Want to be a web host? What you NEED to know!
After a good amount of time in the business of web hosting in Pakistan, I have come to realize many things. Learning these things has helped me in my business more then anything else! It wasn’t any costly SEO company, it wasn’t any overpriced Google or Yahoo ad program. It was hard work, it was hours and HOURS that turned into days and then weeks of time spent working on the website, editing the website (then editing again), making sure my keyword relevancy was up to par using my favorite keyword analyzer at Submit Express, checking to make sure my packages were priced to compete with other host’s that offered the same quality services that I provide (not the kiddie host’s that offer 25gb disc space and 200gb bandwidth for $5.00 a month), and also taking care of my clients to ensure they got anything they wanted or needed.
So anyway, let’s get on to what has worked for me. Some of you other host’s may disagree with me, or have had different experiences then I, so again, this is only what worked for me, and is my opinion only.
I started my first web hosting in Lahore business in November of 2004. I can’t disclose the name of that business due to the agreement of sale, but I can tell you that it was a very successful host, and was on track to be a big player in the web hosting game. I just burnt out and had to sell! I was working 16-20 hours a day taking care of clients via Yahoo, MSN, ICQ, AOL, Skype, PHPLive, and any other live chat program I could use, email, and phone. This leads me to my first assessment, and bit of knowledge to pass on.
- Support : This is (in my mind) the most important part of a web hosting business, and can make or break a starting business FAST, either way. If you offer TRUE 24×7 support to your client and the support they receive is fast VPS Server in Pakistan, accurate, and friendly. Your brand (host name and logo) will spread like wildfire, in time, you just have to be consistent with the support. You can’t let tickets lay around because you had to go to school, or you had to mow the lawn, or your girlfriend wouldn’t let you, or you just didn’t feel like dealing with it.
This can prove to be a very difficult task after awhile. The first few customers you get will submit a few tickets a month. Then, when you have a few more, maybe 25, you will start to have tickets, live chats, emails, pre-sales questions, all of it pouring in at once. Then you get up in to the 50-100 client range and you are swamped. This is when you start to loose sleep and begin to burn out quick!
If you have 50-100, or ever 30 or so, you should look into an outsourced support solution. I have used BobCares and have found them to be the most professional and reliable for the package they offer resellers VPS hosting in Pakistan, and starts at $24 a month to cover 12 clients 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Some hosts, and customers, frown upon outsourcing support, but until you have the money to hire your own support staff, I suggest you look into outsourcing. Another company I have heard good things about is Root Support, though I haven’t tried them, I have noticed that they have some very good prices, and as I said, good reviews.
So that’s the upside, the bad side is easy. You don’t offer good support, and you find yourself in 3 months telling the 500 FREE hosting clients, and no paid clients that you have, that they need to find another host because you are shutting down.