So You Want to Start a Web Hosting Company
Rather than use the services of a web hosting company to host your web site you could start your own web hosting company. If your business is successful this could provide secondary income and lower the hosting costs for your own site(s). Basically, there are two ways to start selling web hosting. The first way involves leasing business space, buying equipment, setting up servers, leasing T1 or T3 lines to connect to the Internet, finding clients, and hiring staff to provide 24 hour support. Quite complicated and not recommended for anyone without the technical know-how. The second way is to become a re-seller for an established host.
For a monthly fee you can have an allotment of disk space and bandwidth which can be used to sell to other people. Re-selling is usually anonymous – there is no visible connection to the parent host and you are free to set your own prices and develop your own 'brand'. All that is needed to become a re-seller is the ability to pay the monthly fee. All the technical details are handled by the parent company. The re-seller package usually includes everything – even name servers under your own name.
All you have to do is to sign up customers and watch the money roll in. Easy – right? Signing up customers, though, may not be as easy as you imagine. There are literally thousands of hosting companies competing for customers, and making your web hosting business stand out from the crowd is no mean feat. Just think about the process you went through in choosing your own web host. You probably visited several hosting web sites, maybe asked for personal references from your friends or business acquaintances, and then after narrowing down your choices, perhaps did more in-depth research on each of the companies. Or perhaps you just signed up with the first host you saw. So, in order for your own hosting company to be successful it has to build up a good reputation or be easy to find. Advertising can make your company more visible, but advertising is expensive – especially in a competitive market like web hosting. A re-seller account, however, may be ideal for certain situations. If you already have several websites of your own, your monthly costs may be similar to a re-selling account.
For the same amount of money you could switch all your accounts to your own hosting company. Sign up a few friends or associates and you are ahead of the game. If this sounds attractive, make sure you are going with a reputable hosting company. You will be entirely dependent on them for technical support. This relieves you of many of the headaches of running a hosting company but you are still responsible to your clients if their sites go down. There are many types of re-seller packages. Some require you to operate under the name of the hosting company while others allow you to set up a shop under your own business name. Pay attention to the billing aspect of the package. Some re-seller accounts have everything you need to get started immediately, while others require you to set up your own billing gateway.
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