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Last post Author Topic: Interested in teaming up for good web hosting / website accounts?  (Read 16651 times)

mouser

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We have no interest in becoming web hosting resellers for a variety of reasons (no desire to keep track of payments, no desire to have an adversarial relationship trying to keep track of who is using up all the bandwidth/cpu), but i am curious to know if there are people here who would be interested in pooling our resources to pay for a dedicated server which could host web sites and home pages of our members.

if there were enough of us it would be possible to pool our money and get a fantastically fast and stable and big server with every feature on the planet.

most individuals buy a cheap hosting plan, say $4 to $10 per month, and companies make a huge profit off these small and limited accounts.

but if for example 10-30 of us got together and pooled their money, combined with the money donationcoder would put in for our contribution (maybe $80 per month), we could pay for an amazing server that would be 10x better for each individual than the cheap accounts, at the same price.  so for example if we got 30 people willing to pay $8 per month, then this might be something worth pursuing..

but if we did try to do this we'd have to find a way to do it that didn't require the hassle of trying to collect money and stuff.  not sure exactly how to do that.. probably not a feasible idea..  we'd also have to find someone to volunteer to do tech support and help install stuff, for the reward of having a free account on the server..

anyway, just an idea.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2005, 04:09:47 PM by mouser »

mouser

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Re: Anyone interested in Hosting?
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2005, 02:26:47 PM »
or maybe twice the people at half the contribution,

or have a kind of pay-as-you-can afford donation based hosting?

we could be the first such group effort?

each users pays what they can, within reason? assuming no one uses up too much bandwidth (probably the limits would be very generous if there was enough of us, better than your normal $8 a month hosting).

vegas

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Re: Anyone interested in Hosting?
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2005, 02:53:48 PM »
Count me in.  I had a site up for a friend who passed away 3 years back.  But the person doing my dns forwarding (i believe thats what it is) disappeared about 8 months ago. I personally feel the need to get this site back up & also have interest in having a site for myself hosted.  This would be a great way to do it, in the spirit of the DonationCoder way! I would be more than happy to contribute say $5-10 a month on a regular basis, or more if there was high usage of my domain (which i doubt).  The best part would be, I would get what I need while donation coder is just like sharing out extra space & bandwith over the top of what it needs.  I like, I'm down, Where do I sign? :)

mouser

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Re: Interested in teaming up for good web hosting / website accounts?
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2005, 03:49:21 PM »
this would be a win-win thing for all of us if there were enough of us willing to jump in together.
and the more i think of it the more i think it might be worth at least experimenting a little without needing commitments from anyone.

i think we may try to upgrade to a better plan (though not the full dedicated server we would want eventually) for a month or so just to see what kind of speed we could get, and provide free web hosting accounts for any dc member that wants, just to play with and see if its something you might be willing to chip in on and support eventually.

so if its something you think you might be interested in, post a reply with your thoughts - it's not a commitment on your part to join in - we just want to get some idea of how many people might be interested in this.

if we do do it, it will only be if we can commit to doing it properly.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2005, 04:14:58 PM by mouser »

kfitting

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Re: Interested in teaming up for good web hosting / website accounts?
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2005, 07:41:55 AM »
One thing to keep in mind is that as soon as anyone hears about "free" anything word will be spread around like wildfire.  Spymac did this just before google came out with gmail; they advertised free 1 gig email accounts and they had such a flood of new members they couldnt handle it.  I know, you're not saying free hosting, but even saying donation hosting is essentially saying free hosting to the masses. 

Not saying it's a bad idea (I personally would love a free/cheap website just to upload pictures for my family to view) but be prepared for tremendous growth.  Plus, anytime anything is free, it tends to bring in the riffraff; people who spark flame wars, complain about everything, etc. 

I'm also NOT saying this should be an elitest club so we can all feel comfortable... that is wrong as well!  Just saying that you're going to have to be prepared.  As far as I'm concerned, I wouldnt mind a small page for myself to put up pictures or random thoughts.  But, it is extremely low priority on my budget right now.

