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  1. #1
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    Any hosting related business that needs little or no end user support?

    As the title says, I would like to find out if there's any hosting related business that needs none to little time supporting the end customers?

    How about selling domains - does it need too much end user support?

    What other options are there besides domains?


    Thanks in advance for all the help...

  2. #2
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    Domains and SSL certificates probably require very little compared to conventional hosting. You can also resell another provider by way of their commission programs - then you've got NO support obligations beyond billing issues.

    Honestly, the vast majority of our tickets come from the same users each time. There's always an adjustment period over the first few weeks, where a customer might need help getting things up and running. But beyond that, most of our customers never submit any support requests. There's something to be said for investing in a stable infrastructure.

    You could also simply refuse to provide end-user support. Several hosting companies exist that do nothing more than ensure hardware and network uptime. Anything past the network port or OS is the user's responsibility.
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  3. #3
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    Along with Domains, SSL certificates, i would add also Email accounts.

    Otherwise if you sell VPS, Dedicated you might sell thrm as Bare Metal Boxes with no end support.

  4. #4
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    Thank you FRH Lisa and WebMaister.


    Any good reseller(commission) programs out there?

    How much support does dns hosting need (I can provide support but not 24 hours,maybe reply within 24 hours) if there is any money in it?

  5. #5
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    Just to add I'm willing to resell shared, vps and dedicated without having to provide end user technical support.

    I'm willing to do the sales and marketing (since it's not always 24 hours)... So any good hosts there that allow reselling for the above?

    FRH Lisa I see you're yet to start a reseller program... I'd be keen to have a look when you start one.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by host2010 View Post
    Just to add I'm willing to resell shared, vps and dedicated without having to provide end user technical support.

    I'm willing to do the sales and marketing (since it's not always 24 hours)... So any good hosts there that allow reselling for the above?

    FRH Lisa I see you're yet to start a reseller program... I'd be keen to have a look when you start one.
    InnoHosting and EZPZHosting have end user support. They'll essentially provide the support to your clients

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by host2010 View Post
    Any good reseller(commission) programs out there?
    BurstNET's is far and away the simplest. It's a flat 25% discount on the wholesale side (sell it under your name), or a 25% commission on the reseller side (sell it under their name). We used them to get started with our early VPSes and they've been great. We only ever sold the premium VPSes so I can't speak to their discount VPSes, but we got a lot of compliments on how stable and potent the VPSes were.

    Nowadays we use our own Xen hardware. There's a lot more money to be made this way, but there's nothing wrong with using a reseller account to hit the ground running.

    The last time I looked their shared hosting reseller program wasn't anything great, but their VPSes / dedicated servers / colocation services are awesome. And now I see they're offering OnApp cloud services as well.

    Limestone also has a great reseller program for dedicated servers. Their add-on / configuration prices are some of the best in the industry. The only catch with any VPS / dedicated reseller program is that you will sometimes have to act as a liaison between your customers and your vendor, so you aren't completely wiping your hands of support.

    Quote Originally Posted by host2010 View Post
    FRH Lisa I see you're yet to start a reseller program... I'd be keen to have a look when you start one.
    Thanks! We'll be doing something interesting in early 2014. Keep an eye on the offers forums!
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  8. #8
    Like others have said, domains, SSL certificates, and email packages tend to require little-to-no support.
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  9. #9
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    Happy New Year to all of you.

    So I've been thinking a lot about this. The reason I started thinking along the lines of offering hosting related services is that I often get customers who enquire or ask for suggestions regarding domains and hosting.

    I am into web development/programming and it's natural that anyone getting a website is going to need hosting and a domain. I already spend time and energy on this, helping my customers with this. At the moment, based on their needs, I just recommend them a Registrar/Host I myself use but I still have to spend a bit of time on this explaining them the basic stuff, what plan might be more suitable for them and managing the stuff for them.

    Also, the web develoment business is still a small setup, so given that I am already doing some of this stuff, it intrigued my interest if I could build a business out of hosting or something related that could provide with recurring additional income each month.

    So far, I've had lots of concerns -

    Like the end user support thing - you people did provide me some options to resolve this issue.

    However, another concern that I've had lately is regarding the client's data - it's safety and availability at all times.

    There are possibilities like hardware failure (rare but even with raid setup), data corruption, human error or any kind of calamities.

    I just won't feel good leting anyone down on this and someone losing their data. I know customers should possibly have a backup of their own data but you know customers can be careless and put all the responsibility on the host. I'm not sure if there is anything that is 100% safe, but what's the best possible way to ensure that customers never lose their data ?

    Based on this, I've been thinking about the various options I have

    1)Not to get into the web hosting business at all but instead do something related that doesn't need too much support or maintaining customer's data/backups. Is it possible to just offer Domain Names, SSl and Emails (Emails probably again would need some kind of backup) without hosting and if it is, is it worth the time based on the profit margins?

    2)Offer Domains/SSl/Emails, however for hosting, just be an affiliate for some other host(making some affiliate income in return).

    3)Resell for another provider with good end user support and someone that has some solid backup policy in place.

    4)Do it all myself properly if I can overcome some of the concerns I have.

    I would appreciate some thoughts from you experts out there on the options that I listed above...


    And If you could offer any suggestions on - whether besides domains, ssl and emails, is there anything else you could offer that could provide with recurring additional income each month. How about voip, gaming or vpn etc, possibly being a reseller of some other type of service? (Don't know much about these fields, but I'm a geek and can find my way around).

    Thanks in advance for all your help.
    Last edited by host2010; 01-02-2014 at 10:22 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by FRH Lisa View Post
    Honestly, the vast majority of our tickets come from the same users each time. There's always an adjustment period over the first few weeks, where a customer might need help getting things up and running. But beyond that, most of our customers never submit any support requests. There's something to be said for investing in a stable infrastructure.

    So many overlook these two concepts;

    1. Provide customers the same quality I would want myself

    2. Most clients and customers, unless their hands on people, just need a working site and working email...that's it.


    I've seen many amusing questions from "what do I name my company" to "what kind of cereal should I eat since I'm incapable of making my own decisions"....but how to make $$$$ doing absolutely nothing. Cue train-wreck music.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 48-14 View Post
    I've seen many amusing questions from "what do I name my company" to "what kind of cereal should I eat since I'm incapable of making my own decisions"....but how to make $$$$ doing absolutely nothing. Cue train-wreck music.

    Thank you for reading and understanding my post in depth


    Hopefully, someone else with experience in the hosting industry will be a bit more gentle and understand that my limitations stem from

    1)Being relatively new in the industry, so trying to understand it all before jumping in blindly.

    2)Being a small setup - so not overloading myself with work that I cannot handle.

    3)Everyone's circumstances are different, what is good for one person is not necessarily good for the other person as well. And making decent money working lesser number of hours through some good planning is not actually a bad idea.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by host2010 View Post
    1)Not to get into the web hosting business at all but instead do something related that doesn't need too much support or maintaining customer's data/backups. Is it possible to just offer Domain Names, SSl and Emails (Emails probably again would need some kind of backup) without hosting and if it is, is it worth the time based on the profit margins?
    Yes, definitely possible. No, the profit margins will be slim. Think along the lines of $5 - $20 per customer per year. Wholesale cost for a domain name is around $8 - $10 / year and wholesale cost for an SSL certificate is around $13 / year (Comodo Essential). SSL certificates and domain names are pretty much afterthoughts for us. Although there isn't much involved, you're still doing a disproportionate amount of work for very little gain.

