Dhaval Wathare .

Idea validation :

Most website services like wix etc often end up charging monthly subscriptions, anything from $5 - $100+ per month, the moment you use it for anything serious under your own domain, like your startup's website or landing pages / blogs etc.

What if i built a service that in a few clicks, generates your own independent website on the cloud that can handle upto a million hits per month at ZERO hosting charges ?

Basically a service that automatically builds you a pre-fab landing page + blogs in the cloud. You choose the style from a bunch of options, and pay a small one-time fee. The site will be setup and transferred to you instantly.

You get full ownership of the website, hosting & code. Edit it, add any custom code as you like & set it to your own custom domains.

Hosting remains free for approx ~million visits each month, thanks to the cloud's free tiers and even after that it is far more affordable than any services like wix.

Anyone interested ? Comment / questions below.

Originally Posted Here
62 Comments

Ra Ghu

Wix basic is free, hosting is free , why would you pay? for anything else

Dhaval Wathare

custom domain for start ? you woudn't want your startup website on a wix domain right. doesn't look professional.

Ra Ghu

I wouldn't want my startup domain on anybody's personal server as well, it is like having all my data through your domain, unless you are suggesting that you will be able to provide a direct hosting without going through your domain

Dhaval Wathare

ok. maybe i wasn't being clear then. Its not on my server, nor on my domain. I would provide a service that automates a bunch of developer steps that setup a website for you on the cloud. Have edited the post, please have a look.

to which you can add your own domain

Bharat Garachh

Blogger has the best among all and if you are the best in xml then, it works like charm

Dhaval Wathare

interesting. Can you setup blogger under your own domain for free ? Also can one use it for websites / landing pages ?

Bharat Garachh

yes

But domain need to purchase

Dhaval Wathare

Very cool. but it doesn't look geared towards landing pages / portfolio sites et al. Generally seems more aligned to blogs, though you could hack things a bit, i guess.

Bharat Garachh

there are lot of readymade templates for each things

Dhaval Wathare

yes. i saw. but all themes seem to be different blogging styles. Doesn't look like its intuitively possible to build a landing page style, like one of these for eg :https://onepagelove.com/templates/free-templates

Bharat Garachh

it's html, not blogger

Dhaval Wathare

yep. point being - to someone who's interested in landing pages, ie pages that look like these, blogger wont do.

im just trying to find what blogger cant accomplish, but i could provide with the service.

Bharat Garachh

yes, this kind of template not available in blogger

Sushant Shekhar

Intersted! Don't know which server provider has enough free bandwidth to give 1 million hits every month without slowing down..

Dhaval Wathare

its an approx figure, obv depends on the size of the site. but quite possible. Slow down shouldn't be a problem.

Sushant Shekhar

i do understand its approx figure, so which server provider do you have in mind for this?

Dhaval Wathare

Trade secret:)If there's enough demand, i'll build the service and disclose the details. no stress.

mails.wtf looks really interesting btw. Interested in partnering on outreach ? I've got a database of ~20k entrepreneurs worldwide.

Arun Babu

Netlify is what I use, and most SaaS companies I know use to host the landing page. I don’t remember about their pricing or features. But a couple of my websites are hosted on them and is blazing fast (page speed score is 100, yeah those are static sites). I think there free plan is enough for most people unless you are an established business. BTW, deploying on them is pretty fast even from git hooks or non programmers can use connected tools to design and ship. So the question is what differs you from them?

Dhaval Wathare

simplicity. non-programmers don't really want to deal with the dev steps involved ?

Arun Babu

Netlify has something called forestry or something. Don’t remember the name exactly, but there is. Is for non devs

Dhaval Wathare

I see. will check

i think its forestry.io. Looks interesting but it is still markdown, which may still be deterring to non devs not familiar with it ? also monthly charges + tiered + lock in. So falls into the Wix category i guess.

My idea is meant to be even simplerand more cost-effective. Just some bare bones editing and a small one time charge. Built and handed over. You are not locked into anything, not even the underlying cloud.

Hitarth Sheth

Well, Wix and some other providers are pretty cheap and sometimes as low as 29 Rupees per month including hosting, site builder etc. so yeah.

Dhaval Wathare

True. It is affordable, but you don't know how long. You don't get ownership of the website. You maybe able to access some or parts, but it isn't upto you. Tomorrow, wix goes down, changes policies, limits things, you could be trouble.

