Why do so few game hosting services allow you to pay on an hourly basis? The short answer is that it’s difficult and potentially uneconomical, but you didn’t come here for short answers, did you? To fully understand the drawbacks to existing game hosting services compared to ServerFlex we need to dive a little deeper.
The first factor is that, as mentioned in A rethink of game hosting, existing game hosting services are fond of using off-the-shelf software solutions which simply don’t support hourly billing business models. As a result, this feature can’t be added without spending time, and therefore money, developing something for a prefabricated platform.
The second, and probably main, factor is payment fees. Have you ever used one of the scooter companies Lime, Spin or Bird? If so then ServerFlex's billing system may look familiar.
What makes payment fees problematic is that they often include a percentage figure. We use Stripe for our card payments who charge 1.4% + £0.20 per transaction. This payment fee isn’t a problem for many single-price products. It’s when the bill has the potential to be low that it causes problems and the service begins to become uneconomical.
Take ServerFlex's Minecraft Grass Plan hosting billed at £0.03 per hour as an example. This could easily run a bill up for only a few pence making the card transaction fee more than the actual cost of the service. Therefore, our minimum charge per transaction is £5 and any leftover funds are loaded onto your account as credit.
We also offer an auto top-up feature for when your balance is running low allowing your Crates to keep running smoothly. What’s more, if your account does run out of credit, we’ll give you a small allowance before suspending your Crates which should give you enough time to get things back on track*.
With auto top-up, you can control how low your credit should run before topping up, how much should be topped up (minimum £5) and which of your registered payment methods to use. Email notifications are available for everything that happens in your account, so you’ll never be left in the dark.
There you have it. It’s pretty simple, right? I trust this short article has done its job in explaining the ServerFlex's billing system. If you have any questions whatsoever please feel free to reach out to us on social media or send us an email: [email protected]
* The allowance must be paid back and will be deducted from your next top-up.