Thinking of starting a reseller hosting business? Here are our top tips to get you started.
Becoming a web hosting reseller can be a great way to make some extra side income. If you want to jump into the backend of the server business, then we recommend you start off as a hosting reseller. But before you get started, you will have to make decisions on your business. To help you navigate the beginning of your new business, we have laid out our complete guide to help you get going.
What Is Reseller Hosting?
Reseller hosting is a reasonably inexpensive way for aspiring web hosting entrepreneurs to start a company. Reseller hosting is when an account owner can use his allotted hard drive space and bandwidth to host customer websites. That essentially means that the reseller purchases the hosting provider’s services at wholesale, and then sell them to customers, hopefully for a profit!
When you begin a reseller hosting plan with a company, you can create a service plan and choose a pricing structure. In many cases, the resellers are even able to establish their branding thanks to customizable control panels and servers.
A reseller hosting account will be a much cheaper way to get into the web hosting business. A physical server can host multiple reseller accounts, and the user will pay for the resources that he and his customers use.
Who Is In A Position To Successfully Resell Hosting?
Successfully reselling web hosting services isn't easy. Web designers and marketing agencies are in the best position to start a hosting reseller business. Web designers and agencies have existing relationships with clients likely to need web hosting services.
Most web designers are project-oriented, so many want to earn recurring revenue by reselling. The recurring income will earn add up over time as the business gets more customers not only for projects but also the recurring income from hosting, too.
Create a Business Plan
If you think you want to buy a hosting plan for yourself and your friends, then you don’t have to worry so much about doing everything right the first time. If you make a mistake, it is okay! You are still learning and can continue to grow and figure out what you should do right next time.
However, if you are trying to start a business and make a profit from this, you have to make sure you are choosing much more carefully. The hosting provider you decide to go with will reflect on you as a business. If you are selling an inferior service but making big promises, then someone could take legal action against you as it affects their business too.
But before you can even get started, you have to form a company, which helps limit your liability and exposure. You should also either hire an account or do the work yourself to prepare a plan of exactly what you will sell. Look at your market and see what the competitors are. Study what they are doing right and what you could improve on so that your potential customers will choose you over your competition.
Once your business plan is set up, you can begin to develop your website, add privacy pages and terms of service. You should also have a service level agreement and get a billing system that can handle all your needs.
Choose The Right Hosting Plan
One of the most important things you need to ensure is that your customers don’t know that you are a reseller. Privacy is a big deal and will affect how your customers view you, and some customers won’t sign with you if they know you are a reseller.
Before signing with a hosting provider, check to make sure that they support 100% private label (or white-labeling), which means that they will use an anonymous domain name for the hostname of their servers. They will also give you IP addresses to register your private nameservers. This is important because your clients won’t see their name anywhere on the hosting control panel, helping to keep up the illusion that this is not a reseller hosting business.
The hosting company you choose should have a good reputation. Check online to see what the reviews are and contact their customer support to make sure that they are knowledgeable and responsive. Having quick customer support is very important for you because if something goes wrong with the server, you want to know they can help get it running again smoothly and quickly, so your customers have as little disruption in service as possible.
All top reputable hosting companies will a high uptime guarantee of at least 99.9% or higher. The higher the percentage, the greater your ability to keep your new customers happy. Make sure that the resources the hosting plan offers are what you need; now is not the time to go cheap, but you also want to make sure you are doing your research, so you are not spending a fortune.
As we mentioned above, it is imperative that your clients don’t know you are a reseller hosting company because if they do, they will be less likely to sign with you. Branding is the key. White Label reseller hosting will give you access to the hosting provider’s product line but all branded under your logo.
Your company information is readily available for the client. You can replace the hosting provider’s logo with your logo and information on the cPanel pages, and if you are a developer, on the actual pages. It also helps your company stand out from others thanks to a professional look. By branding your customized control panel, you can establish a level of trust with people.
Who is Responsible for Customer Support?
One of the best ways to stand out from the competition is by providing responsive, knowledgeable support.
Some reseller hosting services support the end users on behalf of their resellers, while with other plans you're responsible for providing support to your end users. Find out about these details and the costs before signing up for a reseller plan.
Use Private Nameservers
Another crucial piece of the puzzle is using private nameservers. It adds to your level of professionalism. It also will help you switch quickly from one hosting provider to the next if you ever become dissatisfied with the level of service or support you are getting at your current provider.
By using a private nameserver, you will be able to migrate all of your customers’ web hosting accounts with them having to make any changes.
Starting a reseller business is not always easy, but if you are willing to put in the work and go the extra mile to stand out from your competition, it can be a great way to earn monthly recurring income.
It's a great fit for web designers and others who do projects for clients who may also need web hosting services.