One might think that it is very easy to kick-start a web hosting business by acquiring a few business customers from a local region in Australia and purchasing a shared hosting server for a reasonable monthly fee. It is not as simple as you think. Not conducting due-diligence before starting the service is a popular, rookie mistake. And while we’ll cover how to do your research before choosing a good Australian web host, there is actually a shortcut you can take. I’ve found this list of the best Australian web hosting companies very very useful! They even reviewed their top 3 individually!
Now back to the topic at hand. The due diligence includes doing research and answering the following questions – Who is your target market or customers, what kind of businesses do you want to support, what is the size of your target market? Would a shared hosting server be enough or do you need a dedicated server to support your large customer base? Do you have enough capital to make necessary investments? Who is your competition in the market? What services and prices must you offer to be competitive in the market and attract customers?
Offer a package to your customers that is more than just web hosting
If you have the capacity and capital to make further investments, it is in your best interest to offer a complete package to your customers that includes designing the website, hosting it, and optimizing it for search engines (SEO). You are most likely to find more customers who need the complete package rather than just web hosting. This is called bundling. Customers need services to both create and maintain a website for their business. This business model will give you greater returns in future by not only acquiring more new customers but also bringing in repeat business from existing customers.
Establish your own website and support team before you kick-start
Starting your own web-hosting business requires you to maintain a highly professional website in the first place. It is very important to provide your contact information such as email-id and phone number on the website, and be highly responsive when customers reach out to you as the web hosting business is already faceless to the customer. You need to integrate payment options for your customers into your website to make transactions easy.
Secondly, make sure that you set-up and maintain highly capable and responsive customer support and technical support teams to serve your customers round the clock and throughout the year. This could be the unique selling point of your business. You might have acquired a number of customers, but to retain them you must extend excellent support!
Trial-run your business before you launch to fix the glitches
As soon as you acquire a web hosting server, whether it is a shared or dedicated, you must create dummy websites or domains and test run them on your server before actually allocating it to a customer. In addition, you should also test your own website, support teams and the payment options in your website. Moreover, you must try to contact the technical and customer support teams of the parent company from whom you’re buying the host to test their availability and responsiveness.
After a defect free test-run of your server, you can launch your business successfully. This testing is very essential to gain credibility of customers. In addition, providing promotional offers during the launch can definitely increase customers and help your new business.
5 Most Frequently Asked Questions While Web Hosting In Australia
If you are a web hosting company chances are you will be asked one of the five questions mentioned below fairly frequently. These are in no particular order.
- What is Web Hosting? /How does Web Hosting work? / Why do I need to pay for Web Hosting services?
The answer could be as simple as “Web hosting is like renting a space online for a website and for services and tools for management of the website” or as complicated as you want it to be just don’t confuse your clients away with lot of tech talk.
This is one of those basic questions most beginners ask. What they really want to understand is the reason they need to pay for this service and why they cannot get it for free.
- Why choose your particular web hosting company over others?
The Answer will depend on what is the selling point on which you are building your company. I am sharing some of the examples of reasons given by web-hosting companies in Australia and abroad.
Hostpapa – “70 years of combined experience….best support centres in hosting business…..”
GoDaddy – “global data centres…. faster page loads…. 99.9% uptime guarantee…”
Ozhosting – “uses proven, optimised and scalable next generation hosting infrastructure…quick, rock-solid website hosting…”
- What are the tools and software’s do you offer for building my website?
This is where you can get a little technical if you want to. You need to share whether you have Linux and widows based hosting services. Whether you support WordPress, Joomla! Etc. What other software and tools do you offer like the one click installation services being offered by many of the other web hosting sites?
- If I already have a website on another host, can I transfer the website to you? And how do I do it?
This is the answer which will get you clients faster as they already have a site which means they will require less downtime. You may want to link any discounted plans you may have for such clients here. Also confirm if you can offer the services of a dedicated technical assistant to help with the transfer.
- What are the functionalities offered by your control panel? / How does your control panel help manage my website?
This is one of the most important questions as dissatisfaction with the functionality of control panel and billing as the top two reasons why people change hosting sites. Most web hosting servers in Australia are using “cpanel” which is considered the best web-based control panel. So if you have it – flaunt it or else do mention why your control panel is superior to it.
I have purposefully not included any questions on payments, billings etc. because such questions will be asked of any service provider. You need to be prepared for these questions whether on flexibility of moving between plans, cancellation of hosting activities midway through the plan period, upgrade and downgrade services, billing cycle and methodology etc.