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  1. #1

    Question Starting a Hosting Business

    I'm looking at doing some basic web design and thought it would be great to offer hosting as well so then not only do I get paid to create the site, I have a recurring income from hosting as well. I have noticed there are reseller accounts that offer reseller domains as well so it would give a client a one stop place for everything.

    How much would a person have to expect to have in order to start up something small like a reseller hosting account?
    InnoHosting has what looks to be a nice "professional reseller" package that I could use as a start, then upgrade as my business expanded. They also offer techs to answer your support tickets so you can concentrate on expanding your business. Sounds almost like a managed without having a vpn.

    Is the income potential from hosting decent? It is not my only planned source of self income. I do not want to have all my eggs in one basket.

    I have looked at InnoHosting and plan to look at:
    hawkhost
    speedysparrow
    tmz hosting

    So far it looks like InnoHosting is the only one of the three that has reseller domains. It isn't the cheapest of the three but I'm not after cheapest, like a lot of the posts I have seen have been about. I'm after reasonable for what is offered with the ability to expand later.

    Features one is looking for I have seen has been left out a lot. What I would like is a good billing system, cpanel or similar with a content manager for clients so once something is setup they have the option to maintain it if that is what they are looking for, although I do most my work on my laptop, content manager would probably be used by only a handful. PHP, MySQL, WordPress and Bulletin Board options, and possibly a photo gallery. I know a lot of things can be installed with scripts available for download to install if they are not included in cpanel, just would not be a one step install.

    I hope I gave enough information and shown that I have done some research and not afraid of it. I would like to be able to pick a company and stay with them for the life of my company and expand with them as needed. I am also aware that with the way things are with the economy and the competition of the market, It may be cheaper for me to suggest a host to people and just concentrate on web design and other things I'm working on.

    Any input is requested, as long as it's constructive. Anyone start a business and decide it is not what they wanted?
    Last edited by Javve; 03-11-2011 at 08:47 AM. Reason: added tmz hosting

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Javve View Post
    I'm looking at doing some basic web design and thought it would be great to offer hosting as well so then not only do I get paid to create the site, I have a recurring income from hosting as well. I have noticed there are reseller accounts that offer reseller domains as well so it would give a client a one stop place for everything.

    How much would a person have to expect to have in order to start up something small like a reseller hosting account?
    InnoHosting has what looks to be a nice "professional reseller" package that I could use as a start, then upgrade as my business expanded. They also offer techs to answer your support tickets so you can concentrate on expanding your business. Sounds almost like a managed without having a vpn.

    Is the income potential from hosting decent? It is not my only planned source of self income. I do not want to have all my eggs in one basket.

    I have looked at InnoHosting and plan to look at:
    hawkhost
    speedysparrow
    tmz hosting

    So far it looks like InnoHosting is the only one of the three that has reseller domains. It isn't the cheapest of the three but I'm not after cheapest, like a lot of the posts I have seen have been about. I'm after reasonable for what is offered with the ability to expand later.

    Features one is looking for I have seen has been left out a lot. What I would like is a good billing system, cpanel or similar with a content manager for clients so once something is setup they have the option to maintain it if that is what they are looking for, although I do most my work on my laptop, content manager would probably be used by only a handful. PHP, MySQL, WordPress and Bulletin Board options, and possibly a photo gallery. I know a lot of things can be installed with scripts available for download to install if they are not included in cpanel, just would not be a one step install.

    I hope I gave enough information and shown that I have done some research and not afraid of it. I would like to be able to pick a company and stay with them for the life of my company and expand with them as needed. I am also aware that with the way things are with the economy and the competition of the market, It may be cheaper for me to suggest a host to people and just concentrate on web design and other things I'm working on.

    Any input is requested, as long as it's constructive. Anyone start a business and decide it is not what they wanted?
    There are many different data centers who provide all the features you are looking for. I would consider you dig a little deep in the offers section.

    Being a web designer and hosting revenues can be a great source of additional income and many web designers find that clients are willing to pay a premium when it is their designer that provides it to them. With 30 accounts @ $10/month you are looking at $300.00/month in revenue. With $25.00 in expenses for the reseller that leads you to $275/month in profit. That isn't so bad when you think of how little work you had to do.

    best of luck with your business.
    TurnKey Internet, Inc : phone 1.518.618.0999 and 1.877.539.4638 | Contact Us
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  3. #3
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    Welcome to the forums Javve!

