How do you pay for hosting from bluehost, dreamhost, etc?

I was at one time thinking of seriously getting a reseller account for use here in Pakistan i.e. provide services to the local market, charge in rupeees, take payments locally etc...

Do you think there is significant demand for hosting services (located in the US / Canada) but administered operationally in Pakistan? This "operation" would obviously also be able to register web addresses for you as well.

As far as pricing goes, I have looked over some of the better hosting company's reseller accounts (hostgator, lunarpages, verio, doreo, site5 etc..). What I calculated was the average "cost" for providing hosting services for a basic account would be around ~3 dollars a month. This would get the recipient 2GB of disk space and 20 GB of bandwidth a month.

Since I can piggy back this operation with some of my other ventures, I would only need to recoup the small administration charges associated with providing this service, which would work out to be no more than $1.50-a month.

So for $4.50 (~Rs.300) a month, you get 2GB of space, 20gb of bandwidth and all the other good stuff (fantastico, cpanel etc..). Does it make sense? I know it doesn't compare to the insane offerings that are out there, but the advantage is that it is locally accessible and administered.

Let me know what you think.

I am into hosting business for the past 2 years. I am a reseller basically and when I started this operation I thought there would be dollars raining all above me and I will be rich but that's not the case :)

Hosting is a very very competitive business now and you HAVE to oversell. Actually hosting is all about VOLUME. So for instance your profit per customer per month could be $1 or less but when you multiply it by 500...do the math. So it's all about getting more and more customers. Now this is the difficult part like I said earlier it is very competitive so you will have to promote aggressively which of course costs money (free publicity won't take you anywhere).

When I first started it I thought that I will mostly get international customers and not local ones but the outcome is totally opposite. In two years I only got 1 international customer and about 20 local customers. But all local customers who got hosting from me never went to some where else and they are with me since beginning. Initially I advertised here and there but ran out of steam. Now I am getting customers only because of WORD OF MOUTH.

Just my 2 cents.

^^^

techman, I was not looking to get into the hosting business for "profit" but rather just as an community thing, where people pay pretty close to cost + a small surcharge to cover any costs. I harbour no illusion that this would make me tons of money.

If I think selfishly, then perhaps people who use my hosting services may end up using my design services (below) but that would obviously not be a requirement. In many ways, I guess this would be a marketing activity for my consulting business =)

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

^^^

techman, I was not looking to get into the hosting business for “profit” but rather just as an community thing, where people pay pretty close to cost + a small surcharge to cover any costs. I harbour no illusion that this would make me tons of money.

If I think selfishly, then perhaps people who use my hosting services may end up using my design services (below) but that would obviously not be a requirement. In many ways, I guess this would be a marketing activity for my consulting business =)

[/quote]

Cost + Small Surchage is what hosting is all about :)

Like for instance if your cost is $3 and you are giving it at $3.5 or $4 then this is what me and every body else is doing. As I said the profit margin is very low…it’s all about volume.

But like you said your intentions are different and this will give boost to your other primary service so you should go for it (Y)

I am also thinking of using my hosting services to support other services.

@techman

Take a look at my site (below), and we can perhaps do some business together (referrals, commissions).

Drop me a line via email at raza (dot) matin (at) randomosity (dot) org =)

Cheers

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

I am into hosting business for the past 2 years. I am a reseller basically and when I started this operation I thought there would be dollars raining all above me and I will be rich but that’s not the case :)

Hosting is a very very competitive business now and you HAVE to oversell. Actually hosting is all about VOLUME. So for instance your profit per customer per month could be $1 or less but when you multiply it by 500…do the math. So it’s all about getting more and more customers. Now this is the difficult part like I said earlier it is very competitive so you will have to promote aggressively which of course costs money (free publicity won’t take you anywhere).

When I first started it I thought that I will mostly get international customers and not local ones but the outcome is totally opposite. In two years I only got 1 international customer and about 20 local customers. But all local customers who got hosting from me never went to some where else and they are with me since beginning. Initially I advertised here and there but ran out of steam. Now I am getting customers only because of WORD OF MOUTH.

Just my 2 cents.

