HostingDiscussion premium membership

Artashes

Administrator
Staff member
I've put a good amount of time thinking about whether HostingDiscussion would benefit from premium accounts. I've seen multiple ways other communities have gone about it and I can probably name at least 10 valuable functionalities that can be made available only to premium members. It means that free accounts will have certain elements of their experience limited, while premium accounts will enjoy it all and then some.

I've generally been against premium memberships for as long as I remember. I feel like creating an equal playing field for everyone is a fair thing to do, but after speaking to a couple of large forum owners recently, they've brought around arguments of how it can actually be beneficial and motivational to a community to have the premium segment.

I thought I'd ask the community itself. What's everyone's feelings on this?
 

bigredseo

HD Community Advisor
Staff member
Mixed feelings myself. On one hand, it's a business that needs to make money to support itself etc, on the other hand, if features are limited, there'll be less engagement/members. If the membership is targeted at advertisements on forums etc, then I can see that working out well. For example, free members can post once every 14 days, premium can post every "X" days or daily (depending on pricing level). Then that creeps into sponsorship within individual forum threads, but I think you've explored that option before and it would fall under advertising more than anything else.

I don't know. Would I personally hang around for $50/year - yes, not an issue. Would others? Not sure.
 

HostStage

New member
I feel like my voice wouldn't matter much. I have first the incentive to post first and this post wouldn't escape this truth. However, regarding your question I have the feeling that the feedback could matter while not being the prime target.
So as a provider, would we consider purchasing a premium account?

As a first, we would need an invoice and that would be the first question I would ask before diving into it so I can legally justify the expanse.

As a second, it would quickly fall into ROI. We are members of a few forums and we pay forums where we are able to promote efficiently and leverage a ROI at some extend.
 

S4 Hosting

Active member
I think that premium memberships do work in some cases, but in others they just drive people away.

To be honest, I don't think that this forum is active enough for anyone to see it and think, oh I want that extra stuff too, I think a site has to be very busy with a lot of daily posts to incite that feeling of potential FOMO that inspires people to pay for something.

It really all comes down to what the price would be and what the benefits would be though I guess.
 

server

Member
I thought I'd ask the community itself. What's everyone's feelings on this?
Depends on how many premium members you expect to get. I'm sure there will be at least three (@Artashes @SenseiSteve and @bigredseo), perhaps some people, who occasionally post their advertising (like me), and who else actually? Guys, who can't afford to run separate name servers for their web hosting "business"? :sneaky:
 

Artashes

Administrator
Staff member
Thank you very much for sharing your initial thoughts. I can assure you, @HostStage that absolutely all voices matter.

Totally get the point of forum activity, which is why I had a bit of a different angle at premium memberships. It will have a focus on advertising privileges and all-inclusive functionality.

For example, while free accounts will still be able to participate in discussion forums, have custom avatars and signatures, they'd have certain limitations, like signatures will be limited to 1 line instead of 4 (or not even visible at all), the frequency with which they'd be able to post advertising will be at least 14 days instead of every 7 days (@bigredseo I cannot believe you actually thought of the exact same number, you mind reader đź”®), and they'd have certain limitations related to direct messaging.

Premium accounts, apart from a special profile badge, will have regular functionality, with 4 lines of signature space, a keyword email alert, enabled direct messaging, unlimited inbox, advertising posting every 7 days and a deep discount on paid advertising positions, perhaps one interview/news story for our news blog per year, and I am also considering partnering up with other verified services to offer them at discount (content writing, SEO consultation/work, software licenses, etc).

Depends on how many premium members you expect to get. I'm sure there will be at least three (@Artashes @SenseiSteve and @bigredseo)
I'd never imagine charging members of my staff a fee, ever. ;)
 
Similarly, I believe that if the hostingdiscussion forum had a premium membership with privileges for paying members, I would join. I'm a member of a few other forums, and they provide premium members perks like a larger message quota, so I'm just thinking that if the hostingdiscussion topic grows in popularity, it will be more beneficial to register members.
 

SynTax

New member
Premium memberships are completely necessary for me, but as far as I can see, there is not a huge density on this site, so you will lose half of the existing users.

On the other hand, I believe that the forum will be more organized if restrictions such as the number of message boxes, signatures, and trade topics are introduced rather than advertisements, of course, this should be exclusive to premium members. For example, premium users can open 5 trading topics per day, while free users should be able to open only 1 trading topic.
 
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