LatestDot – Free Hosting
LatestDot was a free webhosting site. Started in 2006 and closed in 2018 after 12 years running.
Free Hosting is not easy and simple. There is many things you need to consider before opening your own free hosting platform.
Things to consider:
- Web hosting security
- Mail server security and spam protection
- FTP/SFTP security
- Administration panel
- PHP security so users only can access their files.
- Backup solution
There is many things to check for and starting it is makes you need to do a little work weekly if not daily.
To start with. you need to check security on the server every week and make sure everything is fine. You also need to chech all websites if they are following your rules.
I had many incidents where people uploaded movies, series, adult movies and much more, which was against my contract on the servers.
What to do
You need to consider if you can build the system yourself or buy it pre-build. Building it yourself will give you all the knowledge you need admin you server and make easy restore from backups if something goes wrong.
LatestDot biggest issues was attacks on PHP scripts with made the server slow, but make a script to check if a website has many requests and if they request the same file and from same IP. There was also the issue that i did not have time for building a new frontend for the site, so i lived with a badly made frontend for 10 years.
Second biggest issue was spam mails from the websites, so made sure that the server only could send mails from an mail address, there exists on the mail server. If not reject sending the mail, and store it as spam, then you can see if a website is setup for sending spam, this will tell right away.
Is there money in it?
No, absolutely not, there is not money in it at all.
Then there is money to earn the people dissapears and will find a cheaper alternative, and from ads you will not make that much. For the 12 years the site ran, I think I made about 2-3% of the costs from ads.
There is many costs in driving a free hosting, there is server and domains. You can find a free domain and have the server at home. A home server will work great to start with and the cheapest way to get your project running.
If you want to start a free hosting, you should. Mostly because it will give you a great learning. But you should not do it for profit, because the web hosting business is a very tough place to be in.