Starting Your Own Hosting Company Published: Aug 18, 2013
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Time to start your own web hosting business? Check out this guide of the basics before you take the leap of faith.

How To Become A Web Host

Man thinking about becoming a web host


A question that is asked quite frequently. First and foremost we must point out that web hosting is not a get rich quick scheme or an easy business to run. It takes alot of patience, computer and technical knowledge and a solid background in Computer Science to run a successful and solid web hosting company. Some may disagree with this, especially with the innovation of "Control Panels" that makes it easier for anyone to get a pre-built server and start hosting sites. In reality, it's not really that simple. Yes you can lease a dedicated server from a provider and start hosting sites once you are familiar with the control panel BUT a very important point to remember is those control panels still have their limitations. If you do decide to start your own hosting company, here are some basic questions to ask yourself *before* starting a hosting firm.

1. How much time do I have to invest into this company?

In this day and age, most clients are expecting 24 hour support. Are you able to be on call 24 hours a day to handle all the technical and sales requests that will be coming in once you start your company? Prompt support is a very key aspect of having a successful hosting business, so this is one of the first questions you should ask yourself before starting your company. Am I able to offer the support my clients will need?

2. Familiarity with the latest software and platforms?

Have you done your homework in terms of researching what are the latest software, how they work and the pricing. It is very important to be familiar with the software that needs to be installed on the server(s) that you will be using to host your client's websites. For instance IIS when using Windows 2000 server is something you will need to be very familiar with, if you are going to be hosting sites on a Windows Server.

On a good note, Microsoft offers a huge library of information on all their software, but it will take a serious time investment to be familiar with all the options available, security leaks, and you have to be always on the look out for the latest patches. In terms of Linux, this is a bit more complicated. A strong command and knowledge of SSH (Secure Shell Security) is needed. Even if you have a control panel such as Cpanel which offers a program called Web Host Manager, a strong background in Telnet Commands will be needed or you will be lost.

3. Financial Investment

Are you willing to spend the money necessary to start making some money? In many cases you will need to make some serious finanacial investment when starting your own hosting firm. Be very weary of the fact that many of the software on the market are not cheap, and the type of servers most of your clients will be expecting their sites to be hosted on, will not be cheap either. Many expect their site to be hosted on Dual Pentium servers that are sturdy and reliable, so some investment will be needed.

On the other hand, there is the cheaper way, which is to simply lease a dedicated server that offers a high amount of bandwidth from another hosting firm, and then host your clients sites on that server. It's an easy way to start your own company with little investment, BUT be forewarned that with network outages, server crashes, you will have little or no control unless you can contact your dedicated server provider for a prompt reboot or resolution of the network problem.

4. Hiring of Employees?

Will you be hiring any employees to start, or will you be a one man show until the business picks up? If you choose to not hire any employees then obviously your financial investment is less, BUT your time investment into the business has now skyrocketed. No employees will mean you will have to handle all the technical and sales requests along with any other problem that may occur. It is important to weigh this aspect carefully as it could make or break you.

5. Resources/Steps To Start A Hosting Company.

Important steps to take

A. Registration of Company Name

Do a search on the internet for trade name registration in your particular state. This will allow you to register a DBA known as Doing Business As name within your particular state. This option is the easiest way to have an actual business name instead of using your actual real name. If you would like to go straight ahead and become a Corporation instead of just using a DBA then you can use a site such as MyCorporation.com to get started with your own Corporate business.

B. Purchasing of Servers/Leasing of Servers

If you decided to purchase your own servers, you have a few options. You can get a server custom built by manufacturers or you can even go the option of leasing your server from a company such as Dell or Gateway. They offer a monthly leasing to own plan. If you decide to lease a Dedicated Server , then you can review offerings from companies such as Rackshack.net, Eservers.biz, Rackspace.com, Cyberworldservers.com just to name a few. Each of those companies will allow you to lease a server on their connection, set a specified amount of bandwidth, and allow you to host your client's websites on the server you lease from them.

