How To Become A Web Host?
A question that is asked quite
frequently. First and foremost we must point out that web hosting is
not a get rich quick scheme or an easy business to run. It takes alot
of patience, computer and technical knowledge and a solid background in
Computer Science to run a successful and solid web hosting company.
Some may disagree with this, especially with the innovation of "Control
Panels" that makes it easier for anyone to get a pre-built server and
start hosting sites. In reality, it's not really that simple. Yes you
can lease a dedicated server from a provider and start hosting sites
once you are familiar with the control panel BUT a very important point
to remember is those control panels still have their limitations. If
you do decide to start your own hosting company, here are some basic
questions to ask yourself *before* starting a hosting firm.
1. How much time do I have to invest into this company?
In this day and age, most clients are expecting 24 hour support. Are
you able to be on call 24 hours a day to handle all the technical and
sales requests that will be coming in once you start your company?
Prompt support is a very key aspect of having a successful hosting
business, so this is one of the first questions you should ask yourself
before starting your company. Am I able to offer the support my clients
2. Familiarity with the latest software and platforms?
Have you done your homework in terms of researching what are the latest
software, how they work and the pricing. It is very important to be
familiar with the software that needs to be installed on the server(s)
that you will be using to host your client's websites. For instance IIS
when using Windows 2000 server is something you will need to be very
familiar with, if you are going to be hosting sites on a Windows
Server. On a good note, Microsoft offers a huge library of information
on all their software, but it will take a serious time investment to be
familiar with all the options available, security leaks, and you have
to be always on the look out for the latest patches. In terms of Linux,
this is a bit more complicated. A strong command and knowledge of SSH
(Secure Shell Security) is needed. Even if you have a control panel
such as Cpanel which offers a program called Web Host Manager, a strong
background in Telnet Commands will be needed or you will be lost.
3. Financial Investment
Are you willing to spend the money necessary to start making some
money? In many cases you will need to make some serious finanacial
investment when starting your own hosting firm. Be very weary of the
fact that many of the software on the market are not cheap, and the
type of servers most of your clients will be expecting their sites to
be hosted on, will not be cheap either. Many expect their site to be
hosted on Dual Pentium servers that are sturdy and reliable, so some
investment will be needed. On the other hand, there is the cheaper way,
which is to simply lease a dedicated server that offers a high amount
of bandwidth from another hosting firm, and then host your clients
sites on that server. It's an easy way to start your own company with
little investment, BUT be forewarned that with network outages, server
crashes, you will have little or no control unless you can contact your
dedicated server provider for a prompt reboot or resolution of the
4. Hiring of Employees?
Will you be hiring any employees to start, or will you be a one man
show until the business picks up? If you choose to not hire any
employees then obviously your financial investment is less, BUT your
time investment into the business has now skyrocketed. No employees
will mean you will have to handle all the technical and sales requests
along with any other problem that may occur. It is important to weigh
this aspect carefully as it could make or break you.
5. Resources/Steps To Start A Hosting Company.
a. Registration of Company Name
Do a search on the internet for trade name registration in your
particular state. This will allow you to register a DBA known as Doing
Business As name within your particular state. This option is the
easiest way to have an actual business name instead of using your
actual real name. If you would like to go straight ahead and become a
Corporation instead of just using a DBA then you can use a site such as
MyCorporation.com to get started with your own Corporate business.
b. Purchasing of Servers/Leasing of Servers
If you decided to purchase your own servers, you have a few options.
You can get a server custom built by manufacturers or you can even go
the option of leasing your server from a company such as Dell or
Gateway. They offer a monthly leasing to own plan. If you decide to
lease a Dedicated Server , then you can review offerings from companies
such as Rackshack.net, Eservers.biz, Rackspace.com,
Cyberworldservers.com just to name a few. Each of those companies will
allow you to lease a server on their connection, set a specified amount
of bandwidth, and allow you to host your client's websites on the
server you lease from them.
c. Office/Data Center Space
With the purchase of servers, you'll need office space or as some say a
Data Center to house these servers. You will have to look around for
space in your local city for the best location with enough space for
growth to house your servers and your connection.
d. Bandwidth Providers
If purchasing your own servers direct, you'll need a provider that can
run a line to the server through a router to feed the bandwidth. Some
companies that offer bandwidth are : Level3.com , Twtelecom.com,
Verio.com, and for cheaper bandwidth you can use Cogentco.com. Each of
these companies will allow you to have bandwidth in your data center
These are just some of the *basic* steps necessary to get started with
your own hosting firm. The task may seem daunting, but it can be
achieved with hard work and dedication. The web hosting market may seem
saturated with new hosting companies forming literally each day, but
there is still room techncially for another good company. Once you can
offer the support and reliability your customers need then you will
grow as a firm mainly through word of mouth. If you treat your
customers good, they will refer others to your service. In a nutshell,
hosting is not an easy business to start, but it can be a profitable
and rewarding one when the necessary steps are taken.
Choosing A Host
Choosing A Control Panel
How to become a web host
Do I Need A Dedicated Server
What Is Bandwidth?
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