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Web Host Startup
Many new web hosts are working hard to make money from web hosting. To work efficiently it is important to automate as many business processes as possible. One of those things you can automate is the setup of a new site for a customer. No, I am not talking about the actual process of creating a new account, but to customize and automate how the new account / website shows up afterwards. Every time you set up a new account it comes with an empty root folder and shows the default Apache Web server information. That is a) not very pretty and b) are you revealing critical information to strangers who eventually use that knowledge to hack your server.
It is good business practice as a web host to prestage an index file inside your cpanel account structure that gets deployed when a new account is created. You can either use a blank index file or use it to advertise your own services.
Example: “Future home of xxxx – proudly hosted by XYZ Web Hosting”
How do you add such an index file to your cpanel account structure so that when a new account is deployed this gets setup automatically? The answer is to use the skeleton directory feature in WHM. This directory is what will be used as a skeleton for new accounts. For example if you place an index.html file in /root/cpanel3-skel/public_html, and then setup a new account on your server, that new account will have a copy of your index.html in their public_html directory.
If you are a reseller web host, talk to your web hosting provider on how to do this in their environment. If you have SSH access on your reseller account or your server you can do it easily yourself.
Then just edit the index.html file or upload your own copy that you created on your computer. If you just leave it as it is, you have a blank index file which will protect you from directory browsing and from revealing server information to 3rd parties.
Reseller Hosting: How to Earn good Money
What is reseller hosting? The main idea of reseller hosting is to be a web host who sells reseller web hosting to other (usually smaller) web hosting businesses. Reseller hosting accounts are also used by webmasters who operate more than one website. Lately reseller business prospers, because more people want to be online with their own website and their own domain. For many a hobby turns into a (part-time) business. So, there is a steady stream of people needing more than just a single domain web hosting account.
There are two types of reseller hosting.
1) Traditional reseller hosting
2) Private label hosting
Traditional (bulk) reseller hosting is like a wholesale business. The reseller host buys in bulk aka an entire web server and splits it into small, but medium sized chunks. A smaller web host buys one of these chunks (reseller accounts) and populates it with single domain accounts of normal consumers. The benefit for the reseller host is that he has only to support one customer while the smaller web host deals with each singe domain customer. The smaller web host who buys the reseller account has the advantage not to worry about the technical side of the business as the reseller web host is responsible for the server health and maintenance.
Private label reselling is a step on top of traditional reseller hosting. With traditional reseller hosting the reseller host’s identity is not hidden. Everyone can easily identify the real web host. With private label the identity of the reseller host is hidden and the reseller (smaller web host) appears to be owner of the server. This tactic is often used/needed/required to make a different impression marketing-wise. Many consumers do not want to deal with small web hosting businesses. Web hosting businesses know this and disguise the fact that they are using a reseller account.
So, where is the money in reseller hosting? Is it on the side of the reseller host/server owner or is it on the side of the smaller web host? It depends on the business model and overall pricing scheme on both sides. For the actual reseller host the bigger profits come in when the cost for system administration and co-location are spread out across more servers. For the smaller web host the big profits (on a smaller scale though) come in if he can add as many single domain accounts onto a single reseller account. Hereby is to consider that if the smaller web host aims at the bottom end of the market in regards to price, it is much more difficult to become profitable. I have been able to use a $35/month reseller account and load it up with 8 single domain customer accounts paying me a combined $320.00 per month. And I am sure that this is by far not a record.
Check out Lunarpages for (currently) $5.00 reseller accounts. This is a great and almost risk-free way to get your hands wet in the reseller arena and make money on the Internet.
How to Start a Web Hosting Business with $50,000.00 USD available in funds: Marketing – Part I