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Old 12-13-2005, 10:42 PM   #16
theOG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graeme
As you probably know I have a VPS with cPanel installed so I'm perhaps not a good example of a typical VPS customer. However, I would say, if you've done any unix sysadmin then you'll find it a breeze. If not then it would be quite a large learning curve (but we all started somewhere right?). If you plan to do it in the long term and have no experience I would get an old PC and install Linux on it and play.

There is Virtuozzo for Windows but I imagine this requires a dedicated Windows VPS server. Only Dave can tell you if he plans to do that one I have no idea obviously how it would be to admin one of those

Graeme
Graeme,

Thanks... for a while I thought I was typing with invisible ink on this page...

Anyway, I was able to do some reasearch... no, don't think I'm going to touch VPS... Suzi has it right. I have an idea about what direction I want to take now as well, and VPS does not fit the picture.

I'll grab my popcorn and let this domain/database issue play itself out...
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian
But.... the amount of domains and databases? I would have to go with the highest priced plan to get what I have now - or do a lower priced plan and do add-ons.
Your better bet would be to go with the lower priced plan and do add ons.

Quote:
I realize that the extra domains are now just $1/mo extra but an extra mySQL is $3/mo. I currently am using 4 domains and 5 mySQL databases on the "Starter" plan. There's no way my costs could stay the same if I switch to the new plans.
One thing that everybody needs to also understand is that we are not in the business to try driving our costs down without sacrificing some other important aspects. For example, all our staffs are inhouse staffs, hired as W2 employee or 1099 Independent Contractors. With addition of new staffs (and will be adding more as time goes), it is just simply not profitable for us to always maintain the same price or even lowering our price. Not to mention the inflation that goes around us. The only way we could reduce our pricings would either be to do mass and cheap hosting, subcontracting our support department, and also finding cheaper way to deliver the service (E.g. cheaper servers, etc). None of this I would be willing to do at this moment. Thus, even if we are going to keep the plans the same, I would have to increase the pricing.

The new plans/pricings may seem to be more for some customers, but for majority of customers, the new plan will be of benefit. The smaller number of domains and databases are done so in order to prevent large downgrades request from customers, (and thus, reducing our revenues and our ability to provide top notch all around service) while at the same time trying to be competitive.

Quote:
Also, I realize that other companies may offer less domains and mailboxes, but do these really cost the hosting company anything? It would just be the diskspace/bandwidth used with these services that rack up the cost, right? I assume the mySQL database would be the same but can't remember if the database space is included in the total space used or not.
All little things add up. More features simply mean more resources needed to support it. As mentioned, we have been quite generous in the past in providing customers with a lot of free domains and databases. But over time, we learned that these are not actually free per se. Some customers do use the free resources they have, and as we are not trying to oversell our resources, we have to keep upgrading our servers to maintain the healthy performance despite the increase number of mailboxes/databases/etc we have to support.

So with the new plans/pricings, we are also trying to force people to think about what they really need and act conservatively. (E.g. don't create domains for the sake of using free resources, etc). For example, the other day, we had to go through all domains and sub domains on our windows web servers to remove some default HSphere index page. I am surprised to see that a lot of customers are adding domains/sub domains that they do not use. (And while doing so, I was complaining on how painful it was to go through each and all directories to check index.html files against file size, creation date, etc and to decide whether to remove it or not. Anyway, a little rant here ). It's always good to use what you only need.

The number one expenses here at Fluid Hosting is not bandwidth, nor disk space, nor anything else. It's actually the support personnels salary/wages. And this can't be measured simply by the number of domains, databases, and mailboxes. As mentioned, if we were to keep the same plan the same, we would have to increase our pricing as well. We have been improving ourselves in the support areas by hiring new staffs, extending our phone support coverage, and so on. And being as stubborn as I am, I have been refusing to outsource any of our support personnels.

Quote:
It may sound like I'm compaining but I'm really not. Just trying to understand your reasoning here.
I am happy these questions are being asked. Keep them coming.
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Old 12-14-2005, 05:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FH-Dave
I am happy these questions are being asked. Keep them coming.
OK

Quote:
Originally Posted by FH-Dave
One thing that everybody needs to also understand is that we are not in the business to try driving our costs down
No, that pleasure is ours

Discussing ...

People are not motivated by what they can gain, but what they loose. This is why the number of domains and databases has been brought up.

