Website question

Hey guys... is there such thing as creating and having a website hosted for free? One that includes some kind of discussion board whereby a number of people could add to the discussion?
 

Sim

Administrator
There are plenty of free discussion forum hosting services - ask Google: http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&q=free+discussion+forum+hosting

Just remember that you get what you pay for - don't expect great support or a pretty website.

If you just want to put a few pages on the web - your ISP probably has some free hosting you can use as part of your internet account ... you usually can't host a forum on those sites though.

Alternatively, if you want a free blog, check out Wordpress.com or Blogger
 

Sim

Administrator
There is always Facebook

Good point - create a Facebook group and you can discuss all you like, upload photos, videos, etc.

Only limitation is that users need to be on Facebook to be able to read and post to your group.
 
Somersoft? Somehow I doubt it. There's no ads (and the mods clamp down on blatant advertising from new posters), and most of the people here already have money, which is kind of the point. There's plenty of completely free 'advice' type forums out there, but take the advice at your own risk.
 

Sim

Administrator
Just to be clear - the costs of running this site are paid for by Jan & Ian Somers and they don't directly earn a return from it.
 
That's what I thought, Sim.

Plenty do indirectly though. Check out the count of people with really very
interesting websites in their sigs (*points vigorously at links in sig*). There's a helluvalot of business folks here, very subtly selling their wares :) I like the Aussietycoon one in particular.
 
Not directly, but it's a good advertisement for their books.
That's why I said "in one way or another".

Not that there is anything wrong with it.
 
That's what I thought, Sim.

Plenty do indirectly though. Check out the count of people with really very
interesting websites in their sigs (*points vigorously at links in sig*). There's a helluvalot of business folks here, very subtly selling their wares :) I like the Aussietycoon one in particular.

I think you'll find there's quite a few mortgage brokers on here who drum up a LOT of business through this board. We've also had a few accountants doing it in the past.

Not directly, but it's a good advertisement for their books.
That's why I said "in one way or another".

Not that there is anything wrong with it.

Yes of course they make a few buck through selling their books and software on the side but nothing wrong with that. Loads of other businesses operate the same way, it's cheap to buy a discussion board and start your own. Somersoft uses vbulletin although the most popular board software seems to be invisionpower.
 
Just to be clear - the costs of running this site are paid for by Jan & Ian Somers and they don't directly earn a return from it.

It's a great thing they're doing for all of us, but how is the above not an advertisement? I know it doesn't occur often, and I for one wouldn't blame them for putting more ads on the site.
 
One thing to be aware of with free hosting sites is their terms relating to content ownership and copyright. Many have clauses similar to this:

Your submission of any file hereby constitutes your agreement to grant [ForumName] a non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, sub-licensable, perpetual license, to reproduce, distribute, transmit, modify, adapt, sub-license, and publicly display any such submissions.
If there's any IP content, you might want to look for somewhere that doesn't want to own everything you put up there.

GP
 
Plenty do indirectly though. Check out the count of people with really very
interesting websites in their sigs (*points vigorously at links in sig*). There's a helluvalot of business folks here, very subtly selling their wares :) I like the Aussietycoon one in particular.

I quite like the Aussie Tycoon one, too. I should post there more often.



Putting on my business owner's hat; I have Google Analytics set up on both of my websites so I can check out how much traffic I get, and where it comes from.

It tells me that 24% of people reading my blog recently came via Somersoft. This would be solely due to my signature, and maybe one post by someone else about three months ago; I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere else around here. I don't exactly spam the forum with 100 posts a day to get it out there, either.

And, once every few weeks or so, someone will ask the forum for a recommendation in my field; sometimes, someone might mention my name (which is always quite flattering). Google tells me that 26% of the traffic to my business website in the last three months has been directed from such threads. This is fairly consistent week-to-week, interestingly, even when the question hasn't been asked for awhile.

I couldn't be sure how much of that traffic actually results in enquiry, let alone conversion, though. I daresay a lot of the activity is simply curiousity.
 
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