How much would you pay?

  • DevGateway
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Post 3+ Months Ago

hi,

Firstly, I'm new to these forums; a friend recommended me.

Also, sorry if I have this in the wrong forum.

In about a year, I will be starting up a company which will be offering hosting, programming, and design. I'm developing the site from the ground up and hired a designer to make a good design for me, plus there's a lot to plan out within that year's time. Plus I need to get together the appropriate funds to start up; I want to invest a few thousand dollars.

Anyway, here's my question. I will be targeting mostly webmasters, those who mostly don't do programming or design, or at least who want this done for them in most cases, but I'd say I'm not targeting technical users though they won't be excluded.

The hosting will be offering ColdFusion MX, ASP, ASP.NET, PHP, Perl, MySQL, PostgreSQL, MS SQL, Oracle, and will be offering 24x7 support and probably some phone support too, hopefully. My goal with the site is also to develop a nice community of webmasters of both customers and non-customers, with some articles and such.

Given the above, how much would you pay for such a host? I want to take into account expenses and profit margins, but I want to get a good idea of what webmasters in general would be willing to pay for such a host, who they can have trust in, who will be around for a long time, will not oversell their servers, etc.

Note: I include the above features in order to give a better idea of everything which will be offered. It is in no way an advertisement, as I am not yet taking customers for another year (next October or thereabout).

Thanks for any help.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • webfreak
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I know this isn't the answer you'd like to get, but it really depends on your support and quality of service. You need something that will make yourself stand out from the crowd (there are many thousands of web hosts).

Moreover, you are asking how much someone would pay when you don't give a package with disk space, data transfer, or total number of features.

There is more to web hosting than simply offering the ability to program in multiple languages.
  • DevGateway
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi,

I understand that there' smore to hosting than that, but I was trying to focus on the quality of service and features offered, as I explained in my last post. Just for a basis, let's say 500mb space and 10gb transfer, for a sample package.


Brandon
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Post 3+ Months Ago

If you really want a dollar amount, I'm going to have to say no more than $10 per month.

There's also other options you have to consider when creating your packages such as: e-mail accounts, addon / parked domains, FTP accounts, setup fee, subdomains, and the control panel you're going to use.
  • DevGateway
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Post 3+ Months Ago

hi,

Yes I know, but those are not as important as the other variables in my opinion. Really you say $10? I was thinking no less than $20 or $30.
  • webfreak
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Just take a look at what some reputable hosts charge. You'd be shocked, if you were thinking no less than $20-$30 for 500 MB disk space / 10 GB data transfer. Charging that much puts you out of the picture right away. Web hosting is an extremely competitive business.
  • DevGateway
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Post 3+ Months Ago

hi,

Maybe so in the budget host industry, which I want no part in. But there are hosts who indeed charge much higher; i saw a package th eother day for $120 for around 500mb space I believe. Sure mine will be a bit more expensive but i also don't want to disappear after a few weeks either.

yes I know there are big hosts out there with very cheap packages. But how fast are their servers? How many accounts do they have per server? How fast does their support respond? How helpful is their support? And how much of your vast resources can you actually use with them?

It's easier to invest a few more dollars and get a quality host.

I appreciate your opinion, but apparently quality of service no longer matters in the world of budget hosting. Glad I am no part of it.

Brandon
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Quote:
But there are hosts who indeed charge much higher; i saw a package th eother day for $120 for around 500mb space I believe.

I really doubt that this is true. $120 per month is absolutely insane for a mere 500 MB. Maybe you were looking at a dedicated server.

Quote:
But how fast are their servers? How many accounts do they have per server? How fast does their support respond? How helpful is their support? And how much of your vast resources can you actually use with them?

It really depends on the host. Some web hosts are very successful, providing a great service along with outstanding support. Others oversell their resources and wind up causing a lot of frustration to their customers.

Brandon, whether you like it or not, this is the way things are in the hosting industry. If you don't want to believe me, I can only wish you good luck, but it is unlikely that you'll succeed if you don't offer competitive services.
  • DevGateway
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Post 3+ Months Ago

hi,

I found it on some list of coldfusion web hosts, an dI am 100% positive it was shared hosting. I just can't find that site now with this list of hosts. But here's an example of one that charges I think $34.95 for 500mb space: http://www.cfdynamics.com

Anyway, I understand you rposition, but if you think that all hosts must be in this price-range, you are sorely mistaken. There are many many hosts out there above the price range you mention here. To some $10 for 500mb of space is very expensive and for others it is too cheap. Again my goal is to provide quality service, which i am not going to do with such low prices, certainly.

