RTS Mall is almost ready to accept vendors

The shopping area of RTS.EARTH has been beta tested and we have found some issues that we are simply not going to deal with. So, we have formulated a new plan.
We have space and resources to host a ton of shops and to make that much easier on all of us, we have decided to set it up as separate installations for each shop. The RTS.EARTH/mall page will be the shop directory and landing page, though you can have your own URL and global web presence. In order for this to work, I may need access to your current DNS server to change the server to ours.

I, JC will be the coordinator and webmaster of this area and will take care of setting up the installations, databases, URL redirects if necessary and the go-to guy for installs, upgrades, issues and such.

Dani has left it to me as to how to go about earning at least a partial living from this and although I would really like to just do it and not worry about such things, my Dog, not to mention my internet provider, electricity provider and the grocery store don’t feel the same.

So, since I really am a horrible salesman, I am asking the potential vendors what they feel would be a fair cost for the space, service and on call tech support? I know that you can get space from Godaddy for $0.99 so I am really not in a position to ask for much. Of course, you get what you pay for… Ask Godaddy clients.

What I will do…
– Obtain and set up domain names if you don’t already have one.
– Set up wordpress or any other script you chose (within reason) on our server either to a basic level or as complete as you require.
– Obtain and set up themes for your site, though it will be up to you to generate whatever images or content you require.
– I can do some general image editing, such as layers, masking, removing backgrounds (if possible) and get them ready for public release.
– Some customization of CSS scripts, though I know from experience that this is generally limited to fonts, colors and hover effects. Much more and you risk breaking your website script.
– be available daily for the inevitable issues that will arise. As the client base grows, my time will be reduced proportionately, though I should still be able to handle most any issues within a short time window.
– Pretty much anything else the client may require outside of advertising their products (can’t play favorites).

What is having your own tech support slave worth? Some folks charge thousands for these things. I really don’t want to. I would like to make all this work at a respectable and decent rate. But this is a problem as this would require at least 500 vendors on our site to make it actually viable.

So again, I put it to the vendors.
Initial setup would be a flat fee with say three tiers of services… Basic where you only require the initial install and will deal with all the rest yourself, Limited service where you may need help installing themes, payment gateways, shopping carts, but most of it you will handle, and Full service where you require assistance with page layout, navigation menus, linking payment accounts/credit card/paypal, essentially handling all the mundane tech stuff.

DNS services, as these can be really complex at times and it is really confusing for most.

Monthly server fee, either a flat rate or a percentage…

On call support… You can call me in Zoom to ask questions, toss around ideas or bitch if I screw up.

Sites hosted on our server would have preferential listings on our directory, though self hosted sites could still have the same level of support. Self hosted sites would by necessity be a slightly higher support fee due to the need to deal with someone else’s logins, c-panel, file structure and prior issues.

Just for the sake of transparency, what I am looking at is….

If I am dealing with 100 sites this would be very close to a 14 to 18 hour day, 7 days a week. If I am charging $25 a month my income would be $2500 a month which would be totally acceptable… I really don’t see us getting 100 vendors… More like 20 or 30, so at $25 a month, I am still looking at putting in 10 to 12 hours a day, 7 days a week but not meeting my needs.

What do you folks think is fair?
Do you think that a setup fee of $50/$150/$250 and a monthly hosting and support rate of $25 is too much? Too little?

I know folks are hurting.. I’m hurting myself. I want to have happy vendors and a smooth running server and still be able to live like a human.

Once I get some feedback and perhaps alternative offers, I will make a page on the RTS.EARTH/mall page with the details and a signup form.