    2)Offer Domains/SSl/Emails, however for hosting, just be an affiliate for some other host(making some affiliate income in return).
    This is a very smart way to go. Just be clear to your clients that you're an affiliate ("we've partnered with ___ because we wanted a reliable company that we would trust to host our OWN data", etc).

    A lot of people on WHT will rally against affiliate programs and reseller programs. They'll claim you aren't a "real" host or worse. Those people are pedantic, condescending idiots. If you're providing a service to your customers and your customers value that service enough for you to turn a profit, then you're a business.

    More hosts need to learn when a service is beyond their ability / when to hand it off to another company, and I commend you for thinking this way!

    3)Resell for another provider with good end user support and someone that has some solid backup policy in place.
    This is probably your best option, with an affiliate option coming in second. Let someone with experience handle all the heavy lifting, and you keep doing what you do best. You'll get a very detailed behind-the-scenes view of the industry, and you'll learn a lot about hosting. Once you've been at it for a year or so, you'll be much better qualified to decide whether you want to jump in with your own hardware or not.

    That's another big advantage to going the reseller route: you can easily grow into your own hardware when the time comes. You can also put together your own dream solution from multiple providers: maybe six months from now you'll score a huge e-commerce site that demands the power of a dedicated server, so you partner with a server reseller to add to your portfolio.

    There are several resellers who provide white-label support to your end users. InnoHosting, EZPZ, ThePrimeHost, and XEHost all come to mind. You can also find a number of third party companies to provide support to your customers -- figure on spending around $150 - $300 / month, depending on quality of service, number of tickets, etc.

    We started off with a reseller account from EZPZ, migrated to InnoHosting, and now are on our own. We also used to resell VPSes from BurstNET, and now we use our own hardware. Those resale programs put a lot of money into our coffers, all with no capital expense on our part. And we still resell dedicated servers from Limestone and BurstNET.

    The catch with being a reseller is that (a) you won't make as much money (especially with VPSes and dedicated servers), and (b) you won't have as much control. IMHO those are relatively minor concerns. Whether or not they're worth the tradeoff is a decision only you can make.

    4)Do it all myself properly if I can overcome some of the concerns I have.
    Definitely possible, but please know what you're getting into. WHT is filled with stories from angry customers whose hosts flamed out. I'll put my cynicism aside and say most of those hosts didn't start off thinking "heh, I'll take all my customers' money and then just bail" -- they thought that had it all under control, and then Something Bad happened.

    If you do want to go out on your own (without an affiliate or reseller program), please read as many posts in this forum as you can stomach. Look at what everybody else goes through so you'll have an idea what you need to go through. And please get help from a third-party sever management company that can help you out when the going gets rough (and it will).

    It's not difficult to do, but when you start taking customer money in exchange for service, you owe it to them to be able to handle whatever comes your way.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by FRH Lisa View Post
    Just be clear to your clients that you're an affiliate ("we've partnered with ___ because we wanted a reliable company that we would trust to host our OWN data", etc).

    A lot of people on WHT will rally against affiliate programs and reseller programs. They'll claim you aren't a "real" host or worse. Those people are pedantic, condescending idiots. If you're providing a service to your customers and your customers value that service enough for you to turn a profit, then you're a business.

    I don't if it's condescending or experienced and annoyed with short-cutting.

    We've all started somewhere, but there's a clear divide when it comes to someone who truly cares about their business.

    Years ago, research for me meant go to a library. Now research is asking a question on a forum or social media and having people "do" the research for you with multiple answers. Very lazy.



    But to your statement, many resellers are not clear and claim they ARE the host. That's when the slippery slope begins. Technically they are a business, but the customer needs to understand that if an issue arises, they have to wait twice as long for a response since the "host" also has to submit a ticket to their host.....which ties in with the previous comments. When I was with HG, if a customer had an issue, I could email HG and it would be resolved quickly. Once communicating with HG was an issue, I left...but I was lucky since I could resolve issues and had my own resources.

    I do have an issue with some affiliates. Basically throw people on a bad host or non-secure environments just to get $$$$.

  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by FRH Lisa

    Just be clear to your clients that you're an affiliate ("we've partnered with ___ because we wanted a reliable company that we would trust to host our OWN data", etc).

    A lot of people on WHT will rally against affiliate programs and reseller programs. They'll claim you aren't a "real" host or worse. Those people are pedantic, condescending idiots. If you're providing a service to your customers and your customers value that service enough for you to turn a profit, then you're a business.
    Yes a business always needs to state that they partnered with a company to offer services. Even if they have a reseller account it is a good idea. But most hosts do not say they because they want to make it seem to the customer they own the hardware or lease it instead of being a reseller of a service.

  15. #15
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    I'm one of the pedantic, condescending idiots, for sure. If you have no money to invest, you shouldn't be opening a business. It's that simple. If you have no time to run a business, then you shouldn't be running a business. Again...very simple. No business plan? Same thing.

    You don't open a restaurant without any of those 3 things. You don't open a laundromat, a printing business, a lawncare service, or any other business for that matter. Yet people run to the hosting industry and look at it as a way to make a quick buck without having to actually do anything you would have to do for a normal business.

    Far too often, these resellers don't make as much money as they thought they were going to make, and they simply fold, leaving their clients high and dry. Not saying that doesn't happen with non-resellers, but it's far easier for the resellers to walk away and wash their hands of the mess they created. You see it all the time.

    So if you want to get into business, get into business properly and for the right reasons. If you want to try to make a quick buck, go to Vegas and put your money on red or black.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by wswd View Post
    I'm one of the pedantic, condescending idiots, for sure. If you have no money to invest, you shouldn't be opening a business.
    Except it isn't that simple. What do you say to a web developer who wants to bundle hosting with his or her development services? Why should he go out, purchase a server, rack it in a DC, become a savvy Linux admin, master Apache / PHP / MySQL / cPanel / WHM / exim / everything else, and run his own hosting operation when he can just let someone with experience handle that for you? Their customers are better off in the hands of an experienced reseller provider than someone who just fired up their first LAMP server.

    My biggest beef with the anti-reseller stance is that you can make that argument anywhere up and down the food chain. Unless you own and operate your own DC, you're buying services from someone else, dressing them up, and reselling them under your own name.

    I'll even go one step further and say that knowing how to grow and develop your business is more important these days than knowing how to administer things from the technical side. You might have the most robust infrastructure in the world, but you aren't going to make a penny if nobody knows you exist. Conversely, you can have an average infrastructure and make a fortune if you know how to get people to look at you (as evidenced by the volume of mediocre hosts out there).

