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  1. #1

    Exclamation Hosting Websites: Do's & Don'ts

    So you're pumped, ready to start your hosting dream. You've started your dream hosting company by purchasing a reseller, a VPS, or maybe even a dedicated. What next??

    Step 1: Plan Ahead
    What do you want to spend money on? What don't you? What do you want/need/prefer? What do the clients prefer? Heres a simple list of great things a great host may offer:
    1. Automatic Billing Software
    2. Live Support Chat
    3. HelpDesk Support Client
    4. Support Forums
    5. Hosting Control Panel
    6. An easy to navigate website
    7. Extras & Bonuses, Something other hosts don't offer!
    The Site Itself...
    Must be easily navigatable. It should contain all the information your visitors need; plans, prices, features, services, support, pre-sales support, contact information, and a fancy home page. It should look professional.
    I suggest; If you don't have experience in web design, and aren't looking to hire anyone for their high rates, go with TemplateMonstor. I know a lot of people who are freelancers, that will customize your template monstor template for like $5. I do it for $10. You can use Joomla, but it looks better if you design it from scratch or from a template; its more professional looking to say the least.

    Whats this about a billing software?
    It manages accounts, payments, and subscriptions for you. It really takes all the fun out of it, but honestly, its more honest than your clients . Professional billing solutions may be expensive, but they have features that free solutions can't compare to; such as paypal interigation, website order forms, client center, monthly/quarterly/yearly subscriptions, coupon codes, and various control panel variations. I suggest:
    Support, Support, and Lots of It!
    A client has an issue; say for example here that his Cpanel password is denied, because he thinks he forgot it. Its a simple answer, but how can he ask you if you don't have support? He can't. What is the solution? Many Options...

    Live Support
    A great answer to support; as long as you have money and an operator.
    *I suggest LiveHelp

    HelpDesk...
    A non live solution, I suggest (http://www.kayako.com/) Kayako, but there are hundreds of other (some free) possibilities.

    Support Forums!
    Another great way to do it, and it can be free!
    • Invision Power Board
    • VBulletin
    • PhpBB
    • SMF
    There are many other alternatives, these are just the top of the line (top two cost $, bottom two are very good free ones)

    Hosting Control Panel
    Its neccesary. You can't run a host without one. Theres mostly paid alternatives, but probably included with your reseller, vps, or ded. Small hosts can probably ignore this collum.
    • Cpanel
    • Plesk
    • H-Sphere
    Thats It! You're on your way to a professional host in no time, feel free to add on! -Tim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Surrey BC
    Posts
    1,307
    Actually a business plan should be first. Setting up the business is the simple part. Having a clear idea on how you are going to procede and move ahead is the hard part. Sure you might be ok for the first few months but unless you have some super human organizational skills you'll hit a brick wall sooner or later.

    Also I would set up your hosting site on a seperate server then your reseller/vps/server account. This way if your clients go down, your site won't. Now you can communicate with them and keep and update log.


    + NOW WE'RE MAKING RECORDS, NOW WE'RE MAKING TAPES

  3. #3
    Thank you, Skippytim!
    Can you give examples of point 7 Extras & Bonuses, Something other hosts don't offer ?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    England
    Posts
    8
    thanks skippytim, can you tell us of what hosts shouldnt do, as mentioned in the title.

  5. #5
    Sure! Sounds good; adding to it now!

    Actually, I'm going to keep working on this...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    100
    Thanks for the list, I never really thought of live help as I have never persionally used it before when I was purchasing hosting.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    0
    Thanks for the post, great read

  8. #8
    Nice article, simple explained hole thing. I got few valuable ideas here ;D

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    15
    Really useful information, thanks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    8
    Excellent advice for those of us out there lucky enough to own/rent a server.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    16
    You customize templates for $10? How long does that take you, like 20 minutes?
    Bachelor of Science in Management
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    CompTIA A+ Certified
    CompTIA Project+ Certified

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Norfolk, UK
    Posts
    134
    One rule which I think is vital is don't host yourself on the same server as your customers because if that goes down they cannot contact you. I have been with hosts who do this and it drives me mad.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by torrentk View Post
    Thanks for the post, great read
    ...
    Sorry for the spelling mistake, English is not my best familiar language. I will be very please if you can correct my mistake for me so i could learn from them.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,078
    Quote Originally Posted by crandall87 View Post
    One rule which I think is vital is don't host yourself on the same server as your customers because if that goes down they cannot contact you. I have been with hosts who do this and it drives me mad.
    Yes this is a must, Has saved us lots of hassle, We host with a highly reliable provider away from our servers

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    1,904
    We actually do host on our servers but.... we offer several avenues that customers can reach us at all times.

    1) Through our main site

    If the server the main site is on goes down - then

    2) Through our .net site

    If the network goes down - then

    3) The infamous gmail address

    Either way - we make it a point to be available for our customers during crisis situations.

    We are looking into options of running a server on a network outside of where we currently have our servers that would house our site. But even still - 2 and 3 would come into play if that server went down as well.


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    262
    I just have to say this is great not that Im starting a webhost but a good bookmark does this justice

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Plymouth, UK
    Posts
    92
    some great tips there. thank you. rep left
    Kind Regards,
    Andy MacDonald
    Web Design | Logo Design

  18. #18
    Thank you this is a great post, I want to start a webhost an have been thinking of this for years. In fact even purchased reseller hosting but the company I selected went bust :-) .
    Now I'm going to give it another try.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    278
    I suggest zopim for 14 days trial but it can be use lifetime. So do you have any website who give fully premium script or chat software>

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    527
    Don't hide your WHOIS on your domain

  21. #21
    Thanks a lot for the advice! Really good for those looking to start out.

  22. #22
    Thanks I wasnt sure which live chat solution to go with but Live Help seems to be the prefered choice.

  23. #23
    Thank you for sharing your insights. Very informative.

    cheers
    EmailHosting.com
    http://www.emailhosting.com

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    15
    the information must be details and ur CS must be friendly. I think this one is most important

  25. #25
    Hello WHT Users!

    I agree with this post, thanks for the good information. I just figured I would add a few things I found could be useful for those starting as well.
    • Although forums I feel are nice, they might be to much to manage unless you have the staff.
    • I find using live chat for pre sale questions is not only easier and cheaper to manage, but more secure. Unless having security questions or a pin perhaps in place to verify the true owner is on the local pc.
    • Another thing you think about is how will I advertise, and really its not hard to get your name out their but it takes effort and patience. Try searching for web service companys who are starting up like yourself, and try to partner up with them give them deals they can give their customers. While you can provide your customers a stream lined service from them, find ways to think outside the box remember we all want to grow and can help each other.
    • Just a quick tip that Pay Per Click can be dangerous and your website will likely not generate any sales if you don't set it up correctly. For one thing mobile users could just land on your page by mistake, things can be clicking ads to fake services i.e. we had many people who just sat on the homepage for 10minutes and then left. PPC is dangerous without properly having the website finished.
    • Yes you can post in local classifieds and craigslist, and even the wall street journal. Their are many things you can do to post but be careful not to look like spam even if your not. When you post on classifieds make sure take the time to fit the needs of the local area. You don't have to live their to learn information on the local yellow pages without websites, but this can be more time consuming so be careful with that.
    • When you spot a chance to help people, try and do that you will get a great response from people you directly helped previously, even referrals.


    And good luck to everyone with their new business! Hope everything works out for you, keep up the work don't wait for motivation!

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