This goes down, you simply take the site and put it up on some other provider, with a bit of steps ofc. Its all yours ?

Hitarth Sheth

in a reply to another comment here, you said that long term users with 100-200k visitors aren't probably the TG and this would be for landing page and for freelancer portfolio etc? If that's the case then maybe, but will it be providingfull code and design freedom? Also, for the ownership part I agree but again, the probability of a big provider like Shopify, Squarespace, Wix shutting down is almost zero and it won't happen overnight either. Why would I trust any new site in this case when there are these established players?

Dhaval Wathare

Yes full code and editing freedom, and transferred to your account on the underlying cloud hosting provider as well. Think of my service as a self-hosting automation, rather than a platform like wix / wordpress. It sets up an independent website for you on the cloud automatically and transfers it to you, rather than requiring you to manually go through the tech steps of self-hosting.

Subham Bapna

With what you're saying, I think your product includes 2 main functionalities

1. Landing page building.
2. Hosting it for free upto a million visits (I assume that the user will still have to pay for the domain.)

Now here's what I think, there are 100s of landing page templates that are user friendly to edit and come with additional functionalities such as lead capturing, tracking conversions, etc.

The next aspect is hosting upto million visits (so would this thing be provided from your end or would the users have to go and signup on those platforms?)

If the service you're building depends on external hosting providers, a small change in them could create multiple issues, for instance if they stop their free plan or provide a limit. According to me, a service shouldn't have their core to be dependent on external providers.

Alternatively, people use WordPress (.org). Name an industry and you'll find a landing page setup that'll work on WP (maybe some of them could be paid, but that's like $20-60 lifetime) and then if you host it on cheap hosting you won't have to pay much, but reliable setup on Digital Ocean would start at $5/month (which can handle 2M traffic easily).

So if a user is getting what he wants without paying more than a $40 bucks then I think there's a chance that you can grow exponentially, besides this, WP landing page themes come with 30-40 demos. So why you and not WP?

Dhaval Wathare

I get your point on being dependent on 3rd party. But i guess at some level, all services will be dependent on underlying infrastructure providers.

Major cloud providers are unlikely to change their plans overnight, that easily. But even if they do, its no different from any other hosting service.

Plus as my customer, you are NOT locked in to my service. You own the full code and access, and can always take your site and put it up on the next cloud competitor with a free tier.

Subham Bapna

okay, so why would I consider you over a WordPress setup and onetime high quality code?

Besides if someone is capable of generating 100-200K in traffic, wouldn't they have enough money to have inhouse teams and stuff?

Dhaval Wathare

first part - simplicity, quick start, full ownership, not being locked in, no subscriptions.

second part - probably. in that case, he's not the target audience for this. This is more geared towards someone who wants to launch a landing page for an idea quickly without worrying about costs or time. Or perhaps freelancers looking to setup a personal / commercial / marketing blog.

Subham Bapna

basically a platform like WordPress.com/Medium.com but with support for custom domains without paying a fee?

Dhaval Wathare

nope. not even a platform. platform implies its on my servers. Not so. My service basically generates the website for you, sets up the hosting on the cloud automatically and transfers it to you. You can then add your custom domain. Its your own independent site.

Subham Bapna

In that case where do you plan to keep your one-time cost?

Dhaval Wathare

pay per site, before its transferred to you. I've answered most of these details in other comments. do have a look.:)

Raghavendra Bsrpg

How do you plan to make money?

Dhaval Wathare

a one time fee. once you pay it, the site is transferred to you with complete ownership.

Hitarth Sheth

So maybe you just meant that your site would generate the code and you can use it to host there itself or use other hosting provider?

Dhaval Wathare

a couple of steps further. It also automates the hosting steps on the cloud, so end result - you get a fully working, independently hosted site in a few clicks. You own the site & the hosting account.

you can switch out to another cloud / server if you like. thats on you though. my part ends once its handed over.

Hitarth Sheth

You should checkout launchaco.com then:)earlier it was probably free completely in initial days.

Kartik Raichura

Try https://Websites.co.in🙂

Dhaval Wathare

yep. just checked. not what i had in mind. thanks for suggesting though.

Ajeet Meena

I hope you know the hidden charges of these free tier providers for millions of hits? If its GCP or Firebase, you should better double-check.

