Skip navigation

Pay for InContext ???

Mar 19, 2009 1:33 AM

  Latest reply: SEOConsultant, Dec 7, 2010 4:27 PM
Replies 1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 Previous Next
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 6:02 AM   in reply to mrsdesignsherman

    When i just checked this forum after being away for a short while, i was also shocked.

    Im glad i bumped into this forum topic because i really was interrested in how others felt about this.

     

    Adobe if you read this:

     

    Can you make another Pricing option ?


    My suggestion and im sure many others feel me here.

     

    > Business Catalyst Membership: IconText Editing (name a fixed price, not some monthly fee . . .)

     

    Now people who choose this option can keep up their service to their customers.

    All the extra features would be just unavailable, because this would be a cheaper and more simple option.

    Not everyone wants to be able to build webshops, forums etc etc . . .
    There are still designers that work for smaller companies that just want to edit some text or images now and then.

     

    InconText editing was great ( one of the best inventions of the century in my opinion), dont let us down please . . .

     

    Greetings from a (very) frustrated designer

     

     

    Cheers David.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 6:10 AM   in reply to Vector David

    I think they should give those that contributed to InContext development (us) a free membership at a higher level... Some of us have 20-30 sites that should be eligible for a free tranfer of service.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 6:40 AM   in reply to Tommy Logic

    CS5 is making it clear that any online service could be withdrawn or charged for - presumably another opportunity for us to snag a product before it's taken off and installed on BC? You know what they say - once bitten, twice shy.

     

    Good point about rewarding those users who have persevered with ICE - what are the chances of it happening, though?

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 6:54 AM   in reply to Vector David

    Hi David,

     

    Thank you for your feedback and good words about the service.

     

    On the pricing side, a developer does not have to pay anything to register to Business Catalyst and be able to create websites for customers. The only fee involved is the hosting fee paid by the customer, the most basic package starts at $16 a month or $173 a year.

     

    Of course, your customer can upgrade to more expensive plans in the future if he decides to add extra features to his websites, but the $39 a month package is definitely not the lower package.

     

    Best regards,

     

    Cristinel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 7:06 AM   in reply to cristinel@adobe

    Even at $16 a month it's simply not going to be worth it to my clients who will probably want to make minor changes several times a year. Besides, I prefer to have control of my hosting so I would never go with BC.

     

    On a positive note, I see CS5 has the facility to create styles for Joomal!, Drupal and Wordpress - so one of these OS solutions is where I'll be taking my clients.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 7:09 AM   in reply to maggie ourpets

    Yes Maggie, i couldnt agree more.

    I also wanna be able to choose my own hosting company as well.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 7:13 AM   in reply to cristinel@adobe

    What are the server details?

    How slow are they going to be?

    How many databases can we install?

    Private Servers?

    Custom DNS?

    Is it Linux?

    PHP5

    CGI ?
    FastCGI?

    Perl?

    ColdFusion ?

    Shell Access?

    User control?

    Email accounts?

    POP3 or IMAP?

    Whats the uptime commitment?

    Do you have 24/7 live technical support?

     

    If all that isn't included, then I would have a hard time transferring anything to another server. I would have to configure on average 10 email accounts per client alone. Not to mention any custom perl modules, cgi, etc.

     

    It sounds very vague at the moment... and my general feeling is that I would hesitate to get locked into any "deal" with Adobe as past experience tells me that you are not going to guarantee anything.

     

    And it is VERY likely that you will pull the service in a year and leave me hanging, ony this time i will have to find MANY more solutions other than just a CMS. If you pulled the plug on a complete server solution, we would be in real trouble. Imagine if I had to redo 20-30 complete server configurations.

     

    -Tom

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 7:22 AM   in reply to cristinel@adobe

    Cristenal,

      I think you and Adobe are missing the point here.  Adobe has in effect "stolen" our customers.  With this move you have taken away our right to charge our customers for this service - something that adobe stressed we should do in this forum and throughout this beta period.  You have taken away our ability to host these clients if they want to use ICE - something that many of us currently do.   You have left us and our clients in a very awkward situation in doing a complete reversal on how this product has always been promoted and presented.   You have broken a trust relationship between yourselves and the developer community, and not for the first time.  You used us to test out your product and now you want to take our clients from us.  If we want a commission from you for OUR clients, we have to "buy" into your program first at a significant cost.  Am I missing anything?