    There are extremes, of course. Get a crappy cut-rate reseller program and the "cheapest" server management company on WHT, and you're going to have problems. That's why it's so important to research who you work with carefully, as you really are putting your reputation in their hands.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 48-14 View Post
    We've all started somewhere, but there's a clear divide when it comes to someone who truly cares about their business.
    "Caring about your business" and "using a reseller program" aren't mutually exclusive, though.

    Years ago, research for me meant go to a library. Now research is asking a question on a forum or social media and having people "do" the research for you with multiple answers. Very lazy.
    No disagreement here, but this really has nothing to do with reseller programs.

    But to your statement, many resellers are not clear and claim they ARE the host. That's when the slippery slope begins. Technically they are a business, but the customer needs to understand that if an issue arises, they have to wait twice as long for a response since the "host" also has to submit a ticket to their host.....which ties in with the previous comments.
    Maybe, maybe not. We had pretty quick turnaround on tickets that we submitted to InnoHosting on customers' behalf (we never used their end user support for reasons that we've already discussed with IH). The turnaround time on those issues was faster than some tickets we've submitted with other companies who aren't resellers. It all depends on the quality of providers involved.

    Now, if you want to make the argument that putting two slow providers together will equal a horrible response time, then I agree with you. If the upstream provider is taking forever to respond, then it's time to find a new host.

    What irks me the most about the anti-reseller segment of the community is that they usually throw up the worst examples to make their point. "Well what if the new host goes out of business? Then what?" Yeah, then what? What if they buy their own servers and then go out of business? There are plenty of fly-by-night hosts that pop up around June and vanish around September every year. Some use reseller accounts, some use VPSes, some use rented servers, some use colo gear, some use old Core2Quads in their parents' basement ...

    Ripoffs come in all shapes and sizes. Using those fly-by-night scam hosts to scare customers away from reseller accounts is just silly.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by FRH Lisa View Post
    Except it isn't that simple. What do you say to a web developer who wants to bundle hosting with his or her development services? Why should he go out, purchase a server, rack it in a DC, become a savvy Linux admin, master Apache / PHP / MySQL / cPanel / WHM / exim / everything else, and run his own hosting operation when he can just let someone with experience handle that for you? Their customers are better off in the hands of an experienced reseller provider than someone who just fired up their first LAMP server.

    There are developers that actually have no clue about hosting AND will put their sites and clients sites on a bad host...and then spend hours trying to fix the "problem". I went that extra step and invested in my own servers for my clients and customers. Zero issues and almost zero tickets.

    Some developers would rather the host take care of hosting issues....which makes sense and nothing wrong in that, BUT why not put clients on a good host.

    Not even going to get into designers that cram clients sites into a regular account (non-reseller). The big clue...asking the developer for ftp or login information and not able to get it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by FRH Lisa View Post
    No disagreement here, but this really has nothing to do with reseller programs.

    I like your points, but I believe it still has to do with resellers.

    Example of my prior business;

    Startup between 1980 to 1990...possibly $100,00 to a million
    Startup between 1991 to 2000...possibly $10,00 to $200,000

    Now, I would average between $3,000 to $15,000


    Those numbers are just equipment costs. No rent/lease or advertise included.


    To become a reseller host.....$100 a year for an account.....$50 template....$9 domain......instant host in the same playing field as a company with an actual start-up budget.


    Also, according to WHT rules....after 10 posts your a host.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 48-14 View Post
    There are developers that actually have no clue about hosting AND will put their sites and clients sites on a bad host...and then spend hours trying to fix the "problem".
    I think that's what really makes the difference: choosing a good host over a bad one. Going with a fly-by-night host (of any nature, not just reseller) just because they were the "cheapest" is always going to lead to disaster.

    I see it this way: take one of the more highly-recommended providers out there, like some of the ones I mentioned earlier. If you're a developer, you can refer your clients directly to that host, or you can set them up under a reseller account with end-user support. In either case the customer is going to get the same level of service from a solid company, but with the reseller program, the developer has an easy way to bundle in lifetime / long-term hosting. Same ends, different means.

    Some developers would rather the host take care of hosting issues....which makes sense and nothing wrong in that, BUT why not put clients on a good host.
    Absolutely agree -- quality is key. Go with "the cheapest" of anything, be it colo, dedicated servers, VPSes, reseller accounts, shared hosting, server management, you name it, and you're just begging for problems.

    Not even going to get into designers that cram clients sites into a regular account (non-reseller). The big clue...asking the developer for ftp or login information and not able to get it.
    Fortunately all of the developers we work with have been very adamant about putting customers on their own individual plans, even though it costs more than piling them all together. Those who don't do this wind up getting a VPS or dedicated server and setting it up on their own.

    For the record, we don't currently offer reseller accounts, so we really don't have a horse in this race. In fact the argument I'm making actually encourages customers to go with our competitors.
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    Hopefully Host2010 is taking notes from our conversation

    Quote Originally Posted by FRH Lisa View Post
    I think that's what really makes the difference: choosing a good host over a bad one. Going with a fly-by-night host (of any nature, not just reseller) just because they were the "cheapest" is always going to lead to disaster.
    No argument there.


    Quote Originally Posted by FRH Lisa View Post
    I see it this way: take one of the more highly-recommended providers out there, like some of the ones I mentioned earlier. If you're a developer, you can refer your clients directly to that host, or you can set them up under a reseller account with end-user support. In either case the customer is going to get the same level of service from a solid company, but with the reseller program, the developer has an easy way to bundle in lifetime / long-term hosting. Same ends, different means.




    Quote Originally Posted by FRH Lisa View Post
    Absolutely agree -- quality is key. Go with "the cheapest" of anything, be it colo, dedicated servers, VPSes, reseller accounts, shared hosting, server management, you name it, and you're just begging for problems.

    Generally true...although through research, there are the hidden gems that focused on low-cost...not cheap, and have done a better job than some offering premium prices. But it is a hit/miss whereas premium is the way to go...but just like anything electronic, premium can have their off moments too. Backups backup backups.

    It's just the sad reality that some designers will swear by the cheap host for whatever commission they received, and accept the fact that they will HAVE to put aside time to either fix, submit a ticket, or get a call at any random time that something is wrong. Some people are attracted to "drama", or as I would call them, people who live in a constant State of Emergency.



    Quote Originally Posted by FRH Lisa View Post
    Fortunately all of the developers we work with have been very adamant about putting customers on their own individual plans, even though it costs more than piling them all together. Those who don't do this wind up getting a VPS or dedicated server and setting it up on their own.

    Same here....no resellers. The designers I work with all use VPS accounts. Resellers sometimes = starting off = not fully experienced. There's one host on here that focuses on resellers. The amount of issues he has to deal with and gets blamed about...not worth it. Inexperienced leading the inexperienced.


    Quote Originally Posted by FRH Lisa View Post
    In fact the argument I'm making actually encourages customers to go with our competitors.
    Just common sense and looking out the customer. I've done it too.

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    FRH Lisa , I'm really grateful for your input. I'll come back and update my post later in the day to address some of the concerns being raised here...

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    Lisa, you can throw in all the mumbo jumbo and write huge threads to cloud the issue all you want.

