he has survived my tests and is helping me learn about nameservers etc to host my first domain.
There are only very very low chance where we can get free users to upgrade to the premium accounts.
Most free hosting users nowadays, will prefer to jump to other host when they found another host that offering higher specs, rather than upgrading their existing accounts.
No code has to be inserted here.
Our price is one of the lowest among all and it comes with quality.
To reiterate, clients who upgrade from free to paid are few and far between. Those who do upgrade will usually go from free to cheep. (ie/ $2 per month or less.) It's rare, but it does happen. Paid hosting is also a waste of time unless you have a large amount of GOOD clients. These days, nobody is willing to spend anything. Even asking for $2 per month is like pulling teeth and when they need help with something, they expect you to tend to them immediately and dedicate time to solving their scripting problem, or a permission error because they didn't CHMOD their files correctly. Sorry, but if you're paying $2 per month that means you're renting my server for less than 7 cents per day. Why are your problems so urgent that you have to open 5 support tickets and demand service because you don't know the difference binary or ascii mode for FTP?
Another problem is that nobody wants to pay for quality service, it's all about quantity. If you're not flashing the "u" word around, don't expect the people to come pouring in, because they won't. Buyers are ignorant and they all think bigger is better, and cheaper is best. They don't give a damn if you're paying for top notch hardware and network at SoftLayer or if you're hosted at burst.net with some crappy VPS. It makes no difference to them, and they don't care either way. You won't hear from your clients unless something goes wrong. No press is good press around here because if your clients are squawking, it means something is up. They won't take the time to praise you or throw a good word down in a forum like here or WHT if everything is excellent, but only if you f'ed up.
In regards on how to make money with free hosting. You can't. You can force ads on your clients pages, but who is going to tolerate that? This isn't 1998 anymore. You can require P2H and then place ads on the forum hoping to generate money, but once again, who's going to put any effort into P2H? You can require a footer link or some kind of a link back to the host. That might work, but only to an extent because if the client sites are not popular, what good will they do? Paid upgrades are the only REAL way to make money in hopes that your free clients will eventually upgrade, but over 99% of them (literally) will not. Of the remaining 1% that DO eventually upgrade and move to your cheapest plan available, was it really worth the headache to get there? That's for you to decide.
I've been providing hosting for about a decade. Things are not what they used to be. You can't get people to pay for anything anymore. The days of paid hosting plans beginning at 200MB are over. The days of people tolerating forced ads for 20MB of free space are over. Hardware costs have declined sharply over the last 6 years or so. The market is so saturated because any kid with $10 in his pocket can buy a VPS and become a "host" overnight. There's very little entry cost to get your feet wet, and there's very little (if any) money to be made anymore and it's only getting worse as time goes on.
"Hardware Costs declined sharply in 6 years". Sure, while a "Basic Page" has perhaps only slightly grown. I used free hosting for exactly what it was meant for - buying time with almost no requirements because I knew I was (then) years away from really rolling on site development. Now I am getting closer to getting real articles up, so "sooner than forever" I am angling for hosting upgrades. My project grew a few offshoots of its own for entertainment value, but it was in fact my solution to this very problem.
Yep, banners are passe, made even worse by the advent of mobile devices that need sites to be compact, and it ain't 1998 for 200 megs anymore either. "Oops, that's only one recording session of my garage band." I think the driver to Paid is not just Stats Hauling, but Purpose Driven. For example, my emerging For Paid candidate is a custom mirror of Wikipedia. Do you and Seraphim know how to install that? "All the OverSold space in the world doesn't matter if you can't get your key objective going". You two, what are "Fair Market" prices for a 40 Gig account with about 3-5 support tickets per week? In general I can afford what I am guessing it to be, but it is the state of the industry how much work it took me to find two candidates for that at Paid.
You can force ads or as a post2host you get content, Google loves content
Its very difficult to profit from anything online these days, free hosting, forums, affiliate marketing, etc...
you have to put in a lot of hard work, hours, time, days, maybe years...and free hosting is no different...
if your free host went down within 3 months, then you just proved what people think of free hosts...
free hosts is just a business like any other, its going to take a lot of time, maybe even more so because
you are a free host, it may take triple the effort then any other online business, why? I would not want
to start my business off on "free host" that is already known not to last very long...not matter what business
people choose, they expect fast, and quick profits almost over-night...wrong! You have to compete with
the rest of the known world, so expect to put in the long hours to compete, if not, then dont bother...
I know it sounds sorta rude, but its reality, and the truth...
people want fast and quick reward, and return for little to no effort, unf it just does not work that way in the real world. People have high dreams, high expectations, and on the most part are not willing to earn or work for those dreams and high expectations.
I agree that everyone wants everything for free. Maybe the Free Website Space owners just have to find different ways to make money. As a Free Website Space user I hope that they do find alternative ways, as if there is nothing in it for the Free Website Space owners, then very soon we won't find Free Website Space any longer.