[Discuss] Introducing Forumatic - Managed phpBB Hosting

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yuritenshi
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Re: [Discuss] Introducing Forumatic - Managed phpBB Hosting

Post by yuritenshi » Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:37 am

Dog Cow wrote:No doubt you may well be able to lower your prices when you get more paying subscribers.
If you're thinking about that from a business perspective (that lowering prices will draw more customers and ultimately generate more net income). you can't assume that the additional subscriptions will cover the loss in margins.

Quick example:

If the revenue per subscription is $25, with a margin of 30% (COGS are therefor$17.50), and 10 users, that means you make $75. If you want to lower the subscription to $20, your margin is now 12.5% and you need 30 users to make that same $75.

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Re: [Discuss] Introducing Forumatic - Managed phpBB Hosting

Post by MarkTheDaemon » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:45 am

yuritenshi wrote:
Ger wrote:I think the phpBB community will benefit from this. Getting income to hire a full-time developer (or maybe multiple full-time developers) will speed up the overall development of phpBB.
Let's just say you can find developers willing to work on phpBB full time for the low price of $40,000 USD a year including the cost of benefits.

[snip]

Of course there are dozens of other factors, but in a small web-based hosting start-up they should generally be small enough that we can ignore them for this simple example.
I wouldn't be surprised if the margins are even slimmer than that for the B2C market, most reasonable sized boards could manage on the $10/month plan. You need to pack them onto the servers to make any reasonable return on that kind of price point.

B2B is a different ball game and that's where, if it was my project, I'd be concentrating my resources. It's extra work to get genuine clients who want the likes of SLAs and ticket/phone support but worth the rewards in the medium to long term.

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Re: [Discuss] Introducing Forumatic - Managed phpBB Hosting

Post by yuritenshi » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:57 am

I agree with you that B2B is a good place to go with something like this, however, as a start-up in this field, I personally would go this route first. Since the end product is very similar, aside from support, running with this first for at the very minimum of a few months or a year to get the issues worked out first will pay off in the long run. Getting serious business customers is extremely expensive, losing them due to issues that could be discovered within a few months of testing with other customers is quite painful.

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Re: [Discuss] Introducing Forumatic - Managed phpBB Hosting

Post by MarkTheDaemon » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:13 am

yuritenshi wrote:I agree with you that B2B is a good place to go with something like this, however, as a start-up in this field, I personally would go this route first. Since the end product is very similar, aside from support, running with this first for at the very minimum of a few months or a year to get the issues worked out first will pay off in the long run. Getting serious business customers is extremely expensive, losing them due to issues that could be discovered within a few months of testing with other customers is quite painful.
Agreed. In the opening stages I think it's important to try and get some big boards migrated onto the platform to really stress test it in a production environment. Success or failure is going to depend on how scalable the platform is should it really take off.

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Re: [Discuss] Introducing Forumatic - Managed phpBB Hosting

Post by fac7orx » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:21 am

I want to apologize up front if I am off base here. This is just something I noticed. Basically, on my website I am fighting to find solutions to tie phpbb with a blogging software. In my case I have been trying to integrate wordpress with phpbb. I do have WPU installed, but the author abandoned it without notice. So, there have been numerous attempts and some of them worked and some of them didn't. Today, there is still not one ultimate plugin that has stood the test of time.

Why the heck am I bringing this up? Well the post on the main page mentions wordpress directly, but my basic point is that wordpress saw the need for the blog and forum combination. In fact, some forum software pride themselves in terms of compatibility (even to the length of facebook and guest commenting by default). Furthermore, wordpress has also took it upon themselves to take bbpress and tie it into their own software (IMO bbpress is still a lackluster experience). So, IMO, this is something that is missing from phpbb: The forum blog combination.

The only other thing I would suggest would be making plugins/ mods easier to install. From a user perspective ease of use is key and wordpress manages its plugin installs in an easy to use and intuitive manner. This would be something I would like to see with phpbb instead of adding the code changes line by line. I think there is some mod x plugin, but IMO I don't think phpbb is on the same level as ease of use as wordpress. In addition, you can easily search for plugins within one websites control panel, which is also a nice touch. Again, feel free to correct me on this one. I am just stating my opinion and I don't mean to offend any one or anything like that.