    My extremely valid point still stands. If you don't have time to handle the absolute basics of a business (i.e. customer service), then you shouldn't be running a business. I don't care if it's a reseller, affiliate, or you own millions of dollars worth of hardware. If you can't run a business properly, then you shouldn't be going into business. It really is that simple.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wswd View Post
    Lisa, you can throw in all the mumbo jumbo and write huge threads to cloud the issue all you want.
    Sorry for bringing up details and examples, I guess.

    My extremely valid point still stands. If you don't have time to handle the absolute basics of a business (i.e. customer service), then you shouldn't be running a business.
    But what's that got to do with using a reseller provider? Nothing involved with being or using a reseller is contradictory to providing good support. Now you can make the argument that plenty of hosts who use reseller accounts provide poor service, and I won't disagree there at all -- but the real issue is that plenty of hosts (period, as in, of all shapes and sizes) provide poor service. WHT is overflowing with valid gripes from customers about how they were handled poorly by a large, well-respected host. Many of them aren't resellers.

    Your entire argument is based on the flawed premise that resellers can't provide good customer service.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by FRH Lisa View Post
    Sorry for bringing up details and examples, I guess.



    But what's that got to do with using a reseller provider? Nothing involved with being or using a reseller is contradictory to providing good support. Now you can make the argument that plenty of hosts who use reseller accounts provide poor service, and I won't disagree there at all -- but the real issue is that plenty of hosts (period, as in, of all shapes and sizes) provide poor service. WHT is overflowing with valid gripes from customers about how they were handled poorly by a large, well-respected host. Many of them aren't resellers.

    Your entire argument is based on the flawed premise that resellers can't provide good customer service.


    Look at his argument this way;


    Someone who invested $100 into a business is not really investing. $100 comes and goes easily. Funny....it's almost opposite of what you just replied to in the other thread (http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showth...53#post8972553 post #21), but I'm not trying to argue.

    As you agreed...where are the customers? IF someone has a strong business sense AND common sense, they could use a reseller account and move towards servers after a few years of hard work. But for some, they have no concept of a bigger picture and think that $100 will pay all their fee's AND get customers running to them. When reality bursts the bubble, the losers always ends up being the customers.

    Someone who invests hundreds or a few thousands into a company is not trying to lose their investment, and in "most" cases is trying to build a self-sustaining business.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by 48-14 View Post
    As you agreed...where are the customers? IF someone has a strong business sense AND common sense, they could use a reseller account and move towards servers after a few years of hard work. But for some, they have no concept of a bigger picture and think that $100 will pay all their fee's AND get customers running to them. When reality bursts the bubble, the losers always ends up being the customers.
    That's what I think is being missed here -- whether or not the customers come in and how the business becomes profitable. If a user wants to start with a reseller account, then they're starting with a less expensive option. The issue I take with wswd's posts is his presumption that that automatically means that the business isn't "real".

    Fortunately the WHT community seems to have eased up on this point over the past year or so, so we can all get back to arguing about Xen versus OpenVZ.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by FRH Lisa View Post
    Your entire argument is based on the flawed premise that resellers can't provide good customer service.
    Well, yet again, you missed my point. You're real good at that!

    Quote Originally Posted by WSWD
    If you have no money to invest, you shouldn't be opening a business. It's that simple. If you have no time to run a business, then you shouldn't be running a business. Again...very simple. No business plan? Same thing.
    There's my point. Even quoted myself for you, so you can't skew words.

    Quote Originally Posted by FRH Lisa View Post
    The issue I take with wswd's posts is his presumption that that automatically means that the business isn't "real".
    Take issue all you want, but I'm right. I'd bet you any amount of money that 9 out of 10 "$100 resellers" are not running legitimate, legal businesses, paying taxes, etc. It's not that resellers can't run legitimate businesses. It's that THESE resellers aren't running legitimate businesses.

    Can you honestly with a straight face tell me that this guy should be running a business? "I want to run a business and make a lot of money......but I don't want to do anything. I have no time to provide support, I have no time to put into the business, I have no money to invest, etc.". And you're going to argue that somehow that attitude is okay? This guy should be running a business? You're better than that.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by wswd View Post
    Can you honestly with a straight face tell me that this guy should be running a business? "I want to run a business and make a lot of money......but I don't want to do anything. I have no time to provide support, I have no time to put into the business, I have no money to invest, etc.". And you're going to argue that somehow that attitude is okay? This guy should be running a business? You're better than that.

    Some of you are making a lot of assumptions about the business i intend to run on your own... I think you should read my thread in detail and not just skim through it or get hold of some particular sentence while ignoring all other detail...

    Even though I haven't written back to respond to some of the things you've bringing up, I've been reading your posts...

    I don't intend to get into an unnecessary argument that is just a waste of time but I think I would be writing back here soon as you're not adding anything meaningful to the discussion(Except for the criticism about the very things I'm already aware of and the very reason I started this thread...) but instead finding fault with some of the people who are trying to be helpful...
    Last edited by host2010; 01-08-2014 at 08:04 AM.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by host2010 View Post
    Some of you are making a lot of assumptions about the business i intend to run on your own... I think you should read my thread in detail and not just skim through it or get hold of some particular sentence while ignoring all other detail...

    Even though I haven't written back to respond to some of the things you've bringing up, I've been reading your posts...

    I don't intend to get into an unnecessary argument that is just a waste of time but I think I would be writing back here soon as you're not adding anything meaningful to the discussion(Except for the criticism about the very things I'm already aware of and the very reason I started this thread...) but instead finding fault with some of the people who are trying to be helpful...


    Here's a few things to think about during breakfast;

    1. WHT members can see your history of everything you posted AND can see that you don't know what your doing AND have offered the same advice over and over again....research.

    2. Many of us including myself have been bitten by past posts. How you redeem yourself...different story.

    3. Attitude....work on it.

    4. (Personal opinion) Your being lazy. If your within the age of 17-25, then I understand. Do I like it...no.

    WHT, Google, common sense, and life homework can give you many many answers to what your looking for or trying to do. Your question (in this thread and the others) is a lazy question. In essence, your doing the same thing. Instead of reading through the vast amount of information on here or many other forums and blogs....questions, answers, opinions that have been asked many times over.....instead you post the question and expect the community to do your homework for you. Lazy. It's the same as posting a question on twitter.....have other's do your homework for you.

    5. If your running a business, then YOU should know what you need to make it run. What companies will do what you need to do. What resources will make YOUR business run.


    My previous career was music. The industry is a joke now for similar reasons as this thread. But to make it simple....one can buy a keyboard for $2000 and then sit down and read the manual for a year. Does that make you a musician.....no. The manual show you how to use the keyboard, but it won't show you how to play the keyboard. Big difference. That is something you need to learn on your own. Also goes with training your ears...but that would take time to explain why new dj's that let the computer do the work and why it sounds horrible to trained ears.


    6. If your a web developer, do you not already have some form of understanding of how hosting works? Do you just design sites, hand it off and hope for the best?

    I will flip this and tell you I was in the same shoes. Developed sites and hosted them on my reseller account with HostGator.....years ago before the train-wreck they are now. I still had to do work. There's no magic button. I now have my own servers. What your trying to do is pass off your business and reputation to someone else. If they fail, you and your company will look bad not, not them....reason why I have my own servers.....extra income, a setup I know that works, and not leaving my business in the hands of others.

