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Website growing pains, its a good or bad thing?



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Website growing pains, its a good or bad thing?

I have been a webmaster since 1999 and I have had my fair share of websites. And one that really stands out in my mind! Is my old Linux forum and it was growing at a rapid rate and it was growing so fast that I couldn't afford the hosting anymore and so I sold it. And to me those were bad growing pains.

I have a new website now and it's growing slowly and it has just outgrown shared hosting and I just moved it to a vps. And I am very happy that it's growing a slow rate where I can keep up with it. So my question is do you think it's a good or bad thing if your website grows at a rapid rate?

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limberg

Being an owner of a website, all I want to have is more and more traffic. But outgrowing your hosting plan could really be a pain in the ass. I had a pretty good run with my websites when I still had a shared hosting plan. I was generating profit on a monthly basis. The traffic kept on increasing and I was extremely happy. Then one day, my websites no longer would load. That was because my plan no longer could not handle the incoming traffic. I had to shift to VPS which was far more expensive than shared hosting.

Then one day, the traffic to my sites began to steadily decrease. The revenue that I was earning was not enough to cover the VPS cost. However, there was no way for me to revert back to a shared hosting plan because my host back then didn't allow downgrading of plans. When my hosting contract expired, I didn't even bother to renew it. I just moved to another host and created another website.




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Soulwatcher

Having a successful website is probably the worst thing that can happen to you if you're not generating enough revenue to cover the hosting costs. And whats worse is what happened to you, your website slowed down and you were unable to downgrade your hosting.

Thats why I am hoping for a happy medium with my new websites. I want to control the progress of the website if it is at all possible. Because my income does not allow me to have any hosting plan that I want. I am on my max budget right now which is $20 a month and I have 2CPU 4GB of ram and 48GB SSD hard drive space. And I am hosting 4 websites on that plan and so far the VPS is holding steady.




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Corzhens

The cost of the overhead is what makes me hesitate to have my own website for my plan of affiliate marketing. What if the operational costs could not be recovered from the earnings of the site as if saying the business if on the loss? Sometimes it is easier said than done especially if you have no experience in running a website that is why I am being careful before jumping to the fire.




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anwebservices

Well i was in same shoes Website growing pains, its a good or bad thing? Had one website which was growing so fast that nobody wanted to host any more because of CPU usage etc... It was my first domain ever since 2000 and i was emotionally tied up to it so i couldn't sell it. I tried dedicated server too, but no much success as i went into other difficulties and specially the cost of that hosting back then, so i deleted more then 800K pages and turned it into different website where i could keep control easier... Well i was not so experienced back then, now i could know better what to do...
But when you have slowly growing up website, it's easier to predict and plan the future, so i hope you will be fine. At the end we all want busy and well growing websites, but sometime it's hard to control it, so i know what you mean.

Good luck with your future work ;)




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Tronia

I think that the perfect middle is probably the best - somewhere in the range where it isn't terribly slow but not so fast that you can't control it anymore. But in most cases there isn't any middle, haha Website growing pains, its a good or bad thing? So, if I could choose between fast or slow, I think I would prefer slow so I have enough time to get used to the audience and to grow/develop things at my own pace.




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jpyy

I say, "Let it grow!". I mean, that's what all webmasters seem to want - and if money becomes a problem, then ways should be thought of to get around the problem - because it would be a shame to stop growth due to lack of funds. Nonetheless, sometimes that might be the case.




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TommyCarey

It's bitter sweet when this happens. On one hand it's amazing that your website/forum is growing so much but on the other it's becoming a burden because you have to swap out hosting, and in your case, it becomes too much of a burden on your checkbook and you have to sell it Website growing pains, its a good or bad thing?

I really hope that you got a pretty penny for it, because it sounds like there was a lot of potential with it.

If I can afford it, I would love to have all my websites grow at an extremely rapid rate. Right now I have worked out a deal with one of my web hosting companies so that my website will not go down due to rapid growth in traffic. There has only been one time that my website has gone over the bandwidth and I had to upgrade, but I don't usually start off with shared hosting when I'm launching a website I plan on advertising.