[/quote]

I can confirm that. :)

I worked for a Canadian hosting company in 2001 - 2003, before launching my own in 2004. I had around 60 international clients for web hosting at my peak, without putting any real money into marketing. Those were the days when free hosting was usually crippled and often translated to paid customers if you offered it. I took advantage of that. However, it was hard to get clients back then; now it’s harder. The money is in targeting a specific niche, whereby you can accumulate the right type of low-demand clients. You want to keep away from few type of clients, who want to host these:

- Forums

- Mailing Lists

- Downloads websites

- and similar resource-exhausting which utilize more CPU/RAM resources than you would like

Local market is usually the best, as long as there’s some demand in it.

Raza that’s not a bad idea, but I have to say, you may burnout soon if you’ll not be concentrating on it as a business. Your intentions of gaining business indirectly may only be satisfied if you’re targeting a specific market segment. The customer requirement of support, type of websites, etc. are all the hurdles you have to face even if you don’t manage your own server. Things typically get more expensive - in terms of time and money - when you manage a server as well.

If you have to do it to provide a facility to your fellow Pakistanis, then be more clear with your terms; tell them what to expect. Specify the type of support you’ll be offering and your responsibilities (if any).

Sorry for deviating from the main topic.

^Raza

Visited your website and saw portfolio. Nice neat and clean designs. So you provide content and designing services? Like a complete package!?

Do you have any idea on CPC like adsense? If you have some serious tips then do let me know because this is some serious #$%# if you know what I mean. Once you get going there is no looking back. I came across two persons on a forum who are into it and went from Suzuki FX to Honda Civic and more...just through advertising like adsense e.t.c :D

But nobody shares tips :P

It is like but aik dafa sira haath aa jaey....pher paisa paisay ko khainchay ga...bus woh sira he to dhundna hai (me sounds Memon :D)

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

The money is in targeting a specific niche, whereby you can accumulate the right type of low-demand clients.
[/quote]

Very rightly said.

@Asad_N

Well said. I think its worth putting some thought into it. Really depends on community interest I guess. Like I said, I *dont* need the headache nor do I really need the potential 10,20 or 30 dollars a month.

@TechMan

Yes, I provide both editorial and creative consulting services. I do more than just web designs, I do print, outdoor and interactive design as well. In simple terms, yes, both the content and the design. No, I do not particularly not much about CPI / CPC / Adsense, but all my work is done to standard such that it is easily catalogued by search engines and ranked accordingly.

Cheers

@Techman, there are no "secret tips" to make money from AdSense, only best practices which you can find by googling about it.

Asad, which hosting company do you own? Any website etc.?

@Specter, I started this web hosting service when I was still an amateur. But anyways, it is exocrew.com. You would get a clear picture of the old activity if the forums still existed -- they weren't updated for long, filled with spam, and finally taken down for good. I have stopped concentrating on it since 2005 when I created new priorities and shifted my focus away from the hosting business. I still have few clients and I do offer them the services just because they aren't willing to move yet.

I had 3 servers at peak (2 pretty high-end), but now it's a single mid-level server. (dual xeon 3.0, 2gb ram, SATA-II disks etc.)

It was fun to manage the hosting business though, since it was closely connected with my passions of linux server administration and web development. Good ol' days :)

[quote=", post:, topic:"]
@Techman, there are no "secret tips" to make money from AdSense, only best practices which you can find by googling about it.
[/quote]

Second that. Stop concentrating on trying to find "secrets" to success. If there are any secrets, they aren't here to last. Work your way to [long-term] success, step by step. Create websites with compelling content, or intriguing services. I'm sure you'll work your way up the ladder, subsequently. Good luck!

@Asad_N

Managed Hosting Headaches > Reseller Headaches

Am I right? =)

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

@Asad_N

Managed Hosting Headaches > Reseller Headaches

Am I right? =)

[/quote]

That’s right. Except in situations where you’re hosting critical applications requiring a lot of uptime - and where you can afford a quality team of system admins and fine network. Or when the customers’ demands for some customizations kick-in; you can’t fulfill their requests as it’s not in your control.

