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Half-life of free web hosts

masterbo

Active Member
Hello,

Has anyone estimation of an average half-life of a free web hosting provider?

There are long-living ones, such as Byet and 000(you-know-who), but the majority seems too ephemeral.

The simplest way is to make kind of bot that would check site's presence every few days, but if someone knows of a high-quality free web host that can survive at least 2-3 years, I would be glad to know.

And yes, the host should be available not to certain countries only.

Thanks!
 

sander k

Well-Known Member
NLC
Do you mean that you want offers or what?
Because if you want that, this is the wrong forum.
 

masterbo

Active Member
Do you mean that you want offers or what?
Because if you want that, this is the wrong forum.
Do I sound like I need offers?

What I am concerned about is how long could free hosters live. And, if available, I would like to know of free hosters that were able to survive for the mentioned amount of time.

Thanks for your care and advice.
 

wswd

Premium
Premium Member
I had a free host that lasted almost 3 years. It would have lasted much longer but I got completely fed up with all the fraudulent Chinese orders, Indians who were constantly trying to abuse the server, and the Russian porn. Was spending way more time taking care of that than I wanted to, so I gave the clients away to a good home.
 

masterbo

Active Member
I had a free host that lasted almost 3 years. It would have lasted much longer but I got completely fed up with all the fraudulent Chinese orders, Indians who were constantly trying to abuse the server, and the Russian porn. Was spending way more time taking care of that than I wanted to, so I gave the clients away to a good home.
I understand.
Abuse can slay even the most interesting services. As for geographic references, methinks crime has no nationality - all the countries donate to everything mentioned.

Thanks.
 

wswd

Premium
Premium Member
I agree. But the majority of stuff we were dealing with did come from certain parts of the world. Add Indonesia and Egypt to the list too. Interesting statistics perhaps, but in the almost 3 years of operation, there was not 1 account I had to delete due to abuse from the US, UK, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, etc. All the abuse came from the same places, unfortunately.
 

masterbo

Active Member
I agree. But the majority of stuff we were dealing with did come from certain parts of the world. Add Indonesia and Egypt to the list too. Interesting statistics perhaps, but in the almost 3 years of operation, there was not 1 account I had to delete due to abuse from the US, UK, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, etc. All the abuse came from the same places, unfortunately.
C'est la vie. So, you managed to stand that for 3 years. I noticed that many a free host vanishes in 6-12 months.
 

wswd

Premium
Premium Member
ROFL!! Yeah, not really sure how I kept up with it for that long. ha ha!! I'm actually thinking about torturing myself and starting it up again, with some help this time to fight the abusers, or possibly even P2H to keep them away. The majority of abusers (perhaps 100% of them) will not waste time posting in forums.

In any event, I think the biggest problem with free hosts is that the people running them just run out of money. A lot of kids start them up with some reseller account (many even on free reseller accounts) and then run out of money after a few months. That wasn't an issue for us. A lot of the free hosts we see that make it long-term are run by paid web hosting companies, so the cost of the free servers is subsidized.

As well, we didn't run crappy equipment, which is another reason for the success. We bought the free host originally being hosted on a combination of a low-powered VPS (for premium accounts), and a horribly-oversold master reseller account for the normal free accounts. The clients were having problems, downtime, etc. We threw the whole thing on a nice dedicated box and never had another problem. That worked wonders on keeping happy clients around, and the issues and problems to a minimal level.
 

masterbo

Active Member
I'm actually thinking about torturing myself and starting it up again, with some help this time to fight the abusers, or possibly even P2H to keep them away. The majority of abusers (perhaps 100% of them) will not waste time posting in forums.
That has its reason. Abusers are too lazy to spend time posting something sensible.
And I dream of participating in kind of P2H, as a system administrator - I have quite a few ideas of setting up hosting for certain type of sites, and would like to have sandbox to experiment on.

(don't dream too loud, dreams might come true)
 
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TaoPhoenix

Well-Known Member
NLC
Since the interesting metric of half life was requested, I will suggest a half life of a year. 75 percent of my project entrants croaked in that time, but then my sample-set was non-random.

I'm a little fuzzy on Year 2 performance, but a few hosts died (surprising me somewhat more than the fly by nights. BabbleHost is probably the one I remember most. )

So without splitting hairs, my final winner board (let's call them year three hosts) has been pretty stable, hence why I Sunsetted the project.
 

Seraphim

Active Member
I agree with Tao on the 6 month mark, as one of the participating hosts in his study that benchmark was plain as day. Probably the one that came as most surprising was Oniscorp, which was in fact a host that was being run as a class project by a student- and closed when the assignment was completed.

But for me it was almost exactly 3 years ago that I bought the domain I use to this day, and started setting up what became SeraphimLabs LLC. I still have several of my first customers with me despite everything I've been through.