With that said, the hosting plan seems interesting. Again, some people may want more of a full page with a blogging experience as well for the price, but with that all aside, one area of concern is the number of concurrent users online on average. I don't know a lot about it, but the numbers seem limiting especially as the plan prices increase. Another area is of course the number of extensions supported $10 a month for 3 extensions? I know they install a few mods by default, but phpbb is kind of built around mods in some cases no? Are users still able to install their own mods? This is just some of the stuff to me that is a bit of concern as an avid phpbb user.

edit:
Resource Limitations

We do not place strict resource limitations on forums and will never disable your community without contacting you first. In the event that your forum consumes a vastly disproportionate amount of resources, we may contact you to establish a customized solution.
I just wanted to add that I did like this line. If I were a potential customer it sounds like it would be good to do business with you guys.


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Re: [Discuss] Introducing Forumatic - Managed phpBB Hosting

Post by Pony99CA » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:13 pm

yuritenshi wrote:
Dog Cow wrote:No doubt you may well be able to lower your prices when you get more paying subscribers.
If you're thinking about that from a business perspective (that lowering prices will draw more customers and ultimately generate more net income). you can't assume that the additional subscriptions will cover the loss in margins.
You're attacking a straw man. Dog Cow said that once they get more paying subscribers they might be able to lower prices. That means that they would already have enough subscribers to lower the price and still make a profit. Nowhere did Dog Cow say that lowering prices would draw more customers nor that doing so would generate more net income.

Presuming that basic economic theory isn't off-topic here, obviously lowering prices for existing customers will generate less net income, not more. There's also the Reductio Ad Absurdum argument that lowering prices to zero would probably draw a lot more customers but obviously not generate any income. You didn't need your jargon-laden example at all to prove that.

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Re: [Discuss] Introducing Forumatic - Managed phpBB Hosting

Post by Pony99CA » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:31 pm

fac7orx wrote:So, IMO, this is something that is missing from phpbb: The forum blog combination.
This isn't their target market. They're phpBB experts, not necessarily blog (or social media or CMS) experts.
fac7orx wrote:Are users still able to install their own mods?
I doubt it. Forumatic sounds like a turnkey solution for people who want a forum without having to do any major admin tasks. I don't think they'll give customers any FTP information at all.

In fact, I think they specifically use the term "extensions" because phpBB 3.1 will support those (they sound like MODs that don't require any core code changes), so installing them should be very easy (there's probably an ACP area to do that).

Forumatic people, please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about any of this. :)

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Re: [Discuss] Introducing Forumatic - Managed phpBB Hosting

Post by FoFa » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:35 pm

Hello,

I confirm, there is no way to add your own MODS'S.

You may have to ask if you want a particular style on your Board. Then you can customise this style by using the ACP.

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Re: [Discuss] Introducing Forumatic - Managed phpBB Hosting

Post by Erik Frèrejean » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:39 pm

Pony99CA wrote:
fac7orx wrote:Are users still able to install their own mods?
I doubt it. Forumatic sounds like a turnkey solution for people who want a forum without having to do any major admin tasks. I don't think they'll give customers any FTP information at all.
As stated on the plan overview page they will support extensions in the (near) future.
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Re: [Discuss] Introducing Forumatic - Managed phpBB Hosting

Post by Pony99CA » Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:51 am

Erik Frèrejean wrote:
Pony99CA wrote:
fac7orx wrote:Are users still able to install their own mods?
I doubt it. Forumatic sounds like a turnkey solution for people who want a forum without having to do any major admin tasks. I don't think they'll give customers any FTP information at all.
As stated on the plan overview page they will support extensions in the (near) future.
Yes, but as my previous post stated, I presume that "extensions" are phpBB 3.1 extensions, not traditional MODs that require code changes or uploads.

I presume that the question was asking about traditional MODs (using words like "install" and "mods").

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Re: [Discuss] Introducing Forumatic - Managed phpBB Hosting

Post by fac7orx » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:18 am

Pony99CA wrote:
fac7orx wrote:So, IMO, this is something that is missing from phpbb: The forum blog combination.
This isn't their target market. They're phpBB experts, not necessarily blog (or social media or CMS) experts.
Well there is a demand for it out there. Also, other forum software has seen the need for this sort of thing. For example, if you purchase VBulletin or other forum software in some cases they have their own CMS and can integrate with wordpress. Granted you still need to host it, but my point is that there is a market for it. Again, I am just saying what I would like to see if I were interested. I never said they needed to make their own CMS, but maybe integration support would be nice. Anyway, this is my opinion and I am not stating that they need to do this for a fact or anything like that.

