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    Web Hosting Business: Honest Question?
    Has anyone here ever started a webhosting business? If so, did you find it lucrative? What were the ups & downs of such a business?

    Thanks for any input!

    B. Copeland


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    Maybe that's something you should ask in a specific web hosters community. Try: webhostingtalk.com


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    Hi,

    Website hosting is a difficult business to get into as itís already very competitive, you will require a good amount of funding to help you market your service effectively.

    Its usually expensive as most users start out by buying a server and co-locating to a facility as you cannot operate a website hosting business from home.

    The best and probably most cost effective solution is to setup a reseller account with a hosting provider, they provide all the backend server support such as security updates and backups leaving you to set package prices and attend customer support / marketing.


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    We run a web design business, one aspect of which is hosting. We operate our own dedicated servers.

    The first thing I'd say on the subject is that you will need to be proficient in server administration and security. While control panels such as Helm are great at what they do, and you may "get away" with a rudimentary knowledge of server admin for some time, eventually a challenge will appear which is both very urgent and requires you to have a fairly detailed knowledge.

    Assuming you do, however (since your interest in the first place) and I say that since many, many people have started web hosting businesses reselling a third party's hosting which I'm not personally convinced is such a good idea - the main thing to be aware of is margin.

    Web hosting is a competitive industry in the extreme and some pricing is so over optimistic it's hard to see how some Companies actually manage to survive at all. You have the option of eiher going for low margin at high volumes - this will be quite a bit of work - or of trying to provide something a little unique at a higher price.

    One of the cynical points to remember about web hosting is that it does have something of a "thankless" aspect in so far as when it's working perfectly (99.97% of the time for us at this moment) nobody remembers. It's the 0.03% of the time that nobody forgets

    Webhostingtalk is an excellent resource as is (to a lesser extent in this specific context, but still valuable) Sitepoint.

    Do post back with your thoughts/findings to see if we can help or advise if there's anything you need to know.

    Mark


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    Web hosting is a lucrative business in a sense that you are the webmaster/owner of the web hosting site at the same time you put up your own server. It's much difficult when you subcribe to free sites and do business with it because the key point in a web hosting business is the the technical support itself eg. 99.9% uptime guarantee.


    As a web hosting owner you're considered to be a technical guru which means you need to be techie savvy to be able to operate and be familiar of every specific details of any type of software configurations and the like.

    Due to competition, most web hosting companies rise to the top with a reliable customer support.

    Hope this helps.

    Gladys


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    Web hosting business is lucrative, however you need a lot of skills: server administration, marketing, advertising, troubleshooting.

    If you do want to get into web hosting, try one that is fully outsourced so you only have to market it.

    Frank


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    my recommendation is if you want to get into webhosting which i find not only to be EXTREMELY competive, it is a flooded market and people have little room to allow for error. If you jack up your customers they will plaster your name everywhere. Find yourself a niche, you can run a couple of companies under an umbrella if necessary but take one of your interests that you enjoy and make that a niche. I had a sportscar webhosting thing where people hosted themselves similar to what cardomain does and that brought a lot of activity, i also specialized in PHPBB, installing and configuring forums for small groups, that kept me busy for a long time.

    more or less i eventually got bored and overwhelmed, but i did OK for a while, it never paid the bills but it was a decent side business and it got me a decent job -- which is what i really wanted out of it -- experience; when i couldnt get a company to take me on i manufactured my own.


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    Quote Originally Posted by BusinessMan
    Maybe that's something you should ask in a specific web hosters community. Try: webhostingtalk.com
    I'm an active member there (SniperDevil; 6,200 posts ), and it's a wonderful resource for web hosting. But, I'd like to comment on the idea in the first place.

    Web hosting has become a virtual commodity, and one which I would not pursue in its standard implementation of "compete for price." If you're bent on web hosting, I'd absolutely find and choose a niche and market, market, market to that niche specifically. Don't try to cover all bases! For example, you may find that the small-business sector is underserved (I don't know; is it?) and you may choose to market to that sector. It's a relatively profitable market, especially locally, but you must stick to your niche. If you stray too far, you have just made the mistake the majority of new businesses do: straying from their business plans for a couple unusual clients to the point where it's hard to get back on track. Stay on track, even if it costs you a few clients (who aren't part of your target market anyway!).

    Overall, though, I wouldn't recommend web hosting. It's way too saturated.


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    Quote Originally Posted by BusinessMan View Post
    Maybe that's something you should ask in a specific web hosters community. Try: webhostingtalk.com
    Even I would suggest the same. One can also check out warriorforum.com


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