And really, I have to agree with wswd. Most of the abuse is coming from China, India, and Russia. I get 2-3 signups a day from them that obviously have fake info and will never be approved, and the few people I have allowed in anyway have also either abused my service or would not talk to me about what adjustments I needed to make for their site to run correctly. And the pornsite owners are horrible. Down for more than 15 minutes? They jump ship. Their site gets popular? It kills your server's CPU to the point of having to shut it down, and the owner flat out won't talk to you about reconfiguring it to be better-behaved. It's not like the fetish sites and normal sites that I host, where if there is a problem I can almost always contact the site owner about it and work with them to solve any issues that come up.

All of my other clients are building up a nice stable loadout of sites, many of them having been with me from very early on. Although I will admit that the current arrangement is not yet profitable, if I can continue finding clients that stick with me I'll be able to change that within the next year or so as well as possibly expanding into the VPS market to capture clients that I previously could not have.
 
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wswd

Premium
Premium Member
3-6 months is probably realistic for the majority of free hosts (even paid hosts) out there. That's when their parents stop giving them money to support this "business" that they have gotten into. I'm wondering if this is going to change with Youhosting, and similar sites? When you take money out of the equation, I wonder how many of these free hosting startups actually last longer, or will the kids lose interest anyway?

2 years is actually a turning point in any business. Most businesses fail within 2 years, according to all sorts of studies. It only stands to reason that hosts that make it to the 2 year mark also have a much better chance of staying in business. I don't think it's any mistake that Tao's survey would show the same.
 

masterbo

Active Member
Thanks, colleagues.

In fact, I am kind of 'free host', too. I provide hosting to a number of projects (examples: ifarchive.info, linguaeterna.com etc), in some cases the sites owners couldn't either handle the hosting everyday tasks, or has some other problem with that.

I haven't long used the hosting account (WHM reseller) I used to provide 'extra' resources to people that could use them. Well, since I am doing that for 6+ years, I can be also considered a free host. :)

Only I am selecting my users myself. They would never ' look into a mouth of a gift horse' or post dirty comments if the site is down for some minutes and I haven't yet posted status message explaining why.
 

sander k

Well-Known Member
NLC
I have had a free host (free100mbhost.com) for 2 years after that I sold the site and its clients to an other webhosting company (prosoftstudio.com) which quit the free hosting after about a year. Now a days they aren't even a webhost any more.
 

masterbo

Active Member
I have had a free host (free100mbhost.com) for 2 years after that I sold the site and its clients to an other webhosting company (prosoftstudio.com) which quit the free hosting after about a year. Now a days they aren't even a webhost any more.
Selling one's business isn't an easy thing. I have once sold a blog of mine - I was in a bad health state and simply couldn't handle all the tasks I had.

Now I see as the blog is falling into decay and kind of feel pity I haven't just offered it to a decent person who wouldn't use it for SEO tricks and throw away afterwards.
 

sander k

Well-Known Member
NLC
Its a shame as it is happening a lot. I even had a PR3 proxy sites once, the guy bought it for $5000 and 2 months later it was gone.
He put way to many ads on it and it died in no time.
 

TaoPhoenix

Well-Known Member
NLC
Probably the one that came as most surprising was Oniscorp, which was in fact a host that was being run as a class project by a student- and closed when the assignment was completed.
Technical question to Seraphim, though it bears relevance in this thead topic:

Seraphim, the student I know of was HostMyThing (and previous incarnations). Oniscorp was (some manager?) fronting DoNotGetCaughtWithoutOne, and later Hostalope. However I lost track of the latter, so if you heard he was *also* a student, let me know. But either way, Hostalope was gone by the second year too, and the main reason he attracted my attention was that Oniscorp (later determined as a manager, he kept saying he could not do X without the Owner's approval) applied but then tried to impose his own aggressive demands in my project.
 
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TaoPhoenix

Well-Known Member
NLC
...They would never ' look into a mouth of a gift horse' or post dirty comments if the site is down for some minutes and I haven't yet posted status message explaining why.
In an interesting contrast, I let (almost) anyone join who wanted to be in. But then for the downtime I used a type of graded rating system so that no one 15 minute outage would nuke any entrant, it took a few multi-day outages in a row plus no response to finally flunk out.
 

Seraphim

Active Member
Technical question to Seraphim, though it bears relevance in this thead topic:

Seraphim, the student I know of was HostMyThing (and previous incarnations). Oniscorp was (some manager?) fronting DoNotGetCaughtWithoutOne, and later Hostalope. However I lost track of the latter, so if you heard he was *also* a student, let me know. But either way, Hostalope was gone by the second year too, and the main reason he attracted my attention was that Oniscorp (later determined as a manager, he kept saying he could not do X without the Owner's approval) applied but then tried to impose his own aggressive demands in my project.
Ah. I only knew of one student project that got exposed, and just got the names mixed up. But it still shows that the basic hosting market is so accessible that there are a lot of setups operating without any serious long term plans or sustainable financial backing.
 
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