Wish to be a web host? Everything you want to know!
After a fantastic quantity of time in the company of personal email hosting, I have come to realize several things. It wasn’t any expensive search engine optimization company, it wasn’t any overpriced Google or even Yahoo advertisement program. It had been hard work, it had been hours and HOURS that turned into days and then weeks of time spent working on the site, editing the site (then editing again), making sure my key word relevancy was up to par with my favorite keyword analyzer in Submit Express, checking to make sure my packages were priced to compete with other host’s that provided the exact same quality services that I provide (not the kiddie host’s that offer 25gb disc space and 200gb bandwidth for $5.00 per month), and also caring for my customers to make sure they got whatever they wanted or desired.
So anyway, let’s get to what has worked for me personally. Some of you other host’s can disagree with me, or have had different experiences then I, therefore again, this is only what worked for me, and is my opinion only.
I began my first domain and email hosting business in November of 2004. I can’t disclose the name of that business due to the arrangement of sale, however I could tell you it was a really successful sponsor, and was on course to be a large player in the internet hosting game. I just burnt out and had to sell! I was working 16-20 hours each day taking care of clients via Yahoo, MSN, ICQ, AOL, Skype, PHPLive, and also any other live chat program that I could use, email, and phone. This leads me to my very first assessment, and little knowledge to pass on. Support: This is (in my head ) the most significant part a web hosting company, and may make or break a beginning business FAST, both way. If you provide TRUE 24×7 support to your customer’s, and the support they receive is quick, accurate, and friendly. Your brand (domain name and logo) will spread like wildfire, over time, you just have to be consistent with the support. You can’t let tickets lay around because you needed to go to school, or you had to mow the yard, or your girlfriend wouldn’t let you, or you just didn’t feel like dealing with it.
This can prove to be a really difficult task after awhile. The first few customers you receive will publish a few tickets a month. Then, whenever you’ve got some more, possibly 25, you may begin to have tickets, live chats, emails, pre-sales queries, it all pouring in at the same time. You then get up in to the 50-100 customer range and you are swamped. That is when you begin to loose sleep and start to burn out fast!
In case you have 50-100, or 30 or so, you should start looking in an outsourced support solution. I have used BobCares and have found them to be the most professional and dependable for the package that they offer resellers, and starts at $24 a month to cover 12 clients 24 hours per day 7 days per week.
Some hosts, and clients, frown upon outsourcing support, but until you have the money to employ your own support staff, I advise you to start looking into outsourcing. Another company I’ve heard great things about is Root Support, though I have not tried them, I have noticed they have some very good prices, and like I said, good reviews.
So that is the upside, the negative is simple. You do not offer good support, and you end up in 3 months notification that the best email hosting uk clients, and no compensated clients which you have, that they need to find another host because you are shutting down. Choosing a host: When you are searching for a reseller, or VPS server, you may be tempted by the low prices of some overselling host (run by a 15 yr old kid) that delivers the world or, my favorite,”Unlimited”. .LOL. You show me a host which has a hard disk with unlimited distance, and I’ll show you a few pictures of Big Foot that I shot at Buck Snort Tennessee! If you select a host by price alone you are destine to fail. You are likely to wind up with only downtime, nothing to inform your customers when it occurs because your host is no where to be found, and as soon as the server IS upward, it is going to be so overloaded it will run like an epileptic chicken!
I heard it described best on a forum,”There is no perfect host, there’s only the host that is perfect for you”. I advise you to examine Web Hosting Talk.com. Be sure to check at the”Advertisements” section, there are invariably a few fantastic offers there for whatever sort of hosting you’re needing. That will bring up numerous different tools to be used in picking a hosting company. This can be quite overwhelming also, so attempt to be as specific you can in your search terms.
When looking at the costs offered by provided a bunch, ask yourself a few questions.
A. Does the site look professional, or does this seem like something that you could have made when you were 13? This is sometimes not the best way to determine your host, so again, don’t base your choice on the website alone either!
B. What type of server specs (CPU, RAM,) does the server state your accounts will be stored on? If you do some further research, you will observe that a dependable server with even one P4 3.0GHz HT server with 1gb RAM is going to charge $150 AT CHEAPEST, and if you go up into the dual CPU servers, then the purchase price of a single server can go up to $300 a month EASY. Consequently, if the server is offering 5gb disc space and 100gb bandwidth for $5 a month, you can be pretty sure you’re not getting as good a deal as it might appear!
