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Web hosting is so cheap now. Why not provide mirror services for small businesses?

Allow me to explain. There are literally millions of small business websites out there. Most of the time they are on limited budgets so are more times than not hosting their sites with inexpensive web hosting companies. You can get hosting now for as little as $3 a month.

Even though the quoted “up time” (meaning the percentage of time they promise your site will be accessible to the public) is 99%, in most cases this is just plain poppycock.

Believe me, I own over 100 domains and have gone through soooooo many hosting companies, it’s actually scary. I solved the problem myself through the method I’m about to share with you. But you could make a business out of this by doing the same thing I did, but doing it for other people (and yourself of course) who may not have the know how (or even want to learn) to do it themselves.

There’s a DNS service that will provide what they call “DNS Failover.” The name of the company is DNS Made Easy. You then use their DNS services for all your domains (instead of your hosting company’s DNS server.) With a premium account ($30 a year), you get automatic DNS Failover service. What this means is, you can tell their DNS server not only where your website is hosted but you can also tell it where to look if it can’t “see” your site for whatever reason. In layman’s terms, this means if your site goes down it’ll automatically feed all your incoming traffic to another web hosting company where you have a mirror copy of your site hosted.

Using this DNS Failover service, your site is almost ALWAYS accessible by your visitors. Unless of course, both hosting companies are down at the same time. The likelihood of that happening, though, is very, very small.

So, here’s what you do. Purchase a virtual hosting account that allows you to host as many domains as you want with one account. This company sells a virtual server account for $15 a month and you can host as many domains as you want. (Incidently, they are rated extremely high in uptime and customer satisfaction, as well.)

You’ll also need to get an account from the DNS hosting company I mentioned earlier.

BTW: Anyone who owns a website should do this for themselves, if nothing else. The only difference being, if you only have one website, just get the cheaper hosting account and then use that as your mirror along with the DNS Failover services.

Then all you do is advertise your services for $12 a year. What you give your customer is uptime insurance. You setup their domain on your virtual server and give them their own FTP login…etc. Then they upload their website to your server. You should tell them that they need to keep the version on your servers up to date. So, whenever they make changes on their own site, they should upload the changes to your server as well.

Then you provide the DNS lookup service for them by setting up the domain in your DNS lookup account with the failover company. (They would just have to change the DNS address with their domain registrar. That’s all they would have to do from a DNS standpoint.)

Once you have setup the domain with your DNS Made Easy service (setting the primary and the secondary hosting locations), your customer is good to go. They will have a bullet proof site from that point on for only $12 a year.

You just have to make sure they aren’t using YOUR hosting services for their primary hosting company. You can monitor this through your traffic logs, of course.

Also, make sure they aren’t using your hosting company as their primary hosting company. This will defeat the purpose if their primary goes down. They should be hosting with a totally different hosting company than you.

At the very least, if you own a website and depend on it for a revenue stream, you should be using the failover method I just described above. It COULD save you thousands of dollars in lost revenue over time.

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