Market for Mac Web Hosting

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by rnizlek, Oct 23, 2004.

  1. rnizlek macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #1
    I have an idea. Start an Xserve G5 based hosting company.

    Now, I'm sure most of you will say "It's already been done."

    However, in my search for Mac based hosting, I've found fault with most Mac hosting providers.

    http://www.xrackhosting.com looks the most promising, however, they still have a popup notice from Feburary on the site, it's clearly not updated frequently. Also, I expect to get more than 50 MB for $10 a month.

    http://www.machost.com charged $24.95 for 25 MB and 3 GB of transfer. That's absurd.

    http://www.macdock.com has basic level hosting starting at $19.95. But for that price I only get 50 MB and 10 GB of transfer (the latter is somewhat reasonable, the former should be higher).

    http://www.itsamac.com has reasonable prices 100 MB and 5 GB of bandwidth a month for $9.95. Their web site design, however, doesn't excite me. I know that's relatively minor, but if they had a site like Xserverack, I'd probably jump on immediately (actually, I couldn't - they don't offer a reseller account, which I need).

    All the above hosts limit availible e-mail accounts, and almost all are using older, Xserve G4s.

    I worked with some numbers on the cost for an Xserve, for colocation, for my expenses in programing and setting up an Xserve for hosting (I'll start with one and move from there).

    Here's what I can profitably offer as hosting packages on a 2.0 Ghz X Serve G5:

    For $9.99/month (paid yearly, otherwise $10.95 paid monthly, to offset merchant account expenses):

    1 GB of web space
    10 GB of bandwidth
    Unlimited e-mail addresses
    Unlimited MySQL databases
    99.9% Uptime Guarenteed

    For $18.99 I'd double that, and then I can work out the costs for the higher packages.

    I could offer a basic Xserve colocated in a Level 3 datacenter and setup by me for $339 a month - which beats anything I've seen out there thus far ($200 setup fee required - most services charge $250-$350 for setup).

    All questions would be have a guarenteed 24 hour response time via e-mail. However, I would offer a rather unique service: 24 hour callback. After a user files a support ticket, they have the option of asking for a 24 hour callback. Within 24 hours I will call them on the number they requested and provide support over the telephone. I can do this profitably as my exisiting VoIP plan allows for unlimited calling. Additionally, there will be an 800 number users can call in to buy hosting or asking questions.

    My question to the Mac community is, would you buy it? If you don't use a mac host, would you switch to this host, even in the rates are a bit higher? If you use a Mac host, would you switch to this host, considering that the rates likely are better than most (if not all) competitors.
     
  2. Hoef macrumors 6502a

    Hoef

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    #2
    What would be the advantage over a linux based shared server? ... I'd only pay if you offer mac specific stuff .... similar to .mac or so.
     
  3. xg3 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    #3
    $25 for 25mb space and 3GB of bandwidth is not overcharging. thats proper buisness, i run a web hosting company too, but to oversell and dig for clients is stupid. ALL my clients are willing to pay for what they need.. is very unlikely u have a 1GB webpage. u can say u have high quality graphics, but thats not optimizing. stability,uptime,customer service is #1. 1 or 2 or 100GB of space is just trash talking. i like to see a host actually capable of hosting all their clients to the 10GB they provide.
     
  4. quidire macrumors 6502

    quidire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Location:
    Washington DC (in Kalorama Triangle)
    #4
    I disagree regarding the $25 for 25MB; thats an exorbitant price.

    mizlek, so long as you offer shell access (which itsamac does not) and attempt .mac integration (not so difficult, just create an installer app to do the following:
    http://www.tnpi.biz/computing/mac/tips/idisk/

    Of course, if you can improve the integration, your service will be that much more desirable. Critical would be the ability to either switch back and forth between the Apple iDisk and your service's iDisk or to mount them at the same time. Its probable that the latter would not be possible without some effort.

    Of course, where this fellow figured out how to do this through manually fooling around with system settings, you would need to release an application to do so. Having done so would set you apart from every CS major graduate who decides to set up a web hosting service and then calls himself a competant system administator. There are a lot of "fly-by-night" service providers, having this sort of spit and polish will help you show that you are not one of them.

    -RS
     
  5. kanaka macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2002
    #5
    I'm looking for a competitive Mac hosting company, and I'm considering going with Host Solutions.

    Their basic package is $7.95 a month for 1000MB of disk space and 40GB/month of transfer. They also have reseller accounts.

    They aren't a Mac-only host, as they also have Linux servers, but I'm assuming I can request that my site only be hosted on Macs.
     
  6. liketom macrumors 601

    liketom

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Location:
    Lincoln,UK
    #6
    i have 4gb space and 20gb bandwidth i am currently using around 40% of it but i would like to have a proper Mac hosted website . i am with oneandone.co.uk
     
  7. rnizlek thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #7
    With regard to the advantage over shared Linux hosting, there is none. However, I noticed there are other mac based services around, so there must be a demand for mac based hosting, if only to support the Mac OS server platform.

    As for .mac intergration, I could look into that.

    And as for "overselling" the server, that would not be a practice I engage in -the prices I proposed consider that I only sell the capacity of the server.

    Thanks for everyone's input so far.
     
  8. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #8
    I think you'd find very few people that give a monkeys what hardware their site is running on, so I would see little point to it.

    Linux/BSD or whatever with Apache on a dual Xeon Dell does the job well, and cheaply. a G5 Xserve won't make any difference.
     
  9. liketom macrumors 601

    liketom

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Location:
    Lincoln,UK
    #9
    yes but a G5 Xserve would be nice thou.. lol o nice plasma edesignuk
     
  10. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #10
    All you ever do is FTP, ssh or whatever do it, what difference would it make to you, honestly?

    Oh, and thanks :D
     
  11. liketom macrumors 601

    liketom

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Location:
    Lincoln,UK
    #11
    your right it would only be for bragging rights just to say i'm not hosted on windows/linux boxes but on G5 XServes
     
  12. rnizlek thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #12
    Exactly. So the question is, will people pay for that?
     
  13. liketom macrumors 601

    liketom

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Location:
    Lincoln,UK
  14. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #14
    Apart from a few Mac die hards that have more money than sense, no, I don't think so.
     
  15. rnizlek thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #15
    Alright, here's another idea:

    Make Mac-based hosting competitive with Linux-based hosting. Assuming I don't "oversell" my servers, I can offer the following services profitably:

    4.95
    450 MB of Disc Space
    10 GB of transfer

    8.95
    1000 MB of Disc Space
    35 GB of transfer

    It would be forcing me to run a tight ship, but it could be done, provide I had a great enough volume of customers (I would need 60 in the first two months, and then about 15-20 each month thereafter, assuming they all sign up for the $4.95 plan).
     
  16. xg3 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    #16
    those price seems reasonable..

    my webhosting targets a different group of people than yours. my customers pay what i ask, in return i give them peace of mind... but for mac hosting.. i really dun think customer cares if it is on a P4, opteron or on a mac... unless u got some special feature or interface that really seperates u
     
  17. rnizlek thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #17
    Well, one of the defining charictaristics would be telephone support. The majority of reasonably priced, internet marketed webhosts I encounter do not off telephone technical support.
     
  18. Hoef macrumors 6502a

    Hoef

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    #18
    What are your SLA's?
     

Share This Page