I have a lot of excess capacity on this server. The ‘basic’ hosting industry is shot to hell: $3 for 100 GB of disk space and unlimited bandwidth might be considered expensive. (It goes without saying that they won’t actually let you use that much.)
But here are a few markets that aren’t touched on enough:
- Personal selling and hand-holding to businesses that don’t have websites. Three thoughts here:
- $50 a month is a normal business expenses. Someone who comes and talks to them and gets them their very own domain name? That’s practically a bargain! I bet their credit card processing bill is at least five times as much, and that their phone bill is at least twice as much.
- The type of sites I’m talking would be static content, and wouldn’t even need to be updated more than a few times a year.
- Keeping a live mirror on another server would be awesome, and it’s something almost no one does.
- Web design (and product photography!) could be offered for additional costs.
- Hosted services. There are people out there who want a blog and their own domain. $5 a month is entirely reasonable and in the “Why not?” category of expenses. But they’d get nothing but access to their own WP blog and some space to upload posted files. They couldn’t set it up themselves, which would permit a few things:
- Security: they’ll all be running the most up-to-date version.
- Caching: Default WordPress gets 4 hits per second after rigorous benchmarking. Unsurprisingly, many ‘untuned’ servers go down very quickly when they get linked to. I don’t know if I’d survive digg, but I can at least improve things.
- Convenience for the customer!
- Theoretically, reduced disk access if I could install it once and have everyone else work off symlinks. This is probably more trouble than it’s worth in practice.
- ‘Personal’ wikis. I keep a MediaWiki install for my class notes. It also now houses my to-do list, a wishlist, and a list of gift ideas, among with various other thoughts. It’s an incredibly handy way to set things up. Plus, by virtue of being a personal wiki, it’s not going to get a lot of traffic. Again, something like $5 a month.
I don’t have the energy or time right now to aggressively pursue these. But I think all 3 would work pretty well.