For most of the normal hosting requirements, a reseller account is ought to be reasonable, offering you less headaches. :)

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

@Specter, I started this web hosting service when I was still an amateur. But anyways, it is exocrew.com. You would get a clear picture of the old activity if the forums still existed – they weren’t updated for long, filled with spam, and finally taken down for good. I have stopped concentrating on it since 2005 when I created new priorities and shifted my focus away from the hosting business. I still have few clients and I do offer them the services just because they aren’t willing to move yet.

I had 3 servers at peak (2 pretty high-end), but now it’s a single mid-level server. (dual xeon 3.0, 2gb ram, SATA-II disks etc.)

It was fun to manage the hosting business though, since it was closely connected with my passions of linux server administration and web development. Good ol’ days :)

[/quote]

Hey, that’s pretty decent. You should have continued it, maybe expanded it a little, and targeted more at the local market.

What about the servers? Did you lease the servers?

I’ve been thinking of starting a hosting service for Pakistani market, but my only concern is the support headache that’ll inevitably come with the clients. It looks impossible for me to handle the support issues (if I’ve as many as 60 clients) without hiring a support staff.

How did you manage to deal with so many clients alone? (or did you have a staff?)

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

Hey, that’s pretty decent. You should have continued it, maybe expanded it a little, and targeted more at the local market.

What about the servers? Did you lease the servers?

I’ve been thinking of starting a hosting service for Pakistani market, but my only concern is the support headache that’ll inevitably come with the clients. It looks impossible for me to handle the support issues (if I’ve as many as 60 clients) without hiring a support staff.

How did you manage to deal with so many clients alone? (or did you have a staff?)

[/quote]

I just moved ahead in building my career after I realized hosting is a business that despite being linked to my passions, has too many hurdles to continue with. I could’ve expanded it to local market, but at that point of time I didn’t have access to the right market segment.

I told my customers before-hand what to expect in terms of support. A guaranteed response within 12 (and 24 to some) was promised in normal support issues such as the ones with the server configurations. But they were informed that the support isn’t managed and they shouldn’t expect the host to guide them on how to code their website, or how to install a script. I put my previous experience (2001-2003) of the industry requirements into use, and had setup enough automation to eradicate the need of requesting much support, for customers. Besides, there were enough self-help guides within the control panel.

I responded to customers need by acting as appropriate. For instance, many of the support tickets were related to PHP4 / PHP5 availability, so I cooked up a custom solution to allow customers to turn their account to PHP4 / PHP5 easily. Apart from that, most of the support requests were related to PHP / Perl module installation requests, a service not functioning as it should, or billing issues/upgrades.

Yes, all my servers were dedicated servers located in U.S. I had three voluntary staff members to take care for both the free and paid hosting clients at the forums. Rest of it was a “one-man show”.

If you’re going to get into hosting business, and are confident about being able to capture clients from the local market, then you should go ahead with it. If you’re trying to compete solely in the international market, then you need a unique selling point and you are to pick your niche wisely. That’s all I can say from my experience :)

I think the "secret" is good content such that:

good content ----> more traffic ----> more eye balls ----> more clicks -----> more money.

Simple enough. The real problem is successfully translating that good content into more money.

For those of you that want to buy a domain name but don't have a credit card I recommend www.creativeon.com This is a Pakistani reseller and I have most of my domains with them. I have been purchasing domains from them for over a year now. You can pay them via cheques or bank deposit. They are a lahori company but I don't hold that against them :). I usually deposit the money in their bank account and they credit the amount to my domain account. I can then buy whatever domains I want. Its a lot cheaper than namecheap too.

To answer the ops question, its a lot harder if the amount you want to pay is small. If you are buying high end hosting like a VPS or a dedicated server the amounts involved are high enough that you can afford the fees associated with payment methods like bank transfers and western union. For the smaller amounts involved in shared hosting you should just go with a Pakistani company. Even if all they are doing is using their credit cards to buy hosting and turning it over to you for a quick profit, you really have no choice.

If your going through all the hassle, id recommend Godaddy.com

Ive used them for almost 2.5 years now, never faced any hosting or domain issues.

atlast with the help of wiredpakistan bot of u got bussiness partner.