What do I need to start my hosting business

What do I need to start my hosting business

Start small with a solid and reputable web hosting company that offers efficient support.
 
Recommended resource:
  • A reasonable internet connection
  • A notebook or tablet
  • A host that has respect for businesses of all sizes
  • Domain name
  • A server, VPS, or Reseller hosting account
  • Hosting software - server software
  • Domains management panel
  • Client management software
  • Support system
  • Website builder
 
If your'e just starting out and don't know anything about the hosting business and terminology, no need to be anxious, you will learn fast.
If anything has been omitted it will be added later. Our website is actually live while we are writing its content.
 
A glossary of terms and a short definition of each term to help you along.
 
The above list of requirements is adequate to run a large scale hosting company. If these requirements are scaled down, it becomes affordable for a business startup.
 
A reasonable internet connection
In our area internet speeds vary from extremely low to high. It made a huge improvement to our business when we moved to our current provider. However, if you are starting out you don't need a superfast connection. If you have one, good for you. Backups are important in the event that you need to restore a hosting account, website or SQL database. The best place to keep your backups is offline on a secure storage device. This will take some time if you have a slow connection and the zipped file is large.
 
A notebook or tablet
It is not uncommon to see support specialists access the server from a mobile phone, however, I prefer to use a notebook for this purpose. The user interface is easy to use and you can see the entire interface on one screen. The mobile apps management usually comes with minimal functionality. When you are on the move, access your hosting server and apps easily from a tablet or mobile phone with a reasonable display.
 
A host that has respect for businesses of all sizes
...just saying! A good intuitive, knowledgebase is crucial to minimizing support requests. So check out your prospective host's knowledgebase, response time and attention to detail. If your host does not think that your clients are important, stop using that host.
 
At Host Direct, you will never receive a vague or ambiguous answer. We will always help by pointing you in the right direction and ensure that we have resolved your problem. 
 
You will need a host that provides good support and solid dependable servers with a good uptime.
The hosting company must have contingency plans in the case of a disaster or crash!
Choose a host that is contactable on telephone, e-mail, Skype or online chat.
Choose a host that is not irritated by your simple question or inquiry.
Choose a host that does not suspend your account for minor overages in space and bandwidth.
Choose a hosting company that takes the time to listen to you.
 
In short we need a hosting company that provides the following:
Domain names
A server, VPS, or Reseller hosting account
Hosting software and server software
Domains management panel
Client management software
Support system
Website builder
 
Domain name
A domain name is the friendly name behind an IP address which is a set of numbers that looks something like 000.000.000.000
In order to run you hosting company on a website, you will have to choose a suitable domain name, e.g. mycompanyname.com.
You hosting account will be installed with that domain name. When you type www.mycompanyname.com in the address bar of a browser such as Chrome, you will see your website. If you want to play around and check for available domain names, feel free to use our domain lookup tool.
 
 
Be sure to check our blog post for topics such as: 'How to choose a good domain name'. 
 
The hard way...
 
A server, VPS, or Reseller hosting account?
You definitely will not need a dedicated server if you are starting out small. In order to keeps costs down, it's best to start out with a reseller hosting account. We will explain each briefly.
 
Dedicated server: the entire server and all its resources are allocated to you. It is customary to rent these instead of buying. Servers that are rented are usually located in sophisticated data centres that have good security, backup generators, superior support and compliant with international environment regulations. 
The dedicated server
  • Rental is a good option when opting for the dedicated server solution.
  • The setup for the dedicated server is achieved by issuing commands 
  • Setting it up for the first time
  • Installing the operating system
  • Installing additional software from the command line
  • Configuring the firewall and securing the server
  • Dividing the server into virtual machines (VMs). Specialized software is required to create and manage virtual machines. Some virtual machines will be rented to your clients if you are going to selll VPS.
  • You will be using at least one VPS which you will configure for your hosting business.
 
Web Hosting Server Software
  • Once the virtual machine is ready you will need to install cPanel and WHM (Web Host Manager) software on the VM to be able to create hosting accounts for your clients and manage these accounts.
 