C. Check their support connection, does it even work? Should they offer live chat, use it, send them an email and ask questions specific to your needs, ask as many questions as you want, in as many distinct mails or tickets as you need, it is an essential decision, be SURE you get exactly what you need from a provider that will GIVE you what you need.
D. Uptime: lots of hosts offer shared hosting plans for as cheap as $1.00 for the first month. I suggest you sign up and pay for a single month. Inform the server exactly what your aims are, and that you need your account to be put on the exact same server your reseller is going to be placed on so it is possible to examine the resources. Then place a free uptime monitor such as DotUptime on it and determine exactly what the uptime is like in a 1 month time period. Spending a couple of dollars to make sure you get exactly what you want will save a whole lot of headache later on!
E. Look as numerous web hosting forums and / or Google pages as you can to get”whateverhost”. Look and find out what others have to say about the host. However, remember also that no host can please EVERY customer, and some folks just can’t be happy.
F. Finally, is it in your budget? Don’t be afraid to spend some cash if you’re able to, but don’t go overboard either. Remember, you have to spend money to make money. I am one to really go all out from the start. I feel the more you put into a fantastic host, the more you return, and the more happy your clients are, consequently attracting more clients. So we’ve got our servers in LiquidWeb.com. They have been shown to be the most dependable with regard to managed dedicated servers. Deciding on a billing system: There are many different billing systems readily available, and searching for one that’s fits may also be a wearing task. You will find the first few major name scripts such as ModernBill, WHMAutoPilot, ClientExec, and Lpanel. Most of these options allow for automatic account creation, meaning every time a customer signs up and pays, it automatically generates their account and emails that the client their login info.
It isn’t wise to use this feature though, unless you pay to get a fraudgate to check all your orders prior to setup. If you allow instant (automated) account development without a fruadgate, you’ll end up swamped with spammers and fraudulent orders that result in charge guards, in almost no time in any way!
ModernBill is by far the very best in my opinion, and goes for around $25 a month. It keeps tabs on everything you can think about, ands some very crucial characteristics that others don’t have, such as the capability to update package price based upon the updates they select. WHMAutoPilot is another step down at precisely the same cost ($25). It’s still an extremely strong billing system, but lacks a few small features that ModernBill has. ClientExec is your ideal option for a start web host, also starts at $12 per month. It’s all you want to get prepared to market and keep track or your clients. It also has a built-in service desk (most great billing scripts do). When you pick your billing system, be sure you read the description of the bundle. Some of them charge per client after a certain amount, and that could get expensive.
4. Advertising: It’s no secret that any websites success depends on the total amount of visitors it receives. So, in order to get visitors you have to let people know that your website and packages are out there!
Some good ways I have found for doing this are:
A. Forum articles: Register in as numerous hosting forums you may find in Google. Most web hosing forums possess”Requests Hosting” sections, so you are able to post offers to requests there, and you can also post offers from the”Offers” area usually. Be sure of this forum rules BEFORE submitting your supplies though. If you find an offer and it is edited by a moderator and just reads”Read the rules” your not going to look as the most trustworthy host. Don’t forget to put a link to your own hosting site, and perhaps just a little sentence or two about your services in your signature on the forum. Attempt to make it eye cacthing, add some color, or some symbols (>> +ll whatever).
B. Search for internet hosting forums for people offering ad space. I utilize WebHostingTalk.com for my ad searches, and it’s worked nicely. Don’t buy advertisement space on just any website. Try to only buy ad space on sites that pertain to yoru marketplace. For instance, you wouldn’t put ads for a searching website within an animal rights activist website! Try to only place advertisements for your hosting business on design sites, or hosting internet search forums, hosting programs, script creation websites, anything that they may need a web host for!
C. Banners: Many state banner ads are dead, but I disagree. I know when I go to a website and watch that an eye catching banner ad, I have a tendency to click the advertisement to find out what it is all about. Whether this leads to a sale or not, it is still a great route for brand awareness. So, in case you decide to do some banner ads, be sure to have an ad that appears professional, and eye catching. If you’ve got an ad that no one notices. When you provide good service and support to a customer, he goes and tells his friends” Hey, I got this host you guys should check out”. Afterward, those friends tell their friends, and their friends tell their friends, and their….You see where I’m going with this!