    I personally thing you do not need someone else to control your support tickets at the moment. You are a start up company, how do you know that the technicians that are answering your support tickets are going to treat your clients the way you want them to be treated? Sure you can say I want to try it out, but if something does go bad and you start getting bad reviews you will ruin your reputation very quickly.

    What you are looking for many hosting companies can provide. WHMCS and cPanel. The perfect couple when it comes to these types of things. Let me know if you have any questions for us.

    Good Luck and hopefully you will choose the right provider.

    Daniel
    Managed & Unmanaged SSD VPS's by tmzVPS.com | FAST PURE SSD & HDD Plans!
    █ Locations in USA & United Kingdom - Legal Adult Content Allowed! 24/7 Certified Support.
    cPanel/WHM Included | Premium Softaculous | Data Migration Included with Managed Support.
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  4. #4
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    I agree with Dan the Man above ... you definitely do not need to have someone controlling the support aspect of your company.

  5. #5
    when I started with webhosting back in 2004 I was an absolutely rookie. What I did was searching for a reliable hosting company offering reseller hosting and support (btw, I still have this reseller account).

    I installed a ticket system on my main website and every time I received a ticket from a client I forwarded it to the reseller hosting support, the answer I copied and pasted to my ticket system.

    This is a great way for your clients to think the support is coming directly from you

  6. #6
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    LOL

    Quote Originally Posted by breinling
    when I started with webhosting back in 2004 I was an absolutely rookie. What I did was searching for a reliable hosting company offering reseller hosting and support (btw, I still have this reseller account).

    I installed a ticket system on my main website and every time I received a ticket from a client I forwarded it to the reseller hosting support, the answer I copied and pasted to my ticket system.

    This is a great way for your clients to think the support is coming directly from you
    That's unbelievable... Did you ever get around to learning the business or did you continue routing the tix to the main host? How efficient/effective could that have been? What if the client needed it immediately?

  7. #7
    lol, not all of us were born as a "Techy" and in my opinion it's a good way to start

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by breinling View Post
    lol, not all of us were born as a "Techy" and in my opinion it's a good way to start
    LOL - my name is the most misleading on WHT ... i'm not very techy, I don't run my own hosting biz, and I don't know 100% of the industry.

    I am a Financial Guru though. My name should be Mr. Finance

  9. #9
    I have to say the response here already has suprised me. TMZ you have a good point on the company handling the support. I will take everyones feedback into perspective when I get setup. One thing in common I have seen between different reseller options is I would get the best pricing by paying for a year up front. The advantage for me would be I do not have to worry about paying for the next month, and can concentrate on getting business so it starts working for me.

    Breinling what support ticket system did you install? A system like that has the professional appeal to it then I can take care of issues through the support ticket system. What company did you go with as well? Looks like you found one that works for you!

    Thanks for the warm welcome and look forward to a long future here at WHT

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Javve View Post
    I have to say the response here already has suprised me. TMZ you have a good point on the company handling the support. I will take everyones feedback into perspective when I get setup. One thing in common I have seen between different reseller options is I would get the best pricing by paying for a year up front. The advantage for me would be I do not have to worry about paying for the next month, and can concentrate on getting business so it starts working for me.
    Wait! Before you go and pay for a year up-front, you should pay for the service monthly for at least the first two months to ensure the service and reliability meets your requirements and expectations. Once your satisfied, then contact the companies sales department and change over to annual billing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Javve View Post
    Breinling what support ticket system did you install? A system like that has the professional appeal to it then I can take care of issues through the support ticket system. What company did you go with as well? Looks like you found one that works for you!
    The more popular billing systems actually have pretty decent support systems built-in. I would suggest checking out WHMCS or ClientExec as these systems will handle the billing, provisioning and support for your clients.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by InstantPH View Post
    Wait! Before you go and pay for a year up-front, you should pay for the service monthly for at least the first two months to ensure the service and reliability meets your requirements and expectations. Once your satisfied, then contact the companies sales department and change over to annual billing.

