A Step-By-Step Guide to Starting your Reseller Hosting Business
Opening Your Own Hosting Business Startup Guide
The business world is very competitive these days, and making money with a new business is not as easy as it used to be. Starting your own business requires some capital and a lot of time. The same concept applies for online and offline businesses.
However, one type of business that will always make you money is the web hosting business. Think about the internet and picture it shutting down or even ending. It is hard, isn’t it? The internet is not going to stop anytime soon, and websites will constantly be created. With increasing number of websites, people need to find hosting solutions.
Unlike other businesses, the reseller hosting business does not require a whole lot of investing. To be honest, you could start your own hosting business with about a hundred dollars. Before you start thinking about the technical aspects of the business, focus on the actual branding of your business.
You need a name for your hosting business, which is also available in terms of a domain. Before finalizing the name, you need to search online to make sure there is no other company with the same name. If you would like to register the name with your local business bureau, you sure can, as it will provide you with some protection. Purchase your domain under your hosting company’s name, and move onto the next step.
In order to provide hosting services to clients, you will need a server. Since leasing out a server is a large investment, you should start off small by purchasing a reseller hosting plan. When purchasing a reseller hosting plan, you need to make sure you are choosing a reputable hosting company. If the reseller hosting service has problems, your clients will have the same problem.
As a new hosting company, you need to establish yourself as a reliable hosting company. When considering the various reseller plans, you need to make sure that you are getting enough disk space and bandwidth. As a starting point, you need to have at least 10GB of space available to sell.
Once you have the hosting services purchased, you can host your own company site. A hosting company’s website plays a huge role in leaving an impression on the client. If you can’t design and code an elegant website, you need to hire a professional web designer.
Build a professional looking hosting company site that integrates the client interface as well as a billing system. Since you are branding the hosting service under your company name, you cannot release the fact that you are a reseller. The only way someone will know is by looking at the name server. So, you need to purchase private name servers from the reseller hosting company.
Customer support is a large part of hosting service. If you are not there for your customers, it will leave a very negative impression for your hosting company. If you personally can’t be available for your clients, you should consider hiring a support staff to fill in while you are not available.
Always remember that a client could easily turn you down and switch to another host, so make sure that they are satisfied.
Creating Custom Hosting Plans with Web Host Manager
Having a server and a hosting company isn’t going to do you any good if you can’t create hosting plans to sell to your customers. Fortunately, with Web Host Manager, creating hosting packages for sale is easy. Web Host Manager allows you to customize several different parameters, like bandwidth, storage space, number of subdomains, and more.
The first step is to login to your Web Host Manager control panel. On the left side, under ‘Packages,’ click on the ‘Add Packages’ link. This will take you to the area of WHM that will allow you to create custom hosting plans. After clicking on the ‘Add Packages’ link, a form will appear, entitled ‘Create a New Package.’ This form has several fields, including ‘Package name,’ ‘Shell accounts,’ ‘Max ftp accounts,’ ‘Max e-mail accounts,’ and so on. This will allow you to set the parameters for your custom hosting plan. Some of these will be set to ‘unlimited’ by default, like ‘Max e-mail accounts.’ It is up to you whether or not you wish to change these. Many hosting companies offer different levels of service, and save their ‘unlimited’ features for their highest-paying customers.
Next to the ‘Package name’ field is a field called ‘Quota.’ This is the amount of disk space the hosting plan will allow, in megabytes. After naming the new hosting plan, fill out the amount of disk space you plan to allot each customer on this particular plan. After that, go through the rest of the form, and change whichever parameters are appropriate. It’s a good idea to look at what hosting packages other providers offer before deciding on what will be included with your own hosting plans, so you can maintain a competitive price point and level of service.
Once you have filled out all of the areas of the ‘Create a New Package’ form that you wish to change, click on the ‘Create’ button. Your custom plan will have been created, and can be applied to any new accounts you create for your customers through the ‘Create New Account’ link under ‘Account Functions.’ This link allows you to make a new account for a customer, enter their domain name, create their login information, and enter their contact information.
Some of the parameters in the ‘Create a New Package’ link can also be modified on an individual level from the ‘Modify an Account’ link, under ‘Account Functions.’ This is useful if you want to allow your customers to be able to add on different features to their existing hosting plan at a later date. Things like the maximum number of e-mail accounts, SQL databases, ftp accounts, add-on domains, and mailing lists can all be changed from this area, however basic hosting plan information like disk space, bandwidth, cgi, and shell access cannot. There are other links under ‘Account Functions’ that can allow these parameters to be modified, if you choose to do so.