The # of domains is not a concern to me in the slightest, but there is an ouch in the databases. Let me advocate my point of view, using some numbers; all figures are comparisons based on the maximum $30% discount over 24 months:

- Those currently on the Mini with 1 domain will benefit in monetary terms by $33.60 [ $8.37/m (mini) - $6.97/m (small) = $1.40/m * 24 ] providing they can manage with a 25% reduction in disk space, otherwise they will need to bump their plan up, or fork out for over-usage (unchanged) by prepaying with their $33.60 windfall. That $1.40/m will buy 28 MB for 2 years.

- Those currently on the Mini with 2 domains, can either switch to the medium at an additional cost of $50.40 over two years [ $10.47 (medium) - $8.37/m (mini) = $2.10/m * 24 ], or stick with the small, and pay an extra $1/m for the lost domain, assuming the 25% reduction in disk space poses no problem [ $6.97/m (small) + $1.00/m = $7.97/m, $8.37/m (mini) - $7.97/m = $0.40/m ] a small gain of $0.40/c (the above example - $1), and a benefit of $9.60 over two years. If they have a database on both domains, they need to upgrade to the medium, as the second DB will cost $72.00 over 2 years for each 100 MB ($3/m).

- Those with a full starter, i.e., all 8 domains in use, will see an increase from $15.37/m (starter) to $16.47/m [ $10.47/m (medium) + $6.00/m for 6 extra domains ] that's $1.10/m, $26.40 over 2 years, or +0.9% [ 24 * $15.37 (starter) = 368.88 (the old) versus 24 * $16.47 = 395.28 (the new) ]. If the cost of an extra domain did not fall from $2 to $1 then this would have resulted in a 42.6% increase, so that $1 concession is quite significant [ it could have been $10.47/m (medium) + $12.00/m for extra domains = $22.47/m = $539.28/$368.88 = 1.462 or +46.2% ], but thankfully itís only 0.9%, which I think is very fair. Severe pain increases await anyone come renewal time with 8 domains and 8 databases.

It was only the on-going delayed release of these plans that stopped me from upgrading to VPS some months back (I realise VPS plans remain in the pipe-line).

Now, a quick search of the net with reveal that popular opinion has it that FH isn't cheap, therefore, I already consider that I'm paying a premium. I have accepted this, but I canít do without an arm and a leg

I concede that the increased disk space and transfers rates are a significant improvement, along with a DB price drop from $5/m to $3/m per 100 MB, and extra domains dropping from $2 to $1. Allowing for an increase for inflation, and putting databases to one side, plan prices are almost static. On the whole, I think you have delivered but for the gotcha that is the database numbers.

If, as you say, a number of domains and databases are dormant, or little used, then that can only confirm that the numbers of domains and databases in use do not always correlate with high resource use. This must be what people want, and what the previous domain and database allowances delivered.

My view is that there will be penalties come renewal time for utilising all I have now.

A final thought, many people see FH as a sanctuary from the rest of the crowd, comparing plans with the rest of the crown is to put the tree in the wood where it's growth potential will be restricted, surely that's not the intention here, this being a first draft for discussion, and not a final one?

Edit: Will I be able to stick with my current plan come renewal, or will I need to switch?
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Old 12-14-2005, 09:22 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzi
Graeme,

I'd have to hire someone to manage a VPS, so it'd probably cost me more than paying for the extra bandwidth. Unless my bw takes a huge jump, that is.
In a few days, Sitepoint will be releasing a new book set for runing your own linux and apache set up. They usually have great books and this one is designed for unknowledgable dummies like us.
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:27 AM   #20
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Will I be able to stick with my current plan come renewal, or will I need to switch?
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:40 AM   #21
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You can keep your current plan, if you'd like.
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Old 12-14-2005, 11:01 AM   #22
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For me the new plans, or I should say the new Extra plan, will be considerably less costly than my current Power plan. The Extra costs less and has more disk space and bandwidth. I'll probably still be paying extra for bw, but it includes everything else I need, and 2 dedicated IPs instead of one. So I have no complaints, except it would be nice to have a plan that included more bandwidth.

I haven't looked at other companies' hosting plans recently, but when I was looking, I didn't see many that offered hosting for multiple domains at a reasonable price.
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Old 12-14-2005, 01:05 PM   #23
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I'm paying mainly for the good support which I've been receiving. The hardware and throughput are very good as well. The plans are roughly equal for what I do. Keep up the good work.
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Old 12-14-2005, 02:03 PM   #24
FH-Dave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FH-John
You can keep your current plan, if you'd like.
Please disregard this note.

Old plans older than 08/01/2004 will definitely be phased out. The current Unix/Windows Performance Plan introduced since 08/01/2004 may also get phased out. A notifcation will be available soon.

