Web hosting is a service that permits companies and individuals to place a website or web page on the internet. Essentially, this means that web hosts offer the technology and services that enable a site or page to be viewable on the web. There are a number of ways to make money from web hosting, but we’re going to focus on three of them. We’re going to look at starting your own web hosting business, offering internet hosting as part of your agency’s services and reseller hosting.
Starting a Web Hosting Business
To start a web hosting business, you first need to decide what share of the web hosting market you will target. For example, you could focus on offering hosting services to WordPress users. Or you could provide hosting to resellers. Alternatively, you may want to get even more specific by providing web hosting for small businesses. Once you know what niche you’re going to target, you’ll need to figure out your server requirements.
There are several options for building your web hosting infrastructure. Reseller hosting allows you to support approximately 250 customers. This option limits your control over the hosting environment, meaning that you can’t add resources or features. If you want full control and/or have over 250 customers, you will need either a VPS or a Dedicated server.
Now that you know the niche you’ll target and the infrastructure you’ll need, it’s time to write a business plan. This will help you set up your website to deliver the appropriate information to attract customers. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just ask yourself the 5 Ws:
- Who are your clients?
- What services are you offering them?
- When will your services be available?
- Where are your customers located?
- Why should they choose you?
Once your website is established, you need to figure out how you’ll attract customers. How will you promote your business? Who are you competing against for customers’ attention? One thing you might want to consider is focusing locally. This means marketing to companies in your area. A lot of people are tired of big corporations and would prefer to work with someone who can offer a personal and local service.
As a new business, customer service can make or break you. Switching hosts is a reasonably simple process, so if you’re not up to par, your customers may just leave you. This means you’ll need to spend a fair amount of your time on customer service.
Offer Web Hosting as An Additional Service
If you’re a web developer or digital agency, you can earn some extra money by offering web hosting as an additional service. Since you’re already managing your clients’ websites, it makes sense to maintain the hosting of their sites. This is a relatively easy thing to do using agency hosting. Agency hosting allows you to create separate hosting accounts for each of your clients, using one provider. You can create multiple client accounts, and each account enables you to host numerous websites.
Furthermore, it enables you to offer different plans to each client based on their needs. This way, you can create packages, offering various features, giving your clients a variety of options. Plus, you can manage all your clients’ accounts from one control panel.
To start your agency hosting business, you’ll first need to pick the type of hosting you’re going to offer. There are three types of hosting you can choose from:
- Shared hosting is the least expensive option, but it’s not an excellent option for most sites. This is because the server resources are shared between all users, which means if one site is really busy, your client’s website will suffer.
- Dedicated hosting gives you an entire server for each client. It’s the most expensive option.
- VPS hosting is an affordable option that gives your clients their own virtual server. This means their site won’t be affected by other sites. This is the best option for most web hosting companies.
With reseller hosting, you’re not running a web hosting company. Instead, you’re selling space on a web hosting company’s servers. It’s akin to renting an apartment building and then subletting each apartment to individual customers. Basically, you find customers for a web host, and in return, you make money.
Reselling lets you create your own hosting brand. A good reseller package is white labeled, so clients don’t know who they’re buying their hosting from. This allows you to make your own unique hosting plans which can be customized to meet your client’s needs.
Since you can lease additional resources as your reselling service grows, this means you can begin small and upgrade as demand for your service grows. Additionally, since you’re using a web host’s services, the host will manage the server for you.
Reseller packages vary from host to host. However, most of them will offer the following:
- Unlimited domain hosting
- cPanel/WHM control panels
- Disk space and bandwidth
- White label branding
- Technical support
- Customized account and website management for clients