Some history of budgetweb.com
budgetweb.com started life back in November 1995 as a short list of web space providers with their monthly rates, setup costs, and space offered. I had compiled the list while researching where I should move my own home page, since I was soon going to lose the free web space which I had. During the search I found that there were a lot of adverts for web space being posted on usenet quoting exhorbitant rates, and a lot of FUD being spread about low cost web space providers.
I therefore decided to post the list to alt.internet.access.wanted and a few other relevant newsgroups where such adverts and discussion was taking place, and also created a web page for the information called Surviving the WWW on a tight budget. To my knowledge this was the first list of web space services on the WWW offering detailed pricing information about each provider.
A lot of web space providers began writing asking to be added to the list, and I received a lot of other feedback about how the lists could be changed and improved, and also a lot of questions asking for advice. I added a separate list for virtual hosting services, graphic designers and scanning services, and the lists grew quickly, as did the amount of effort it took to maintain them. In December 1995 I had also volunteered to take over maintenance of another list of web space providers called Leasing a Server which had begun to get out of date.
About this time I moved the home page and renamed it to LIST of low cost web space services, later dropping the word space to make it more general. I also decided to experiment with making my hobby pay for itself by asking for sponsors. The response was enthusiastic, and I very quickly had sponsors signed up for several months. The down side was I quickly found that handling the extra work generated by adding sponsors, and making sure that banners were updated on the right day, more than out weighed what I was taking in, but it was still nice that perhaps for the first time in my life I had a hobby which was paying for itself.
To insulate myself from any future changes in local ISP or web space provider I registered the domain budgetweb.com in February 1996, after finding that mercer.com (my first choice) was already in use. I renamed the site Budget Web Index although typically still referred to it as the LIST of low cost web services.
For the rest of 1996 the lists grew in size and were redesigned a few times. I tried one or two ideas, including a prize draw which never took off, and a form for sending feedback to all providers, which was a bit of a fiasco. I continued to update the lists weekly, which became more and more of a chore, although the positive feedback encouraged me to keep at it. (including some from people whose address my mother would like for her christmas card list ;)
For 1997 I decided the lists could do with a new look, and also that I was going to add the FAQ which I had been promising would be ready next week for more months than I care to remember. Also I had to compile some information about sponsorship opportunities, and make some hard decisions about how I could accomodate the growing demand for advertising without compromising the integrity of the lists. Not all this got done in time for the New Year upload, but it was all in place in early 1997.
The site has changed name again and is now the easier to remember budgetweb.com. I'm sure this won't be the last name change, but it will do for now :)
I finally decided to stop maintaining the lists in 2011 after discovering a problem with the site. For now the site will stay up while I decide what to do with it. If anyone wants to make an offer for the budgetweb.com domain name, please get in touch via twitter or linkedin.