How to become a web host?
Have you ever considered being a web host and to make money on the Internet from your own home?
This is a billion dollar industry and the market never seems to be saturated. All those homepages need to be hosted by someone and only the large corporations have the money and resources to host their own websites. All other homepages are usually hosted by 3rd party companies ï¿½ the web hosting providers.
What does it take to be a web host? Is there really money left in the web hosting industry? What are problems you will run into if becoming a web host?
I have been a web host for about 2 years before I decided to shift my core business to a less stressful role. I was for sure not the most successful web host, but I am also very sure that I was not the worst web host out there. How do I know? My customers told me and it felt good to receive this kind of feedback.
This is not an industry where the money can be found on the street. It requires hard work and commitment. A business can basically be started on a shoe string ($1,000 or less) and then build to a thriving venture ï¿½ if done right. A newbie web host will face tons of competition ï¿½ fair and unfair. Many customers judge a business and services only by price and not by quality and will leave the new web host in a heartbeat if they can save another buck that way. Only time will tell if a new web host is successful – that’s how it goes with every new business.
Join My Web Hosting Business Startup Training Program and Learn How to Become a Web Host.
You think, you are ready to become a web host?! Think again. Starting a new business in such a competitive industry is difficult. Expect to work 70-80 hours a week if you start full-time right away to get a good start. If you start part-time – are you prepared to come home from work and to work again? No time for friends, no time for family – just plain work to ge your business going. Be persistent and do not give up if things do not work in your way right away. It’s a rocky road to the top. Re-invest money that you make. Don’t be cheap when making critical business decisions. The West wasn’t won on salad and a web hosting business requires a solid foundation like every business.
Many hosting businesses started out being a reseller host. They bought a multi-domain reseller account from other web hosts and were able to setup accounts for their own clients. A reseller account gives you all the tools you will need to take on customers and to concentrate on marketing and customer service. Problems that you cannot solve yourself, will be passed on (under your name, not the actual customer name) to the web host you purchased your reseller account from. You basically act as the middle man. You do not need the technical skills to administer a server when starting as reseller web host and you will not have to invest a large sum of money to get started. However – you lose some independency when starting as a reseller host. Whatever your web host decides to do – you are dependend on his work style and his way of doing business. You can only create as many accounts as you can fit within your allowance for disk space and bandwidth. Some web hosts allow you to oversell these resources – others don’t. If he overloads the servers with too many reseller accounts, you will feel the slower performance, too. If his support sucks, you will feel it – and so will your customers. Choose wisely when deciding on who your provider will be. You have no control over hardware. If the web host shuts down business – your business will be down, too. But if you find a web host for your reseller account that understands the industry and does a great job in supporting his customers (people like you), you can have a smooth start into the industry.
If you already have good technical skills and are confident that your business will take off – you can lease a dedicated server and be your own boss. You decide which Perl modules get installed and what is within the acceptable for your server. You have greater freedom in designing hosting packages for your clients. You get more resources for the money. However – you are responsible for server security and to keep the machine up and running. If you fail here, you put your complete business at risk. You also do not have the same support level that you usually would get from a web host when buying a reseller package. If you cannot provide 24/7 support yourself, you either have to hope that your server stays up and running or you have to hire somebody to assist you. You can see – having your own server has a trade-off. If you do it right, you can have a better start into the business world compared to having a reseller hosting account.
If you have more funding to burn, you can get a fully managed dedicated server instead of just getting a normal dedicated server. Your base cost increases dramatically but it still gives you greater freedom compared to a reseller account. Your server provider will manage the server for you and al you need to do is the marketing and customer service. You also have full access to the system and can (kind of) experiment with the machine. If worst comes to worst, you can ask the provider to fix it. But keep in mind – your business depends on the server.
Where to go after the initial start? You need to plan out how you will continue to do business once the business starts picking up. Some web hosts just add additional reseller hosting accounts and do get their peace of mind in not having to support the hardware. But they base their business model on a large dependency on somebody else. Many reseller web hosts go and lease a server as the second step. It might be a managed dedicated server or they get an unmanaged server and either administer the server themself or hire staff. Server Administrators can be hired full-time or part time or just for special occasions (OS updates, etc.). Instead of leasing a server, you could also go and buy a server and place it in a data center. In the long run this will reduce your cost of doing business. But as mentioned before – you need to develop a plan to avoid costly mistakes.