    7. Many of us are helpful, when we see you trying, but when someone wants to create a company for the sake of only taking money and hoping for the best....it makes all of us look bad....hence the hostility. If you took a moment and read through the site, you will see many others that have asked such questions, started up, ran into trouble, and as usual, the customers come on here complaining. One host on here...out of 25 reviews...24 of them are negative...and the one was positive wasn't completely happy.


    Rant done........for now.

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    Also, read this thread (http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1337708) and see the difference between your post and this members post.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by wswd View Post
    Well, yet again, you missed my point. You're real good at that!
    Not at all. You keep talking about how people shouldn't run a business if they don't have money to invest, and using that as the basis of your argument that there's something fundamentally wrong with reseller accounts. You keep trying to stretch your "people shouldn't run a business without money to invest" argument (which is valid) to say resellers aren't "real" hosts.

    Now you're finally starting to come around a little:

    Quote Originally Posted by FRH Lisa View Post
    A lot of people on WHT will rally against affiliate programs and reseller programs. They'll claim you aren't a "real" host or worse. Those people are pedantic, condescending idiots.
    Quote Originally Posted by wswd View Post
    I'm one of the pedantic, condescending idiots, for sure. If you have no money to invest, you shouldn't be opening a business.
    Quote Originally Posted by wswd View Post
    I'm right. I'd bet you any amount of money that 9 out of 10 "$100 resellers" are not running legitimate, legal businesses, paying taxes, etc. It's not that resellers can't run legitimate businesses. It's that THESE resellers aren't running legitimate businesses.
    See that? Now we've gone from "resellers aren't REAL hosts" to "most resellers are bad". Do you understand the difference? If not, I can explain it to you in detail -- but if that's the case, you probably shouldn't be going off all gung-ho accusing every reseller of not being a "real" host.

    That's what makes this whole "resellers aren't REAL hosts" mentality so laughable. It focuses on how much a given host spends on their shared hosting options rather than the quality of service provided. There are resellers who provide excellent customer support, pay their taxes, are registered with the state and local government, and are backed by excellent ratings. I guess by your logic they aren't "real" companies either.

    Can you honestly with a straight face tell me that this guy should be running a business?
    I haven't looked into his finances, intentions, or abilities, so I wouldn't say. Seems you've already made that decision, though.

    Since that wasn't his question -- in fact, he says he already has a design business and he wants to add hosting services, but has concerns about supporting his users. We're having a discussion about alternatives for him, such as letting someone else take over those duties for him by way of a reseller or affiliate program. Since your argument is wholly against that, there are only two possible alternatives that you're insisting he use:

    1) Build out his own server. He, with his level of admin experience, security / optimization skills, and support ability, fire up his own shared hosting server and host them from there. This experience will somehow be better for his customers than letting a more experienced host handle them through a reseller or affiliate program.

    -or-

    2) Let another host handle them entirely. To which I say, why not find a reliable provider and use their affiliate program? What's wrong with earning money from your customers? He is a business, after all.

    So far the only justification you've made for your argument against reseller / affiliate programs is unrelated rallying cries that nobody is arguing with (like "nobody should start a business without being ready to invest"). Those are nice observations, but they have nothing to do with a reseller program. I've repeatedly asked you to draw correlation between using a reseller account and being unable to provide quality service, and you've repeatedly refused (or been unable) to do so.

    It's nice to see this anti-reseller mentality has cooled down considerably over the last year, but it's always amusing when it does flare up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 48-14 View Post
    3. Attitude....work on it.
    Aww, come on. Be nice to the guy. He knows his limitations and is asking for help overcoming them. Unless he's got a post history that I'm not aware of, he's being reasonable.

    And really, even he does have a poor post history, it doesn't change my answers. Reseller / affiliate accounts are a great option, especially for designers who want to provide bundled services to their customers or even keep them "in house".

    As I've said elsewhere, the real focus is on building customer awareness and retaining good customers. A customer couldn't care less whether you're on a reseller platform or your own in-house HA cluster, they just want everything to work. The technical side is very easy to overcome.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by 48-14 View Post
    Here's a few things to think about during breakfast;

    1. WHT members can see your history of everything you posted AND can see that you don't know what your doing AND have offered the same advice over and over again....research.

    2. Many of us including myself have been bitten by past posts. How you redeem yourself...different story.

    3. Attitude....work on it.

    4. (Personal opinion) Your being lazy. If your within the age of 17-25, then I understand. Do I like it...no.

    WHT, Google, common sense, and life homework can give you many many answers to what your looking for or trying to do. Your question (in this thread and the others) is a lazy question. In essence, your doing the same thing. Instead of reading through the vast amount of information on here or many other forums and blogs....questions, answers, opinions that have been asked many times over.....instead you post the question and expect the community to do your homework for you. Lazy. It's the same as posting a question on twitter.....have other's do your homework for you.

    5. If your running a business, then YOU should know what you need to make it run. What companies will do what you need to do. What resources will make YOUR business run.


    My previous career was music. The industry is a joke now for similar reasons as this thread. But to make it simple....one can buy a keyboard for $2000 and then sit down and read the manual for a year. Does that make you a musician.....no. The manual show you how to use the keyboard, but it won't show you how to play the keyboard. Big difference. That is something you need to learn on your own. Also goes with training your ears...but that would take time to explain why new dj's that let the computer do the work and why it sounds horrible to trained ears.


    6. If your a web developer, do you not already have some form of understanding of how hosting works? Do you just design sites, hand it off and hope for the best?

    I will flip this and tell you I was in the same shoes. Developed sites and hosted them on my reseller account with HostGator.....years ago before the train-wreck they are now. I still had to do work. There's no magic button. I now have my own servers. What your trying to do is pass off your business and reputation to someone else. If they fail, you and your company will look bad not, not them....reason why I have my own servers.....extra income, a setup I know that works, and not leaving my business in the hands of others.

    7. Many of us are helpful, when we see you trying, but when someone wants to create a company for the sake of only taking money and hoping for the best....it makes all of us look bad....hence the hostility. If you took a moment and read through the site, you will see many others that have asked such questions, started up, ran into trouble, and as usual, the customers come on here complaining. One host on here...out of 25 reviews...24 of them are negative...and the one was positive wasn't completely happy.


    Rant done........for now.


    Look, my intent is not to be disrespectful towards anyone, but completely disregarding anyone else's opinion with what I know is the only right way is not a good idea either.

    You, along with a few others with a viewpoint similar in some ways to yours have experience running this business , that's great, however you're forgetting that a few others commenting on this thread with a viewpoint that doesn't match yours also have the experience in running the same business and their experience differs from yours...

    So, there's no single way to run a business...

    As for the blame I keep on getting for not doing enough research and other stuff, I suppose that would really need a detailed reply from me here which I've been avoiding until now but guess I better be more specific, so I'll write back in a few hours after I'm done with some urgent work...

