Please note: my hosting plans are all a work in progress, everything here is subject to change, but it does give an indication of the direction I’m heading in.

After several years of informally offering hosting services to a number of friends and local businesses, in January 2015 I launched my web hosting mini-business by leasing a virtual private server – a full web server controlled by me, that runs as a virtual machine image on a machine hosted at a large data centre.  This means that I can easily ‘upgrade’ the machine by adding more memory, faster processors and larger hard disk drives whilst enjoying the reliability of an enterprise-class machine that is hosting many virtual images.

The vision is to provide free or cheap hosting to a number of charities, start-up businesses and social enterprises by sharing the cost of web hosting that is easily able to accommodate a number of low traffic sites.  Many companies now offer budget hosting, which is often run on over-stretched servers with little or no customer service or technical support.  By each paying a price equivalent to the lowest budget packages available, together we can enjoy a faster and more reliable service and support those who have no budget at all.

Although I am describing this as a business, I do not foresee making a great deal of money – if any – and in fact I will be losing money through the period where I transition the existing sites over to the new virtual server as I will have to run this in parallel with my previous hosting package.  If I can make enough money to replace or upgrade my laptop every couple of years, then I would be very happy with that, alongside the pleasure of supporting start-up businesses and small charities.

I am not intending to market this or push it as an online business.  The aim is to work from relationships and friendships to build a small community that benefits from cheaper hosting at the low end of the spectrum, and the greater freedom of a wholly owned virtual machine at the higher end.

I will not be able to offer ’24-7′ technical support in the same way that a large company can (although, in reality, I’ve rarely had anything better than a 6 hour response time even on a supposedly professional hosting package), but a small server with an everybody-knows-everybody approach is unlikely to require significant unplanned maintenance.

As with any community, rules help people know where they stand, so long as the rules enable rather than needlessly restrict.  I will be drawing up some terms and conditions over the next few weeks and contacting those I already offer web services to, in order to explain what these plans will mean for the future.

If you’re interested in getting involved, please feel free to contact me on