Starting a web hosting company can be a lot of fun, and challenging at the same time. To me, the challenges make it fun, and I absolutely love running my web hosting company, Volact. There are quite a few tips that I’ve learned, that I’ll share with other web host owners, and ones that may be interested in setting up a web hosting company.
First of all, I’ll start off with a phrase that I learned from a book I read:
MONEY = HARD WORK + TIME
What that means, is that it’ll take a lot of work and time to become successful in web hosting. I recommend that you don’t spend any money on advertising (just yet). The reason for this, is, you’ll be putting more money into your company then you are getting out of it. The key to web hosting is patience, and yes, I’ll admit, I’ve tried my hardest to be patient, and I’ve been successful. Below are some of the categories that I’ll give you tips on.
Don’t offer too many free hosting accounts. Generally, people seeking free hosting don’t have the money to purchase hosting, and they will most likely won’t pay if you all of a sudden invoice them. Yes, you can offer free accounts, just be sure to mind your resources. You don’t want a free client to use 25% of your total disk space, do you? Make sure that you are putting the proper limitations in place.
Whether it be WHMCS, Blesta, ClientExec, or otherwise, make sure that you make the right choice. If you constantly change from software to software, you’ll technically show that you may be “unstable”, and you may have clients questioning as to why you are performing constant changes. I’ll tell you this up front, if you plan on keeping your company open for more than a year, start saving up for an owned license. In the short run, it’ll be quite costly (over $200 for WHMCS). But, in the long run, you won’t be paying monthly fees anymore. If you don’t have the money right away, that’s perfectly okay, just try to set money aside in case you want to buy an owned license in the future. I personally purchased a WHMCS license, and while I felt a little overwhelmed with the cost, I felt a sense of relief, knowing that it’s one less thing that I have to worry about when it comes to monthly fees.
Listen to your Clients
One requirement to being successful in my eyes, is to listen to your customers. Open a forum, email your clients, and find out their opinions on how to improve and make them happy, as well as you. Don’t change back and forth all of the time, but try to listen to your customer base, and see their input.
Care for your Customers
I work at a warehouse, and moved into my own office. When moving in, I found a framed poster that I have kept since. The reason is the poster said “Grow your world around your customers, and your customers will grow around you.” I found this very intriguing! The reason is, if you care for your clients, more will generally appear. This includes support ticket response time if you have a ticketing system in place. My general rule, is to try to answer all support tickets within 24 hours. Personally, my company has grown quite a bit over time, and I’ve still kept this goal in place. Don’t offer “Premium Support” for a paid rate. I personally find this as just a way to seek profit, and make certain clients seem better than others, and I don’t want to apply that mindset to my customer base.
SSL stands for Secured Socket Layer, and is usually represented by a padlock when you visit a website. Yes, it is a monthly expense, but, it’ll show that you care about your clients security, and it allows them a secure way to make payments, making everyone safe! There are also myths out there that SSL helps your SEO score. SSL is pretty cheap, but is still an expense that needs to be taken into consideration.
Use a Server That is Right for You and Your Clients
In my eyes, the speed that your main hosting site loads, will reflect on your guests and potential clients. If you were to visit a host with a slow website, would you want to host with them? Be sure that you find a server whose specifications meet your needs. If you have overselling enabled, be sure to keep an eye on your resources. Higher uptimes will keep your clients happy, and will produce more reviews, which will increase your guest to client ratio.
Alright guys! That is all the tips for now! I plan on continuing this post as a series, to continue to share my knowledge with the community! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! Thank you for reading!