     

    And by the way has anyone read the fine print on how much commission  you have to earn before Adobe will even release your commission payments to you?

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 7:25 AM   in reply to Tommy Logic

    Yes.

     

    The feature in CS5 does look nice with dreamweaver & wordpress.

    Neither wordpress or joomla are as free in design options as making your own site. Its gonna take a whole lot extra time . . .

    and even then its not worth it.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 7:31 AM   in reply to Tommy Logic

    Hi Tommy,

     

    Thank you for your feedback. Given the InContext Editing announcement, I understand your concerns and hope to prove you wrong by improving even more this already great platform.

     

    The Business catalyst platform has been born in 2004 and over time has become the default online business platform for a large number of developers and businesses around the world. Business Catalyst platform is a great complement to Adobe's existing tools and services for web professionals, who are increasingly looking to hosted services to deliver websites and online businesses.

     

    The Business Catalyst Partner Stories page shows some of the great feedback BC got from the developer community.

     

    We are currently putting a lot of effort behind this service and will continue to do that in the future. Integrating InContext Editing into Business Catalyst allows us to focus on single service that is capable to bring even more value for web developers.

     

    As for service specifications, you can find more information about Business Catalyst on the service FAQ page.

     

    Thank you,

     

    Cristinel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 7:36 AM   in reply to Tommy Logic

    I agree... and repeat... I committed to the Adobe ebook server, made purchases of books, got my design company to hold an ebook conference for book publishers. Then suddenly Adobe pulled the plug on serving ebooks-- and made no provision for customers' purchase of commercial ebooks. The ebooks were just gone, no refund, no books made available on another server-- Adobe just said we are not serving the ebooks you purchased. Tough luck. Adobe therefore has, from my point of view, a history of making commitments to extended business segments and then dropping those businesses without concern for the cost or purchases made by customers. Because of my previous poor experience with Adobe in the server busines, I would never rely on Adobe serving critical data again. I will use and teach Adobe tools, but I won't make the wealth and health of my business dependant upon Adobe where servers are involved.

     

    Incontext editing is/was a tool, a web service, that was in line with Adobe's core business. I would have used that tool even if I had to pay for it-- as was proposed from the beginning. Business Catalyst is not in line with Adobe's core business. I see it as the ebook server business, an experiment in a business segment that is well outside their core business. Adobe makes good tools, IMO they should stay there. Adobe is not Google. They need to do what they do best, make exceptional tools. Just because Snap On makes great tools doesn't mean Snap On should say one day, "Hey we've got all these great tools, let's make cars."

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 7:45 AM   in reply to susanbonser

    taken-try-another wrote:

     

    Incontext editing is/was a tool, a web service, that was in line with Adobe's core business. I would have used that tool even if I had to pay for it-- as was proposed from the beginning."

     

    I cant add anything else to this, i would not mind paying for incontexxt editing aswell, i knew from the start that it was implent for the future.

    Cant you offer it as a standalone plugin for dreamweaver adobe ?

     

    Like with most large companies, its all about big money . . .

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 7:46 AM   in reply to debodie2

    Hello debodie2,

     

    You raise a valid point here, let's look over.

     

    Currently, with InContext Editing, your customers had to create an Adobe ID account and you as a developer had the possibility to charge the customer directly. This wasn't ideal for you, because, even if you could charge the client separately, the relation between Adobe and your client still existed.

     

    With Business Catalyst, you, the developer, can choose between having the customer pay directly to Adobe or pay have the customer pay you. Depending on the partnership level, you also have the option of not displaying the Adobe brand in the user interface and even define your own pricing.

     

    Thus, the initial problem we had with InContext Editing now goes away, and you, as a developer, have a lot more flexibility.

     

    Thank you,

     

    Cristinel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 7:47 AM   in reply to cristinel@adobe

    Yes Cristenel.. I read that page inside out.... and it is very VAGUE!!!

     

    There is no mention as to the server capabilities themselves. And if I have to create an A-Record, that means that I would have to maintain another hosting account to fullfill the rest of my client's needs.

     

    There are several troubling issues here. As I and others mention, you want us to essentially give you our clients' hosting. Thats a bigass chunk of my money right there. I already supply hosting. And those that I don't have their own servers.

     

    ... Business Catalyst will respect your HTML code and won't change it, your website's XHTML compliance will depend on the HTML code that you or your designer has created....

    ....and about this section of your FAQ: the code generated by the system will be XHTML friendly.

