PSA: Provider Tag Fee Implementation
As many of you are aware, earlier today LowEndTalk implemented a new program related to “Provider Tag” holders in our community. Earlier this week a thread was posted to the Provider section of our forum discussing this upcoming change and asking for feedback. It is clear to us, and to me personally, that the rollout of this new “Provider Tag” fee program was poorly executed. It was a mistake to rely on the LowEndTalk thread (set to sticky & announced) as a means of communicating our plans to all Providers. For the confusion created and the inconvenience caused I apologize – we will learn from this experience and do better.
This thread is intended to clear up all of the confusion.
What type of fee are you talking about?
Moving forward, “Provider Tag” holders aka "Patron Providers" will pay a fee of approximately $16/month (billed in six month increments = $100/six month) for the right to create individual advertisement threads on LowEndTalk.
Why is this fee happening?
The LowEndTalk and LowEndBox platform is expensive to operate after considering hosting infrastructure, ddos protection, personnel, administrative office overhead, and all other costs. While our advertising partners help offset some of these expenses in order to maintain and grow our community and pay for new upcoming initiatives we need to increase our funding sources. Our goal is to not add additional advertisements, and to stay away from things that would negatively impact the U/I experience for our users.
Hosting Providers generally benefit greatly from LowEndTalk and LowEndBox and yet have never been required to pitch in. This very modest fee, of approximately $16/month (prepaid in six month increments) will go a long way towards keeping the lights on and allowing LowEndBox and LowEndTalk to continue the improvements already underway the past few years.
In part due to this new fee you can expect to see more content at LowEndBox and LowEndTalk, more giveaways, more interviews, an improved LowEndBox theme that conforms with the new WP standards, updates to the current version of Vanilla here at LowEndTalk, new YouTube video content and a few new content creators to help enhance our overall value proposition. When LowEndBox and LowEndTalk rank better on key search terms, thanks to our content strategy, more users flow to LowEndTalk, which in turn means more potential buyers for the hosting providers who call LowEndTalk home. A healthy and prospering LowEndBox and LowEndTalk represents a mutually beneficial and symbiotic relationship between our userbase and our provider base.
Is there a discount available for existing “Provider Tag” holders?
Yes. The fee for your first six months will be discounted by 20% as a thank you for your presence on LowEndTalk and LowEndBox. If you have already paid your invoice prior to this discount being applied please submit a ticket (https://billing.lowendtalk.com) and we will credit you accordingly.
Are there shorter payment term options available?
Yes. For 2022 providers may request to pay quarterly instead of semi-annually to help minimize the impact of this new structure. The initial quarterly payment would be discounted by 20% as previously outlined ($40/quarter) and then following quarterly payments would be the standard fee ($50/quarter)
To request quarterly payment structure please submit a ticket (https://billing.lowendtalk.com).
What other benefits will a “Provider Tag” holder receive by paying the fee?
All Provider Tag holders will be eligible to continue advertising and selling their services in accordance with our “selling rules.” Plus we are adding more benefits of being a Provider Tag holder, as listed below.
New Perks Effective April 1st, 2022:
- Special "Patron Provider" Tag on LowEndTalk - to recognize your company's contributions to our platform
- Inclusion in a special Black Friday email campaign for Provider Tag holders only
- Special Black Friday LowEndTalk thread that is stickied through the duration of the BF/CM period for Provider Tag holders only (allowing you to publish your offers inside)
- A new page on LowEndBox that acknowledges all Provider Tag holders and lists their services in a directory type layout
- Periodic mentions on the video content on our YouTube channel
As part of this announcement we are modifying the maximum prices allowed to be adverted on LowEndTalk to adjust for market factors. These adjustments will also allow Providers to market services that generally could not fit under the prior $7/month limitation, such as powerful Ryzen based VPS packages, Windows VPS packages, etc.
The new pricing limitations are as follows:
VPS: was $7/mo, now $10/mo
Shared: stays at $7/mo
Reseller: was $10/mo, now $12/mo
Dedicated: was $100/mo, now $125/mo
IP Transit: now officially allowed, no price limit
Colocation: now officially allowed, no price limit
Software: now officially allowed, no price limit
Provider Tag holders will also receive special recognition for helping support LowEndBox and LowEndTalk. We are working on the specifics of what that entails now, but you can expect mentions on LowEndBox and social media / YouTube content. Keeping the lights on takes financial resource and we are sincerely thankful for the contributions of all.
I have received my Provider Tag invoice, when is it due?
We know this was an unexpected fee and so we want to be flexible. We would appreciate payment by April 1, 2022. If your invoice has not received the discount of 20% please submit a ticket and we will address that issue for you right away.
Where do I login to pay for the Provider Tag invoice?
Billing system URL: https://billing.lowendtalk.com
You will need to reset your password upon your first login attempt. Your username is your email on file at LowEndTalk.
Will it cost money to submit an offer on LowEndBox?
Submitting an offer and being published on LowEndBox is a free service available to all hosting providers globally (no provider tag or hosting rep tag required), so long as you meet our submission rules. The guidelines can be reviewed here: https://lowendbox.com/submit-an-offer/
How will new Host Rep or Provider Tag requests be handled?
Just as they always have been in full accordance with our Selling Rules. Parties interested in requesting a Provider or Host Rep tag should submit a ticket on the LowEndTalk support helpdesk with the information required per the Selling Rules. All requests will be reviewed in detail and are subject to approval at the discretion of our moderator and administration team. Once approved, and at their choice, the requestor will have the option to receive a Host Rep tag or pay the fee for a Provider Tag.
Next steps for Providers who would rather not advertise actively on LowEndTalk:
No problem, we get it, advertising on LowEndTalk doesn’t make sense for all hosting providers. LowEndTalk values and appreciates your presence and we are happy to have you here. Please submit a ticket at the billing system (https://billing.lowendtalk.com) and we will convert your “Provider Tag” to a “Host Rep Tag.”
To be clear, Host Rep tag holders are not able to create individual offer/advertising threads. However, Host Rep tag holders are eligible to:
- Participate in all general conversation, just like all other members
- Reply to comments and threads that specifically reference their company
- Represent their company professionally
- Participate in the unified LowEndTalk sponsored “Mega Deal” thread(s), such as our Black Friday, Cyber Monday, New Year’s, etc, event threads. Host Rep users will be able to post their offers inside the Mega Deal thread, but not their own individual advertising threads. Individual advertising threads are limited to "Provider Tag" holders.
- Reply, with service offers, to user created service request threads within the "requests" category - https://lowendtalk.com/categories/requests
- Host Rep tag holders may advertise their company in their signature
- Inclusion in the periodic Host Rep Roundup (HR3)
Earning a Free Provider Tag
Part of our mission at LowEndBox and LowEndTalk is to enable the success of small upstart hosting companies. As part of that objective we've rolled out Host Rep Roundup (HR3). We are giving out, free for six months, two Provider Tags to the first two hosting companies that take part in HR3 for six months in a row. Inquire within the Host Rep Roundup thread.
On behalf of the entire LowEndBox and LowEndTalk staff, please know that your support and contributions to our platform are appreciated. Without our user and provider base there would be no LowEnd* world -- and that is a fact we respect and acknowledge. We will continue working hard to ensure that our community grows and thrives in the years to come.