Intrigued? Yes, but not sure how you would go about it!

Kevin

mouser

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Re: Interested in teaming up for good web hosting / website accounts?
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2005, 08:01:36 AM »
that's a good point kfitting -
this is not being done as a way to make money, or even as a way to get donations, just a way to offset costs of hosting and get the advantage of pooling our money.

as such, we wouldnt want to accept more people than we can very comfortably handle on a server at super super fast speed.  the objective is not to pack as many people as possible into it but rather to have a server that can handle the people on it with ease, and still have enough people adding to the pot to cover the hosting expenses comfortably enough so that if people drop in and out and fluctuate it won't cause any worries.

so the idea is just to see if we think there are enough members at dc, who are members because they like dc, who would be interested in this, and not to make this a reason to join the site!

i'm intrigued enough about this to explore it in methods short of moving the site.  we are going to instead upgrade to a much faster plan (hopefully) for a month or so and see how it feels, and i'll be settting up accounts for people who are already members here, to play with, just to see if its something fun and intertesting for people.  then we can figure out if there is enough interest to continue.

again, this is going to be a donation based thing with the same spirit as the rest of the site.  its not for people wanting to host a real business site, and will really be just a community getting together to be able to get the advantages of making a group purchase.

once the server account is upgraded to be faster and bigger i will post instructions for people who want to set up a website.  we will try to have to kinds of things, one will be super full control for people who want to have the fun of the full cpanel web server administration interface, which can be very fun to play with but very overwhelming in terms of all the things you can do, and then a super easy instructions for people who just want to use frontpage or ftp to upload their files without any troubles or complications.

id still like to find someone who is good at web server admin, and experienced with cpanel who wants to volunteer to help people, to help people out who could use help...

AbteriX

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Re: Interested in teaming up for good web hosting / website accounts?
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2005, 08:03:39 AM »
I thought a "club" is better

'cus if you let people pay for space
you must have an accurate agreement
that they don't dance on your nose.

If you have an club with yearly paying members
you could just exlude such people how
don't care about the rules.

thought i don't know nothing about american law (like i don't about german)

mouser

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Re: Interested in teaming up for good web hosting / website accounts?
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2005, 08:09:25 AM »
summarizing previous thoughts:

1) i think we are going to try this, at least informally at first, and just a little at first.
people who are already members on this site who want to experiment with having a web page will be given space to play with.  after a few weeks we can see what the interest is and how many people think they would donate how much for it.  depending on the # of people and amounts we will know what kind of server we could afford and whether it makes sense to do it.

2) we need to make sure this isnt something people come to take advantage of, its more of a cooperative pooling of our money to get a better deal, people who are trying to take advantage of this will not be welcome.

3) regarding what stefan said, yes this is not going to be like a monthly contract like regular hosting company -
it's going to be more in the spirit of the rest of the site.

kfitting

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Re: Interested in teaming up for good web hosting / website accounts?
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2005, 09:18:05 AM »
Good points... one thing that should be stated right up front is who the boss is (assuming you, mouser!) and that you have ultimate authority on who has space and who doesnt have space and who gets their space canceled.  In our democraticaly influenced society people tend to forget that their are some things that are more totalitarian in nature.  As YOUR service with YOUR bandwidth, it's YOUR rules.  Obviously influenced by what others say, but in the end someone needs to be in control for this idea to work.

Kevin


Carol Haynes

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Re: Interested in teaming up for good web hosting / website accounts?
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2005, 09:34:40 AM »
Reading this thread with interest, having "chatted" about it yesterday.

I may well be interested, but would need help to know how to link domain names to your server (in the event it happens).

