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  1. #1
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    Sep 2009
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    Northern Virginia, USA
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    I want to run a very small web hosting company, mainly for web clients only

    Hi guys, I want to run a very small web hosting company, to allow my web clients to host their websites on my servers. Is it worth it?

    I'm thinking about running a T-1 line to my house and to my servers, but I haven't looked at the costs yet.

    I have no idea how to set up a DNS server, though I can get PHP and Apache and MySQL running.

    Where should I start?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    4,028
    Let get the "hosting from home" idea out of your head right away. I can assure you there are much more cost effective ways of hosting your clients. Not to mention more reliable! Search hosting from home for more discussion on that.

    I would strongly recommend you do a search on "reseller hosting". It basically will allow you to purchase bulk space from a reputable host (depending on whom you choose) that you can then divide up to your clients. You choose your pricing, your support model, etc. The hosting company just keeps the servers online, software updated and is there when you need them!

    That's a very quick overview but hopefully gives you a rough idea.

    I'm sure some of the other guys will have some more specific advice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    You should look into a VPS with cpanel & whm if you want a server, If not then go with a Master Reseller with whm & cpanel.


    Trust us dont run a server out of home, also you would need to see if you isp would allow you.

  4. #4
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    I would go for a VPS as one of the above posters mentioned. Personally I would suggest steering clear of reseller accounts.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jarrodsl View Post
    I would go for a VPS as one of the above posters mentioned. Personally I would suggest steering clear of reseller accounts.
    What's wrong with resellers?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Bangladesh
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    reseller is the best choice for starting a new hosting company. If you are a beginner, don't get a vps. you need to secure it so that it doesn't get hacked. You should first get a Master/Reseller and when you think your company is getting bigger, you can then order a vps. but don't move in right away. you should test it out for a few days/weeks and when you think you're ready, you can move in.

    In short, go for a reseller.

    AND DON'T RUN A SERVER FROM YOUR HOME!! IT AIN'T WISE

  7. #7
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    Melbourne
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    When the US market is already cheap, lets skip the home hosting. However if your down here in Australia, you'll be more tempted to host at home.

    Anyway back to the point, start with something small. Make sure you pick something which you can grow with.

    For example, a small reseller account which you can expand, then maybe later upgrade to a VPS and then Dedicated server.

    Or skip the reseller, and start with a VPS which can be expandable and then the option to be able to upgrade to a dedicated server.

  8. #8
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    I would start with a reseller account, and in many ways, you could be better off staying with one.

    With a reseller account, the technical side of things in terms of keeping the sites online are dealt with by another company. You only need to worry about the actual sites, and collecting the money from your clients.

    It therefore doesn't require any advanced knowledge, and if things go down at 3-4am, it'll be the company you are buying from that will be working to fix the problem, not you
    Alasdair

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by tickedon View Post
    I would start with a reseller account, and in many ways, you could be better off staying with one.

    With a reseller account, the technical side of things in terms of keeping the sites online are dealt with by another company. You only need to worry about the actual sites, and collecting the money from your clients.

    It therefore doesn't require any advanced knowledge, and if things go down at 3-4am, it'll be the company you are buying from that will be working to fix the problem, not you
    This is pretty much the same way with a managed VPS, You just have a bit more power over how things are done.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by hdsrob View Post
    This is pretty much the same way with a managed VPS, You just have a bit more power over how things are done.
    True, however, the OP said "very small". Likely, that means a reseller would be more than enough for their needs, and should save on costs too
    Alasdair

  11. #11
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    OK, with security and all, my dad has that covered. He has 30+ years in Linux, and he even has one of those PIX firewalls that he can setup for my server.

    My ISP probably wouldn't let me host from home, hence the T-1 line. I actually wouldn't be hosting the servers in my home, more from one of my dad's offices. Much more reliable that way, they have a technical team there.

    The reason I do not want to become a reseller, is because it would probably be more cost effective for me, and the client, to provide and purchase hosting. I have the resources to start up a huge hosting company, but would rather only start up a small one.

    Just for the record, I'm 14.

  12. #12
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    Oct 2002
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    I'm thinking about running a T-1 line
    A T1 line is very 1990's. Servers these days typically run on 100mbps or more.

    This is pretty much the same way with a managed VPS, You just have a bit more power over how things are done.
    True, but will he need that power?

    I agree with the opinions above suggesting that a reseller account is the way to go.

  13. #13
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    Sep 2007
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    Albuquerque, NM
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    VPS is the way to go for a small start for webhosting so much cheaper then a T-1 + computer + time spent figuring out everything to make it work.

  14. #14
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    Don't put the cart before the horse, You're thinking profits before you even have a client base large enough to support the basic infrastructure and logistics involved before profits.

    Who will manage the support system?
    Who will market the business?
    Who will manage the hardware?
    Who will do your homework for you?
    Who will go out and have fun with your friends for you?
    This is a 24/7 business.

    The hosting business is rife with 1000's and 1000's of upstarts stabbing each other with price cutting.

    I lease a very small 'Managed VPS' and it takes 50-75 clients to just break even.
    Last edited by Sign-Man; 10-03-2009 at 01:54 PM.
    BigXor
    www.bigxor.com- Exclusive Private Website Hosting.

  15. #15
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    Jan 2006
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    Ontario, Canada
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    As cool as having your own "datacenter" would be, its simply just not cost effective. The hardware costs alone would put you 2-3 years in the red before you turn any profit.

