Frequently Asked Questions

The NearlyFreeSpeech.NET FAQ (*)

General (*)

What's the most important thing to know about your service?

What's the most common mistake people make while signing up for NearlyFreeSpeech.NET?

Why do I have to enter my real name when creating a membership?

Can I beat your pricing if I get my own VPS?

How much does the average site really cost?

Do you provide email hosting services?

Is your service easy to use?

No.

Compared to the endless parade of hosts that provide tons of "one-click installs," one-size-fits-all web site templates, unlimited toll-free telephone support, and cookie-cutter control panels, our service is arcane and complex. We consider this a positive.

Our service is designed for people who are comfortable with Unix-based web hosting, including manipulating MySQL and files using command line tools. To get good results for nontrivial sites, our members need to understand how Unix file permissions and ownership work, and how they apply to a secure web hosting environment.

We do provide extensive documentation, including a massive FAQ, that addresses a large number of the most common inquiries we receive. Because we employ neither "canned answers" to inquiries for support nor underpaid "tier 1" support personnel to give them, we do tend to refer people to the documentation when their questions have detailed and complete answers there.

But if our systems are working properly, we expect that most of our members should never need to contact support. By extension, they should not have to pay extra to maintain a staff of people they never use. Consequently, our free technical support is extremely limited and is provided primarily through our community forum. The primary option for those seeking individual support (subscription membership) costs extra and even that has fairly strict limits as far as how much help we can provide.

We have found that most of our successful members are those who have previous experience with web hosting. This is, however, a gross generalization. We have plenty of members who have made amazing sites starting from ground zero because they are strongly self-motivated and learn well independently. It's cool for us to watch them learn, too.

If you are not comfortable that you already have the knowledge and experience outlined here, and you do not particularly want to acquire it, that's a perfectly valid position, but it means that using our service may be an exercise in frustration for you that is best avoided.

Do you provide DNS hosting services?

How many web sites can I host with a NearlyFreeSpeech.NET membership?

Do you register domain names?

How will I know if my account is about to run out of funds?

Why do you only offer prepaid service?

My web designer says I should use somebody else instead of you. What do you say?

Do you price-match your competitors?

How can you make money at these prices?

What is the minimum deposit?

Will you design my web site for me?

Do you offer collocation, dedicated servers, or VPS services?

What happens if I get slashdotted/reddited?

Are you about to pop up a "chat now with sales!" ad on me?

What if I want to set up a web site but don't have a domain name / don't want to fool with DNS?

How come your service isn't free?

What's the difference between bandwidth and storage?

Why doesn't your website look like other hosting provider sites?

Are your domain registration services intended for general-purpose usage?

What if my web site gets attacked?

Is your service only for controversial or extreme websites?

Should I set up my new small business website at NearlyFreeSpeech.NET?

Will you pre-approve my web site content or usage for compliance with your Terms and Conditions of Service?

How much will my site cost to host with you?

What kind of uptime can I expect with NearlyFreeSpeech.NET?

Is this cloud computing?

Where are you located?

Do you offer telephone support?

Someone else uses your service and wants my help with it. How do I help them?

Should I use NearlyFreeSpeech.NET or a VPS?