How to Start a Web Hosting Business

Start a Web Hosting Business

Some people think that start a Web Hosting business is easy while others think that it is difficult. In my opinion, it is neither too easy nor too hard. Start a web hosting business requires hard work, dedication and little investment (not everytime). I’ve seen people claiming that starting a hosting business is easy. Pretty sure, it is when you buy a simple, cheap reseller package from another host.

More and more people are connecting to Internet everyday and many people now look forward to bring their businesses online. With the introduction of Internet in our daily lives, businesses and entrepreneurs look for hosting companies that provide budget-effective and well-managed services that enables them to have a good Internet presence and thereby a big audience.

There are several ways of start a web hosting business but all start with a server. Servers don’t come that cheap. Servers have a big, pretty big hard drive that is going to store the files and information of your clients’ website. Remember, that hard drive would cost a lot.

A basic server would cost around $400-$500, while others cost more than $10000. Moreover, you also need to take care of space for the server, decent electricity supply with a generator during a power outage and Internet fiber-optic cable. These things will make the server maintenance costs reach heights.

This makes it difficult for a newbie to get started. So, you probably need to purchase a virtual server and get started while the company will manage the data center. This is cost effective and easy than managing your own server.

Deciding Between Reseller and Own Server

Web Hosting Reseller or Server

As I already stated that reseller hosting makes it pretty easy to get your hosting business alive in no time. But to be frank, I hate this idea. Reseller hosting puts you on a limited environment where you have limited opportunities and features. Nevertheless, most people prefer *NOT* to buy from reseller hosting companies which means a big loss for your company.

With a reseller package, the parent hosting company manages the server, the control panel and rest of the things. Reseller is only preferred when you don’t have enough money to buy a leased server or don’t have technical knowledge of managing a server.

If you choose your own leased server, you will be the in-charge of running your server. You’ll have the full control over everything, you can set new things and at the same time, you can easily break them. Managing a private server can be little difficult because you need to take care of backups, security, and many other things which might create problems for you.

Private servers are more expensive than reseller and allows you to have a better control your server. They are also far superior in terms of speed, processors, performances, etc.

So, you are done with the server part of Start a Web Hosting Business.

Control Panel

This is one of the important thing of hosting business. To set up the clients with a hosting accounts, you will probably need a control panel. Control panel makes things easy for you and for the client too. It basically allows you to perform your administrative tasks with ease. There is a vast number of control panels in the market at the moment.

cPanel is the most used control panel in the hosting industry lately. It is popular with its great features which include Fantastico, Softaculous , SItePad and RVSkins. These features add to the happiness of the customer and minimize the work. It is a great tool for hosting businesses. Many people now prefer to buy hosting packages which come with cPanel.

The other popular control panels include DirectAdmin, Plesk and VestaCP.

Billing Management & Support System

This is the final thing, you need to do while start your web hosting business. To manage your clients, you will probably need a software which would allow people to apply for a hosting account, make a payment and update their contact details. Having a good billing software is must-have as it makes things better for you as well as for your customers.

A decent billing software should be able to accept various forums of payment processors like PayPal, Skrill, Credit/Debit cards, bank transfers. Also, most of the reseller hosting providers now offer free billing software as part of their services.

Popular billing softwares include WHMCS, ClientExec, HostBill.

Having a killer support team is a must for your hosting business. Having a killer support team doesn’t mean a ton of employees working for your company. You should instead have a proper support software with a guy who has enough knowledge about hosting with nice communication skills.

Most of the billing softwares come with a default support system which is decent enough to handle your requirements. Moreover, you can also offer Skype and phone calling support. Softwares like Kayako Support can also be used to provide better support system.

CloudFlare Railgun (Bonus!)

Railgun uses compression techniques to drastically speed up the performance of all the websites hosted on your server. It uses alternative compression techniques to speed up the performance of non-cached pages. This pages could be the homepage of New York Times or your newsfeed which keep changing every now and then. This saves bandwidth, increases the speed of the websites. Having Railgun as a part of your service is not necessary but highly encouraged.

Managing Your Company | Web Hosting Business

So far, all your technical work is completed. It is time to manage your hosting business. First, you need to set your business website. This is the most important part of your business. Setting a solid website will attract users towards your business. Remember, your website should be professional with killer design and easy navigation.

Relaxing colors is a great addition. Your website defines your company and your services. No matter, how great your services are, you won’t be able to see success if you don’t an attractive website.

Nevertheless, don’t forgot to create necessary documents like Terms of Services, Privacy Policy and Acceptable Use Policy so that you don’t fall in trouble.

Also, many guys don’t pay attention to legal issues. It is also an important part of the company. Keep in mind that most countries don’t allow people under 18 to enter into legal contracts. You can accept a contract if your parents co-sign it.

Before you start, it is advisable that you do some legal work so that you don’t fall in trouble later. Your clients could sue to for losses caused by down-times, data-loss, etc. unless you don’t have a proper legal knowledge and documents to protect you.

Take Backups

Okay cool, backup. What if your hard-drive crashes, you will probably end up with a data-loss and a bunch of clients gone mad. These clients can even sue you as already discussed above. Be sure, to have daily backups on all your servers to avoid these dreadful situations.

So, you’ll probably need some funds every month to pay for your licenses, server costs. So, don’t forget about that. Your clients won’t love the “License Expired” message while logging into the billing software and control panel.

One of the most important things to remember is that hosting business is not a part-time job. It requires hard-work and patience. You can’t expect it to become GoDaddy in a month or a year. Yes, a year!

Also, don’t loose your customers by disappointing them by giving poor services and customer support. Bad reviews will certainly ruin your company.

Marketing Process | Web Hosting Business

Marketing process can be hectic, very hectic and extremely time-consuming but it is worth it. With proper marketing skills, you can build your client-base and make thousands of dollars. Unless, you don’t have some online identity, your website will not work and potential clients are not going to automatically come to your business. You will need to advertise your web hosting business to masses and explain why is it better than others.

Advertising at Google AdWords can work well. All you need is the money to get any result from it. Remember, banners filled with graphics can do a better than others which don’t have graphics in it.

You can also try advertising at hosting-related forums such as WHT, HostingDiscussion. It’s a great way to build up a good, strong client-base.

Local advertising works well, pretty well. You could check for the local businesses around, ask them whether they have a website or not and encourage them to have one by making them aware of its benefits.

You can also ask your existing clients to do a review about your company and spread it around on their blogs, hosting-related forums. Reviews work great in increasing your brand identity and eventually gets the new clients in.

Always be part of hosting-related forums, do participate in them. Use them properly, since these forums are powerful marketing utility which can bring a lot of clients to your business.

Manage a Blog

Don’t forget to manage a blog. Blog works as a great marketing tool which helps in optimizing your SEO as well as brand identity. It can bring you a swarm of new clients if used properly.

Having a giveaway won’t probably hurt your hosting business. It’ll instead attract people towards your company and you’ll surely have hundreds and even thousands of clients if the giveaway is marketed well. Giveaways build huge client-base and long-lasting relations. So, it is highly suggested to have a giveaway if you want a great addition in your client-base.

Hosting companies do cost some money to get started but they are worth it. If set up properly, you can make thousands every month and even millions by Start a Web Hosting Business. Opportunities are limitless. Even reseller hosting works well, if you doing it right. Good luck!