If you're starting small we highly recommend using a Reseller account from either HostGator or GreenGeeks. Both these providers offer Reseller alternatives at a reasonable fee. You can read more about Reseller Hosting in our related articles below or directly on these two providers' websites.

C. Office/Data Center Space

With the purchase of servers, you'll need office space or as some say a Data Center to house these servers. You will have to look around for space in your local city for the best location with enough space for growth to house your servers and your connection.

D. Bandwidth Providers

If purchasing your own servers direct, you'll need a provider that can run a line to the server through a router to feed the bandwidth. Some companies that offer bandwidth are : Level3.com , Twtelecom.com, Verio.com, and for cheaper bandwidth you can use Cogentco.com. Each of these companies will allow you to have bandwidth in your data center facility.

These are just some of the *basic* steps necessary to get started with your own hosting firm. The task may seem daunting, but it can be achieved with hard work and dedication. The web hosting market may seem saturated with new hosting companies forming literally each day, but there is still room techncially for another good company. Once you can offer the support and reliability your customers need then you will grow as a firm mainly through word of mouth. If you treat your customers good, they will refer others to your service. In a nutshell, hosting is not an easy business to start, but it can be a profitable and rewarding one when the necessary steps are taken.

We hope that this helps anyone who is trying to get into the hosting biz!

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Comments (64)

  • Gravatar - Dharmendra Ajwani
    Dharmendra Ajwani 16:46, March 9, 2004
    HI,

    Yes i 100% agree with you, its really very hard to get starting with hosting, as we to had bad times when we started with a1domainhosting.com. You really need high patience. Their are thousands of fishes in this hosting see, so you should know how to swin above the water.

