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  1. #1

    Am I in over my head?

    I've done a lot of searching around on the forums for the last few hours and I'm starting to realize I might be in over my head...

    I'm rather new to this whole hosting thing so I might have miscalculated the complexities. I'm trying to start up my own local small business, like, VERY small, maybe 5-20 new clients a year, and what my plan was would be to have a website, were I would sell hosting (reseller hosting), sell domain name registration, and also sell web design.

    But after reading all of these threads, I'm beginning to wonder, is it possible to do all of this on a low budget? I can go out and get the clients, so marketing shouldn't be a big deal. But is it possible to have a reseller website to resell hosting AND be able to sell domain names to customers that I would host...and possibly design?

    Let me know if I am in way over my head...or there is actually a viable way to do this. I guess the main thing I'm looking to achieve is to get income from all sides of the website, in domain registration fees, reoccurring monthly fees for hosing, and the big chunk of income for the web design end.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    43
    It's definitely possible. Most of what you're reading are purely online web hosts, not people using web hosts as a secondary revenue stream for offline clients. The great thing about offline clients is that they are willing to pay a premium for hosting. With offline clients you can charge $50 per month web hosting no problem.

    Do you currently have a reseller account or still looking to get one? If you're wanting to stay as simple as possible I would recommend finding one with technical end-user support included.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    36
    Yea it's possible, not as far fetched as it may seem .

    Think of it as a long term project and you should be fine, this is not going to be a quick 6 month startup business and having thousands rolling into your bank.

    I think you have good realistic numbers by 5-20 a year for low to no budget.. i would probably say aim for at least 1-2 new clients every month..

    READ READ READ READ.. that's a big thing, when your new to this business then reading is really what helps, also what your doing now which is asking question.

    You have to be technical.. especially if your solo.

    You have to ask yourself if you want to have your computer speakers always cranked, or your phone always on during the night because there is always a chance that someone at 2am will be asking for some kind of help.. wont happen often.. but it can and does.

    Start local and grow from there, that's how i have done it and it's working so far.

    Don't do the 1.99$ hosting plans, too many customers, too many issues, not enough return.

    Good luck! it's a good ride!

  4. #4
    I don't currently have a reseller account, I'm still doing all of my research and trying to figure out which one will be best for my situation. It's difficult choosing one when I'm not 100% sure exactly what I need...plus, it's hard to understand all of these terms! I like to stick to the design end of the website, this whole hosting thing is new to me!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    43
    Quote Originally Posted by iNVERSE1 View Post
    I don't currently have a reseller account, I'm still doing all of my research and trying to figure out which one will be best for my situation. It's difficult choosing one when I'm not 100% sure exactly what I need...plus, it's hard to understand all of these terms! I like to stick to the design end of the website, this whole hosting thing is new to me!
    Well a few things I would recommend to look for:

    - First figure out which CMS you will be working with, and make sure the hosted server is compatible with it.

    - If you are only planning to get 5-25 clients a year I think you're safe with getting 25gb max disk space for now

    - Make sure your host is capable of scaling to your needs (this is a must)

    - Make sure they offer 24/7 support in some for or another whether it be email, phone, ticket, etc

    - Make sure they have 99.9% uptime guarantee

    - Look for a host that does at least weekly backups for you (however you should still take your own)


    Those are the key elements I would consider, now for the bonus stuff...

    - Do they have a site builder?

    - Do they offer enduser support? (your clients)

    - Do they allow a customized cPanel design?

    - Do they offer a billing software?

  6. #6
    How low of a budget do you have starting out?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by M Bacon View Post
    How low of a budget do you have starting out?
    $500...ish.
    (It would be more, but I need to get rid of this P.O.S. Dell and invest in a new MacBook. Hah)

  8. #8
    Ya. It's possible. Use some Reseller Hosting Company that includes a free billing system, domain reseller, ssl, site builder, etc. Like Inno Hosting. They only charge $17/month. You can find hosts easily around $20 to $30 a month starting out without issues.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by M Bacon View Post
    Ya. It's possible. Use some Reseller Hosting Company that includes a free billing system, domain reseller, ssl, site builder, etc. Like Inno Hosting. They only charge $17/month. You can find hosts easily around $20 to $30 a month starting out without issues.
    Everything looks and sounds great. But being more attracted to the design end, my question is, how "free" are these SiteBuilders? If I wanted to design and code 95% of the website, would it let me? I really just want to be able to make the website my own and have it look how I want.

  10. #10
    You can edit the css, code, and graphics manually. Publish what you need first. After that, Don't publish it after you edit it. Download the code, css, & graphics after you have edited it.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by M Bacon View Post
    You can edit the css, code, and graphics manually. Don't publish it after you edit it.
    Don't publish what? The modified code or the website?

  12. #12
    Edited the post.

  13. #13
    You can do it manually. You'll know what I mean once you use the site builder.

  14. #14
    I suppose the main problem for you at the present time is your web site creation. I suppose you can do it yourself in the following ways:
    - create own web site using free templates. In this case you will have your own web site but I'm afraid that will not be unique.
    - create your own web site using site builders or web templates.

    So that will allow you to spend rest of your budget for buying web hosting only.

  15. #15
    I was going to do something like this about a month ago. I was planning on using a Hostgator reseller account. They have an option the in cPanel where you can 1-click install Wordpress. I was going to just find a good template for wordpress that is related to my offline business client and make the first couple of posts for them and show them how to do it. $50 a month was exactly what I was thinking of charging, too .

