You can picture reseller hosting as a sort of online real estate contract. The principle is quite similar to the concept of sublease (a tenant renting a property or part of a property to a third party), except that in this case, the object of the transaction is webspace. In other words, this is a shared hosting model in which a web hosting company lends disk space and bandwidth to third parties.
The latter can then act and serve as a web host for their own customers. The model is also known as white-labeled hosting: white as in blank, since this means that the third party rents the disk space and bandwidth with the possibility to use them with its own brand name (“filling in the blank”). So as you can see, there are three parties involved in reseller hosting: the account owner (main provider), the reseller (secondary provider), and the reseller’s customers.
Main Guidelines of Reseller Hosting
Time needed: 1 hour and 30 minutes.
If you have decided to engage in reseller hosting, there are a few basic rules that you should take into account:
- Define a target audience
Just like in many other business undertakings, this is an essential step when dealing with reseller web hosting as well. Once you have decided in which sector and the niche you want to operate, you must also determine to whom you intend to sell your products and/or services. This means that you will have to study the profiles and expectations of your potential customers and prospects.
- Find a parent hosting company
That is, do some research about the main providers mentioned in the first paragraph of this article. You can compare the different web hosting services and companies by visiting their social media channels and reading-related reviews, among other options. Make sure to choose the one that suits best your business profile and strategy. Along with the well-known companies such as HostGator, Liquid Web, or FatCow, there are many other alternatives available on the market nowadays.
- Organize your finances
First of all, you will have to decide about the budget that you are willing to invest in reseller hosting. Don’t forget that quality over quantity is a valid principle for many aspects of business life as well. Instead of being driven by huge ambitions, try to make modest yet smart choices for a start. Of course, it does not mean that you should seek services from too cheap or low-quality providers. However, exorbitant prices which are not proportional to the available services should be alarming you. Always try to find providers that have at least a minimum level of decency, like those offering a money-back guarantee.
When it comes to your own gains, this is another aspect for which you may want to be reasonable: selling your products and services at exaggerated prices would probably not attract many customers, especially if you are a beginner. Therefore, we suggest you study the market carefully in order to find a balance between affordability and profit.
Choosing the Best Reseller Hosting
We have already mentioned the financial aspects. Here are a few other ones that might be of help:
This comes first, because yes, one has to evaluate the product range before deciding if the price worths it. Even though the available management solutions differ from one hosting provider to another, there are yet a few typical ones. Among these: WHM (Web Hosting Manager) and cPanel (a Linux-based hosting control panel), which are interconnected. Simply put, WHM is the main mechanism in charge of tasks such as data transfer, server control, etc., and most importantly, it enables the creation of cPanel accounts for your customers. As for cPanel, it is a sort of user dashboard through which you can create email accounts, interconnect your support team and customers via live chat, publish websites, monitor domains, among other functionalities.
WHMCS (Web Host Manager Complete Solution) is another powerful tool, especially for client management, billing, and support. This is the one to look for if you want to automate some procedures, even more, sophisticated ones such as order reception and payment.
Another term is white label, which was briefly mentioned in the first paragraph. Almost anyone involved in resellers hosting should request this feature. Indeed, white labeling is above all a matter of prestige and credibility: it allows you to hide the default identifications related to the parent hosting company and replace them with your own brand name, logo, and banner. Consequently, your customers always interact directly with you instead of the parent company, which is, after all, a perfect stranger for them. At least, this is what you will want your customers to believe.
We can obviously not skip security tools. Nowadays, free Security Sockets Layer or SSL certificates are likely to do the job perfectly. The installation process can differ from one reseller website to another. However, the overall setup prototype goes usually as follows:
Prepare the Activation of Your SSL Certificates
You will have to follow a certain number of steps to activate SSL certificates. These generally require that you go in your admin panel, detect SSL-related features, and select links for HTML use.
Install Your Certificates
Here again, there will be a few tasks that you should complete to get your certificates. This is where you have to decide how many of them you want to install and choose the relevant domains.
This is another criterion when trying to find out the best reseller hosting. Almost needless to say that remaining stuck with a rigid provider can become truly annoying. Your reseller hosting plan and package should suit the needs that are specific to your business and your target audience. You should be able to switch or upgrade from one package to another easily, depending on the circumstances.
It is obviously difficult to trust a hosting provider that lets down its customers and never answers their requests. You can evaluate how ethical hosting companies are when it comes to offering support by reading several customer reviews online or elsewhere. Comparing the different providers would help you to make up your mind. Don’t forget that you are looking for a long-term partnership. Therefore, doing some research to find the most reliable partner is essential.
FAQs About Best Reseller Hosting
It will depend on the type of contract between you and the provider. White label (concept previously discussed in the article) is a term that also refers to a kind of support service. In other words, if your contract includes white-labeled support, then your reseller hosting company is likely to offer customer service on your behalf. This would obviously make your job easier, even though your clientele will think that they receive the support directly from you.
No. They will see and interact with your personal brand name and banner without having any clue about the parent hosting provider.
You can, depending on the clauses of your contract with the hosting provider. As said in the article, you may want to collaborate with a flexible provider right from the beginning.
Yes, your account can host several domain names. For more specific information, we suggest you discuss directly with your hosting provider. Together, you can verify if your current package is adapted, and if not, you can make the necessary changes.
Yes, many websites hosting providers allow this kind of transfer. Here again, you can discuss the modalities with your parent hosting company.
Last Words Regarding Reseller Hosting
As you could see in this article, reseller hosting is a more practical option for business owners. It is almost a ‘cheat code’ that allows you to avoid complicated tasks (such as the entire web design from the beginning to the end) and makes you save time. Most importantly, you benefit from a parent company’s constant support in many areas, from hardware problems to online payment issues requiring expertise. In return, you serve as an intermediary between that main provider and the end customers. The good part is that you do this by making your own name and brand stand out. Plus, you have the opportunity to generate noticeable profits without necessarily having to invest much. If you want more info on hosting, make sure to check out our article on the best web hosting services.