    Thanks
    Dharmendra Ajwani
    a1domainhosting.com
  • Gravatar - A. Johnson
    A. Johnson 16:33, October 24, 2004
    I've been running a hosting business for over 1 1/2 years now and still learning the intricacies of all the software and most important how and where to market. I believe I'm finally getting a grasp on things and my business has tripled within with past month or so. <br>ajohnson at http://www.cashopolyhosting.com
  • Gravatar - mark hastings
    mark hastings 22:37, March 24, 2005
    Can anyone recommend some good resources (reading and programing) for hosting businesses?
  • Gravatar - James Innes
    James Innes 12:43, March 27, 2005
    This is an excellent article. You really need to dedicate all your time to this business...14 hours a day or more. <br />
    <br />
    Some advice: once your company expands outsource your support work to another company. <br />
    <br />
    Good luck from all at http://bargainhost.co.uk
  • Gravatar - Jenny
    Jenny 11:40, June 19, 2005
    Agree with this article.<br />
    <br />
    From www.cenixhost.com
  • Gravatar - miquel
    miquel 00:05, June 23, 2005
    Cannot say that I agree more. It's hard. But it's not imposible and I want to give a positive message. It's worth a try!<br />
    <br />
    It has taken me 3 years to get to some decent number of customers. But I got there. And if anybody wants to try to go for it, I offer the Reseller Sponsorship program so the start is at least easier. We can coach you through the worse steps: just email us.<br />
    <br />
    But please. Be prepared to work hard, it's not an easy job... won't lie to anybody on this.<br />
    <br />
    Miquel
  • Gravatar - prabudh
    prabudh 14:51, July 24, 2005
    Hi,<br />
    WHG, has always been a step ahead in bringing out best of the web hosting World.<br />
    <br />
    I do run a growing web hosting company http://www.gohindi.com and feel what this article states is 100% correct.<br />
    <br />
    Its a hard work to keep your service and Faith up, one who does it is always recognized.
  • Gravatar - unknown
    unknown 23:57, July 25, 2005
    Since you all have experience in this hosting biz , what software(s) should i use on my server to get started with hosting. The server i recently bought is a tower server that runs best with the Windows Platform. Please & thank you
  • Gravatar - CenixHOST
    CenixHOST 18:07, August 18, 2005
    When I started my own hosting www.cenixhost.com, I didn't read the articles or resources because I know how to run the business. It has taken me 3 months to get to some decent number of customers<br />
    <br />
    Just saying this article may be helpful for newbies.
  • Gravatar - Mat
    Mat 18:16, December 1, 2005
    Good article
  • Gravatar - Ray M.
    Ray M. 05:46, December 12, 2005
    I think this is a fantastic artilce. It's true, without support, any customer is bound to feel uncomfortable.<br />
    <br />
    Any business is a lifelong learning program and if you consider it to be merely a hobby, you shouldn't.<br />
    <br />
    www.infoloud.com<br />
  • Gravatar - Jason
    Jason 05:06, December 14, 2005
    I love this article, I too started my own company www.boreonix.com and it hasn't been easy but I am doing great
  • Gravatar - John Abharam
    John Abharam 19:23, December 27, 2005
    can any one tell me what should i install to get started with my server ??? please gimme a list of softwares . thank you .
  • Gravatar - Ryan
    Ryan 16:52, January 6, 2006
    i need to know how to register a domain name for clients. my main domain will be www.<hostingname>.com but i want them to have like www.<theirname>.com if they want instead of www.<hostingname>.<theirname>.com any ideas?
  • Gravatar - Precious
    Precious 12:28, January 19, 2006
    It is a good informative article. I m agree with you but it becomes more easier when you start as reseller instead of purchasing/leasing servers just create a site, take orders and forward them to the original company (don’t forget to take commissions &#61514;) currently I m running same company. Need more info. Contact me. Precious_skyt@yahoo.com
  • Gravatar - omid
    omid 02:35, January 20, 2006
    Hey,<br />
    How are you?<br />
    <br />
    My name is Omid, and I'm from Canada. I recently graduated from Computer engineering. I’m also interested to get into web hosting business. <br />
    <br />
    If you like we both could put our knowledge together and help each other out. If you are interested please add me to your msn haaslo@hotmail.com . I’m always online. <br />
    <br />
    I hope I hear soon from you. <br />
    <br />
    Take care,<br />
    Omid<br />
    <br />
  • Gravatar - George
    George 02:08, January 25, 2006
    Great article
  • Gravatar - THIS IS HARD
    THIS IS HARD 02:57, February 4, 2006
    Ok I don't even know what to begin with.I thought it also took HTML.Well can anyone explain me the whole thing from begining. Mail it to musicfoolcrazy@hotmail.com
  • Gravatar - ROMES
    ROMES 19:03, May 9, 2006
    TO: THIS IS HARD<br />
    <br />
    You really need to do more reading. Don't expect anyone to send you everything to your email. Get out there and explore. Thats how you learn.
  • Gravatar - mike
    mike 16:23, June 22, 2006
    i was wondering how do you make an acount that can be credited by customers using all types of different payment methods
  • Gravatar - Moataz
    Moataz 22:36, August 7, 2006
    I want to start a web hosting company so what do you think are two servers enough for that.
  • Gravatar - tekgrunt
    tekgrunt 11:05, September 13, 2006
    To: musicfoolcrazy@hotmail.com<br />
    <br />
    I don't mean this in a rude or insulting manner, but it sounds like you have years of jedi training to complete before you can even start thinking about getting into this.
  • Gravatar - marqz
    marqz 23:02, October 4, 2006
    i don't wanna start a web hosting service, but i wanna know how difficult is make a host only for me? thanks
  • Gravatar - Doom2
    Doom2 21:44, November 14, 2006
    There is a site that I know about, but what they do is game server hosting (coming soon). How would I go about starting something like this? For example, if I want to host a game server or colocate a game server for multiplayer games like Quake, Doom2, or Counter-Strike?<br />
    <br />
    Thanks
  • Gravatar - Nile
    Nile 15:16, December 12, 2006
    Good article, <br />
    I cannot stress how much it is important to find a good company if you are getting a reseller and VPS, because if you go for a company who aren't any good and go down alot, it is YOUR responsibility to get your company back up asap without data loss, also if this occurs your reseller provider is down for a long time and you cannot get in touch with the company YOUR clients may want to prosecute you for loss of income etc.
  • Gravatar - Carry
    Carry 01:01, January 19, 2007
    Just started own hosting company www.abcsite.net. Look like it is hard enough. Need to plan everything. And also it is expensive for first time. Thank you fot this article! :)
