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An Open Offer for Freelancers

Although you may not know it, I created the Half-Hog Network to help and support writers (and editors) who are struggling with freelancing. For over 3 years, I've had this open offer posted on the old forum, so I'm reposting it here. Only two people have ever taken me up on it.

So here's the offer: if you want your own site, you can host it on my space at no charge.

HHN runs on a GoDaddy VPS based in the Netherlands. A VPS is the half-way stage between shared hosting (which is horribly slow and sucks) and dedicated hosting (which is phenomenally expensive) - it's a shared server, but with fewer people on it. It's fast, easy and reliable, has no limits on domain names, costs about $50 a month, runs its own mail server and databases and all that stuff.

Some details:

You you'll have to buy your own domain name and pay for it each year at renewal. You can usually find an offer to get the first year's registration for $1 on Namecheap or GoDaddy. I don't care where you register: it makes no difference to the site setup on my end. 

  • You won't have cPanel access but I can set up WordPress (or a whole TON of other freebie apps like Coppermine, BuddyPress, phpBB or whatever) and give you the admin password (which you can then change).I will check in occasionally (as a visitor) to make sure you're not running a child slavery ring, promoting the sale of automatic weapons to lemmings or anything else illegal. 
  • YOU are responsible for your content and site maintenance (though I can often help with tech stuff) 
  • If you get me banned from my provider I'll be very upset (and will name and berate you publicly, loudly and for a long time, and maybe even pursue you legally).
  • Obviously any root access or FTP stuff would have to go through me, though you shouldn't need it with WP and most apps.
  • You'd be responsible for your own backups.
You would NOT be tied in to me or HHN in any way by using this offer (apart from the obvious practicalities). You can switch to another host at any time if you want to, drop your blog, sell your domain or whatever you want. It's purely an offer of a free try at running your own site with no other obligations or responsibilities involved.

This offer is open to anyone who's a member of the Half-Hog Forum (obligatory so I have an email address for you). If you become uncontactable at any time - no response to emails, no response to PMs for a few weeks - then I will shut your site down without a second thought.

This way you can try your hand at a maximum cost of a dollar or two (for the domain name for a year, through any major provider - I'll tell you where to point your nameservers). Unlimited space (within reason), unlimited bandwidth (within reason), unlimited databases, etc.

Just pop me a PM, find me on Facebook or email me to jump in.


  • Being technically challenged and eager to freelance do not mix well with me. I believe you for the technical support and opportunity you offer. Meanwhile,  I feel it's a little daunting to jump right in to 'owning' a website. Even though I think it's potentially doable and lucrative for freelancing (because you promised to help).

    I'm new to HHN. And I'm still testing the waters before walking on it. Thank you for what you have done here at HHN.

    Success to you.

  • If only I understood how all this works I would take you up on this offer no questions asked. Well I'd ask some questions but sadly I am beyond slow when it comes to technical stuff and would not know where to begin. It would be such a shame to jump in and then have to be thrown out.

    Still, I am going to read your post about four more times and see where it takes me. 
  • Allow me to be an observer for now. Frankly speaking, I am on the bridge of indecision on whether to pursue my writing career of sorts because it seems to be interfering with my office job. However, I have learned to love writing particularly the short bursts that I shoot in forums. As for the freelance writing, it would be nice to be called a freelance writer, that would be an honor for me. Let me just evaluate more of my data and, of course, you will know my decision. Thanks a lot for the encouragement.
  • "It would be such a shame to jump in and then have to be thrown out."

    @Winterybella: The only reason I would throw anyone out is if they posted illegal or offensive content. Otherwise, it's basically a blog or website - like signing up for Blogger or something - with none of the limits and, if you decide to buy one, your own domain name.

    And you know you can ask me anything. :)

    @Corzhens: My opinion (and it's only my opinion) is that trying something for a year for the total cost of $1 for a domain name can't be a waste. Even if your enthusiasm dies or you decide it's not for you, it cost you a dollar and the content can sit there for ever, if you decide to do it later. And hey, even if I decided to shut everything down, you can still get a copy of all your content and post it somewhere else.

  • Spke, you are right. I know I can ask you anything. I just don't want to have to ask everything (searching for my smiley face). I want to do this and Corzhen, I am sure you can do this as well but in your own time. I know what that bridge of indecision can be like. I think I have been sitting on it for way too long and I have missed the bus way too often. Spike, save a seat for me. I will be along shortly. 

  • I am interested in your offer to host a site. As a freelance writer, I'm trying to decide if I want to just use my name for my domain or come up with something else. Any thoughts?
  • Depends how you intend to run your business: is it all you, or do you pretend to be a company? If your clients know you by name rather than a company name, go for that as your domain - they'll find you a lot easier.
  • Hello Spike, I am interested in the hosting offer
  • Hello Spike, I sent you a pm.
    I just purchased a domain name for this purpose.
  • Hello Spike, I'm also interested in the free hosting offer
  • please, how do i go about it?

  • edited August 2016
    Last line of the post: "Just pop me a PM if you'd like to jump in." :)

    I can access your email address from the admin panel, so I'll send you an email, rather than forcing you to jump through the hoops!
  • Hi Spike
    I am interested in the offer.
  • edited August 2016
    Hi Jacobson,

    This is it: First, have you got yourself a domain? If yes, send Spike a message with your domain name and email address you registered with. And he takes it up from there. Fortunately, Godaddy currently offers a domain for $0.99 for the first year. You might want to check it out.


  • Hello Spike, I am interested your free web hosting. Which address do I send my details to? Thanks a lot.
  • Last line of the post: "Just pop me a PM if you'd like to jump in." :)
  • Thanks Spike for the quick response, but the link seems not to be responding. I've tried several times.
  •  I am definitely in. Let me start with registering a domain
  • Hello Spike, kindly check you PM. 
  • Thanks Spike for your generosity. Just registered a domain name 
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