Thank you for being here for episode 20 where we discuss our WP niches series. Today we’re continuing our series on WordPress niches during this series we are exploring different ways that you can make more with WordPress.
And as a reminder during this series, we’re going to be covering five primary niches – and those are websites, which we’ve broken into two different episodes, as well as, plugins, themes, marketing, and education and training.
And today’s topic is WordPress Websites (Part Two): Hosting Websites. So, to get us started Kerry, what does the “hosting websites” niche, as a service, look like?
Well, I think it can be really broken down into three specific areas, that I think you and I both consider best types of hosting when considering hosting as a service. And they all fall into managed hosting and that would be – reseller, dedicated, and VPS. But I want to go into a little bit of detail of each of those. So, tell me what you think Arelthia… tell us a little bit about how you think about reseller.
When I think about reseller hosting, that’s typically where most people normally start when they start offering hosting websites as a service. So, basically, you purchase hosting, and all the resources are shared across everyone on the server. So, it’s basically shared hosting where you get either – there are two different ways this could work. You can get a block of hosting, but basically, a piece of a server that you can add an unlimited number of accounts to or it can be a limited amount, it just depends on the service you use. And that’s one option for reseller hosting. Basically, you pay for the service and you get people sign up. And you basically pay for their service it’s all at once. So, the more people you add, it’s still the same cost. Then you have what’s considered, like, where some companies such as like SiteGround and places like, that the more people you add to your reseller hosting the price goes up. So you add a new reseller or a new client to your hosting the price goes up and so every…
So then… when… if you have something like that… If somebody were to do that and the price goes up, you’re basically going to sell that hosting service that you’re paying for, for a little bit more than what you’re paying for, to the client that you’re adding to your service.
Yes. Basically, you’re going to add your markup to it so that you can make a profit. And now… so, and I want to make a point here that, I say a lot of people typically start here because it’s less expensive to get started, but it’s the easiest one to outgrow, Kerry.
Yeah. Did you start with reseller hosting?
I did start with reseller hosting. I, ah, I remember the company has something to do with the alligator or something. I’m not gonna say… Yeah, I started out with reseller hosting.
Yes, I did too. I did too – but you’re right and that’s exactly what happened to me. I, I wouldn’t say very quickly but within about a year of having that hosting or that type of hosting I realized that I really needed a lot more and so I moved into what is referred to as a dedicated server. With a dedicated server, you pretty much own the entire server. Well, there’s no pretty much to it, you do. You own the entire box per se. And you gave us a really great way to think about how a dedicated server works. And I’m going to use that here because I heard you use it before. A dedicated server is like a house. It’s on its own piece of land. It stands alone. And you can put as many people as you want into the house. And you have complete control. But you also have complete responsibility for everything that happens in that house or on that server. And so the dedicated servers do tend to be a little more expensive. But again, you determine how you’re going to separate out your own server – and allow other people on that server – and then you can absorb some of those costs that are involved. And what do you use Arelthia?
You know I always like I use a VPS,
I’m not quite at the point where I need a dedicated. But then I will say, that it when my customers that require a lot more resources, I just have them get their own dedicated but that’s a whole other show.
A whole other show. But for my, for my reselling hosting services, I use a VPS – which is basically a virtual private server. I get a set amount of resources that I can use. And pretty much, I have control of that area of my server. And I think, since Kerry started with my house example, I’m gonna compare, like, a VPS kind of to a condo. When you think about a condo there are a lot of different units in one building. And… but you’re responsible for your one unit, okay? You have control over that area. There are things that you can do within your unit because you’re pretty much in control of it. And you’re responsible for it. If something breaks, you have to get it taken care of. You have certain things that you have to do. But now, you, you still are confined to a certain space and you can put as many people as you want in there but eventually, that condo is going to fill up.