  • Gravatar - AppsHosting
    AppsHosting 23:32, April 11, 2007
    Good Article..
  • Gravatar - Jason
    Jason 15:05, June 7, 2007
    Hey guys im reali interested with hosting but I have a different approch I want to go into the mobile (wap) market does any1 know of programs that I would need 2 run or how I could go about this thers not much info out there please email me im desperate for info, for an eg of something similar that I want plz visit wen.ru off a wap enabled brouwser
  • Gravatar - Bashir Iqbal
    Bashir Iqbal 04:24, October 5, 2007
    I am looking for a paid consultant who have strong command on hosting business and can guide me to start a hosting company contact me at bashiriqbal@gmail.com if anyone interested.
  • Gravatar - Rhodry Bobby
    Rhodry Bobby 02:05, December 14, 2007
    Can someone please tell me how I start setting up the system and what computers and software they use and if they could tell me what and the cost to buy the stuff. I am really stuck on how to get started. Help would be much appreciated!
  • Gravatar - Hey.
    Hey. 07:08, January 9, 2008
    If you are posting any questions about how to get started, what equip you need, what software, or any other questions about starting your business, YOU NEED TO STOP NOW. What kind of service are you going to provide... "Oh the servers down. Sorry, dont know what to do, waiting for an email. But thanks for prepaying for the month."
  • Gravatar - Lee
    Lee 18:54, January 13, 2008
    Hi, great artical.<br />
    <br />
    I have been running my own hosting business for over a year now, and its really taken off. The last 3 months have been fantastic. You need to advertise in the right places, and offer excellent support services.<br />
    <br />
    Thanks<br />
    <br />
    Lee<br />
    <br />
    www.nurvox.com
  • Gravatar - Helena, Ireland
    Helena, Ireland 07:06, July 3, 2008
    Great article. Kind of funny reading some of the comments. Maybe the best advice about starting a hosting company is never try to run before you can walk... otherwise you will definitely fall.
  • Gravatar - Oksana
    Oksana 21:40, July 22, 2008
    The main thing is to have a good team of professionals, the people you cen trust and rely on. Good lack from http://ksmhost.net
  • Gravatar - A. Delima
    A. Delima 19:04, July 28, 2008
    This article is actually right. You need a lot of patience. <br />
    <br />
    Best wishes,<br />
  • Gravatar - Julo
    Julo 16:15, October 22, 2008
    Is there anybody who would like to buy UK web hosting Ltd Company? The company has one year and can be fully outsourced. You will just need to find new customers. Please, contact me.
  • Gravatar - Kunta
    Kunta 14:47, January 8, 2009
    Very good article. I will launch my web hosting company sometime this summer. It is going to be hosted on linux servers built by me on refurb computers running out of my kitchen. In the first couple of month, I plan to use my existing fiber optic connection to verizon and I will see how that goes. <br />
    Not planning on spending a dime. My primary firewall will be an old dual-homed 486 computer running a very sophisticated hand crafted set of iptables rules. In the beginning Mysql and Apache will do for me... <br />
    more on pouemiz.com very soon... <br />
  • Gravatar - DEBOHOST.COM
    DEBOHOST.COM 22:55, August 5, 2009
    DeboHost.com<br />
    cheapest hosting plans that you ever hear about.<br />
    <br />
    Visit us and get promotion for double for every thing!<br />
    <br />
    this offer valid untill 30, Aug 2009
  • Gravatar - Danny Maireroa
    Danny Maireroa 16:42, September 21, 2009
    Thanks for the article, I'm looking at running my own web host company in the future..<br />
    <br />
    As soon as my web business is fully established http://www.dmaireroa.com, then I can look into it more.<br />
    <br />
    CHEERS :)
  • Gravatar - Antony Tauro
    Antony Tauro 07:21, September 25, 2009
    Very informative article one should read before starting the web hosting business. It temps me start as I am prepared to put full effort into it to succeed. can you please guide me how to take off.
  • Gravatar - JLM
    JLM 22:05, October 14, 2009
    Good article, and I totally agree with it. I have been using SingleHop.com as my dedicated server provider for some time now and always have had great personal service and exceptional support.
  • Gravatar - Property Investor
    Property Investor 16:37, November 24, 2009
    It's vital that you offer customers full support. I searched long and hard to find the right company for my <a href="http://www.assetsinternational.co.uk">Caribbean Property</a> website.
  • Gravatar - VPS Lime
    VPS Lime 17:55, November 26, 2009
    Great article! It is a tough, but rewarding business to be in. We love the interaction from clients all over the globe and interesting to see so many creative people out there. Wishing you the best from http://www.vpslime.com !<br />
  • Gravatar - Eric
    Eric 08:35, December 8, 2009
    I'm planning on having my own web hosting to host my own site by i'm looking for cheaper and inexpensive solution for a novice and inexperience like me in running a web hosting some suggestions would be of great help...thanks in advance from http://fancyfishhaven.com
  • Gravatar - MaraIna
    MaraIna 10:17, December 15, 2009
    yes you need to have a lot of patience.<br />
    <br />
    I started few days ago with quite cheap setup<br />
    server at:<br />
    www.burst.net<br />
    and billing system at<br />
    www.hostbillapp.com
  • Gravatar - Calvin
    Calvin 03:48, January 1, 2010
    I started my web hosting company called "PWC Hosting" in 2005. At the start, it was difficult to break into the hosting industry. However, persistence and much faith allowed for me to establish a strong brand in the hosting world.<br />
    <br />
    The advice I would give to any new Web Hosting Company startup is this... Keep the faith, work hard and never give up!<br />
    <br />
    Visit my company- PWC Hosting Company on the web at www.pwchosting.com
  • Gravatar - Sandip Shaha
    Sandip Shaha 06:56, January 2, 2010
    Ya I go through your instruction. I want to start Hosting Business.
  • Gravatar - md s a khan
    md s a khan 17:19, January 6, 2010
    9.rating.but need to becom a part of your pathway.and stable a own hosting company.
  • Gravatar - Remco
    Remco 18:07, January 17, 2010
    If you want to start a webhosting company without any investment take a look at http://www.yourhostingcompany.com
  • Gravatar - andrew binning
    andrew binning 02:47, January 26, 2010
    i have some fast seedboxs cheap as well come to www.megaups.com and ask for bino09 :) il sort you out with my 1gbit boxes and 100mb FTP access on all accounts
  • Gravatar - zen
    zen 09:37, May 23, 2010
    I agree with this article, we are still busy creating our hosting company and its solutions and its not that easy as it looks. It definitely requires some homework in doing market research and program research. But on a positive note worth trying. :-)

