Best Reseller Hosting – Making a Profit Reselling Web Hosting
Reseller hosting plans are designed for companies or individuals who are planning to sell web hosting services under their own brand, but they do not have the possibility to invest in server infrastructure. This type of hosting is very popular among web design companies and online service providers, that offer digital products and instead of sending you to a third party company to host your site, they do it “in-house” as an additional source of profit.
What to Expect From a Reseller Hosting Plan?
Reseller hosting is very similar to a managed virtual private server, where you will get a hosting account with pre-installed software and server resources. The reseller plan usually comes with billing software that allows its owner to manage clients’ accounts and payments easily. Usually reseller plans are brandable, that means you can customize the way the control panel will look, add your company’s logo, create your own custom name servers and have your own dedicated IP address.
Here is a list of top features that a good reseller plan should have:
- Should come with an easy to use billing software
- Should come with a customizable and brandable control panel
- Should have the possibility to easily upgrade or downgrade plans
- Should offer option to resell domain names and SSL certificates
- Should offer uptime guarantee and around the clock online support
Top Reseller Hosting Providers
#1 InMotion Reseller
Starting at $22.39 / month includes 80GB disk space, 800GB bandwidth, free dedicated IP, unlimited cPanels, free backups, SSD, WHMCS billing software, eNom domain reseller, brand bulding tools and a lot more.
#2 HostGator Reseller
Starting from $19.95 / month, allows hosting unlimited domains and includes 60GB disk space, 600GB bandwidth, WHMCS client management and billing software, resource allocation tool, 99.9% uptime guarantee, private name servers, latest cPanel and much more.
#3 NameCheap Reseller
Starting from $16.95 / month includes 25 cPanel accounts, 25GB web space, 1000GB bandwidth, free cPanel and WHM, access to SSL reseller program, 99.9% uptime guarantee, unlimited domain hosting and much more.
More about Reseller Hosting
Reseller hosting is a type of business where, as the name implies, a person is creating hosting operations with tools and services provided by a larger hosting provider company. These companies are selling special, affordable plans usually with high speeds and a lot of bandwidth. After that, you can rebrand your new hosting business and offer people cheap servers.
People that use reselling hosting do not actually own any servers but are merely renting them from the big companies like HostGator. This is the reason why this type of hosting can be risky since you are relying on the uptime and efficiency of these companies.
For running a reseller hosting provider, technical knowledge about how servers and other infrastructure work is not required. Most of the companies offer these services and will do the server maintenance for you.
Advantages & Disadvantages
Like with any business deals, this one has its ups and downs, so let’s get the bad things out of the way first.
- Like we mentioned before, the biggest problem with a reseller is that you will have to do customer support by yourself. If you run into a technical problem with something on your server, you will have to try and fix it alone. Of course, there is always outside hiring, but that can bring extra costs. That is one of the main problems with this business model since there probably won’t be a 24/7 support for your clients with either email, chat or a phone.
- If there is a problem with the server you are renting, you will be powerless to do anything until the company you are renting from fixes it. If the reseller is not dependable, you may lose important clients in the downtimes that may ensue.
- Changing web host when you already have a reseller model can be a real headache since you have to move the whole data to another server, which may not work for some of your clients. Also, the companies that deal with reseller hosting usually cover these migrations only for the first few months.
Now let’s get over to the positive aspects of this business plan:
- Most notable plus with reseller hosting is its price. Since in the plans you mostly get just the minimum requirements for a server, you cannot expect the price to be more than a couple of dollars a month.
- This business method is very flexible as you usually have better options than with a shared hosting model. Servers are fast and reliable if you are renting from a trusted company.
- You can rebrand the server you are renting with your own logo and change its interface settings to suit the needs of you and your clients.
How to Choose Reseller Hosting?
By now you are probably aware of what to look out for when starting a reseller business model and looking to buy one of the reseller plans. But just in case, we will go over the most important things to keep in mind and give you a couple of recommended providers that offer quality reseller hosting.