Softaculous Scripts Installer
  • You will need to offer your clients software such as 'Softaculous Scripts Installer'. This tool is a collection of some 400+ software applications, which include popular software such as WordPress, Magento, WooCommerce, Joomla, Lime Survey, PhPList and hundreds of others. For the average person who does not have any web development experience, configuring these apps can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are thousands of tutorials that will help with the configuration and customizing of these apps. You can also hire web developers to do this for you.
Domain registration and transfer facilities 
  • If you are selling website hosting services, you will need to offer your clients, domain registration facilities which should also accommodate domain transfers and updates. This means that you will need a domain search tool and a registration facility to take your client's order. Without this essential tool your client will search elsewhere for a solution.
 
DNS Servers and DNS Control Panel
  • Your domain control panel should allow for custom DNS entries. A typical DNS entry will point your domain name to your server's IP address. This has the effect of binding the two together. SPF TXT entries which protect your e-mails from being spoofed and hijacked.
 
Web Hosting Client Management Software
  • Web Hosting Client Management Software - essential software for automating tasks like monthly invoices and statements, domain renewals, order confirmation and fulfillment, exchange rate updates, pricing updates and a client account portal, among others powerful features. For this purpose we strongly recommend WHMCS which is about the most satisfying in terms of task automation.
 
 
Customer Admin and Technical Support 
  • A healthy and responsive support system is crucial to the survival of your hosting business. Assisting clients with simple questions such as e-mail setup.
Website and E-commerce Builder
  • A critical and essential addition to your service is the website builder. It makes sense that if you do not offer your client a solution, he will look elsewhere. Web developers and other hosting companies constantly offer website solutions which they market aggressively. Make sure that your average client gets a complete solution from you by adding the Professional or Advanced Website Builder to your product offering. At Host Direct we use a website builder with all the tools you will need to build websites rapidly. Try to build your own website with our live DEMO. This is the website builder your clients will be using to build their websites. Thousands of stock photos are included to create a compelling website. Choose a template to suit the culture of your business or industry.

The easy way...

A simple yet powerful solution

Simply rent a reseller hosting package from a reputable hosting company. This is the best route for start-ups and offers the following benefits:
All license fees are paid by your hosting company
Security and safeguards are installed and maintained by the hosting comapany
You do not need to have specialised knowledge of the server operating system, or related software that will be required to run your server.
If your hosting company is reliable and dependable your clients will be online 99.99% of the time. This is important to you, if you wish to keep your clients.

You will need to to the following:





cPanel - Your contol panel 
Quickly learn how cPanel works! No skill is required to do this. 
With your control panel you will be able to create e-mail accounts, change passwords, view site statistics, and a ton of other functions are availalble to operate a professional hosting company.

Web Host Manager - WHM
As a reseller you will learn how to slice your server into packages for your clients and allocate resources to this client.
Creating a client's hosting account can be done in a matter of a few clicks.


Domains management system
A place where you can register your domain names - local and international
An integrated DNS management panel where you will do things such as pointing your domain name to your server. Adding MX and TXT records.
With Host Direct's complete solution. these essential selling and management tools are included. The really cool thing about our knowledgebase is that you will find videos there to accomplish you day to day tasks.

Automation
If you are looking to automate your billing, domain registrations and so on, you will need web hosting management software. At present we use WHMCS which suits our purpose perfectly. We recommend this but if you are starting out with a handful of clients and wish to avoid this cost, you will have to manually send invoices and statements to your clients and manually register domain names.

Website building software:
Host Direct has integrated this function into your web hosting control panel, viz, cPanel. If this is activated for your account then you will be able to offer this to your clients. This is a great marketing and sales tool since you are offering an 'All in one' hosting solution to businesses. Don't let your clients look for website designing services elsewhere.

Support desk
You can either run your own support desk by phone and e-mail or if you are using automation software such as WHMCS, you will be able to run a professional support desk and even integrate a chat plugin into your software, thereby adding an extra layer of support from the front end of your website. The support function can also be outsourced to Host Direct or any other suitable company.

It is clear from the above that Host direct offers its resellers a complete solution that is secure and professional. 
You can watch videos for each respective function from your cPanel or Host Direct's knowledgebase.



 
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