You are making me out to be new to this field, which I am not. I've been around this before and have had my share of experience in the hosting field.

Anyway my point is that you're view seems to be very limited as to what is out there. Price is not the only thing hosts can compete on, and indeed is the worst thing to compete on. I guarantee no matter how low I would try to set my prices, there would be a host cheaper than that. So it has to be in the service, not in the price.

My previous plans was to offer 500mb space and 10gb of transfer for about $9.99, but I think this will go up to $15.99-$19.99, somewhere in that range. Well that's for that sample package, there are of course others.

Brandon
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I agree with you when you say that price is not the only factor to compete on, that's why you need offer competitive services. If you can offer something that other hosts don't and your prices justify it, then that's fine. Maybe you'll target that niche market and they'll pay slightly higher just because they feel connected to you and they trust you to provide them superior services.

I don't intend to make you out to be a 'newbie' to web hosting, but you asked my opinion and I'm giving it to you.
  • DevGateway
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Post 3+ Months Ago

hi,

I agree the services have to make the price worth paying, 100%. That's the tough part to figure out though, what I could do which is unique and sets apart from other companies. But then again I have a year to study all of this.

Brandon
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I own, started, a couple of companies now and firmly believe this advice to anyone who starts their own venture.

Do not plan on profit for at least the first year. Try to not even pay yourself for as long as you can, at least 3 months.

Here is what I would do if I were you. I would charge just enought to brake even on your expenses. Get as many people as you possibly can get to join...you have great prices now. They become fans (your best advertiser, and free marketer in the future), and when you get to the point that you regulary getting new customers raise the price for new clients.

Now you can pay yourself:)
  • DevGateway
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Post 3+ Months Ago

hi,

the problem is, if you are known for cheap prices, you can't safely raise prices and still remain the same. It's better to research the market, in my opinion, know what they'd actually pay, and start there. Just my opinion

Again thanks for the advise though

Brandon
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Getting customers for six months to a year with cheap prices hardly brands you as a cheap supplier. There are millions of people out there who are cheap though. Get those to buy. Wow them with your service, and your site company will quickly grow. In there mind you will be a great company with great prices. Let them refer new customers with that thinking.

They will still refer even if you double the price as long as you keep them happy.

Who do you use to host your site? I use Dev's. It's killer. Great customer service, great whatever.

I joined early so they only charge $10 a month, but $20 isn't bad, and they are totally reliable.

By the way, did I mention that most people are lazy, and won't bother looking for a second company. They will just use their referal.

Personally I refer all of my customers to HE.net. They are a little expensive, but I have never had a complaint, nor do my clients. And I don't think 1 of my clients actually looked to see if they should host it somewhere else. You need fans first. They are your best advertisers for monthly service type business, I think.
  • theak
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I understand your desire to be a quality service provider rather than a cheap and cheerful operation, but by following this route you are going to have a difficult time recruiting customers. Almost every hosting company tells us on thier site about thier great 24/7 support, thier unequalled reliability and 110% uptime; but it's all meaningless without any proof. That proof will only come in the form of good marketing, whether it be your own marketing or customer referrals. Some how you will have to build up a small consumer base you can wow with your excellent service; how you attempt this with a start up company is what make or break your venture.
  • DevGateway
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Post 3+ Months Ago

hi,

I understand your point and it's certainly valid. Prices aren't set yet so I'll be thinking a lot about it.

If I may ask, would anyone have recommendations of the best host to start out with? i want to start out with a reseller, because I think it'd be a waste to begin with a dedicated server.

I was considering hostmysite.com, and I'm very impressed. The only bad thing is they don't offer any sort of addon domains. While I don't think it's a very important feature, (I don't see why a business woudl ned mroe than one site?), some people I knwo and those helping me with this believe it is a necessary feature. I am not quite sure.

ColdFusion MX 7 is a requirement, and so is asp and asp.net, php, perl, mysql4.1, and the both linux and windows accounts, and ssh would be nice.

Sorry if I should have started another thread lol; guess it could be split off if required.

Brandon
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Post 3+ Months Ago

HostGator gets many favorable reviews.

Why do you need both Linux and Windows (which would require two reseller accounts)?
  • DevGateway
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Do hostgator provide coldfusion and asp/.net? Last time I checked they did not...

And, it most certainly does not require two accounts. The H-Sphere control panel allows for creating accounts on Linux or Windows.

Thanks,
Brandon

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