- Pay attention that they offer WHMCS (The Web Hosting Automation Platform) as it will handle signups, provisioning, billing and support that you can in return offer to the clients. Depending on your technical knowledge with these things, you will need something that is not hard to use and will provide you with all of the important information about the server.
- Since you cannot be certain how many customers you will have, it is a very good practice to look for a provider that can offer you resource allocation in case you need more or less power for your server. So flexibility in that area can be very profitable and is the backbone of this business model.
- Just a quick note, when a hosting provider offers unlimited data or bandwidth, it is usually meant that it will have enough speed and bandwidth for a normal website operation. But, be careful, if your website experiences unusually high traffic, it will get penalties, and the performance will suffer. Read those stars (*) next to “unlimited/unmetered bandwidth”, they will provide more information, since every hosting provider has its own rules.
- Last, but not least, is the support. Every provider, reseller or not, should offer great customer support, to help you with inevitable problems that will occur. With this point, it is also important that the provider can help you with server migrations if you happen to find a better offer and want to switch to another one. Some providers will give you this only for a certain period, after which you are left to do migrations yourself and that can be a tedious task.
Recommended Reseller Hosting Providers
With the next three providers, we have set aside for you, we will focus only on the reseller plans that they offer.
InMotion hosting is the most expensive among all, but offers the best value.
Like most of the providers, this one also offers three plans of reseller hosting. All of them use SSD’s and come with 80 to 160 GB of storage and 800 to 1600 GB of bandwidth, which is more than enough for a few websites with normal traffic.
Amongst interesting free options available are domains for your client’s websites, regular backups, cPanel transfers and dedicated IP addresses.
They have a couple of servers both in Europe and the US, and data center in the L.A. is also a green data center, which means that it uses an advanced cooling technique which cuts down costs and is also good for the environment.
For their six and twelve-month plans, they offer a 90-day money back guarantee, which gives you a lot of time to test if your business is going as it should.
InMotion is certainly a great option if you are just starting out and have a limited budget.
HostGator offers three reseller plans to its customers: Aluminum, Copper, and Silver. All of the plans offer unlimited domains and can get from 60 to 140 GB of disk space, and 600 to 1400 GB of bandwidth.
HostGator has a customization option to change WHMCS and create cPanel different for each of your clients. This provider is very flexible with plans, and with it, you can run a business however you want to.
Unlike some other providers, HostGator has a dedicated support via phone, live chat, email or even with a dedicated forum community.
Besides these functions, HostGator offers a great library of tutorial videos to help you and your clients use the newly implemented system.
They offer a 45-day money-back policy, which is a bit over the normal 30-day period.
This provider, contrary to its name is not one of the cheapest providers on the market. You will have a lot of useful functions that will help you sell and manage your server and websites stored on it. Some of them are unlimited domains and even subdomains. Only the lowest plan doesn’t have unlimited cPanel profiles which determine the number of clients you can sell to.
Disk space available ranges from 25 to 300 GB of data space, and 1000 to unmetered GB of bandwidth.
You are getting your money’s worth with the special Reseller cPanel that will make it easy to manage individual accounts on your server.
Besides that, you are getting a lot of useful tools for reselling, like WHMCS billing platform, SSL reseller programs, and white label marketing tools (useful for rebranding your services).
If you want to have dedicated IP’s, you will have to pay extra $24 per year, which is free with the other providers in this article.
As for the refund policy, with all plans, you have only 14 days if you want your money back, so this provider is for you if you have a good business plan prepared.
Even though reseller hosting can be a profitable business opportunity, it can also end up sooner than planned if not done correctly. Since you mostly have to focus on sales, all of the technical stuff is left for the company that is renting for you.
Key to the successful reseller provider lies in its availability, good marketing, branding and finding something that will set you apart in the race for the cheap and reliable hosting provider.
If you find it easy to sell your brand to the people and know a thing or two about servers, this is the right business for you. Just pick a top reseller hosting provider, and you will be fine.
InMotion, HostGator and NameCheap are all unique, but they all three have one common point- quality. Their reseller plans are proven to work, thousands of users can confirm. Pick any of those three, and you will have a solid foundation stone to start building your business.