Starting a Web Hosting Business: The Idea
You sell web hosting services to individuals and organizations who want to host their websites, blog and email on your servers.
How You Make Money
In return, you charge a subscription fee (every year, although it’s often monthly) for your services.
* Buying or renting and setting up web hosting servers
* Attracting and selling to clients
* Keeping in touch with clients
* Dealing with technical problems
The web hosting industry is one of the single most competitive industries on the planet. Why? If you can attract clients, it’s a guaranteed monthly income stream and often you can charge higher prices to unsuspecting clients and make a healthy income.
But because of the competitiveness, it’s a really tough place to really thrive. As a teenager, trying to take on the might of Hostgator, Rackspace and 1&1 hosting is a dumb idea...
... instead, think about partner web hosting with another service, the most basic of which would be your web design business. You could charge a fee for the actual design of a website, and then a recurring-subscription on hosting. The likelihood is you’ll be able to work locally with clients where you’ll be able to persuade people to host with you, not someone else.
Web hosting is a technical business, with very high client demands. Although you could buy and run your own servers, bill clients yourself and manage 24/7 support on your ownsome whilst balancing school, sleep and some kind of social life...
... or you could look at reseller hosting. The people who have setup their own servers and 24/7 customer support are always looking for new business, even if someone else brings it to them. You can create your own branded web hosting service to sell, but it’s actually done by a third-party. This leaves you to get on and do other things like design websites and otherwise earn more money.
There’s literally thousands of web hosting services worldwide, and finding and understanding who’s going to give you the best deal is a mammoth task. Sure, you could settle for anyone, but that would be risky since you wouldn’t know what you were getting into.
Take Away Idea...?
Come up with an added value service. Most web designers will offer hosting options these days because it makes so much sense -- but if you can pack in more and more value (search engine optimization, online marketing strategy advice, write content for webpages etc.) and stick to a local audience - at least to start with - then you’ll be able to make a tidy profit from web hosting.