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The Fundraiser is 75% Complete


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We've made some great progress towards buying our new server. At this rate we'll probably have it purchased and set up before the end of the year. The last 25% is the toughest part of any fundraiser though. To the 63 people who have donated so far, we send out a huge thank you for supporting our cause to provide free or low cost hosting to those in need. We really appreciate you.

To the 2035 active accounts who haven't donated yet, we have a question for you. What can we do to improve HelioHost that would make you consider donating too?

We have hundreds of ideas and projects that we're working on, but we need your help prioritizing what should be done first. HelioHost is far from perfect, and small annoyances or lack of features are probably stopping some people from donating. Obviously we're still in the process of completely overhauling HelioHost so most of our services are pretty bare bones, and you need admin assistance for a lot of things still, but we've made a lot of progress over the last year. What should we do next to make HelioHost even better?

Should we make adding domains without admin help the highest priority? Should being able to edit your own DNS records be the most important thing? Should we put more effort into making Tommy faster? Should we make Java available again on free hosting? Should we allow more free signups per day? Should we update our documentation to make complex tasks like Node.js and Discord bots easier to figure out? Should we make more YouTube videos? Should we make Ruby on Rails available on free hosting? Should we provide memory usage and CPU usage graphs in the dashboard? Should we make it so users can enable remote PostgreSQL access themselves? Should we implement password resets through our website rather than having an admin send you a link? Should we put more effort into accepting donation from more than just PayPal? Should we look into accepting cryptocurrency for VPS payments automatically instead of an admin having to verify it? Should we allow users to install Python modules themselves through the dashboard?

Those are just some of the major ideas we're already working on. Is there anything else you can think of? We're going to have an amazing new powerful server soon, and we can use it to help make some of your visions come true.

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7 hours ago, alden said:

Java is the big deal for me - I can't run my song players without it.

Thanks for the feedback. There aren't a lot of people that use Java, but it's definitely one of our most popular features. It also sets HelioHost apart from other hosting services because there aren't many that provide Java hosting for free.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/10/2023 at 9:23 AM, Krydos said:

and you need admin assistance for a lot of things still

I think this is an important point you raise, which potentially also influences how many accounts go inactive each month.

I don't know who your target audience is. Probably not me. I'm severely underusing my instance due to continuously shifting priorities and lack of time. But when I'm working on it, it's in bursts. If a burst (of time) gets frustrated because I need something relatively simple done that I have no access to, it's dropped for that time and priority for the project goes down a few spots. Raising a ticket on a forum for something technical nobody but an admin can help with, can be a threshold for some people.

Considering what I paid for it I'm definitely not complaining, but a new server does not fix any of that.

As for the list of items you potentially 'should', we can't see which of those are going to be the most work. If any of those can be implemented without too much work for yourself and the rest of the team, it would be a quick win. If a couple of quick wins can significantly shorten the list, that would be a big win.

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20 hours ago, masthst said:

but a new server does not fix any of that.

The main reason we haven't gotten any of this simple self-service stuff done is we've been trying to get all of the cPanel accounts moved over, and we didn't have anywhere to put them. We figured having a control panel at all, even if it wasn't fully functional with stuff like adding/removing domains, was better than just leaving people's websites on a broken cPanel server with no control panel at all. We actually just finished sending transfer invites out about a week ago.

So, the choice last year when we started transferring people was:

  1. Wait another couple months with everyone on a broken cPanel server while we tested the domain adding and removing, and DNS functions.
  2. Start transferring people so they have access to a partially done Plesk control panel, and then when we got everyone transferred over we could work on things like adding/removing domains.

The plan was to set up Tommy, start moving people over, and then test the domain adding/removing on Johnny. Before we got that fully tested we realized that Tommy was full, and we didn't want to stop the transfer process again, so we just started putting people on Johnny for the same reason as the logic above. Having a partially functional control panel is better than no control panel at all.

So my point is, a new server does help because we need space for all these people, and we need space to create a test server where we can debug the domain adding/removing. We can't develop this software on a production server with thousands of people because if there was a bug that allowed people to edit other people's DNS zones, etc it would be very bad.

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9 hours ago, eli_host said:

I don't see the gofundme campaign anymore... What happened?

GoFundMe has paused our fundraiser for some reason. I've already contacted PayPal and they say everything is fine on their end. Waiting for a response from GoFundMe support now.

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