     

     

    Exactly what is "friendly"? Is it W3C compliant?

     

    And telling my potential customers that the results "depend on the code that your developer wrote"... That's simply NOT true, as you negate that in the next statement about the "modules being friendly"

     

    We already KNOW that ICE rewrites the code, and that it is NOT friendly... it inserts all sorts of inline styling, etc. In fact the page is generally a mess after just a few changes. And ICE is still NOT WORKING!!!

     

    I just don't know... unclear server details, an unfinished InContext solution, additional charges, taking my hosting $$$ from me....

     

    -Tom

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 7:50 AM   in reply to Vector David

    Hi David,

     

    InContext Editing is hosting service and cannot be distributed as plugin. A lot of the service functionality is hosted on the server and it would be difficult include it into a desktop client.

     

    Thank you,

     

    Cristinel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 8:12 AM   in reply to cristinel@adobe

    Cristinel,

     

    I'm sorry, I must have missed it...

     

    How is InContext Editing going to be any different?

    I'm still not sold on it completely. It does re-write code.

    Your error messages tell my clients that the problem is the designer/developer's fault.

     

    -Tom

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 8:18 AM   in reply to cristinel@adobe

    Cristenel,

     

    About the hosting again...

     

    As it stands now, I'm your hardest working employee, answering questions about how & why ICE is broken... am I going to have to do that for the server questions too? People wait days months for an answer from Official Adobe staff...

     

    As for the technical support, all those eggs in one basket is a lot  to  swallow. If I have a server issue, I need a solution in minutes not  days.

    When the server goes down, do I have to post to a forum and  wait days to hear back?

     

    -Tom

     

    btw... If you don't have an answer, I'll be glad  to post the answer if anyone REALLY wants to know.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 8:38 AM   in reply to Tommy Logic

    Hi Tommy,

     

    You are indeed the most active user on the forums and helped us a lot with solving different configuration problems.

     

    The hosting was one of the top problems in using ICE and the shear number of FTP servers and different implementations and settings made difficult to support everything. Even for a web professional, FTP can raise problems and cause support incidents.

     

    The integration of InContext Editing in Business Catalyst should help us solve this problem, as we'll have a single FTP server which is in our back yard. This why I think you will not have to solve server problems and have time to focus on what's important: creating great websites for your customers.

     

    In addition, Business Catalyst has a dedicated support team that is experienced with the system and focused on solving developers problems.

     

    On the BC system hosting, you cannot run PHP, ColdFusion or ASP code. The number of users depends on the plan you choose, and you can also add extra users any time, depending on the system needs.

     

    I'll look for a page that includes detailed technical specification of the system and post it here.

     

    Thanks,


    Cristinel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 8:43 AM   in reply to cristinel@adobe

    It is hard to imagine a website that at some point does not benefit from php or equivalent. This strikes me as a major flaw.

    Barry

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 8:44 AM   in reply to Tommy Logic

    Hi Tommy,

     

    InContext Editing does indeed uses in-line styling for some of the formatting options provided by the editor. This can be already avoided by not allowing editors use the formatting functions and only giving them access to the CSS drop-down. That will assure the generated code is standard compliant.

     

    I know that we've updated some of the formatting functions to generate better code (like bold, italic and lists) and I am sure that we're going to continue these improvements. In general, I would say that generated code is standard compliant, but not in some cases is not easy to read and there is a lot of place for improvements.

     

    Any suggestions or feature requirements are welcomed.

     

    Thank you,

     

    Cristinel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 8:47 AM   in reply to BCDoherty

    Hi Barry,

     

    We'll our goal is to give you the right tools to build the same functionality on the BC platform. Even now, the web app functionality included in Business Catalyst gives customers the freedom to build custom applications on top of the Business Catalyst platform.

     

    I would love to hear more about this, since we want to make sure we don't restrict your design freedom. Any samples or needs would be of great help.

     

    Thank you,

     

    Cristinel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 8:52 AM   in reply to cristinel@adobe

    Thanks Cristinel,

     

    That's kind of what I figured, it would be a server configured specifially for BC & ICE. That GREATLY reduces its capacity for any other system.

    I already knew that the majority of the problems with ICE were the  varying server configurations.

     

    Aren't you essentially asking me to give up other services in order to use ICE on your servers? And you want me to pay for it too?

     

    As I have it set up now, I am able to run my CGI scripts & PHP on pages not configured for ICE. From the developers standpoint, switching over to a BC server will require them to lose those capabilities.

