How to Start a Web Hosting Company For Free17 min read
Today, web hosting services are at an unparalleled peak. That is to be expected due to the speed at which the technology industry develops. And while it may seem that the web hosting industry is saved only for the ‘big fish’, that is not quite true.
The difference between the financially successful and the financially unsuccessful is that the first are more sellers than they are consumers.
But how to start a web hosting company?
Although having a profitable business is a really fulfilling experience, starting it is potentially a frustrating one. High upfront investments which may never return, staff hiring, marketing strategy, and business plan and so on, and so on.
Nowadays, there is one more thing to bear in mind. If your business is not online, it might as well not exist.
Well, since you are reading this article and you want to start a hosting company, you definitely knew the last one, but still, it deserves to be mentioned. Furthermore, it is also important to acknowledge the fact that building a website is time, effort and sometimes money consuming endeavor.
But the website wouldn’t even be your biggest concern if you want to build a hosting company from the ground up.
Start a Hosting Company (The Hard Way)
If you ever wondered, here is how to start a web hosting company the old-fashioned approach:
- Register a Company – if you are about to start a business, try to make it all legal. This is the best step to take to prevent legal issues at a later stage. After all, you don’t want to create something, that will be taken away from you, just because you skipped this step, right?
- Find Servers – Now that you’ve taken care of the possible legal issues, it’s time for you to really start investing – you need servers.
Essentially, there are two applicable ways to find servers:
– Buy the servers and set them in a collocation spot
Both of these ways have their positive and negative sides, but getting deeper into this will really defocus the article’s topic.
- Control Panel – Your users have to have the ability to manage the hosting service, they’re paying you for. Meaning, you need to offer some kind of a Control Panel. Usually, the choice of such a panel goes to cPanel. This choice is often made, due to the popularity of cPanel. Yet, for you to be able to present your customers with cPanel, you’ll have to pay, prior to allowing your customers to use it.
- Create Account with Domain Name Registrar/s – Domain Name Registrar is an organization that controls the reservation of internet domain names. In order for your company to be able to offer domains to your customers, you have to create an account in one or more registrars.
‘Whoa, that was a lot of work. At least now I’m going to make some money… Right?’
Well… not exactly.
There are a few more steps that you need to take, to start smoothly.
It’s all about human resources.
- Administrators – someone has to configure and maintain the servers.
- Technical Support – The administrators will(hopefully) have too much work to take care of your customers. You need efficient and qualified people that will support your customers. And they have to be available 24x7x365.
- Sales Person – A lot of people will have a lot of questions. Someone has to overcome their concerns and close the deal.
- Marketing – If you want to sell anything, you need marketing. And even if you think you can market your business, probably a person that has invested his time to become marketeer is more appropriate to take this position. Preferably, more than one person.
- Payment Accepting Solution – At last we can say something about receiving money, instead of giving them. You have to choose the system that best matches your requirements.
As you already understood all of this means that you have to invest a large amount of money upfront, never knowing if you’ll be able to make even a cent out of all this.
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How to Start a Web Hosting Company For Free? Becoming a Hosting Reseller
Scared already? You don’t have to be. There are ways to skip almost all of the hard work, and to focus solely on building your brand.
You can either go through the hard(and expensive) way to build a hosting company or you can start one for free by starting a white label hosting reseller business.
In a few words, to be a hosting reseller means that somebody has already invested in hardware, software and human resources and you take advantage of their ready-to-use structure. In the best case scenario, you’ll be presented with the option to build your own brand. Meaning, you’ll be able to put your company name, and your logo, and your company values.
Without further ado, let’s examine the key milestones you have to keep in mind when starting a web hosting company.
1. Choose a Reseller Partner
If you are about to use such a service, you have to carefully go through all the possible solutions. A lot of companies are making efforts in that market niche. Through all the variations of the reseller concept, some look more like an affiliate program, than a reseller program. On top of that, most of these ‘reseller programs’ are paid.
The good news is, that there are also free options. In order to make the best choice you should probably look for at least some of these potential benefits of the reseller program you are about to sign up for:
- Ability to build your own brand. Thus, selling the services of your brand, not someone else’s.
- Pre-made store templates(so you won’t have to create your website from the ground up).
- No upfront investments.
- 24x7x365 Support for your clients, provided by your reseller partner.
- Different Plans to offer to your customers
- Ability to tune up the prices, by your preferences.
- Available CMS’s for your clients to install easily when using your services.
That indeed sounds like a lot to look for. The good news is that you can easily skip the stress and waste of time to search for such a solution. Reseller Cluster is offering all of the above.
You can check what they offer on their website ResellerCluster.com.
2. Choose Your Brand’s Name and Identity
If you are presented with the opportunity to build your own brand, don’t overlook it. This is crucial for your online(and offline) success.
Once you find out how you want your hosting company to be named, you’ll have to check if the domain is available.
When buying a domain keep it short, rhythmic and memorable. The same goes for your brand’s name.
3. Create your Account with the Chosen Reseller Partner
Once you’ve made your choice, you can go back to their website and create an account. When doing so, you’ll have to agree to their terms & conditions. This act substitutes the paper contract, so go carefully through these terms & conditions before signing up.
4. Create a Marketing Strategy
Now that you have a reseller partner and before creating a website, you’ll have to figure out how to market your business. Where, how and to whom you’ll promote? What are the mission and the vision statements of your brand? In essence, how you’ll try to attract customers. You know, marketing.
While discussing that, we should mention your pricing approach.
This is a big part of your marketing strategy. Are you offering a premium service, that people are eager to pay more for or you’ll target the less wealthy public groups? What exactly is the profile of your target group? Are you a freelancer with an established client base? Are your customers, potential customers to your newly born hosting company?
Also, when considering pricing, don’t forget about the competition.
5. Create a Website
Now that you know how you’ll position yourself out there, and the target group, your marketing efforts will be directed at, it is time to build your website. If you followed our advice in the first item, probably your reseller partner offers Pre-made templates that you can use to build your website, even if you don’t have any technical skills.
Otherwise, you can, for example, use a CMS, like WordPress or Joomla to build your website.
6. Track and Optimize Your Marketing Efforts
Marketing is all about tracking and optimizing. You’ve already made your strategy and hopefully, you are following it. However, if you don’t track your results and optimizing for better ones, you’ll never be able to grow your business. Execute, Track, Optimize.
As you probably found out, this is a simplified step-by-step guide. If you want to start a hosting company, you’ll have to put the effort into it. However, by following the steps listed above, you can start your own hosting company within minutes.
The rest is marketing.
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About the Author
A writer by avocation, web enthusiast by choice. In love with almost every type of art. All my articles.