One-day hosting creator story

    After reading the topic about one-day hosting , I decided to describe my experience in creating a hosting provider.

    Here is how it was. Back in 2005, I thought about how to sell hosting. After all, the costs are miserable, compared to income - I thought. And a friend and I rented a small UPU. But then none of us had the experience and apparently a special desire to do this. At the air force there was not even a control panel, everything was done manually. In general, this UPU sagged for two months and everything somehow bent by itself.

    But the idea of ​​hosting didn’t let me go. I read all kinds of articles on this topic. I studied the control panel. In general, I increased the level of knowledge as I could.

    In addition, I was also involved in the creation of sites, dreaming of making money on them. And it so happened that in 2007 I had a small income from my sites on the Internet, in the region of 700 rubles a month. And I just stumbled upon a reselling offer from one of the American companies. In short, reselling is when the hoster provides a piece of its server for rent. This differs from the VPS in that, in fact, you can use all the server resources, and in addition there is a convenient control panel.

    So this hoster offered ten gigabytes reselling for 700 rubles a month. It just equaled my revenue from sites. And I thought, why not try it? If there are no clients, I will still have money from my sites to pay for this reselling. No sooner said than done. I figured that if we sell for example 50 MB for 10 rubles, then you can place 200 clients on 10 gigabytes and they will bring me 2000 rubles. Total net profit of 1300 rubles. With such joyful thoughts, I made several tariffs from 50 MB to 1 GB. He advertised his services on several forums on the Internet. I didn’t even have a website and what the most amazing people began to knock on asya! In the first month I managed to find a client who, in addition to hosting, also wanted me to administer his forum. He paid me immediately several months in advance. And in the first month, my revenue was about 5 thousand rubles. Of course it was a success! I rubbed my hands in anticipation of how much I could earn!

    But not everything went so smoothly. The host server sometimes crashed and angry letters from my clients fell upon me. To somehow make up for my opinion of myself, I gave them 1-2 months of hosting for free as compensation (I still have this practice). In total, for 3 months I managed to gain about 50 clients without investing a dime in advertising. And I have matured to rent my first dedicated server. Like reselling, I rented a server in the USA. In those days there were the cheapest offers. I also paid for server administration and installation of the control panel. In addition to this, I finally created a website advertising services and even wrote a small script to record customer payments. But server rental and all other expenses ate all my profit. Therefore, starting from this moment, the hosting worked at zero, that is, absolutely without profit,

    Time passed, customers came a little. Income (but not profit) grew, but not very actively. In general, hosting has become a hobby for me and no more. I worked as a programmer (however, and now I work for him), and I was engaged in hosting in my spare time from the main work. And the moment came when the server ceased to withstand the current number of clients. The problems started. The server crashed, and again I began to receive angry letters from my clients. I had to rent a more powerful server, since the income from the hosting allowed it. But even though my income increased, the costs of a new server again ate it all and hosting still did not bring profit. And then I decided to raise the cost of my services. This did not scare away customers and they still continued to come to me.

    It got to the point that I rented 3 servers already. Everything seemed to be going smoothly, I even bought ads on Google and Yandex, as well as on one fairly popular forum. Clients began to go more and more. In addition, I bought professional billing, and opened a personal certificate WebMoney fully automating customer payments.

    And then there was a global financial crisis. The data center in which I rented one of the servers went bankrupt. As a matter of urgency, I rented a server in another data center and transferred clients there. But this did not end there. The dollar exchange rate from 23 rubles rose to 36. For me it was a blow. Total expenses then amounted to around $ 500. And expenses in rubles from 10-11 thousand increased to 18-19 thousand. It was deadly for hosting. Since I did not have any financial reserves, and as I said, the total income was almost equal to the cost of equipment. And then it turned out to be more profitable to host a server in Russia. Since, against the backdrop of the takeoff rate, our data centers on average did not raise server prices. In general, which I did.

    The move turned out to be painful. In addition to the fact that the servers in Russia were weaker, in addition, I did not have the financial ability to pay for the server in the USA for at least a month. Therefore, it was necessary to transfer all the clients in just two days, after which the server in the USA was turned off, but they did not have time to update the dns and many of their sites stopped opening. For several days, the issue of access was resolved. But it turned out that I did not transfer the billing! I lost the history of all payments! It took me about 4 months to recover all the information. And then new problems started.

    My two servers in Russia could not withstand the loads created by clients! In addition, I did not have money to pay for server administration. And I took up administration on my own, since by then I had already got my hand in this matter a bit. Since the stability of the work left much to be desired, clients slowly began to scatter from me. After long and generally unsuccessful attempts to stabilize the servers, I was born, without exaggeration in agony, my own software that monitored the server load and, in case of increased load, independently caught the culprit and blocked it for a period of high load. In general, this software package, although it used primitive tools, proved to be very effective and worked with me almost half a year without changes.

    The first months of work in Russia went quite well. The servers managed to stabilize and there was enough money for everything. But then a new rake appeared. The special services became interested in me, because on the hosting I had clients hosting porn. The issue was resolved by the fact that I asked all such clients to leave my hosting. After that, income sagged markedly. But even now I basically do not accept such clients, since even then I was thinking about banning such sites on my hosting. But that is not all. Our data centers love to take money for traffic. And on my servers it began to run into a lot, which almost doubled the cost. Again, the hosting was in critical condition. For the first time in a year and a half, I had to get money from my own pocket and pay all the costs (before that, the hosting paid for itself). In this mode, the hosting lasted for several months. And finally, a new move awaited me, already in Europe. Namely, to Germany, where the price of equipment is very significantly lower than in Russia, and as practice has shown, the quality is much higher! Here in Germany, my servers are still located.

    The situation has stabilized again. Finally, at least a small one appeared, but the profit and business were adjusted. Now I plan to rent two more servers and launch a new site. In general, there are many plans.

    From my experience, I made the following conclusions:

    To start a business, you need initial capital and investment. Without seed capital and investment, the business will grow very slowly and painfully. My experience has shown this, since I actually had neither initial capital nor investments.

    You always need to have a supply of money or simply NZ. So that in the event of a crisis your business does not fall apart.

    We need money for specialists (in my case, system administrators). These are big expenses, but they will bring returns.

    You must adhere to the rule "The customer is always right" and in any situation to be polite and responsive to customers. I believe that this is what allowed me to retain the majority of clients in the most critical times for business.

    Only if you are interested in doing this business you can overcome all the problems and achieve something!

    Well, in general, these are perhaps the most basic conclusions. Also, if you want your business to grow rapidly, then you should not save on advertising.

    Summing up the results, I can now say that my hosting is currently more than two years old. During this time I have changed dozens of servers almost all over the world. I was able to collect about 300 active customers with scanty advertising costs.

    But hosting is still a hobby for me and does not bring tangible money. I am interested in doing this and I do not plan to give up this business. On the contrary, even at the moment I plan to invest in this business for the first time in two years and bring my hobby to the level of business.

    So everything is just beginning! I wish you success in your affairs!

    UPD I did not expect so many positive comments. Thank you all for your support!

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