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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    39

    Question starting a hosting biz

    Hi
    I was wondering that maybe I would start a web hosting business, after I save up some more money. But I had a few questions about starting it.

    How do I go about starting a hosting business?
    What kind of computers should i get to host the websites, and how much are they?
    Do I need any extra programs like firewalls and control panels, and how much would they be?
    Do I have to get a lawyer to make my terms of service?
    What connection should I get, and how much would it be?
    How much should I charge per customer?

    and im sort of a minor, so does that represent any problem?

    Thanks a lot,.

  2. #2
    you cant go into hosting with little or no knowledge, i would suggest reselling for a while and see how that works out first. You come across as you think its easy, its far from it and there is alot of planning involved as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Monterey, CA
    Posts
    143
    Originally posted by jamesaspey
    You come across as you think its easy, its far from it and there is alot of planning involved as well.
    People do not plan to fail they fail to plan

    One of my alltime favorite cliches

    As for some tips. Reselling is an excellent oppurtunity to use to start out with in the hosting business. I believe some of the hosts you see on these boards started out as a reseller. Do a little more research and search these boards you will find a wealth of information to help you get started in the hosting business, if after doing all the research you still choose to do so.

    With whatever your endeavor good luck!
    Sam C
    Blue Dog Hosting
    http://www.bluedoghosting.com
    "Your new best friend!"

  4. #4
    What are you about 15? Man enjoy these years and don't start a hosting business as a minor. Hang out with friends and get involved with school activities. Hosting takes away much of your time.

    If you're interested in becoming a host when you become an adult, go ahead and get a cheap used server now and install Linux so you can play around with it and host a few web sites for friends. By the time you're 18, you can be a web hosting guru.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2002
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    Originally posted by jamesaspey
    you cant go into hosting with little or no knowledge, i would suggest reselling for a while and see how that works out first. You come across as you think its easy, its far from it and there is alot of planning involved as well.
    What is reselling?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    5,010
    Originally posted by zachattack87


    What is reselling?
    Reselling is where you get a certain amount of space and bandwidth for a certain amount.. So lets say for 35.00 a month you get 2GB of space and 25GB of bandwidth you can now go out and open say ZachAttack Hosting and sell account how you want them.. You can sell say 100MB of space and 2GB of bandwith for however much you want and usually add as many domains to that account as you want. You get a control panel where you set everything up and add/delete the domains and so on.. That is going to be your best bet.. this is how alot of us started and gives us a better idea of how to run things and also allows up to have a "security blanket" if you will with the provider you get your reseller plan from to get support if needed and also learn how to deal with problems before you get out on your own with your own server.. as far as the tos most providers as long as you are getting service from them will allow you to use there TOS, this makes it so your rules are exact to what they should be as you are using your providers space so both you and your customers must follow that TOS..

  7. #7
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    Sep 2002
    Location
    Lakewood, NJ
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    18
    I would disagree in the aspect of going into it not knowing anything about it, I started my business 2 yrs ago and didn't know anything about hosting, but have I learned alot about the business in 2 yrs.

    Did I fail to plan, no, I planned every step of the way. That is why I am still in business I would likely say, has it been easy no way. I give the kid credit, he had enough sense to come here and start reading the posts to hopefully learn something about what he was thinking of. I also give him credit for wanting more no matter what his age is, working for other people s*cks! If you can get it rolling and enjoy life in the process good for you kid go for it.

    I would suggest the reseller end of things though to start instead of going out and buying or leasing your own equipment initially.
    David White
    Internet Business Planning, Dial Up ISP, Web Hosting & Design
    http://www.Best-XXX-Hosting.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    1,315

    Me Too

    I also disagree. you CAN start a business without knowing anything, however its not the best way

    I started back in 97 with 1 cobalt raq. I couldnt figure out dns and why a customers site wasnt resolving, I told him we got a broken server - Now, i've written my own control panel (which is used by others as well), setup my own network, I am responsible for my web hosting company as well as another, im a productive member here, and I know more than i ever dreamed. Point is, i couldnt figure out that I had to type su root in order to become root a few years ago when i started. As long as you are a quick learner you should be fine

    Howerver, i did not start out not knowing anything about computers. I was knew a whole lot about windows and hardware, but I didnt have a clue about how the net worked or linux

    I'm not recommending that you start with 0 knowledge, but rather that it is possible.

    The good old days...
    Avi Brender
    Reliable Web Hosting by Elite Hosts, Inc
    CPANEL Reseller Hosting - Fantastico - Rvskins - ClientExec

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Lakewood, NJ
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    18
    That is how I started out with 1 Cobalt Raq though a couple of years after you in 99. I knew a little, did my research and figured out how to set up DNS and to resolve the problems associated with it. I was familiar with Computers and windows, and was also familiar with hosting itself, being that I had designed and had hosting for a couple of sites prior to doing the hosting thing. So I was experienced as far as the internet went. I am still learning Linux, and in the future will have a full command of it, its not so hard to learn, just takes time.

