We appreciate that you choose FreeForums.org to host your forum, and would like to let you know of some important changes coming up.
In February, 2007, we launched FreeForums.org
and have experienced phenomenal growth since then. In just three months of launching we built a loyal customer base that rivaled that of hosts who have been around for years.
Within just one week of the launch, we reported hitting our goal of 1000 forums
. And, in one year, we reached over 150,000 hosted forums. It's unheard of for a forum host to experience the kind of growth we have. We have been able to provide a level of services not offered anywhere elseâ€”and at a time when we have seen hosting sites exit the forum hosting business and start-ups struggle to keep forums upâ€”we have raised the industry bar for what's expected from a host.
With this huge growth we have run into some issues scaling the hardware and staff to keep up with the huge and expensive task of providing the level of service our users have come to love and expect.
To continue providing this exemplary service, we have made the decision to implement an ad-revenue sharing model on all forums as of February 7th 2008
. This will provide you a chance to earn income, as well as enable us to pay for server costs. While this may come as an unwanted change to some, it's absolutely necessary to ensure the continued operation of this site as a free service. With server costs pushing over five figures a month, and six paid staff members (three full time) there is no other way to keep the site running.
Our users have made it clear they prefer a stable, ad-supported service over a host with a lot of downtime, and we have taken that into account when making this decision.
We have been very pleased with how long we were able to go without ads. We served almost one Billion (1,000,000,000) ad-free impressions and went over a year without any ads. We are the only forum host in the history of the Internet to serve this many ad-free impressions and that is certainly something to be proud of. One thing is certain, while the ad-free model works for small forum hosts (ie. less than 1000 forums) it won't last forever as maintenance costs go up and up. It's simply not possible to run a business with zero revenue.
FreeForums.org will continue to give a share of the ad-revenue to our users. Over the next few weeks we will be launching the revenue sharing program that lets you use your AdSense code on your forum to make money. This will benefit our users by allowing them to get paid for the time they spend on their forum and letting them afford upgrades to improve their forum. FreeForums.org is currently the only forum host to share revenue with the forum owners. We also plan to use this revenue to hire additional staff members and speed up the development of new features and services.
For those profoundly against sponsors of any kind we have a no-ad option available. We will offer full ad-removal services starting at $4.95/month, which will remove all ads from your forum.
This is great milestone for FreeForums.org and our dedicated users. We are committed to providing the best free forum hosting service. This will allow us to improve on the already high level of services and allow us to offer even more industry-leading features. We have been working very hard on the phpBB3 version and we have some ground-breaking features to go along with it. We will be launching a free blog hosting service to integrate with your forums and build your community of members. Since implementing our new server network, our users have seen close to 100% uptime. We plan to continue to improve on this by investing in more backup and fail over systems.
On behalf of the entire team we thank you for using FreeForums.org