And so, you have to decide, like, how do you want to handle that? Do you want another VPS or do you want to go to dedicated? And I think that’s something that even with the dedicated server it’s something you have to think about it. Yes, even if you think about it like the house. You could put as many people as you want to, you know, in that house but eventually, you’re going to run out of space for all those people.
You’re going to need a bigger house. Or even a second house, you know? But it’s all about how many people you want to put on that server. How many websites? What resources do those websites need, okay? And so, I guess… just saying all this, Kerry… I’m thinking about all this and one of the things I am wondering is why should someone choose hosting websites to make to make more with WordPress?
Wow. Well, you know that it is a lot and if… It can definitely be a business within your business per se. Um… and you do have to really think about it because there are a lot of responsibilities. But I think one of the primary reasons for wanting to get into hosting websites as a niche within WordPress is for some recurring income. You know, it’s… having income that you can count on, on the same day of every month is very, a very comfortable place to be. And unlike using an affiliate link where you refer somebody and they click on your link and then you get a commission based on them purchasing a service through your link, the recurring income is yours month after month after month. Whereas the affiliate income is a one-time payment and then you’re done. What’s another reason?
Having income that you can count on, on the same day of every month is very, a very comfortable place to be.
~ Kerry Carron
So, another reason, Kerry, I like to think about this is that, okay so, if you already have customers that you’re offering, let’s say other website services – and let’s say you’re creating websites for them, then hosting their website is the next best thing. Not just for you, but for them as well because you’re offering them more value. They have one point of contact when it comes to their website. And so, that keeps them close to you. It keeps them coming to you for their website related needs including that hosting. It’s kind of like that… the Disney theory. If you’ve ever been to Disney you’ll know they’re trying to do everything to keep you within the walls of Disney – with the hotels, and the food, and the entertainment, and everything. They’re trying to keep you there. And they want you to have their whole package. They want you all involved with what they are offering you. They’re not trying to send you out to other people and so we want to also try to offer our customers everything that we can so… to increase that value for our customers.
We want to also try to offer our customers everything that we can… to increase that value for our customers.
~ Arelthia Phillips
Yeah, absolutely. And hosting websites is efficient in that manner in that it does keep everything all neat and orderly. But it is important I think to keep that distinction between all of your different services. Yes, you could lump them all together and charge one thing but I think if you can make it more diverse and spread it out through your portfolio the types of services that you offer, that really tends to minimize that roller coaster of income – or lack thereof, that freelancers tend to, to get on. And setting up hosting websites, uh setting up hosting for other people’s websites… it’s a relatively easy thing to set up. And it also increases the amount of information that you can learn. Because you learn a ton. When you’re working on somebody else’s stuff you learn a lot and sometimes not always in a good way. So, that leads me into the next area which is, when things don’t go exactly how you expect or… there’s a lot of hackers out there in the world, or maybe it’s just a catastrophe, how does website security play a role in the “hosting websites” niche?
You know, website security is very important. And it helps if you created the website because that security starts at the very moment a website is installed. And also something else you want to consider is the quality of the hosting provider. Some hosting… not all hosting providers are created equal. Some of them pay a little more attention to security. Some of them… you’ll even notice that they offer, like, they’ll tell you, “hey we offer DDoS protection.” Which basically is somebody’s trying to attack your site bring it down. Some hosting companies offer that. Some hosting, hosting companies don’t offer that. All that helps with security. Some of them are a little more proactive about watching out for your site and what’s going on all your servers. But security is very important. And it’s about maintaining your site, Kerry, and keeping it going. What type… when you think of maintaining a website, Kerry, what do you typically offer your customers? What comes to mind?
Well, you know… you made a good point here. And you started talking about security and then you, you went and used the term maintenance. And I think security, in general, really breaks into a couple of areas: maintaining and upgrading. So, with maintaining, for me, maintaining a website is potentially breaking… broke – breaking links? No! Fixing broken links, um… replacing plugins that are no longer supported. Managing comments is another good way to have maintenance built into a plan. Taking care of links – SPAM links, that are just people trying to put garbage on your website and even going so far as to keep track of how many users are on the website. Are they good users? Are they bad users that don’t need or shouldn’t have access? Or maybe they’ve left the company and you just need to upgrade. I should say, update the backend of the admin area of your website and maintain those things at an even keel.