     

    If I have a site on BC, how would I do a simple "Contact Us" form or any CGI for that matter? And if I can't use PHP, or ASP, how do I interact with a database?

     

    Does this mean that I'm going to have to learn some whole new method of development just to use a service from Adobe?

     

    And... do I have to pay for this? Monthly?

     

    If I do switch over... what about Mail? Where do users get their email? Can I configure Custom MX records on BC?

     

    -Tom

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 10:29 AM   in reply to cristinel@adobe

    Christinel,

     

    First, thanks for appearing in here again with more information.

     

    To me, the issue is still very simple. Dreamweaver CS4 was advertised with a 'new feature'. This feature was called inContext. There was no expiration date listed on CS4 and there was no commitment that we have to update to a future version. So, this feature should remain a feature of CS4, as it was advertised.

     

    It looks as though Adobe has cancelled this feature even before the official release of CS5 may happen. I'm still seeing preorder now... So even if Adobe assumed that we would all migrate to CS5 on release date we would still be without a solution now.

     

    Now, maybe it was mentioned somewhere that inContext was a trial or beta version in the fine print. I never found it until I blundered onto this forum because I had to remove the SPF record from our domain so that the email could be sent from Adobe. Well, this is positive proof that Adobe does not understand email. And you are entering the hosting business? This is just one of the thousands of tiny facets of hosting and why we have our on webservers. The 'future' may change this, but the future is not here yet and even if it was, we would not migrate for many years after seeing an established track record. What you have done with Adobe inContext is a huge blemish on that track record already. In fact, doing underhanded things having check boxes set to yes for anti-virus applications and toolbars on the free readers and players is a very negative aspect to me. I'm also not happy that Adobe has apparently choosen to not support CS4 already with repairs, as the answer I got about the broken 'browse to folder' in site manager is that it would not be fixed in CS4.

     

    The Adobe website itself has become as bloated as the 'major software player of the world' webite. Except there, normally you can actually find some information about things and 'trial features' are clearly advertised as such. And you want me to host my clients with you?

     

    I'm still left with researching and finding a new CMS to use and then the replacement of inContext should you choose to continue this path.

     

    The hardship on our business is more than you will ever understand.

     

    Adobe really needs to 'listen' to it's client base. Adobe really needs to keep inContext available to us, your clients. The damage to your name otherwise will be much greater than you can ever know. The damage to your future online package plans will be greater than you will ever know.

     

    I found that inContext was perfect for out client base. Yes, they wanted to do more than it would do, but doing more gave the bulk of them too much power to mess up their website. We needed something that allowed simple text changes with frequency.

     

    Thanks for reading our thoughts.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 12:33 PM   in reply to cristinel@adobe

    Christine,

     

    Thanks for the responses.

     

    When all this blew up and drew my attention to BC I went to your web site and the first thing I saw was a $900-some ante, apparently just to get into the game beyond some sort of limited preview access.  It was not evident to me there was going to be any option with a cost that could meet my particular needs.  I did do the apparently limited "free" signup, and I will be digging in more based on this posting, but it is not at all clear I am likely to find an economic or technical solution that will meet my needs.

     

    Note I do use Contribute now, and if it had a workable cost structure that would meet a wider part of my needs it would be a solution for me.  But of course Contribute does not seem to be a good bet for the future - it too is showing the signs of Adobe losing interest in it.

     

    Bob

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 12:48 PM   in reply to cristinel@adobe

    Thanks for your response, Cristinel. I am glad to hear that Adobe is concerned. As Tommy Logic pointed out, are we to re-write our contact forms and other applications in some other language, not to mention service-side user inpuit checking, database access and so on.

     

    You do offer database access, don't you?

     

    The fact that you even have to ask about the importance of php gives me a very bad feeling that Adobe is developing these products wihout ever having used them, or even talking with anyone who has. Until it is too late.

     

    Barry

    .

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 12:55 PM   in reply to BCDoherty

    Hi Barry,

     

    The beauty of the BC system is that you don't have to re-write your contact forms in another language. The system comes with a large number of predefined modules that you can use directly.

     

    For any custom forms, you get a forms builder that creates all the logic and database fields. Once the customer or user fills that form, the information is stored in the database and you can even trigger email alerts for each event. Even more, the Admin dashboard displays a live feed that shows the activity on the site.