Would you be able to support any domain type (.com, .co.uk etc)

It would certainly have made things easier over the last few days ...

mouser

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Re: Interested in teaming up for good web hosting / website accounts?
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2005, 09:38:21 AM »
at least for the website hosting, someone will ultimately have to decide if someone site turns out to be inappropriate, and that's probably going to be me, though i would have no problem making it a vote or whatever, though i cant imagine a scenario where there would be real dissagreement among the other people being hosted and any decision i made.  this really should be viewed as just a group of friends getting together and pooling money to get a much better deal on good hosting.


just think of it like being in a house with 30 people and sharing the phone bill - rather than try to calculate each month exactly who made what calls, we will come to an agreement about what would be reasonable, and if some people (like the main donationcoder.com site) are doing a majority of the traffic then we would expect to pay the majority of the costs.  if someone can't afford to pay as much as the other person, then we can give a little leeway, it doesn't have be exact, as long as their are enough of us that we are all still getting a great thing.  if someone starts constantly using the phone to make prank calls to russia and never donates their share, they would be asked to stop using the phone :)

if someone decides its no longer right for them or they grow too big, its very easy for them to buy commercial hosting and switch over any domain names, it wont effect the visitors to their site so there really shouldn't be a problem.

i should note two nice benefits to us doing it this way:
  • we can provide better services than a normal discount $5 a month web hosting company who try to limit you to get you to upgrade
  • we don't have to be so strict as companies about bandwidth and going over for one month, where they love to charge you a ton if you for some reason have a high bandwidth month; for us that wouldnt matter - if you for some reason did a ton of bandwidth you'd probably just want to donate a little more at the end of that month, etc.
  • because everyone would be on the donationcoder.com server, you can count on the fact that we are going to be extremely vigilant about network issues and downtime; if your site goes offline it will mean donationcoder.com goes offline, and we will be the ones making sure it gets back up immediately, and that no data is lost; so its not like you are just another customer in some big company that couldn't care less if your site goes down.
  • we can be more permissive about stuff; if you can't afford to donate one month its not a big deal; we aren't going to be shutting peoples sites down at end of month, etc. no mean stuff like that.

unresolved issuess:
  • tech support: this is something we really have to figure out a good solution to.  one solution is definitely let people decide whether they are pros who want (or want to learn to) have complete control over everything, or
  • have things 99% set up for them and just have an ftp/frontpage login to upload pages in the easiest possible way
  • but inevitably people need help, setting up a guestbook, learning how to get their log files, etc.. as a community effort we would want to have people who would be willing to help each other learn how to do this stuff, and it would be great if we could a person or two who knows their way around a web server and would be willing to sort of act as an unofficial tech support to help people out, in return for fame, love, and a free account, and maybe an occassional donation from a happy user? seems like that would be in keeping with the spirit of the site.  actually there's a good bet they would be better tech support that most bargain hosting companies.

mouser

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Re: Interested in teaming up for good web hosting / website accounts?
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2005, 09:41:50 AM »
carol,

of course.

we would be providing, for those who want it, a full hosting account, with full cpanel that lets you connect any domain name(s),
park domains, create addon domains, subdomains, unlimited databases, etc.

i was teaching vegas yesterday about the differences between addon, subdomains, and parking.
basically they are a variety of different ways you can point your domain names to your account.
you can have different domain names point to different sections, or any of many different permutations.

basically EVERYTHING you would get at a quality non-bargain basement hosting company.

one of the advantages to setting up such a community effort, in addition to the price, is the control.


Veign

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Re: Interested in teaming up for good web hosting / website accounts?
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2005, 09:48:31 AM »
Carol,

Basically all you would have to do is point the domains DNS records to the server mouser is going to setup.  This is done through the domains registrar..

mouser

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Re: Interested in teaming up for good web hosting / website accounts?
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2005, 09:53:01 AM »
yep, its super easy, takes a minute of time.

for example, here would be instructions if you got your domain name from godaddy.com, but all accounts are very similar:


1. Login and navigate to managing your domain.

2. Click on the + next to "Nameservers Summary" if it is not already expanded. Then "Click here to see details or to modify."