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by 48-14 View Post
    Also, read this thread (http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1337708) and see the difference between your post and this members post.
    To the rescue!
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by FRH Lisa View Post
    Aww, come on. Be nice to the guy. He knows his limitations and is asking for help overcoming them. Unless he's got a post history that I'm not aware of, he's being reasonable.

    And really, even he does have a poor post history, it doesn't change my answers. Reseller / affiliate accounts are a great option, especially for designers who want to provide bundled services to their customers or even keep them "in house".

    As I've said elsewhere, the real focus is on building customer awareness and retaining good customers. A customer couldn't care less whether you're on a reseller platform or your own in-house HA cluster, they just want everything to work. The technical side is very easy to overcome.


    I try to be nice, but it does wear thin when I see things so wrong. Again, reference to my previous career;

    I worked many jobs learning and watching how successful businesses ran. I used those skills for my own businesses. I worked and built my studio over a few years. I had repeat clients, and clients who referred more clients.

    I knew two people...one, his dad bought him a studio...the other one stole the equipment....both achieved overnight what took me a few years to do. A few clients I knew tried them out......they were beyond disappointed.


    I've had a few battles on WHT, but some of them were key. It was others that have been in this longer to check myself. I had the same thing in music. A friend I grew up with started years before me and had done lots of great things over the years. When we ran into each other, I would tell him what my plans were. Within 5 seconds he flooded me with questions to see if I was ready and to let me know what's ahead since he already had such experience. Those 5 seconds translated to doing homework. Homework meant researching, crunching numbers, asking the right question (not what to name my company that I see here all the time), etc. I guess it's also the problem of being old school and growing up without a computer until college and going to the library to do research. Such a lost art like handwriting.


    But back on track. You can look up the post history of any member on here. The OP has spelled it out many times in different threads...they want to provide a service without actually providing the service or customer support that goes with it. That's not cool. Being in-house, yes. Customers and clients love a one-stop shop. Design, domains, reliable hosting and emails under one roof...it's a cloud 9 situation.

    Also looking at the history...the OP has asked the same question 3 years in a row....getting the same answers.....still looking for the cheapest options....and because of one answer last year, the OP now thinks everything can run on auto-pilot with no human intervention.

    Again, previous career reference;

    - Some people will ask and ask and ask and talk about what they want they do and what they wished they had done....never becoming that person

    - Others (within 3 years) will build a business, make it sustainable, and tour different countries by not asking the same question....every year....for 3 years...by becoming the person or business they set out to be.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by host2010 View Post
    Look, my intent is not to be disrespectful towards anyone, but completely disregarding anyone else's opinion with what I know is the only right way is not a good idea either.

    You, along with a few others with a viewpoint similar in some ways to yours have experience running this business , that's great, however you're forgetting that a few others commenting on this thread with a viewpoint that doesn't match yours also have the experience in running the same business and their experience differs from yours...

    So, there's no single way to run a business...

    As for the blame I keep on getting for not doing enough research and other stuff, I suppose that would really need a detailed reply from me here which I've been avoiding until now but guess I better be more specific, so I'll write back in a few hours after I'm done with some urgent work...


    I went through the same thing on here a few years ago. Just makes you stronger.

    Hosting, music, window washing...key element is business. There is not right way to run a business. I've seen things that made no sense work successfully for some while other would say what the heck....but time went into making it work.


    Give us more to work with and we can help.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by 48-14 View Post
    But back on track. You can look up the post history of any member on here. The OP has spelled it out many times in different threads...they want to provide a service without actually providing the service or customer support that goes with it. That's not cool. Being in-house, yes. Customers and clients love a one-stop shop. Design, domains, reliable hosting and emails under one roof...it's a cloud 9 situation.

    Also looking at the history...the OP has asked the same question 3 years in a row....getting the same answers.....still looking for the cheapest options....and because of one answer last year, the OP now thinks everything can run on auto-pilot with no human intervention.

    Again, previous career reference;

    - Some people will ask and ask and ask and talk about what they want they do and what they wished they had done....never becoming that person

    - Others (within 3 years) will build a business, make it sustainable, and tour different countries by not asking the same question....every year....for 3 years...by becoming the person or business they set out to be.

    With due respect, can I please tell you once again that you're assuming things ... For over 3 years of my history here at WHT, I've had nothing to do with running a web hosting business.


    If you see my history over 3 years, I've got only some 25+ posts / 9 threads. It wouldn't take anyone more than a few minutes to read my entire history here ...

    For Example - here's one of my post nearly 3 years ago

    Quote Originally Posted by host2010 View Post
    Thanks all.. I've narrowed down a couple around $5-7 but if you have any recommendations for good uptime, backups and good support(live chat preferably) it'd be nice...

    Not looking to spend more than $10.

    I don't need the reseller account to resell hosting, just for my own personal requirements to run a few sites and let a few team members manage sites on their own(through individual cpanel accounts so that they may access all features that cpanel has to offer and yet i could supervise them.)
    Here's the link to it -

    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showpo...0&postcount=25

    What do you think I'm doing here, buying a reseller account to resell hosting or to let a few contracted developers have their own individual cpanel accounts ?

    And let me tell you, I didn't go with any of the $10 resellers either, I went with Hawkhost, and it cost almost double the $10 accounts,

    It's because of the research i did that hawkhost was the most reliable reseller at that point of time even though i did not need that kind of reliability as it was just temporary work updating things to see how the projects progressed


    Another Example from over 2 years ago -


    Quote Originally Posted by host2010 View Post
    Hi Folks,


    I was comparing a few VPS providers and i see that FutureHosting provides something called Business Continuance Protection where you're protected against bandwidth overage fees due to a DDOS attack etc.

    Is this a useful feature to have?

    What are the chances of something like this happening?

    Do other reputed providers like WiredTree, Servint provide a similar type of service in such a case as i don't see anything like this mentioned on their sites?


    I see that WiredTree mentions a lot about security aspects and sever hardening on their site including DDos prevention and Future Hosting has a backup service... Servint has backups and server hardening as well...so each one has their strong point.


    So considering that all the providers above do provide a high level of security and backups do you think a feature like Business Continuance Protection(BPC) has any special advantages?


    Link here - http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showpo...65&postcount=1



    And


    Quote Originally Posted by host2010 View Post
    Hi,

    We have 15th of January as our planned date of launch for the site. Would this offer still be there?

    Link here -

    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showpo...69&postcount=2


    Do you think I'm searching for some reputed managed vps providers to resell hosting or comparing services for a few reputed providers like servint, wiredtree, knownhost and futurehosting etc. to host a website?

    Been involved with running a few startups(websites), I was looking to find a reputed vps provider for a site that was beginning to gain some decent - high traffic... And these providers are not the cheapest ones around for the similar specs you could get from other vps providers...

    And you're free to check out the other threads as well - I own a lot of domains and yes I like to buy them cheap because for every 2-3$ saved per domain, when you bulk buy them in hundreds that results in substantial savings...



    It's only been recently that the hosting business inriuged my interested and I did some research here on wht reading previous posts/threads and based on that research I came up with 3 or 4 questions.

    Each successive question brought me nearer to making a decision...

