Keep an eye on what’s being hosted on your servers

Keep to your terms of service, otherwise it makes customers mad when they see others using the same company using their shared hosting for illegal activities. If a huge music label tries to sue a website, the first thing that will happen is that YOU, the web host, will get fined for allowing the content stay on the site. It doesn’t matter who did it, but you didn’t take the appropriate actions, that you said you would, stated in your usage policy.

It is important that you don’t let things get out of hand, always check on your customer’s site every week. When you kick out the people that are hosting the illegal content, you’ll see that your server will work more healthier anyway. You don’t want something like that ruining your reputation on the internet.

t’s not even just music, it’s the images being stored that you have to keep an eye on too. Copyright owners and people who want justice for their privacy being invaded will also go through you first before contacting the offender. Bottom line is, KNOW your customers, KNOW their content, and KNOW their web history. Otherwise, you can lose it all and there goes all your hard work.

Tips when offering “deals” to new customers

Offering a cool deal to save new customers money is good, but keep in mind on what you’re actually doing. It’s okay to make fifty dollars off your clients, it’s not the greatest to make a dime. Remember that it’s not all about the cost, but it’s the quality of your service that really matters. People don’t want to pay $1 a month for a host that goes down every single minute, they don’t want to pay you $20 a month for that kind of service either.

When starting out, you want to charge a minimum of $10 a month on a dedicated server. Stable ones don’t cost too much, but you want to make sure you’re making at least the amount you paid for it back. You need to keep at that price range for a year, seeing if it was really worth the investment. Don’t buy more space until you have maxed out with the amount of customers. People come and go because they find better deals, so even though you might have twenty customers for six months, that could very well be five by the end of the year.

The good thing about web hosting sites is that they’re easily sellable. Once you have at least a few people and find that you’re no longer wanting to go in that direction anymore, you can put it up for sale. People are either wanting to buy your full website, or they’ll want the customers to add to their base. You need to make sure you’re informing your clients about the change though, otherwise it’s bad for the next owner because they could leave after finding out. This could cause revenue cost to you because the buyer will want their money back.

So when offering your services, make sure that you’re providing a reasonable price and don’t worry about competition. Concentrate on what’s your actual limit and the profit you’re gaining from your price. A successful hosting company is one that 1) provides good customer service, 2) has good uptime, and 3) keeps up with the data coming in and out their servers. Keep that in mind!

Making a good impression with your homepage design

I find that most web hosting companies don’t have an appealing front page. They think that showing pictures of their hard drives, a lady with a headset, and flashy design will be enough to get customers. However, to most these days, it’s not at all that impressive and can really turn off visitors because it’s what imaging every other service uses.

Your start page should be elegant, smooth, and appealing. It should give a brief of the services you offer, and the platforms you support. Specials should be noticed on the description of your plan, but be careful not to clutter it! Think of it as being something that will be seen on a big billboard, actually, think of the center area of your page as a billboard. If you do that, it becomes easier to design.

Think of the people that you’re wanting to host. Different designs appeal to different people. You want people to click on the different links on the page, not close out after a few seconds, keep that in mind. Keep it light, keep it simple, but not too simple that it doesn’t draw attention. Thinking outside of the box is always a good idea.

Pre-installed software: A good reason to keep an eye on trends

Fantastico is pretty out of date these days, equipped with software that people have stopped using since 2005. As a host, you have to keep up with the current trends to grab the attention of your customers, and you have to make sure your system will pick up the updates of each script when they get released.

But why? Well, for one thing, it’s very vulnerable to have just one user on your server running outdated software, another is that not all can do the procedure needed to update it themselves. More and more people are looking for hosts that have common software like WordPress installed because they want something out of the box, a phrase you hear in the Apple commercials.

We’re moving into a era where people use cloud computing, netbooks, and tablets as their main computer. People aren’t looking to learn FTP and HTML these days. Web hosting, especially the kind that is simple, will gain popularity in the next six months. This is a great opportunity not to only become the next GoDaddy, but the next MobileMe and Google Sites with everything built in and user friendly.

DDoS attack – They can happen to anyone

No matter how small or big a web hosting company is, there is going to always be some vulnerability. Let’s take MediaTemple for a large scale example. They cater to Sony, Adobe, and Starbucks Coffee, three of the most popular companies. They also provide four different packages that are widely used by the mentioned companies.

They are always working on their servers to make sure they are secure and work properly for their clients. They post daily updates on their blog and Twitter on downtime, issues, and other information that their paying customers should know about. They also always make sure that their control panels, forums, and help desk are up to speed and work smoothly.

However, last year things took a slight downturn for them. One of their hosted sites had been DDoS attacked which took down the whole grid cluster. Luckily, the whole idea of having the grid option is to keep your data in separate areas so in case something like that happened. However, they had to move people to different IPs and fix the problem. Things were going well, but then the same site got another strain of a DDoS attack which took down their servers again for the second time.

So while smaller web hosting companies may be at risk because of their size and their eagerness for accepting every customer that comes by, the same could very well happen to a popular company that knows what they’re doing. No hosting package is completely safe, backup options were created for a reason.