+1 for sticky. Very informative.
If you are just starting a new company, wonderful. However there are a few things that should be noted before you even sniff at the first post announcing the arrival of your hosting.
1. READ THE FORUM RULES!!!!! Right here, and usually above each forum: http://www.freewebspace.net/forums/announcement.php?f=2
2. Do not offer unlimited/unmetered. Besides that if you read the rules it isnt allowed, it simply does not exist.
3. Do not state ANYWHERE that you are the best, not a fly by night or the new leader in free hosting. If you need to say you are then in the words of Gordon Ramsey: You arent.
4. Do research before even making plans. Sure you want to offer 100GB space and 100TB transfer with no file size limit/restriction to get people in, but then when you get abusers to host illegal material and therefore screw the honest people when you get an invoice from your reseller or whathaveyou that is 10X your yearly salary, well...... Also the offering ridiculous amounts then restricting file sizes/types so no one would even come within 1/100 of their plans simply makes you look ridiculous.
5. Even if you are offshore, do not think you can announce you will allow hosting/linking to illegal stuff. I can personally guarantee every offshore host that pops up in free hosting and paid hosting that I see is looked into by myself to see if this is allowed. This goes for both your TOS and forum if you should have one. This topic is illegal in most of the world and of course not allowed in this forum.
You may state "Well we do not want to have copycat plans, we wish to be unique" or something of the like. Here is the ultimate result: These people who have similar plans and have been in biz for years upon years are apparently doing something right. Look at how many offer absurd and "unlimited" and see if they are still in biz. By closing down you are certainly NOT unique, but highly common. The "unique" hosts are those who can provide stable hosting and most importantly STAY IN BUSINESS.
So if you do not bother to even look at the above, the moral is, do your homework. You dont want to, then whatever, you will only screw your clients.
#6: If you are a P2H or require ads for hosting, you need to state this. Misrepresentation does not look good for your host, and will quickly turn people away.
#7: Do not guarantee anything. As a free host, you have nothing to give back to a client. Sure you can add more space and transfer that he will never use, but that isnt going to reassure him of the 75% uptime or 3 days downtime now is it?
#8: Do not post paid plans, if you have them in the free section, there is a section for that. If one cannot read the difference with Free and Paid, then what confidence does that place in the minds of any prospective clients?
Last edited by Sain Cai; June 8th, 2011 at 11:00.
Brilliant!! Simply brilliant!
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Good post Sain Cai. Mandatory reading for all new students (aka wannabe hosts) attending FWS college.
Seems some free hosts refuse to read these simple notes. I still cannot fathom how a free host will compensate their clients when their "Guaranteed" uptime isnt met.
They will get their free money back!
Good post Sain, couple of add-ons for DO-HAVES DO HAVE a proper TOS and stick to it, DO HAVE a privacy statement, it's important to most people that you're not just adding them to a big SPAM list DO HAVE defined support (hours of service even if it's not 24/7 state it) saves posts here complaining that 10 days later a question hasn't been answered by xyz freehost that posted their offer on FWS.
Finally DO HAVE some sort of business plan, it will cost the host money to start with and ongoing, make sure you can cover it!
9. Make sure you have operating links and full content on your website. This means no 404 errors when someone clicks on your TOS or Features pages.
10. HAVE A WEBSITE, NOT A FORUM! Simply put if you are only a forum for signups, plans, etc you are not professional looking. Grab a free template that will link to plans, features, tos, whatever. There are several professional looking templates for FREE that you can use and make you look professional. Remember, the more professional you look by putting work into a good looking site, people are more likely to think you put an effort into providing good service. A forum only host (signups/plans/etc in the forum and domain redirects to forum) is unprofessional.
nice post Sain Cai, thanks for sharing.
Apparently I have to spread around again before giving rep (IOU +1 rep Sain Cai) - I like 10.
I tend to instantly close the tab when I go to a site and end up either straight in a forum or redirected.
If i want to got to a forum I'll click the link - from a proper web site!
I have to bring this forward. Seems some new hosts just dont get the clue.