    And the current and the last thread for the questions I asked, the one you're commenting on now - This thread is about -

    Is there anything other than web hosting that doesn't require the the same number of support hours or the frantic activity of support that web hosting demands?

    It isn't about not supporting your customers at all, which some of you make it seem, it's about a business that might not need as much support ...

    So the answers I got were -

    1) Domains, SSl certificates

    2)Reselling bare metal / unmanaged with no end user support vps's, servers for other wholesale providers...

    3)Affiliate for other hosts

    And I do think that these answers are appropriate to some extent...

    I own a large number of domains and over the last 8 years or so, I don't remember a single instance where I needed to contact Godaddy any for domain related support.

    Even with their unfriendly user interface, once in Ia while, when it was needed I was able to change the nameservers myself.

    Domain Registration/Billing/Changing nameservers all is almost automatic... There's not much to do...

    Even If you get the naivest of customers who don't know how to change the nameservers and requests you to do so, it's only once in a year/many years or so, .

    Unlike web hosting, selling Domains does not require as much support because -

    1) It's not something that breaks down often which you need to fix unlike web hosting where each patch/upgrade/security update, code modifications by the end user to - php , pytho, mysql or whatever
    may break the code and you need to support/answer queries to get user's issues fixed.

    2)It isn't a service that becomes unavailable (not often or the chances are very rare)... unlike wb hosting because the server went down and the end user's business came to a standstill because their site is down and they're yelling at you middle of the night...

    3) A few more less issues plus the fact that you don't need to be open 24 hours because a user knows well ahead of time that he/she needs to get the nameservers changed or the domain transfered unlike hosting where issues can crop any time day or nght... So if you're supporting your domain customers inside fixed business hours, they very well know in advance the timings they should expect to receive support.

    Similarly for ssl certificates, it's not something user is going about changing/breaking/modifying every other day...


    Now coming to reselling unmanaged/bare metal boxes - yes it's slightly more tricky than domains but when you clearly mention that there's no end user support (only the network/hardware uptime support) that clearly means the users are responsible for anything that happens on the code/software level because it's them who install whatever version of php. mysql they want ... and if any updates break their code it's they themselves responsile because it's they who did the updates/modify the code or whatever because they're in ultimate control of their boxes .... Most support queries are software/issues with the running code , network or hardware failures are rae phenomeon and as such they need lesser support...

    Coming to Affiliates- Affiliates is similar to getting paid a sales commission or getting paid for generating a lead... you do the hardwork at the beginning - setup a website, find some reputable hosts/tie up with their affiliate programs, and then do some hardwork along the way -drive traffic to your site, keep the things running smooth and you get paid for the work you do without having to support the end user's themselves - so what's wrong with it ?

    If you chose reputable hosts/affiliates at the start, there's no reason that your user's won't be happy in the long run.

    Another point that was made was about reselling shared hosting from resellers that provide end user support to your clients... This is the trickiest of all ...

    I agree in this case it probably needs much more supervision to see what kind of support your clients receive... But this is not actually what I intended with the original question - it's something that somehow got into the mix ...

    If i was ever to do this, I would do it properly...

    Quote Originally Posted by 48-14 View Post
    I don't if it's condescending or experienced and annoyed with short-cutting.

    We've all started somewhere, but there's a clear divide when it comes to someone who truly cares about their business.

    Read my remarks here in the following post...

    Quote Originally Posted by host2010 View Post
    So far, I've had lots of concerns -

    Like the end user support thing - you people did provide me some options to resolve this issue.

    However, another concern that I've had lately is regarding the client's data - it's safety and availability at all times.

    There are possibilities like hardware failure (rare but even with raid setup), data corruption, human error or any kind of calamities.

    I just won't feel good leting anyone down on this and someone losing their data. I know customers should possibly have a backup of their own data but you know customers can be careless and put all the responsibility on the host. I'm not sure if there is anything that is 100% safe, but what's the best possible way to ensure that customers never lose their data ?
    Quote Originally Posted by host2010 View Post
    4)Do it all myself properly if I can overcome some of the concerns I have.
    If I wasn't truly caring about the business/customers, I won't be having the concerns I quoted above.. I would just be jumping into the hosting business without a thought but I'm not...

    Quote Originally Posted by 48-14 View Post

    Years ago, research for me meant go to a library. Now research is asking a question on a forum or social media and having people "do" the research for you with multiple answers. Very lazy.
    1)WHT is an online community that helps web hosting providers share their knowledge with each other and web hosting customers to find hosting providers and better services.

    If I cannot ask questions/ resolve doubts here, then there is no purpose of having a community for web hosting providers...

    2)Online coomunities like WHT are much more efficient and faster way to find information, so why should I be spending much more time with the outdated method of going to library and finding a books/magzines.

    3)No Book/Magzine would ever tell me that the host abc has better service than host xyz, or the xyz outsourced support is beter than abc , or the psm company has superb server management personnel... It's only through the personal experience that people share here that I can find such stuff... And in this technical industry experiences change fast...

    4) I might not have access to a library or the Library I go to does not have any related material.

    And many more countless reasons - You're questioning one of the basic purpose for the existence of internet - Search or Research ...if Research is meant only for Libraries then perhaps we should stop using the internet .


    And once again you're assuming that I did not do my homework / Research - I did ask this question, however I offered some answers as suggestions as well -

    Quote Originally Posted by host2010 View Post

    How about selling domains - does it need too much end user support?
    I know from my own research and experience that perhaps domains don't need as much support but I was looking to solidify that belief through experiences of the actual hosting providers in the industry.

    Lisa responded to some of the doubts/questions I had -


    She not only did provide quite a bit of information about resellers but went beyond and explained the different ways / mechanics of running a hosting business in successive posts...

    Now being here on WHT for over 3 years and having researched quite a bit the wht forums since the past month, I already knew a lot of this - About the resellers, About server management and About the outsourced support but what I was lacking was someone's personal experiences with these providers/services. She provided/shared personal experience and I really appreciate her for being so super helpful... I'm not even a FRH customer that you should be going out to her way to help me out but she did... I'm sure FRH customers are in very good care... Whether or not I get into this business, I would definitely be recommending a few people to FRH in the future.


    Coming back to the topic,so if this is not research then I do not know what is - I can find all the information through searching on the internet but if I cannot verify that information through asking questions - by asking people to share there personal experiences to back up that information, then it's not that useful...






    Quote Originally Posted by wswd View Post
    I'm one of the pedantic, condescending idiots, for sure. If you have no money to invest, you shouldn't be opening a business. It's that simple. If you have no time to run a business, then you shouldn't be running a business. Again...very simple. No business plan? Same thing.

    You don't open a restaurant without any of those 3 things. You don't open a laundromat, a printing business, a lawncare service, or any other business for that matter. Yet people run to the hosting industry and look at it as a way to make a quick buck without having to actually do anything you would have to do for a normal business.

    Far too often, these resellers don't make as much money as they thought they were going to make, and they simply fold, leaving their clients high and dry. Not saying that doesn't happen with non-resellers, but it's far easier for the resellers to walk away and wash their hands of the mess they created. You see it all the time.

