When I started out hosting, it was very much ‘by accident’. I worked in a University where I had been involved in a departmental journal at around the time when all the Internet 1.0 hype was beginning.
So I offered to create a website on Geocities for the Journal. Lo and behold! It did generate quite a few tens of thousands of ‘hits’, enough to warrant the creation of its own website. Soon, I signed up with Dreamhost, which seemed to offer the most in terms of service for the dollar. One URL later (http://www.hjktefl.org) and our Journal had its own domain and a PR4! But it didn’t last! The department axed the journal because it wasn’t properly reviewed, and didn’t appear on a government approved list of journals. In fact, the department seems pretty much to have ‘disowned’ the journal… Ah! Well, but that’s another story.
By that time, I was already hosting several new journals, a school website, a couple of personal websites for myself and a friend, and, of course, this site. At the end of 2005, I had twigged that I could host sites well enough, and had enough skills to help other people to put up their websites, that I decided to approach a couple of people needing help, and see what I could do for them. I also had researched enough of the applications, and knew how they worked, how to install them, and how to find additional resources for them. I felt that I could at least provide a service to those who had been like me a few years previously!
Within about 3 months, I had my first two outside clients for hosting. You can find them on the hosting/customers tab to your left! Both of the websites are unusual and well developed, but QUITE different.
So, now my online hosting is growing very slowly. I have about 5 or 6 customers, some of whose websites you can visit from here (others will show up in the next few months), and I got to meet some great people this way, too, since I really only do business with people I can meet face-to-face, or at least, have met at one time.
I don’t know how, or if, the business can grow bigger; but I’m not in a hurry. I’m enjoying the challenge of helping people achieve something with their website. That’s great.