How To Start Your Own Hosting Comapany

It’s easy to start hosting company nowadays, the hardest part is finding customers.

The hosting industry is extremely competitive and there are probably tens of thousands hosting companies (globally and locally).

I assume you already know that you need a legally registered company and based on the country you live in, the laws are different so I won’t comment on that. I’ll jump straight to the server options.

Depending on your starting capital, there are a few ways to start a hosting company.

  1. Do it as a reseller - find a big hosting company which offers reseller (managed) services. This means they will take care of the operating system behind the server so you don’t need system administrators at the beginning. It most cases these services also come with pre-installed Web Host Manager (WHM) for you, cPanel for your customers and WHMCS billing/support system. Basically it is a complete solution and can be easily set up.

  2. Rent a server (bare metal) - this means you will rent a dedicated server just for you, but it won’t even have OS and you have to configure everything around the software (the hardware will be pre-configured for you)

  3. Purchase a server - this is the most expensive option and I don’t recommend it to start your company with. You have to configure everything, from the hardware part of your server to every bit of software that the server needs. System Administrator is a must-have in this case. You will also need a data center (rent a rack) which will store your servers, provide you the internet and power.
    When it comes to option 1, you don’t have much room regarding the software you will be using to manage your customers and the accounts on the server.

Option 2 and 3 give you a lot of freedom and you have to figure it out which software you will use for pretty much everything. The essentials are:

Operation System - CentOS7 or CloudLinux - these are the best options;

Web Server - Apache / LiteSpeed / Nginx - Most hosting companies are using Apache (the most popular web server), but if you want to offer high-end /high-speed hosting, you need to check LiteSpeed and Nginx.

Billing / Ticketing system - to mention a few, the most popular ones are WHMCS and HostBill - they will give you the tools to create invoices, automation tools, ticketing system etc. etc.

Web Host Manager - This software will take care of the hosting accounts on the servers, will manage the resource usage per account etc. etc. Of course, the most popular one is WHM. VirtualMin is a good alternative, there are others, but I won’t dive too deep into that.

Control Panel - this will be the control panel your customers interact with, and perform various task like adding website, emails etc. The most popular control panel is cPanel, there are others like Plesk and DirectAdmin (but they are awful).

I won’t go into too much specific on how to configure each one of the software, but you get the idea.

After you have set up all of that, you will need a website for your hosting company and all system must work together to achieve fully automatic and seamless process for you and your customers. You’ve probably used hosting in the past and you’ve seen what the process should look like. The less manual work you do - the better.

Note: with option 2 and 3, you might need to purchase license for every software you are using like WHMCS license, WHM license, cPanel license, etc. which will increase your expenses, compared to option 1 where as a reseller, the hosting company you’ve purchases the reseller account from, will include license for those.

That’s pretty much the essential hardware and software you need to start a hosting company. If you have questions that I haven’t answer feel free to reach out.

Happy learning!