Coping with Increasing Popularity
With over 100,000 people per month regularly depending on hellam.net, ICTspecialist.com, V-L-E.com and interactivestuff.org for interactive educational multimedia resources, I have found it necessary to provide emergency alternative hosting for the sites.
With DNS propagating incredibly quickly now, it means I can have my websites switched to their alternative homes and accessible to a large number of people within a few hours.
Counting the Cost
The total extra cost is less than $100 per year for each of the two reseller accounts. The surplus hosting space is then used for other projects. This additional expenditure is covered by the income from the small amount of advertising and reselling some space to other colleagues via the Hosted Focus site. Even so, the combined hosting bill is less than I paid for a single hosting account in 2000.
Looked at another way. A day of downtime costs me far more in lost revenue for my projects than the amount I pay for hosting. It would be foolish of me to put the viability of the projects at risk by not ensuring that I can minimise downtime.
The next logical step would be to have the sites on a dedicated managed server at a reputable datacenter. But that can wait until 2010...
A Rationale for Contextual Advertising
A few years ago, I realised that as my main educational web design projects became more popular, it would be necessary to find a way for them to be self-supporting financially. This then widened into the l-earn and Reserved Word web projects.
The choices for financing included promoting affiliate schemes - something I wouldn't be averse to if there was something that made an appropriate fit with the context of a specific project, and if it could be done seamlessly. The same could be said of reselling digital products.
Contextual advertising - allowing visitors to navigate to another site whose content may be related to mine, but closer to what they are specifically searching for, fits the index pages to my resources, can be easily customized, and stays within the boundaries of the aims of the sites - if I can't provide access to what my visitors are really looking for, then this gives them a further opportunity to find something relevant.
Parking a domain is really only practical if it has sufficient traffic resulting from people accessing a domain by direct navigation - typing the address into their browser. Bizarrely enough, I have a few education-related domains that cover their registration costs that way while I work on the material I will eventually put up on them.
Another option would be specifically marketing and selling a range of multimedia resources - something I consider as a long-term goal for my educational work, but for the faith-based material I've been developing more recently, a donation-ware model would fit more easily - but I'm more likely to give away personal copies and charge for a license to duplicate or distribute the material.
Sharing Projects Around
It also makes sense for me to keep some projects separate ith the possibility of moving them around. For example: my faith-based projects like the Bible Expositors' website and Inspirational Capital are currently on the Not for Sale server.
My main Christian site and more popular Inspirational Bible Verses sites are currently with My Managed VPS, along with the main Exousia Press website. But, if I found I needed to swap things round in order to balance bandwidth and server load, it would be easy to do so.The Apologetic.Net website is on the Resold Hosting server.