Creating custom hosting plans is one of the first thing anyone with a hosting company should learn to do. Hosting plans are to a hosting provider what food is to a grocery store, or shoes are to a shoe store. Without them, you would have nothing to sell. Researching your competitors’ hosting plans is a good way to find out what you should be offering, and how much you should be charging for it. After that, creating your company’s own custom hosting plans with Web Host Manager is easy.
Billing Software For Hosting Companies
A hosting company is essentially retailing a hosting plan to their customer base. Therefore, they need a way to get paid for their services as long as they are rendering them. This is where billing software comes in. With good billing software, hosting resellers have a lot of the headaches associated with billing and bookkeeping handled for them.
Accounting is one of the trickiest aspects of doing business. When it comes to repeating charges, it’s very easy to forget who is all paid up, who hasn’t paid their bill, who paid late, and who paid previously. Trying to handle all of this by hand is a herculean task, and unfortunately customers aren’t very forgiving when a simple human error results in them being billed twice in the same period. When customers stop paying, it’s also necessary to terminate their accounts. When you’re dealing with a successful hosting reselling business with a lot of customers, keeping all of that straight is virtually impossible!
Fortunately, there’s no need for a person to try to do all of that by hand, as long as they have good billing software for their hosting company. Billing software automates many of the things that would otherwise need to be done by a person, and it doesn’t make mistakes. Billing software is integrated with your hosting control panel, so that new customers signing up for a hosting plan, existing customers canceling their service, or customers that choose to up- or downgrade their accounts don’t need a human being to be on the other end to make all of these changes. Instead, the customer can sign up for an account, pay through the billing software, and the control panel can create their account as soon as their payment is successfully processed.
Billing software is also useful in detecting fraud. Fraud is unfortunately common when it comes to hosting, and many spammers and con artists use stolen or falsified information to pay for hosting for fraudulent purposes. Good billing software can help detect instances of fraud with detection modules like MaxMind or Telesign. This method is a lot easier, safer, and more secure than trying to handle things like fraud and loss prevention manually, and takes far less time and effort to do.
WHMCS is a billing program. WHMCS, which is based in Web Host Manager, offers support for a variety of control panels. This means it can be used to automate account functions for a wide variety of resellers. WHMCS offers resellers an informative look at their accounts payable at a glance, including pending, active, suspended, terminated, canceled orders, and even instances of fraud. It allows the customers to change their account and billing details, view existing and pending invoices, submit new orders, and more. WHMCS is a very easy to use and versatile piece of software, which makes billing and automation a snap.
Many resellers will have to pay if they want to experience the convenience offered by WHMCS. Fortunately, people who have their reseller hosting accounts through Hostgator get the WHMCS billing system free with their reseller account. Not only is setting up a lucrative hosting business through Hostgator easy, resellers get to benefit from all of the features that WHMCS has to offer absolutely free.
Just like a good point of sale system is important for a brick and mortar retail company, good billing software is essential for a good hosting company. The right billing software functions like a security guard, accountant, and salesperson all in one, and WHMCS offers users all of these things and more.
Reseller hosting with Web Host Manager and cPanel
Web Host Manager and cPanel both have the same purpose in mind- simplifying the way that users host a web site. While Web Host Manager is mainly used by web hosts and hosting resellers, cPanel is a useful tool for hosts, resellers, and end users alike.
Reseller hosting is a unique hosting arrangement. In a typical arrangement, a web host would allow an end user to purchase storage space and bandwidth for hosting their personal site. With reseller hosting, a web host allows a reseller to purchase storage space and bandwidth for resale to multiple end users. The web host covers the cost and trouble of maintaining their servers and the resellers’ accounts. The resellers, in turn, handle managing their clients’ accounts. Needless to say, this type of arrangement requires some special software- something that allows the web host to handle routine maintenance and manage accounts, resellers to manage their clients, and end users to create and maintain their web sites. Web Host Manager and cPanel help do all of the above, and then some.
