TrainWeb has been offering free web hosting of railroad related websites to individuals and non-commercial organizations since 1998. The railroad related websites currently hosted free will continue to be hosted for free on the TrainWeb servers. We also plan to start accepting new applications for free web hosting in the near future. (There are some exceptions where we can begin to host your website immediately. Please read on.) If you are interested in having your non-commercial railroad related website hosted free at TrainWeb, then we ask you to please read the rest of this page. This page only applies to requests for new rail websites, NOT to websites already hosted on the TrainWeb servers.
TrainWeb's free website hosting program has been an overwhelming success! TrainWeb currently hosts well over 400 non-commercial railroad websites! Click here to view a list of these websites.
For bandwidth, TrainWeb has a full T1 dedicated to website hosting plus a DSL feed with near T1 bandwidth for our RAILcams. The separate feed for the RAILcams keeps the bandwidth demand of that popular feature from draining the bandwidth of our main T1.
The amount of our bandwidth used by current websites hosted at TrainWeb is growing. Though we have enough bandwidth for now, we can see a time in the near future when our current bandwidth will not be enough. As we continue to add rail websites to our servers, that time approaches even more rapidly! When we do need more bandwidth, we will install another T1. However, adding bandwidth is a very expensive proposition!
The goals of TrainWeb in creating the free web hosting program were: (1) to promote the sharing of railroad information and photographs via non-commercial websites, and (2) to create additional avenues of exposure for the railroad related products and services of our sponsors.
TrainWeb used to require that the webmaster of each website hosted free at TrainWeb place a special block of HTML code on the main page of their website. This HTML code would display a clickable banner of one of our sponsors and a clickable banner of one of the other free websites hosted at TrainWeb. These clickable banners would automatically change once each day.
When our sponsors are happy with the exposure they are getting, it is easier for us to get our sponsors to renew and for us to obtain additional sponsors. It also makes it easier for us to afford to continue to provide free web hosting and to continue to expand our methods of promoting the non-commercial rail websites.
We had a problem, however. The amount of exposure provided to our sponsors did not compensate for the amount of bandwidth being used by the free sites at TrainWeb. It is easy to see why. We only required that the TrainWeb HTML Code appear on the main page of each website, and most sites only displayed it on their main page. These sites often have dozens of web pages and hundreds of photographs. The banners of our sponsors were only displayed on the main page, even though visits to any of the pages at each website takes up bandwidth. We encouraged websites to display the TrainWeb HTML Code on other pages in addition to the main page. The free websites would get rewarded with additional exposure based on how many times the TrainWeb HTML Code was viewed on their site. But, most of the free hosted sites still only had the TrainWeb HTML Code on their main page.
We realized that we would have to make some changes to our free web hosting offer to get enough exposure for our sponsors to make the program financially feasible and to grow.
We will soon be making a change that will automatically add about one inch of content to the top of EVERY page served from the TrainWeb server. Thus, every page that a visitor views of your website hosted at TrainWeb will have a one inch strip of content provided by TrainWeb at the top. The content of the strip will provide at least 3 major features:
This new program will not only increase the exposure rate of banners from our sponsors, but it will also increase the exposure rate of your own clickable banner throughout the TrainWeb community! Your clickable banner will appear in turn at the top of thousands of web pages on hundreds of different rail related websites that are hosted on the TrainWeb servers!
If you are planning to design a website with a lot of features, or maybe use frames, then having your website hosted elsewhere and participating in the TrainWeb Banner Exchange Program is recommended. If you think you will need technical support, then you might be better off actually paying for your web hosting from an extablished ISP. On the other hand, if you just want to design a simple website to share your information and photographs, then having your website hosted free at http://www.trainweb.org might be appropriate.
We are not yet ready to accept new websites into either the http://www.trainweb.org free web hosting program nor websites hosted elsewhere into the TrainWeb Banner Exchange Program. Please re-visit this web page at http://www.trainweb.com/freehost.html for updates as they become available.
If you are interested in having your website hosted at TrainWeb with a URL that you can select and register yourself instead of using a URL with the www.trainweb.org/... prefix, then click here. We are ready to create and activate those sites right now.