If your like many another webmasters you might be thinking of starting a web hosting company. But where do you start? And more importantly, what do you need to know? Well, in this article I will show the basic things that you will need in order to succeed as a web hosting provider.
Before you start make sure this is something that you have the knowledge to do and not just from reading books, but where you have worked on them. Running servers may sound easy, but it's far from easy, in fact, even people experienced with servers will have trouble with them from time to time. You will have to deal with security threats, downtime and fixing program errors.
Starting your own hosting services is going to be challenging and frustrating. One option to think about is reseller hosting plans. There are several good web hosting companies out there that offer reseller hosting, but at the same time allowing you to get paid, but without you having to spend your time maintaining servers. You may want to start out this way to get a customer base going.
You can rent, lease or buy your servers, If you decide to buy the servers, get them custom made to your exact needs, if you have the money, if you can't try to get a server that best fits into your plans. You'll need a place to keep the servers. You can find local building to do this or you could keep them at home. If you keep it at home, you'll need to make sure everything is just right for them.
Now, which operating system (Windows, Unix, etc.), control panel (Cpanel, Plesk, etc.), security are you going to choose. Each of these should be researched with care, check to see if they fit your needs or not. Also you must consider that some programming languages can only run on certain operating systems, most web site owners want programming languages such as PHP or PERL.
You'll need to keep your servers up to date with the latest security patches. You'll need a good firewall, the firewall is first defense you have and may be your best. It's essential to monitor the servers all the time for any errors, hackers or virus, one slip-up can cause all your servers to be hacked into and then all your customers will be leaving.
To get the highest possible server uptime you'll need multiple Internet connections. Depending on the area which you reside in, it may be hard to find a Internet connection provider. You will need a fixed IP address, that won't change after each use. Some providers won't offer this, so make sure you check before you choose.
How much are you going to charge for your web hosting services? If the price is to high people will leave, but if the price is to low people may think your servers are overcrowd with another web sites and that you offer terrible services. What plans will you offer? Shared, reseller or dedicated hosting or maybe all of them.
When you really think about it, it's a lot harder then it seems on the surface. Your best choose may be to go with a reseller hosting plan, this will at least give you taste of what you need to do and help build a customer database.
Matt Colyer began as a SEO Specialist in 1997. He founded Superior Webmaster in 2004 as a source of articles and tutorials for Web site owners looking to improve their Web site.