    So if you want to get into business, get into business properly and for the right reasons. If you want to try to make a quick buck, go to Vegas and put your money on red or black.


    I said I would not like to invest too much for a start.


    I have the budget to start with some dedicated servers and have a mix of inhouse and outsourced support for a start. But if I was ever to get into this business would I start this way?

    Absolutely NO....


    I would still start with reselling for a provider that bundles in end user support or at the maximum with a vps with an outsourced support team. Here are the reasons why I would go along this way -

    1) For someone just starting in the hosting industry, it's good to have some experienced personnel handling the services part to be able to provide proper support to the customers as well handling any kind of crisis situation.

    2) Why should I invest much more and increase the probability of risk when It's possible to learn/support/sell a business with much lesser investment. Leaving your customers stranded has much more to do with your morals then just the investment you start with. If it wasn't so , there wouldn't be huge corporations failing their customers.



    And unlike you, I would not say that this is the only way a business should be started. Someone else with a huge amount of money may prefer to start at the datacenter level itself and hire top experienced personel from the hosting industry... So different investment amount for different people according to what suits them the best.

    Based on how they run the business, both could be a huge success or a huge failure. There is a reason why HG, started by a student from his dorm room (Do your own research if you want the proof)built an excellent reputation for itself and the same HG in the hands of a mammoth corporate (EIG) is blamed for crappy service.


    So it's just not about the money, it's also about how the business is being run.


    Again, I would say the type of support you need to provide depends on the type and the business model of your business.

    You can stand by yourself all day long in a mall to sell cola or you could just put a vending machine to sell cola.

    In both cases customers are getting the same service. The level of support you personally have to offer goes down multiple times depending upon the business model you pursue.

    Given that the vending machine could stop working some day, but it's rare, therefore it needs lesser support.

    You can take the same analogy to the hosting industry - Someone offering just bare metal boxes/unmanaged servers has far less support commitments .

    It isn't about no support but their only commitment here is mostly the network uptime and the hardware repacement guarantee in case of a failure. So much less support commitments.

    If the customer knows/understands/aware of the terms of the service beforehand, then it's the prerogative and the decision of the customer and only the customer whether to buy that service at those terms or not and nobody elses.

    Coming to the resellers, resellers are everywhere - whether it's a cola or an icecream business.

    Resellers are the lifeline of every huge corporate that is out there.

    Without resellers, perhaps these corporate would have not grown or existed at all.

    Reasons -

    1)You cannot imagine cutsomers walking into a cola manufacturing company located in some far away or remote destination to buy cola from the manufacturing unit.

    Similarly, you cannot imagine datacenters selling shared hosting by themselves .

    In both cases they would not have that far reach by themselves and also they'be wasting their resources and time for too little return on the huge investment they made.

    2)If not for the resellers, It would need insane amounts of money for any kind of corporate to have a presence in every nook and corner of the world.

    3)Resellers help you cross cultural barriers - Imagine someone from a far away place selling something in a place where his accent/behavior are not understood well. He wouldn't be able to build the same trust a local would because they are accessible and well understood.

    In the case of hosting, For Example - Resellers with local presence in Asia/Africa/Pacific would build that trust the datacentre in the USA needs to sell to these places.

    Plus, many more reasons Resellers are important.

    Apart from the Datacentre/Manufacturing unit every one else down the food chain is some kind of a resller - be it the wholesalers- the sun wholesales, the retaiers or the sub-retailers. They are all just reselling what they bought/rented.

    I agree with you that if you want to get into business, get into business properly but it's just not about the investment money and not being a reseller.



    Quote Originally Posted by 48-14 View Post
    I like your points, but I believe it still has to do with resellers.

    Example of my prior business;

    Startup between 1980 to 1990...possibly $100,00 to a million
    Startup between 1991 to 2000...possibly $10,00 to $200,000

    Now, I would average between $3,000 to $15,000


    Those numbers are just equipment costs. No rent/lease or advertise included.


    To become a reseller host.....$100 a year for an account.....$50 template....$9 domain......instant host in the same playing field as a company with an actual start-up budget.


    Also, according to WHT rules....after 10 posts your a host.


    In this time and age of the Internet, if you have the skills, knowledge and the creativity, I would say the amount of investment you could start with is $0.


    Look at some of the hugely popular blogs that make more money than some top hosting companies might be making here each month.

    For Example, let's see how much money you need to start a blog -

    Domain name - You could start writing at blooger or wordpress.com, so don't need to buy a domain name initially.

    Hosting - There are places that offer free hosting (whether to turn free customers into paid ones later on or for in return of ads placed on websites)

    Content - Your own creativity, knowledge and the skill

    Time/Effort/Work Hours - Maybe 2-3 hours each day initially for each blog post or perhaps 1 hour each week for each blog post.

    Probability of success - Depending upon how much value/benefit what you write offers to your readers , it could be hugely successful to not much successful.

    Similarly in a hosting business, if the service you provide benefits/has value for your end customers, you could be hugely successful gaining customers.

    Return On Investment - Again depending upon how successful it is, you could make millions.


    Similarly for an ebook, you could publish one without needing the prior approval of any publisher or anyone else.

    You can replicate this to many other niches.

    The moral of the story, how much investment you need depends upon the type of business you set up. What helps it sell could be either the money you could invest or the skills that you posses.


    There has never been a comparable time and age before where your skills, knowledge, creativity could be the only investment you need to run a business.

    Also, how much time/support you need to provide again depends upon your business type and model .

    You could work 60 hours a week and yet not make the same money someone who works just 1 hour each week may make.

    Reason - Because your 60 hours do not offer the benefit/value/reason to buy to your end customers what the 1 hour work week person may offer as well as the fact that your business is not scalable.

    The reason for the huge money that sportsperson/actors showing up for a few hours make in comparison to what an average person cannot make in a lifetime is because of the value/benefit (joy/entertainment/emotional gratification) they provide and their ability to sell that benefit/value to the masses without additional work/support on their part.


    So the investment, time/effort/support and the business plan would all differ for each business model and type . There is no one particular, one and the only one business success model.


    Don't just assume I am in a haste to run a hosting business because I've been researching for over a month...

    Until I have all the concerns resolved and a proper plan in place, I wouldn't do it.

    Perhaps I am not going to do it at all because I believe that I know about a better niche that is more profitable for similar or lesser amount of work...


    Just had to post/write this one because of all kind of things being assumed by themselves...
    Last edited by host2010; 01-09-2014 at 02:01 PM.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by host2010 View Post
    any ... business that needs none to little time supporting the end customers?
    No.

    If you want to remove the 'support' aspect become an affiliate of one-or-more providers - you introduce the clients they do the provision and support.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FRH Lisa View Post
    I'll even go one step further and say that knowing how to grow and develop your business is more important these days than knowing how to administer things from the technical side.
    True, as long as you are able to find excellent vendor that sell reseller/vps plans you can rely on!

    Sadly finding a reliable vendor in this industry is getting harder and harder, everytime I look for a vendor name in WHT search box I read too many threads with nightmare stories: "data loss", "24 hours+ downtimes", and so on.

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