Network Marketing… through Web Hosting?

I’m sure you have heard of at least one of the above. They basically refer to the same thing, although some purists will insist that Network Marketing is different from pyramid schemes. They are thought to go back as far as a few hundred years, and have often been the subject of many hot debates and outright ridicule.

However, the essence of these schemes have an undeniable attraction to the layman – the temptation that “even you” can potentially earn big money with only a small investment.

Here’s how they work:

  1. You buy something from the Parent Company.
  2. You recommend Parent Company to Friend A.
  3. Friend A buys something from Parent Company.
  4. You get paid a “commission” for inviting Friend A.
  5. Friend A recommends Parent Company to Friend B.
  6. Friend B buys something from Parent Company.
  7. Friend A gets paid a commission for inviting Friend B, and you also get a commission (albeit smaller) for this act.

Sound familliar? Those are what people usually refer to when they say “Network Marketing”.

Now, here comes the interesting part.

The concept of Network Marketing is not new to the internet, as can be seen in all those “referral” schemes (such as, “you receive $$$ when a friend you invite registers for our service!”). I’ve seen these schemes for ISPs, e-mail services, membership-based websites, etc.

And now… there is a Network Marketing scheme for Web Hosting.

OK, this is a plug, as I am a participant of this particular scheme myself. I’m usually skeptical of such schemes, but I felt that this service (Dreamhost) has many strong points, and interesting enough to warrant a (hopefully) unbiased review.

First, a disclaimer.
I hereby admit that each person registering an account at Dreamhost through my website will entitle me to a commission of US$97 in cold, hard cash!

Does that sentence spark your interest? Thought so :P

Dreamhost’s feature list looks amazing in paper.

  • 20 Gigabytes of Disk Space (that’s 20,000 Megabytes on your server, for you to store documents, photos, video, anything!)
  • 1 Terabyte of Monthly Bandwidth (that means people may download up to 1,000,000 Megabytes worth of stuff from your server every month!)
  • Disk Space and Monthly Bandwidth keep increasing every week!
  • 3,000 e-mail accounts
  • 75 Shell/FTP accoutns (meaning you can log in to your servers via SSH or Telnet, if you know what you’re doing)
  • 1 Free domain registration (i.e. “http://www.yourname.com“)
  • Unlimited number of domains hosted (if you have other domains, you can host all of them using a single DreamHost account)
  • Unlimited sub-domains (i.e. “blog.yourname.com“, “wiki.yourname.com“, “photos.yourname.com“, etc)
  • Supports PHP4, PHP5, Ruby on Rails, perl, etc
  • Plans staring from US$7.95 per month

I had spent almost a week looking at all the different Web Hosting providers and the services they offer, and I can honestly say that you will be hard-pressed to find a better deal – especially at this price.

Now for the Network Marketing part. When you sign up for the service, Dreamhost gives you two “referral reward” options to choose from:

  1. One-time credit of US$97 for each of your referrals, and US$5 for each sub-referral
  2. Recurring credits of 10% of each payment for each of your referrals, and 5% of each payment for each sub-referral

So where’s the catch? Well, you may have noticed it from this site already, but Dreamhost’s servers can sometimes be pretty sluggish. Sometimes they are fast, most times they are adequately fast, but occasionally they are unbearably slow.
Quite a number of users seem to believe that it is due to Dreamhost trying to attract (and support) more customers than they can, and I share that opinion.

Nevertheless, the company’s support personnel are very communicative, and assures me that they are working very hard to bring “more stability” to the servers. I am tempted to believe them, at least for now.

The bottom line is this: If you want a fantastic feature set for an unbeatable price, AND if you think you can live with an “occasionally slow” server, I highly recommend this service to you.

One more thing. If you have decided by now that you want to give this service a try, here’s some good news.

Dreamhost allows me to create my own Promotion Codes, and any customer who signs up using these codes will get a one-time discount. Whatever discount I set up to give comes out of my $97 one-time reward payment. So, if I set up a Promo Code for a $50 discount, I will only get paid the remaining $47 for any customers who registers using that code.

If you’re interested, I’ve set up this Promo Code “MAXPROMO”, which will give the maximum possible discounts on all plans. When signing up for the service, you can enter this code for the discounts to kick in!
Here are the details:

Plan Original Cost Monthly Equivalent Discount Sign-up Price
Level 1 (Monthly) $59.95 $9.95 $50 $9.95
Level 1 (Yearly) $119.40 $9.95 $97 $22.40
Level 1 (Bi-Yearly) $190.80 $7.95 $97 $93.80
Level 2 & 3 (Monthly) $69.95 $19.95 $60 $9.95
Level 2 & 3 (Yearly) $239.40 $19.95 $97 $142.40
Level 2 & 3 (Bi-Yearly) $382.80 $15.95 $97 $285.80
Level 4 (Monthly) $129.95 $79.95 $97 $32.95
Level 4 (Yearly) $959.40 $79.95 $97 $862.40
Level 4 (Bi-Yearly) $1534.80 $63.95 $97 $1437.80

Why would I set up my maximum possible discount, when that would mean I would get nothing for those referrals? That’s because I sincerely believe that Dreamhost has an unbeatable deal, and that anyone having experienced it will have an above-average chance of referring it to his/her friends. And guess what? I’d still get $5 for each of those sub-referrals! :)

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