Dhaval Wathare

Is it only Gcp or other cloud providers too ? Could you elaborate some more on the hidden charges you faced ?

Cloud is tricky no doubt. so it needs to be done carefully. That's part of the reason why im thinking of offering this as an automated service, rather than publishing a guide. Simplicity being the other reason.

I've been using this method for my own sites for 3-4 years now. Never faced any issues / charges.

Ajeet Meena

The charges are front-end instance cost for GCP and firebase hosting. How much traffic are you getting on your own websites?

Lakshmi Narayanan G

Netlify and Vercel do it. There are CMS like Netlify CMS and Forestry, that helps you avoid the tech stuff. A lot of non techies I know comfortably use these tools, free, and can e ewerasily handle ~1 million hits / month without sweat (I load tested with ~980k hits over a 10 hour period, easily handled, average response was ~ 1.5s), still free. I'm still missing what your USP is going to be. Nail it down perhaps, I'm really interested in hearing it and see if it can help me spin up sites faster

Dhaval Wathare

interesting stats ! your last line + even simpler than forestry / et al, is where the usp lies. but i probably should communicate it better.

Lakshmi Narayanan G

Exactly:)It'll be better to show and tell than just tell. It'll also be better to explain the why's behind it and specify target audience and pain points with current platform. I'll be happy to be an early stage tester and give you feedback, having used all these platforms extensively, apart from self hosting tons of websites in diff cloud platforms (I used to just spin up VPS, set up website, optimise, load test, and delete and repeat, for time pass and practice🙈).

Shitij Malhotra

This is the need of the hour

Don't listen to what all the techies are saying - they are assuming this is too easy.

Mos people, even ex techies don't have the time anymore to manage much of this

Dhaval Wathare

felt the same, but better to be sure. good that you're saying it too. The thing that i also wanted to validate is if services like wix/squarespace are enough and people wont care to look beyond...

Shitij Malhotra

sure wix is enough and a bigger brand... And has a crazy advertising budget... You will need to figure how to create your own space.
You could also compete with shopify instead...

Dhaval Wathare

Yep. this thread has been active for a day now, with a bunch of commenting. Despite the great Q&As, in terms of numbers not too many people have responded overall, so makes me think its not that big a deal.

Krinal Mehta

what’s the one-time cost?

Dhaval Wathare

haven't figured yet. What do you feel is appropriate ? Or if not a figure, what process do you feel i should follow in deciding a good price point ?

Jitendra Singh

Dhaval Wathare people are selling life time deal for this kind of website at 17$ to 99$ you can manage in between if you added a page builder in your service

Dhaval Wathare

i actually wanted to avoid complex page builders, though i can probably offer it as an addon. Core focus would be simplicity and speed of getting things going.

Jitendra Singh

give them html template which is easy and good to go with speed help people via videos lecture how he/she can make html website by their own. This will make things works

Krinal Mehta

Dhaval Wathare Certainly should be less than what they can buy from an agency but slightly more than a typical website builder like GoDaddy, depending on the features of the product

UB’s highly reliable infrastructure, templates, integrations , variants.

WP : Integrations, SEO capabilities, lower setup and maintenance costs

Neeraj Tiwari

The idea is good, but I doubt the profitability of this model. How you will make money is very important to validate this idea....features are good, but money ka bhi thoda likho idher kuch to baat bane.

II just read the comment came to know you will charge a one-time fee as one of your revenue items. Do mention how much you are planning to charge, Rs 5000-15,000 for static? If anything less than 10K, the business may not scale much and sustain in long run....you will make money no doubt, but scale up and then investing to scale up will take away all the money earned + debt chad jayega uper.

Dhaval Wathare

yep. you're right. but i probably wont need to scale up in that sense. this is an automation concept for the most part.

Also not really looking at it from a std startup lens - ie multi billion bucks, long term etc.

Just a profitable side-venture / personal money tree and useful to others & my own projects along the way.

Pranav Agarwal

I am not a tech person so this is a god sent. Basically it’s a full stack website building service that once customers choose look and fee gets delivered to them for an upfront fee.

Dhaval Wathare

Yes ! you got it. Out of curiosity - what kind of websites would you use it for ?

Pranav Agarwal

small business or personal business websites especially those that don’t need a shopping experience and are more or less static

Dhaval Wathare

If i build this, would you be interested in being an early customer and help shape this ? Perfectly ok if not. just being curious.

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