Instead of using the services of a web hosting company in order to host your web site, you could start your own web hosting company. If your business is successful this could be a source of secondary income and it could lower the hosting costs for your own site(s).
In essence, there are two methods to start selling web hosting. The first method involves leasing business space, buying equipment, setting up servers, leasing T1 or T3 lines in order to connect to the Internet, finding clients, and hiring staff to provide 24 hour support. This option is however quite complicated and not really recommended for anybody without any technical know-how.
The second method is to become a re-seller for an already established host. For a monthly fee you’ll get an allotment of disk space and bandwidth which you can use in order to sell to other people. Re-selling is usually anonymous, in that there is no visible connection to the parent host and you are therefore free to fix your own prices and develop your own ‘brand’.
All that you will need in order to become a re-seller is the aptitude to pay the monthly fee. All the other technical details will be handled by the parent company. The re-seller package usually comprises everything – even name servers under your own name. All you will have to do take care of is to sign up customers and watch your income increase. Sounds quite easy, right?
Signing up customers, in fact, is not as easy as you imagine. There are literally thousands of hosting companies in competition for new customers. Therefore, making your web hosting business stand out from the rest is going to be difficult. Just imagine the process you went through in selecting your own web host. You might have 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 some more in-depth research on all these companies. Or else, you might’ve also just signed up with the first host you came across.
That is why in order for your own hosting company to be successful, it will have to build up a good reputation or be quick and easy to find. Advertising can make your company more visible, but advertising is very expensive – even more so in a competitive market like web hosting.
A re-seller account, nevertheless, may be the best choice for certain situations. Your monthly costs may be similar to a re-selling account if you already have several websites of your own. But, for the same amount of money, you could switch all your accounts to your own hosting company. Then, sign up a few friends or associates and you’ll be ahead of the game.
If this sounds like a good idea, make sure you choose a reputable hosting company as you’ll be completely dependent on them for technical support. This will relieve you of many of the troubles of running a hosting company whilst still being responsible towards your clients if their sites go out of order.
Many types of re-seller packages exist. Some will need you to operate under the name of the hosting company whereas others let you set up a shop under your own business name. Also, do be careful of the billing aspect of the package. Some re-seller accounts have everything you need to get started immediately, whereas others will need you to set up your own billing gateway.
Martin Redford is contributing editor at WebDesignArticles.net. This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.