Thoughts about custom domain removal in free accounts

This is with regard to the decision to remove custom domains for free accounts:

We’ve removed the feature currently to see if it impacts on the usage of the free service, this will reduce the amount of abusive users who signup daily with domains such as “login-facebook-verification.online” if they are unable to park their phishing domains it will hopefully reduce the amount of abusive users on the free plan.

I can understand why 000webhost would want to avoid this. However, there are some things to think about:

  • 000webhost is planning to test the “no custom domains” rule for a while and see if it reduces signups. You should probably take into account people like me who signed up thinking they’d have the feature, then realised it was removed.
  • I signed up for 000webhost because of the “custom domains” feature, so removing it is kind of a deal-breaker for me. I’d like to sign up for a paid account some time in the future, when I get things going, but I can’t afford the paid plans right now. (I barely managed to bring out $9/yr for a domain name)

I’m guessing there’d be other users in a similar situation—so if you’re worried about spam, how about you have a special “use parked domains” plan or upgrade with a nominal fee (eg. $1/yr) which could detract spammers and still give legit users a good chance?

The other argument was of course that, if you have your own domain, you’re probably big enough to move to a paid plan anyway. I’m not sure how that works for some people. In my case, a domain would be the first “paid” thing I’d get into, with hosting services and all coming later—in which case a “starter” use-your-own-domain plan would be great.

Not sure if that’s true for other users though—any thoughts?

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That is a good point about the nominal fee, I’ll suggest that straight away.

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