    The more popular billing systems actually have pretty decent support systems built-in. I would suggest checking out WHMCS or ClientExec as these systems will handle the billing, provisioning and support for your clients.
    Thanks for the tips. I know ones I was looking at have WHMCS and did not realize it had ticket support system as well. That is really nice. I need to check out the demo of the setups so I have more of an idea of what they have.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Javve View Post
    Thanks for the tips. I know ones I was looking at have WHMCS and did not realize it had ticket support system as well. That is really nice. I need to check out the demo of the setups so I have more of an idea of what they have.
    Yes WHMCS is GREAT. We personally love their ticket support system as its extremely easy to use and manage for our staff. Since we know its a great product that is the reason why we are offering it free with our reseller plans.

    Paying upfront for an year could get you good discounts, but if you are thinking of doing that do extensive re-search. Make sure the hosting company has some type of money back guarantee.

    Good luck with your search!

    - Daniel
    Managed & Unmanaged SSD VPS's by tmzVPS.com | FAST PURE SSD & HDD Plans!
    █ Locations in USA & United Kingdom - Legal Adult Content Allowed! 24/7 Certified Support.
    cPanel/WHM Included | Premium Softaculous | Data Migration Included with Managed Support.
    █ INSTANT SETUP | Paypal, Skrill, 2checkout, BitCoin & all Major Credit Cards Accepted! Skype: tmzvps.chat

  13. #13
    As you are looking for an extra source of income, you probably not going to spend all the time managing and providing supports your hosting accounts, your best bet is to outsource the support part to another offshore provider. this way the biz is almost works without much of your intereference.
    HostGuts.com Professional Web Hosting Services
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Javve View Post
    Breinling what support ticket system did you install? A system like that has the professional appeal to it then I can take care of issues through the support ticket system. What company did you go with as well? Looks like you found one that works for you!
    Hi there,
    I'm using hesk, simply google for hesk support, it's free

    at netenberg.com you can go for a free billing system

  15. #15
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    By the way if you go with WHMCS, you can take advantage of:
    http://whmcs.com/partners.php
    CrocWeb :: Canadian Web Hosting
    Accelerate your website, maximum performance!
    www.crocweb.com :: Since 2009 (Montreal, Quebec)

  16. #16
    TMZ hosting looks pretty promising right now. Cost is a little more for the RS Advanced but I get more web space and bandwidth than others, which allows me to offer more space to clients. So if I were to go with TMZ, then the next thing I would have to think about is reseller domains so I would be a one stop shop for someone looking for a site, thus eliminating them having to go to other places.

    The other thought I had was use a site like namecheap.com and get them a domain through there for the client so the client doesn't have to worry about it, then if for some reason they host elsewhere in the future, they can easily change info for their domain. I want to keep clients but also do not want to make it difficult for them if they want to see if grass is greener...

  17. #17
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    I hope you have your own LLC or some form of corporation.

    Designing a website -- there isn't much to be liable about however hosting is completely different. What happens when you (or your host) has a hard drive failure, or you delete a very important client file.

    You could (and possibility) will be sued. I'd hate for you to lose everything including your house, cars, etc if you don't have a LLC.

    Most people will tell it's not needed as people don't get sued that often, however it *DOES* happen. I'm living proof ;-)

  18. #18
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    We actually have some very good discounts with ResellerClub. So what you can do is configure your WHMCS with reseller club, and your clients can purchase the domains right through you. If you want purchase the domains for your clients thats also fine.

    - Daniel
    Managed & Unmanaged SSD VPS's by tmzVPS.com | FAST PURE SSD & HDD Plans!
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by nerdie View Post
    I hope you have your own LLC or some form of corporation.

    Most people will tell it's not needed as people don't get sued that often, however it *DOES* happen. I'm living proof ;-)
    That is definitally some good advice. Something I may need to look into. I know I'll need to have some sort of licensing.

    Quote Originally Posted by TmzHosting View Post
    We actually have some very good discounts with ResellerClub. So what you can do is configure your WHMCS with reseller club, and your clients can purchase the domains right through you. If you want purchase the domains for your clients thats also fine.