3. Enter ns1.donationcoder.com and ns2.donationcoder.com as your nameservers and save

4. Wait for the new nameservers to propagate.  Godaddy says it can take up to 48 hours for these changes to take effect but it usually only takes a few hours.


mouser

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Re: Interested in teaming up for good web hosting / website accounts?
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2005, 09:54:10 AM »
that would point your domain name to the account we would set up for you, which takes about 10 minutes for us to set up.
very simple.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Interested in teaming up for good web hosting / website accounts?
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2005, 10:13:02 AM »
Ta ... I would probably be interested - see how things develop ...

alexp

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Re: Interested in teaming up for good web hosting / website accounts?
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2005, 01:29:51 PM »
Count me in, at the moment I'm paying $10 a month for some space on asmallorange.com (1000Mb space, 25Gb bandwidth a month) and all I use it for are a few avatars and sigs for forums and if I need to transfer a file to one of my friends :)

Why is it that writers write, but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce, and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So, one moose, 2 meese? One index, two indices? Is cheese the plural of choose?

Carol Haynes

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Re: Interested in teaming up for good web hosting / website accounts?
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2005, 03:34:49 PM »
Must be a hell of an avatar to use 25Gb per month bandwidth ;-)

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Re: Interested in teaming up for good web hosting / website accounts?
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2005, 10:57:07 PM »
yep, its super easy, takes a minute of time.

for example, here would be instructions if you got your domain name from godaddy.com, but all accounts are very similar:


1. Login and navigate to managing your domain.

2. Click on the + next to "Nameservers Summary" if it is not already expanded. Then "Click here to see details or to modify."

3. Enter ns1.donationcoder.com and ns2.donationcoder.com as your nameservers and save

4. Wait for the new nameservers to propagate.  Godaddy says it can take up to 48 hours for these changes to take effect but it usually only takes a few hours.



You make it sound easy, but I'm lost. See my post here:
http://www.donationc...dex.php?topic=1276.0

Devoted to promoting freeware and free information

brotherS

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Re: Interested in teaming up for good web hosting / website accounts?
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2005, 02:23:08 PM »
It's a great idea and I'm definetly interested, I just don't understand one thing: Now I 'rent' the domains I have (but don't really use) together with 1 GB accounts and am allowed x GB bandwith/month. Since that ISP only offers packages (URL + account) would I have to move my domains to another ISP that just offers URLs without hosting space?

And then 'forward' the DNS requests to my account(s) on the new Donationcoder.com server?

mouser

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Re: Interested in teaming up for good web hosting / website accounts?
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2005, 03:41:57 PM »
its a very very bad idea to have your domains on a site that forces you to buy combo domainname+hosting accounts - i didn't know there were any that still do that.  i suggest you move them immediately to a proper domain name+host.  godaddy.com is one, totalchoicehosting is another.  its a bit of a process to move domain names but not that bad and it will be worth it in the long run.

i think i'll probably start setting up accounts for people this weekend, just so people can play around, without having to make any commitment about donating for anything.

brotherS

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Re: Interested in teaming up for good web hosting / website accounts?
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2005, 04:50:48 AM »
Count me in, at the moment I'm paying $10 a month for some space on asmallorange.com (1000Mb space, 25Gb bandwidth a month) and all I use it for are a few avatars and sigs for forums [...]
Right, that's another good reason for an own server account! :)

@mouser: I'm ready to move my first domain over quite soon :D

mouser

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Re: Interested in teaming up for good web hosting / website accounts?
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2005, 08:07:59 PM »
Just an update - the new server is blazing fast, and we've already set up some member accounts, and all is going great.  :Thmbsup:

Discuss more in the section of the forum set of for this: http://www.donationc...index.php?board=60.0

ezegern

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Re: Interested in teaming up for good web hosting / website accounts?
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2005, 08:03:43 PM »
Count me in buddy  :Thmbsup:. I am very interested.

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Re: Interested in teaming up for good web hosting / website accounts?
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2005, 05:09:02 PM »
My idea for pricing - pay per megabyte - perhaps 20 cents per megabyte per month. Or even better (to make it easier to collect the money), $2.40/yr. I would find pay per megabyte useful because I would probably only use it to host a couple of MB.