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  1. #1

    * Some tips & ideas from Craig

    Hi

    I wrote this a few weeks back on FWS, I hope its in the correct forum (if not please move). I hope you like it

    //

    Hi

    Ok, am going to write up what you need & don't need in the hosting industry, now after growing up in this industry with my family I saw allot of things, good & bad, In the ''Craig'' article. I will tell you what you need & don't need & also what to look out for. Feel free to add more to this if you want.

    Ok, well my farther started his own company when I was just 6 years old , he run's a successful law firm with my mother & brother & still does, I was meant to join them but I thought ''thats not what I want to do'', why rely on others?, if you want to be lazy person just the family business or do it yourself. Now am going to contradict myself now as my father invested allot of money in me which am truly grateful for. Without his help I would be nobody today, he has tought me allot about myself. Anyway enough about myself lets start this article.

    Ok, first we are going to look at control panels, now as most know a control panel is VERY important within the hosting industry. We all know what cPanel is right?.. well as many of you know, there are many n00b at there who don't have a clue about hosting nor how to use it. If you went to your local town center & ask 100 people what hosting is they would say '' I don't have a clue '' so thats why a control panel is so important, for me the easiest control panel is DirectAdmin with cPanel coming into a close second. If your starting a hosting company MAKE sure you have a control panel, most reseller hosting companies offer a control panel free with your reseller account.

    ''Craig's Tip'' Get cPanel : www.cpanel.net

    Free Control Panels
    VHCS - http://vhcs.net/new/
    web-CP - http://www.web-cp.net/
    phpanel - http://phpanel.net
    Domain Technologie Control - http://www.gplhost.com/?rub=softwares&sousrub=dtc
    syscp - http://www.syscp.de/page/start
    zpanel - http://www.thezpanel.com/
    Bankoi http://www.webhost-panel.com
    VishwaKarma http://kandalaya.org/vishwakarma.shtml
    Interworx: http://interworx.info
    Xpanel: http://www.xpanel.com
    Zervex: http://www.zervex.com/products.htm
    ASM - www.acctmgr.com
    Ababa - www.yupapa.com

    Paid Control Panels
    Direct Admin http://directadmin.com
    cPanel http://cpanel.net
    Ensim http://ensim.com
    H-Sphere http://www.psoft.net
    Plesk http://www.sw-soft.com
    Helm http://helm.com
    Hosting Controller http://hostingcontroller.com
    HostFlow http://www.hostflow.com
    ISP Manager http://ispsystem.com


    Billing Software:
    The next thing we are going to look at is ''Billing Software/Client Managent''

    Well this is a very IMPORTANT piece of your company, now when I first started in 1998 I used a simple plain form to email script lol, now at first when I didn't have many clients it was very easy to manage, I used to just collect the details & save them on my computer. Now when I got more & more clients it started to go bad, I had clients calling me, I couldn't find there details IT WAS A HUGH MESS so I failed! simple, I gave up & became a Fly-By-Night host . I then sold the clients to another provider & started to learn things, MySQL, PHP, eMail etc etc, when I started I didn't even know what PHP was or MySQL. I didn't even know how to install a script lol so I got my head down for 1 year & worked my --- of learning new stuff, gaining knowledge of this industry, 1 year later I started a new host under my network & from there came a quality low cost provider network.

    So what billing software could I use or will I need:


    ''Craig's Tip'' DON'T USE A FORM TO EMAIL SCRIPT, IT WILL KILL YOU!, like it did me, funny how a script cant be your worst nightmare .

    Clientexec.com : Now I have used this for 5 months & it was great, but it does like to mess-up invoices plus at the time it wasn't auto like I needed, I needed software that would send invoices auto, close tickets etc etc, instant setup wasn't needed as I like to verify each account. I rate this 7/10. New version is now out 2.7 which I was a beta tester for them. The new 2.7 is VERY good, worth a look.

    Cost: $11.95 (I think lol)
    clientexec.com

    ModernBill.com : Well there's a funny story to this lol, when I cancelled my clientexec license I ordered MB from MBlicenses. I installed it then there was a issue with the license, then other things. I really wanted to use this software SO MUCH but I was so far but too near if that makes sense lol, even though I cant rate it as I haven't tested it from what I have heard MB is the way to go. Its not for the novice though, its a VERY complex piece of software & takes months to get used to it but once your in its great. 10/10

    Cost: $20+, can get it cheaper from mblicenses.com
    modernbill.com

    WHMAP : Now I have tried this a few time, cost me allot of money just to test though lol but I always thought it was missing something, don't know what but there is lol IMO that is. It has many nice features, interface is cool & price is fine for what you get. I rate 8/10.

