Are you a Web Developer looking to earn some passive income? Are you a techie who wants to venture into the Web Hosting business? Or are you an entrepreneur who wants to try the lucrative internet market? No matter who you are and what your goal is, starting a Web Hosting Business is not as difficult as one might think. Hey, it doesn’t cost that much either nowadays!
Step 1: Know your Goals and Business Plan
The first step as with other businesses will be to understand your product, your goals and have a business plan. Do you want to sell only to local clients or globally? Are you selling to your web design clients, do you have any potential customers or you are starting from scratch? Have you ever got any web hosting account and understand how the Internet and Servers work? Once you are clear, proceed with the next step.
Step 2: Setting up your “Server”
When you are starting out, most of us will not have that much of a budget to begin with. Or rather, you want to save as much as possible. Good news is, many hosting providers will start using a Reseller Account. This is like the normal shared hosting, except that you can create your own accounts, each with their own cPanel access, and you are able to resell them at your own discretion.
Starting from a reseller account is a very affordable way to start your own web hosting business. Our Reseller Hosting accounts start at only $5/mth and it lets you sell web hosting accounts within minutes. You also do not need to have much technical knowledge as it is fully managed, except providing support to your customers. While the provider will provide technical support to you, you will have to provide support to your customers on your own.
Now, your job is to grow your customer base, and when you reach let say 100 customers, its time to upgrade or get more reseller accounts. It is good practice to spread your customers into separate servers as the idiom Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. For eg:
Reseller 1 – 100 clients
Reseller 2 – 100 clients
Reseller 3 – 100 clients
VPS 1 – 200 clients
We will get into upgrading later in this article.
Step 3: Setting up your Billing system
Like any business, we need to have a system to manage our clients and invoices automatically. The industry leading billing system is WHMCS, others include HostBill, ClientExec and BoxBilling. WHMCS cost around $13/mth but it is well worth it, and with it, you can run your hosting business on auto-pilot (except for support).
Step 4: Upgrading your infrastructures
Growing a web hosting business doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, even years to build your customer base, trust and brand. But when you do grow, you will also need to improve your service and be able to meet your clients’ demands.
For example, if you are still on a Reseller, you may want to upgrade to a VPS so that you can provide quicker support to your customers since you are managing the server on your own, rather than depend on your provider to fix things, which involves a third party, thus making your support slower.
If you are already in a VPS, you want to upgrade to a Dedicated Server to give them better quality hosting, without any ‘noisy neighbours’ which can slow your VPS down.
And the list goes on, you can never stop upgrading to give your clients a better experience and service. This will definitely help keep your customers happy and increase referrals.