Starting Your Own Web Hosting Business

Why Promote Host Services?


A surprisingly large number of people look into the possibility of setting up their own web hosting business. Some believe it to offer an easy way to generate revenue while others, predominantly web designers and graphic designers, view it as a service that compliments their existing portfolio. However, the step into running a hosting business with your own equipment and your own premises is one that generally proves costly and time consuming. Other alternatives exist in the form of web hosting affiliate programs and reseller accounts. These may provide the better alternative for your needs.

Becoming A Host Affiliate


Being an affiliate means that you do not need to have any knowledge of the technical issues concerned with web hosting. Instead of directly selling web hosting accounts to your customers you simply point them in the direction of your affiliated web hosting company and let them do the rest. You receive an agreed set fee that can either be fixed or rolling depending on the amount your referrals spend.

Who Is Best Suited To Being An Affiliate?


Being an affiliate is often the best answer for Webmasters looking to make some extra money without having to deal directly with customers or deal with technical server issues. Absolutely no knowledge of hosting is needed, although it is a good idea to offer some knowledge in order that you can effectively promote the best service.

Choosing The Right Program For You


Choosing an affiliate program should be about quality. You will be promoting the service of the web host to your clients so they should offer a service that you have faith in. While it isn’t strictly necessary to use their services yourself it generally assists you in giving a good accountability of the site, the service, and the features of an account with that host.

Reseller Hosting Accounts


A reseller account enables you to set up your own virtual hosting company but without the need to invest large amounts of money in equipment, data centers, and other costs associated with running hosting businesses. In most cases the hosting provider charge a monthly fee that entitles you to resell a set number of domains or provides you with a limited amount of bandwidth and diskspace to sell.

Who Is Most Likely To Benefit From A Reseller Account?


Being a reseller offers an excellent opportunity to sell hosting accounts as though you are the hosting company. All pages can and should be rebranded to your own company brand. The host will usually provide the code for you to implement on your site in order that they can track your performance and as part of the fee you pay on a monthly basis. Being a reseller is an excellent option for anyone with the knowledge to answer some customer queries and with an existing client base that would be interested in this service.

Deciding On The Right Account For You


When choosing a reseller program it is vital that you look at the features of the account and the features offered to hosting clients. These are the same features you are likely to be offering to your clients so they should provide genuine value and be reliable. Look at exactly what you are able to sell for the money you are willing to invest. The majority of reseller accounts explicitly limit the number of domains and websites you can sell as well as the features you offer. The more flexibility you can get, the greater the chance to make a profit.

A Note On Control Panels


The control panel offered is also important. As well as ensuring your customers will receive a valuable commodity to their hosting plan, you will generally be offered a reseller’s control panel that is based on the same software. Control Panel and WHM are among the most popular and they enable you, as a reseller, to offer various levels of hosting package each one including a different range of features. However, the final decision on how much flexibility you are afforded is down to the host themselves.

Setting Up A Hosting Business


Setting up your own hosting business is not by any means a simple task. A lot of time, effort, and resource will need to be injected into your efforts if you want to be successful. As well as either having a vast amount of in-depth knowledge yourself or employing someone that does you will also need to provide much more. Obviously you need servers and even this raises several questions that should be answered. Will you offer Linux or Windows hosting, or both? How powerful and how much disk space will you use on each server?

Servers


Control panels and other software should be installed and pre-configured on every server in order that your customers can literally hit the ground running when they set up an account. A lot of customers will take the control panel you use into account when they are looking for a host so while it may appear cost inhibitive to use one of the major control panels you are well advised to do so.

Support


The support you offer is also another important aspect of running a hosting business. All customers will demand some level of support, but some more than others. Generally speaking, it is common for host companies to provide support as part of the service although some choose to only freely offer a limited and basic level of support along with the option to upgrade to live 24-hour technical phone support or another similar offering.

Data Center


Your servers need to be hosted in an optimized environment that is secure and has redundant secondary power supplies, backup power supplies, HVAC units, and redundant HVAC units. The data center where you store your servers may belong to somebody else or you can establish your own but it must be secure and it must be specifically designed for its purpose.

Is Hosting For You?


Setting up a host business is, like setting any business, a question of resource. If you have the technical and/or financial resource then it can prove to be very profitable. However, and again like other businesses, there is no guarantee you will succeed. You need to be able to offer more than other companies and ensure that potential customers have access to your service. All of this can demand a large input of time and finances.

Making The Right Decision


It is vital, before you decide whether to be an affiliate, a reseller, or a host, that you look at the reasons why you are doing it. If it is simply to make some extra money and you are operating on a limited budget then becoming an affiliate may be the best opportunity for you. If you have a complimentary business or website such as a website designer and you have some knowledge of web hosting and server configuration and administration then you might consider becoming a reseller. Establishing yourself as a host is the least likely option because of the resources it requires.

Conclusion


Every website published on the Internet requires hosting. Virtually every website and Webmaster has unique needs. If you are trying to promote hosting through any of these options to an existing client base then you need to consider the precise needs of your leads. Being an affiliate does not necessitate any technical knowledge whereas being a reseller or establishing your own hosting service means a varying degree of technical knowledge is required. Make the decision based on your requirements as well as those of your potential customers.