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View Full Version : Hardware Web Site Startup (Hey MikeC!)


Nate Stipen
06-15-03, 04:53 AM
I'm thinking of starting a hardware web site with 5 friends of mine relatively soon. A little background on us…we are all quite competent when it comes to hardware. My friends and I all have at least 4-8 years of experience in building and troubleshooting computer products of all varieties (we do not have experience with DP and higher systems, our primary expertise is in SP (single processor) systems). We have all graduated from four year universities (all except one of us went to UCSD (San Diego)) and are between the ages of 23-32. We all live in San Diego, CA.

Anyway, we want this web site to look (and of course be) very professional. We could honestly care less about what gripe or past history one web site has with the other, we don't want to get into that with other web sites. If one web site wants to bash us for whatever reason we are cool with that, we just don’t want to deal or react to stuff like that. We just want to fool around and test the latest and greatest computer hardware out there, and put up our results for everyone on the net to see. My friends and I are really into technology in general, specifically hardware, so we have every intention of dedicating countless hours every single week of the year to this web site. We want to bring accurate and up to date content that rivals the best hardware web sites out there. I am very confident that our current "staff" (don't know if staff is an appropriate word, after all we're all close friends :)) will be able to churn out 4-5 detailed reviews a week with all the content a reader could want to read about. We have no problem with taking suggestions about how the web site should be run, so please suggest away.

We will focus primarily on stuff like video cards, motherboards, and processors as well (we're not MPU designers, but we’re very experienced). We already have a pretty good idea about how to write good video card, motherboard, and CPU reviews just by visiting sites like Tomshardware, Anandtech, HardOCP, Beyond3D, etc. We already have basically all the software and games we would need to adequately benchmark motherboards, CPUs, and video cards, that's not an issue.

Here are some things we are unsure about:

1. What is a good, reliable place to host our web site for a good price?
2. How do I decide on a web site design?
3. Will writing consistent, in-depth and accurate reviews on nearly a daily basis be enough to make our web site known to the hardware community?
4. #3 leads me here, which is…Will we be able to live fairly comfortably off the money we make from posting ad banners on the web site? I am not all that wealthy (all my friends are though), so I’d like to make some money out of this web site.

5. Anything else I should know about running a hardware web site?

Maybe NVnews' own MikeC can help us out? :)

Thanks guys.

Sincerely,

Nate

Matthyahuw
06-15-03, 05:58 PM
WHen you make a site, there's one thing that you need to think of before you do it...

You have to like what you're doing, because you are not going to see any money for about 3 years. And 4-5 reviews a week sounds cool, and I'm sure you CAN do it, but how are you going to get the product TO do it?

for about 3 yrs, all the product you'll do will have to be self-bought, no mfr is going to give a new site anything, and neither is anyone going to pay for a banner on a new site that no one knows about...

I'm not trying to dissuade you, just lettin you know what lays ahead.

Yes you CAN get some companies to hop on board, some small light mod companies and things like that, but overall; videocards, motherboards, and big items like that will not come to you.

If you have any other questions, you can PM me cuz I'm out the door now...GL

digitalwanderer
06-15-03, 06:09 PM
1. I don't know.
2. I don't know.
3. Probably, with a bit of luck and if'n you have the cool attitude you're talking about it will probably work out.
4. No, absolutely no way in hell. :) There is VERY little money in it starting off, you'll probably be loosing money for the first year or two before you establish yourself and can actually start getting some big revenue advertising. The only sites I know of that really make any kind of money are the "pop40" hardware sites that I don't frequent anymore....it becomes too much about making money and not enough about the hardware & the community anymore. :(
5. You're going to run into a LOT of great people who will help you and be glad to give you advice, you're also going to deal with some absolutely insane people without a firm grip on reality. You see a lot of the first part on the hardware sites & forums, but the second group is usually something that the mods/admins try and keep hidden so you don't generally notice it....but as the mods/admins you're going to have to deal with it and it can be a LOT during silly-seasons! :rolleyes:

GlowStick
06-15-03, 10:35 PM
Hm, i never made a tech review site, but i read alot of them and i thought i could help by saying whats important to me when i read reviews.

Load Time, nothing beats haveing a super fast server
GREAT dynamic web design, that has its own consistant feel
Frequent updates with news regarding the site
Low to No advertizements (i know it costs $$$ to host) but pop ups just take the cake, flash also bad

But i think to distinguis your self, your gonna have to find a unique way to review products other than the standard, quake3, unreal2k3, 3dmark and thats it folks!

saturnotaku
06-16-03, 07:16 AM
If your goal is to some day make money (which won't happen for at least 3-4 years) you have to be prepared to make your web site more than a full-time job.

If you ask Neil over at Envy News, he'll tell you for the first couple years he's had to put in over 80 hour work weeks getting reviews out the door, keeping the site and server maintained, keeping contact with manufacturers, etc. It's going to be a huge responsibility.

The competition is going to be rather fierce and as has been stated, you're going to have to find a way to distinguish yourself in an already crowded market.

druga runda
06-16-03, 05:36 PM
in absence of hardware to review, review Hardware review sites :D... man that will bring you fame, infamy, money, huge bandwidth bills and all the rest that you want, just be objective that will be enough :D controversy is just around the corner most of the time...

we need a site like this afterall, some check on all that's going on out there ;)

Harnagel
06-17-03, 01:40 PM
Druga, that's a good idea. Though it would be hard to be objective, I wouldn't mind having something along those lines to read. Flame wars would abound from reviewed sites who were found lacking I'm sure.