When people hear the term “reseller hosting” it is typically met with stares of confusion. To make it easier to understand, this article answers the most commonly asked questions in regards to this type of web hosting. Providing a web hosting service to your clients is usually the focus of a web hosting company, but with reseller hosting, you become the host and you determine how you will charge and support your clients.
- What is Reseller Hosting?
- What are the Advantages of Reseller Hosting?
- How does selling web hosting as a reseller work?
- How Do You Make Money as a Reseller?
- How Do I Start Reselling Web Hosting?
- How to Choose the Best Reseller Hosting?
What is Reseller Hosting?
Reseller hosting is a service provided by a web hosting provider that lets a person or business sell web hosting services as their own. Most reseller hosting packages work on a standard wholesale basis. You sign up to a reliable host, set up a reseller account to access wholesale prices, you add your own branding if required and then resell that web hosting at a markup. You can often set your own pricing and conditions and as long as you work within the host’s own conditions. You can then operate as you see fit.
It might sound complicated but it isn’t. The advantage of using reseller hosting is that you don’t have to maintain the hardware or hosting software yourself. Good web hosts have the software already setup with specific reseller packages that can make short work of setting everything up, and InMotion Hosting comes with cPanel and WHM already set up. You would only need to create an account for each new client you acquire.
It is then just a matter of registering a new account, selecting the amount of disk space or bandwidth you want to allocate and then going from there.
Some web hosts will charge a flat monthly fee as well as a fee for the services. Some won’t charge a flat fee and instead will charge on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Whether you are a web developer, designer, or simply someone with dreams of owning your own web hosting business, reseller hosting gives you an opportunity to make money in the business of hosting websites.
InMotion’s Reseller Hosting also provides access to sell domains and manage the business end using the Web Host Manager Complete Solution (WHMCS) software. Check out InMotion’s Reseller Hosting plans for more information.
What are the Advantages of Reseller Hosting?
Easy to Manage Reseller Accounts
When you sign up for reseller hosting, you will typically gain access to an admin console in cPanel or other admin package. Within that will be your allocated disk space and bandwidth allowance per month. The panel will contain the tools necessary to be able to set up new accounts, assign disk space, email addresses, domains and the typical features of web hosting.
You can also create your own hosting plans to resell to clients, provide administrative rights to users, manage traffic, advertising and every aspect of web hosting. All while using someone else’s hardware and software.
If you have ever set up your own shared hosting for a website, setting up reseller hosting is very similar. The main differences are that rather than just set up your own domain, email and website, you set up the framework within which your clients will do all that.
A significant benefit of reseller hosting is that your clients will have their own cPanel or other dashboard where they can manage their own account. This saves you a lot of administration and means reseller hosting becomes more like a residual income plan than a full time job.
Ability to White Label
White labelling takes someone else’s product or service, in this case web hosting, and allows you to add your own branding and sell it as your own. It enables you to provide hosting to clients as if it was your product.
Create Your Own Hosting Packages
Depending on your typical client profile, you can set up flexible hosting, WordPress hosting, SSD hosting or whatever type of package you think best fits their needs. You can then charge whatever the market can sustain and pocket the profit.
cPanel is not the only management dashboard but it is one of the most popular. Whatever control panel your host uses, it should offer easy management and finite control over the hosting packages you resell. It should also offer metrics and measurements so you can maintain service levels and manage issues before they arise.
Low Barrier to Entry
There is a definite learning curve to reseller hosting if you haven’t managed web hosting before. If you have managed shared hosting or something similar, it’s a small step up from there with a little extra administration. If you have used cPanel to set up your own website, the process is much the same. Only this time, you’re setting up multiple hosting accounts from your own master account.
Pricing for such packages are typically even lower than the price of a standard VPS, with packages at InMotion starting at just $15.39/month, it’s only a slight bump from shared hosting.
Convenient Access to Client Websites
If you offer web services to clients who also host with you, there is no waiting for them to send logins or delays while they reset their passwords. You have fast, unfettered access to their accounts. This means you can react quickly to issues or provide faster than usual customer service. All can be repaid in loyalty and perhaps referrals.
Most reseller hosting accounts are scalable so you can begin small and expand as your client list grows. As hosting is virtual, scaling is done quickly and usually without any extra admin costs.
How Do You Make Money as a Reseller?
Nobody is going to pretend you’re going to get rich with reseller hosting but you can make extra income from it. You also gain an income from those clients attracted by the complete packages a web designer can offer that includes site setup and hosting in one.
Essentially, if you offer full managed hosting to your customers, you can charge a premium as compared to standard hosting, where you would charge let’s say $50/month to each client, but handle all their technical needs and maintenance, such as upgrades of core CMS, plugins, backups, security, etc.
Your residential income depends on the wholesale price you pay to the host and the maximum your market can sustain. As mentioned, some hosts charge a monthly maintenance fee for reseller hosting accounts but many don’t. It pays to research the market, what’s on offer and at what price before you settle on one provider, but with prices like those at InMotion starting at just $15.39/month, it’s a no-brainer.
Most reseller accounts are scalable so you can start small when you first launch your offering and scale up only when you need to. This is a cost-effective way to do business and keeps your costs down as much as possible.
How Do I Start Reselling Web Hosting?
First, you should sit down and write out a solid business plan. If you’re going to be charging people money and working to make a profit, you should have a plan that will help you not only plan how your business works, but also how it will grow.
You should then research the market for the reseller hosting that best fits your needs. Make sure that what you choose meets up with the needs of your targeted clientele.
Once you have chosen your reseller hosting solution and you have subscribed, then you can begin labeling it to match your business identity. You should also spend time becoming familiar with the features that you will be giving to your subscribers.
You may also need to set up your management software so that you are ready to take care of your customers. When you’re all set with your preparations, then you’re ready to start reselling your hosting space.
It is definitely easy to simply just subscribe to a reseller hosting plan and then just start seller space to prospective website owners. However, not being prepared to explain what your business offers and planning out the services that you will provide is a good way to lose your customers quickly and possibly end your business.
How to Choose the Best Reseller Hosting?
If you have your business plan in order then the main task left to you is to choose the best reseller hosting for your needs. When you’re considering a web hosting service that has reseller plans make sure to check for the following:
- Does the reseller have a solid reputation for reseller hosting?
- Does the hosting service have a plan that meets your budget and hosting needs?
- Do they have a good software interface to manage your reseller account?
- If you’re not satisfied, do they have a money-back guarantee?
- Do you have access to technical support? What kinds of support services? Phone/email/chat?
- If your business grows and requires an upgrade, will they provide an upgrade path for your hosting service?
Choosing a service is often a matter of personal preference and perspective, but this checklist should help lead you to a reseller host that will provide the solution you need.
Understanding reseller hosting is easy and a great opportunity for those of you who endeavor to make web hosting your business. Make sure you understand how reseller hosting works, plan appropriately and select the best hosting solution for your business needs. If you’re able to do so, then you’ll be able to create a great business reselling hosting, provide a solution for your clients’ needs, and earn some money in the process.
InMotion Hosting provides services for web design, domain registration, and reseller hosting. To learn more about the ins and outs of reseller hosting, check out our Reseller Hosting support articles!
Looking for guidance on how to become a Hosting Reseller? Check out our guide below on Reseller Hosting Essentials!