     

    On the PHP side, I am not at all questioning the importance of PHP in today's web development landscape. I'm just saying that, although we're not using or supporting PHP, I am pretty sure that we can cover most of your needs with the current system. This is why I am asking what kind of applications are you looking for, because we might already have an equivalent on the BC platform.

     

    Thank you,

     

    Cristinel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 1:22 PM   in reply to cristinel@adobe

    Soft sell. Hard sell. I'm not sold. No way am I gonna be a beta guinea pig again and subject my clients to Adobe's weird "now you see it now you don't" bad business model, only to lose time and money and credibility due to Adobe. There are good options. I'm going there. I appreciate my clients, and want to take the best care of them possible. Adobe, really, you should take a lesson.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 2:04 PM   in reply to cristinel@adobe

    As one example, as part of my forms processing I check the domain of the email that the user provides to make sure it is a valid domain, and if it is not, I log the user information.

     

    Another example is for file uploads. Frequently this involves images which I verify are of the proper type, not just the extension, and I also check the exif image dimensions.All very easy to do with php.

     

    You made no reference to databases or database access. Again that is an integral part of many of my websites, as is using php to access them, do data verification, etc.

     

    And doing any sort of ecommerce would also require some support such as php.

     

    If these features are available, I see a very large learning curve to a nonstandard way of coding, and the sites thus created would only be able to exist on Adobe servers with the Adobe framework.

     

    I thought Adobe was trying to support standards?

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 2:38 PM   in reply to smasheasy

    Even with WYSIWYG form creation tools in BC, it will never be a solution for seasoned web developers who need absolute control over code and design. I have my own Tier 4 hosting provider I trust and have used for years without issue: Media Temple. I see the BC environment without PHP, or ability to run any other choice server-side code at all, as a serious hindrance to development... or should I say get happy with no development! Why wouldn't they at least have ColdFusion as a development option? Whatever, BC will never deliver the level of custom design or code control I need to do my job effectively. I'm not saying it wouldn't be beneficial for others, just wouldn't work for I need to do.

     

    There are plenty of other great online CMS solutions to explore (no particular order here):

     

    http://www.konductor.net

    http://www.pagelime.com
    http://www.cushycms.com
    http://surrealcms.com
    http://flyspeck.net

    http://grabaperch.com
    http://www.concrete5.org
    http://unify.unitinteractive.com

     

    My personal pick so far (still researching) is Unify as it would allow me the full control to easily install the CMS on my own trusted server in just a few minutes, no database required, no limits on upload storage, and I never have to worry about a middle-man-CMS-hoster having technical issues, server outages, or that may one day sell the product off to someone else, stop development, or go out of business. I'm after more control for myself and my Clients and less unecessary cloud control from third party hosting just for a CMS... learned my lesson from InContext.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 2:57 PM   in reply to razorxdev

    I'm really leaning toward PageLime.... It couldn't get ANY simpler. And if you do a search and replace on your current ICE pages, you could transfer entire domains in minutes.

     

    I'm so sick of Adobe trying to jump in on my hosting that I'm GIVING IT AWAY!!! Just so you don't choose their crap solution!!!

     

    I created a new promocode for DreamHost: http://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?651405

     

    If you use Promo Code= HOLYSHIT77

     

    You get an instant $77 off the years hosting. That is pretty much the max!!! A year of UNLIMITED hosting for roughly $20 - 30... I currently host 50 domains on the one account. Full user controls, shell access, you name it.. it is really UNLIMITED hosting.

     

    Happy Hosting Folks,

    -Tommy Logic!!!

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 3:07 PM   in reply to Tommy Logic

    by the way... Dreamhost was Originally a group of young students that collaborated via the interweb back in the day.. they were a young group of hippies in California that were making websites as a group from distant location (pretty much my business model).. they got into hosting when they had realized how these big companies were screwing the little guy... (if that soundas familiar) ... so they took all the "cool" features and offered them at really low prices and bought their first server...

     

    Here's there story (much like mine & much like PageLime's)

    What a strange, medium-lengthed, trip it's been! I can't believe it's approaching five years since Michael Rodriguez, Dallas Bethune, and I founded New Dream Network while undergraduates at Harvey Mudd College (http://www.hmc.edu/) in Claremont, CA. Before we knew it we had strapping young Freshman Sage Weil in our fold as well. He joined us less than a year later as an equal partner and brought the youthful vigor of an 18 year old to our group (whose average age before his arrival had been a senile 20).

