As the world shifts to cloud storage and online computing, the work of a web hosting company also evolves. With the high amount of competition and customer expectations, the entire web hosting industry is undergoing a major overhaul. With the recent hype about "cloud" based hosting and storing your files in the "cloud" the web hosting industry has something new to ponder over. |
A Web Hosting business can be started with a small amount of money and limited resources, by purchasing a reseller account from the numerous providers online. A reseller does not even need an office and can make a decent amount of money, from a small home office as well. But to swim with the big fish, you can't get away with being a reseller. You need to have more control and flexibility when expanding your business. You need to have your own dedicated server, with atleast a basic Control Panel to help you with administrative tasks. If you dont want to be a reseller and instead just dip your toes in the water, you can also try out being an affilliate for a bigger web hosting company and get a chunky referral fee as commission for referring clients. The affilliate has absolutely no control over the client's account and is only a catalyst or influencer. The referral fee is usually one time or recurring and can also be dependent on the number of products and services the user subscribes to.
Large web hosts need to have multiple departments and give continuous attention to their customers requirements. However, almost all tasks of the web host can be automated or outsourced. Various companies offer "white-label" technical support to medium and large web hosting companies. The customers of the web host can contact the support team by phone, email or even live chat. The customers will never know that the support is being outsourced and will be glad that their issues are resolved in a timely and efficient manner. Billing and Invoicing can also be automated with softwares which automatically send email invoices and accept payment through online Credit Card / Payment gateways. The automated billing systems can also suspend the account of payment defaulters and terminate the account for cancelled orders automatically. This drastically reduces the work load of the support team and helps them concentrate on more important issues.
Hardware resources like CPU, RAM and Disk Space is another prime concern which every web host must think about. With the advent of kernel level rate limiting softwares, there is no longer a need for servers with monster resources. Even a basic configuration server can be a good start for a new web host. The rate-limiting software will automatically prevent resource usage spikes by abusive users and automatically balance the load on the server.
Along with hardware, there is a need for an appropriate System Administrator who is competent and dedicated. A qualified system administrator can help resolve technical issues quickly and keep the server stable and secure at all times. The system admin's role includes updating the server software, diagnosing problems with hardware, keeping the anti-virus and firewall rules in sync with the latest attack threats and also ensuring new automation technology is pushed out the the users on time.
In todays market, software options are abundant. From Control Panels to billing softwares to statistics softwares to auto-installers. A newbie web host is spoilt for choice. There are different softwares to suit different price ranges.
Just like any other business, Sales and Marketing is another major aspect which a web host needs to focus on. The initial market penetration and sales is essential in making the business stable and sustainable. Cold calling and print advertising is slowly fading away. For online businesses and Information Technology related services, Online Marketing and Advertising is the way forward. With more and more people having access to the internet and getting tech savvy, the Advertising game has shifted online. With big players like Google and Yahoo offering Pay per click advertising, the task of promoting a web hosting business has become easier.
To conclude, it isn't easy being a hosting provider, but it sure is an upcoming industry and will be successful in the future. While earning money is the main focus area there may be a lot of learning on the way. The key is not starting the business, but sustaining the business for the long term. Start an online business or be a Web Hosting Reseller for HostingXtreme with our Unlimited Plans. Our web hosting prices help Reseller's earn more.
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