Okay, okay. So security. So far we’ve talked about maintaining the website, keeping things running smoothly, and with WordPress we know one of the things when it comes to maintaining a website and keeping smoothly, it has to do with upgrading website. So, like, one of the things that I think is a big thing – something that people kind of get frustrated with the WordPress it’s the number of updates that happen. But they’re, they are so important to the security of WordPress.
That’s so funny you say that Arelthia, because every year, WordPress comes out with a survey that they put out to all the WordPress users. And they ask you how you use WordPress and everything. And one of the questions that they always ask is what is your favorite part of WordPress and my answer is always that its open source and it has all these great things and yadda yadda yadda. And then it also asked what is the worst thing about WordPress. And I say, “that is open source and it has all this… it has all of these upgrades. So yeah, I can completely relate to that.
Yeah because like when you’re dealing with WordPress, you know you have to update WordPress core. You have to update themes. You have to update plugins. You have to keep all your external maintenance software updated. And then, if you don’t update it in the right order that that causes a whole other problem!
So that’s a service that, you know, our customers… we, we really do a disservice when we don’t offer that for our customers.
Yeah, I agree – I agree.
We, we know that it’s needed. They may not always know or understand that it’s needed but we know this meeting and as part of our job to offer them our expertise and to give them the service that they need. And so, what am I missing Kerry? We’ve talked about maintaining the website and upgrading the website what else is there?
We’re talking catastrophe here. We’re talking when everything hits the fan, for lack of a better term. We’re talking about restoring. You’ve got to be prepared for, and ensure that you have, what you need, when you need it if something really bad happens.
Did you say “if”?
You mean when something happens.
You’ve got to be prepared for, and ensure that you have, what you need, when you need it if [when] something really bad happens. ~ 2D Web Solutions
I did say “if” because I’m optimistic but in reality you’re right… when it happens. Because, ultimately, at some point in time, it’s going to happen. And it may not be your fault. It may not be an upgrade you did. It might just be that an entire hosting company… maybe they had… maybe they had an earthquake and the whole building fell into the crack in the world. Maybe not that specific thing happens, but accidents happen. And you have to be prepared for it. So having a good backup of every site, all of the time… we’ll it just protects you from when any disaster strikes.
Yeah. And I think part of this, Kerry, you know… making sure providing security to your customers is also educating your customers on their role in the security of their website. What they need to have on their personal computers to make sure that, you know, there’s no there’s no malware or key loggers on their computer. Nobody’s extracting what they’re doing. Making sure they are using secure passwords. All of that is part of your role. And something that you should do, um, over and over is to remind your customers of those little things to help maintain the security of the website. And so when… with all the stuff that goes into the security, Kerry, what are the tools that you could use to make this easier on yourself?
Well, you know, when you first start out, you might have your website and maybe a client or two. And going into the WordPress admin area of each site it’s not a problem. You can go in. You can upgrade. It doesn’t take a long time especially if you know the right steps in order to do things in. But when you end up having a number of clients –let’s say you’ve been doing this for years and you’re going on… you have 50 clients now. You need some sort of monitoring system that’s going to look after your websites for you and alert you when you need to make updates and all of these sorts of things. And there are a number of really great tools out there nowadays. Um, I think I’m only going to list… I’m going to go with three just because it’s a good even (doh) odd number.
I like Infinite WP.
Um, and I also like iThemes Sync… and ManageWP is another. Those three seem to be the top as far as…. what’s the word I’m looking for?
Monitoring systems that are used by more people or talked about the most?