    As we have agreed you don't have to know anything, but its good to know something.
    David White
    Internet Business Planning, Dial Up ISP, Web Hosting & Design
    http://www.Best-XXX-Hosting.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    39
    But i was wondering, when you resell, do you just make a site lets say, ZachattackHost.com, and act like im an actual host? Maybe you could give me a link to a site that is a reseller, so i can see pretty much how its done.

    And what do u link of SlincHost as the name of my hosting service? and Do u have any ideas to make a logo that looks professional so people will use my service?

  11. #11
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    Aug 2002
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    89
    Jim
    Quality Web Hosting - Reseller Accounts at an Affordable Price!
    http://www.cyberland-usa.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Lakewood, NJ
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    18
    Hey Jim, IMHO your pricing is a bit low, but then again I have seen very low pricing. What really matters is this enough to cover all your overhead and costs. Most especially if you are just starting out.
    Last edited by Chicken; 09-14-2002 at 01:19 PM.
    David White
    Internet Business Planning, Dial Up ISP, Web Hosting & Design
    http://www.Best-XXX-Hosting.com

  13. #13

    hey

    Hey, here are some answers to a few of you questions.

    You can buy a server for about 400-600 dollars. Good colocation would cost around 200 for 400 gigs of good bandwidth. You could buy from rackshack. They charge about $100 for the lowest package. Add another $75 a month for cpanel. Cpanel does everything for you so you dont have to worry about software installation. You should learn a bit about linux/unix. Best of luck on your venture.
    Download my eBook + Videos: Starting your own successful web hosting company.
    Learn from a web host with 7 years of experience.

  14. #14
    My suggestion to you would be to find somebody to help you with this. At this point of time, you most likely won't be able to pull this off yourself. If you have a partner, which is at least a little more experienced, you won't have such a hard time starting out.

    Also... don't give up and don't expect too much. You have to realize that it will be at least 3-4 months before you'll start breaking even.

    Boris

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    1,280
    What happened to the good old days where you started a company doing something you were good at? If I was a customer, I would be scared to host my website with someone that until a week ago didn't even know what reseller was. Same thing if I was going to be operated by a doctor that had no knowledge/experience about operating.

    I'm not saying don't get into web hosting, just that you should get some experience first. Maybe setup a Linux box at home where you can try things out on..

    Anyways, whatever you decided to do, I wish you the best.
    (SH)Saeed

  16. #16
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    Aug 2002
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    39
    As far as reselling, the reseller provides tech support right?

  17. #17
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    Aug 2002
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    and what do you think of my business to be called SlincHost? the domain is available

  18. #18
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    Aug 2002
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    Oh and one more thing, I was looking at the PayPal fees to use for receiving payments, but is it a bad idea to only allow people to pay using paypal. I sorta think it looks not so professional, and annoying to sign up. But until I know the hosting service starts growing, then I would go to a merchant.

    Does PayPal charge a monthy fee for being able to receive payments on your website?

    I do have another option though, my dad is a doctor, and in his office he has a credit card machine. If I use SSL then I can use his machine to process transactions, without looking unprofessional or paying for an expensive merchant account. The only bad thing is i think his practice's name will come up, I have to ask him what comes up on people's credit card statements.

  19. #19

    hey

    I wouldn't recommend that you only accept paypal. Your right, it looks very unprofessional. Hostcharge.com is a free service, you could try that (althought they charge you 8% on every transaction).
    Download my eBook + Videos: Starting your own successful web hosting company.
    Learn from a web host with 7 years of experience.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    847
    Well, starting a hosting biz isn't very hard. I did a lot of planning before I did it. I am a young guy. This can be stressful. I have a good support team that helps me through the days. I suggest if you want to get some exp doing hosting, work with me and I can help you through the ways :-0
    Max
    Web Hosting Talk Community Guide

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    39
    So how does HostCharge work? You get your money in an ATM Card, but it said you have to pay a monthly fee of $5, and what about paypal? Does paypal charge a monthly fee to accept credit cards?

  22. #22
    I'm looking at HostCharge too. What exactly is there process, what do I need?

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    39
    and does hostcharge let you customize it, so that it looks like they are paying right from my site?

  24. #24

    hey

    Host charge has a free service, just go looking around for it. They have a virtual terminal, so you can accept cards right off your site. Make sure its ssl encrypted. BTW Paypal is worthless, I wouldn't recommend using that as the only way to recieve payments
    Download my eBook + Videos: Starting your own successful web hosting company.
    Learn from a web host with 7 years of experience.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    39

    Re: hey

    Originally posted by dbbrock1
    Host charge has a free service, just go looking around for it. They have a virtual terminal, so you can accept cards right off your site. Make sure its ssl encrypted.

