I'm sorry guys, but I'm the owner of a forum with 2,700+ members, and I disagree with a lot of the things said in this thread.
VerticalScope have 20 forums on a $4 a month hosting plan.
You sure about that? I attended ForumCon 2012 in June, and have met one of the guys running the company/sites. I asked why half of the sites on VerticalScopes are still on vBulletin 3 series regardless of the option of going vB4/xenForo/IPB3. His answer is about two things. I forget what was said, but I have a feeling that it's because of how long it takes to do so, and the "upgrade" premium plans.
Oh, and how can I forget: Google pagerank/SEO
Secondly, I speak from talking to owners that run 2 million posts and above that what you're saying is unrealistic
. A site this big will run you around anywhere between $300 to $500 to $1,000 per month. Some sites require twice that number. The server I'm hosted on, costs between $100 to $200. The best part is, the server is holding a 2 million posts website.
So, fucking unrealistic if it's $4 per month. I wish it was that easy, but it's not
. If it were that realistic, I'd have my own server by now.
So, Recap: A website with 11 million posts, and 200,000 members is a lot of money
to host. What's worse is that when you have 700 visitors at any
given moment, you end up eating up the server's disk space. Multiply this by 20, and you have an idea of just how big and how expensive hosting a network this big is.
But a decent admin will earn this back and have the forum running for free.
I'm telling you first hand this is not true.
Vbulletin costs 200 dollars to purchase a license. Then with a typical 10 dollar a month server host and a 10-dollar a year domain.
Correct. I'll go ahead and explain in depth:
vBulletin 3 before the acquisition by Internet Brands used to cost around $120 to $140 depending on when you bought it. Right now, under Internet Brands' leadership these are the prices:
$195 = Standard Forum (Forum License)
$285 = CMS + Forum + Blogs (Publishing Suite)
$379 = Forum + Mobile App
$469 = Publishing Suite + Mobile App
And the worst part is, the quality of the vB4 line is shit compared to vB3 or it's direct competitor, xenForo.
Then you have domain names and yearly domain renewals. This costs anywhere between 3 dollars to infinity. But buying a premium domain name costs thousands of dollars - which is what WrestlingForum costs just to get the domain. I remember reading that the owner of the actual forum database and the original owner of WrestlingForum had to sign contracts and were paid handsomely.
I read somewhere that adsense will get you $1 for every 1,000 views. Though that sounds too unrealistic to me. Assuming the forum has 800 posts per day and the admin has adsense, and he gets even 50cent a day he should have the costs covered. It all depends on Gb useage.
With adSense there is not based around GB usage - that's a server side thing. 1,000 views means 1,000 impressions and this number nets you $1. But that variable can
change at any time. It depends on what the advertisers are willing to pay WrestlingForum or any of VerticleScopes' properties.
I vouch for that 1,000 views = $1. In fact, if you have a niche blog like MW3Blog you can make $15 per month just from a single blog. A busier website can get you more, which is why Forums are more viable as a business.