    NDN was founded without a business plan and without funding. Although that doesn't mean one doesn't have any money or know what they're doing, in this case we didn't. Basically, the three of us were all pretty fascinated with the world wide web, and had each separately picked up a very small design clientele. We thought, "Wouldn't it be fun to join together, pool our resources and our clients, and play company?" It sure would be! Soon we had business cards and post-it notes to rival any of the Fortune 500 companies.

    From these 3 clients we raked in big bucks. Being forward-looking young studs, we plowed all our proceeds (about $1000) back into the company. That was just enough to purchase destro, a Pentium 100 minitower on which we installed this free server operating system called Linux which was just starting to get stable enough to use on production machines such as ours. The network infrastructure was provided by one of Dallas' friend who worked in an office with an unsaturated T1 line. Destro sat unnoticed under the friend's desk for a time.

    So at this point we had a little bit of a plan and a little bit of money. Well, no money still, but a server all paid for at least. Our plan was to become an internet design company! What a clever plan! But we did have a little bit of a new twist, you've got to give us some credit. The twist was that we would create a network of independent designers (like we were!) who would share resources with each other. If you were too overwhelmed with work to take on a new client, you could refer them to us (the New Dream NETWORK see?) and we'd find somebody else who wanted to do it. We'd maybe take a 10% cut or something ourselves, and also get our own design clients that way too. Early on we added a bunch of "members" as we called them to our network, plenty of whom are still with us and are either our friends or employees (or both?).

    But it was hard making money on design! Especially for these piddling clients we had! We needed the big clients! We needed the Baker Tanks and Gulfstreams of the world! Unfortunately, when you're a small group of full-time Computer Science majors in college, you just don't get these sorts of clients. Which is why it was a good thing web hosting sort of fell into our lap. See those first three clients needed a server to host their web sites on after we designed them. But there weren't really any big name hosting outfits back then, and we'd just dropped a fat wad on that shiny new server. Heck, WE were computer scientists, hosting people's websites should be cake! In fact, it was (relative to designing sites), and best of all, they paid you EVERY SINGLE MONTH whether you did any work or not. Suffice to say we dropped the design thing pretty darn fast.

    But again, we weren't hosting the McDonald's or Sheratons. We were hosting the puncture.coms and nagc.coms. And in order to build a company hosting the little folks, you need to have a lot of them. But the big question was, "How do we get the word out about our hosting services?" We kinda got lucky with that too. There never really was a marketing plan at all. We got a lot of our hosting through referrals from those members I talked about before, especially through swanky.org, which we hosted for free for a while. It was this swanky design site thing I never really understood. But it got us a fair amount of publicity! Nothing compared to the support we got from Sage and his Webring though.

    Webring was something Sage Weil (our fourth partner, remember?) thunk up and started while in High School, before coming to Mudd. It was a pretty cool thing where people could create a virtual "ring" of related sites that all link to each other, and the webmasters didn't need to update their HTML when a new site was added to the ring. It was and still is really popular and grew to have hundreds of thousands of rings and millions of sites. Sage was barely supporting it with advertising revenue, and we were helping him maintain it and design it and the like. We put ads for our hosting and links to New Dream Network on it which helped build our traffic.

    During that time Sage wrote another web-based system called Dreambook, a free web-based guestbook service which we also linked to from Webring. Now it's got about 500,000 members, and we mostly show ads for our hosting service on it as well. Later, Sage sold Webring to Starseed which was bought by Geocities who was soon aquired by Yahoo. But fortunately we already had a steady flow of traffic and Sage got a steady flow of income.

    Well I'm getting a little lost here with the time frame of all this, but I know that in September of 1997 is when we named our hosting service DreamHost (ala Dreambook and New Dream Network) and really started getting serious about it. That summer I was actually in Taiwan learning Chinese and handling tech support from the Language Institute's Computer Lab or the Train Station which had a free Internet Demo set up during the seven weeks I was there. When I graduated in May of 1998 we had just enough income from DreamHost to pay me to work full time on the company. Dallas had been working for a year at iXL because when he graduated in 1997 we couldn't no how afford to pay for his extravagent lifestyle of Del Taco at least three times a week. Michael and Sage were still in school.