    You get your payments into an ATM card, right?
    It says on the website that you have to pay $5 month just to have the card.

    And about the SSL, the server im thinkin about goin with has SSL, but how do you do it, do u need a SSL certificate?

  26. #26

    hey

    No, i believe they just transfer the funds to your bank account
    Download my eBook + Videos: Starting your own successful web hosting company.
    Learn from a web host with 7 years of experience.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    39
    oh maybe the ATM card is an option!!!

  28. #28
    The server I'm looking at does not come with SSL. Would I be able to process a transaction though the HostCharge server?

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    39
    yeah thats a good question siannews, i would probably think that you need SSL, but im no expert, im sure someone else will come here that actually knows for sure, so just hang on!!

  30. #30
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    Aug 2002
    Posts
    39
    i just read some stuff at hostcharge.com, and YES you can use hostcharge.com's SSL for free!!!!!
    Good luck

  31. #31
    Originally posted by zachattack87


    What is reselling?
    Well, although other people have already responded as to what that is, there is another type as well. Some companies, such as www.downtownhost.com and www.100megswebhosting.com give you discounts on premade packages that you can sell to people. to read more:

    www.100megswebhosting.com/resellers.html

    or

    http://www.downtownhost.com/resellers.html

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    256
    Zach, do yourself a favor...

    I've been planning on hosting for about a year and a half now, and about a year ago I started hosting a few domains (web, ftp, email, forums, all that jazz) for free just to get a feel of what to do and how to do it.

    In that time I've made dumb mistakes, misconfigurations, security issues, and a switch from experimenting with two flavors of Linux and windows 2000 server.

    If my "customers" were paying me during that time...well I would have LONG been out of business, gotten a Really BAD rep, and possibly been sued for all I know.

    If I were you I would do the same thing. Get the experience on your own time, and on your own dime. Then when you want to start it as a business you'll be far more prepared for it.

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    39
    Originally posted by greatbeast
    Zach, do yourself a favor...

    Get the experience on your own time, and on your own dime. Then when you want to start it as a business you'll be far more prepared for it.
    Thanks for everyone's response, and greatbeast, im gonna join another reseller for a few months! Then i can learn the ropes and stuff.

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Central Kansas, USA
    Posts
    33

    Merchant Account

    Zach,
    I noticed earlier you considered the possibility of using your Dad's Merchant Vendor account. You said he was a doc. Be very, VERY careful. The credit card companies call this "vendoring" and it is very illegal. Even if you are up front with your customers and tell them to expect billing from ABC Medical, the first chargeback that happens will expose your father and his company to criminal prosecution. At the very least, they will close his merchant vendor account and place his name on a "black list".

    Good luck with your endeavor.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    39
    Yeah thanks, Gade Terbob
    but i decided that i didnt want use it anyway, especially because of these free 3rd party processors like hostcharge, and what would customers think of my hosting business if they saw something like ABC medical on their statement?
    Last edited by zachattack87; 09-15-2002 at 01:26 PM.

  36. #36

    hey

    Zack, how much time have you spent planning your business? I spent about 6 months getting everything together, before i even opened the business to the public
    Download my eBook + Videos: Starting your own successful web hosting company.
    Learn from a web host with 7 years of experience.

  37. #37
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    141
    I saw that you wanted to know if a reseller does tech support, and the answer is no. You dont seem to know anything about the internet, servers, and most likely anything to do with hosting web sites, so how the hell do you plan on handling support? Outside of setting everything up it's the most time consuming thing a 1 man operation will do!
    Last edited by mlip129; 09-15-2002 at 04:46 PM.

  38. #38

    hey

    Well put!
    Download my eBook + Videos: Starting your own successful web hosting company.
    Learn from a web host with 7 years of experience.

  39. #39
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    39
    Originally posted by mlip129
    I saw that you wanted to know if a reseller does tech support, and the answer is no. You dont seem to know anything about the internet, servers, and most likely anything to do with hosting web sites, so how the hell do you plan on handling support? Outside of setting everything up it's the most time consuming thing a 1 man operation wiil do!
    So i dont understand, you said that a reseller doest not do tech support, so why do you say that its the most time consuming thing?

  40. #40
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    141
    Originally posted by zachattack87


    So i dont understand, you said that a reseller doest not do tech support, so why do you say that its the most time consuming thing?
    Your double negative is confusing but i'll try to explain anyway:

    You most likely want to sign up with a reseller to host your sites, and thats all they do: host you sites!

    What if one of you customers doesnt know how to install a perl script? The fist thing they do is ask you, it'll look very bad if you dont know how to install a perl script when you support perl. And it'll be very stupid if you dont support it.

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