Hosting Your Own Web Server: Things to Consider Published: Nov 28, 2006
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We had a chance to interview Aussie Bob, the man behind the highly successful reseller hosting company HTTPme. We asked him about the sale of his business and future plans.

WebHostGear.com is proud to announce our exclusive interview with HTTPme, Robert Walker (Aussie Bob).
We wanted to find out why his business became so successful and why he recently sold it.

HTTPme

What is your name and title?
Aussie Bob, former owner and Founder of HTTPme.com
Aussie Bob

How did you get involved in web hosting and when did your company begin?
"HTTPme.com officially commenced Nov/Dec 2001. I myself was a web developer and was originally sourcing supply for multiple domains in the 1 hosting account. This type of account was not that common back towards 2001, and I was paying for all my domain's hosting 1 domain at a time. This was costing me a small fortune, as I had many personal, and client's domains etc.

So around August 2001 I was looking for a multiple domain account, and that led me to believe that the marketspace for Multiple Domain Hosting was huge. Hence I saw an opportunity and ran with it. Turned out my hunch was correct, and the demand for Multiple domain hosting was there."

Have you ever owned your own business before HTTPme?
"Yes, but HTTPme.com was the first web hosting business that I ever operated."

What do you think made HTTPme so successful?
"Service, service and more service. Ok, so it's not all service - you need hosting plans that people want, at a price they can afford. The .COMmunity approach of HTTPme was also cutting edge, as none to my knowledge had attempted that before, in the hosting business."

Tell us about the hardware, network and software setup that HTTPme uses.
"Hardware are 2U Intel Dual XEONs with a good chunk of RAM. We housed these servers in the HTTPme rack in NAC datacenter. It's a great feeling to make the jump from leasing dedicated servers, to colocating your own servers, in your own rack. You get some nice economies of scale, when that rack starts to fill up. Software is RH 9.0 with Cpanel."

Why did you decide to only offer reseller services?
"The market I was chasing was the Multiple Domain hosting market. The majority of HTTPme clients were not resellers, but folks who just wanted to bundle all their domains under 1 account, and save a packet by doing so. The mix of Multi-domain to Reseller clients would have been 80/20. HTTPme also served a lot of web developers. These are the best clients, as they control their client's hosting account, and generally speaking they do not require much tech support."

Do you use any automated billing systems or helpdesks with things like live chat?
"Didn't use any automated billing. I like to manually add the client's account into the HTTPme database. Billing was handled through Paysystems.com. The helpdesk was Perldesk. No live chat was offered. Our support procedure is here - http://www.httpme.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=37 "

What is your day to day role like at your company?
"Billing, customer management and keeping the big wheel turning. I worked the helpdesk with technical support when I could too. I liked nothing better than rolling up my sleeves and getting into the action. I'm a hands on type of business owner."

The sale of HTTPme was a big surprise to everyone, what made you sell it?
"For a change of direction, and the opportunity to cash in my chips (so to
speak) and build the family home. I had basically accomplished what I set out to do, and that was to build a vibrant .COMmunity around a web hosting product of offering Multiple Domain plans.

The money was just a bi-product of me chasing a dream, and once I caught that dream, there was really nothing left for me to prove. I felt I had come as far as I wanted to go, and it was time for me to depart and start another journey. I feel I will be creating more businesses in the future, and moving on as I did with HTTPme. I think the creative process is amazing, and it is where I am most gifted."

Will you continue to be part of the HTTPme team now that there is a new owner?
"If they need help with anything, I'm around. But the team and new owners have things well in hand. I see HTTPme and Voxtreme merging into the 1 platform, in the not too distant future. HTTPme is a great brand that will only get stronger in the coming years."

What do you have planned for the future? Will you still be involved in the hosting industry?
"Currently (April 2004) I'm building the family home. That will take me up to the last quarter of 2004, and then I'll put my feet up on the back deck, with cold drink, and basically decide where to from there."

Do you have any final comments or anything you would like to add?
"HTTPme was successful because of a strong vision/dream, and dogged determination to get the business to work. Each day you take more steps, and you just keep taking those steps, and you look back over 6mths of walking, and you have come a fair way. Keep walking and never loose site of the dream/vision that drives you. Close your eyes and dream of your business in the future. Dream of thousands of clients. Dream of making a 6 figure personal income per year. Dream of the results of that kind of income. Dream it so much that you can feel it, and it hurts so bad not to be there.

Write down your goals too. I used to write down a fantasy client number on the office whiteboard, and would imagine the business at that level. Day in day out, keep focused on the dream. Keep it in front of you and never loose sight of it. It will pull you through the bad times. Keep the vision plain and keep it out inf ront. Keep chasing it and never stop."

A warm Thank You to Aussie Bob for taking the time to be interviewed.
Steve Leggett, WebHostGear.com

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Comments (5)

  • Gravatar - frantz
    frantz 14:14, August 17, 2007
    I know this report is a bit dated, but it was still helpful. I"ve been considring hosting my own server for a while and just came accross this article. Just wanted to say thank you and it helped a lot.
  • Gravatar - julz
    julz 23:23, November 4, 2009
    this article is very useful , im currently planning to build my own webserver, but i have some doubts and questions in mind that I would also like to ask here, <br />
    <br />
    can I use my local highspeed home internet for the server or I have to go for a business internet plan for these?, im worry about the ISP TOS but almost all thread ive read about home webhosting uses their local highspeed internet. Can you share your Ideas about these
  • Gravatar - Dedicated Server India
    Dedicated Server India 09:07, July 9, 2010
    <a href=" http://www.go4hosting.com">Dedicated Server India</a>
  • Gravatar - norhuda
    norhuda 09:50, September 22, 2010
    very good article
  • Gravatar - norhuda
    norhuda 09:51, September 22, 2010
    very good article

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