    Near the end of 1998 we had enough money from hosting for Dallas to quit his job, and in December 1998 we hired our first employee, Andrew. He was a member and he worked remotely from Canada. Not too much later we hired another member, Jeff, who worked remotely from Washington State. Things were getting a little bit too far strung though (I had moved to St. Louis myself because my girlfriend was a senior at Wash U.) and so we started looking for some actual physical office space of our own in the Spring of 1999.

    Dallas found a place in Huntington Park, a suburb in East L.A. that was 14,000 square feet for only $1800/month. In the summer of 1999, when our first big hiring spree began (about when Yahoo bought Geocities), we all lived there and it was a pretty crazy place. If you want to see the building, just rent  She's Out of Control (unless you own it) with Tony Danza. Our building is the radio station he works at in the movie. In fact, the stairs still have the piano key carpet from the movie on them!

    Nowadays we've got 32 employees (not counting the four honchos) and only Dallas and Jason still live in the building. That's pretty respectable, only two people actually living in the office! We've even got another office in Boston now, with two employees and myself. (I moved to Boston in the fall of 1999 when my girlfriend went to grad school here). Our big money maker is still DreamHost, which now boasts over 10,000 active hosting customers, but we're branching out into a bunch of other stuff. See, despite how easily we took to web hosting, and despite never really having a plan for NDN, we always imagined ourselves as more than just another web host. That's why we're adding things like dedicated servers (dreamservers.com!) and domain registration! But really, that's pretty much web-hosting too. Which is why we're starting other cool non-web-host things like vibeflow.com and design-l.newdream.net, to get back to our artsy roots. There's plenty more to come from us, you wait and see. And if you don't wait and see, I promise you'll miss it. And it will be something you've missed by not waiting.

    -Josh Jones
     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 4:00 PM   in reply to cristinel@adobe

    I am prepared and willing to believe Adobe sees a worthwhile target market, given their business needs.  But what I am seeing here is not what I want.  My specialty is programing and serious systems work.   I need full access and control.  I need to be able to select my hosting service to match my needs.  I need access to set it up and manage it the way I want.  And of course I need to be able to make my own cost/features tradeoffs when making the selections of hosts.  If I want CGI, MySQL and Perl and PHP and I want to use them to get something done, I don't want to discover my nice shiny new hosting service does not support them, and I have no real way or option to change that.  It has been quite a long time since I had to deal with a hosting service that was not open for CGI and so on.

     

    I also need to feel confident of the long term viability of my choices.  Adobe has gotten itself to the point with me where the burden of proof is very much on them for that.  They have walked away from too many products, and with some others that are also important to me they simply let the product hang out there without development or serious maintenance, which may be just as bad or worse.

     

    I understand business reasons for all that, but it forces me to look for solutions that I can have more confidence in, from companies that have not discarded their credibility with me in order to puff up the currently quarterly statement.  The reason I was not surprised by the InContext situation was that from the beginning I was leery about Adobe's commitments and what their agendas were.  I looked very carefully at what Adobe did and did not say.  I never wasted my time getting committed to it since they were unwilling to say they were committed to it.  Good decision...

     

    Only count on what is currently available, never futures.  Always read carefully.  If they don't say something positively, then assume there is a reason.  If they don't actually say InConext will be free for the time frame you want, assume you have to proceed on the basis that it might not be, and protect your back side.  If they do not say they will maintain an ongoing commitment for existing InContext sites beyond a certain point then assume they will not and proceed accordingly, and building your business only on what they have made a clear commitment too.  If you want to go with InContext then ell your customers what the Adobe commitment is, and that there could be costs and changes in the future.

     

    Only count on as much life and cost and so on with BC as Adobe provides legally enforceable commitments too (keeping in mind their legal resources are orders of magnitude greater than yours).  We out here are at an immense disadvantage.

     

    With BC what commitments are there to what will be available, when, for how long, at what cost, with what maintenance, and with what means to enforce it if they still decide to walk away from IT?  If the answers do not meet your business needs move on and look elsewhere.

     

    In other words, when it comes to Adobe, Caveat emptor!

     

    Bob

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 6:17 PM   in reply to Bobxyzzy

    I appreciate all of the honest opinions and knowledeable contributions here. BC just looks like more than I want or need from a CMS/web software service-- I think I hear others saying the same in most cases. The cost is probably number one why I would not go with BC; control is number 2; reliability of a network who just purchased their servers and set up their business is number 3.