Yeah… most popular. That’s that’s what I, what I was trying to say. I think they are the most popular. And I do actually use all three of them. I don’t have all of my sites on all three of them – I kind of split them up and my method for that madness is that I want to be familiar with the different types of systems out there so that when people come to me with questions about them I have the answers available to them. So I put different types of sites on different management systems.
Okay okay. Yeah, I think Infinite WP is my go-to monitoring or management system that I use regularly for my sites and my client sites. And so, Kerry, what about like security settings?
Security settings. Um, I use plugins that are in the back end of my WordPress website.
And it depends on, again, the type of website and I use both iThemes Security Pro as well as WordFence, But I do have a set of sites that use security monitoring. And Sucuri is known for a couple of things. The first thing is monitoring the different web
sites and then secondly, they have a service that you can use if your website is ever hacked into… or contains malware. They do that type of removal. And you can pay them to do that. And if you’re savvy with marketing, you can figure out a way to roll that into one of your systems as a freelancer making more WordPress and allow that as a service. Now I also have some backup systems. And I want to know, Arelthia, what do you use for your backups?
You know when it comes to backups, I typically use BackupBuddy which is a WordPress plug-in. Or Duplicator. Also, there’s Updraft which is growing in popularity. When it comes to backups, I think the most important thing is not as important which one you use for your backups, it’s just that you make sure that you have a system in place to test your backups and to make sure they are good for when you really need them.
That’s a really great point and you know another thing that I… that just popped into my mind? A lot of the hosting companies, the higher quality hosting companies, now also offer control of being able to do for full cPanel backup restores, like, in minutes!
Yes. Yes. Yes and, and guys… I mean I know we’re just talking about backups real quick, but you cannot ignore backups and think that your hosting company does all the backups for you. Because when you read your hosting Terms of Service it will say in clear print that you are responsible for your own backups. Even if they provide an option for you to get it, they’ll still tell you that you are responsible for your own backups. Even, like, I know we don’t want to hear this stuff but, like, when their servers go down. Or something happens, they’ll post stuff like, “our Terms of Service state that you are responsible for your own backups” and it’s like, “AAAAh” so, I mean we have to be proactive when it comes to backups.
Absolutely. Absolutely! So, Arelthia… okay, we’ve given people all of this information. Let’s say we have some viewers and listeners out there who are saying, “I’m ready for this. What do I need to do next to make this happen and start offering hosting for web sites for my clients?”
Ok so, let’s talk about the three “R’s.” Oh a minute, maybe it’s just one “R.”
Research, research, research. Ok so, you’re going to research your hosting options. Decide which one is best for you. Decides which security monitoring system you want to use. Look through security plugins with multiple options that you can incorporate into your service options. And establish a solid restoration process and foundation… or as Kerry would say, for when the apocalypse occurs. Ah so…
Be a prepper. Be a prepper.
Yeah, be a prepper, okay. Um but that’s it. Research, research, research guys. Um what else, Kerry, do you think that they need to do next?
Well, you know what? We have had a number of episodes that went through an entire process of developing services. So, you could implement some of the 2D processes from some of our previous episodes.
Okay, okay. And so, also guys if you want to learn… you can learn techniques that we use to offer hosting as a service by attending our upcoming webinars.
Absolutely. So that brings us to the action plan!
All right guys.
The action plan for this week is to make more with WordPress by hosting websites!Make More with WordPress by Hosting Websites! Click To Tweet
All right and so, guys… go ahead of share that out, tweet it. Make more WordPress by hosting websites. Post on Instagram or wherever you’re at on social media. But we have a couple of questions for you…
What is the most appealing aspect about having hosted websites as a WordPress niche?
And if you are already hosting clients, what additional advice can you offer our readers?
And what questions do you have about offering hosting as a service?
Now we know that your comments always help us and we also know that they help others in the process. So, we encourage you to leave your comments and replies below, ask us any questions you might have and thank you so much for being here.
All right, so now go out and create your plan, take action, and experience your success.