E. Local Market: Never underestimate your regional market. You may begin with making some fliers to post around town, or put some business cards onto post-it boards. Ads in the local paper or advertising magazine are sometimes great too. You can also consider sending a little packet of info about your company and what you could do for a client to small businesses in / around your area that may require a web site and/or web host. If your budget allows for it, radio and television ads are fantastic resources, but can be very costly.
5. Costs: Don’t attempt to be the cheapest host on the cube, you may only wind up into the ground over time. When you have a look at the”Big Boys”, or as I like to call them, the”Oversellers who can”, you will see that if you attempted to beat their prices you’d be out of business within 2 -3 months.
Rather, Have a look at your hosting package, whether it be a reseller, VPS, or Dedicated Server, and do a little math:
Lets say you have a reseller package with 10gb disc space, and 100gb bandwidth (a little large for a starter I know, but it is a simple round number to use J ). We’ll say that your freelancer costs you $25 a month.
You can look at your prices in a couple of different ways, Here Is a few that I use:
Disc Space Price (monthly) Bandwidth
5GB $12.50 50GB
2.5GB $6.25 25GB
1.25GB $3.12 12.5GB
Or, you can split the costs and look at it like this:
Disc Space Price Bandwidth Price
2.5GB $3.12 25GB $3.12
612MB $0.78 6.25GB $0.78
Or, do a little graph like this:
100GB $25.00 $18.75 $15.62 $14.06 $13.28
25GB $15.62 $9.37 $6.24 $4.68 $3.90
6.25GB $13.23 $7.03 $3.90 $2.34 $1.56
Remember to advertisement in your other expenses, like your billing system, your own sitebuilder (if you have one), chip fees, and any other cost you may have to add.
When you’ve added up all your costs, then decide what you think is a fair price to charge about your costs. So if a bundle costs you $5 a month, then perhaps you would charge $8 – $7 – $6 per month. Just be sure to allow for enough gain to upgrade when you need to.
Again, don’t try to be the cheapest, you are going to be shooting yourself in the foot for sure!
6. Overselling: Overselling is the custom of selling more disc space and/or bandwidth then you actually have. So for an example, lets say you have 1 apple, you tell 8 individuals that you will promote them %25 of this apple. So if the people actually eat all of their apple, you’re in trouble! Some overselling is okay, not a lot, you do not wish to overload your reseller or VPS, or dedicated server. You may safely assume the following (generally ).
If you have 10gb disc space, and 100gb bandwidth, then you may sell it as though you’d 12gb disc space, and 120gb bandwidth. It’s a small percentage, but might help increase profits. But be sure to keep a close watch on things, and upgrade when / if needed.
7. Professionalism: When you’re posting an advertisement on a forum, replying to some pre-sales email, talking a to client in conversation, or responding to a service ticket, you always have to maintain a professional attitude through your address, or typing. Someone searching for hosting is not likely to be more interested in a post that reads like a 12 year old wrote it. Try using appropriate punctuation, I am not the world’s best at that (since you can see), but I try J.
Never discuss business matters or private customer information in public situations such as forums. This can result in serious legal troubles!
8. Free Hosting: A lot of hosts offer free hosting hopes that the consumer will eventually update. The truth is, only about%5 of your complimentary hosting customers will upgrade to a paid program. Additionally, it is usually those seeking free hosting that don’t have any clue what they are doing and ship countless service tickets per month. Or, they register with a free host, send out several thousand spam emails, and then proceed to the upcoming free server.
So to make a long story short, free hosting isn’t worth time or frustration. Instead, maybe offer you a little, shared package for $1.00 per month. That is low enough to reel them , and then have them update.
In case you do choose to provide free hosting, make sure you put free hosting clients on one server or freelancer, and paid clients on another server or freelancer. This way if a lot of your free customers overloads the server, your paid clients are not affected at all, and you don’t have any worries of losing them!
9. Firm, Fair, and Consistent: I have discovered that you have to be honest overall, but you must also be firm, and consistent with your clients. If they are late in their payments all of the time, start to penalize them using a late fee, their payments will show up on time for certain. I don’t mean to penalize them $100 for the very first time their late, but there should be some type of”push” to create them pay on time.
If you have a client who is requesting a refund due to an extended amount of downtime, then you’d want your cash back to, so give it to themalways be fair.
Keep on top of your charging system and system resources, and when you encounter a issue, take care of it right then, don’t wait!