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How to: Build a Hosting Business   1 comment

Build a Hosting BusinessHowdy-do, TurnKey Lovers?

A couple of weeks ago, my co-worker, Joe Schoonbeck, came up with a brilliant idea for a post. He suggested we write up a quick “How-To” on some of the essentials you need to begin a hosting business. What a simple, yet profound idea. If I had a dime every time we received questions about how to set up hosting, I would be able to buy a triple with cheese and a large fry from Wendy’s. Enough of this talk about food; let’s get down to business.

Now, this list of ideas is by no means set in stone. These are just a few steps that I believe will give you a good foundation to build your business upon.

 
Step 1 – Decide and Buy

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is important to determine which type of reseller account suits your needs. Unlike spandex, one size does not fit all. You see, at TurnKey Internet, we sell different types of reseller accounts: alpha, master, and WHM (web host manager).

Each reseller account has its pros and cons, but we’ll leave that for another article. For this entry into the TurnKey diary, let’s just keep it very high-level. Alpha accounts can resell Master accounts and WHM accounts, while Master accounts can only resell WHM accounts. Then, the poor, old WHM accounts can only resell cPanel accounts. This allows you to resell multiple accounts on your website.

Once you decide which account is best for you, purchase it.

Step 2 – Create

I had an intense, internal debate about step 2. Initially, I was thinking about skipping right to Step 3 (configuring your DNS), but it didn’t make sense to me to get into that if you have no site to share with the world.

You can take multiple steps in setting up your website, so I will be brief. You can use TurnKey’s website builder that is included in our reseller packages. Or, maybe you have a developer who creates fantastic websites in his/her sleep. The choices are limitless on this step.

Step 3 – Setup (Part I: Your DNS)

For the sake of this article, I’m going to assume you do not know what DNS is. I’m going to instead share how I teach what DNS (domain name system) is to our newbie engineers. You see, I compare DNS to a post office system. You have your streets and your addresses, which allow people to find your place of residence. That’s what DNS is, in a nut shell.

You have your website, and in order for others to see your masterpiece, you must first tell them where it is. You do this with your DNS. You have your DNS record, which contains your website’s IP address and your nameservers. Your IP address is essentially like the number on your mailbox. Your nameserver(s) would be the street(s) on which your house resides. You have to setup your DNS in order for others to visit your site.

Step 4 – Configure

Now that you have your site online and users purchasing hosting from you, they will inevitably need support. This could be with anything, from support for setting up your clients’ websites, to adding space to their account.

You will need some point of communication that you can use to speak with your clients. Our TurnKey reseller accounts each come with free helpdesk software included, which you can white label in your company’s name. This allows you to have a way for your customers to easily and efficiently submit tickets.

Step 5 – Setup (Part II: Extras)

When I say “setup extras”, these are items that can add increased functionality to your hosting company. While this step can be rather large, we will just stick to a few of the basics.

If you’re selling anything on your site, you will need to install an SSL certificate. This basically encrypts your users’ connections when they submit orders to your company. I would say this is just as important as your website. If you don’t happen to have an SSL certificate lying around, you can request a FREE SSL with your TurnKey reseller account. If you’re going to be accepting orders, you may need a billing system that can help keep those orders in line. Enter—one of our most popular free extras—a free WHMCS license.

 
Now, there are no exact steps, but these can give you a good foundation for beginning your hosting account career.

Until next time, Turnkey Lovers!

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Written by Jeremy on October 4th, 2012

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One Response to 'How to: Build a Hosting Business'

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