This weekend saw the end of top Britney Spears fan site WorldofBritney.com with one of the many reasons given being continuing money lost running the site. Now word is that Backstreet.net is in major financial problems having raised about 36% of the funds required to keep the site open. After checking out what Backstreet.net’s financial troubles were, I have to admit I’m flabbergasted at what they are shelling out to run a site.
Their figure of $20 per GB in file transfer fees is ridiculous, this may be an OVERAGE charge, but only the most commercialized web hosts and/or sleazy ones would dare charge such a fee. Bandwidth costs have cratered in the past year just as ad revenues have. Paying $2595.00 + tax CDN per month for a T1 line to run the site off your own servers is NOT a cost effective way to run the site.
There are several lower cost hosting options for a site of that site. Personally, I run a Netra T1 Sun server w/ 20 GB hard drive and 200 GB/mo. file transfer for $400/mo. (with a discount) at Datapipe.com. If I got near my overage, I’d just pre-pay for an additional 50 GB block at around $2 per GB, if that. If you wanted to run on a lesser quality server (ie. Intel clone) and go with someone like Rackshack.net, you could get a 300 GB server for $99! Buying your own T-1 line just makes no sense. Nobody should have to shell out $2595 to run a website like Backstreet.net currently is… maybe $600, but no way near $2 grand!
The similar case could be made for World of Britney… If Ruben is getting hundreds in donations a month, and having pop-ups on every page view, there’s no way I could conceive of losing money unless he’s getting ripped off by an advertiser or has a horrendous hosting contract that screwed him on bandwidth overage.
Then you have several of the busy ezboard.com sites (such as jjb) being asked to pay gigantic costs to remain open despite bombarding visitors with pop-ups… Again a non-cost effective solution to just running a hosted message board. Hopefully this trend will come to an end, as too many good resources are getting shut down, for the wrong reasons.