Home Group Hosting Qs & As
$2/month is the hosting cost
Gonna try to answer questions someone might have ... making it up as I go along ... if you've got questions that aren't here just let me know and I'll answer as soon as possible. Contact link is at the bottom of the page.
Registration link is at the bottom of the details page.
Questions and Answers
- How much does it REALLY cost?
- This hosting costs exactly $2 per month, but with a minimum of 12 months so you have to pay a minimum of $24(USD).
- You need to have a domain name which will cost more money - roughly $17 per year for a .COM domain or $23 for a .ORG domain.
- Therefore you're looking at roughly $41 per year, or $47 per year if you want a .ORG domain.
- Why would a home group have their own website?
- Because the group's purpose is to carry the message to the alcoholic still suffering, and EVERYONE is online these days. Relying on your area intergroup to have and publish a schedule is effectively abdicating the only true responsibility a group has.
- Plus it has never been easier or cheaper for a home group to have their own website. Sorry if that sounds like ego but its also true: only 2 bucks a month (plus the cost of your domain name) and you don't need any skills beyond typing answers into boxes and clicking buttons.
- Most home groups don't have websites. Why is that?
- I truly don't know, but I *think* it is because of a few factors.
- Traditionally you had to have someone in the group with "webmastering" skills and a group couldn't be sure that would always be true.
- Also the expense of hosting is typically considerably more than 2 bucks a month so there's that.
- Plus maybe there is a mindset of "the area group does that" or maybe "home groups don't do that"?
- AA as a whole is slow to change (for good reason), and they tend to leave being a home group up to the individual group. So maybe the issue is that no one ever suggested home groups should have websites? I honestly don't know.
- What about traffic stats? Maybe google analytics?
- The only "traffic" that really matters is when the newcomer walks in and says "I found your website ... and need help" :)
- HomeGroupHosting doesn't and won't do any tracking beyond what server logs are typically generated by a server.
- You will have a box to paste in your google analytics code if you want to do that, but it isn't required. And hey check it out: that level of info is really good stuff if you are aiming for conversion rates and sales. We're not right? Ask newcomers how they found you. My home group is seeing about 90% of the new people finding our website. To us, this is worth it.
- What if we sign up then want our money back?
- Sorry, but no. Your home group has plenty of time to decide if this will work for you or not. You can register for free and build out your website for free, and your group members will be able to see 100% of what the site will be. There is none of that "pay to unlock extra features" stuff that some places like to tease you in with.
- How do we get started?
- At the bottom of the "details" page is the link to register. Registration is free, but please register with the domain name you intend to (or already) have.
Domains vs Hosting?
Domain Names are ... ?
The domain name is "your" part of the address your website will live at. So like google.com or aa.org ... or even homegrouphosting.com - these are all domain names.
The ".com" or ".org" part is the TLD or Top Level Domain. There are literally hundreds of possible TLDs available.
Domain names are more like leased than purchased. You will have to pay every year to renew it, with a maximum 10 years in advance (for most TLDs).
What is Domain Privacy?
For most TLDs, the owner's contact information is stored in a publicly-available database. Domain Privacy is basically contracting a company to have their contact info in the database instead of yours.
From an AA perspective, domain privacy reflects the spirit of anonymity. If you do a whois lookup for homegrouphosting.com you won't find my personal contact info because I use domain privacy.
And Hosting is ... ?
Hosting refers to the web server that holds the files that make your website. There are a lot of different ways to "host" a website.
A "shared hosting" account is common. You lease a portion of a server and don't have to worry about server maintenance - that is done for you.
There are also sites (like this one) that provide a framework to make your site so you don't have to actually code anything or upload your own files.
When you're really big you end up getting a full server, and companies like google or facebook have shedloads of servers to handle their needs.
What About Emails?
Sorry, but I'm not able to provide email addresses for your domain on this platform.
I guess technically I could, but it adds more server requirements and space so I'd have to charge more. The goal is to provide websites to home groups, not run up the bill with extras.
IF your group really wants to have "email@yourdomain" I'll let you know what I can do through my 1912webworks business, but that is outside the scope of this software offering.
What about upgrades and add-ons?
Any Upgrades Planned?
Simple upgrades that don't impact your site I mostly just take care of. Like adding an optional feature for example.
Changes that can impact how your site performs are handled just like a Group Conscience meeting.
For example in the back of my mind right now is "we should have different layouts instead of just different color schemes". When I have something coded for people to consider I'll throw it out there as an idea and see what people think ...
What about Add-Ons?
An add-on, to me, is basically an up-sell. Given that we are AA home groups I'm really not into upselling ... but still ... I'm working on an add-on / up-sell that will be of benefit to existing members.
- Your website admins become my 'group'
- We discuss via emails what the group wants, or what I have in mind
- Just like a home group, if we have near unanimous consent then change happens :)
It would be another $2 per month because it will use more resources on the server. Considerably more, but I'm not doing this to make bank ya know?
- Web Admins invite home group members, who then set themselves a password and sobriety date.
- Admins can then upload files which would be available to all home group members.
- You get 2 more admins because the files come from many people in your group. Your treasurer uploads finance reports, secretary uploads agendas and minutes from GC meetings, GSR uploads news from that commitment ...
Got any live examples we can see?
Nope! I'm not willing to use a home group for advertising. There is a sample site linked at the top of the page. It isn't a "mock up" - it is actually using this software to make that site. The only difference is I put in links for "back to homegrouphosting" ... your site won't have that big ugly box.
I will not share ANY info about your group or admins with anyone else!
Obviously if Johnny Lawman comes knocking on the door I will cooperate, but there is and will be no harvesting of email addresses for any reason.
I don't track how often you login, I don't track visitor IP addresses (although server logs do). To create a webpage simply does not need that type of info, so I don't bother :)
- Web admins are added to an email list I use to keep in touch.
- You can unsubscribe from that list, though I'd prefer you didn't of course.