    www.seashoretechnologies.co.za
  • Gravatar - WEB HOSTING REVIEW
    WEB HOSTING REVIEW 14:15, July 25, 2010
    WEB HOSTING RVIEW This is the best place to find the right information about hosting
  • Gravatar - iPhone India
    iPhone India 08:25, July 29, 2010
    Great Post.. I am thinking of starting my own hosting business.. I am sure your valuable thoughts will definitely help us readers.
  • Gravatar - Max
    Max 20:55, September 21, 2010
    Hi! Thanks for this outstanding article. This will 100% help me out in my upcoming hosting project! I'm glad to find this article. Regards, Max.
  • Gravatar - Shekhar
    Shekhar 21:13, September 29, 2010
    I found a very interesting thing regarding opening web hosting company, www.ecaps.net providing such kind of service. they are saying, nothing to worry about, just pay them the amount, and get a website which will be integrated with all the services and features. Any one has idea.?
  • Gravatar - kakon
    kakon 21:39, October 1, 2010
    thanks for nice info about hosting business.
    Based on my experience in doing web hosting, I would recommend you to start your hosting business with a reseller account. It is the most logical way to start a web hosting business. It requires only some $12- $25/Month. You can choose your reseller account from the many available reseller hosting providers out there.
    ( suggest provider : www.weblogmaker.com, I am familiar with and have used before, Excellent !)

