Hi, I just started looking into website hosting three days ago, and found I know nothing about it. I don't know much about computers, or how they work. I was hopping some one could tell me a good way to get started from nothing, or almost nothing anyway.
The best way to get started would be to purchase a hosting account - get familiar with control panels, and then work your way up into a resellers account.
If you know nothing, books will be your most valuable asset. You should first learn more about computers - if you're looking to start hosting people, you must have some technical knowledge about IP's, nameservers, file permissions, domain names, DNS records, etc.... Without it you'll find yourself helpless when a problem comes up.
A good way to start is to learn the webhosting 'lingo'. Visit www.thewhir.com it is loaded with articles so read them all if you have time or most of them. Be regular at WHT we are here to help you out. Check out www.hotscripts.com tutorials as well. Most of INet's forums and sites are very informative so make sure you check them. www.tophosts.com is also a good place to start.
I will start a thread for you where if im not warned ill post some articles on webhosting.
Why don't you get a job in network operations, hosting operations or even a help desk first? learn on a practical and fundamental level how this business works... what are you expecting? To take money from folks for hosting with no industry experience? To somehow convince potential customers to pay you for your lack of expertise? Wow. Amazing.
I really would think you can go for a reseller account under a good host. You can start persuading your friends to host their personal website or even your family photo album.
As such, you know how the whole system flows and as well as understand the real life situation where problems can come in. If your host is good enough, they might teach you some tips which you can't even find from books.
For how your business should function, there is no hard facts to memorise. Draw out a business plan that can convince yourself and your friends. A good business plan will be the best guide to follow along your start-up days.
If you're serious then it will take you at least a year to start hosting websites. If you're trying to make quick cash and get death threats along the way then it will take you a week.
Either way, the best way to be a provider is to first be a client. So get a host build a site and fall in love with it. Do some DIY seo and link exchanges, keep track of your bandwidth, try to make money via banner ads, etc. Basically you should have first-hand experience with every topic in webmasterworld.com, geekvillage.com or sitepointforums.com before becoming a host.
Start a website first, do not try to start hosting people. You will gain the knowledge you need from being a hosting client. You cannot start a business without knowing the product and the best way to know the product is to use it.
Ok, I misunderstood you. A reseller account is what you will need when you are ready to become a host. So I would put that on hold for right now and concentrate on getting/building a site and finding a host.
1. Learn how to design a website on your home computer. In the process you will learn about HTML, file structures, and the problems that your customers will face when starting out.
2. Once you think you have built a website, or while you are building a website on your home computer, sign up for a hosting provider. Learn about the control panel, how to setup and use email etc.
3. Then learn how to FTP your website from your home computer to your web hosts server. I remember my first experience doing this back in the good 'ol days of last century was an absolute disaster.
4. While this is happening read read read here and anything you can get your hands on on how the web works, networking(the computer variety), and how web servers work.
5. Make a more complex website using database interaction, by dabbling with PHP and MySql.
6. If you feel confident enough now to start in the biz......you're not.
7. Read Read read here more about common support questions that are asked and maybe volunteer to help another business with their support.
8. Get a reseller account with a quality provider. Maybe take a few friends as customers.
9. Get an old computer at home and get your hands dirty learning to run a server.
From here you may have the skills to take customers through your reseller account, making sure all the while you are learning the skills to eventually migrate to your own server(not on the one at home)
Obviously, situations will vary and I am sure people will disagree, but in my personal opinion this is the most effective means of starting out