Web Host Manager allows web hosts and resellers to handle hosting accounts on the web host’s servers. This tool makes it easy for resellers, to create custom web hosting plans with ability to limit or remove certain features, to perform regular maintenance tasks, create, move or delete hosting accounts, edit DNS zones, change branding, limit bandwidth and go through all of the necessary functions of handling multiple accounts on the same server. Web hosting resellers can take care of all of their clients’ accounts with WHM, as well as their own, but this web based tool is primarily intended for resellers and hosts. To satisfy their end users’ needs, there’s cPanel.
Marketing Your Hosting Company
So, you’ve chosen to become a hosting reseller, set up the best custom hosting plans for your prospective customer base, have your billing software set up, and are ready to go. There’s only one problem- you don’t have any customers!
In the outside world, brick and mortar stores sometimes get passers by that come in, look around, and spend some money. People rarely visit sites by typing in a random URL and hoping it takes them where they want to be. Therefore, if a hosting company wants a customer base, they’re going to have to work for it by using a combination of different marketing techniques.
One of the best marketing techniques, bar none, is word of mouth advertising. This is where someone tries your service, and loves it so much that they tell three people, who tell three people, who tell three people, and so on. This advertising is about as close to free as advertising gets, and people who aren’t swayed by other ads are more likely to pay attention to word of mouth advertising from someone they know and trust. There’s only one problem- word of mouth advertising requires customers to spread the word. So, how do you get your first customer?
Search engines are an important tool when it comes to marketing things on the internet. Being the top ranked result for a specific keyword on a search engine like Google or Bing translates to an awful lot of visitors to your site. You can’t really pay to be that number one result, however. Getting there requires search engine optimization, or SEO, which promotes websites using the way search engines work naturally. SEO relies on a combination of relevancy and the right keywords to end up highly placed on a search engine’s rankings. This is a totally free form of advertising, all that’s required is an SEO expert to sit down and discover how to make your hosting company appear as close to the number one result as possible.
Running Your Hosting Company
A hosting company isn’t self-maintaining. It’s not the kind of business that someone can set up and simply walk away from. Servers need maintenance, customers need support, and billing needs to be handled. Running a hosting company is work, though how much work depends on whether you are running your own server, or acting as a hosting reseller.
The first thing a hosting company owner has to understand is how much motivation running any kind of company entails. This is especially true with a hosting company, where regular software and hardware upgrades are the norm. Even if you have a hosting reseller account, it still pays to see what kind of technical specifications your host’s competitors are offering, and at what price. Becoming lazy and complacent and trying to do business on out-of-date equipment, or with a company that’s using out-of-date equipment, is a surefire way to end up with dissatisfied customers. Keep up with what hardware and software are being used by major hosting companies, as well as with new advances in hosting technology. Even if you don’t own your own server, it pays to be knowledgeable about your chosen field and your competition.
After that, anyone running a hosting company needs to consider what kind of customer service they can offer. You should give your clients at least two methods of contacting you, usually a toll free phone number and e-mail address. With an industry like hosting, customer service is extremely important. Many hosting companies are judged based on the kind of service they provide, and customers have been known to leave a hosting provider for nothing other than having poor customer service.
Reseller Web hosting is a form of web hosting , where the account owner’s ability to use him hard drive and capacity to organize Web sites on behalf of third parties. Resellers host services in wholesale purchases and then sell them to its clients for profit. Some of the hard disk and a channel devoted to accounts reseller. To achieve this goal. Reseller can rent a dedicated server from a hosting company shares, or resell hosting services. If the latter case, taking into account the reseller simply permission to sell a certain amount of disk space and bandwidth to their own customers without a lease from the server hosting company he signed for resellers account.
A typical web hosting reseller may be a web design firm, web developer or a systems integrator that provides hosting services as add-on service. Reseller hosting is also an inexpensive way to web hosting entrepreneurs to start companies. Most resellers hosting plans allow dealers to create their own service plans and choose their own pricing structure. In many cases, resellers can create their own brands through individual control panels and name servers.
Reseller hosting does not require extensive knowledge of the technical aspects of web hosting. Typically, data center operator is responsible for maintaining the network infrastructure and hardware, a dedicated server set owner / enshrines / server upgrade. The mediator is responsible for interaction with his / her own client base, but any hardware, software and connectivity problems that typically are aimed at the server provider, which was acquired reseller plan.
Through a point and click “Control Panel” resellers can create and manage client accounts through a web interface. In addition, Bill Modern software is popular among resellers, as it automates the creation account and billing. Most resellers hosting companies ’ offers a variety of reseller hosting plans .