Choosing the right web hosting service for effectively running a website is one of the most crucial decisions for a website admin. There are many popular as well as affordable service providers out there who are highly reliable on well-performing as well. However, there is always a place for more options in the market.
So, if you think you would want to get into the business and start your own web hosting business, you should definitely give it a chance. Starting your own web hosting company might seem like a huge project, but it’s not as difficult as you might think. Whether you want to start out with a reseller hosting platform or dive right in with your own server, there are a few basic steps you can take to ensure that your business is set up to succeed.
1. Choose a Hosting Type
The first decision you need to make is what types of hosting you’ll be providing. Will you be providing shared hosting, dedicated servers, colocation facilities, or all of the above? Determine which types of hosting you already have knowledge about, and then determine how much you can realistically handle with the resources you currently have. Make sure that you put in ample research into understanding the basics of this business and how you can become really competitive in this field. Never approach the business with half-baked knowledge or you would be in it for loss.
It’s ok to start out by offering just one type. It’s much better to start small and expand than to take on more than you’re ready for and collapse. One of the easiest ways to set up a web hosting company, especially if you’re just starting out, is to become a white label reseller. There are a number of platforms affiliated with different web hosts and domain sellers that make it incredibly easy for you to create your own white label hosting business. Doing this essentially means that you can instantly create a web hosting business front without having to purchase your own resources – you get all the back end support you need from the main reseller company.
2. Plans and Prices
Once you’ve determined what services your company will be providing, the next step is to determine how much those services are going to cost. Even if you only choose one type of hosting, you’ll probably want to offer multiple different plans to meet the various needs of different kinds of users. Decide what you’re going to charge for each plan, what services come with each price point, and whether or not you’ll be charging renewal fees. Decide on providing attractive pricing when you launch because people dig affordable investment when it comes to their websites and even everything else. Smart pricing will ensure that you get loyal customers who do not mind spending money in renewing their hosting plans with your service.
3. Client Handling
Now that you have your initial business outline, it’s time to look at the technical side of things. If you’re building your own hosting company from scratch, then the first thing you need to do from a tech standpoint is to determine what your client handling mechanism will be. Customer support is a prime requirement for a web hosting service’s success. If you cannot provide around the clock availability to your customers, they won’t flinch at the thought of moving away and choosing a new web host provider.
The easiest strategy here, especially if this is your first web hosting business, is to use a WHMCS panel to optimize all of your client handling and website orders. If you’re starting a reselling business, then client handling is something you don’t have to worry about. This infrastructure will already be set up for you when you create your reseller account.
Perhaps the most difficult step in getting a web hosting company off the ground is finding a cost-effective ISP for your leased line. Bandwidth is the heart of your business – without reliable data access, your customers will be constantly frustrated with downtime and slow performance. However, ISPs can be quite costly, and if you don’t have a great deal of money to initially invest in your business, finding an ISP within your price range can be tricky. If you have to cut costs, don’t cut them here. 99.99% uptime with IP pools is the bare minimum you should accept from an ISP. Otherwise, you won’t be able to confidently advertise quality service to your customers.
5. Bandwidth Purchases
Once you have an ISP, take a look at your budget and make a plan for purchasing your bandwidth. This plan will tell you how many customers you can realistically host at what time, as well as help you to set reasonable prices and determine how much income you actually need to keep your business running smoothly. An initial purchase of 10mps, for example, will allow for almost 1000 VPS accounts. So if you’re planning to offer VPS hosting, you know that your business can handle up to 1000 initial customers, and you’ll know exactly how much money you need to make before you can make a second purchase and take on 1000 more.
Downtime is death to a web hosting company. Therefore, your accounts need to be live 24/7, or as close to it as is humanly possible. Make a solid plan for how you’re going to power your accounts, and invest in alternative or back-up power sources for emergencies. If you’re running a reseller business, you don’t have to worry about this, as resources like power and hardware will be provided by the main company you’re reselling from.
Last (but certainly not least), once you’re ready to take on new customers, you need to have a plan to market your services and attract new customers to your business. Consider ways to improve your company website’s SEO, and run a Google AdWords campaign to give your business an internet presence.