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  • GoDaddy.com Reseller Hosting Economy plan
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What is Reseller Hosting?

Ever fancied being a web host and setting up your own business? Reseller hosting allows you to create packages and sell them for whatever price you like. Reseller hosting is also very useful if you're looking to create new income streams in an existing business. For example, you might want to sell web hosting alongside a new website you've designed.

Reseller hosting is a type of web hosting that allows you to sub-let your space. The host gives you a large chunk of disk space and bandwidth, and you can carve it up and market it as you wish. The host doesn't dictate the prices, nor do they inflict their brand on your venture, so you can essentially start up a hosting business of your own.

There are a few key reasons to resell hosting:

  • Setting up sites for family and friends
  • Adding hosting as a new revenue stream to an existing business
  • Starting a new business on your own

You still need to make sure that the plan is right for you, since not all reseller packages are equal.

Reseller hosting can be provisioned on a range of hosting plans. Basic reseller hosting tends to be set up on a shared server environment. For more power and control, you can often resell space on a VPS, cloud or dedicated server plan. Check that your host allows reselling if the plan is not marketed as a reseller plan specifically.

What You Get

Hosts generally give resellers a bulk discount, because they are essentially bringing new customers into the fold. This also allows you to make a profit on your own customised hosting packages.

You'll also normally benefit from a white label package, which means that your host's branding doesn't appear on the control panel, billing software and other administrative areas. From the cPanel login to the invoices you generate, you can use your own company name, giving your reseller hosting business a professional feel.

Your job as a host will be to provide first line support to your clients. If they lose their password, or can't locate a feature in cPanel, your host will normally expect you to deal with this. For more complex support queries, hosts offer different provision. You can submit tickets yourself and act as the go-between, or you can put your customer in touch with your host directly. In doing so, you may lose some of that white label sheen; if you plan to outsource support like this, ensure your host extends its white label provision to its support offering.

Can You Turn a Profit?

Many of today's big web hosts started off as resellers, proving that you can build a successful business this way. However, these hosts may have got into the business when they had few competitors in their niche. Nowadays, the hosting market is crowded, so there are fewer opportunities to make waves.

Don't expect to set up your business, sit back and watch the cash roll in. You will need to market it, deal with admin, write policies, set up advertising, create user accounts and compete for business against some of the best-known brands on the planet. Depending on your business model, you may also need to provide some level of support. If your host runs into problems, your users will come to you for a solution, so reseller hosting isn't entirely stress-free.

If you're looking for a 'set and forget' earnings solution, you can sign up as a hosting affiliate and simply refer customers to hosts. While this isn't hassle-free, it's arguably less time-consuming than running your own hosting company. On the flip side, you can earn a great deal of money from being a reseller if you're willing to put in the effort to sign up your first 50 clients.

Reseller Risks

We just touched upon a couple of reasons why reseller hosting isn't hassle free:

  • You need to be available to help your customers with support enquiries
  • As a reseller, you have no direct influence on the hosting provider, yet you are wholly dependent on its success and stability
  • Problems at your host will cause you headaches as your customers expect you to fix them
  • While label hosting can be pricey, particularly with white label support
  • You'll need to be obsessively organised with administration, accounts and backups

Finally, remember that being a reseller means being responsible for other people's ecommerce stores, business sites and livelihoods. You'll need to be tough when someone flouts the rules, and bear the brunt of complaints if things go wrong. If you have a head for business, reselling web hosting is a great way to increase your income online.

Reseller Hosting Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who is a web hosting reseller?

    A web hosting reseller is someone who wants to sell web hosting. It usually refers to the provision of web hosting services to companies that own a Shared/VPS/Dedicated server or have purchased a reseller plan to act as web hosts for other companies.

  • Why should I become a reseller?