    - Daniel
    That's even better, then they can purchase it and feel like they are in control. Some clients like to have some sort of part in what they are doing. Is there any cost involved with getting set up with resellerclub? Today I will be looking at the demo of the whmcs.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Javve View Post
    That is definitally some good advice. Something I may need to look into. I know I'll need to have some sort of licensing.



    That's even better, then they can purchase it and feel like they are in control. Some clients like to have some sort of part in what they are doing. Is there any cost involved with getting set up with resellerclub? Today I will be looking at the demo of the whmcs.
    The only thing with resellerclub is that you would need to give them money upfront I think $99. (I was talking to a young lady at THEWHIR event in NY and she said they took it down to $99) The $99 fee is COMPLETELY usable. You can use that for your domains, but they just want something upfront. Once you have that setup it's very easy to setup in WHMCS.

    - Daniel
    Managed & Unmanaged SSD VPS's by tmzVPS.com | FAST PURE SSD & HDD Plans!
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  21. #21
    So the $99 is usable for the domain's, they just want to have some sort of credit to start?
    I think I read that right I just like to be 100% sure.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Javve View Post
    So the $99 is usable for the domain's, they just want to have some sort of credit to start?
    I think I read that right I just like to be 100% sure.
    Correct it's 100% usable.

    - Daniel
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  23. #23
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    By the way, WHMCS provides ResellerClub domain reseller account with no minimum deposit required:
    http://whmcs.com/resellerclub.php
    CrocWeb :: Canadian Web Hosting
    Accelerate your website, maximum performance!
    www.crocweb.com :: Since 2009 (Montreal, Quebec)

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrocWeb View Post
    By the way, WHMCS provides ResellerClub domain reseller account with no minimum deposit required:
    http://whmcs.com/resellerclub.php
    O yeah! I totally forgot about that. Which ever provider you go with that will give you WHMCS ask them to activate your account with resellerclub and you shouldn't have to pay the fee .

    - Daniel

  25. #25
    Oh nice, all reall good info. I am waiting on some money to come in then I should be setup to get started. I have one person so far that is willing to host from me. She is real active politically so she will be recommending others that may need space. I'm excited to get something going. I learned abour reseller accounts in the process of looking for a host for her. Then I decided, why not host?

    With it small and private I'm not worried about LLC but as soon as I start making a good income where it's going to have to be reported, I'll get myself licensed and protected. Some good legal advice on how to get started with that aspect would be appreciated as well.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Javve View Post
    Oh nice, all reall good info. I am waiting on some money to come in then I should be setup to get started. I have one person so far that is willing to host from me. She is real active politically so she will be recommending others that may need space. I'm excited to get something going. I learned abour reseller accounts in the process of looking for a host for her. Then I decided, why not host?

    With it small and private I'm not worried about LLC but as soon as I start making a good income where it's going to have to be reported, I'll get myself licensed and protected. Some good legal advice on how to get started with that aspect would be appreciated as well.
    There is absolutely no need to start an LLC now. You will not be pushing thousands of dollars a month.

    Concentrate on starting your company, getting a new layout etc. The LLC part is easy once you start growing.

    Good Luck!

    - Daniel
    Managed & Unmanaged SSD VPS's by tmzVPS.com | FAST PURE SSD & HDD Plans!
    █ Locations in USA & United Kingdom - Legal Adult Content Allowed! 24/7 Certified Support.
    cPanel/WHM Included | Premium Softaculous | Data Migration Included with Managed Support.
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  27. #27
    It's getting closer and closer to me having something setup. Now the next thing I will worry about is figuring out support. I plan on going to school starting in the summer, so will not always be available. I know people do not expect an immediate response but I wouldn't want them to have to wait a full day either.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Javve View Post
    It's getting closer and closer to me having something setup. Now the next thing I will worry about is figuring out support. I plan on going to school starting in the summer, so will not always be available. I know people do not expect an immediate response but I wouldn't want them to have to wait a full day either.
    You could always outsource your support, there seems to be a whole bunch of these companies advertising here.
    Cory Pippen
    San Diego Direct Web, LLC
    1-866-611-3604

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