I understand that the devs or whoever is behind this has never ventured outside of phpbb and entered CMS territory, but you never know. I would also like to point out how wordpress as a CMS is associated with BBpress now as another example of the forum blog combo that is sought after (although BBpress is really lacking atm). While, you are right it isn't necesarily their direct target market some individuals who are interested in the service may also be interested in tying the two together to make a more feature rich website. Anyway, this is just my 2 cents on the matter.
Pony99CA wrote:
fac7orx wrote:Are users still able to install their own mods?
I doubt it. Forumatic sounds like a turnkey solution for people who want a forum without having to do any major admin tasks. I don't think they'll give customers any FTP information at all.

In fact, I think they specifically use the term "extensions" because phpBB 3.1 will support those (they sound like MODs that don't require any core code changes), so installing them should be very easy (there's probably an ACP area to do that).

Forumatic people, please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about any of this. :)

Steve
Hmm, well that's interesting. 3.1 sounds good. I am not sure about the extent that extensions go in terms of ease of use. It would be cool so search for extensions in a similar fashion to wordpress plugins. However, I don't believe wordpress limits you in terms of how many plugins you can or anything like that when you get a hosting solution that would be similar to Forumatic. So, I hope these default extensions that are installed by default are enough.
Pony99CA wrote:I presume that the question was asking about traditional MODs (using words like "install" and "mods").

Steve
Yes, my question was about traditional mods not extensions. However, it seems ForumsFaciles has stated that the plan wont allow for you to add your own mods since the customer wont have FTP access like you said.

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Re: [Discuss] Introducing Forumatic - Managed phpBB Hosting

Post by yuritenshi » Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:51 pm

Pony99CA wrote:
yuritenshi wrote:
Dog Cow wrote:No doubt you may well be able to lower your prices when you get more paying subscribers.
If you're thinking about that from a business perspective (that lowering prices will draw more customers and ultimately generate more net income). you can't assume that the additional subscriptions will cover the loss in margins.
You're attacking a straw man. Dog Cow said that once they get more paying subscribers they might be able to lower prices. That means that they would already have enough subscribers to lower the price and still make a profit. Nowhere did Dog Cow say that lowering prices would draw more customers nor that doing so would generate more net income.

Presuming that basic economic theory isn't off-topic here, obviously lowering prices for existing customers will generate less net income, not more. There's also the Reductio Ad Absurdum argument that lowering prices to zero would probably draw a lot more customers but obviously not generate any income. You didn't need your jargon-laden example at all to prove that.

Steve
Clearly this is on point with the idea that the funding from this goes to help support phpBB, potentially allowing the hiring of full time developers. I'm simply stating the reasons why lowering prices could be a detriment to that. I know from experience that very few people understand price setting, many people seem to assume that prices can be set lower and the greater number of customers will result in an increase in welfare to both parties.

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Re: [Discuss] Introducing Forumatic - Managed phpBB Hosting

Post by Dog Cow » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:04 pm

Pony99CA wrote:
fac7orx wrote:Are users still able to install their own mods?
I doubt it. Forumatic sounds like a turnkey solution for people who want a forum without having to do any major admin tasks. I don't think they'll give customers any FTP information at all.
Right now, there isn't file access. Backing and restoring is done by the Forumatic control panel (not the phpBB panel).

Also, custom BBCodes and the template style editor are disabled.
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Re: [Discuss] Introducing Forumatic - Managed phpBB Hosting

Post by MarkTheDaemon » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:07 pm

Dog Cow wrote:Right now, there isn't file access.
My understanding is that there will never be file access, it's designed as a solution that means you don't have to worry about files. I'm 99.99% sure that all boards are run using one set of files so extensions (when they finally arrive), custom CSS/HTML headers and footers is about as good as you're going to get. There is obviously a limit on the amount of customisation you can offer while retaining security and independence of the individual boards.

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