    There are several reasons to become a reseller. Some of the best include 1) You can built your brand name on the internet 2) You control the hosting, packaging and pricing of the value-added plans provided by the web host 3) You can charge a monthly fee for web hosting from your clients 4) You are able to set up your own web hosting business without having to make huge investments in servers and data centers.

  • How do I become a hosting reseller?

    The easiest way to become a hosting reseller is to purchase a hosting reseller plan from a web host. The most flexible plan includes setting up a dedicated server. When you lease or buy the entire server, you can decide who can host their domain on your server and allocate web space however you wish. By setting up virtual hosting, you can put as many domains as your bandwidth allows and your server has space for.

  • Can I have my own resellers as a reseller?

    You only get one reseller control panel when you sign up for a hosting reseller account, so unless you give access to someone to access your reseller control panel, then only you have the ability to create hosting accounts. When you grant access to someone, they would use the same password and username as you.

  • Will the web host provide support to my clients?

    Resellers have to provide first level support to their customers. Problems that cannot be addressed by the reseller, or problems for which the reseller may need more technical assistance should be directed to the web host who sold the reseller package.

  • Do I need to be a hosting expert to succeed as a hosting reseller?

    No. The web host will handle the backend work while you focus on building your business. The web host is responsible for hardware setup and maintenance, configuring the security and updates for your machines, and maintaining network infrastructure. Connectivity issues and server hardware problems that may arise are also the responsibility of the web host.

  • Do I need technical knowledge to become a hosting reseller?

    Basic knowledge is required in the use of scripting and HTML languages, sending/receiving emails, POP accounts administration, registering new domain names, and editing existing DNS records for your clients. Familiarization with FTP utilities is also beneficial. The web host will often provide assistance to resellers if they get stuck at any point.

  • What control panel do I get as a hosting reseller?

    Most web hosting companies offer cPanel & WHM control panel to resellers to that they can sell and resell white-label accounts, meaning they can purchase hosting from a web hosting company and then resell those hosting services to their own clients. They can use cPanel & WHM to set up their own nameservers, replace the cPanel logo with their own logo and branding, and completely customize the skin and appearance of cPanel. Hosting resellers can also inquire about Plesk and other open-source control panels from the web host.

  • What hosting options can I resell?

    You can sell any type of account that is made available for reselling. This includes Shared hosting, VPS hosting, Dedicated hosting, and even Co-location. The availability depends on the provider, so search for a provider that offers all the plans you think you will need before signing up for one.

  • What are the costs involved in being a hosting reseller?

    You will incur costs such as advertising costs, domain registration costs, and support costs (if the web host charges for support). You may also need to spend on financial/billing software to manage your company once you have more than a few clients.

  • How much can I charge my customers for hosting?

    That entirely depends on you. A rule of thumb is to see what other resellers in your industry are charging and charge a price somewhere in between. However, the price will depend on the kind of value-added services and price you provide. Things like free customer support will determine what value you add to the hosting service you offer and therefore, what price you can charge to customers.

  • Can I offer dedicated IP addresses to my customers?

    Some web hosting providers will let you offer dedicated IP addresses to your customers at a small monthly fee. However, you will need to provide motivation for dedicated IP addresses because of the scarcity of IP addresses in the IPV4 address space: the ARIN requires web hosting companies to provide motivation.

  • Can I sell add-ons as a hosting reseller?

    Yes, many resellers offer additional services such as e-commerce add-ons and POP3 accounts at additional cost. These features are usually available for reselling, giving you the ability to offer a full suite of hosting options to your clients. The availability of add-ons depends on your hosting provider.

  • Can I upgrade my hosting reseller plan?

    Most web hosting companies will allow you to upgrade your hosting reseller account at any time for the difference in the price of plans. Some companies may offer reseller upgrades free of cost.

  • Do I get backup and auto-installer services as a reseller?

    It depends on the web host. Some companies include auto-installers like Softaculous totally free, while others charge for it. Resellers and their customers can set up domains at the click of a button, and the web host will backup their sites automatically.

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