What is reseller hosting and how does it work?
There are many types of hosting solutions out there, which sometimes makes it hard to select the one that is right for your needs.
You may have heard about reseller hosting and wondered what it’s all about, how it works and whether it’s an appropriate hosting solution for you. While reseller hosting has some unique advantages, it’s not always the ideal type of hosting package for everybody.
Here is an explanation of what reseller hosting service is, which will help you understand how it compares to other types of web hosting and help you make the right choice.
What is reseller hosting?
Reseller hosting is a service that allows you to rent resources (disk space and bandwidth) from a hosting provider and then go on to resell those resources to your own clients.
It allows you to offer hosting services to others as if you were running your own web hosting company. However, you don’t have to go through the hassle and expense of setting up and configuring your own hardware, as this is taken care of by the hosting firm that you’re getting your reseller hosting plan from.
You can create hosting accounts for your clients, allowing them to host their own websites on the parent company’s servers.
A reseller hosting service typically comes with all of the features that a shared web hosting service would include, such as domain registration, email, a web builder, access to free applications and scripts, etc.
Reseller hosting is often chosen by online entrepreneurs who want to start their own hosting business.
However, it’s also used by many other types of small and mid-sized businesses, such as website development, graphic design and online marketing firms that are interested in offering hosting as an additional service.
How does reseller hosting work?
Getting started with reseller hosting is rather simple. You first choose a web hosting company to sign up with, just like you would with shared web hosting. Then, you will need to select which of their reseller plans are right for you.
Every hosting company will have slightly different reseller plans, so you should pay careful attention to find out what’s included in the service and what isn’t.
Typically, different plans provide varying amounts of storage space and bandwidth. Some providers allow you to create an unlimited amount of sub-accounts for your clients with their reseller plans, while others may have limitations.
When you become a hosting reseller, web hosts give you the choice between paying for your service on a monthly basis or prepaying for one, two or three years of service in advance.
The services you will receive are the same, but paying for the service in advance lets you save money, as hosting providers usually give discounts to those who pay for several years worth of service when they sign up.
After you have your reseller account ready, it’s time to create your own branded hosting packages. You get to decide how much disk space and bandwidth you’ll assign to each of your customers. You’re also in control of how much your charge your customers for your service.
The details of your hosting packages and their prices are entirely up to you to decide based on your business model. For example, if you run a website design business, you can opt to provide your customers with a year of free hosting if they get a website created by your firm.
As a hosting reseller, you can choose to take a “hands-off” approach and let your customers simply purchase a plan and run their websites on their own.
You can also opt to provide managed services that let you help your clients run their websites.
For example, if you build e-commerce sites, you can provide services to update your clients’ online stores whenever they need to add new products or promotions for a small fee.
Advantages of reseller hosting
Works with a variety of business models
Whether you want to start your own web hosting business or already run a business and are interested in adding hosting to the services you provide to your clients, reseller hosting can work for you.
Host websites under your own brand name
Hosting firms that provide reseller web hosting services let you do so under your own brand, a practice called “white label” hosting in the industry.
You can fully customise your own website and the features contained in your plans. As everything is done under your own name, your hosting customers will always think that they’re dealing with you, as opposed to your upstream hosting company.
Ability to get started without technical knowledge
You don’t need any specialised knowledge about web hosting to become a reseller. Hosting companies give you a control panel that you can use to easily manage your customer accounts.
Many also give you free templates that you can use to build your own websites that you can then use to sell hosting services to your customers.
All of the back-end work is done by the upstream hosting provider
The provider of your reseller plan will be responsible for maintaining their servers, performing upgrades and providing the infrastructure necessary.
This is similar to how things work with an ordinary shared hosting account. All that you have to do on your end is provide customer service and support to your own clients.
Potential to make profits by running your own hosting service
If you’re looking to start a small business from home, a reseller hosting plan can help you accomplish this. Many reseller hosting providers make decent profits simply by providing hosting services to a variety of clients.
You don’t need to purchase any infrastructure or make other large investments to get started.
Disadvantages of reseller hosting
You have to provide support for your clients
When you become a hosting reseller, you will be responsible for providing customer service and support to your clients. Your web host will provide you with technical support should you have any questions or run into problems, but they won’t be dealing directly with your clients.
Therefore, you need to ensure that you’ll be available to quickly answer any questions your clients may have about the service or take care of requests such as resetting passwords and upgrading their service to a different package.
Running a web hosting business requires some time and effort
If you’re hoping to start your own hosting business and make money from it, you should know that the industry is rather competitive. If you want to achieve success, you’ll have to figure out your own strategies to attract customers and retain them.
What’s included in a reseller package?
Every hosting company is different, so you should always check the details of what they include in their reseller packages before you make your choice. However, there are elements that are commonly offered by most companies, such as:
An allocation of server resources
Your account will typically include a certain number of gigabytes of storage space and monthly bandwidth to resell to your own hosting clients.
A reseller control panel
Your reseller control panel allows you to perform administrative tasks such as creating hosting packages, specifying the details of what’s included in them (disk space, bandwidth, number of email accounts, databases, etc.), creating and terminating client accounts and resetting passwords.
This control panel also allows you to set up how you’ll handle billing and payments. You’ll also need to sign up with a provider that allows you to take online payments if you want to automatically accept credit card payments.
The reseller control panel has a system that can instantly create hosting accounts once payment has been confirmed.
Useful support features for you and your clients
Most hosting providers provide a knowledge-base and help section that can be branded with your business name and made accessible to your clients from their own account control panel.
This lets your clients easily figure out how their hosting account works and find answers to common questions.
If one of your clients runs into a problem that you can’t immediately resolve, any quality reseller hosting provider will have a support department that can quickly help you.
Most firms offer you various means of contacting them for your convenience, such as email, phone and live chat.
Server maintenance, monitoring and backups
Your hosting provider will take care of all technical tasks related to maintaining the server. This includes rolling out security updates and adding new features to the control panel from time to time.
Hosting providers also commonly perform automatic backups of all the data stored on your account according to a set schedule, which could be daily or weekly.
Reseller hosting is a type of web hosting service that lets you provide hosting services to your own clients. This type of hosting solution is commonly chosen by online entrepreneurs that want to start their own web hosting business, as well as various types of small and medium-sized companies that provide Internet-related services and want to add web hosting to their portfolio.
It gives you a lot of control over the services you provide to your clients, as you can provide hosting services under your own brand name.
How to become a reseller host?
To become a hosting reseller, you need to procure enough server resources and then provide reseller hosting software and plans to allow other users to buy hosting from your own company.
The concept is similar but flipped on it’s head, where instead of you buying from a hosting company, you become the hosting company yourself.
Make sure you:
- Choose the right plan and not the cheapest one
- Use corporate billing system (WHMCS)
- Provide adequate support
- Use private nameservers
- Have a SSL installed
- Add trust seals to your website
AUHost4u is a company that proudly provides a wide range of high-quality hosting services based in Australia, including reseller hosting. If you would like to know more about the services we offer you can contact our sales team using our ticket system or by using the live chat tool on our website. Don’t wait and get -50% on our Reseller Plans today!