In North America alone, there are thousands of web hosts. Most are small, boutique companies that are taking on the big guys like GoDaddy and HostGator. With such a densely populated, competitive industry, what’s making more and more entrepreneurs join the web hosting industry? It’s simple: Passion and love for what they do. Being a web host on any scale means you’re part teacher, part systems administrator, part customer service rep, and part IT tech all rolled into one (or at least that’s the way it should be!).
When you start comparison shopping, you’ll notice that not all web hosts are created equally. This sentiment can be seen in every aspect of their business, but one of the most obvious is in the products being offered. For example, the majority of web hosts don’t offer virtual private server/VPS hosting. Even fewer offer managed VPS hosting. Even though tech today has made offering VPS nearly the same price as basic shared hosting—but it’s faster and more secure—most web hosts aren’t keeping pace.
A lack of VPS hosting alone is a red flag that your web host might not be putting the customer first.
Spreading the Love
Can it be frustrating for a tech geek who owns a web hosting site to try to explain hosting to a Luddite? Of course. Only well trained, personable, and patient people should be in front of the customer. However, many owners of web hosting companies (especially the small ones) love sharing their knowledge with the world. They know that web hosting, servers, and related items don’t get everyone excited. However, by spreading information and educating the masses, web hosts are doing a great service. Plus, it helps them form lasting bonds and create loyal customers.
Still, some web hosts get into the business simply because they love the technology. Ideally they’ll partner up with someone who takes care of the customer service and marketing side of things. Matching your interests and skills to your job is key in every company, including web hosting businesses.
You can make a pretty penny as a web host even if you’re never a household name. By offering competitive rates, great around the clock service, and solid technology that’s regularly updated, it’s actually not that tough to stay competitive. Combining domain registration services, which helps reel in more customers, and digital advertising, such as PPC, might be all you need to spread the word.
Need another option? Go for the local markets. Many web hosts reach out to nearby neighborhoods because there’s a sense of security knowing your web host is right up the street. Clients may want to meet in person, or even check out the local data center for themselves. That can help de-mystify the process and secure a lasting relationship with the client.
There are many reasons web hosts do what they do, but without true love of the industry they won’t last. Even better, you don’t need a lot of capital to get started. It’s the ideal startup for many techies.