If you can monetize your website/forum so that you can generate enough revenue to pay the hosting costs, then it's a great thing for rapid growth. If you're not generating enough money from the site to host it, it's a bad thing. If you plan on just flipping the website after you build it, then rapid growth is great because you can get a premium for what it is currently at because it shows great potential. What the buyer does to the site after you exchange money and code is up to them. Hell, they could destroy the website and blame you, but you're laughing all the way to the bank because they screwed up your masterpiece.




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Soulwatcher

The problem with hosting is it goes from cheap to slightly expensive to expensive to really expensive. There really is no middle ground when it comes to hosting. And back when I sold my Linux forum it was just cheap hosting and really expensive hosting.

And as far as the Linux website went, I just unloaded it for pennies on the dollar to get out from underneath it. Having said that I have a plan for my new website should I need to scale up the hosting. I learned a ton more about websites and hosting since then.




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JonathanS98

Well, I think the concept of rapid expansion and growth sounds nice. However, it must be matched by your own personal ability to expand simultaneously. Simply put, if you can't afford to grow with your website or business as it expands, essentially you've created something of such quality that it has outgrown you (lol). Your article is a prime example of this.

This is why monetizing the traffic on your blog/forum is crucial. Not for pocketing your profits. For reinvestment purposes in order to keep it going. Honestly, I don't think people realize the dedication you need towards building a website. Not only do you need a good enough budget to keep it running. You also need to be aware that majority of your initial earnings will probably be reinvested back into your site solely for the purpose of running it. Nevertheless, growing pains (good or bad) is something we all have to experience and should be dealt with accordingly.




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vinaya

Your website is growing big, but is your website bringing big money? You may have one thousand active members on your forum, generate thousand visitors every day, however, this will be nothing unless you are able to convert your member base and traffic to make money for you. When your website grows, your expenses for managing the site also grows, you may have to hire a moderator/manager, pay more for hosting (shared hosting may not be enough now, you might need VPS, which is expensive than shared hosting). However, if the revenue is not increasing, you will have to look for the ways to maximize earnings.




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Soulwatcher

You can trust me on this, a good shared hosting account will start to get http 500 and loading errors as soon as there are around 40 people on the forum. And a crappy shared hosting will start to have problems with 15 people on the forum. It's ok to start a forum on shared hosting, but you really need to get a vps as soon as you get steady resource limiting on your shared hosting account and you can track that in your cpanel control panel.




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vinaya

@soulwatcher you are right about shared hosting. My six sites are hosted on shared hosting. These sites are blogs and content sites that get moderate traffic, therefore, until now I have not encounterest any problem. A year ago, I was trying to launch a forum. I was attracted to this concept because you don't have to develop content yourself. However, I paused my forum because I understood I need better hosting for a forum.




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Corzhens

It depends on your objective. But I am wondering why you seemed to have been overwhelmed by your fast growing website. I am assuming that you didn't have a business plan. And when you sold it, I guess you earned from it since it is a dynamic website in terms of traffic. With your new website, perhaps you should make a career path for the website like what to do when the traffic reaches a certain number. By the way, we call that a happy problem - an overflow of positive which becomes negative in a sense. Good luck.




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Soulwatcher

Yep, I had no business plan. I just knew that I wanted a forum so I bought VBB and I put up the forum and advertised like crazy and before I knew it I had around 1k members and was growing and it was overwhelming the budget server that I owned at the time. The website needed a $300+ a month dedicated server and I just didn't have that kind of money. So webhosting would have went from $50 to $300 a month.




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peachpurple

I would rather to have the traffic keep coming in. Don't change the plan, just let it grow. The most you could do is create another sub domain site, transfer part of the topic to the new site. I don't have a website but 2 blogs of recipes. They never grow up, just stagnant all the time.