    Why not start with a VPS or even a dedicated server? Well, there is no point in doing that, unless you already have a substantial amount of clients to begin with, plus you already know what you’re doing. If you are starting from scratch, there is no need to spend on a VPS or a dedicated server.

    Thanks to all.
  • Gravatar - wwsolution.in
    wwsolution.in 06:17, October 8, 2010
    the post is well oriented .and satisfied with this post:)
    to start a company is esy but to make it best is very difficult just take an good idea and good team:)
    from:-www.wwsolution.in(Hosting+Desinging+domain+SEO+logo dehradun indian )
  • Gravatar - m. hasan
    m. hasan 23:09, October 10, 2010
    hi it's really very very help full i am going to open my own host server very soon , i am mentally prepaired and i fixed my office and rest of everything all i need to start . i read most of the comment i think it's very help full. i wish every body good luck if some 1 really interested to work together to do something better bigger as world wide than get in touch with me i will be very happy. i believe success tomorrow if we can start today. i like to work for a life not for living and like to be part of a history....
  • Gravatar - Morshed Imam
    Morshed Imam 17:24, October 13, 2010
    Thanks to all of you who posted such of nice words.
    But still I have two question for you guys.

    Q1. What server I should to buy for web hosting? Where I can buy and How much would be?

    Q2.Is it possible from any computer?if yes how?


    once again thanks to all for advice
  • Gravatar - dblake862
    dblake862 20:01, October 15, 2010
    Web hosting is a great business to get into, especially if you have done all your research and know what you need to get started! If you think it's something you want to get into then check out the <a href="http://www.franchiseexpo.com">franchise directory</a>! It has all the info you need on starting a franchise!
  • Gravatar - fbeals
    fbeals 05:07, November 15, 2010
    I find that using such companies as godaddy.com and their offerings is really the way for some of us smaller businesses that don't have the time nor funding to develope a fully funstioning hosting company.

    I have a hard time understanding how any good web company, whether it be designing or IT or in between can not provide their clients with reliable customer service.

    I have built my company on the foundation that we provide our clients with the comfort of knowing we will be here for them.
    And it seems to work in our favour.

    Beals Web Design
  • Gravatar - Phil
    Phil 21:04, January 8, 2011
    Folks, very interesting article. I tend to agree with some posts where if you want to start small you can become a reseller or use a web hosting companies since most of them offer you unlimited email boxes, and domains. Now, I have been doing that for a while. I guess I have built a solutions by compiling many apps where in addition to providing web hosting I offer CRM solutions, ERP, Voip, Document and Email Collaboration, etc. I now like to see how I can issue domain names and retain the monies for such service. I have been using a web hosting company to purchase those domain names and paying to redirect DNS to my servers. Does anybody know how to do that? I am also interested in speaking with folks who want to partner up as I want to launch a service in Latin America.

    Cheers,

    Phil
  • Gravatar - Austin
    Austin 02:41, March 19, 2011
    hey guys,
    I'm planning to start a webhosting business in an African country where there is electricity and communication problems. Is there any chance that I can set up the business without a knowledge of computer programming and the constant power failure?

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