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by M Bacon View Post
    Ya. It's possible. Use some Reseller Hosting Company that includes a free billing system, domain reseller, ssl, site builder, etc. Like Inno Hosting. They only charge $17/month. You can find hosts easily around $20 to $30 a month starting out without issues.
    Now when it comes to sites like Inno Hosting, when you resell a domain name, who hosts it? Would I be hosting it or would Inno, in this case, be hosting it?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Worldwide
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    412
    Quote Originally Posted by iNVERSE1 View Post
    Now when it comes to sites like Inno Hosting, when you resell a domain name, who hosts it? Would I be hosting it or would Inno, in this case, be hosting it?
    Inno wouldn't be bad at all and can give you a kickstart although I would not go with their domain feature.

    On the other hand it really is possible that you could build up a company with a small budget. Your small budget may prevent you from growing fast though would definately not prevent you from starting and trying.

    More over the real important thing ain't really the budget as you can even get some budget VPS or a reseller account for less than $5 / month. The breaking issue is your sincere intention and how good you take care of your company and your customers. If you prove them honesty and hard work and a practical problem solving attitude, there you go and I wouldn't see no reason why you wouldn't be in business after that.

    Good Luck
    FLIPPER HOST Budget VPS, Resellers & Shared Linux Hosting
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  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
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    613
    Quote Originally Posted by iNVERSE1 View Post
    Everything looks and sounds great. But being more attracted to the design end, my question is, how "free" are these SiteBuilders? If I wanted to design and code 95% of the website, would it let me? I really just want to be able to make the website my own and have it look how I want.
    If the design aspect is your primary interest and expertise, then a site builder is not what you want. That's what you offer to your customers who want to do it themselves.
    Tula Networking
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  19. #19
    Get a good reseller account, and sell your design skills and technical expertise. You'll take care of the hosting for you clients as a bonus, as long as they continue to buy your support for the maintenance of their sites. Help your clients registrar their domains, and put yourself as their technical contact.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Ceko View Post
    Inno wouldn't be bad at all and can give you a kickstart although I would not go with their domain feature.
    Why not?

    I registered my reseller account today with Inno, and I'm nothing short of completely lost...so we'll see where it goes from here. After 7hrs of trying to figure anything out...I made little to no progress. I guess I'll just have to keep researching.

  21. #21
    Hi,
    The first thing I would recommend you do as a freelancer is read Freelance Confidential. I also agree that you should not use a site builder. There are plenty of theme sites around both paid by the theme, and template clubs. There are also just as many free templates available; perfect for learning how things work.

    A CMS is optional. For a simple business site that doesn't rely on a lot of dynamic content just use HTML and CSS, because you won't have a database slowing down the page load speed. Of course when using a CMS your content can be Cached, but when your first getting started It's best to start simple, so you won't have to troubleshoot page load speeds. Content Management Systems I use and recommend are Joomla, and Word Press.

    Some free tools to get you started. Just search Google as I am not aloud to post links yet. Fire fox browser and get the following extensions Firebug, and Yslow

    My favorite development tools, and recommended if you are serious.
    DreamWeaver Photo Shop, and Illustrator. You can download free trials from Adobe.

    Learning to use Adobe software: Video tutorials.
    Lots of free content at Adobe
    VTC and Lynda

    Good luck with your new endeavorer.

    Regards,
    Jason

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    /home/kristoffer
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    2,793
    I would recommend going with a host that offer you some kind of management or end-user support, so that you doesn't need to know everything.

    It's always good to learn, but I understand that you haven't worked in the web hosting business before.
    Serverfruit - awesome cPanel hosting!
    Bacon forever!

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    169
    Hi I'm in the same position as you are. However Do take a look at WHMCS, it will probably help you ALOT since it will do everything for you regarding account setup, new clients etc. All you will have to focus on is monitoring, support sales and customer feedback.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    UK: Oxford
    Posts
    1,256
    For 500, you can reseller for 1 year and free whmcs (your billing).

    Then, you can just go from there managing clients and websites

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Worldwide
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    Quote Originally Posted by iNVERSE1 View Post
    Why not?

    I registered my reseller account today with Inno, and I'm nothing short of completely lost...so we'll see where it goes from here. After 7hrs of trying to figure anything out...I made little to no progress. I guess I'll just have to keep researching.

    Innos domain reselling feature was the only reason why I would accept to put my $200 + dollars in the garbage and move on.

    Just put $100 in your domain reselling account as a deposit and even though you will see a button for refund you will never be able to get your deposit / unused amount be refunded and until you click the refund button you will never know or hear from inno that it was not refundable. If you had put $1000 as a deposit than it'll just mean you will have to work with them for the next 2 years or just let them keep your money as you will not have another choice.

    Except the domain reselling feature inno is good for a start though.
    FLIPPER HOST Budget VPS, Resellers & Shared Linux Hosting
    cPanel/WHM, Solus VM, RV Site Builder Pro, Fantastico & Softaculous
    24x7 Heroic Ticketing and Live Chat
    Flipper Host is an Invest Lion Company

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Lee Summit,MO,USA
    Posts
    123
    $40-$59 a month for what your trying to do would be the most acceptable. You could even go as low as 15/monthly with some company's who do indeed offer the spec's your requiring. Resellers, Vps,w/ or w/o Cpanels. There is a lot of options out there for you.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Plankt0n View Post
    Hi I'm in the same position as you are. However Do take a look at WHMCS, it will probably help you ALOT since it will do everything for you regarding account setup, new clients etc. All you will have to focus on is monitoring, support sales and customer feedback.
    Yeah, I feel like after I take a look at the WHMCS everything will come together. I'm just having trouble visualizing how everything works together and trying to figure out how to set everything up before I understand how it all works.

    I'm still waiting on my DNS to actually register the site, so until then, no WHMCS for me.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Europe
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    If you want I can give you my skype ID so we can cry together about how little personal time we'll have hahaha jokes Good luck though! I think we both will need it. Send me a PM if you need some resources regarding WHMCS which helped me alot.

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