Everything you need to know about reseller hosting

  • Reseller hosting is one of the biggest growing aspects of the web hosting industry, and for good reason; it benefits the host, the client and the reseller. If you’re a designer or content creator you can make money from building someone’s website without the need to host it on their own servers; if you’re a customer you get a good quality product and added security; and if you’re a host you’re making money from hosting websites without needing to work on them.

    Here’s how it works:

    What is it?

    The word ‘reseller’ is the clue; essentially a reseller takes a hosting service that isn’t theirs, and a client that needs a website hosting/designing, and puts them together. As a reseller you buy the package for a monthly fee from the host, and then create a number of smaller sub accounts for clients.

    You could be a photographer, a coder, a programmer, a designer, a content creator or literally just a seller; as long as you know how to put together a good website or are willing to learn (and you don’t even necessarily need to know how to do that as many resellers offer templates) you could make an easy, steady income.

    Can you make money?

    The reseller sets the value of their own services to make a profit. The decision will be somewhat based on the amount the reseller is paying for the hosting in the first place.

    Within each package there will be a number of cPanel accounts, email and FTP services for each client, allowing a quick upload of pictures and information. You don’t really have to deal with this; all you do is buy a host package and set your own price, avoiding the costs of dedicated hosting as you do so. You can make it as complex as you wish and turn it into a full-time job, or keep it simple with just a few clients.

    Many packages possess WebHost Manager Complete Solution packages, that let you automate sign-ups, billing and termination, so even some of the heavy lifting involved in attracting and signing up clients in the first place is removed.

    As a very simplistic example, you might purchase a reseller plan, work out how many clients you’d like and divide the cost of the plan by that number, add £5 a month per client, and sit back and wait. Sign up 50 clients, set them up, and make £250 a month for little work other than administration and organisation.

    Is it problematic?

    No, because there is no need to possess a great depth of technical knowledge to start. As a reseller you do not need to hide the fact that you do not own the servers to the client (although you can), and obviously the host will expect you to be reselling the service – hence the name. The reseller can emboss the website with their own branding (white label plans) allowing other potential customers to see your products.

    It is possible that a dispute could arise over payment or the technical aspects of the site, and you might have to deal with complaints that are actually not even your fault; on those occasions you’ll need to go to the host quickly, even if a customer contacts you at 3am if their business could be at stake. Therefore, acting quickly should be your priority.

    Is it popular?

    Very, for both server and reseller. Hosting giants such as HostGator and GoDaddy have a number of web reseller packages available for complete novices, allowing flexibility and good security for the reseller and their clients. Smaller companies are also jumping into the mix and they don’t need to be based in Silicon Valley – necessarily. A recent example comes from Nottingham, where Octavian IT told PCR Online of its pledge to expand into the US, Middle East, South Africa and Australia. Other resellers offer server deployments in multiple locations, and a host of pre-configured templates and images – click here to find out more.

    Reseller hosting is likely to become even more popular as interested parties realise how easy it is, and how satisfactory it can be for all parties involved. Why not start researching it now?