Plans that we are phasing out, unless if you are under long term contract (e.g. not paying monthly):
Unix/Windows Value (U1/W1)
Unix/Windows Light (U2/W2)
Unix/Windows Economy (U3/W3)
Unix/Windows Standard (U4/W4)
Unix/Windows Deluxe (U5/W5)
Unix/Windows Power (U6/W6)

Old Unix/Windows Basic (OUV1/OWV1)
Old Unix/Windows Economy (OUV2/OWV2)
Old Unix/Windows Standard (OUV3/OWV3)
Old Unix/Windows Deluxe (OUV4/OWV4)

Still Under Consideration whether to be phased out or not:
All Special/Custom plans

Unix/Windows Premium Mini (UP1/WP1)
Unix/Windows Premium Starter (UP2/WP2)
Unix/Windows Premium Advanced (UP3/WP3)
Unix/Windows Premium Deluxe (UP4/WP4)
Unix/Windows Premium Power (UP5/WP5)

Unix/Windows Value Basic (UV1/WV1)
Unix/Windows Value Light (UV2/WV2)
Unix/Windows Value Extra (UV3/WV3)

New plans:
Compact Unix/Windows Plan (CUP/CWP)
Medium Unix/Windows Plan (MUP/MWP)
Large Unix/Windows Plan (LUP/LWP)
Super Unix/Windows Plan (SUP/SWP)
Extra Unix/Windows Plan (EUP/EWP)
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Old 12-14-2005, 11:14 PM   #25
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Will the reseller plans be upgraded?
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Old 12-16-2005, 10:02 AM   #26
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Well, I think the new plans are a major business model upgrade, so congratulations FH.
As far as I am concerned, these are the changes for my plan:
1. I will have to switch from U3 to Large and pay an extra 7 bucks a month plus 1.5 extra for a shared ssl. But this is cheap, if I consider the benefits:
2. My bandwith will grow to 400% (from 10 GB to 40 GB).
3. My disk space will grow to 500% (from 400 MB to 2000 MB)
4. I will have to group 8 databases into 4. Piece of cake.
5. I have more domains than 4 and I'm not particularly happy to pay for add-ons, but as a php developer, I'll find a way to use them all and yet exceed not that limit.
6. I currently have 5 free shared SSLs (yes, I'm that lucky). Well, I'll have to redesign something and I will be using only one for the future.
7. Well, the best part of the new plans is that if my bw usage will be what I hope for, old FH plans were to small and I would have been forced to search another host for some domains. And this was the real nightmare because I am happy with FH support and server speed and not willing to play the hit and miss game. As a matter of fact, 18 months ago I spent about 20 hours researching web hosts before I opted for FH and all this time I was very glad I did choose them.
The VPS is not an option yet for me (Suzy put it right) because of current server admin skills.

I think these plans are just what the doctor ordered, so on the long term they will help FH keep a constant customer like me.
I just hope the staff will ofer a decent notice time to switch to new plans.

And one question: if I want to keep a shared SSL I have now, will I have to pay the setup fee for it when I switch to the new plan?

Last edited by florin; 12-16-2005 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 12-16-2005, 10:22 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by florin
...but as a php developer....

...The VPS is not an option yet for me (Suzy put it right) because of current server admin skills.
As a PHP developer, running your own VPS opens up a whole new realm of possibilities

It's a shame that there isn't a way for shared customers to see what's involved in setting up and maintaining a VPS. Maybe someone could do a VPS blog or something?

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Old 12-17-2005, 12:33 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graeme
As a PHP developer, running your own VPS opens up a whole new realm of possibilities
What kind of possibilities?
I've seen a site that uses dynamic keywords looking as subdomains. Is this one of them?
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Old 12-17-2005, 05:32 PM   #29
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Yes, that's definitely possible. I've done something similar myself You can set the DNS and Apache to allow the subdomain/hostname be a wildcard (like *.fluidhosting.com) and use PHP to show content based on that i.e. vps.fluidhosting.com / shared-hosting.fluidhosting.com.

A few other things I've done off the top of my head - add the modules you want installed in PHP and set up php.ini to match *your* needs - such as cURL and IMAP. Run code programmed in the likes of C to increase speed of pages or use system utilities. Test scripts with PHP 5. Run scripts that use non-standard ports - i.e. send an MSN Messenger alert whenever you get an order (if Microsoft still lets you )

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Old 12-18-2005, 06:01 AM   #30
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Well, quite a few. How difficult would it be to manage a VPS for someone who is a PHP developer? I mean, for a VPS that will offer what a shared plan does? My server admin skills are limited to installing some Apache / Php / MySQL pre-made bundle on a windows laptop and IIS + PHP + MySQL on a windows PC.
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