Saturday, August 1, 2009

How to make your own flash game portal: Part 2 - Hosting Plan


So you have got your domain name and are now ready to think about hosting?

If you purchased your domain at godaddy.com you are now -$7.14

Now godaddy and most places you buy a domain offer free hosting. There is always a catch, they will advertise the hell out of the banner spot. Do you really want to advertise for godaddy on your site? Hopefully, once you get your arcade going the cheap $10 it costs to host your site monthly will be nothing compared to the amount of adsense revenue you are making. Also when you put up your own ads you get to choose the location, and thus can take the users focus back to your domain name on top and not go daddy. <!--more-->

Also people take your site more seriously, if they don't see a sparkling godaddy banner on the top. Honestly, when I first started <a href="http://hoodamath.com" target="_blank">hoodamath.com</a>, I used go daddy's free hosting, but then I wasn't concerned about revenue. I thought I was just going to be hosting games for my students. Read about<a href="http://www.emanueleferonato.com/2009/06/01/case-history-creating-a-succesful-niche-flash-arcade-site/" target="_blank"> the Hooda Math story</a> on Emanuele Feronato's blog.

I eventually did start using GoDaddy Hosting Paid Plan. It was good for about a few months, and most importantly convenient and easy to use. GoDaddy has great customer service, but they aren't the only ones. After about 6 months, my site had grown tremendously and the traffic was too much for my godaddy plan. Apparently they have a limit on the bites downloaded from your site. I noticed my games were taking longer to load everywhere = lost in users.

What did I do? I started searching for a new hosting plan. Not google searching but reading blogs and forums. I kept seeing <a href=" http://secure.hostgator.com/cgi-bin/affiliates/clickthru.cgi?id=mikeedla" target="_blank">Host Gator</a>. I was hesitant until I saw they had a money back guarantee. I am a sucker for a money back guarantee. Anyways I figured I would try them out, anything was better than my games not loading. <a href=" http://secure.hostgator.com/cgi-bin/affiliates/clickthru.cgi?id=mikeedla" target="_blank">Host Gator</a> offers unlimited space and unlimited downloads. If you read around, old posts talk about how <a href="http://secure.hostgator.com/cgi-bin/affiliates/clickthru.cgi?id=mikeedla" target="_blank">Host Gator</a> does not allow Arcades to be hosted there. It is no longer true, now they encourage it. Arcades use up a lot of byte transfers and thus you want a plan that has unlimited byte transfers.

<a href=" shttp://secure.hostgator.com/cgi-bin/affiliates/clickthru.cgi?id=mikeedla" target="_blank">Host Gator</a> has 3 main web hosting plans. The first plan starts at $4.95 a month (probably with a year contract) so it might be some change more, but still not bad, for unlimited disk space and unlimited bandwidth. I chose the 2nd plan that advertises as $7.95, but I'm paying $9.95, I probably should sign up for a year contract one of these days. The biggest advantage of the 2nd plan is that you also get unlimited domains. Thus I can host all of my websites for only $9.95 a month, this helps when you are starting up your 2nd arcade and don't want to pay for another hosting plan for a site making no money, then you can just piggy back of your successful arcade.

YIKES, I was way off, it actually costs $8.95 for the smallest plan, but $6.95 if you sign up for a year, and only $4.95 if you sign up for 3 years, who knows if you even want to run an arcade in 3 years?d

The key thing to remember is that <a href="http://secure.hostgator.com/cgi-bin/affiliates/clickthru.cgi?id=mikeedla" target="_blank">Host Gator</a> has unlimited disk space and unlimited bandwidth and is still cheaper than GoDaddy hosting. Also, they transfered my files over from GoDaddy for me, I'm not sure if they still offer that.

I will try to update this blog with other options as I learn about them, but a lot of arcades are using <a href="http://secure.hostgator.com/cgi-bin/affiliates/clickthru.cgi?id=mikeedla" target="_blank">Host Gator</a>. So feel safe in knowing that.

By the way, assuming you are paying monthly for the cheapest plan, you are now -$17.90, not much to pay for your own arcade, and no landlord to deal with. In all honesty, since we are suppose to be following my new arcade: <a href="http://swaggames.com" target="_blank">Swag Games</a>, I actually just added it on to my hoodamath account, so it was free. Something for you to look forward to down the road, trying out new arcades for only the cost of buying a domain name.

What's Next? <a href="http://topfiveblog.com/how-to-make-your-own-flash-game-portal-part3/" target="_self">How to make your own flash game portal: Part 3 - Arcade Script vs. Wordpress</a>

In the mean time, throw some money my way by purchasing your hosting plan via the ad below:

<a href="http://secure.hostgator.com/cgi-bin/affiliates/clickthru.cgi?id=mikeedla" target="_blank"><img title="HostGatorbanner468x68" src="http://mikeedla.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/HostGatorbanner468x68.gif" alt="HostGatorbanner468x68" width="468" height="68" /></a>

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