Testing Hosting Models

Published on Oct 13, 2009   //  Emerging Markets

Stats

I was shopping at Home Depot for a sander on the weekend. I looked at them all for a good 30 minutes. There was no clear measurement of how to tell which one was better. There was an expensive one, a cheap one and a mid priced one. There was no measurement to judge vibrations per second, there was no measure of them at all. I ended up leaving the store with a sanding block because it was the only one I really understood in the end.

On the drive home it made me start to wonder.

In a recent poll you our visitors and customers said that hosting is a commodity.

Has hosting become a commodity where there is no distinguishable way to tell which one is better. It use to be who had the best support and up time. The stronger servers get the easier it for hosts to achieve high up time and all hosts provide 24/7 support. Instead of it being a service it moved to who had the most space and bandwidth. That model is called overselling. I have explained that before on this blog if your not familiar with that model. If you notice most hosts these days have unlimited space, unlimited bandwidth and unlimited domains. In essence there is no way to distinguish between hosts again. So where does that leave the customer?

I don’t really have any answers to that question. When I was searching for a sander I was confused. Maybe potential hosting customers are confused too.

I am left wondering if our model is out dated and if we need to test models of hosting.

I think we should do several controlled tests of some various models of hosting.

Overselling Model

We will put together 1 server which we will host 100 unlimited space, bandwidth and domain account. The packages will cost $214.80 ($8.95/month) for 24 months or $119.40 ($9.95/month) for 12 months.  I will be interested to see how long the server stays online and how long it will take to sell 100 accounts.

High Paying Affiliates

The 2nd model will be based off another trend where more hosts are paying $65 or more per customer lead. This is a lot of money to pay out but again perhaps we can increase sign-ups by paying out more. This model will be controlled again on 1 server. We will create an overselling package for the affiliates to sell in the $149.40 a year range. We will then pay affiliates $88 after 30 days if a customer is still with us. Again it will be interesting to see how well this model works if at all.

What do you think? Any model you think we should try? Which one do you think will work or not work?

Pay For Domains on Your Phone Bill

Published on May 14, 2009   //  Emerging Markets

paybyphone

We are currently testing a new service where you can purchase a domain, dial a local number and then domain cost will be charged to your phone bill. This means you would not require to have a credit card, use PayPal or send cheques through the mail to pay.

The service we are using is through Daopay who allows phone payments around the world. The setup was easy and takes minutes to add to our site.

The option has already been added to the bluefurdomain.com site and you can buy domains today with just your phone.

Does this seem like a convenient way to buy hosting and domains?

Keep Your Head Out Of The Cloud

Published on Apr 2, 2009   //  Emerging Markets

cloudcomputingsucks

Every press release on the hosting news site recently is grid this and cloud that. Yes these new technologies have taken us all by storm. I use the word storm for multiple reasons which I will allude to shortly. A grid, cloud or cluster is basically a large collections of computers that spread resources across several servers. The advantage to this idea is you can add another server to the cloud and it will help improve all the sites. The cloud is definably a possible future solution to web hosting for most sites.

Most cloud hosting companies would have you believe that everything is soft and fluffy and for the most part they are. When you look over a long period of time though things are not so calm within the cloud. Here is the issues with clouds as I see them…

  1. The clouds are still in beta with most companies. The technology works well with 1 site but as a shared solution with 100,000’s of sites it is not perfected. You are paying both money and your sites up time to use a beta service which they market as a high up time product.
  2. When something goes wrong on the cloud it goes horribly wrong. Also what these companies won’t tell you is that these clouds are installed by 3rd party companies. They bring in a team of highly skilled experts to install and set it up. The problem is those experts are not in great abundance and the host you pay does not have one on staff.
  3. When a cloud goes down you have 100,000’s of customers needing support. How long do you think it would take to reply to those tickets? I am willing to bet a while.
  4. Sites that require a dedicated server seek out a possible cheaper cloud solution. Your fellow customers will be sucking the resources from those servers hard. For the price you pay for a cloud you can get your own managed dedicated server.

I am sure that one day clouds will be the standard in the hosting industry for shared hosting. Today they are not and I would not recommend it to anyone that is running a production site.

Note: we do provide a clustered managed server solution for customers with 1 site. These systems run a near 100% up time and can handle insane amounts of traffic.

Update: An example of what happens when a cloud dies. You will see it takes a long time to restore it and that it’s not the first time it happened.

Community Evolved Hosting – Lifestream Hosting

Published on Feb 13, 2009   //  Emerging Markets

 Evolution

How many social media sites do you belong to?

I know there are already 35 notable one’s that are out there already and that list grows daily. As it becomes increasingly difficult to keep track of your various social site activities, I see a need.

A need for lifestream hosting.

If you had your own customizable lifestream account which you could have complete modifiable control over. You can add your lifestream components to it from the various social media’s.

Being a business we would need to charge for this. So I am thinking in the $9.95 a year range.

What are your thoughts?

Social Media Sunday

Published on Jan 4, 2009   //  Emerging Markets

Social Media does not mean you have to leave your blog to do it. Today we are going to try a new social media game which has become popularized by Net Chick.

I am going to rename it Comment Tag.

Here is how it works.

1. You leave a comment on this blog.
2. Vist the commentors blog above your comment and leave a comment there.

Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it? Well that’s the whole idea.

Get to know your neighbours and they will get to know you.

Like this topic for Sunday’s? vote for it to be sure it stays.

Dedicated Server Reseller

Published on Nov 3, 2008   //  Emerging Markets
Off

Data Center

We are currently working on building a Dedicated Server Reseller program. We would like to get your input on how you would see something like this working?

Other providers system works as following…

  • You sign-up and agree to being a value added reseller (VAR).
  • You are able to order servers at a discount.
  • You usually need to purchase 1-3 servers before a discount applies.
  • Discounts usually are tired to bigger discounts for more servers sold.

Here is some things I would like to see in it…

  • A program that is more beneficial for the reseller. Current programs seem to be more beneficial for the host.
  • A system where the reseller can build the server specs and purchase w/o waiting for a custom quote.
  • Our program should be based on the keyword ‘easy’ and ‘helpful’ and not on cheap.

If you were to set up your own Dedicated Server Reseller program how would you like to see it?

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