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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11

Hosting Websites: Do's & Don'ts

So you're pumped, ready to start your hosting dream. You've started your dream hosting company by purchasing a reseller, a VPS, or maybe even a dedicated. What next??

Step 1: Plan Ahead
What do you want to spend money on? What don't you? What do you want/need/prefer? What do the clients prefer? Heres a simple list of great things a great host may offer:
  1. Automatic Billing Software
  2. Live Support Chat
  3. HelpDesk Support Client
  4. Support Forums
  5. Hosting Control Panel
  6. An easy to navigate website
  7. Extras & Bonuses, Something other hosts don't offer!
The Site Itself...
Must be easily navigatable. It should contain all the information your visitors need; plans, prices, features, services, support, pre-sales support, contact information, and a fancy home page. It should look professional.
I suggest; If you don't have experience in web design, and aren't looking to hire anyone for their high rates, go with TemplateMonstor. I know a lot of people who are freelancers, that will customize your template monstor template for like $5. I do it for $10. You can use Joomla, but it looks better if you design it from scratch or from a template; its more professional looking to say the least.

Whats this about a billing software?
It manages accounts, payments, and subscriptions for you. It really takes all the fun out of it, but honestly, its more honest than your clients . Professional billing solutions may be expensive, but they have features that free solutions can't compare to; such as paypal interigation, website order forms, client center, monthly/quarterly/yearly subscriptions, coupon codes, and various control panel variations. I suggest:Support, Support, and Lots of It!
A client has an issue; say for example here that his Cpanel password is denied, because he thinks he forgot it. Its a simple answer, but how can he ask you if you don't have support? He can't. What is the solution? Many Options...

Live Support
A great answer to support; as long as you have money and an operator.*I suggest LiveHelp

A non live solution, I suggest ( Kayako, but there are hundreds of other (some free) possibilities.

Support Forums!
Another great way to do it, and it can be free!
  • Invision Power Board
  • VBulletin
  • PhpBB
  • SMF
There are many other alternatives, these are just the top of the line (top two cost $, bottom two are very good free ones)

Hosting Control Panel
Its neccesary. You can't run a host without one. Theres mostly paid alternatives, but probably included with your reseller, vps, or ded. Small hosts can probably ignore this collum.
  • Cpanel
  • Plesk
  • H-Sphere
Thats It! You're on your way to a professional host in no time, feel free to add on! -Tim