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augusta

No matter how we want to look at it.Nobody want to nurse a thing and it's not growing.A growing site show a progress and not failure and if that's the case,then it a good one.The best bet is you can no longer handle it,you sell it off handsomely then start a new one.It Is a win win situation




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sumoncps

I didnt think about that before but after reading your experience I am feeling like its better to have a slow growing in any website.




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overcast

I think everything that we build has some pains in it. You have to tie that website building goal with something. Like say personal interest or financial. This way you can keep track of it and don't feel the pain out of it. Most of the people I know have managed to tackle the website growth this way and managed to handle the website growth. I don't think that all the people can easily develop something out of thin air. And it's going to be painful. But at the end I'd say tie this goal with something financial or personal. And see how that changes things.




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Soulwatcher

Back in the early 2000's it was super easy to build a website and have it take off. There was way less competition and there weren't any social networks. So the place people went to talk were forums and if you advertised enough they would take off pretty fast.




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overcast

Yes the facebook groups and other social networks are making it harder to establish the community. And it also means less revenue for others. I think for this reason, people take more time to have better content on forums. And this way most of the users come to the forums and learn from that. It's hard to follow up on the facebook and other social media though. Now it;s saturated and cluttered so it may present as an opportunity now.




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DarthHazard

I had a general discussion forum a long while back and it grew extremely quickly. I had to eventually sell it off because I just didn't have the time to dedicate to the forum because of exams and other commitments. That is the one decision that I will regret because the new owner killed the forum because he didn't spend time on it either. The forum had so much potential. I don't think that it was a growing pain because it was more that I just didn't have time. It would have been the same problem if it was still a smaller forum.




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Beverly

Slightly off topic from the original thread but I owned a general chat forum about six years ago and that really is the thing that can kill a forum; when you don't have time to be there. It all starts out nice, with everyone posting night and day but the second you have to get a real life and go do stuff for yourself, the community just ebbs away. Even if you have the nicest staff who are conscientious about posting and keeping members involved, most times the people are coming there to see you and if you're not there, they won't be either. Now maybe there are some exceptions. I had a super small community base, just tight knit friends (people that i knew, met online, etc) and so maybe that's why they would leave when i left and come back when i did. Probably you would say it was more like a game clan chat without the game. I had to literally babysit the forum all the time or no one would be there. I got into other work related projects, freelancing etc and didn't have time after the first year or so to really stay and manage night and day and tried to add new staff but that didn't work out either. Anyway, the forum just sorta died off from inactivity and occasionally we'd all go back in and get it active but after awhile it just felt overwhelming to keep it going when sometimes, I would be the only one there posting.




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Soulwatcher

That's exactly how I feel I am a baby sitter of my new forum. And I have real life obligations and when I can't be there the forum suffers. And the reason why I don't have any staff is because right now I am the sole voice of the forum. I make all of the decisions because the forum is small and another staff member would make it look like were the only people talking on the forum. So on the average week I put at least 50~60 hrs on the forum and doing things behind the scene.




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centurion

If you want to earn with your forum or website- than previous forum the first forum was good for you. If you set up any ad campaign on there than you can become a millionaire form that forum easily. I think you do not have any attention to earn from online by forum. For that reason the current which you are controlling -that is well for you.

Thanks
Centurion




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Soulwatcher

I don't have any ads set up on the new forum. But I do have a plan if it decides to take off. But to be honest I would much rather have a small manageable community then one that takes off at an insane pace and spirals out of control. Having as website that takes off 0 to 100mph is not something that is easy manageable.




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Authord

Damn, you fucked up, in selling the website, you built up a forum like that, and sold it. you should learn how to convert your traffic to money. If you have a website, you can profit from even the tiniest number of visitors it receives simply by not wasting that traffic.
The KEY is in leveraging on each visitor and making sure you have a monetization strategy in place. Once you get
this, you can make any website profitable with a little effort. so i don't see as a pain at all, i see it as money. think Big broWebsite growing pains, its a good or bad thing?




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