    Purchase a reseller account and save yourself the hassle
    Kdoubt.net - Gameing discussion, arcade, all around good fun

  16. #16
    Focus on sales/clients and go with a proactively managed VPS. Five clients should cover the cost of the hosting.

    Example:
    Annual payment: 35 clients x $125 = $4,375 minus $600 for VPS = $3,775 gross profit.
    FlaNative

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Depeche View Post
    What's wrong with resellers?
    A reseller has no control over their own environment, except through a gui. This makes them wholly reliant on another company who may or may not be concerned or competent enough to deal with security or technical issues.

  18. #18
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    Northern Virginia, USA
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    While you guys say I'm looking at benefiting for profits, I'm not.

    I honestly wouldn't care if I'd make a penny off of this. I'd just rather have a server hosted by myself, so I'm not dependent on some other company to keep their servers running. What happens if one of their servers goes down, they either have to go through me, where I have to go through them, or they have to go to them. That wouldn't be a good image made for me.

    However, if I am hosting by myself, then they can directly come to me, let me know whats up, then possibly have their website back up and running on a backup server that I have in 5 minutes. The only hosting company that I have ever worked with that had great service was WestHost.

    I've asked about reselling and really haven't gotten a clear answer.

    I'll probably do some more looking around.

  19. #19
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    Sep 2007
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    I run a small web hosting company and I do not doing for the profit, I mean I do make a profit but nothing I need to pay huge staff or huge hosting fees, and I enjoy it. I can pretty much access my admin controls from where I am at incase of a site outage or a customer having a issue.
    Anthony H. Webmaster of 3Dx Hosting
    Hosting: 3dxhosting.com & My Design Blog: Anthony Hays.com
    We provide low cost standard & custom shared hosting solutions.

  20. #20
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    Sep 2009
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    Hmm, I personally don't want to pay for one of those server GUIs for clientside, like cPanel etc.

    Are there any free/opensource panels?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iflymyhelishigh View Post
    Hmm, I personally don't want to pay for one of those server GUIs for clientside, like cPanel etc.

    Are there any free/opensource panels?
    Seriously, I think you would be far better off just paying HostGator or HTTPme or any one of the other big resellers.

    Listen to what nearly everyone here is telling you. Trying to do this yourself from home or whatever is not the best way to do it

    Personally, it seems to me that you are looking to cut too many corners, and I can't see that ending well for you or your customers.
    Alasdair

  22. #22
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    Jun 2005
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    New Jersey
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    You'd definitely end up providing all of your potential customers a better end user experience if you simply got a reseller account or a managed VPS to provide your services.
    Plutomic Hosting
    Empowering Your Web Ventures
    In Business Since 2005
    Specializing in Web Hosting, VPS, Managed Dedicated Servers and Managed Colocation

  23. #23
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    Sep 2009
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    Northern Virginia, USA
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    OK. We'll see. I actually might just purchase a dedicated server from some hosting company hopefully unmetered, so that I can host their sites and they don't have to worry about it.

  24. #24
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    To Plutomic-Andrew:
    If I were to purchase a reseller account, I don't think it would get much use, considering I'm 14, I'm actively studying, and I complete a website maybe once in 2 months. If I weren't in school, I could easily be completing websites in days, rather than months.

  25. #25
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    If you wouldn't use a reseller account for sites, how would you use a dedicated server? How would you justify the significant additional cost for that?

    Must be missing something?
    Alasdair

  26. #26
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    Jan 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by tickedon View Post
    If you wouldn't use a reseller account for sites, how would you use a dedicated server? How would you justify the significant additional cost for that?

    Must be missing something?
    thinking the same myself
    If you need help about anything to do with WHT, check out the Helpdesk

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Corvallis, OR
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    I agree with the rest, it's not wise to host out of your unreliable home on a T1 line no matter what the costs are. You will save so much more money just renting a dedicated server or colocating one of your current servers.

    Checkout other options. We have many clients just like you who are doing the same thing, and they are located in our Colocation rooms
    Bobby Samai - Director of Marketing
    www.peakinternet.com 1.800.731.4871 Ext 4968 24/7 Support Center
    PEAK - Out to change the way business is being done since 1992
    Colocation | Dedicated | VPS | Shared | Broadband

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by AHN-Andrew View Post
    When the US market is already cheap, lets skip the home hosting. However if your down here in Australia, you'll be more tempted to host at home.

    Anyway back to the point, start with something small. Make sure you pick something which you can grow with.

    For example, a small reseller account which you can expand, then maybe later upgrade to a VPS and then Dedicated server.

    Or skip the reseller, and start with a VPS which can be expandable and then the option to be able to upgrade to a dedicated server.
    I agree with Andrew on this point. If you are living in US, please forget about "hosting your business from home". T1 line isn't cheap at all. The price run about $1000/mo depend on your location...You think it is worth it? or paying $30/mo for a reseller/VPS server?

  29. #29
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Boston area
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    I'm a reseller who hosts for my web design clients. In the past 3 years I've been interrupted on vacation about a dozen times by clients with email or website problems. All problems were handled quickly by the reseller host through their helpdesk. Who would handle a power outage and reboot of servers if you were on vacation? How about physical security? Where would your backup system reside - not onsite I hope. If your clients have sensitive data on your servers would you be taking a big risk on liability? Bottom line - stick with a reseller account. Unless you have hundreds of accounts, it will be a much better solution.
    Racing River Website Solutions ... design, hosting, SEO
    www.racingriverwebs.com

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