A hosting business sounds like easy money: you host websites and just have to renew them every year. What nobody tells you is the cost involved and what a headache it can be to set up and automate. In this blog article we are going to look at the software, cost and maintenance needed to create a successful hosting business.
In order to host other people’s websites you first need a place to host and buy people’s domains for them. Both can be done through a website called Domains.co.za. Domains allows you to be a reseller for domains at a cheaper rate and a reseller of hosting. I found that I needed to be on the Value package because the WHMCS software and my customers ended up using too much disk space for the budget package.
The next thing you need to organise is how to customise your billing, and the WHMCS is the most amazing software for this and links with your Domains.co.za account to ensure that everything is pretty much automated from sending out invoices and reminders to renewing domains, the only thing I have to do is ensure there is enough credit in the domains account in order to renew my customers domains and press a button to say that payment was received. I suggest starting on the plus plan and then moving up to the Professional plan, by that stage you should have enough customers to cover your expenses and be making some profit.
Once you have bought all these accounts you just need to set everything up. This is not difficult and what you can’t do there is always google and the various accounts support which comes included with the purchase. It is tedious work setting up the accounts and linking them, you also need to make sure you have a logo and branding set up because this is going to go onto any invoices or notices that are sent to clients.
The first few months are going to be very hard because you will have large expenses and very little income until you can get enough clients to help cover those expenses. It also becomes difficult because you have real people buying your service, and these people will often have questions and concerns that you need to take time to address, so it becomes important to include a certain number of hours of “maintenance” to address issues your clients may have. It is a long, hard road to get started but once you get it right it is mostly passive income giving you time to work on other things.