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How I started my own web host (Part 1)

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Ten years ago, I had a life-changing experience, one that I wanted to share with the world. The world wide web was still in its early years, but being both a writer and someone who loved trying new technology, I decided to make my first web page. What began as a single Geocities page eventually grew into a full web site with several pages of information.

I eventually bought my own domain name and learned HTML to make my site better and more professional. Traffic to my site increased to the point where my first web host was no longer adequate, and I moved to a VPS (virtual private server), which allowed me more flexibility and bandwidth. But it also increased the cost. At that point I decided to begin offering hosting services to small businesses and non-profit organizations to help offset the cost of my server.

It did not take long for my company to outgrow the the memory constraints of the VPS, and I decided to lease a full remote server. Linux was my operating system of choice, as I had experience working with it on my VPS and working with Solaris on my first server. It seemed like the logical choice, even though I did not know a lot about managing a server by myself or the security concerns that go along with it.

In addition to becoming a web host, I also became a domain reseller. Most of my clients did not have domain names or initial web sites, so it was a natural progression to also start offering domains to my clients. I also began to offer web design services, relying on content management systems that allowed the clients to take over full control of their sites after they were designed, since most of them were on limited budgets.

Over the years I experienced many challenges and obstacles selling domains, hosting, and designing web sites. In Part 2, I reveal some of those obstacles and how I dealt with them.

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