Using Virtualmin for a Hosting Business

I know I still have lots to learn. But is it possible to use Virtualmin to run a web hosting business off of?

I rent a dedicated server from OVH. I installed Ubuntu server and virtualmin on it. I have been playing around with Virtual min for about 2 years now. I’ve set up a Woo Commerce site on it before. But i’m mainly limited to the notion that I as the IT person am doing all this. I’d love to be able to package something up to be able to market and be an potential option for customers to pay for.

I have a laundry list of things to ask still:

  1. DNS & Domain Register. I register my domains through cloudflare. I’ve tried looking into the Cloud DNS provider option recently. My hope was that connecting them would enable automatic creation of DNS records for a domain.

  2. If I make my main IT Services site, how do I go about creating an ordering process that’s automated? Is that via reseller accounts? If so, is there any good tutorial on that?

  3. How do I automate the ordering to use my Cemphasized textloudflare account to review if the domain is available and then buy it and add it to my account?

  4. How would i configure the ordering to install an available Virtualmin pro script

  5. How would i configure the ordering to allow them to pick a username and password

Lots of people do.

Yes. That’s what it does.

Be aware that registration and DNS services are independent concepts. Virtualmin sometimes supports domain registration from a provider without supporting automatically creating DNS records in their DNS service, and vice versa. Depends on the APIs available, and whether we’ve had paying customers that needed a given piece of functionality. Cloudflare support in Virtualmin, I believe, only supports managing DNS records, but not registration of new domains. (But, I might be wrong.)

I’m not sure what you’re asking.

Reseller accounts are generally for people who resell your hosting services, but may also be used for delegating to people within your own organization who are trusted to manage domains and have their own accounts to maintain (e.g. in a web development business, every dev might have their own long-term clients, and they could have a reseller account that can manage/own only those accounts, while the root user would still have admin on all of them).

We don’t offer any billing or “ordering” tools, but there are several billing systems that support Virtualmin (and may also offer domain registration API support, Cloudflare is new in the registrar business, though, so you may not find many options that support it). Or you could build your own using an off-the-shelf ecommerce system and calling our API.

WHMCS is a popular billing system option among Virtualmin users (though pricey). There are a handful of others, search the forum for discussion.

I would do it with Server Templates, probably, though it depends on exactly what you mean. Server Templates can include Install Scripts to automatically install during domain creation.

The API can also directly install a script. So, create the domain via API, then install the script via API. install-script – Virtualmin

You can specify username and password in the API call to create a domain. (Billing systems also presumably support this.)

CLI is documented here: Command Line API – Virtualmin
You can also use it remotely: Remote API – Virtualmin

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Ok so for my proposed business model, I would really only want people who want to make wordpress sites, wiki sites…ie: any default website that virtualmin can serve up.

ill need to brush up more on this

In terms of business model, I’d recommend you find a niche where you can still run a profitable web hosting business. The general shared hosting model is so competitive, you’ll likely only make pennies in profit per-domain hosted (or run at a loss if trying to compete with the big discount shared hosts), which means you have to host thousands of customers to make it profitable. Scale is the only solution to general web hosting profitability.

To make it work on a small scale you have to offer something more than a web hosting account. For most of our customers that are doing it, it’s a more high-tough sort of situation. They provide all the technical services for their clients (web design, web development, hosting, maybe some other IT-related services), or they offer a specific niche kind of service that also includes hosting the related applications or whatever.

Some do virtual machine hosting and put Virtualmin on the systems as a value-add. Some use Cloudmin to provision/manage the virtual machines.

Yea I am not trying to be a huge hosting company. Mainly for local businesses around my area. The only thing i guess would be a set apart is im local and they would have direct access to me to help them.

That’s a very good fit for Virtualmin, and a reasonable way to make a little extra money as a local IT provider or web developer.

The biggest problem is finding that niche market.

Many big players out there are already doing this for cents and have already built a big client base. They commit to large marketing campaigns even with TV advertising to sweep up the dregs.

There are also 1000’s of school novices that do this as a hobby for friends and others who like the idea of a web site but seriously haven’t a clue how to run a business (but think they do).

Then there are some who have expertise and specialist knowledge in some other field and have the contact network to bring all those other skill sets together (accountants, tax specialists, sales, marketing, finance, etc) perhaps in a bespoke area.

If it was so easy to be the next Mark Zuckerberg there would be many more of them.

Rule No 1 - A Business Plan.
Rule No 2 - A disaster Recovery Plan (for when, tomorrow you are hit by that school bus) - your clients/customers/employees/bank need to know they can survive you.

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