     

    I host 100 sites with Network Solutions, each one costs me less than $10 a year. The Internet is their core business. As far as I can see, NS is 100% up time, they have real people who answer the phone, and I get immediate responses to questions and problems. If a client wants more features I can add-on through NS. I control the virtual server, can use CGIs and PHP, set individually for accounts. I just liked the simplicity of ICE as a front-end tool for the client. It was lovely and a largely intuitive tool. I liked that it was linked to Dreamweaver, but I don't mind pasting a little code-- and PageLime looks to me like just the ticket.

     

    I am no coder, but I am also no dummy. I can manage a Plesk control panel and a Virtuozzo server reset. But I am primarily an artist and long-time consumer of Adobe products. I wonder if Adobe's market research on this roll out was flawed. I think I am exactly who they think wants this product-- and it is all wrong for exactly me.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 23, 2010 10:04 AM   in reply to Bobxyzzy

    Hi Bob,

     

    The Free BC partner level is a great way to test the service, create trial sites, evaluate the features, create one or more sites for your customers etc. Once you feel comfortable with the system, you can upgrade to a paid partnership to take advantage of the benefits you get at those levels: 20% commissions or, white labeling.

     

    Let me know if you have any other questions,

     

    Cristinel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 23, 2010 11:11 AM   in reply to cristinel@adobe

    I saw something that looked setting up and trying a site ( not sure if 

    more than one is possible ) but it appeared there was a short time 

    limit on it.  The inference being you spend time building and then 

    costs kick in.  And it was not clear the costs would be small.

     

    Did I miss something like the InContext situation where you could set 

    up and run on an ongoing basis?

     

    BTW - I have CS4 Master Collection.  Does BC push me toward a need for 

    CS5?

     

    Bob

     

    Sent from my iPhone

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 23, 2010 11:16 AM   in reply to Bobxyzzy

    Bob... the solution I provided you will work TODAY!!!

    Did you try it?

     

    -Tom

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 23, 2010 12:36 PM   in reply to Tommy Logic

    I will explore it and BC as time permits.  It seems I have less time and mind share available when I am looking for a job than when I am actually employed.  I need to triage where my time goes, and as it happens I don't have to find any web hosting/technology solutions right at the moment.  I am keeping my eyes open for opportunities that look like they would could offer sufficiently interesting improvements to justify the time commitment to explore them.  There are lots more opportunities out there than there is time and energy to fully explore.  Been there and been doing it for forty years...

     

    That is one reason for posting at Adobe - trying to get them to better understand where people like me come from - our needs - in hopes they will address my kind of needs better and look like better prospects for me to consider.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 23, 2010 1:04 PM   in reply to Bobxyzzy

    Hi Bob,

     

    The BC extension works for both CS4 and CS5, so BC alone doesn't force you to upgrade to CS5. The decision to upgrade it's entirely yours if you find that the new features will make sense for you.

     

    Best regards,

     

    Cristinel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 23, 2010 1:10 PM   in reply to Bobxyzzy

    Hi Bob,

     

    There is no rush here. Hope that everything will work fine for you as soon as possible.

     

    I skipped your question about trials on your previous post, so I'll answer it here. The default trial period for a site is 30 days and you can ask for an extension in case you need more time for set-up or review.

     

    Best regards,

     

    Cristinel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 23, 2010 1:17 PM   in reply to [S]up

    Suddenly this has turned into a 'Bait and Switch' situation. I don't know why we are discussing BC on the inContext forum?

     

    I for one would not in my wildest dreams consider BC. There is an old reason... I hate to even mention it, but ColdFusion... apparently a continuation of the same business model with eBook and then the latest in what is becoming a barrage, inContext.

     

    Given a two weeks notice about the end of a feature... well, there is simply no possible way that I'm going to put at risk my entire business to your horrid track record.

     

    Adobe needs to get back to what it does. Fix the problems that exist with the CS4 suites. How about getting the Flash Player out for the new devices? Flash may wind up in the trashcan otherwise. And then, how about being 'clear' on the website about what is included and what is not included as true features of your applications and give us an EOL on all products?

     

    I'm really upset that basic features in CS4 are now broken and the response is... Well, CS5 is just about out so we aren't going to fix that. You really need to get some of the input from in here up to the people making these decisions.

     
    |
    Mark as:
1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 Previous Next
Actions

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)

Answers + Points = Status

  • 10 points awarded for Correct Answers
  • 5 points awarded for Helpful Answers
  • 10,000+ points
  • 1,001-10,000 points
  • 501-1,000 points
  • 5-500 points