    Cost: $18 or something like that
    whmautopilot.com

    Some others that you might like are:

    www.whmcs.com
    www.solid-state.org
    www.whoiscart.net
    www.autohostmanager.com
    www.ihostdev.com
    www.phpcoin.com


    Support:
    Lets talk about support, now support is the MAIN thing you need to give, most clients rate support as the most important aspect of a hosting company so you need the right software. Its worth spending a few hundred bucks on a good desk, below is some I have tried & my review on them.

    ''Craig's Tip'' Spend $$$ on a good QUALITY desk, it pays off

    Kayako : Now I have a owned kayako license for a few of my companies & I must say, its the BEST support center out there, it has ALL the features you need to get your support to the best. Now, it isn't cheap, its $30/mo for the basic e-support which is great but doesn't have the live chat feature but most use the free live chat in cPanel/Fantastico. My advice, GET KAYAKO. 10/10.

    Cost: $30/mo
    kayako.com

    Cerberus : This support center is very good, I have only tried it the once & liked it. Now it isn't the easiest software too install, in-fact even I got stuck lol. Such companies as LT use this desk. They also have a free version so if your short of cash then this is the desk for your support. 8/10.

    Cost: Wacky
    cerberusweb.com

    Below are a few others that are also very good:

    www.prosupport.com
    www.helpcenterlive.com
    www.support-logic.com
    www.perldesk.com
    www.osticket.com
    www.auraclesupport.com
    www.deskpro.com
    www.activecampaign.com/supporttrio/
    www.propanelsystems.com

    Now I hoped some of this helped you in some way or else. Please feel free to add any of your comments, ideas or what I have missed out.

    ''Craigs BIG Tip'' DONT RUN BEFORE YOU CAN WALK....

    Thanks for your time & hope you had a good read
    Craig
    Please PM me if you need any updates or help.

  2. #2
    Thanks a lot for all this information Good work!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Gigopolis In The Making
    Posts
    316
    This advice is simply superb!

    But I think you can elaborate & review more of the billing software, maybe why we need them, etc.


    And add the marketing strategy part. Once completed, it can become a condensed hosting bible.. :p

    Way to go Craig...
    NoFrillsLogo.com - Never pay more for your logo!

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    225
    Thank you! Great info, but can you explain more about this statement:

    ''Craig's Tip'' DON'T USE A FORM TO EMAIL SCRIPT, IT WILL KILL YOU!, like it did me, funny how a script cant be your worst nightmare

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by SydneyJen
    Thank you! Great info, but can you explain more about this statement:

    ''Craig's Tip'' DON'T USE A FORM TO EMAIL SCRIPT, IT WILL KILL YOU!, like it did me, funny how a script cant be your worst nightmare
    Lets just say.... it did kill me lol.

    Thanks for the comments so far
    Please PM me if you need any updates or help.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    41
    ^^ how so.... details
    www.designbyklein.com
    CS-Cart Development, Application Development

  7. #7

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by topsub
    ^^ how so.... details
    It does tell you within the thread what it means
    Please PM me if you need any updates or help.

  8. #8
    Very helpful and practical advice. Thanks, Craig.
    OutDoServers.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    136
    Thanks Craig nice work

  10. #10
    Thank you craig this has saved me loads of time

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    on the web
    Posts
    202
    thanks.. Now I evaluate my hosting site with your instructions thanks for sharing your experiences. I am a PHP dev myself for 4 years. so I coded my own billing system myself

  12. #12
    Thanks craig

  13. #13
    he left out the free control panel "webmin' for some reason.....
    IPNeighbor.com - See who you share Your Web server with.
    BuildAServer.info Build a 1U server

  14. #14
    Great information! Reading around on this site has helped me create my own webhost. Still is a bit rough around the edges but it is slowly turning around.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    134
    Great stuff - I always tell my kids why not learn mistakes from others if you can benifit, good knowledge Craig... Big Up Web Hosting.

    Thanks
    www.ebbswebs.com
    Custom Web Design | Web Hosting Solutions | Content Management Solutions:
    |Business websites | Corporate intranets | Voip Services | Online Magazine | Websites for Schools | Video Driven Websites | Blog/Personal Websites |

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Cheltenham, UK
    Posts
    17
    Nice tut Thanks

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Dallas/FortWorth TX
    Posts
    1,645
    Very informative, these kind of practical experienced guides help newbie prevent from falling into pitfall, and be in business for long time.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Kosice, Slovakia
    Posts
    34
    I suggest looking also at Blesta - it's a great billing/support software.

  19. #19
    thnx for the tutorial.

  20. #20
    Helpful thread, cheers

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    GA, USA
    Posts
    77
    Not extremely helpful anymore, being 3 years old. Nearly all of the free control panels are gone or are now paid, and the post is geared more toward people who are willing to invest quite a bit starting out... best to have some capital before trying anything though

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    62
    Good read!

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    3
    Some great tips me and my friend have just started a little hosting business together to make some money on the side.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    47
    cheers thanks for the info great links

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    104
    thanks for your post, very informative

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